Saturday, 16 March
Saturday 16th Mar, 10.00am 1.00pm, Seasons Aged Care
Saturday, 02 March
Saturday 2nd Mar, 8.30am Sunday 3rd Mar, 3.00pm, Bracken Ridge
State High School
Sunday, 17 February
Sunday 20th Jan, 12.00pm Sunday 28th Apr, 5.00pm, Brisbane
Saturday 16th Feb, 4.00pm 9.00pm, DiverCiti Centre
Thursday, 07 February
2019 Must be the year that dreams come
true. Although I've been able to resist the temptation of most
desserts, Matcha is one thing I've never been able to walk away
from, no matter how stringent the diet restrictions. Readers will
know how obsessed I am with Sydney's Matcha cafe, Cre Asion, and my
prayers were answered when when Brisbane's own Matcha Honpo opened
along Wharf Street last week.
We headed there right after work for a
quick afternoon snack.
Northey Street City Farm E-News February 2019 Northey
Street City Farm publish a free electronic newsletter every month.
To subscribe to our monthly free e-newsletter CLICK HERE. You
will receive the newsletter to your email once a month to let you
know what is happening at the farm. To read this months
E-News CLICK HERE
The post Northey Street City Farm E-News February 2019
appeared first on Northey Street City Farm.
Wednesday, 06 February
Ramen started as a weekly vegan pop-up down the coast, then got
a permanent little kiosk at Love Child Miami (which I have visited
once), then a pop-up in Brisbane, and finally
its own permanent vegan venue. I visited one Saturday evening with
some friends to check it out.
We started out sharing the Panko Mushrooms with a sour cream and
garlic seasoning and aioli. I couldn't taste the seasoning much,
but the mushrooms were crispy and tasty, though I wish there had
been just a bit more aioli.
Also on the small plates menu, Agedashi Tofu. This was very tasty,
but it was not agadashi tofu. The shiitake dashi was quite tart,
and not at all like a traditional agadeshi broth. Given all the
other food we ordered, I was worried that I wouldn't have room for
this, but it was quite a small serving, only three pieces.
My friend ordered both of their bao options - Panko Mushroom and
Kimchi Bao (with panko crumbed mushroom, bok choy, kimchi, and
sriracha aioli) and the Holy 'Duck' Bao (crispy "duck" glazed in
plum sauce, cucumber, mint and pickled daikon slaw with chilli lime
dressing and pomegranate mayo). I also had the duck bao, but
without the chilli lime dressing. This was really nice, though it
came with a lot of raw onion that I picked out.
But what about the Ramen, you ask? Never fear! I ordered the
Cauliflower and Onion Ramen (activated charcoal noodles served in a
cauliflower and onion broth with crispy beetroot, charred corn and
cauliflower), because you know I could not say know to the amusing
charcoal noodles. This was really tasty, though the...
Tuesday, 05 February
Second lunch in Perth and again we ended
up having a super late meal, but rather than being in the CBD, we
found ourselves out in the suburbs. Doing a quick search, I
realised that we were in a predominantly Vietnamese influenced
suburb, so there was no better excuse than to have some local Pho
at the highly rated Pho Huynh nearby.
Arriving just before 3pm, the place was
still half full on a weekday. Obvious sign of popularity. We were
quickly seated and extremely thankful for the abundant air
The menu was traditional, focusing on
mainly rice and noodles, there were also some sides and a small
amount of drinks. We ordered quickly.
Huskk Cafe, Grange
Huskk is a new cafe recently sprouted in
Grange. In a short period of time, we visited this place twice.
First time, just Grace and myself and on our second trip, we took
my mom and grandma here when they came to visit from
This cafe looks bright, open and lovely. What
is better is that they have a small corner of children's play area
as pictured! Grace managed to keep herself occupied while waiting
for our food.
On our visit, I ordered the pancake from the
children's menu and it was gingerbread flavour (due to
pre-Christmas). It came in a generous amount and quite lovely but
the ginger flavour may be a tad strong for Grace. She had a few
As for myself, I had the banana bread pudding
slice and it was heavenly. Still quite moist and not too sweet
which was good.
Former Queensland Treasurer Keith De Lacy AM and I will speak at
an upcoming breakfast in West End, Brisbane on Wednesday 27
February at the Connor Court Book Room regarding my recently
Beautiful One Day, Broke the Next: Queenslands Public Finances
since Sir Joh and Sir Leo. Im very much looking forward to
hearing more of Keiths insights into Queenslands fiscal history and
our current situation. Keith made some great contributions to
Queensland during his time as Goss government Treasurer
(1989-1996), overseeing generally strict budget management and the
corporatisation of government-owned businesses, among other
achievements. Since that time, Keith has had a distinguished
business career and is a former President of the Queensland
division of the AICD.
If youre interested in Queensland state politics or concerned
about our current state finances, I expect you would get a lot out
of this event in addition to an excellent cooked breakfast from one
of West Ends fine cafes. You can book for the breakfast via
Breakfast with Keith De Lacy and Gene Tunny
Monday, 04 February
Indubitably, the best way to start off a
weekend is with a wholesome hearty brunch. Always keen to try out
new things, we were pleased to receive an invite to try out
Sassafras of Paddington, which has recently changed management and
been bought out by head chef Chris Zirbel. Named after a leafy
aromatic plant abundant in both North America and East Asia, it had
my interest piqued, having read Joe's glowing review, I was
Situated along LaTrobe Terrace in what
appears to be a refurbished residential house, the main counter and
kitchen were indoors. There were also a few seats indoors, but the
majority of seating was definitely out the back.
First work day in Perth and it was
absolutely hectic. Was unable to stop for lunch until late in the
afternoon when most things were closed. Stumbled upon Hikaru in the
cbd and opted for a quick bite before continuing any further
Inside was like most takeaway sushi
shops, but one thing set it aside from all the others.
ONIGIRI. Delectable triangular rice balls
with the seaweed stored separate from the rice to ensure crispy
freshness. I had two take away.
One of the places I kept meaning to get back to, after my two
visits four days apart at the end of 2017, was Netherworld, an arcade and bar with a vegan-by-default
diner inside (there is the option to add animal products, wish it
was all just totally vegan!). It took me a year to get back, at
then end of 2018, for my friend's birthday (again). I met them for
lunch, and we ate some food. You can read about my previous visits
We shared some entrees. The Pegasus Poutine (shoestring fries with
gravy, melted cheese, and cheese sauce) and the Munchkin Mushies
(sesame tempura mushrooms with wasabi mayo). I'd had the mushrooms
before, and I love them. The poutine was a new addition to the
menu. It was very satisfying, loaded with lots of gravy and cheese,
but it got pretty soggy. I wish they had sturdier fries, and it was
more a platter rather than a bowl. It was a big serve!
I was super keen to order the Cryptid Classic Burger (crispy fried
tofu, pickled ginger, nori, lettuce, tomato, wasabi mayo and
avocado). Sounds like a great combination, right? I was
disappointed. Instead of just avocado, which would have been great,
they instead used their guacamole. A very strong lime and far too
spicy guacamole, that overpowered everything. The pickled ginger
was a tiny pile, and I couldn't taste the wasabi mayo at all. The
tofu was nice, though very salty. I ended up eating one piece of
tofu on its own, so I could make the burger fit in my mouth. They
had free fries with burgers at lunchtime, so we all had a side of
fries as well.
The birthday girl o...
Sunday, 03 February
Early morning in Perth and on the lookout
for good coffee, both for immediate consumption as well as for a
little something to bring back home for Adam. Had read about the
very popular Infusion Coffee and Tea in the mall and headed there
before a busy day. It was the only thing open early enough, and I
was easily able to locate it with my nose.
There was an abundance of coffee beans,
each infused with a different flavour. Other than the usual
favourites of vanilla, toffee or hazelnut, it also offered things
like Jamaican Rum and Highland Whiskey. I loved smelling each and
every sack to determine which I wanted.
Once I had decided, I could choose which
bean to try immediately and watched them grind and make it. I opted
for the smooth hazelnut. Delightfully nutty and sweet, it made for
a wonderful cappuccino. The cookie was also wonderfully good value
at $2.50 a piece. I also got quite a few bags of beans to take away
for back home. Being super keen on refills at a later date, the
shop attendant told me that whist they didn't have an online shop,
Bang! February is here. After a lovely six months off work,
where we went on three different holidays (Europe, Thailand,
Tasmania), I have started a new contract with the Qld Government.
This means being super organised for lunches and dinners, rather
than just wandering around the house and deciding on a whim, what
to cook and eat. Luckily Im a Project Manager by trade so I
am super organised.
In my February kitchen
is my well ordered freezer. You may be able to see that I have
labeled the drawers. The idea is that this makes it easier for me
to direct Mr Tiffin, when I ask him to pull something out. Go to
the meals drawer Im pretty sure its in there. Well thats the idea
anyway. If a drawer is too full, its time to use up some of the
items in the drawer rather than move them elsewhere. Well thats the
In my kitchen (and freezer)
are carrot cake muffins. Whilst we were in Tasmania, we had home
exchange visitors from France in our house. They jetted off the day
after we arrived back home and left a wide assortment of unusual
items in the fridge including two bags of carrots. I generally only
eat carrots raw and theres only so many salads you can eat day
after day. So, I whipped up a batch of carrot cake muffins and
stashed them in the freezer. Of course, they are full of sugar and
oil but at least I can control the amount and portion size. There
is no cream cheese frosting so that mitigates things to some
Saturday, 02 February
Landed in Perth for the last interstate
trip of 2018 with Iron Fist. First stop was dinner before the long
day of work tomorrow. Wanting something good, quick and convenient,
I opted for Authentic Bites Dumpling House in the CBD. Apparently
quite at few people agreed with how good it was, and there was a
substantial wait for a table.
It took us over half an hour to get in,
but luckily there was a menu stuck to the window, so at least we
could ponder our order before going in.
Friday, 01 February
Sometimes, life is hard. You find
yourself overworked and deadlines are looming. At times like that,
it's a nice surprise when your other half takes initiative to take
you out for a nice lunch to get your mind off work. Bonus points
for deciding to go to Malt dining, a place within 50 metres from
work, that I've always wanted to go to but never had a good enough
reason to try, and so he took me there, just because.
Heading in at lunchtime, we were seated
in the attic. Decor was elegant and classical. I loved the setup
and the moody vibe.
The lunch menu was fairly short but had a
few things that I could easily come back for.
Last breakfast in Melbourne and he
decided to go to Higher Ground, a popular brunch spot along Little
Bourke Street. Having experienced a really good run with the
weather, it was inevitable we would get some Melbourne rain before
we left. Arriving at peak brunch time there was a considerable
crowd and everyone was keen to get out of the rain. I think it was
a stroke of genius to have a coffee cart outside to serve those
waiting in line, commercialism at its finest.
Took almost an hour for us to get a
table, but we finally made it inside. Iro...
Saturday, 27 January
B+C Lab Cafe
Anyone loves matcha? Then you really need to
visit this cafe. After seeing the matcha crepe cakes from B+C Lab
cafe in Instagram, I have been waiting for the right time to visit
it. Despite being so eager to visit, taking Grace there would not
be a good idea because she would not be able to eat anything
(lol, not allowed at this stage)!
So after lunch at Burger Urge, Mr and myself
walked across the road to the cafe. You would miss this cafe if you
do not focus. Follow the white tiles and you will find it. Once
inside, you will not miss the glass cabinet display of their cakes
selection. They had the Earl Grey crepe cakes special that day but
I had to give it a pass for my matcha crepe cakes.
First of all, check out the vibrant green matcha colour. To
me, that means B+C Lab do not skimp on the matcha (which is
imported all the way from Japan). The crepe cake was heavenly with
a very well balanced flavour of matcha and sweetness. It was
creamy, smooth and just so good. Even the Mr enjoyed it.
Do you often have read more as a new years resolution? Or is it
your 2018 resolution?
And as a result, do you buy lots of books that you never finish
Then after reading Marie Kondos book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,
you end up throwing away your collection of never-finished-reading
and only-read-once books?
I read more than 50 books in 2017 without spending a cent, and
am hoping to repeat it this year. Heres how you can do the
Get a library card
If you have a Brisbane City Council library card, youre already
halfway towards a universe of books to jump into this
Every town or city has a public library, and membership is
Tuesday, 23 January
Burger Urge, Kelvin Grove
Are you a burger fanatic? I do not consider
myself as one but would want to enjoy a good decent burger. I have
tried some of the restaurants in the Kelvin Grove village and yet
to try the Burger Urge there.
As part of the lunch specials, we ordered the
'Boston Cheese' and 'Pineapple Express' burgers that came with
sides of small chips and a soft drink. Mr opted for the healthy
drink which is plain water while I had lemonade. Shortly after our
meals arrived and they looked tasty.
Mr's Boston Cheese burger came with prime ground Australian
beef, American style cheddar, pickles, BU special sauce, aioli and
salad. His glazed milk bun burger was soft and a little smaller
than my sesame seed bun. Overall, it was a good burger and a
Pineapple and chicken in a burger? Ya, I do not mind them.
The combination was quite refreshing from the pineapple but that
means the juice is just dripping when you bite on to the burger. It
was quite a nice burger. The chips...
Thursday, 18 January
Willow and Spoon, Windsor
Finally on a child free day (Grace's first
day in childcare), Mr and myself went out for a lunch date at
Willow and Spoon. Certainly it was not a romantic setting, but we
appreciate this little moment we have together. I think couples
deserve this time together if possible!
Parking was easy to find along the street,
and there are plenty of seats at the back of the cafe. I have been
here years ago and it has been upgraded with new paint and design.
It is bright and lovely.
After browsing the menu, I knew what I want straightaway. I
previously had a waffle dish (could not be
bothered to blog about this place or maybe I should?) in
another cafe and was so disappointed. I need to satisfy that
craving and hence, ordered the Southern Fried
Chicken with waffle. It turned out to be an amazing dish!
Seriously love the crunchy fried chicken and it was paired
beautifully with the waffle. The honey and bourbon beans were quite
mild and not too overpowering. Simply good!
|Willow and Spoon's
|Southern Fried chicken
with waffle, honey...
Monday, 15 January
Christmas BrewFest 2017 was our third running of this
prestigious event. We roasted the coffee that made the coffee
beer, glassed (sipped cold drip coffee from wine glasses) the
coffee that made the coffee beer, then sipped and savoured three
Saturday, 13 January
Brick Bistro Bar, Redcliffe
One weekend, we went to Redcliffe for an
outing and explored the morning market. Prior to that, we had early
lunch so that Miss G will not get cranky! We stopped by at Brick
Bistro Bar and thankfully just started their lunch session, which
is mostly tapas style. While waiting for the meals to arrive, G had
some colouring session with the supplied crayons and drawing
We certainly ordered quite a bit for two adults and one
baby/toddler. Trying to guess what she will eat, we ordered a mix
of food. The meals all came out around the same time and G was just
salivating (maybe just a little)! LOL!
Firstly, we ordered a kid's meal (cheese burger slider) that
came with fries and soft drinks for $9. The bun was quite dry but
the rest was delicious. Beef patty flavourful and really good
|Cheese burger slider
with chips ($9)
|House garlic and
rosemary bread with olive oil and balsamic reduction
Thursday, 11 January
I swear the years fly faster the older you get. How the hell did
I blink and were already a week into 2018?
This blog has seen fuller days 2017 has not been kind, so I
wanna a fresh start.
Lets start with reflecting on my 10 goals
- We never got around to scheduling those date nights, but there
were tonnes of family time.
- Our 10th-year-anniversary celebration was a disaster a Noosa
weekend turned into a diarrhoea episode on the SOs part.
- I smashed my 30-books reading goal by reading 56 books, thanks
- I didnt get to physically attend a conference, but I DID watch
videos from Social Media
Marketing World 2017 conference.
And I obviously didnt stick to ANY editorial plan for this
So much for that.
Lets hope I do better this year.
While 2017 ended on a horrible note with my father having to
undergo a triple bypass (more on that later), I cannot deny there
Saturday, 16 December
Kamikaze Teppanyaki, Westfield Garden
Anyone reads the free weekly Chinese
newspapers that can be collected in Sunnybank? Although I cannot
read Mandarin and barely speaks Mandarin now, I enjoy looking
through the advertisements particularly regarding opening of new
restaurants or even what is up on offer!
Ahhaha, thanks to my MIL, Kamikaze Teppanyaki
had a voucher for 'Buy 1 get 1 free' for bento,
ramen or udon meals. After dropping off Grace at the in-laws, Mr
and myself made our way to Garden City to have lunch at Kamikaze.
As we were there right at the lunch opening hour, we were the first
customer to arrive. A menu was given and I so want a bento set and
ordered the unagi, and the prawn tempura ramen.
Sitting outside, we could see one chef getting the teppanyaki
table ready and soon after could see him performing 'fire
ball'. Well, he was entertaining other guests with his culinary
Our meals arrived shortly and I was happy
with the unagi bento set. It came with sides of garden salad,
gyoza, spring rolls and seaweed salad. I love grilled eel and I
think this hit the spot! If only there was more of the sauce for
the rice as well. The gyoza and spring rolls are all right, tasted
better with the dipping sauce. As for the garden salad's dressing,
it was not something I expect. It tasted more like grated ginger
and garlic dressing, which was OK.
Monday, 13 November
Im a new member of LFG and new to gardening as well.i would like to
know if someone is getting rid of old issues of gardening magazines
or would like to sell them?
Friday, 29 September
Our Great Day Out Coffee Tour in September 2017 followed the
steps of Laurel Edwards through the Valley as seen on Channel 7s
The Great Day Out Bean Brewding segment. We roasted green bean to
brown at Bear Bones, drank
Monday, 18 September
Very soon this blogspot address will automatically redirect to
the new Eight Acres site, but in the meantime, you can check it out here. You will find
all my soaps, ebooks and beeswax/honey products there, as well as
the blog (needs a tidy up, but its all there!). I will be
gradually updating all my social media links and updating and
sharing blog posts over the next few months. I'm very excited
to share this new website with you!
Thursday, 31 January
At the first meeting of 2019, Bruce Ham will discuss his visit
to the Toowoomba facility of Bugs for Bugs. This company is at the
forefront of developing biological controls to manage pests and
diseases in commercial organic farms. Not only do they breed a
range of beneficial insects, but they also have to breed the food
sources for the beneficial insects. The discussion will examine
what beneficial insects might be found in Brisbane gardens and how
we might encourage them.
Having not eaten dessert as part of our
dinner, Adam's evening remained unfulfilled. After a brief stroll
back into the city, we came across Tsujiri, another matcha themed
cafe, perhaps competition to the popular Kyo Tea House. Time for us
The store was fairly small, drinks menu
was extensive though, but largely focused again on Matcha and
Houjicha with hot and cold variations with and without ice
A few of their desserts had sold out, but
we still saw a few things we wanted in their pastry cabinet.
When in Hong Kong, you feel like
it's a must that you visit a local, typical Hong Kong Cha Chaan
Teng of which Kam Wah Cafe is one. Serving local chinese dishes
along with its signature Pineapple bun, egg tarts and milk tea.
Since we just finished lunch, we decided to just order their
signature Pineapple buns and Milk Tea.
Why are they called 'Pineapple
Buns' (bo lo bao) you may ask.. No, they don't have any hint
of pineapple in it at all but due to its pineapple shaped sugar
crusted buns, it became famous and was so called the 'Pineapple
Bun'. Though I am unsure how that name came about because it
doesn't look like a pineapple nor does it taste like
With the Pineapple Bun, you
can order the bun with a slab of butter sandwiched in between but
we didn't. Might just be one big mess trying to eat and walk at the
same time, and with the heat, we didn't want the butter to just
simply melt everywhere.
Tuesday, 12 September
One more post on this blog and then I think I'm going to be
ready to launch the new site! I can't wait to share it with
Well it hasn't rained for a few weeks and I always find this time
of year tough because all the grass is dead from the cold weather
and lack of rain, so its all just brown and dry and I start to
worry about bushfires. We are just waiting for rain.
Which is a shame really because apart from that its quite a
nice temperature and the days are getting longer, so I should be
enjoying the weather instead of wishing for rain. Also the
dogs get very dirty and static from playing in the dust!
Food and cooking
Did you see my post about growing mushrooms? That was quite
Land and farming
We've been looking at getting a bigger tractor because we really
want to try a yeoman's plough to improve our pasture. And we
finally bought a firefighting rig for the back of the ute.
Barastock sent me some chicken food in
exchange for social media images featuring my chooks eating their
food. The black and white one was in the photos, but...
Tuesday, 05 September
The Our Town Coffee Tour in August 2017 celebrated our town of
Brisbane and its super coffee. We connected crop to cup with coffee
cupping, experienced different brew methods with Honduran coffee
and went on a sensory sensation! Big
Monday, 28 August
I'm still here! I just got distracted by making a new soap
website and I couldn't decide where to post this. But I'm not
ready to move just yet. I wanted to show you my pot garden as
I've been pleasantly surprised by what I can grow (in winter
anyway). We are going to build a proper garden and set up the
aquaponics, but other things need to be done first and meanwhile my
pot collection keeps growing every time I go to our monthly share
meeting and come home with another herb!
|Celery, peas, winter savory and
I have my collection of pots stacked on my potting table, which is
the size of a sheet of mesh - I think its 2m by 3m or so. And
I have more pots underneath. The worm farms are up top as
well. It seems to be good for the shade-loving plants, like
mints, yarrow and strawberries to be down below in the partial
shade. I really like the location, it is between the house
and the shed, so every time we go to the shed or to the car, we
walk past the garden. I was going to put the garden further
away, but now I can see that this is the ideal spot, so we will
build our shade structure at the back (northern side) of the shed
and put the garden right there.
Wednesday, 23 August
The Brisbane End of Financial Year Coffee Tour in June 2017
showcased Woolloongabba as a hub for specialty coffee. We watched
green bean transform to brown at Coffee Supreme, appreciated
espresso at Blue Sky and learnt the art of cupping
Friday, 18 August
The SOs grandfather was visiting from Perth and staying with the
in-laws. They had recently moved into the country, so had organised
a family lunch at a local cafe close to their property.
We had started the day late. Little Mister had been sleeping in.
We had a long drive ahead, and I couldnt bear being stuck in the
car with a fussy toddler almost 2 hours without decent
I scrolled through my map of pinned bookmarks and
remembered Wild Canary
Bistro. It has been on my list, due to the Instagram-worth
breakfasts and cakes. And best of all, it was in the general
direction of where we were headed.
Thursday, 17 August
Ive been wanting to try growing mushrooms for some time. I LOVE
mushrooms and we buy them from the supermarket every week, so I was
keen to find a way to produce them at home to reduce waste and
potentially cost as well.
A few years ago I found out that you could grow mushrooms from the
spent mushroom compost from mushroom farms. So we dropped in to a
farm on the Sunshine Coast and picked up a couple of boxes for $2
each. I diligently kept them dark and sprayed them with water, but
in our climate, I just couldnt keep them damp enough (and I had to
keep them outside because our shed was too hot). I never managed to
produce any mushrooms from those boxes, but when I gave up and
tipped the compost out onto the garden, mushrooms sprang up
everywhere. I wasnt confident that they were the right mushrooms
though, so I didnt harvest any of those. As the proverb says, All
mushrooms are edible, but some only once! I am generally a bit
nervous about unidentified fungi.
Since then, I had been thinking about trying a mushroom kit, sure
they are more expensive, but probably more likely to succeed as
they are designed to help you grow mushrooms at home. I hadnt
decided which one to try, so I was very pleased when my friends at
Biome Eco Stores
sent me a Life Cykel Mushroom
(Affiliate link) to test. These are nice and
small (unlike my big boxes of mushroom compost), so they can be
kept in your kitchen. The kits consists of a cardboard box
containing a plastic bag filled with coffee grounds collected from
cafes (recycling!) which is inoculated with oyster mushroom spores
and ready to grow, you just have to cut open the bag.
A tractor with implements is an essential tool for getting
work done around the farm (as I recently wrote about here). At
Cheslyn Rise, our 258-acre property, we have a 75 HP tractor with
front bucket and forklift tynes. We have ploughs, a hay rake,
cultivator drill (seeder), an 800 L spray tank and a slasher. At
Eight Acres, we only had a tiny 15 HP tractor with a slasher. Often
we wish we could use the big tractor there too, but it's just not
practical to transport it.
When I write about farm work weve done using our big tractor, I
usually get questions from readers about how to do these things on
a smaller scale, for a hobby farm or lifestyle block, especially
our recent pasture seeding, which required two ploughs and the
cultivator drill. Until recently, I havent had any answers. I think
it's an issue that weve all experienced, it's hard to justify
buying even a small tractor for a small hobby farm, and even if you
do buy one (ours is second hand), it's hard to find appropriate
implements, thats why we only have a slasher. We havent been able
to plant pasture on our small farm, and we are always lugging
around manual spray packs because we havent found any implements
suitable for an ATV or small tractor.
Back in 2015, Ben Hestehauge Product Manager from greenPRO
contacted me to tell me
about their new range of implements for small farms I instantly saw
the potential for this equipment. Since then they have continued to
develop their three leading products for small farms - The ATV-Pulled 6-IN-1
, The Solar Powered
, and ATV Sprayer
, all of which are designed to be towed by an ATV.
greenPRO contacted me again recently and asked me to update my
post, as they wanted to make sure that you have the latest
information about these exciting products.
greenPRO is based in Warana on Queenslands Sunshine Coast, and are
a division of Quik Corp,
a company that has been manu...
Saturday, 12 August
I just updated our house cows' story over on my house cow ebook
blog. You can check it out here.
|Bella with Molly in the background
|future house cow Charlotte
Getting started with homestead
Its been cold this month, and very nice to have the fire going
every night. Here's a photo of my boy in his cape, great for
late night woofing at things. Most of July we were either
preparing for the butcher to come or putting meat away. Its
always a big job, but its only once a year, and its all done now.
My lovely neighbour came over to help, so it was fun to have
the company and work together. Taz was a champion once again
as she helped us to move cattle in the yards ready to load for the
market. Gus is not at that level yet and had to stay home (he
cries when he gets left behind, but he just gets in the way and
scatters the cattle). We have had a few sprinkles of rain
here and there, but also plenty of cold nights, so the grass is
mostly dead and dry, waiting for the warmer weather to revive our
|Gus in his cape
Food and cooking
|Taz after she helped to move cattle
It was all about beef in July and we are very happy to have the
freezers loaded again with plenty of the nice cuts (we were still
finishing roasts from the last animal, it was luxury to try the
Hi, I'm new here so hope this the right place to ask this
can anyone identify these plants please. Sorry photos have
ended up out of order and in the middle of the post. Sigh.
another new thing to master.
I'm assuming they are weeds since they grow amazingly well and I
don't remember planting them.
The greyish one grows to at least 3 meters in
less than a year. The bobbly things turn into small puffy
mauve flowers and the leaves are quite large and downey. i
have a dim memory of someone calling it a wild tobacco but no idea
The second one grows to about 2 meters before i chop it down.
the leaf veins and stems are a pinkish red, havent seen any flowers
Are either of them any use other than as compost material?
the grey one is about to flower so if it is a weed I'd like
to get rid of it before it sets seed.
Thanks in advance. im hoping to make it on sunday. This
seems like a fun helpful group
Wednesday, 02 August
I don't have a proper post to write
today. At the moment we are just a bit stunned. Pete
found Molly dead on Monday when he heard her calf bawling. We
don't know what happened to her. She had starting losing
condition due to feeding her calf (we haven't been milking) and we
had just put out hay to make sure that everyone was getting enough
to eat. We don't know if there was an underlying condition,
or that something else affected her while she was already weak, but
she didn't seem deathly ill to me when I chatted to her on Sunday
afternoon. I googled it and there are over 200 causes of sudden death in
, so we will probably never know for sure.
Her absence is still sinking in.
I've stopped looking for the cow with horns when I do the
herd check. Her calf is, fortunately for us, about 3 months
old, so can be weaned as long as he gets enough hay. He is
wild and there is no way to catch him at the moment without making
everyone walk through the yards again, he's with the rest of the
herd and seems ok.
Molly came to our property in 2011
as a six week old calf with her mum Bella. She grew up to be
the best milker, always happy to stand patiently while I put on the
milking machine, and she made plenty of milk for us and her calves.
Molly was MY cow, I spent the hours sitting in the yard with
her to keep her tame for milking and she would always come to me
for a scratch (and I learnt to avoid her horns when she was
I'm actually not as upset as I would
have expected, I think a sudden death is easier in some ways
because I didn't have to watch her suffer or try to nurse her or
decide to euthinise or not, the decision was made and she is gone
and we have to get on with things.
Thanks everyone who left lovely messages
on my Instagram and Facebook post. A house cow is very close
to a dog in status, very nearly more a pet than livestock, and I
thought she would be around for longer than six years. I
really appreciate the kind thoughts.
Monday, 31 July
I know I keep saying that I hate cleaning, but now that we are
in our new house, I have more motivation. Firstly this house
is way nicer than our old house, from the colour of the walls (that
we chose of course) to the high ceilings and better lighting, I
just enjoy being in the house more than ever before. And I
know how much effort went into getting it this nice so I don't want
to see it getting dusty and dirty. Permaculture principle "produce no waste" suggests
that timely maintenance prevents wasteful rework and big jobs to
fix things that could have taken very little time if they were done
earlier. This helps me to prioritise small cleaning jobs
before they turn into big ones.
One new thing that we have tried since moving is the ENJO
range of cleaning products (affiliate
). You won't find ENJO in your supermarket, its sold
by independent consultants, and also available online (I get a
small commission if you use my links)
chemical-free, all-natural fibre cleaning products eliminate the
need for chemical-based cleaners. This saves you money in the
longer term (cleaning products are expensive!) and you get to avoid
the toxins as well. The best part is that the ENJO system is
very easy to use and you get great results from very little effort,
overall, this is my kind of cleaning!
I'm not just writing this post to get you to use my affiliate
links, I have found myself in several conversations lately talking
about these products because I really like them (and its really not
like me to want to talk about cleaning), and recently a friend also
asked for more information, so I wanted to share what I like about
ENJO and if you're interested, please do use my links...
One of the main reasons I started looking at ENJO was that I wanted
Wednesday, 26 July
Weve bean to Melbourne a few times but never bean to Sydney to
enjoy the caffeinated highlights on offer. We had the opportunity
to sample a number of locations and these venues form our fantastic
4. So if youre ever
Sometimes I write about the herbs I've
been growing for a long time and use frequently, other time I use
these posts as an opportunity to find out more about a new herb.
Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) is the
latter! I've had it in my garden for a couple of years after
a friend gave me a seedling and it has self-seeded, but I haven't
known how to use it., so its time to look up the herb books!
How to grow feverfew
Apparently it is a perennial, it must die back when its too cold or
too hot and dry because it disappeared for a while. It grows
from seed or root division or cuttings. If you let it flower
and seed it will self-seed (that's my favourite type of
How to use feverfew
- The flowers are pretty, however they repel insects including
bees, so not one for the bee garden (although can be used as a
companion plant around brasiccas to repel cabbage moth etc and the
dried leaves can be used to keep moths out of your wardrobe)
- Can sooth pain and swelling from insect bites (I MUST try that
- Used to prevent headaches and migraines if taken regularly - by
reducing inflammation (it contains parthenolide, which inhibits the
release of prostaglandins and histamine which cause
- It seems to help with other pain conditions such as
- Reduces fever (hence the name)
- Induces menstruation (and can reduce cramps) and used after
childbirth - therefore not to be taken while pregnant
- As a bitter herb...
Wednesday, 30 January
Have you ever wondered how to become a permaculture teacher or
how you make permaculture your livelihood as well as your way of
life? The masterclass I
just released this week is all about doing just this.
There are so many ways that you can create your own job as a
permaculture teacher. I have taught permaculture around the world
for over 25 years. Its always been my real job. I absolutely love
Take a listen to the 50 minute masterclass. I talk about:
- How to become a permaculture teacher. Ill will
share different pathways for you to become a permaculture teacher
- Finding a permaculture mentor. I believe that
finding mentors is so valuable in developing your permaculture
education skills. Learn ways to go about finding a mentor.
- how to build permaculture teaching experience.
The best way to become a great teacher is, of course, to teach. Ill
share lots of ideas of how to build your teaching experience.
$700 off Permaculture Educators Program
And, if you happen to be reading this before January 31st, 2019,
you might want to make the most of the $700 discount on the
Permaculture Educators Program the only place in the world you can
do both a Permaculture Design Course and a Permaculture Teacher
Certificate online. This is the course I have designed to share
with you 25 years of permaculture teaching experience. The program
is super comprehensive, flexible and supportive.
I am so keen to encourage people to become excellent
permaculture teachers in their own communities. I have created this
program so that you can work it around your current commitments,
and begin designing and teaching as you study this course.
With the $700 discount, the program is
To register or find out more, please visit the Permaculture Educators
Program information page of the Permaculture Education
In February, the price will be AUD1597 but you will also receive
a bonus course The
Incredible Edible Garden, the return to its usual price of
How to become a permaculture teacher
Click on the image below to watch the masterclass.
Its a great time to start this course
If youve ever contemplated making permaculture your livelihood
as well as way of life, this is a great
opportunity to focus, learn, connect, practice, research, be
mentored and experience permaculture in a course that is:
- comprehensive and in-depth course curriculum
- very flexible to fit around yo...
Its hardly a trip to Melbourne without a
fancy Euro style meal. Having already scratched our itch for
Italian, I decided that the Parisian Steakhouse and Cafe,
Entrecote, situated near the royal botanical gardens would be a
nice place to have dinner. Making a reservation beforehand, it was
a relaxing stroll through the greenery that really set the mood for
Seating was as requested, indoors. The
chic French setup was wonderful, although tables were a little
To be honest, I really wasn't sure if The No Meat Athlete Coobook (by Matt Frazier and
Stepfanie Romine) was a cookbook for me. While I had seen people
making some very nice things from it, I am hardly and athlete. The
only marathons I participate in are the sort where I sit on the
sofa and marathon watch a TV show. I don't need all sorts of weird
athlete fuel recipes, as I am hardly burning off the same amount of
calories. However, a friend who also is not an athlete said that
the book was great, so I took the plunge and I am glad I did. Lots
of fun recipes packed full of yummy ingredients. This book
definitely is a wholefood type cookbook, no mock meats or cheeses,
but it is not oil or gluten free (though there are options), and
there are some tasty things. This is the first round up I have done
from this book, but you can see a few recipes I have posted
individually in these posts.
Peanut Butter Tempeh with Korean Tahini BBQ
Sauce: I love peanut butter and I love tempeh, so I was
excited for this. But unfortunately I found the taste of the yummy
peanut sauce kind of dried out and faded once it was baked with the
tempeh. The tempeh was the main flavour. I did use tempeh from the
supermarket though, so I'd like to try it again with some better
tempeh, and also double to sauce so it doesn't dry out so much.
However, the Korean Tahini BBQ sauce definitely perked things up.
With tahini, red miso, garlic (I used powdered), ginger, vinegar,
and sugar (I left out the chili), it is very tasty! It thickened up
nicely after blending with the immersion blender. I served this
with wilted spinach, rice, and steamed broccoli.
Rating: Tempeh :| (need to try again with better tempeh and more
sauce), BBQ Sauce :)
: There are couple of
variations you can make with this recipe, so I've made it twice.
Oats, grated carrot, spinach, nooch, and sauce (either salsa or
marinara) are simmered to make a nice, savoury breakfast. I found a
half recipe makes a decent serve for one. Topped with smoked
paprika, pumpkin seeds, and avocado. The first time I used the
option with salsa as the sauce (a bottled one), and the second I
used marinara (home made). Both versions were good.
Monday, 24 July
The more I learn about the bees, the more I'm fascinated by them
and amazed at the things that researchers have figured out!
To be successful beekeepers we need to try to learn as much
as we can about the bees in our care. Some of the books on
beekeeping use a kind of rote learning approach and tell you
exactly what to do with your bees, but they can't possibly cover
every situation, so you need to also learn to think for yourself
using bee-knowledge to make the best management decisions for your
The book The Buzz about Bees: Biology of a
(affiliate link) was recommended by the
awesome Rusty on Honey Bee Suite
so when I decided that I
needed to know more about bee biology, I purchased a copy (using
Amazon credit from you guys clicking on my affiliate links, thank
). This is a good-sized book, packed with
information and wonderful close-up photos of bees (they look all
fuzzy and cuddly at that size!).
Wednesday, 19 July
Menulog co-founder Gary Munitz launched new startup FoodByUs in Sydney last year, and its now finally in
FoodByUs allows vetted passionate local cooks to list
their homemade food on a platform. Buyers then select what they
want and either collect their order or get it delivered for a
delivery fee depending on the location.
FoodByUs have already signed up over 75 Brisbane
makers, so there is plenty of choice! Some of the ones Im already
Monday, 17 July
I've been wanting to try making
soap with milk for ages. We haven't been milking our cows, so
I was waiting for a friend to have enough goat's milk to spare.
I know I could just buy milk, but that seemed like a strange
thing to do (you start to forget that milk comes from the shop when
you've been milking a cow for a few years!). Anyway, I was
happy to wait as I had plenty of other soap to make.
While I was waiting, I also received a review copy of a new
soapmaking book called The Natural Soap Making Book for Beginners:
Do-It-Yourself Soaps Using All-Natural Herbs, Spices, and Essential
(Affiliate link), by Kelly Cable of the blog Simple Life
. Kelly has an amazing Etsy shop
full of soaps and natural lotions, so I am very excited that she
has decided to share her experience and recipes in this book.
And seeing as it contains several goat milk soap recipes and
my friend finally had some goat milk to spare, I recently got my
chance to try goat milk soap. Even better, I have permission
to share one of the recipes with you today. The book will be
released on August 8, 2017, but is available for pre-order on
Amazon now (if you order before August 7 you can head over
to the Natural Soap Bonus Collection and get a host of
extras - giveaways, printables, how to videos
The trick with milk soap is to start with very cold milk, some
people freeze it completely before adding the caustic soda.
Kelly also recommends only replacing half the water with
milk, in her recipe below it is less than half the milk. She
also includes ho...
Wednesday, 12 July
If you've just bought a farm, large or small, you are going to
need some equipment, but what items are essential? Which can
you buy secondhand and which ones should you buy new? Here's
what I think, I hope you'll share your own experience. Of
course, there are many different types of farming, so exactly what
you need is going to depend on what you are going to do, so I'll
write mainly about raising cattle and improving pasture.
|me on the little tractor
You might start by thinking about
getting a tractor. I've written about buying a secondhand tractor
and a new tractor
. The size of the tractor
that you need will depend on the implements that you want to use,
so you really need to figure out your implements. In fact you
can now get implements that run off a quad bike
, so you
may not actually need a tractor.
Implements that you might need
- Slasher - on most farms this will be essential for improving
pasture and just keeping the yard tidy
- Post-hole digger - if you are going to be building fences, you
can use a crow bar to dig holes, however this will be hard work if
you have more than a few holes to do.
- Spray tank - for spraying compost tea, liquid minerals and
microbes (and herbicides if you have a weed problem and no
alternative control options)
- Plough/cultivator/seeder for planting pasture or forage
- Front bucket or blade - great for moving and lifting things, we
also got forklift tynes and hay spikes
Monday, 10 July
It doesn't get seriously cold here, but its cold enough to be
uncomfortable if we don't make some effort. We are actually
finding that our house up on the hill is warmer than down in the
valley, and we are above the frost line, so that is a nice change,
but it still gets down to 5degC overnight. We have a
woodstove, but we have to cut the wood ourselves, so you don't
really want to use more wood than really necessary to keep the
There are three ways that heat is lost from a building:
- Conduction - direct transfer of heat from a warm object to a
cold object, this is heat lost through the walls and roof of your
house to the cooler air
- Convection - caused by a flow of cold air, either draughts or
air circulating around exposed windows
- Radiation - heat transmitted in the form of light waves, this
can be another source of heat loss from windows, roofs and walls of
When you understand how heat is lost, you can see the solutions for
keeping heat in a building.
You can reduce the amount of heat lost be conduction by using
insulation in your roof and walls. We had to install insulation in our roof as part of
our building approval
when we moved the house, and we also took
the opportunity to put insulation in walls any time that we had the
cladding off, so the bathroom and the side veranda room have
insulated walls. Some of our walls are single clad - so its
only one layer of VJ board between us and the cold air outside.
If this becomes a problem we will put weatherboard on the
outside and install insulation in between. If you don't have
insulation, it is relatively cheap to buy and install yourself (be
careful in your roof space!) and can make a huge difference to the
comfort of your home in winter.
Queenslander homes are general draughty due to the floors, doors
and windows not being completely sealed. The new floor that
we installed over the existing floor has made a huge difference to
draughts and the floor is now very well sealed. ...
Thursday, 06 July
Last week I wrote about how we don't have a microwave and I really don't
miss it. So continuing the theme of "weird things about my
kitchen", we also don't have any plastic cling wrap or paper
towels. And we haven't had them for so long I can hardly
remember why we ever needed them.
|I didn't mange to avoid all plastic at
the farmers market, but I tried
I always thought that cling wrap was wasteful. Not just from
an environmental perspective, but I also didn't like spending money
on something that I only used once. When I was at uni and
took sandwiches for lunch, I used to bring home the cling wrap and
use it again until it didn't stick anymore. One year when we
did Plastic Free July (I can't remember when exactly - here's what I wrote last year
) we decided to
stop using cling wrap. I used up the last of it recently when
we were painting (its really hard to renovate without creating
waste) - its handy for wrapping up paintbrushes and sealing paint
temporarily, however I do not use it in the kitchen.
The paper towels were the same, it just seemed like we were always
buying more of them. And when I made a heap of cloths to use for milking
, we just started using them instead of paper towels.
We have a stack of them, so you can just chuck them in the
wash when they are dirty, and they can be single use if you
As we cook from scratch and buy a lot of produce in bulk at our
local farmers market (Nanango Markets, first Saturday of the month
at the Nanango Showgrounds), we usually have a fair bit of food raw
or cooked leftovers to fit into the fridge. Here's how I
store them all without using any cling wrap. (For an even
more comprehensive list,...
The dogs are still sleeping outside on the veranda. I
think they are getting used to it. Unfortunately if they
don't sleep well, neither do we, as they are right outside our
window. I go out and put their coats on most evenings and I
often find them like this: the little dog on the big bed and the
big dog on the little bed. I have to rearrange their blankets
and put the right dog on the right bed. The second photos
shows the dogs in the correct position with their jim jams
So with winter solstice on 21st June, its now officially winter and
its bittersweet to know that evenings are getting longer but summer
will be back before we know it! We have been pleasantly
surprised to find that our property up on the hill is up to 5degC
warmer than the valley most mornings, so we might get away without
a frost up here (overnight temperatures have been 8degC, so the
dogs are fine, but they would LIKE to be inside). We have had
the fire going most nights and its perfect for warming up the
lounge and our bedroom. We have had a few sprinkles of rain,
just enough to keep the dust down and the grass more green than
Food and cooking
We have the butcher booked for the 28th July, so I have been
working on sausage recipes. When we first started home
butchering, we used the butcher's sausage mix, but we didn't always
like the sausages and you end up with 30kg of sausages, so you want
to make sausages that you like! A few years ago I bought an
organic sausage mix, which we did really enjoy, however I've been
unable to get th...
Wednesday, 28 June
Every time I share a book review I include Amazon affiliate
links, and if you use those links to buy things I gradually build
up Amazon credit. Earlier this year I used my credit to order
a couple of books, which I finished reading ages ago, but haven't
had a chance to share with you until now. I just wanted to
say again, thanks for using my affiliate links because it does help
me to buy more books!
One of the books that I bought was The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They
CommunicateDiscoveries from a Secret World
. I had heard an interview with the author of this book on
ABC radio national
which had really caught my interest.
We own a lot of trees, as you can see in the image below.
Our property was on the market for a long time before we
bought it because it has so many trees (about 100 acres of our 258
acres) and most are protected under QLD vegetation management laws
, so they can't
be cleared. Farmers around here believe that trees are
unproductive and would prefer cleared land.
Monday, 26 June
Brisbanes free food festival, Regional Flavours presented by The Courier-Mail,
This will be the festivals ninth year and it is promising to be
better than ever, so lock it in your calendar from 15-16 July in South Bank
Which celebrity chefs can you expect to rub shoulders with?
- Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston from
- Miguel Maestre from The Living Room on Network Ten
- chef and author Tobie
Puttock from Jamies Kitchen Australia on Network
- pastry chef extraordinaire Darren Purchese from Burch & Purchese Sweet
- Brisbanes own Jocelyn
- MasterChef Australia 2015 alumni Georgia Barnes
- highly-acclaimed indigenous chef...
When the cabinet maker asked me where we wanted the microwave in
the new kitchen I had a mental-blank. I couldn't think where
to put it and when I really thought about it, I didn't actually
want a microwave. We did still own one at that stage, but we
hardly used it. I find them kind of ugly and I don't
completely trust them. We haven't had a microwave in the new
kitchen since we moved in Easter, and I really don't miss it.
or may not
be reasons to not eat microwaved food,
but personally I don't like the taste of it and I don't like the
look the microwave, so I'm happy not to have one in my kitchen.
When I considered whether to include a microwave in the new
kitchen, I could only come up with three things:
- Defrosting meat
- Heating leftovers
- Heating wheat packs
Defrosting meat without a microwave
This one is pretty easy. If you want a roast or a large
chunk of meat, you do just have to be organised and get it out of
the freezer the day or night before you need it. These don't
defrost well in the microwave anyway (I find the edges start to
cook). For smaller cuts like chops or steak, I just put it in
a container of hot water and turn it over a few times, which
usually defrosts the meat in about 30 minutes, which is not too bad
Heating leftovers without a microwave
I'm lucky that at work we have "pie-warmer" ovens in every
lunch room, so I never had to use a microwave to heat up my lunch
(unless I forget to put it in the pie-warmer). At home, I
heat up leftovers in a frying pan or pot on the stove, or in the
oven or Weber BBQ. It does take a little bit longer and gets
another dish dirty, but I think it heats more evenly and tastes
Wednesday, 21 June
I don't own many pairs of shoes, so I really like to take care
of the shoes I do own. My favourite pair are these leather
boots that I bought in NZ a few years ago (sorry Brisbane, but you
didn't have any nice boots). I've had these boots for about
eight years. I don't get to wear them very often, I have to
wait for our short winter, but I will wear them at any opportunity!
The key to looking after leather shoes is a good leather
dressing and the right storage.
I've been using a leather dressing that I bought, but I ran out, so
time to make my own. Leather dressing is made with neatsfoot oil
, which is the fat from the legs of
cattle. This has a different melting point to the tallow (fat
around their body). Neatsfoot oil is popular for leather
dressing and available from produce stores and horse supplies.
Its actually liquid at room temperature, so I added beeswax
to make it solid and more manageable. And some lavender
essential oil for a nice fragrance as well.
For my first attempt, I followed a recipe with 50:50 neatsfoot oil
to beeswax by weight, but that came out a bit too solid.
Second try is one third beeswax to two thirds neatsfoot oil
and and that is a good consistency. I use 10 drops of
essential oil per 100g of leather dressing. I melt it in a
jar in a pot of simmering water, and then either keep it in the jar
or pour it into a smaller tin. Its really very easy and only
a little bit messy.
Whenever my leather boots are looking a bit scuffed and dry, I
apply the leather dressing with a clean cloth I just keep
rubbing it in until they are looking good again. It doesn't
take long, and it makes my leather boots look new again. I
also did a belt and a bag while I had the cloth out!
Tuesday, 29 January
We didn't get to have dessert at Calia as
we were quite full, but after walking around for a bit and
digesting our meal, Adam's doughnut craving hit. Being a fan of the
very popular Short Stop Donuts in Sydney and Melboune, we navigated
the maze of laneways and found our way there just in time for
I love walking into a place and being
able to see the chefs at work. Was glad to see this at Short Stop
and it reminded me a little of Lune.
Also like lune, the flavours for the day
were displayed rather than on a menu. I loved how the options
change every day. Prices were not cheap, at around $4 - $6 a donut,
but it was worth it and the crowds of people agree. I have to make
a note to come back for their coffee too.
Like my follow zomato reviewers, Adam and
I were invited by Todd and Pup owner Kate to try out their new
summer menu. Having gone just seven months ago
, we were keen to try out
the refreshing new options. Kicking off the Australia Day weekend,
Adam and I went with the Brisvegustation family for a delightful
brunch before the long weekend of bingeing.
Arriving earlier than everyone one else
has its perks, I got to peruse the menu extensively before other
people arrived so that I could weigh up all options and make the
best choice out of all the dishes. Quite a few light fruity
options, they were definitely hard to resist.
Stallholder Profile for My House
- Your name: Kristie
Business name and Facebook name and link: My
House of Craft https://www.facebook.com/MyHouseofCraft/
- The suburb/town you live in
- What is it
that you make and what skills do you use?: I love creating a range
of terrariums, succulent displays and mini gardens. I have always
been fond of anything miniature and small and have always tried
different arts and crafts so find my current hobby very enjoyable.
To make mini gardens the best skills to have are imagination and
patience as it is a very fiddly job with tweezers, small scissors
and tiny plants being turned into little landsca...
Monday, 19 June
The Reuben. AUD$12
You can be a little spoilt for choice down at the Southbank
precinct, but Brooklyn Depot is
one spot youve got to add on your list if youre in the area and in
the mood for some Americana.
Read burgers and dogs.
Brooklyn Depot is in
a super convenient location along Little Grey Street on South Bank.
That convenience, unfortunately, doesnt apply to parking everyone
knows parking in the area on a weekend is expensive and can be hard
That convenience, unfortunately, doesnt apply to parking
everyone knows parking in the area on a weekend is expensive and
can be hard to find.
The restaurant is casual with an indoor and outdoor dining area.
Weve always sat in the outdoor area, which is mostly undercover.
Most seating is geared for couples and groups of four.
Weve been a...
Lately I have been cutting back on eating dairy. I know, I
know, we own two house cows! But I am trying to heal
inflammation (bad skin) and dairy is one of the possible triggers,
so as a last resort and after much resistance, I decided I had
better try to cut back. Its been hard because I eat a LOT of
cheese, and cook with butter, and love to eat yoghurt (and have written extensively about making
yoghurt). I had to just give up cheese completely, switch
to macadamia oil and the only yoghurt alternative was coconut
yoghurt. I tried it and I like it, but only a spoonful on
some fruit here and there because it is expensive!
The brand I can get here is $3 for 200 mL containers. I was
making yoghurt from powdered milk for about 50c/L. So I was
thinking there must be a way to make coconut yoghurt, but I didn't
feel like mucking around and wasting heaps of coconut milk trying
to get it right.... and then Biome Eco
sent me a Mad Millie Coconut Yoghurt
to try. The kit is a 1L jar, starter culture,
thickener, thermometer and instructions. If you don't need
the full kit you can actually buy the Mad Millie Coconut Yoghurt
, the ...
Wednesday, 14 June
Have you heard of a soap saver? I hadn't until recently.
A friend mentioned to me that she was putting the small bits
of soap in a sock and that I should think about crocheting a little
bag instead. And then they keep popping up on social media,
so I thought I would give it a go. Am I the only one who
hoards the little end bit of soaps that are too small to use?
I have a bit of a collection of them. So I whipped up a
little soap saver sack and filled it up with a few odd soap ends
and I'm very pleased with the results. If you can do basic
crochet, they are very easy to make, but you can also knit or sew a
simple soap saver (or last resort - use an old sock!).
Crochet soap saver pattern
I used cotton yarn from the local market. You could use any
yarn. I liked cotton as it can be composted (wool, hemp,
bamboo or sisal would also be compostable).
Chain 6, turn
Chain 1 and single crochet back along the chain
Don't turn, but keep going around into the back of the chain to
form an oval shape
Double crochet around to start forming a bag - I don't bother with
linking each row, I just keep going around in a spiral because its
Keep going until the bag is tall enough, then do a row of single
To make the bag smaller at the top - the final row was a decrease
on every second crochet, but this is optional
To make the tie, just cut three pieces, plait them and thread
through the second row from the top (you could also use a
The simplest would be to crochet or knit
a square (or cut out a square of fabric),...
Monday, 12 June
This is an article that I wrote for The Owner
Builder magazine. If you're building a house (or thinking
about it), this is a wonderful magazine for those interested in
alternative building techniques and DIY options. I have just
submitted part 2 of this story since we moved in, so I thought it
was about time to share part 1 here. If you are building I'm
sure they would love to publish your story too, just get in touch
via the website.
In mid-2012 my husband, Peter, and I bought a 258 acre property in
the small South Burnett settlement of Kumbia (near Kingaroy) in
Queensland, with the intention of eventually building a house and
setting up a small farm. Over a year later we were still trying to
decide what type of house to build. Both of us were keen to use a
sustainable building method, as we like natural materials and hate
waste, but it wasnt immediately obvious what would suit our
property. Then we came across a removal house in our local area,
advertised for only $10,000. It was located only 14 km from our
property and was probably 100 years old (based on the when the area
was originally settled).
Monday, 28 January
With our fairly heavy breakfast, I
decided that a lighter lunch should be in order so that we didn't
overload ourselves. Back in the cbd, we thought that Calia, a
refined modern Japanese restaurant in the Emporium would be a good
choice. This was definitely an understatement.
Arriving at peak lunch hour, there was a
significant lineup. We waited for about half an hour and ended up
being seated on a large communal table, which we didn't mind. It
gave us ample opportunity to peer upon the open kitchen in all its
Menus were provid...
When you own a sourdough starter or levain, you draw off some
starter each week to make a new loaf. After this, you feed the
original starter with flour and water and put it back to bed in the
fridge. The trouble is, I dont always want or have the time to bake
a loaf, so I end up with unused sourdough starter. Some research
turned up an easy way to use up the leftover sourdough starter by
making these sourdough crackers.
Zero Waste to the Max!
The thing about sourdough starter is, its only flour, water and
some wild yeast. It only costs a few cents to make and I could
throw it into the compost, but I just *cant* waste it. As it turns
out, these sourdough crackers taste amazing and are a very good
facsimile of other savoury crackers and biscuits on the market.
Even better is the limited ingredients and effort involved. By
looking to reduce waste in our household, I have discovered a way
to reduce shopping costs.
Ive adapted the original recipe from the US based
King Arthur Flour website, substituting oil for butter so they
will last longer in our hot climate. As a bonus, this also makes
them vegan. I have also adapted the temperature and cooking time
for Australian kitchens.
with cheese and Plum & Ginger Relish
There is no end to the flavour combinations or add ins you can
try. I suggest doing a plain batch...
The West End location of Vegerama has
stepped up its game a bit over the last year, with seasonal menus
that looks very tasty indeed. I visited a few times during the
winter menu, which has now been replaced by a summer menu. You can
also see other things I have eaten there before here.
I was super intrigued the the BBQ Celeriac Burger, and it didn't
disappoint. BBQ pulled celeriac, zucchini pickles, apple and fennel
slaw, and lettuce made for a very nice burger. I got mine with a
side of fries, which unfortunately were kind of soggy. My mum was
with me, and she had the same burger but with the sweet potato
chips. They were much better, nice and crunch!
They also have some lovely drinks. I am not the biggest fan of
avocado in smoothies, but I tried two from them that were both
excellent. The Green Goddess (with banana, spinich, rocket, kiwi,
lemon myrtle, avocado, coconut water, lime juice) and Date My Avo
(avocado, banana, coconut flesh, spirulina, pear, dates, cinnamon,
coconut water, Himalyana salt). Plus they both sound ridiculous
when you read the ingredients, so right up my alley!
Sunday, 27 January
After breakfast we decided to walk back
into the CBD from Fitzroy given the good weather. By the time we
made it back, we were parched. Opting for another tea place which
wasn't available in Brisbane, we tried Yi Fang, a popular Taiwanese
chain which had just opened recently along Swanston street.
Again the shopfront was tiny, merely a
small slot in the wall. Other than drinks, its hard to see that
anything else could viably function in that area.
The menu was far more appealing to my
taste, with a fair few traditional options. Prices are getting
steep for bubble tea, but in this case we paid for quality. The
enthusiasm of staff though, was enough to convince us to try more
adventurous options. I'm glad we did. Word of warning though, when
we went it was still cash only.
Following on from my last post, I though I'd do a post about a dinner
I had awhile ago at Greenhouse in South Brisbane. As well as being 100%
vegan, Greenhouse is also 100% gluten free. But even for
gluten-full gluten lovers like myself, the food is amazing. The
menu had changed a bit since my last epic visit, and I forgot to take a photo of
the new menu (which I cannot find online at present), so I will try
to remember things the best I can! The photos are a little weird as
something about the lighting makes everything look murky green!
And, as always, they love their pea sprout garnishes!
I went with my parents, and we all ordered some drinks. Ginger
Kombucha for me, Blueberry Kombucha for my dad, and a hot chocolate
for my mum. We also started with some deep fried fondue. This was
so tasty! It wasn't as runny in the middle as you'd expect, but the
flavour was awesome. Three pieces shared between three people was
perfect, a it was quite a rich little entree.
My mum had the Grazing Board, which was a huge platter covered in
dips, cheeses, fritters, salad, fruit, corn chips, crackers, and a
pumpkin wedge. Delicious, but huge.
I had the Miso Maple Pumpkin, which was a big wedge of roasted
pumpkin and broccoli, toppe...
Saturday, 26 January
Another Saturday and we were on the hunt
for lunch, this time in his home suburb of Albion, far far away
from the southside that I am familiar with. Being familiar with all
of his local restaurants, he decided that Lodger would be a great
option for a relaxing weekend lunch.
Promoting comfort food with a fine dining
twist, I was definitely keen to try it out. Our waitress was super
friendly and menus were nondescript and leather bound, comprising
of a few options for each course. It didn't take long for us to
Ventured out to Fitzroy for breakfast, the trip was brief but the
weather was pristine. Adam was really keen to eat at Industry
Beans, and I gladly tagged along. The venue was quite large and
seating was abundant. It was decked out with wooden palates to give
it a very industrial wooden vibe.
Friday, 25 January
How to win a girl's heart. Step 1: Take
her out to a night of jazz. Step 2: Top it off with a gigantic
piece of fried chicken. Honestly, I thought I knew what affection
was. That's until he said the magic words to me after a great show
at Paris Cat Jazz Club: "Let's get some Hot Star". I don't believe
I've ever felt such emotion to another human being as much as I
felt for him in that moment. Perhaps there is a thing as a soul
mate, and we both love ridiculously oversized fried chicken.
Making our way over to Little Bourke
Street at 10.45pm, the place was still bustling with a huge queue
for deep fried goodness. He ordered at the counter as I was still
overcome with emotion.
REGISTER NOW for my
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permaculture teaching your main work.
In this Masterclass #14, I will
12 WAYS OF CREATING YOUR LIVELIHOOD AS
A PERMACULTURE TEACHER
There are many ways that you can create your
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Ill will share my insights into creating an ethical livelihood as a
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HOW TO BECOME A PERMACULTURE
Ill will share different pathways for you to
become a permaculture teacher too.
FINDING A PERMACULTURE EDUCATION
Thursday, 24 January
In our two days at Melbourne, we had
walked past King Tea numerous times to see small crowds formed
outside. Making a point not to drink at bubble tea places that were
readily available at home, we made a point to check it out when we
had a moment. With dinner being unusually quick, it was a good
chance to stop by for refreshment before the show.
The shopfront was small, drinks were more
contemporary than traditional with a focus on cheese foam,
brulee and fruit tea. My preferred basic green tea or basic milk
tea for that matter was nowhere to be seen.
Waited in line for a while, and it took
that long for me to decide what to get.
Newish to the Brisbane vegan scene is Flora by Greenhouse, a 100% vegan cafe in West
End. Flora has existed down at the Gold Coast for almost a year,
which I had visited once before when I went to the opening of the LC
Miami complex down there. But now they have come to Brisbane! If
you are wondering about the 'by Greenhouse', Greenhouse is a great
vegan dinner place open at the Gold Coast and in South Brisbane
that I have visited a few times, and Flora is their day time
I met up with some friends for brunch there a couple of weeks ago,
and we were all very impressed! The atmosphere is cute, and the
food is great! Oh, they are big fan of pea shoot garnishes, as you
In my effort to eat all the vegan benedicts, I had the Mushroom
Benefict. It has creamy mushrooms, sauteed kale, avocado, and
cauliflower hollandaise with avocado on an English muffin. I also
added some rice paper bacon and a hash brown. This was lovely! The
tangy sauce went really well with the creamy avocado. It was my
first time having rice paper bacon, and it was a bit weird. I had
to kind of just eat it separate because it was in big long
I also had an iced turmeric latte on soy milk (coconut milk is
their normal base).
My friend had their Scrambed Tofu, described as turmeric tofu with
sauteed greens served on organic rye with avocado and dressed
greens. The verdict was good! A nice flavour and good texture.
Wednesday, 23 January
Had a craving for Italian food the other
week and decided it would be a nice chance to try out something
different for dinner. Having heard of the recently opened Criniti's
situated at the lower ground food court of Westfield Chermside, we
thought it would be a nice opportunity to check it out. Having
originated in Parramatta, Sydney back in 2003, it has expanded to
quite a few stores in New South Wales, Victoria and Perth. Reading
deeper into the reviews and seeing photos, I was definitely excited
to try out their first Queensland store.
Arriving fairly early in the evening, we
were one of the first to arrive. The restaurant was huge, and for
some reason very much car themed, with a sports car in the centre,
a motorbike on the bar, and even a coffee machine that looked like
a car engine.
Had a brief interlude after lunch where
we worked really hard to digest the food we had already eaten
before embarking on our quest for dinner. Wanting to try out
somewhere with not only good food, but a good view of the city
(seeing as we were doing the tourist thing), I did some hunting
online and opted for La Camera at Southgate before our Jazz show
We got there for our early reservation.
Our table was situated outside but the view was quite obstructed by
the hanging plastic on the balcony. We were seated promptly, menus
were extensive, but service was a bit brusque. It took quite a
while for us to get the attention of staff before we could make our
I love cooking for people, so every year I make a special feast
for my parents on their birthdays (as well as Mother's and Father's
Day, which you can see here).
Dad's Birthday (Mini Viva Vegan Recipe Round-Up by Terry
My Dad is a big fan of Indian food, which is normally the theme of
his special dinners. But this year he felt like a change. Chinese
for Father's Day, and Latin Food for his birthday. I turned to Viva
Vegan for all the recipes, which is a great cookbook that I don't
use nearly enough.
Steamed Red Seitan: The first step was to
make some lovely, flavoured seitan. This recipe was so easy, and
turned out very well. The dough itself was quite wet, which worried
be a little, but it firmed up beautifully when steamed. I used
garlic powder in the dry mix, rather than fresh garlic in the wet
mix, just for ease. The recipe I was making only needed half a
recipe of the seitan, so I have frozen the other half for future
Seitan Saltado (Peruvian Seitan and Potato
: My dad loves seitan, which is why I picked a
seitan-based recipe. This recipe involves mixing a stir-fry of
seitan and veggies with baked french fries, and is a great
combination of flavours and textures. I only used half the amount
of potato to make the fries, which was the right amount for us. The
seitan is marinated briefly, and once again I used garlic powder
instead of fresh garlic. You mix the fries in at the end, and want
to serve this ASAP so things don't get too soggy.
Pan-Grilled Vegetables in Chile-Lime Beer
This is super easy to make. A marinade of Mexican beer, lime,
garlic, and paprika (which I used in place of chile powder, so they
aren't really in chile-lime beer). I used a mix of green zucchini
and asparagus for my vegetables.
Tuesday, 22 January
Even though I had planned my trip mostly
around Asian food in Melbourne, let it never be said that I am an
unaccommodating girlfriend, so when Adam said that his burger
cravings had hit, I acquiesced and took a detour to South Yarra to
visit his friend Chef Stewy who used to be head chef at Chur
Seeing the neon sign with what was
probably Adam's life motto, I understood why we had to come
I liked the menu. For a burger joint, all
you need are the classics, and this is what they had.
Month two of my six month Cruelty Free Shop Vegan Mystery Box arrived
earlier this month, so let's see what's inside.
- Good Health Peanut Butter Pretzels: Super excited about these,
as peanut butter pretzels are one of the best foods!
- Uptons Real Meal Kit Pad See Ew: I've had this once before. I
like the taste, not at all spicy, but I wouldn't call it a meal
kit. More like a snack kit. I am not sure who Upton's think would
eat a small pile of noodles and a few pieces of tofu and vegetables
in sauce and call it a meal.
- Wildcrafted Mandala Chocolate Natural: Apparently this will
change my world, with unroasted cacao beans and coconut sugar.
Shall I eat it as a snack? Shall I mix it into hot chocolate? Shall
I do both? Time will tell.
- The Red Balloon Musk Candy Pebbles: These are cured for a day
(?) to give them the distinctive crumbly texture that goes with
musk sticks. I ate them and they were just like I remembered musk
sticks tasting, which reminded me that I don't like musk sticks.
Thankfully my friend came over to watch some Buffy and she was
happy to take them off my hands.
- Nature's Charm Coconut Apple Pudding: The coconut apple is the
healthiest part of the coconut, apparently, there is no actual
apple in this. I am concerned this will be too coconutty for me,
but my dad will be standing by to finish it off if it is.
- Nature's Charmed Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk: This is
being given away as I really don't like condensed milk.
- Manitoba Harvest Hemp Heart Toppers - Chipotle, Onion, &
Garlic: I have tried their maple cinnamon sweet version, which I
liked. But I will probably be giving this away as likely too spicy
- Euclove Floor Cleaner: I am always interested in more natural
ways for cleaning
So, a mixed bag. Three of the eight things I will be giving away,
and one I am not sure about. But Peanut Butter Pretzels make
Cute Kitty Photo of the Post
Dim Sim with her new catnip toy, rubbing...
Monday, 21 January
Second morning in Melbourne, we woke up
early and took a stroll down Little Collins Street to no other than
our favourite croissanterie in the nation, Lune. Having been to its
flagship at Fitzroy with Iron Fist, I was so excited at the
prospect of their cbd store, which meant that we didn't have to
navigate parking in narrow laneways, but could just stroll down
from our Airbnb.
The menu was similar to their main store,
with a smaller range of only five croissants to choose from and a
small selection of coffees. The vibe was still futuristic and a bit
like a space laboratory, but seating was vastly different. Built
for speed and volume, there were no seats but a small array of
standing spots at tall benches.
Espressamente Illy has
now closed since we came so please don't try and find it in Harbour
City. They still do have their other coffee shops elsewhere
scattered around the island, so best to find them
Illy is known for its
coffee, of course, but in Aussie, we don't always have it around or
easily used in coffee shops or restaurants like the local coffee
roasters. However, these arabica beans is always safe when overseas
and trying to find a coffee shop that may just have a seat or two
for you to sit at other than having to takeaway. Even if coffee
shops are everywhere, they seems to be always full.
The cafe wasn't only a cafe but
was also a store where you can buy Illy goods ranging from their
beans to machines to gift boxes or even cups.
Sunday, 20 January
In the next few reviews coming
up, it will be based on our Hong Kong trip a while ago. So
let's start it off with the refreshing Hui Lau Shan. Founded in
1960s, started off the business selling Chinese herbal tea by a
traditional trolley in Yuen Long, Hong Kong. In 1992, it expanded
and created a new recipe, 'Mango Sago' which was an instant hit in
the city which made them launch their 'Handmade Fresh Fruit Drinks'
in 2000s, gaining popularity locally and
One of their handmade
signature drinks would be their Mango and Coconut Juice
Sago. It was refreshing, fresh and the sago was not too overly
sweet but we did feel that the coconut juice was made the drink
balanced. A bit pricey for its price but then I guess even the
prices of bubble tea aka. boba in Aussie is starting to get a bit
high themselves, so who can complain?
Will come back again
and try their other drinks, maybe their handmade mango series
dessert if we can find seats inside..
*Please note this is a delayed post and as such, the menu may
have changed since my visit to the establishment.
Working near riverside, one often used to
see the construction that went up under the Storey Bridge
throughout most of last year which accumulated to the completion of
the extremely popular Howard Smith Wharves. Although not all their
anticipated restaurants are open yet, quite a few already have. We
took the opportunity of the holidays to check out Greca, their
newest Greek offering.
Getting a table three days before the new
year wasn't easy, we were lucky to have booked a table for the four
of us. It was great that we did, as the place was packed and there
was a queue when we got there. We were seated outside and had a
good view of the river.
Second stop after landing, afternoon tea
at 3.45pm after lunch at 3pm. We made a beeline for Kyo Tea House,
the Japanese tea and dessert bar with a cult like following, all
for good reason - Matcha. Situated at the base level of the
Emporium, it definitely attracted a crowd at peak afternoon tea
time. Thankfully our bellies were reasonably full so no one was
Waiting in line gave us a good
opportunity to weigh up our options, of which there were
My the afternoon, quite a few desserts
were sold out already, but luckily the one I had my eye on was
I continue to go into the CBD about once a month for
appointments, so have also continued to get lunch while I am there.
You can see 2017's visits here, I have continued to frequent some old
favourites as well. I also ate a number of times at Grill'd, which got
its own post here.
VegeRama Myer City and Post Office Square: VegeRama has two locations in the
city, which are good for quick take away lunches (unlike their
fancy sit down restaurant in West End). This tends to be the old
standby for city lunch, and if I am meeting up with my friend Amy
for lunch this is where we tend to go. My favourite continues to be
their vegan lasagna with a side of dill and mustard salad (with
extra dressing). I've also enjoyed their vegan frittata (also with
a side of the same salad and a juice), and once I got a takeaway of
two salads (Dill and Mustard, or course, and also the BBQ tofu)
with a Soy Nugget Wrap.
: This Mexican chain has a number of vegan options.
If you are looking to wind down after a busy day of sightseeing,
a massage is ideal and believe me, theres a Chiang Mai massage
centre on every corner. So many in fact, that its hard to choose
one. Might I suggest a massage from a former female prisoner?
Now that Ive piqued your interest, a quick word on Thai massage.
This style of massage is quite different to the typical cheap
massage on a beach. Whilst there is a relaxation element, Thai
massage uses acupressure, stretching and rhythmic pressing. There
is no oil or lotion used and the customer remains fully clothed in
supplied cotton pyjamas. It is sometimes known as Yoga
Opportunities for Local Women
Lila Thai Massage was started by a former director of the Chiang
Mai Womens Prison. She recognised that many former inmates suffered
discrimination and were unable to secure employment. As a result
they often re-offended and returned to prison. Lila offers former
inmates an opportunity to train as a masseuse, gaining a diploma as
a professional massage therapist. This qualification provides a
path to stable employment and assists in improving self esteem and
After a big week of visiting temples and markets, I opted for a
foot massage. The partitioned massage room is very dimly lit and
takes some time for your eyes to adjust. As I waited for my
therapist to arrive, I could see another therapist at the end of a
partition standing on a massage table. The therapist was, almost
comically, pulling back on what I can only assume were the
customers arms in an assisted Yoga position. After a small bow of
greeting from my own therapist, I lay back and allowed her to work
her magic on my tired feet. Apart from the gentle whomp, whomp,
whomp that therapists use as the final action to signify the end of
the massage, the room was totally quiet. No irritating pan pipes
Saturday, 19 January
So, earlier in the year, I had made plans
to visit Melbourne alone to indulge in some alone time away from
people, so that I could devote myself to solitude, eating and
blogging especially whilst my two besties were overseas.
Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, Adam
decided that he would crash my trip and freeload off my thoroughly
planned out eating schedule, and so my quest for me time became a
sort of gluttonous romantic getaway of sorts. So kicking off our
trip, we abstained from breakfast in Brisbane to conserve stomach
space, took an early flight down and checked into the Airbnb. By
the time our bags were dropped, we were absolutely famished.
Running, not walking over to the Emporium, we made it to our first
stop, Unabara Lobster and Oyster bar without any
Having done my research beforehand
(you're welcome, Adam). I knew that there were slight differences
in the menu between the Emporium and Melbourne Central store. I
opted for the Melbourne Central one as the choices were more suited
to my palate.
Friday, 18 January
Last morning in Perth and I thought that
we'd get a filling brekky before the long flight home. Stopped at
Gusto Food on our way to the airport, especially love the early
mornings at Perth where traffic is sparse and parking is
The cafe wasn't too large, but we found
seating inside at one of the few remaining tables.
The breakfast menu was comparable to the
other places I've had in...
Wednesday, 16 January
Still a good area to go
to either dine or just the supermarket, specially when the Standard
Market Company is there, gosh. But anyway, coming here sometimes
can be a hit and miss, so far that we've been here
To start off, we decided on a small plate of
Seared lamb loin, tahini, pickled eggplant served with warm
pita. The portion was decent especially to share but having it
for oneself as an entree may just make you not be able to finish
your whole main dish. The warm pita bread had the slight charring
which was nice to see, a whole pita sliced into four.
The seared meat was nicely seared but was a
tad cold. Making it into some sort of a wrap with the pita bread
seemed liked an easy option and a quick way to eat it, so we went
with that. It was definitely good. There was enough sauce to go on
to every single slice of meat and enough greens to go with it
About an hour drive from Brisbane and 1.5
hours from the GC, you will find yourself in the midst of a
lavender farm. Although it is not all season, when we went, the
flowers weren't blooming as such but it was still rather nice. We
thought of having lunch there but due to a birthday party event
being held and the limited number of seats they have in the
restaurant, we thought we'd just have a nibble and go elsewhere
Beef Croquettes was
something light but a suitable snack to have in an afternoon while
sipping some wine and beers. It was light and not overpowered by
the mince or beefy smell, but the potato was also quite fluffy and
I did feel that the price was a bit
high for the amount of croquettes you do get on the plate but I
guess, sometimes it's better to go with something other than just a
bowl of french fries.
*Please note this is a delayed post and as such, the menu may
have changed since my visit to the establishment.
Offering a wide variety of
sandwiches, rolls, dessert, cakes and even macarons, it is simply
an elegant but sophisticated nook to be surrounded by. Although
seats can be limited, it may be hard to have a proper sit down and
you may just need to have it takeaway.
Flat White, a usual and yes,
it was done well. The right amount of froth, thickness as well as
coffee kick. It is rather sad when you buy coffee and it tastes
more like milk than the coffee itself.
Continuing on with the second half of last year's goal to make
pizza once a month!
Meatball Pizza from Vegan Pizza by Julie
Hasson: I actually made this twice. The first time was not such a
success, because I used the Ikea veggie balls and they are just too
sweet and not right for this kind of thing. The second time I made
it using the Gardein meatballs, and it worked much better! I only
made a half quantity of the sauce both times. The first time I
tried to get it all on, which ended up making the base (I used a
ready made for this attempt) too smooshy. The second time I used
just what I needed, so there was some sauce left over, and it
worked out better. That time I used the base recipe from the book.
Definitely recommend using a meaty meatball and being careful with
Rating: :) (second attempt)
from Cook The Pantry by
Robin Robertson: I really went for some meaty and cheese pizzas
last year. I used the pizza dough recipe from the cookbook (it
makes enough for two bases, so I froze half for the next time), and
it was a super easy dough to make. This recipe uses a cashew cheese
sauce on the base, though it could have been a bit thicker. I was
worried it was all going to run right off the base! It is topped
with some TVP (which I soaked in beef flavoured stock rather than
water for more flavour). I also garnished with ketchup, mustard,
and gherkin relish.
BBQ Chickpea Pizza
from Cook The Pantry by
Robin Robertson: This is a very easy pizza to make. The base is
topped with a mix of chickpeas mashed with BBQ sauce, tamari, and
mustard (also chiles, but I subbed that with some diced celery).
The topping uses two tins of chickpeas, but really you could halve
it as it led to an incredibly thick layer. Although not mentioned
Monday, 14 January
For 2018, I set myself the challenge of making pizza once a
month. This is the first six months of that challenge. Please
excuse my inability to take pretty photos of pizzas! They all kind
of look the same.
Garlic, Sausage, and Onion Pizza
Spinach, Onion, Mushroom, and Sausage Pizza
from Vegan Pizza by Julie Hasson: This is in the book listed as
Pepperoni in the title, rather than sausage, but I took the option
to use the sausage crumbles. I made the pizza base, tomato-garlic
sauce, and sausage crumbles all from the book. The result was
excellent! It also has spinach, mushrooms, red onion, and
mozzarella (I used FYH). It all combined perfectly, the cheese
melted into the sauce deliciously, this was a fabulous pizza!
Pizza by Julie Hasson: Another solid pizza, this uses tomato-garlic
pizza sauce and the dough from the book. I took the option of using
sliced vegan sausages (Vegie Delights BBQ sausages) rather than the
sausage crumbles for this one. It also has onion and garlic on it,
as the name would suggest, and more FYH mozzarella. I left off the
Meaty Cheese Pizza
from Veganize It by
Robin Robertson: This pizza was super! The dough is not as easy as
the one from Vegan Pizza, and I found it ended up a bit sticky, but
it was still great. This book has options for DIY or store-bought,
and I used a mix. I made the pepperoni from the book, and used the
Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce as well. But I used some tofurky beef
crumbles and FYH mozzarella in place of from scratch recipes. This
pizza, as you can imagine, is very filling!
Pizza with Zucchini, Artichokes, and Soy
from The Comp...
Saturday, 12 January
My days of extravagant eyeshadow, bold blusher and blue mascara
are firmly in the rear-view mirror. There is still the odd occasion
though, when I like to splash on a bit of war paint. Until now, I
have removed my makeup with makeup remover and the standard cotton
pads available in any supermarket. Last weekend I noticed I was
down to my last 3 makeup pads. Time to swap out the disposables for
reusable makeup pads.
Its a no brainer that disposable cotton pads are a frivolous use
of resources. Theres the growing of the cotton itself (a water
hungry crop), manufacturing and then disposal. Its true, you can
compost the disposable pads (and I do) but it is far more
responsible to make my own reusable makeup pads. They are
simple to make and can be washed and reused time and again.
Choosing a Fabric
My preference is flannelette which is also called brushed
cotton. It has a texture that is similar to the disposable pads, so
it isnt harsh on your eyes. I find that whilst towelling is
absorbent, its too rough on my face. Towelling may suit you and if
that is the case, no doubt you have an old towel or washer that you
There are lots of online options where you can purchase these
pads but honestly, making them will take you less than 30 minutes.
This saves on cost and hopefully uses something that you already
have at home. I would have loved a piece of flannelette with a cute
pattern like the reusable makeup pads on Esty but in the spirit of
zero waste, I used the flannelette I already had.
Reusuable Makeup Pads
I'm not one to get excited about a new year. Honestly, it is
just the passage of time. I never stay up until midnight, and I
don't do long lists of resolutions. I am the New Year grinch. But I
still have a few food traditions that amuse me around this time. So
here it is, from 2018 to 2019.
New Year's Eve Eve
Normally I make pizza and pie on New Year's eve. However this year
(last year?) my brother and his girlfriend were arriving from
London on NYE in the evening, so that was going to be its own
thing. So I did my tradition a year early. In the past I have made
two pizzas, but this year I just made one.
BBQ Hawaiian Chicken Pizza: I guess this
can technically be I made a thing, but really it is just I put some
stuff on a pizza. I used a pre-made pizza base, topped it with BBQ
sauce and Fenn Smoked Sesame Cheese, then layered on some chopped
Vegie Delights schnitzel, pineapple chunks, black olives, and Daiya
cheddar. Once it was out, I sprinkled it with some bacon bits and
some chives. It was really satisfying, and really easy.
Apricot Frangipane Tart
from Vegan Desserts
by Hannah Kaminsky: I love apricots, and we are having a really
good apricot season at the moment. My pastry skills are still
pretty amateur, but I was pleased with how pretty this turned out!
The pastry was easy to make, though I found it was a bit thick and
tough (which could be due to me, I need more practice). The filling
was delicious - almond meal and sugar and things, it was like a
perfect non too sweet soft marzipan, topped with the sliced
apricots. The filling called for 1TBS flaxseed, which you then
grind. I skipped that and just used ready ground flax. This was a
lovely taste, and kept well for a couple of days.
New Year's Eve
We decided to go with a spread of snacks for the actual NYE. By the
time they landed, got through customs, and my parents drove them
home, it was almost 8pm. So I was glad we hadn't planned for
anything more complex. There was crusty bread, water crackers,
veggie sticks, and GF rice crackers to go with Fenn Smoked Sesame
Cheese, Kehoe Beetroot Dip, and Tartex Mushroom Pate. It was my
first time trying the beetroot cashew dip, and it was surprisingly
Wednesday, 09 January
I got another 6 month subscription to the Cruelty Free Shop Vegan Mystery Box for
Christmas, and the December box was ready and waiting for me to
open on Christmas day.
Cute Kitty Photo of the Post
- PureFit Peanut Butter Choc Chip Bar: I had some PureFit bars
when I was in the US, and I loved them! The peanut butter ones
anyway. So super stoked that we can get them here now, and that I
got one in this box.
- Nestar Christmas Chocolate Almonds: Almonds coated in chocolate
dusted in cocoa powder.
- Tinned Banana Blossom: I have previously used a tin of this to
make a recipe from a cookbook, but not sure what else to do with
it. A lot of the recipes for tinned banana blossom (including the
one that was included with the box) involve deep frying it like a
fish and chips deal, which super does not appeal to me. Bit I am
sure the internet will provide a suggestion.
- Ape Lightle Salted Coconut Curls: I don't cope well with
coconut fat, coconut in other forms is OK. So I am interested in
these. Probably not to snack on, though, but as a topping for salad
or baked goods.
- Gluten Free Food Co Gravy Mix: This company makes a lot of
vegan mac and cheese and sauce mixes that I have never tried
because they are all coconut based. However this gravy mix seems to
be coconut free, so yay. I like a quick gravy mix.
- Hazer Baba Rose & Lemon Turkish Delight: I like rose
- J Leuhders Red Berries Soft Candy: I'm not much one for
lollies, but if I do then berry flavour is always my pick.
Ending my Christmas posts with a Chr...
Tuesday, 08 January
Come join us for our 25-year Silver Jubilee Permaculture Design
Course on Saturdays from 9 February to 25 May 2019. Visions of an
Ancient Wisdom This unique course, delivered over 16 weeks in
Brisbane, gives you the knowledge and skills to observe and design
from the natural patterns to create productive gardens &
properties, grow 
The post Feb 2019 Permaculture Design Course appeared first
on Northey Street
Monday, 07 January
Happy New Year. I have just come back from 12 days in Tasmania.
Lovely weather, amazing scenery and what a food scene! We must have
eaten our body weight in cheese and cider. The Taste of Tasmania
festival was on in Hobart over the Christmas/New Year period and of
course, we visited. Most of our bite sized food adventures though,
revolved around farm gates, cellar doors and the infinite treasure
trove of fantastic restaurants. Heres some snippets of what we
In my January kitchen
are frozen amaretti. I decided to do some Christmas baking on
what must have been one of the hottest days we had in December and
made a double batch of these biscuits. A perfect use for leftover
(frozen) egg whites. My vegan fiend has suggested that aquafaba is
equally suitable. A double batch makes 70. Most of the biscuits I
gave away but I did freeze a dozen, to be pulled out of the freezer
on short notice. Recipe here.
In my kitchen
is a haul of goodies from Tasmania. This includes Pear Cider
Jam, using cider from Franks Cider Barn and an unusual Quince
Marmalade from Fat Pig Farm. There is also some Austral...
Friday, 04 January
Believe it or not, my Christmas wasn't all eating out. And while
we didn't do the traditional Christmas lunch this year, there were
still a few things that I made.
Party Nacho Platter
from Vegan Yack Attack
On The Go by Jackie Sobon: The last few years I have taken to
making nachos for dinner on Christmas Eve. This year, that was
delayed until Boxing Day as I was unwell on Christmas Eve and
couldn't cook. But I had all the stuff, so I was glad I could still
make it at some point! Corn chips are topped with a Buckwheat Taco
Meat, queso (made using a Butternut Cheese Sauce base with some
extras added in and some pinto beans, and I left out the
jalapenos), tomatoes, avocado, coriander, and sour cream (I used
natural almond yoghurt, which I forgot to put on until after the
photos. I also left off the radishes and cos lettuce that the
recipe suggested as they aren't my preferred nacho toppings. I also
served them individually rather than on a big platter, so that my
parents could top as they desired. I found the buckwheat taco meat
a little underwhelming, I had to add extra water and cook for extra
time to get it soft enough, so perhaps the flavours got too
diluted. But it worked well witht he stronger flavours of the
Thursday, 03 January
For the last few years, The Green Edge has held a special menu Christmas dinner
the weekend before Christmas. I went last year with my friend Melanie, and this year
we went again.
The tables were cute and Christmas themed! And when we got there,
we were given a little sampler of their Gingerbread Frappe.
The menu ended up being exactly the same as last year, though last
year there was also a cheese platter option for the dessert. I've
heard that they are planning on revamping the menu for next year
(this year now?), which would be fun to change things up.
We both got the same entrees that we had last year. I had the
delicious Arancini with Pesto and Garlic Mayo, and Melanie had the
Last year we both had the stuffed butternut roast, and this year we
both tried the festive seitan roast....
Wednesday, 02 January
Hello friends, and welcome to the new year. I hope the last week
and a bit has been good for you, however you celebrated or didn't.
My Christmas Day started as per usual, with a 7.30 bikram yoga
class followed by a fruit platter at the studio. It was a fun
class, and watermelon never tastes as good as when you have just
done 90 minutes of yoga in a hot and sweaty room!
Normally we do a Christmas lunch at home, but this year we decided
to buck tradition and had a reservation for lunch at Easy House
Vegetarian. Regular readers will know that I love Easy House,
and have enjoyed yum cha there many times. They are always open on Christmas
Day, so why not?
It was me and my parents, so that made for three. Three is the
perfect number of yum cha, as almost every little plate comes has
three on it. So we were able to eat a lot! Starting with these Pan
Fried Dumplings and Radish Cakes (I love radish cakes!).
Food comes out fast at yum cha, and soon we had a full table.
Another two of my favourites are the BBQ pork buns and the bean
curd rolls, seen here with the satay skewers and black bean
Rice Paper rolls are always lovely and refreshing, and we also had
some broccoli dumplings. Somehow we only had one plate of steamed
dumplings during this visit, normally I get a few varieties.
Sunday, 30 December
Very local! around my house and yard!
After the big hail storm it took me a little while to discover the
amount of damage that had been done to the trees and plants around
my yard. This Leopard Tree is mid way across my back yard and
very visible from my back window. Every year it loses some of the
leaves but this is what the hail storm did - I could get a good
view right through all the leaves and see all the birds that
usually hide somewhere in there.
Slowly the dead looking branches flushed with new color and soon
after that leaves covered everything again.
This palm tree is in front of the Leopard Tree and shows the hail
damage. Some of the fronds were totally dead - many more badly
shredded and right in the middle is a new green frond. However it
will take a while for some of the palms to look really good
It was the palm trees out the front garden that were the most
surprising. I assume it was a response to the severe weather and
then the soaking rain we got a few days later. They all put up
flower stems and then set seeds at a similar time.
Tuesday, 25 December
Merry Christmas and my very best wishes to you all.
It has been an exciting year for us and I am so delighted that
so many of you have joined me from around the world on the new
Permaculture Education Institute online permaculture program.
Now we are in East Africa until the end of the year supporting
local permaculture teachers and permaculture programs for women and
children in need. Thank you so much for your generous
donations to support these programs.
Best wishes for 2019
When I get access to more constant internet, I cant wait to
share with you so many stories, conversations and project
I look forward to chatting with you all in the new year.
Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Merry Christmas and our very best wishes for 2019.
Morag and all the team at Permaculture Education Institute, Our
Permaculture Life and Ethos Foundation
In East Africa. Photo by my 10yo son
Maia and Hugh at the childrens home
Thursday, 20 December
The Sunday Organic Farmers Market is open every Sunday in
December and January, because we value our market regulars who
choose an organic lifestyle and shop here every week to support
local organic farmers, ethical gifts makers, organic re-sellers,
healing health and beauty services and products, local artists and
buskers, and delicious food and beverage 
The post Northey Street Organic Farmers Market appeared
first on Northey
Street City Farm.
Wednesday, 19 December
A plan had been made to visit Brisbane mainstay Montrachet, in
its new digs in Bowen Hills. Unfortunately, we had not banked on it
being so busy in the lead up to Christmas, and couldnt get a
booking. This is how we found ourselves at Atelier for a Friday
Atelier is a newish opening in King Street. A classic brasserie
and wine bar with European leanings, there is something to appeal
to all. The menu features classics such as Vegetable Mille-Feuille
and Steak Tartare as well as an ever changing pasta, fish and creme
brulee of the day. My choice though, was always going to be Steak
Frites. This standard item on French menus is a benchmark (for me
at least) for brasseries and bistros serving European classics.
Nowhere to Hide
Steak Frites is of course, steak and chips. A simple dish that
demands perfection. It requires quality ingredients, cooked
perfectly. There is nowhere for the chef to hide behind. My steak
was generous in size, particularly for lunch, well seasoned
and cooked as requested (medium rare). The Bearnaise sauce was
served in a small pot on the plate. It was warm but not warm enough
and had thickened considerably in the pot. The fries were warm, not
hot and probably from the freezer. The shared basket of fries on
the table were also lukewarm. Had the fries been been pre-cooked
and spent time in the kitchen, waiting for orders to come in? Sure,
they are only chips but when they are a key component of the dish,
you want them to be hot, crisp and leave you wanting more. I left
most of the chips and sauce on the plate. These aspects of the
dish were a disappointment.
My colleagues fared better, in particular, the Saffron Cream
Gnocchi of the Day and the Duck Maryland. The duck was moist,
falling from the bone. It married well with t...
Tuesday, 18 December
Northey Street City Farm a place for learning about
living sustainably in the city EDUCATION ACTIVITY TUTOR POSITION
Education Activity Tutor Employment:
Casual, as per NSCF Staff Agreement, Level2. Day &
As required, including occasional weekends.
$28.27 per hour, with penalty rates paid on weekends Reports
The post EDUCATION ACTIVITY TUTOR appeared first on Northey Street City
Monday, 17 December
A while ago, I was lucky enough to win a $100 voucher in an
Instagram competition to be used at Suburban
West End. I'd been a couple of times before, and with the release of their new menu I
was super excited to try some of the vegan options.
I took my friend there for lunch, as a thank you for driving me and
holding my hand to get my tetanus vaccination earlier that day. I'm
not very brave when it comes to getting needles. We both had soy
turmeric lattes (Ashleigh wanted a chai, but apparently the mix
contains honey so isn't vegan), which were good and warming and
Ashleigh got the cheeseburger made vegan, with a Fenn Veef patty
and vegan cheese. It also salad, pickles, mustard, and tomato
sauce. I tried the Vegan Eggless Omelette, minus the coconut
yoghurt, plus avocado. This was good, not too eggy (a plus for
me!), though I wish the cheese inside had been melted. It also had
cauliflower, mushrooms, smoked cherry tomatoes, nutritional yeast,
and red onions (that I picked out because they were raw and my
tummy doesn't like that).
The next time I stopped in for lunch, and I was feeling like a
burger. I decided to branch out away from the cheeseburger to try
the chicken burger. This had a Fenn Chicken Patty (which I really
liked, my first time trying), rocket, caramelised onions, and
guacamole. It also is meant to come with chili relish, but I had
them leave that off. This was a really tasty burger. With chips, of
course! I also had the Blueberry Acai smoothie, which has acai and
blueberries (obviously) with banana, vanilla and almond milk. This
was perfectly sweet (as in, not too sweet) and creamy and was like
having a lovely milkshake.
What a way to welcome Summer! Christmas BrewFest 2018 was epic.
We worked with coffee roasters and Bacchus Brewing to showcase
these beers: Rye Pale Ale with a sweet winey Panama single from
Bear Bones Specialty Coffee American Pale Ale
Thursday, 13 December
The New Vegan is the second cookbook by Aine Carlin. While
it does have a second in the front targeted to give information to
new vegans, it is not your typical basic vegan cookbook. It is full
of beautiful recipes of all sorts, as well as some great skin care
recipes. This post is full of some of the breakfasts found in
there, which includes smoothies, juices, and oats. There are a lot
of other sorts of breakfasts in there as well, these are just the
ones I have made so far. You can also see some of the other things
I've blogged from this book here.
Bugs Bunny Juice
Beetroot and Banana Smoothie: This is so
pretty and pink, though tastes more like a sweet milkshake than a
smoothie. Banana, cooked beetroot (the vacuum packed kind you get
at the supermarket), dates, Maca, and oatmilk. Cashew milk is the
recommended, but I always have oat on hand. It is not the most
filling starts to the day, I think of this more like a fun
: The book has a couple of
blender juice recipes. This is a take on one of my favourites -
carrot, apple, and ginger. I only used one and a half cups of
water, rather than two, and even though there was a lot of pulp and
it was quite thick to drain it still was a bit dilute tasting. But
I guess that is the side effect of blending with water!
Virgin Bloody Mary Juice
: I skipped the
chili in this, but would have liked to up the tomato. Once again, a
but watery tasting. It needed a much strong tomato component.
Alternatively, maybe use tomato juice instead of water (leaving out
the cherry tomato), and blend the rest into that? This only used
200mL of water, and didn't have much pulp.
Coconut, Mango, and Spinach Smoothie Bowl
I made some changes to this, leaving out the coconut oil (eww),
Wednesday, 12 December
Its a very low key Christmas at Tiffin HQ. Some of this is because
we have been travelling quite a lot and some of this is because we
have chosen to simplify our approach to Christmas. We are aiming
for quality, not quantity. We still enjoy delicious Christmas
foods and sharing home made gifts, which is why I made these super
easy Amaretti. They make the perfect celebration or thank you gift.
Youll never have left over egg whites again!
I have not included bitter almonds as they are not readily
available in Australia. If you have access to bitter almonds or
essence of bitter almonds, you can add a few that have been ground
up (or a dash of essence). Amaretto is not mandatory but it does
give the amaretti a nice toasty almond boost. I recommend having a
shot for yourself whilst making these strictly for medicinal
purposes, you understand.
Fun Foodie Fact: Michelin Stars are also known as Macarons
Christmas Amaretti Biscuits
(adapted from a recipe by Kitchen Sanctuary for
- 3 egg whites (frozen is fine but make sure they are completely
- 250g almond meal
- 250g caster sugar
- 1/4 tspn vanilla extract
- 30ml Amaretto liqueur
- 2 3 extra tbsp caster sugar (for rolling)
- 2 ...
Monday, 10 December
Yup, another post about Malaysian restaurant
as I was not thoroughly satisfied after my visit to Sri Mahkota!
This time, Mr had a meeting nearby and we decided to have dinner
somewhere closeby so I chose Dapur Dahlia. I have not been to their
original location at Mount Gravatt, and they have since relocated
to Gabba. It looks fairly new and definitely very clean
Malaysian food is known for its diversity as
we are a multicultural country and Dapur Dahlia specialises more in
Malay style Malaysian food rather than the chinese version. I was
excited because I get to try some chicken satay; I usually avoid
ordering satay because they could not beat those from home. But I
gave Dapur Dahlia a chance and they certainly did not disappoint.
The satay sticks were grilled rather than just coated with peanut
sauce. It was fairly close to the ones from back home. Their peanut
sauce was rather authentic and well-balanced. On that night, they
gave us free ketupat (rice cakes) and it was a pleasure to eat them
together with cucumber and raw onions. I highly recommend their
Another month, another Brisbane Vegan Markets. Although billed as Christmas
markets, there was very little on theme except for one cupcake
stall that had Christmas flavours and decorations. I met my friends
Tracee and Jamie there as usual, and we embarked on some
Nutsy was there again with their nut milks, and I was
able to score my favourite Strawberry Cashew Milk to start off
with. Once again, a lot of the food places were not ready to serve
at 9am when the markets opened, so it was good to have this to get
Jamie once again had his favourite Veef Burger from the Farm Animal
stall. He ate two of them last time. This time, I was
able to get a photo.
I had the Breakfast Burger from Gatherers
. It had a hashbrown, cheese, BBQ jackfruit,
avocado, spinach, and tomato relish. It was pretty good, though not
And of course, we finished with some I
ice cream. This time I tried the Cookie Monster -
chocolate chip cookie dough, chocolate chip cookie chunks, and
crumbled vegan Tim Tams with chocolate sauce.
There was a new stall there selling bagels, both filled and also to
take away. They had some nice looking fillings, but I just
Friday, 07 December
Sri Mahkota Malaysian Cuisine
Once in a while, the cravings for Malaysian
food kicks in and I had to visit a Malaysian restaurant for my char
koay teow (CKT) cravings. This time we went to Sunnybank Hills and
visited Sri Mahkota. I have been here previously - to try their
fish noodle soup (it was definitely a good one and I had it then
because fish soup was supposedly good to boost your breast milk
As I really wanted a CKT, I obviously ordered
their version. It came in a rather huge plate with couple of pieces
of prawns, squid and fish cakes. Hmm... I do not think that their
CKT is the best in Brisbane. The 'wok hei' was missing and the
flavour was just not strong enough.
I also ordered the entree of curry puffs. Theirs was quite
good, not overly spicy and the pastry still acceptable. For
Brisbane's standard, I think theirs are all right but certainly
could not beat those curry puffs from Penang!
I first heard about Ginger and Rose when my mum sent me an article
about the recently opened and very vegan friendly cafe. Then I
started seeing it pop up here and there on my Instagram. A quick
check of the menu and I knew I had to go and visit.
I made a beeline straight for the Strawberry waffles. And they were
amazing! The waffles were crisp and fluffy, with fresh
strawberries, strawberry and balsamic sauce, a generous serve of
maple syrup, and vanilla ice cream. SOY ICE CREAM! Friends will
know what a joy this is to me, who cannot eat coconut ice cream.
They have a few different flavours of waffles, all vegan, but of
course strawberry always has my heart. I also had a Banana and
Cinnamon smoothie, which was sweet and creamy and delicious. A+
While normally a breakfast/lunch location, they recently opened on
Friday nights for pizza and cheeseboards. I was able to get there
the other week to try it out. I was on my own, so limited myself to
just one pizza. The cheeseboards look beautiful, though I believe
they use Nutsy cheeses. Nutsy is a local vegan cheese company, but
unfortunately they have too much coconut oil in them for me. But
never mind, because pizza!!!! They have a few vegan options, and I
chose the Mushrooms vs Onions (it also has spinach on it), but I
added pineapple and black olives because I love them. The pizza was
loaded! They are not shy of toppings! It did make it pretty messy
to eat, the toppings wanted to roll off the pizza when I picked it
up, but it was tasty. If the base was a little crispier, the
toppings a little smaller, and the cheese a bit more melted I think
it would be more cohesive... adhesive? Heh.
I also enjoyed one of my favourite beverages - the strawberry
milkshake. Thanks to them using soy ice cream! Most places in
Brisbane use coconut ice cream in their vegan shakes, which denies
me the joy of a strawberry milkshake. So I...
Thursday, 06 December
Come and Share our Final Meeting for 2018
Our December or Christmas meeting will be on Thursday
6th December. Come early, allow some time to browse the
stalls, do your Christmas shopping, the BOGI Shop will be open to
stock up for the Christmas break, BOGI Seeds and BOGI Books will be
open, pay your membership for 2019 or purchase a membership as a
gift for a friend. There will be competitions, a game or two, BOGI
Clinic, a multi draw raffle and delectable supper.
Our November speaker will be Phil Ryan, author of the Stories
from the One Acre Plot, two of which have been reprinted in the
October and this newsletter. Phil's topic will be "Tips and Tricks
of an Organic Gardener" knowledge learnt on a 17 year journey,
mentors, books, Good Friends & me mom 'Mother Nature'.
We have two speakers for our October meeting from Witches Brew
and Brookfield Garden Centre.
Mr Tiffin finally made it to 50. The baby of the group, there is
always a drawn out wait until he leaps the hurdle of a milestone
birthday. Meanwhile, some in the group are powering on to the next
one. To mark this significant occasion, four of us had a slap up
meal at OTTO Brisbane.
OTTO was recently awarded its second hat in the Good Food Guide.
Thankfully, I made a booking before the awards, so was
able to get a table with river and Story Bridge views on a bustling
Rather than muck around with individual dishes and wine
pairings, we splashed out on the seven course tasting menu with
matching wines. Its not cheap but it does mean you can relax and
take your time, knowing you will be well cared for throughout the
Theres a Reason for Two Hats
The menu at OTTO is firmly Italian. It is interesting to note
that the Brisbane tasting menu is different from its sister
restaurants in Sydney, showcasing local-ish produce.
In some respects, there is almost nothing to review as the food
was well prepared, presented and tasted superb. Service was
excellent. As you would expect (but sometimes dont get) in a highly
regarded restaurant. Instead, Ill focus on some highlights:
- Carpaccio di Manzo a traditional raw beef carpaccio
with capers, Parmesan and dressing. The Rangers Valley Beef was
meltingly tender and almost creamy with the addition of the
dressing. It paired well with the sharp capers, umami of the cheese
and slightly bitter rocket. One of our friends wasnt keen on beef
so the kitchen substituted carpacc...
Buy your fresh organic pineapples from the Organic Farmers
Market when theyre in season. Hummingbird Cake Ingredients Cake
450g of (chunky) blended pineapple 1.5 cup plain flour 1 tsp baking
powder 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 1/2 teaspoon ground
cinnamon 1 cup brown sugar (firmly packed) 1/2 cup desiccated
coconut 1 cup mashed (over ripe) 
The post Pineapple Recipes appeared first on Northey Street City
Cassava (Manihot esculenta), also known as manioc, yucca,
tapioca or mandioca is originally from Brazil, and is widely
consumed in South America, Africa and Asia. It is a staple food in
many countries in these regions. Like potato, Cassava can be
boiled, baked, fried, or even made into flour. Cassava shouldnt be
consumed raw, and 
The post Cassava Recipes appeared first on Northey Street City
Tuesday, 04 December
Zucchini or courgette (Cucurbita pepo) is best grown in cooler
seasons in subtropical climates. Both the fruit and flowers are
edible. The fruit is usually harvested when about 100 mm long and
is cooked in stir fries or served on its own. As the fruit grows
larger it is also known as a squash and 
The post Zucchini Recipes appeared first on Northey Street City
The Macadamia nut, also known as Queensland nut or Bauple nut is
native to the rainforests of southern Queensland and northern New
South Wales. There are two species with edible nuts Macadamia
tetraphylla and Macadamia integrifolia. Macadamia trees grow in
deep soils and like some wind protection. Trees can grow to 10m,
but dwarf 
The post Macadamia Nut Recipes appeared first on Northey Street City
I am fairly sure that The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen
Patrick Goudreau was one of the first vegan baking books I ever
owned. It is a book I have turned to many times, both for old
favourites and for trying new things. A lot of the recipes I made
before I started taking photos, so I don't actually have too many
on my blog. But I will be remaking them with time. You can see what
I have posted before here.
No-Bake Strawberry Pie with Chocolate
Chunks: This recipe comes together pretty easily. Using a
No-Bake Pecan Crust, you need a lot of strawberries to fill it.
Sliced fresh strawberries are layered into the crust, and then
topped with a quick strawberry puree mix made on the stove using
strawberries, dates, and lemon juice. I found it best to put down
half the sliced strawberries, then top with half the puree, then
repeat. Otherwise the puree tends to just pool and not run down to
all the nooks and crannies.
: These are some moist
(sorry) fudgy brownies. I baked for almost about hour (rather than
40 minutes as the recipe said), and they were still very moist
(sorry). At 40 minutes, they were really not quite cooked. Though
to be fair, I know my oven does tend to take a little longer.
: I love lemon bars, and these
are definitely some of the best. The short crust base is a quite
stiff and a bit hard to spread out, but some damp fingers helped to
press it out nicely. These are tart and sweet and oh so good. They
have silken tofu in them, but you can't taste it at all. My oven
needed about an extra 5-10 minutes for each baking step. Make
: I prefer crumble, but
cobbler is always fun. Plus it is kind of like having pie without
having to mak...
Monday, 03 December
NSCF Earth Kids programs are about supporting kids to become
nature smart to have the knowledge, understandings and skills to
engage in creating a more sustainable world in a fun and
interactive way. It is an experiential program of outdoor
discovery, in which kids will learn about the animals and plants at
the Farm 
The post Summer School Holiday Earth Kids Program
appeared first on Northey Street City Farm.
Sunday, 02 December
I have just released my new online masterclass about my 12 key
tips for growing a thriving edible garden creating abundance with
My latest masterclass 12 key tips for growing a
thriving edible garden,
My masterclasses have always been free and sponsored by the
Permaculture Education Institute
(https://permacultureeducationinstitute.org) . However, this
particular masterclass is dedicated to raise funds for permaculture
programs for women and children in Uganda and Kenya. You can find
out about the permaculture volunteer work my kids and I are doing
there this December.
If you watch this masterclass, please feel moved to visit the
Ethos Foundation project page to find out more and donate
We are half way to our fundraising goal . Please help
us exceed it!
My kids and I have a goal of raising a modest $10k to personally
take and distribute to local community projects that are making a
real difference. This is a registered charity and 100% of funds go
directly to these community-led projects. All our expenses and time
In this masterclass, I mentions:
my no-dig garden
permaculture educators program
youtube channel: Our Permaculture Life
Thank you in advance for your generous donation. My children and
I have been so overwhelmed by the big-hearted kindness of our
community, and also people around the world who have been sending
in their support. Thank you to you all.
Please share widely. Only 5 sleeps until we arrive in
Thank you !!
Saturday, 01 December
Deedot Coffee House, Holland
This is probably one of the cafes that I wish
that it is close to my house! Unfortunately not, unless we move to
the south side... I have been to Deedot few years ago and during
this visit, I was meeting up with an old friend who has just got a
new baby girl and we met up for a cuppa of drink which turns out to
be taro latte for me!
Since Deedot, I have been checking other
cafes whether they serve taro latte but so far seem to be no luck.
Unlike coffee or matcha or turmeric latte, taro is definitely for
those with the sweeter tooth and it was
Debbo had scrambled eggs on toast while I
ordered their mushroom dish. I seriously could not fault this dish
at all. It is a 10/10 for me! Love the creaminess of the mushroomy
puree, together with the perfectly poached egg on a toast... I
could seriously lick that plate. Ahahah!
What a month Ive had! My website was hijacked by hackers who did
their darndest to lock me out. Thankfully, I had the assistance of
a very good developer who was able to get on top of things and put
further protections in place. Of course, it had to happen only
three days before I was heading overseas! Anyway, the blog is back
in action and Im back from Thailand. I havent even had time to go
grocery shopping yet but, there are still things to share.
One of the reasons we visited Thailand was to attend the Yi Peng
Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai. What a memorable night. Loud, noisy
and exhilarating! Though crowded, there were many areas to view the
lanterns at a more sedate distance. We went to the free local
government (official) celebrations, not the paid commercial events
that are held outside the city. Heres a short video of just some of
the lanterns being released. Id recommend it to anyone.
In my November kitchen
there is a new Tiffin! I dont buy much in the way of souvenirs
but when I saw this enamel Tiffin at the Saturday Walking Market in
Chiang Mai, Mr Tiffin insisted that I treat myself. Tiffins are not
a Thai implement and I suspect this has actually come by way of
China, but I do really like it. It was the most expensive thing be
bought/paid for o...
Friday, 30 November
It had been a couple of months (September I had something else
on, October was very rainy), but November saw me back at the
Vegan Markets with my friends Tracee and Jamie. It is now
heading towards the time of year when it is almost too hot for
markets. They started at 9am, and even by 9.30 the heat was
evident. Their Christmas market is on in just over a week, so we
shall see how the weather fares. Anyway, food! Oh, and you can see
my previous market visits here.
Tracee and Jamie for a plate of mixed momos from Tibetan Momo House.
And Tracee and I both got some Char Kway Teow from Malaysia Nonya
House. This is mine after I had picked out all the capsicum
already, hence why it looks a little messy.
Drinkwise, I got some Rose and Lychee iced tea in my awesome new
smoothie cup that I got for my birthday. And also a chocolate milk
. Nutsy accepts all their empty bottles back to be
cleaned and reused, how great is that!
I also had a BLT from the Farm Animal
stall. It was a classic, tasty BLT. Though one of the
slices of bread was hilariously thick at one crust! Jamie also had
a Veef burger from the FAR stall, but he ate it before anyone could
take a photo. Twice. But he liked the burger enough to eat it twice
in one morning, so take that as an endorsement.
Thursday, 29 November
Northey Street City Farm publish a free electronic newsletter
every month. To subscribe to our monthly free
e-newsletter CLICK HERE. You will receive the newsletter to
your email once a month to let you know what is happening at the
farm. To read this months E-News CLICK HERE
The post NSCF E-Newsletter December 2018 appeared first on
Sad news just came in, my friends. My favourite Two Tables Cafe
announced yesterday on Instagram that they were closing, effective
immediately. It was a small family business, and the adult children
are now off doing their own things in the world. Which means, no
more Two Tables. I am very very very sad. I had wanted to go there
for my birthday dinner this year, but things got in the way, and I
didn't get a chance for a final goodbye. Woe. It is strange how
important a place can become to you. I guess good food and amazing
people will do that. So, for the final time, here are some of the
things I had eaten there in some recent visits.
I went with some friends for brunch once rainy Sunday. I had been
planning on getting the pancakes, but I was in a savoury mood and
went for the Big Vegan breakfast as well. Pumpkin, mushrooms,
roasted tomato, a Fenn Veef patty, a hashbrown, baked beans, tomato
relish, and their housemade bread. This was delicious and
satisfying, but without being too overwhelming.
Another time I had been meant to meet some friends there for
brunch, but they forgot. But a trip to Two Tables was never wasted,
and I was happy to be able to eat there. I had their delicious
green smoothie, and their tofu burger. The burger has pineapple and
satay sauce on it, and came with their perfect chips.
Several weeks ago, they...
Tuesday, 27 November
I love eggplants (aubergines) and have written about them a lot.
They are versatile and adaptable, featuring in the cuisines of many
cultures. We have an eggplant bush in our garden thats had a crazy
growth spurt. This recipe for a warm Middle Eastern Eggplant Salad
is a quick way to deal with an unexpected glut. Perfect for a
weekend lunch or as part of a mezze platter. Ideal when you are
asked to bring a plate.
An Eggplant By Any Other Name
Eggplants are part of the nightshade family, that includes
potatoes, tomatoes, capsicums and chillis. The word eggplant itself
is not really used much beyond Australia and the US. The name
originated when the white variety, which indeed looks very similar
to an egg, was first exported from Europe. Elsewhere you will
encounter is as the aubergine, brinjal (India) and the amusing
brown-jolly (West Indies). The Italian word, melanzana, is a
corruption of the Roman mala insana, the apple of insanity. This is
because the Romans thought the eggplant was poisonous, given it is
An Eggplant Glut
After a very dry winter, we had a big downpour of rain just
before we returned from a European holiday. As a result, my
eggplant bush was groaning under the weight of over a dozen fruit.
I picked and cooked them, went on holidays again for 12 days and
came back to another bumper crop. I love eggplant but thats a
Siam Sensations, Nundah
Thai food is my next cravings following
Vietnamese food. While Viet food is more simple and clean, Thai is
usually filled with punchier flavour and more on the spicy side,
which is what I crave for at times. Following our visit to Nundah
Corner, we realised that this restaurant is fully pack with patrons
sitting outside the restaurant! I told Mr that we had to give it a
go next visit and we did.
It was just too tempting not to try the 'Mix
Entree' - spring roll, curry puff, satay chicken, steamed dim sim
and keaw tod (which I assumed is the fried wanton). For $8.90, I
think this is rather quite a bargain. The good thing about eating
with your husband is that he does not mind sharing after me biting
into each item. Among those, I think my favourite would be the
curry puff, followed by the satay.
I never stray from not ordering a pad thai
from a Thai restaurant, and we did. I really love their pad thai -
the sauce was well balanced, and tasty together with the fresh bean
sprouts and crunchy peanuts. I could have more of this but we
obviously got other meals. Hehe!
Maru, Brisbane CBD
A stop in the city for dinner means Korean
food for us (well, most of the time). Korean food is fast,
convenient and tasty, don't you agree? If you are looking for
places that are quiet, then don't bother walking into a Korean
restaurant. It is usually lively, and their food will fill you
The chives pancake in Maru is a must if you
are tossing between the chives or the seafood pancake (I have tried
both). It comes out crispy with loads of chives, and you have to
eat it with their dipping sauce.
On that particular night, I wanted something
hot/warm so I ordered their pork bibimbap in stone bowl. Their
chilli sauce came separately and you can squeeze as much out if you
want to. Bibimbap never fails and it was one of favourite meals to
The Great Vegan Protein Book by Celine Steen
Noyes has your 'where do you get your protein from' needs
covered. No weird protein powders, just tofu, seitan, tempeh,
legumes, nuts, and seeds. Let's get ripped! Or whatever it is all
this protein people are so obsessed about is meant to do. You can
see other recipes I've made from the book here.
Broccoli and Mushroom Freekehzotto
Butter Bean Gravy: This gravy is very thick
and hearty, involving a full tin of pureed butter beans, but I
found it a bit bland. And this was even after I blended in some
mushrooms. You soak shiitakes in broth to get a mushroom flavour to
it, and I just added in the mushrooms themselves to the gravy as
well. A splash of soy sauce definitely helps with the flavour. It
also has shallots, garlic, nutritional yeast, and fresh herbs (I
uses a mix of fresh and dried mushrooms (I used a 'gourmet' mix),
as well as freekeh as the grain. I took the option to use cracked
freekeh, and it cooked in about 30 minutes (the recipe says 40
minutes for cracked freekeh). This is made creamy with a blend of
nutritional yeast and cashews, and is filly, creamy, and tasty.
Do the Cocoa Shake
: A full recipe of this
uses a full block of silken tofu, but it is easy to scale down if
you just have a bit of silken tofu that you'd like to use up. I
made a one third amount, which was a small single serve (the full
recipe says it makes four serves). It also has frozen banana and
peanut butter, which gives it a sweet flavour.
: This bright and colourful
scramble has scallion, red onion, drained fire roasted tomatoes (I
didn't have quite enough so I used some chopp...
Sunday, 25 November
Although this place has closed down and
changed its name, the concept, the food and the offerings are
practically still similar. Though the prices might have changed
slightly too. Still located at the side of the plaza, where it
doesn't get too busy around that area.
'Spicy Pork Miso Bowl' was a simple
side or a stand-alone dish of steamed rice topped with spicy pork
mince and shallots. With this, you are able to pick your choice of
tempura and add ons to eat this with. Having a small bowl option
allows you to have lesser carbs and have more grilled or deep fried
items. Not so worth it for its price but I guess, it is something
easy and simple to have if you don't feel like a big
'Curry Udon' on a bed of Udon topped
with ontama (half boiled egg) and shallots as well as tempura
crisps or flakes as some may call it. When mixed thoroughly, the
egg gives the stickiness and balancing the curry sauce mixture with
the udon noodles. The udon noodles in curry sauce, is not
Trying to find a modern
Asian dining restaurant is not that easy here, so when searching
for places to hold our engagement, there was limited places to
choose from. Not wanting a typical Chinese restaurant with
chandeliers and the interior, but wanting something modern, classy
providing good quality food was what I wanted. Then I found Madame
Wu, located on the top of Riparian Plaza in Eagle Street Pier, it
boasts the views of the Brisbane river as well as
a glimpse of the Story Bridge. That could work, I thought
to myself, and so I decided to enquire and book it.
Due to the size of our group, we
were advised that we were only allowed to choose to banquet menu of
which I wasn't very keen on at first as I knew that we all would
eat quite a lot and the usual way of dining in such a big group
would be ordering many main dishes and sharing it with everyone on
the table. However, since I asked whether there was a way for an
exception of this to happen due to the event that was being held,
they rejected and declined and said that only banquet menus were
allowed to be ordered, nothing else. Although I did advise them
that I would be spending much more doing that rather than paying
for the banquet menu.
But they still rejected the
So be it then.. I guess they'd
rather lose money and not let us order more.. which would've been a
benefit for them. They said that 'it puts a large strain on the
kitchen' and 'it is very hard to get these meals up
together' even if we did pre-order for the whole table for
a la carte.
Saturday, 24 November
The first time I heard the name, I
thought it was a bakery chain from France. But, it wasn't. A bakery
chain originating from Korea that utilizes the French way of
cooking and baking. With over 3,000 chains in Korea and over 50
stores in the US, it sure has made a name for itself offering
various cakes, breads, pastries as well as coffee.
To be brutally honest, I do not exactly
remember what this was. I think it was either the egg or cheese
tart. But I do remember that the flavour was not that flavoursome
hence, we didn't really enjoy it thoroughly. The pastry was also
cold and hard, and with every bite, it did not have the nice
Friday, 23 November
If you want productive healthy plants in your garden, you need
to understand your soil, what it has and hasn't got. Bruce Ham will
explain how soils are made, how we can test them and how we can
improve them. Don't miss the September meeting to find out how to
improve your soil.
Imagine a burger joint
with neon lights, graffiti walls, good ol' burgers and beers...
draft beers. If you've never visited Hello Harry before for their
burgers, then, maybe you should. There are a few burger joints that
are in the hype at the moment which we honestly am not a big fan of
when others are.. maybe our preference with burgers are just
different than the norm. But anyway, they offer a very direct and
simple menu with all meats, dressings, marinades and salts made in
Starting off the night
with a draft beer, crisp and fresh, it allows the night to just get
better. I mean, come on.. it's Beer.
The 'Sweet Potato
Thursday, 22 November
With all the
renovations happening at Market Square, it doesn't deter the diners
coming in from morning to night for either the food, bubble tea,
desserts or just visiting Yuen's. After waiting for a few minutes,
the table was set up and ready. Service can be hard to get by as
the waiters are always rushing here and there but simply raise your
hand up or try and wave at them, you should be able to get their
'Char Kway Teow' of which we usually
order the combination which has both meat and seafood. The portion
was quite small compared to the other times we have dined here and
ordered the same dish. Sometimes, it can be also saltier or not
enough salt, so it can be quite inconsistent at times.
The amount of seafood as well as meat also
differs and I think that might be due to the chef who is cooking at
the time. Sometimes, you would get more fish cake than prawns or
meat, or would get only one prawn and no squid or so on. However,
overall, this time, the taste was okay but we have tasted better in
Nundah Corner, Nundah
The Mr was working at Nundah and he came
across this place and took me out for dinner one night (many months
ago now!). It is usually a day cafe but on Friday and Saturday
nights, they are opened for dinner. Street parking is available but
can be quite difficult during the peak hours.
We were one of the first diners to arrive,
and service was friendly and prompt. After checking out their menu,
we sort of know what we want and had mutual decision to order their
'3 for $20' of sides.
~ Fries with aioli
~ Fried cauliflower florets with burnt
butter and pomegranate
~ Beans, feta and almond
The fries were cooked to perfection and they sure know how
long to cook them for! Not soggy and still very crispy. I was a
little surprised by the cauliflower dish. It was actually
quite good and probably the winner among
Burger chain Grill'd has long been a haunt of vegans, with the
ability to make some of their burgers vegan by leaving things off,
and especially for their delicious chips. But Grill'd has lately
really embraced the vegan revolution. First up, they introduced a
100% vegan veggie burger with salad. Not the most exciting, I know,
but really delicious. But this year they also announced two new
burgers - the all vegan Vegan Cheese Burger, and the misleadingly
vegetarian but not actually vegan Hemp Therapea burger. To make way
for these two new burgers, they did take some other vegetarian
burgers off the menu. So there are currently three veg*n burgers
(one 100% vegan and two easy to veganise) on their menu. Plus their
chips, did I mention their chips?
Hemp Therapea Burger
When they announced the new vegan cheeseburger, they also announced
this burger. They were prominently advertised as plant based,
however it turns out that in the original form this one is not
completely so. Early on, several vegans got caught out because it
has a non-vegan tzatziki on it. You need to request them to use
vegan mayo instead. It was quite misleading marketing on their
part. The patty on this is hemp and pea, and is quite nice and
sweet. It also has avocado, lettuce, beetroot, basil, and...
Nasturtium Tropaeolum majus Nasturtium makes a
great ground cover in a sunny spot, though it will grow in shade as
well. The plant grows in poor soils and dry conditions. Nasturtium
can help in biological pest control by attracting beneficial
insects. Nasturtium flowers and leaves are edible and have a
peppery taste. They can be 
The post Nasturtium Recipes appeared first on Northey Street City
Tuesday, 20 November
Pho Queue, Annerley
Are you ever tired of Vietnamese food?? While
writing up this post, I just realised that we seemed to be eating
out in Vietnamese restaurant. I have been to Pho Queue twice and
the first visit was to catch up with Simco! He had recently
relocated back to Brisbane from Tasmania and it was so nice to meet
up with this old friend of mine.
One thing for sure that has not changed - he
still likes his favourite vermicelli noodle salad! I am lucky that
I get to choose what to have for entree and we had the crispy
spring rolls. For $8 for 3 pieces, the price is certainly above the
average and they are just quite normal.
The other starter that interest me was the
'Banh Khot' - savoury mini pancakes made with 333 beer. I have not
tried these before and would not have a clue as to what it should
taste like. Quite an interesting texture... the 'pancake' is rather
soft and not dense, but still able to hold it shape. Taste wise
quite light and bland, so I recommend it with the fish sauce on the
Lily's Chinese Kitchen, Cooper's
My in-laws one day told me that they have
found a place that served fresh eels, and it is an awesome one! I
have definitely tried the Japanese unagi but not the kinds they
were referring to and I was interested. So, for Mr's birthday this
year, we went to Lily's Kitchen for a birthday lunch for a banquet
for 4 +1. Ya, just because Grace's bedtime is about
Next up is the duck! We love any kind of duck and this is
probably one of the best duck ever, the braised duck version. It
was not oily and the gravy that comes with it mix so nicely with
steamed rice. Needless to say, the duck was extremely
Monday, 19 November
Going back to the place where we
used to buy waffles during my childhood days living here makes me
miss it here. The ambience, environment and food but I do have to
say that the schooling is here is tough. Anyway, Q Bread hasn't
changed at all since I last remember, serving up freshly baked
bread and waffles made to order. Before Bread top or Bread talk was
a thing, this has always been here. From pork floss buns to normal
bread loaves to bread rolls to the never-ending bread
Bringing the Mr here brought a smile to my
face but since we were full, we couldn't indulge on as many waffles
as I would've liked to but at least he was able to try it and
experience the childhood waffle my parents used to buy for me when
wanting a snack nearby.
The waffle batter has been pre-made for
convenience and is covered to let it sit there without having any
bugs or insects flying in as well as keeping it moist. For its
price, it is still very affordable to buy a waffle or two either
with or without fillings.
Unaware of such a place and
wondering if we had one in Brissie, we were on our way here to have
a nibble and to grab a coffee. Offering both sweet and savoury pies
of which changes in a rotational basis, they are told to be
handmade and baked fresh daily on premises. When you enter, you see
yourself in an exposed brick wall surrounding, wooden tables with
steel chairs and a single cashier point.
A rather confusing sign at first,
having three different pricing...
If you're a seafood fan
and lover, then going to the Sydney Fish Market is a must when
you're down here. But bear in mind the queues, the waiting, the
crowd, the shouting, the no available tables which can be such a
poop. We tend to get the same thing when we come here and we don't
get bored of it, but then if I was to eat a whole plate full every
day, then maybe I'll pass.. just too much. But, never too much
Platter' consisted of different kinds of seafood, mostly
fried. BBQ baby octopus, oyster kilpatrick, oyster mornay, grilled
scallops, battered prawns, fish pieces and seafood sticks. The
grilled scallops sometimes may differ in terms of size as
previously, it seemed to be bigger than what we got this time. The
chips was just normal, but the battered prawns and fish pieces were
fresh and the batter was not as oily as I thought it would
Sunday, 18 November
Many may say that this place has
the best ribs, but I disagree. It has not yet beaten our favourite
ribs place, with its quality, service and consistency. But I have
to say that their location definitely provides a nice view and
strategic location. Offering not only pork ribs but also many other
items on the menu to cater even the young ones, it is a place for
both dates, groups and casual dining.
Starting with the 'Fried
calamari' served with tartare sauce, about 8-10 pieces of deep
fried calamari served with a lemon wedge and a small bowl of
tartare sauce. The tartare sauce was not very tangy but did add a
good punch and freshness for the calamari.
'Rocket, pear and parmesan
salad' served with spanish onion, cherry tomatoes, green
olives with a honey mustard dressing. A refreshing salad and
not-so-typical garden salad to have. The honey mus...
Saturday, 17 November
Bam Bam Bakehouse, Gold Coast
I am probably one of the last foodie to have
tried Bam Bam Bakehouse! It has been on my wish list for a very
long time, and one day Mr suggested we go to the coast since we are
both not working over the weekend. It is a rare opportunity and I
told him we must visit Bam Bam. Hehe!
We used GPS to navigate ourselves there and
the bakehouse is situated in a fairly interesting location, next to
a children's park and playground (bonus!). Parking can be quite
tricky until we realised we could have parked next to the
playground from the back. It was already quite packed when we got
there in the morning, but thankfully still have seats
Their menu does seem to have some Asian
influenced such as the 'Egg nasi, karaage chicken burger or even
the pork belly banh mi' which in hindsight, I probably should have
ordered one of them.
Are you a Barbie or a Mermaid fan? I ended up
ordering the Barbie hot chocolate which consisted of rose and white
chocolate and loved it! Loved the pinkish colour and most
importantly the hint of rose. Yum!
Anyhow, back to us! I know they are famous
for their pastry so I ordered a plain croissant with their house
preserve for Grace. She just had a few bites and then pushed it
away. Maybe I have been spoilt by Hugs on Days, and
Monday, 12 November
Vietnam House, Fortitude Valley
Vietnamese cuisine is one of my go-to food if
we have the options of eating out. I could not remember why we
chose Vietnam House that night but why not? We drove past this
restaurant frequently and had never visited it. We did make a
booking knowing that it is quite a busy place especially on a
weekend. Parking as always can be a challenge in the Valley but we
were lucky to find street parking if you are patient
It was still winter then (yup, trying to
finish my backlogs!) and I wanted pho. I remember myself of being
of a vermicelli salad person but once in a while I crave for pho.
But first up, we tried their Vietnamese spring rolls. They were
crispy and delicious! It was so moreish!
Their pho comes in three different sizes -
small, medium and large. I was not sure how big their 'large' size
was until it came to our table. Holy moly it was big! It can
certainly feed two people! Their pho was quite good, with thinly
sliced rare beef. I just thought their soup base may be on the
Friday, 09 November
Only 26 days left for our permaculture fun(d)raiser and to get
ready to leave for Africa! Yellow fever jabs done, Naturopaths
first aid kit made, visas in process, oops passports need
Morag on ABC Radio today
This morning I had a great chat with Annie Gaffney , morning
show host of ABC Radio, about our forthcoming journey to Uganda and
Kenya. My daughter (12yo) and eldest son (10yo) are travelling with
me. Annie and I chat about why we are going to East Africa, who we
are working with, what we are doing there, and why I am asking for
Heres the 10 minute interview with Annie on ABC Sunshine Coast
morning show. Please take a listen and share this blog. Could
you help us spread the word so we can reach our goal of
Permaculture fun(d)raising tally
I have a big goal of raising $10K to take with us to give
directly. 100% goes to local people doing local projects for local
benefit. These are permaculture gardens and teacher trainings for
schools and womens self-help communities.
Fun(d)raising goal = $10k
Total raised so far = $845
Ethos Foundation our registered permaculture
You can find out more about the programs we are volunteering
with on the Ethos Foundation Website: https://ethosfoundation.org.au,
and also at https://kwaya.org/permaculture.
We have partnered with Kwaya Australia, a registered charity
working directly with the African Childrens Choir, because we are
going to be helping them to design an edible food garden on their
half acre primary school site.
I have recently relaunched the Ethos
Foundation. Previously I ran, a registered charity, that
works in partnership with the Permaculture Education Institute.
Ethos Foundation is run as a donation-based organisation from
community to community. Ethos directly supports the the
permaculture education programs we are volunteering with around the
world, and offers scholarship places to enable local leaders to
attend permaculture teacher courses . The funds that Ethos collects
and distributes are used 100% for the local project...
Thursday, 08 November
Lutece Bistro and Wine Bar,
Once in a blue moon, Mr and myself will go on
a dinner date if Grace can be looked after by the in-law. I chanced
upon a 50% discount on Dimmi for Lutece Bistro (well, many months
ago now) and made the booking. Parking is available around the
complex and it was easy to find. The view from inside the
restaurant was certainly quite breathtaking if you are early enough
(hint here- early dinner post kid).
We first started with baguette and their Lutece truffle
butter. Nothing extra-ordinary but certainly good
I could not remember exactly the entree dish but I think it
was either the foie gras or rillettes. It was delicious and Mr
could not stop raving about it. This is certainly his sort of
Now for our mains, I have heard of their famous sand crab
lasagne and had to try it. My my my... it was definitely delicious.
Initially I was worried that the crab will be 'fishy' but honestly,
it was fresh, and loving it with the creamy crustacean cream. I
understand then why there was this pool of sauce,
As for the other main, we tried their half duck a l'orange
and to be honest, that was my first time trying duck with orange.
It was actua...
When we had Getta Burger the first
time, it was at their first branch in Carina. When we saw that
another branch has opened up nearby in south side, we thought we
should give it a try. Luckily enough, it was not busy with only one
or two people lining up in front and behind us. I'm glad when
places open up, they think about us too and where we can park as
they're located in an area with other shops and dedicated parking
available. It's a bit sad when new places open but then you hear
that there's no parking or it would be much more accessible via
public transport. Doesn't work that way all the time, you
Getta Burger has a wide variety of
beef patty, pulled pork, beef brisket and vege burgers of which we
decided to go with 'The Getta Burger'. Beef patty,
cheese, onion, tomato, lettuce, pickle with 'Tom's Tomato Relish'
and USA mayo on a milk bun. The bun was a sesame seed bun which I
thought was a bit hard and not as soft as I would've liked
Sunday, 04 November
This December I have been invited to Africa to assist with
permaculture education programs, sustainable food gardens for
schools, curriculum development for permaculture in schools, womens
self-help programs. Because there is a big focus on permaculture
for children, I am taking my two eldest children now 10yo and 12 yo
whove grown up with permaculture.
Please support us and donate generously.
Id love your help to raise $10k for sustainable food gardens for
women and children in Uganda and Kenya. We are collecting funds all
On December 5, my children and I fly to Africa and can
distribute the funds directly to community-initiated and led
100% of all donations reach real people in
need. We are donating all our costs and time.
Where to donate
You can find more information about the programs and donate via
our registered charity Ethos Foundation, Click this
link to read more and donate.
Help us fill our suitcases with books and
We would love to fill our suitcases with good permaculture books
and good working laptops too. Email
me if you can help with this.
Please support these programs focussing on
permaculture for children and women.
The post Permaculture for children: Were going to Africa! Please
help us raise $10k. appeared first on Our Permaculture
Friday, 02 November
The Duke of Sussex officially marked the arrival of Invictus
games by raising a flag on Sydney harbour bridge.
I have marked the occasion by having a closer look at places in
Australia named Sussex.
So far, Ive counted over 60 places in Australia, called
Sussex. Most of them are streets. And, Ive
counted 26 different Aboriginal nations, which have the name Sussex
mapped onto their Country.
Among all these places named Sussex, there are a couple that
look like specific references to a Duke of Sussex.
Im looking at an old sketch of the Town of Sydney made around
the time that Thomas Brisbane arrived there, to be Governor of
Its got a Sussex St.
It also has the Government Garden marked out. That was the
venue for the cycling on Sunday.
The Sussex St refers to the first duke of Sussex, Augustus
Frederick, son of George and Charlotte.
On this map, the Duke is presented as part of a family his Mum
and Dad get some streets named after them and so do his brothers
the Dukes of Kent, Cambridge, York, Clarence, Cornwall, and
Much closer to us, on Q...
Wednesday, 31 October
Willow and Spoon, Wilston
Willow and Spoon is one of my favourite cafe
to go to in the Northside. I remember visiting this place with my
housemate last time, and quite a lot has changed since for the
better. We have been to this place twice in a matter of few months
apart, and on this occasion we brought Grace along! Lucky her,
there is a small play area set up at the garden next to the back
Willow and Spoon changed their menu since our last visit but
the favourite 'The Willow' seem to be on the menu always. Who can
resist it though? Cured pork belly with truffle scrambled eggs! Yum
Yum Yum! Mr was just so happy to see this platter of food served in
front of him. The pork belly was tender and flavourful, and he
certainly was a satisfied man after that!
My other dish then was poached eggs on
haloumi with turkish bread. You can never complain when the eggs
were poached to perfection. We ordered a side dish of hash brown
and just a little disappointed that those hash weren't
Willow and Spoon has a dedicated kid's meal
and we ordered toasted cheese sandwich for Grace. It was a good
toastie and Grace certainly enjoyed hers then! Well, we are looking
forward to returning soon.
How do you create a drought-hardy food garden?
Water resilience is the focus of my latest masterclass that went
live on 30 October
In this 42 minute session, I explore practical ways to create a
more drought-resilient food garden using a permaculture approach.
The six points I discuss in this masterclass are:
- slow it
- spread it
- sink it
- store it
- reuse it
- plant well
Each month I offer a free online monthly masterclass. The topic
chosen for November 26th session will be 12 Tips for a
Thriving Edible Garden.
Here are links to the last two masterclasses:
The post How to design a drought-hardy food garden appeared
first on Our Permaculture Life.
Monday, 29 October
Tomato Brothers, Wilston
Anyone hungry and keen for 'All You Can
Eat Pizza?' Tomato Brothers has all you can eat pizza or pasta
every Tuesday ($25), and Mr took us there to celebrate my birthday
this year. I got a reaction when I told my colleague I had my
birthday dinner there. It may not be fancy or fine dining but it
does not matter because Grace had such a great time! She must be
excited because she get to stay up later than her usual bedtime.
How does it work? This AYCEP consisted of
entree of garlic bread and dips. Following that, you can choose
either pasta or pizza from their list. You can start ordering the
next meal once you are nearly done with the current pizza or
The entree of garlic pizza bread was piping hot when they
arrived. Grace managed to have little bites here and there and it
was so fun seeing her enjoying them. The dips that came together
include pesto based, aioli, sour cream and sweet chilli and olive
As for the pasta, we ordered the bolognaise spaghetti so that
Grace can have some. It was all right, I just felt it was very
Now to the pizzas... As Mr was hungry that night, we ended
ordering a few different pizzas - 'Pineapple and Ham' and also the
'Chicken and Pesto' pizza; and I think the
Sunday, 28 October
'Spicy Chicken & Coriander
Salad' comes with fresh green mix, crispy wonton, grilled
chicken breast with a warm spicy lime dressing. An interesting
salad compared to your usual Caesar or Garden but it was
actually..... not bad. More crispy wonton please. The dressing had
a slight tanginess to it but not too much. The amount of grilled
chicken breast was okay but overall, everything was well mixed.
Very refreshing salad to have on a hot day.
'Gourmet Salami Sandwich' was a simple
sandwich with salami, rocket, semi-dried tomatoes, swiss cheese and
aioli. It did look very lonely being on the plate alone with no
sides to go with it. The sandwiches offered here comes in a variety
of different bread base such as white, wholemeal, turkish bread,
multi grain and gluten free, of which we chose the turkish bread.
The turkish bread had a nice charring on the top and the filling
was not too bad but more salami and swiss cheese would've been good
as there was only about a few thin slices of salami through it all.
So every bite seemed to have had more rocket than anything
Wara Wara offers a wide variety of hotpot
options as well as other Korean/Japanese fusion dishes but since it
was a chilly night, we decided to go ahead with their 'Spicy
Seafood Hotpot' in which interestingly, you can choose
pork or beef. Their table for two can be a bit small so bear in
mind when you do order something large to share, you might need to
place the water bottle jar on the floor and just cramp everything
else in between on the table. So, a tip, would be to ask for a
bigger table if possible.
The Udon is an add on if you would like to
add noodles on top or on the side of the hot pot. The size of it
reminded me of the udon pre-packed that you can get from the asian
mart or supermarket but not enough for two people or more, I reckon
anyway. The pork was also separated which allows you to time when
you would like it go in or put it in all at once.
Once mixed altogether and left to simmer, the
udon and the pork balances the seafood and fishy-ness of the hot
pot but since most of it was seafood, it was rather very fishy. The
chilli powder at the bottom always leaves that throaty
'Pork ribs in peking sauce w
rice' was a plate topped w a bowl of rice with somewhat a sweet
and sour sauce similarity with chunks of pineapple pieces on the
side. The ribs was alright but there was about 1/4 of it where it
just had minimal meat so it was just trying to chew off the little
meat. The pineapple gave the dish that slight balance of the
sweetness but, maybe it didn't really work as well. Not so worth it
for its price as I felt that for the same price, another dish would
be better and bigger, also.. tastier.
'Chow Mein w Beef in Black Bean
Sauce' with a mixture of chunky vegetables with thick black
bean gravy like sauce. Good to see big strips of beef of which I
think would've been good if they could just slice it as it takes a
lot of chewing to just try and get through them. The black bean
sauce was well balanced and everything was fully coated with it not
making the thin egg noodles soggy.
Although we've heard many things
about Sushi Kotobuki at Kanga Point, the few times we tried going
there without checking the opening hours, they were closed. But
after knowing that they opened a sister restaurant on Albert St, we
thought we give it a try. The Izakaya offers a wide variety of
dishes of sushi, donburi and small plates.
With Japanese lanterns lining on the front
side wall in front of the counter, exposed brick walls and
floor-to-ceiling koi mural on the wall. The seating area is quite
spacy, making it suitable for both dates, casual or even group
dining. An open kitchen on the side allows diners to view the chefs
cook however, I tend to try and avoid the front seating area due to
the noise, chaos and having the waiters running back and forth
Since its opening in Garden City,
we actually never end up dining here due to the many restaurant
options now, we end up going elsewhere. But since I wanted
something Italian, we thought we'd come and try this branch and
maybe compare it to the CBD branch. However, it has been a while
for us dining at Vapiano.
'Con Carne' Pizza consisted of smoked Aussie ham,
spicy pepperoni, salami, BBQ sauce on homemade tomato sauce
and mozzarella First thing first, it took them a while
to make this so we basically had to wait at our tables.. When we
received it, it was practically burnt? very fired up pizza. At an
instance, you were able to tell that they've left it either for too
long or they just went all out on something making the pizza's
surrounding before the crust be that burnt. It didn't taste nice, I
can tell you that. The amount of ham, pepperoni and salami was also
not very tidy.. or let me say, balanced throughout. Some slices had
a bigger slice of ham but only a very tiny salami or pepperoni
whilst some had a big pepperoni, half a salmi and a shred of ham.
Very un-organized pizza, or maybe just in a rush.
Although we were suggested to order Woka
Woka's main dishes and have rice on the side, we thought we'd order
two classic dishes to share. The first that came out was their
'Hokkien Fried Rice' which was not exactly what I had hoped
for. The combination of chicken, shrimp and vegetables was
smothered in a thick sweet gravy placed on top of of rice. When
mixed altogether with the rice, it should've tasted slightly salty
and balanced with the rice. However, this was just quite bland
'Chow Kway Teow' is usually
one of our favourite noodle dish to order however, this was just a
capital letter NOPE. Not today, it wasn't. Expecting to have a soy
sauce based kway teow but instead, we got a full curry powdered ho
fun dish with a mixture of chicken and prawn. But, O-M-G, the
amount of curry powder was so strong that everything, every single
thing in the dish just tasted like curry powder. Was not a good
meal at all.
On a nice breezy day, where the sun
is not too hot nor the wind is not too cold, it's always nice to go
out for a bit and just have a relaxing time sipping down coffee and
nibbling on pastries. Always quite packed throughout the day so
make sure you get a seat first before ordering anything as if
you've ordered without getting one, you may end up having to take
it away or just eating and standing.
'Almond Croissant' is always something
I always order when visiting any branch. Although some can be
flatter than others but don't be afraid of letting them know that
you would like this one or that. We also ordered a sourdough loaf
to take away however, the girl was nice enough to cut up some
slices for us to have at our table. Butter is extra and not
included by the way. They also give only 1 butter for about 3
slices, so make sure you ask for more.
'Cappuccino' was made well, not too
milky but had that right amount of coffee hit n...
Ever since their expansion, it has
been ongoing busy whether you come for lunch or dinner. Lunch
specials allows diners to experience Korean dishes with that bit of
a discount however, the main menu still stands.
'Spicy Pork Bibimbap'
served in a stone bowl, their Bibimbap has a few varieties ranging
from the traditional to spicy chicken, spicy pork, marinated beef
as well as raw wagyu beef. The vegetables in the bowl was a
combination of carrots, beansprouts, cucumber, mushrooms, wombok,
spinach, shallots, sesame seed, sesame oil and an egg yolk placed
in the middle of the bowl. Although on the menu it said that there
was spinach, wombok and shallots, I could not see it on the bowl
nor was it underneath the spicy pork which was quite
Chicken' consisted of three different flavours, original,
soy and spicy. I felt that the soy...
Monday, 22 October
Toast box has been one of those places known
for their coffee and toast concept. From peanut butter thick toast
to chicken curry, its extensive menu caters for all tastebuds
either for a full meal or just a snack.
If you order a toast set, you will get the
toast of your choice, two half boiled eggs and regular hot kopi or
teh. Kopi is coffee and Teh is tea. Simple but
A tip would be to actually break your egg
into the bowl and dipping your toast into it before biting into it.
Hence why they gave you two bowls for the two eggs just in case it
gets a bit messy or if you would just like to scoop up the half
boiled eggs individually.
All of the toast has their sides cut off and I'm unsure why
but that's how it's always been when serving it.
Do you struggle with keeping your edible garden alive on the hot
days? Are you looking for some simple ways to drought-proof your
Join me for an online permaculture design masterclass on Monday
29th October 2019 at 8-9pm (Brisbane time/AEST)to explore ways to
create water resilience in your garden.
Ill be sharing some very practical, accessible and useful tips
on how to drought-proof your edible garden.
In this Masterclass we will explore
water in the garden: how to slow it, spread it, sink it and store
it. Well discuss ways to improve the water holding capacity of the
soil, how to direct water into garden beds from the surrounding
landscape, how to select edible plants that suit the natural
climatic patterns, and more.
If youd like to be automatically notified and enrolled in my
future monthly permaculture masterclasses, make sure to tick that
box when you are registering.
Over 1000 people from around the world register for each of
these online masterclass sessions, and many thousands more watch it
If you join me live you can ask questions throughout the
What topic for November masterclass?
Please post your ideas for Novembers masterclass below and Ill
shortlist to 3 that we can vote on next Monday, if you join
Cant make it on Monday?
If you cannot make it on Monday, still register so I can send
you a link for the recording and you can watch it later.
Thank you for your participation and support
This program is now a year old! This is the 12th free
permaculture masterclass. Thanks for your interest, your topic
suggestions and all your great questions! These masterclasses are
free, just like the films I make for the Our
Permaculture Life Youtube Channel. If youd like them, learn
something and value them, please consider becoming my patreon from
Sunday, 21 October
Warawara Izakaya, Brisbane CBD
Korean food is something I appreciate and it
is usually my first option to go when in the city. Having been to
Maru restaurant, this time I told Mr that I wanted to try Warawara.
We tried to visit this place prior but gave up after knowing there
was a queue. We were lucky there was no wait that night.
After being seated, we looked at their big menu. As it has
been raining in Brisbane continuously, I wanted something hot and
soupy therefore opted for the 'Special Sharing Hot Pot'. The mixed
sausage hot pot intrigued me, especially with slice of cheese on
the dry noodles! The hot pot arrived and after cooking/boiling them
for about 5 minutes, they were ready! Where should I even start?
There were straw mushrooms, pork slices, cheerios, tofu, rice
cakes, and gyozas! It was definitely a heartwarming meal for us and
with that excitement, I splattered some of the soup onto my pants.
Now back to the entree, we tried their
entree size deep fried chicken and it was darn good! It was
flavourful, crispy and tender. I dare say it was better than the
Maru's fried chicken. I like K...
Thursday, 18 October
Permaculture teaching takes so many forms. Permaculture teaching
can be with adults, children, your own family, your local
community, internationally, at schools, at universities, online,
written, through film, via audio
Permaculture teaching through mentoring
Recently I spent a week in my garden mentoring a year 10 work
experience student. We had so much fun! Here is the film we made
together showing some of the things he learned about the
permaculture approach to designing and developing a garden.
Over the past 25 years, I have taught in 20 countries and
learned so much from applying permaculture in these varied
contexts, cultures, climates and communities.
Permaculture teaching in Africa this December
In December, I will be in Uganda and Kenya supporting
permaculture teachers from Kenya, Uganda and Zanzibar who are
leading a Permaculture Design Course. Two of my children (12 and 10
yo) will accompany me and complete their PDC with me in Uganda. We
have also been invited to visit the African Childrens Choir School
near Kampala to work with students to design a sustainable food
We will be travelling across to Kenya to meet and plan a
permaculture course in August 2019, and find out how to support the
development of a new practical permaculture teaching centre near
Kakamega. Well also be visiting
Jenipher who makes and distributes washable sanitary kits for
girls weve been raising funds for her program. Please keep
donating it is making a huge difference to the amount of girls she
is able to help.
I am about to launch a fundraising program to help the various
programs we visit please watch this space. The wonderful African
storyteller, Mariam Issa, just agreed today to
lead an event in Maleny with me to raise funds at the start of
December. We will be sharing the stage at Northey Street City Farm
for the Gross National Happiness event
tickets here. I cant wait!
I just love teaching, sharing, learning, co-designing and
collaborating with permaculture. This is why I have created the
Permaculture Education Institute.
I think one of the key things about being a good permaculture
teacher (or any teacher really) is maintaining a dynamic curiosity
and an active approach to learning. Every day I learn something
new. In just about every workshop lead or c...
Wednesday, 17 October
Miss Jones, New Farm
Excuse me Grace, will it be all right if we
go to Miss Jones for brunch and then go to your park
I am so due for a brunch with ChaMo and so
happy that we both got the same Friday off and I suggested visiting
Miss Jones. Why not? When I can bring Grace to her favourite park
in New Farm after that. This is called opportunistic parenting,
Parking can be tricky and busy, but luckily
for us I managed to park across the road from Miss Jones. I would
suggest parking on the road of Balfour St and then walk there.
Anyhow, back to Miss Jones. It is a fairly small cafe and seats
were still plentiful that Fri morning. But wait till the 10 am
coffee rush, people just started coming in for their takeaway
As we were still early, I ordered a croissant
($5) for Grace. They were nicely toasted and served with soft
butter and blueberry jam. She ate few bites and had enough. Well
too bad, I finished them off!
The breakfast menu here is fun and
interesting. The Baklava waffles sounded so good but I think it
will be just too mean for Grace. So I ended up ordering the Eggs
Benedict - which came in savoury waffles (hash, cheddar and ham)
with avocado, chorizo and chipot...
Monday, 15 October
Barolos Italian Restaurant, Toowong
Child free night? Yay!
That means dinner date with Mr and this
time we were lucky to be invited to Barolos to try their food. It
was previously known as Mariosartic and recently have changed
management under Carrie and Giustino. It was raining on Friday
night and that did not deter us from visiting. There is a free
parking site (2P) available opposite the restaurant and we were
early enough for some parking spots.
Service was warm and prompt. After reading
the menu, I knew what I wanted to eat and try. We were frequently
asked for any drinks but politely declined. There is a bar
available and once you go through their drinks list, you will be
impressed. The peppery breadcrumbed calamari was well balanced and
I love the fresh rocket salad on the sides, together with the black
For the entree, we ordered the calamari fritti. I
thought I had tried good calamari before, but this is one of the
best! Seriously, the squid was cooked to perfection and still
tender. We asked for more aioli but you could have just eaten the
squid on its own. Perfecto!
Friday, 12 October
I love permaculture books and resources. I have a huge library
at home on a diverse range of topics and I am often referring to
them inspiration and technical details. I always carry as many as I
can to workshops to share with people too. Below Ive included a
list of some of my favourites, but there are so many more (perhaps
a future post).
Our Permaculture Life Blog 400 articles
Dont forget you can search in my blog, Our Permaculture Life for
information about particular topics. There are over 400 articles in
here now and I am open to you sending me new topics to write about.
Email me at email@example.com
with the subject [blog suggestion].
Our Permaculture Life Youtube Channel
Did you know you can also search for topics in my Youtube
Permaculture Life . I have over 70 short clips about a whole
range of permaculture topics. Again, I am open to you sending me
new topics to write about. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
with the subject [Youtube suggestion].
Suggest Permaculture Books
Here is a list of useful permaculture books there are many more
- Aranya (2013)
Permaculture Design: A Step by Step Guide, by Hyden House
- Boehnlein, Dave & Bloom, Jessi (2015) Practical
Permaculture, Timber Press
- Bloom, Jessi (2012) Free
Range Chicken Gardens, Timber Press
- Bradley, Kirsten and Ritar, Nick (2018) Milkwood:
Real Skills for down-to-earth living, Murdoch Books
- Crawford, Martin (2012) How
to Grow Perennial Vegetables , Green Books
- Dowding, Charles and Hafferty, Stephanie (2017)
Dig Organic Home and Garden: Grow, Cook, Use and Store your
Harvest, Permanent Publications
- Fanton, Michel and Jude (2000) Seed
Savers Handbook, Seed Savers Network, Byron Bay
- Fern, Ken (2000) Plants for
a Future Permanent Publications UK.
- French, Jackie (2010...
Sunday, 23 September
After selling out in Sydney, Melbourne and Goldcoast, Lobster
Shack has FINALLY decided to grace us with its presence. About
Using wild caught Clearwater Maine Lobster tails which are slow
cooked in a butter bath and served inside a freshly toasted brioche
bun with buttermilk slaw, these lobster rolls are absolutely
irresistible. Generously cut pieces of sweet-fresh
lobster in a crispy yet-so-moist brioche bun really made my day
The rolls are served with a side of Parmesan Truffle fries for $35.
If you're feeling posh you could also get it to come with a glass
of Veuve Clicquote champagne for $50.
Pity this shack is only around for 2 weeks. In fact,
today is the very last day :(
Maybe it's a good thing because I'm about to go broke at the rate
I'm going. BUT it's totally worth it!
Monday, 17 September
Magpies are not uncommon in Aussies backyards but I have not had
any in my yard since I moved up here nearly 15 years ago. However,
not everyone likes these birds in their yard. They often become
very aggressive during the breeding season and they are big birds
with big strong beaks. This is the bird that has recently been
visiting my yard - I think it is a male.
More often it sees me coming with the camera and takes
off. I am hoping that it will get more used to me as time goes
In my opinion these are some of the
smartest birds around! I came to this opinion some years ago when
living in New South Wales. My house was next door to my parent's
house but about 300 meters down the hill. There were magpies
nesting in a big tree behind their house. We found out later that
some teens who lived close by had made a habit of throwing stones
at the birds and their nest. I think this was what had initially
made these birds so very aggressive. But not to Mum! She gardened
close under their nest and when she saw the birds she talked softly
to them. They used to come to her back door and 'warble' to
her until she came out with some crumbs. But not me!! I had only to
open my door to walk up to her house and they would aggressively
swoop down and threaten to attack me. My solution was to
borrow Mums floppy blue hat that she always wore out in the yard.
It worked As long as I had her blue hat on my head those birds
ignored me. Smart birds!! Hopefully the one now
visiting my yard will get as friendly as Mum's birds became.
For more photos from around the world
visit Our World
Friday, 07 September
An overdue farewell...
It's been over 2 years since I last posted on this blog. The ending
was sudden. One moment, I was still painstakingly editing,
uploading and reviewing every restaurant that I visited. Then one
day, I felt fatigued and I stopped, never to return. It did get a
bit tedious towards the end because for one, I was tired of
constantly feeling pressured to try new restaurants rather than
being a return customer. I was running out of ways to describe
things and the writing part started to feel like work. I've always
thought that whilst in theory, being a food writer would be my
dream job, perhaps having deadlines and pressure to do it would
take the shine away. Once there was an element of stress behind
needing to get posts up before the experience was out of date, I
questioned myself "why am I doing this? This isn't my job".
Now, years later and into a whole new chapter of my life, I return
to this blog (briefly) with profound emotion and nostalgia. Through
essentially 7 years of consistency and commitment, I'd unwittingly
documented a chunk of my own history, and that of the Brisbane
dining scene. It's interesting to read back and see page after page
of restaurants long gone and be reminded of a significance they
once held to me.
My posts can be vaguely sorted into 3 segments:
- Life as a uni student. I had more or less just moved out of
home and discovering my interest in cooking. Masterchef had just
debuted and iPhones were still relatively new. Instagram didn't
exist and I still communicated with friends via MSN messenger.
Although I didn't have a real job, I put all money money towards
cooking and eating out.
- Early working days. I moved to Toowoomba for my first job as a
dentist. Work took up most of my weekday life so I didn't have much
energy for cooking.
- Back to Brissie. By now, I had settled into a regular adult
life and was living in inner city Brisbane. I still cooked but my
food blog was a lot more restaurant focused by this point. I think
around now was the peak of my blog popularity too.
Now, since my last published blog post, I've relocated to West
Brisbane (ironically, within walking distance of where I lived when
I first started this blog; we've come full circle,
geographically-speaking at least) and am mum to 2 fur babies and 1
human baby. Opportunities to eat out have diminished (and monetary
priorities have changed) and though I still love to cook, it's not
always easy with baby in tow. I still love food though and these
days, I share my taste experiences via Instagram, so if you're
reading this and at all interested, please follow @coralia.eats
It's time to put this blog to rest. Happy eating, everyone!
In this blog, I've written:
- 1002 restaurant review posts (just cracked...
Wednesday, 29 August
With the weather warming up a little I think it is a good time
to plant that new fruit tree you have been thinking about. A few
days ago I put water cress seeds into rock wool -they have sprouted
and are cute to watch. I have a number of ideas of places I want to
try growing them. I have heard they are very nutritious. I can't
wait to plant my snake beans again -very soon. Despite their
fibrous nature they are great cut up small.
Tuesday, 31 July
I think I have been reading too many posts about gardens and
flowers and fresh veges up in the northern hemisphere. I do wish
that my garden looked lovely and tidy again but I am NOT a
dedicated gardener - and when energy levels are low it is way down
on my list of important things to do. So things kind of get along
by themselves and because this is SE Queensland they just grow a
little bit slower in the winter, The climate here is very nice
except when it gets a bit cold at night and then I have a whinge
I planted two banksia roses outside my kitchen window and they are
just now starting to flower. The yellow one has fewer flowers but
they are bright and beautiful. With buds like these the white
flowering one should look good soon. A whole flock of sparrows came
and twittered and fluttered in there close to the window but as
soon as I moved to get the camera they were gone. I am not having
too much luck with bird photos recently.
I planted a number of "bottle-brush" trees along the sides at the
back of the yard and they always look good when they flower. Also
the birds love them but unfortunately those birds are usually LBJ's
(little brown jobs) that do not sit still to have photos taken.
Now this is one plant I haven't seen in those northern hemisphere
gardens! In this climate when I buy a nice fresh pineapple I cut
the top off it and just put it in the soil. As long as it is not
disturbed it eventually grows - even when the whole patch of ground
gets covered with weeds. This pineapple is not...
Wednesday, 25 July
Our guest speaker for August will be Dr Lee Hickey. Dr Hickey
leads a research team situated within the Queensland Alliance for
Agriculture and Food Innovation at UQ, Brisbane, Australia. His lab
conducts genetic studies on key biotic (foliar and soil-borne
diseases) and abiotic (drought and heat) factors that limit
production of wheat and barley, and develops novel breeding tools
Sunday, 01 July
For our July meeting, our guest speaker is
1. Select something interesting in your garden, something you
can share. Maybe a plant, flower, piece of fruit, seed/seedling,
garden bed, invention, diseased plant, pest (good or bad),
just something in your garden you'd love to share.
2. Take a photo (Snap shot) of it.
Tuesday, 12 June
We have been running coffee tours across Brisbane since 2012 to
provide coffee lovers and drinkers with a deeper and more intimate
coffee experience. In recent times we have had the opportunity to
host bespoke corporate events and tailor-made coffee
Monday, 04 June
The 2018 BOGI Fair will be held at the Peace Hall, 102
McDonald Road Windsor (near the Albion railway station), on
Sunday the 26th of August from 9am-3pm (FREE admission). This will
be the 32nd Brisbane Organic Growers Fair.
This year we will be doing free soil ph
testing, so bring along a small sample of your soil in a
jar to be tested.
Thanks so much to all of our members, volunteers, speakers,
stallholders and supporters for helping to make it such a great
Check out the
2018 fair flyer, along with the updated stallholders list
We hope to see you at the fair!
Thursday, 24 May
Our June speaker is a new member to the BOGI Committee, Convenor
of the 2018 BOGI Caf, Thomas Wagner.
Acid Alkaline, everything we are consuming
digesting belongs to either the acid or alkaline group. Being too
acidic can cause health issues, being alkaline allows the body to
get well again and/or staying healthy.
In this presentation Thomas will share how we all can easily
influence our daily choices to stay on a path of wellness and well
Monday, 21 May
JUSTIN TKATCHENKO WAS STILL MP AND GOVERNMENT
MINISTER WHILE HOLDING ONTO HIS AUSTRALIAN CITIZENSHIP Where is the
Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB)? If you are a
foreigner and trying to purchase your first property in Australia,
your application to purchase is strictly processed by that Board.
Ted Taru a PNG National went thru the process, paid a nonrefundable
fee of $15,000 to instigate the process. You are asked all sorts of
questions like, where did you get the money, how you get it,
contract documents, bank accounts etc.....very very scary but he
did get his approval and bought the property in Cairns eventually.
Now the question is.....was that Gardener cum MP an Australian
citizen when he bought those properties? If that was the case he
wasn't questioned because he doesn't have to go thru the FIRB as an
Australian citizen, and on the other hand, was he qualified and
eligible to contest the National Elections if he can easily acquire
those properties with ease!? He circumvented laws and regulations
here and in Australia! Investigations is a must The owner of a
Brookfield property is battling Brisbane City Council and a local
residents group to build an aviary big enough to house 600 finches
alongside her home. Catherine Tkatchenko, whose husband is Papua
New Guinea cabinet minister Justin Tkatchenko, paid $1.77 million
for the 34,470sq m Brookfield Road site in 2015. The couple also
own a $1.1m house at Fig Tree Pocket, in Brisbanes west. Plans
lodged with the council in 2016 proposed a 320sq m house almost 11m
in height, 30 aviaries over 380sq m, plus a lake, fountain, pool
and small animal stables. In response to the plans, 178 residents
lodged objections that raised concerns about noise and odours from
the aviaries and stables, and described the buildings as an
eyesore. A seven-page submission from the community-based Rural
Environment Planning Association said the scale of
Wednesday, 02 May
Plans are underway to renovate New Farm Neighbourhood
New Farm Community Centre has been a part of your community for
32 years. Established in 1986 and providing a wide range of
activities such as counselling, support network services, play
groups, yoga, art classes and so much more.
New Farm Community Centre has been a friend of this community
for so many years, and now the centre is being revitalised thanks
to funding from the Queensland State Government.
The proposed improvements include:
- A large community garden;
- Renovating the front faade to provide better seating and
- Providing more disability access and bathroom facilities;
- Complete internal renovation on the front building and lifting
to become two storeys; and
- Two additional meeting and consultation rooms.
You can view the current plans
You can see a copy of the land sign
View an open invitation to our community consultation event
See the Flood Overlay Engineering Report
View the Environmental Assessment Report
Monday, 30 April
Pinterest is both my saviour and destructor. Whether I want to
find toddler crafts and activities or salad inspiration, Pinterest
will save the day! Yet when it comes to organising a kids birthday
party, Pinterest has a knack for making me quake with fear. There
are hundreds of stunning and imaginative party inspirations from
slumber parties to dinosaur
excavations to unicorn
themed cakes. The attention to detail makes me weep. And I work
As much as I would love to lavish our only child with the
biggest birthday party, we cannot afford to spend hundreds
much less thousands of dollars on a 3-year-olds birthday party.
Instead, the Little Misters 3rd Birthday Party was celebrated
earlier this month at our home with some of his friends and
Sunday, 29 April
This is the meeting when you will have an opportunity to express
your gratitude for the effort members of the BOGI Executive,
Committee and Office Bearers have contributed to Your club to keep
it running smoothly while satisfying the requirements of as many
members as possible using organic methods to grow our plants.
We do not hassle or put pressure on any member to take on any
role in our club as volunteers are usually easy to find when
Friday, 27 April
Oxley Creek Transformation Pty Ltd (a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Brisbane City Council) has prepared a draft Master Plan for a $100
million Project to revitalise this corridor, transforming it
into a world-class green lifestyle and leisure
Four priority projects proposed for the short to medium-term
(0-10 years) are listed below:
- Multi-use trials along 20 km of Oxley Creek (from Larapinta to
- Oxley Creek Common Bird Sanctuary
- Archerfield Wetlands Parkland and Oxley Creek Recreation and
Interpretive Centre at Archerfield Wetlands
- Nature-based Adventure Park at Larapinta
Two strategic plans prioritised for the short-term and
Strategic Corridor Restoration Plan
- to direct rehabilitation efforts to ensure environmental
benefits across the whole of Oxley Creek corridor.
Sustainable Economic Development Strategy
- environmentally friendly economic hubs within, and along the
edge of the Oxley Creek corridor will help fund its ongoing
OCCA urges you to read and provide public comment on the
draft Master Plan:
The OCCA Management Committee will release a statement next
month, following a thorough review of the draft Master Plan and
OCCA appreciates all communication on the draft Master Plan to
be directed to us via
- a) email to email@example.com
- b) phone (07) 3345 5541
Other links of interest:
Council overview and information:
Info on the priority projects:
Attend one the Have your say Community Engagement events:
Monday, 23 April
Our Great Day Out Coffee Tour in April 2018 followed the steps
of Laurel Edwards through the Valley as seen on Channel 7s The
Great Day Out Bean Brewding segment. We roasted green bean to brown
at Bear Bones, drank
Tuesday, 03 April
The Royal Couple will be visiting the Botanic Gardens
The public are advised to enter the gardens through the main
gate on Albert St.
The main gate to the gardens is at the
corner of Albert St and Alice St.
Monday, 02 April
I dont think theres a person out there who has never had a
pizza. This versatile disc of baked dough is everywhere, and now
gluten-free and vegan versions are becoming ubiquitous. Whats not
I have certainly had my fair share of
pizza. I have even conducted The Australian Delivery Pizza Taste
Challenge back in 2014. That was a lot of fun.
But the perfect pizza? Now, THAT is the holy grail and I think I
have found it at Italian Street Kitchen.
Weve been visiting the Italian Street Kitchens only
Queensland outlet at Gasworks in Newstead for a while now. The
entire area is getting a mother of all facelifts, and Italian Street
Kitchen is in the middle of all this development at the
Thursday, 29 March
In the vicinity of my office at the Johnson on Boundary St,
Spring Hill, it appears that Queenslands international education
sector is booming. During weekday lunch times, Boundary St is
usually teeming with students, mostly East Asian, studying at the
IES college. The cafes, convenience and food stores thrive, and the
Councils free Spring Hill loop bus to the city fills up quickly.
The sector certainly appears to be booming, but, as an economist, I
know I should always check the data.
The release earlier this month of Tourism Research Australias
International Visitors Survey data for 2017 has allowed me
to investigate the size of the international education boom (see
the Fairfax piece
More international visitors choose Brisbane for other coverage
of the TRA data). As I expected, international education in
Queensland experienced strong growth in 2017, with international
visitors (for the reason of education) up 6.9% in Queensland and
visitor nights up 4.4%. But these figures were dwarfed by the
growth rates in southern states, where international education is
absolutely booming, and recording double digit growth rates (e.g.
see chart below).
Thursday, 22 March
Criena Gehrke, CEO and director of HOTA:
Home of the Arts. Photo supplied.
Things are changing on the Gold
Coast; its no longer the cultural vacuum that many joked it was
These days, thanks to the investment
of The Gold Coast City Council, this coastal city is quickly making
its name as an impressive arts hub. Just last weekend the council
gifted the community a free Tim Minchin concert to celebrate the
opening of the beautiful new 3,500-seater outdoor
The Gold Coast Arts Centre has been
renamed to signal a new direction and new commitment to the arts
and the Gold Coast and hinterland community. HOTA: Home of the
Standing front and centre is Criena
Gehrke, CEO and director of the precinct. Hailing from Melbourne,
Gehrke relocated four years ago and was instrumental in developing
the citys cultural contract.
Gehrkes background in theatre, and
her passion for site-specific work and community engagement is
evident in the upcoming programming planned for HOTA this
Art meets life
Part of what we are committed to
here is creating a great place of community.Part of the change is
that the Arts Centre has been a great and well-regarded arts centre
and when you grow it into an arts precinct it has to be an
experience. We have a lake, a parkland, and facilities come and
swim in the lake, get your feet sandy, come and see a show. This is
a place where art meets life.
Gehrkes vision is a less passive way
of viewing art. Its about community getting engaged and involved in
what is presented.
I would hate to see the demise of
the proscenium arch play, but you have to encourage people to
engage thats our ambition to be a platform for great national and
international artists and our home-grown artists.
It seems too good to be true. A
council that actually values arts and culture?
Saturday, 10 March
Freja's Cafe, Wilston
There is a new cafe in Wilston and it is
known as Freja's Cafe! First heard of this place from fellow
Instagrammers and finally made my way there not only once but twice
so far. Street parking is quite plenty and this cafe is around the
corner and fairly recognisable. The design is fairly modern and
almost Scandinavian like.
On my first visit, I had their 'Eggs
Benedict' which consisted of poached eggs, crispy bacon,
hollandaise, herbed pesto, smoky crumble on sourdough bread.
Freja's cafe served one of the most beautifully presented plate of
meal and you can feel guilty by destroying the art... Everything on
the plate was just perfect and well balanced, from the perfectly
cooked poached eggs, to the crispy bacons, and the pesto adding
some balance to the hollandaise sauce, and textural component from
the smoky crumble. Delicious!
|Poached eggs, bacon,
hollandaise, herbed pesto
I brought Mr on a weekend, which can be quite
a wait (took us about 30 minutes) but thankfully the meals did not
disappoint again. This time I ordered the pancakes that came with
strawberry gel, dried strawberries, cream cheese and I think
strawberry parfait, with fairy floss. They were just so good...
Usually the Mr is not a sweet tooth person, but he gave two thumbs
Tuesday, 06 March
Oishii Sushi Bar, Sunnybank
Can anyone remember the heat wave we had in
Brisbane on the 13th of January 2018? It was hot that day reaching
probably up to 38C, and yet I was craving for some sushi. After
much persuasion, I dragged Mr to Oishii Sushi Bar! Not sure whether
it was our lucky or unlucky day as their AC broke down and they ran
out of cold water, so they gave us free drinks instead! Talking
about good service!
Their sushi menu is so tempting and I could
have ordered more but we had a light lunch before heading out. They
ran out of the 'Snake roll' that day, and we ended up ordering the
'Spider Roll', which is the tempura soft shell crab sushi. Mr, who
is a fan of soft shell crab enjoyed it very
As for me who likes unagi, I ordered the
'Unatama Maki'. Unlike Kotobuki Sushi who includes cream cheese
into their sushi, I much prefer the sushi roll here. They are just
very well proportioned in terms of rice to meat ratio and you can
definitely taste the freshness of their sushi. Just love
Friday, 16 February
Il Verde, Bowen Hills
There is new development around the Bowen
Hills area and Mr and myself was quite impressed with this new
area. We visited Il Verde for our two year wedding anniversary back
in December last year before I flew back to Penang for my cousin's
Il Verde is relatively big in comparison to its other
counterparts along King St. There were indoor seating as well as
outdoor seating, and with the cooler weather coming, I suspect most
people would opt to sit outside. We were seated inside and directly
opposite their big menu chalk board.
Service was prompt and soon enough we made our order. For
entree, we had the 'Calamari fritti' and
'Saffron E Fontina Arancini'. The salt and
pepper calamari was delicious, still tender and crispy at times.
The arancini was not our favourite, possibly because the cheese in
the arancini was not too our liking.
Well, to the mains now... I was so tempted to order pasta and
try their orecchiette or even gnocchi, but just because I have not
had risotto for a very long time, I just had to try their
|Calamari fritti and
Monday, 12 February
My mum works at The
Halias current and only location in the Singapore Botanic
Gardens. She makes the many drinks the restaurant offers and sells
at its kiosk stand. Its hard work with very early mornings, but she
seems to enjoy the work and the people she works with.
She has worked there a number of years now and weve been to
Singapore several times, but never got the opportunity to dine
at The Halia. We decided a
visit was long overdue, so we went for lunch on our visit to
Singapore in December last year.
Nestled inside the Singapore Botanic Gardens, The Halia is a fair walk from the
Botanic Gardens MRT station. Signage to the restaurant is limited,
but follow all signs to its neighbour the National Orchid
The Halia might not look
imposing nor impressive from the outside, but its true nature is
hidden by the surrounding ginger plants and palm trees. It offers
several dining areas, each with a unique view to the greenery
outside. Those who seek relief from Singapore...