Dad Takes The Cake

What Dad doesn’t dote on cake? And what Dad doesn’t dote on cake made specially for him by one of his children, even if it is a little lumpy? Some dads, needless to say, can get too much of a good thing.  When we were young, my three sisters and I spent many Sundays baking … Continue reading

A love-hate affair

There’s a curious Jekyll and Hyde personality about garlic. Old friends of this member of the allum family will not be surprised by this, but newcomers may be caught off guard. Crush a clove or two and add it to a salad – its pungency is unmistakeable. But cook the cloves slowly with a casseroled … Continue reading

Uninvited Farmyard Guests

Whenever I visit the family farm in Tally Valley, south-east Queensland, I head straight for the orchard and chook pen. At this time of the year, the citrus trees (oranges and lemons, grapefruit, cumquats and mandarins) are laden with fruit, and the kitembillas (Sri Lankan gooseberries ) almost ready to be picked.  I even found … Continue reading

Mavis’ Marvellous Kitchen

It’s lunchtime when I arrive at Mavis’ Kitchen, Uki, a glorious 25 acre property at the foot of Mt Warning in northern NSW. I’d hoped to arrive a little earlier, but had made a mistake and driven  straight into the quaint old town of Uki. A local hippy pointed the way and I retraced my … Continue reading

Wild about Schnapps

It’s 2pm on an overcast Thursday and the Wild Brumby is packed. Rain and wind on the alpine peaks mean poor ski conditions and many skiers  have fled the slopes to stay inside. What better way to warm up than in this cosy, funky Schnapps distillery which doubles as a cafe/restaurant? Set up a few … Continue reading

The Secret of Risotto

“It must make a wave.  It must ripple like the sea touched by gentle breezes. Watch the wave or else it isn’t risotto.” This is how the Italian cookery writer Valentina Harris, at the age of four, learned to make risotto from Beppino, a chef at one of Milan’s top restaurants. “With immense patience, he … Continue reading

Banksktown Bites

It’s 4pm on a wet winter afternoon and we’ve taken refuge inside the lively Café Nho in Bankstown City Plaza. The place is packed with locals and school kids sipping on coffee and tropical fruit smoothies. The range available, listed on the bright lime green wall behind the counter, tells a story – choose from … Continue reading

Christmas in July

Winter magic is a reality in the Blue Mountains, NSW, at this time of the year. The crisp clear mountain air is intoxicating, the views breathtaking, and for city slickers like me the lure of a log fire is irresistible. Sitting atop a hill high above Katoomba stands the Mountain Heritage Hotel & Spa, a … Continue reading

Macaron Madness

Move over cupcakes and make way for macarons. These delicate bite-size egg white-sugar-and almond petits fours have already taken over Paris, and are now doing do so in Australia. Crisp and shiny on the outside, smooth and soft in the middle, they are the divas of the biscuit world:  fickle, fiddly and fabulous. In Paris, … Continue reading
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