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Showing posts from 2015

7 awesome Christmas gifts foodies will love

Looking for Christmas gifts that will share your love of food and cooking?  Here's my top suggestions for a fabulous food themed Christmas gift.


1. Barbecue buddy

This is one for anyone who loves to barbecue or roast meat and likes techy things that link to your smart phone. It's a temperature prob that inserts into the meat and feeds you information through an app on your phone on the internal temperature as you roast so you know exactly how the cooking is going without standing beside the barbie or oven. I do love a gadget, especially one that works as well as this one. Find it at Taste for $49.99.

2. Give memories
I've just completed my first photo book which someone is getting for Christmas!  So I won't share too many details except that this is a great way to give memories.  For a foodie friend there would be nothing better than a book filled with your special recipes with photos or for the traveller - their last holiday with all the memories.  It's f…

How to make marvellous mushroom canapés

How about adding the power of mushrooms to some of your favourite party food?  It's a simple way to add flavour plus give a dish extra health stars.

Which mushrooms to blend? Use white and cup mushrooms with chicken and pork and the stronger flavours of swiss browns, portabellas and flats with beef and lamb mince.

Here's a seven canapés that are both easy to make and easy to eat.  Make them for the family or treat your friends with mushroom power. Mushroom humusDuck and mushroom steamed dumplings Mushroom and herb frittersMushroom lamb and chorizo ballsStuffed mushrooms KilpatrickMushroom and chorizo empanadasMushroom and pork sausage rolls

Stuffed Mushrooms Kilpatrick
Ingredients 60g butter, softened 1 garlic clove, crushed 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped Olive oil cooking spray 8 slices sourdough bread 8 flat mushrooms, trimmed 3 rashers rindless bacon, diced 2-3 tbs Worcestershire sauce Lemon wedges, to serve
Preheat barbecue plate on high and bar…

It's all about the sizzle with a charcoal grill

It's all about the sizzle at Sake Restaurant & Bar with the introduction of their robata grill.

Sitting at the bar that part encircles the kitchen, you can not only see the chefs at work, painstakingly creating your food but also watch the grill glow as it cooks your dinner.

The Japanese have mastered this style of fire-side cooking over centuries.  It originated from the northern most island of Japan, Hokkaido, where a communal hearth was used both for cooking and for warmth.

It's like a barbecue, but slower as food on skewers is slow-grilled over hot coal. Traditionally its a combo of seafood and vegetables but at Sake they are offering pork, lamb, chicken, beef  and vegetables. The 1000 degree Celsius heat induces the bonito flakes on the skewers to literally appear to dance.

Saké Head Chef, Daisuke Sakai enjoys the fast pace of cooking on the robata grill and says that
“cooking in this method allows us to lock in more flavour, with a crispy and smokey exterior and a

How to have the best Christmas feast ever

Cooking Christmas lunch doesn't have to be a drama!

Here are my top tips to make your ham the best ever, the secrets of choosing the best seafood, fool proof turkey cooking instructions, a magical rum ball recipe and how to make a wow moment gingerbread house.

You are planning a seafood platter of course!  How do you choose the best seafood at the shop?  I asked a sushi chef (you know how fresh it has to be to eat raw) for his tips.

A Christmas table isn't complete for me unless there's a luscious leg of ham waiting to be carved.  Even better still are the left overs.  Here's   Five ways to jazz up your Christmas ham courtesy of some fabulous foodies.

You can't go wrong with these  10 tips for the perfect Christmas turkey  and you'll be basking in praise for months.  This turkey is the most tender you have ever tasted!

Finish with one of my favourite Christmas treats - rum balls!  This recipe comes from my family archives and is one for rum lovers.

Another Ch…

The biscuit on which an army can march

Eight recipes, numbered not named, but with 1000 Anzac biscuits to taste surely one will be a winner?

Enthusiastic members of the Queensland Country Women's Association Border Division (QCWA) baked the biscuits, just like their sisters did during the First World War, to fuel the troops. The biscuits were made from eight recipes, all handed down through generations, and all family favourites.  Although the basic ingredients are very similar, there are little twists and tweaks in each which combine to create distinct differences to the connoisseur.

It was all to commemorate  the 100 year anniversary of the 1915 March of Dungarees from Warwick to Brisbane which travelled via Toowoomba, Laidley and Ipswich collecting 125 brave recruits along the way.

A CWA member for over 50 years, Celine Stephen's Anzac biscuits recipe has been baked many times.

"They are always a firm favourite," she said. "It's important to remember those who took part in the march, and the …

It's a legend of the seas

Queenslanders love a cruise and there's plenty to love on the newest Royal Caribbean cruise liner which has made Brisbane it's home port.

In the ranks of the new style cruise liners, with 11 guest decks and 2,074 guests this is not the biggest ship in the Royal Caribbean stable, but it is the largest vessel that will still fit in the Brisbane River and dock conveniently at Portside Wharf, Hamilton.

The on-board entertainment factor is high with an 800-seat theatre staging Broadway style productions and pianos strategically placed throughout the vessel.  There's even one with a wooden bench to rest your drink circumnavigating the piano in the Schooner Bar.

If you are looking for wow factor, you'll find it in the central atrium where acrobats fly high over guests putting on a show designed to thrill.

Onboard you'll find a spa and fitness centre, beauty salon, two pools, four whirlpools, a rock climbing wall, nine-hole miniature golf course, jogging track, outdoor mo…

7 crazy days in amazing Japan

How much of Japan can you fit into one week?

Try two days in Tokyo and the rest in Shikoku, a part of Japan that many foreign travellers are only just starting to discover.  Arrive in Tokyo and fly to the Kansai region to start the journey across the Akaski Bridge and stop to view the Naruto whirlpools.

Discover how to make udon noodles in Tokushima and discover the joys of bathing naked in front of very-much-at-home Japanese locals at the famous hot spring Dogo Onsen at Matsuyama.

We climbed to the top of ancient castles, rode bicycles over suspension bridges, followed a pilgrim's temple trail, walked through beautiful gardens, boated through canyons, ate the best Japanese food I've experienced, travelled on the bullet train to Tokyo and visited an owl cafe.

Here's what we got up to in seven days in Japan.

Disclaimer: Ed+bK travelled as the guest of the Japan National Tourism Organisation.

You will thank me - 10 tips about Christmas turkey you need to know

Cooking the Christmas turkey has to be one of the most stressful experiences.

There's high expectations from plenty of family members, who usually don't hold back when it comes to comments, and boiling hot Christmas weather combined with a tricky job that only gets practised once a year.

I've done a dummy run this year and cooked a turkey for Thanksgiving.  I didn't stuff the bird as stuffing requires longer cooking times and this can dry out the meat.  If you really love stuffing you can cook it separately.

First brine your turkey! Get a largish flat bucket that should be able to fit in your fridge. I used an old bucket that was great for washing up when camping.   Boil together a cup of salt, half a cup of brown sugar, some peppercorns and what ever herbs you like (ginger, thyme, rosemary are good) in a large saucepan.  You can also add chicken stock for a richer flavour.

Put the turkey breast down in the bucket and pour over the cool mixture. It needs to cover most…

A blissful way to start the day

Healthy never tasted as good as it does at Miss Bliss Wholefoods Kitchen at West End.

Owner Jacqui Toumbas (AKA Miss Bliss) has turned one of West End's iconic fruit shops into another type of icon which even her grandfather loves.

Jacqui's grandfather is one of group of friends who met every week at the back of the fruit shop for a chat and a catch up. Their gathering is immortalised with a life-sized black and white photo mural at the rear of the cafe, just where they used to gather.  Now they do the same at Miss Bliss and from the smiles on their faces, they are enjoying their new set up.

The theme here is healthy wholefoods, with unprocessed a common word and refined sugar a no-no. The food is free from additives and artificial substances according to the menu and the kitchen uses local and organic produce where possible. Their mantra is great tasting food that is good for you!

Each item on the menu has a tip which tells you if it is rich in protein, high in fibre, contai…