List of cooking schools in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast


Here’s a list of all the cooking schools in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast in Queensland:


Sunshine Coast

How to make a hay box

Hay box cooking was popular during World War II when fuel was rationed. It is a way to save energy by turning off the oven or burner just before the food is completely cooked, and the allowing your food to continue cooking in a hay box. The lid of your pot needs to fit tightly to keep the heat in.

  • You will need a box made from plastic or metal. Fill it with dry hay
  • Cook your food in the usual way until it is hot but not completely cooked.
  • Turn off the heat, then quickly place the pot or pan into a hay box on a layer of straw. Make sure you cover the pot with more hay and seal the lid.
  • Leave for a few hours while your food continues to cook in your insulated homemade oven. Plan well ahead – the normal cooking time for this method is 4-5 hours, though it varies greatly depending on what you’re cooking. Experiment, but make very sure that any meat is fully cooked through.

Self Sufficiency for the 21st Century
– by Dick and Jack Strawbridge

Has anyone tried hay box cooking?

Do you think you could use sugar cane mulch?

Would you recommend cooking meat this way?

Book review: The Urban Cook by Mark Jensen


The Urban Cook by Red Lantern chef, Mark Jensen focuses on cooking and eating for a sustainable future. You may be familiar with him from the television show Ready Steady Cook. The book features over 100 modern seasonal recipes, often with an Asian bent.

There is a generous proportion of vegetable based recipes and I would have liked this section split into sides and mains. It features recipes for Eggplant and mozzarella bake; Zucchini, tomato, olive and feta gratin (using Poor Man’s Parmasen); and Chinese cabbage, fried noodle and black pepper salad. A sample recipe is available for Marinated summer radishes with currants, mint and chive dressing (PDF).

The Meat and Seafood sections contains recipes such as Yabbies cooked in tomato, chilli and black pepper sauce; and Lamb breast rolled and stuffed with mince, pine nuts and coriander. Mark Jensen says: “Yabbies are a great sustainable alternative to prawns. They are farmed in inland ponds, and any waste they produce can be filtered from the water and used to fertilise the land.”

He recommends using The Australian Sustainable Seafood Guide to help you make a wise shopping choice.

Mark also encourages us to use all parts of the animal, and uses secondary cuts of meat in recipes such as Beef cheeks braised in beer with aromatic spices; and Gremolata crumbed deep fried lamb’s brains.

Finish in the Dessert section and be tempted by Chocolate roulade with hazelnut cream; or an Asian fruit salad with agar agar jellies and coconut cream.

The Urban Cook – buy on
The Urban Cook – buy on
– by Mark Jensen

Gardening and food forums


The internet has been invaluable for finding information about growing edibles. Many times a simple google search will provide the answers needed. There are a number of forums you can join to discuss your gardening successes and issues:

I tend not to talk about food online – just print off recipes and ogle the illustrations. I have way too many recipes in my “to cook one day” folder. I do like these food communities:

Do you know of any others?

Books by bloggers

I can’t remember when I first started following blogs, but some of my favourites I’ve been reading religiously for several years now. I’ve heard about their ups and downs, births and deaths.  I’ve even seen photos inside their houses and what’s on their creative desks. I’ve shared their favourite books, movies and music – many times before they’ve hit the mainstream. Oh the privilege of lurking and seeing glimpses of other people’s lives from all around the world. Thank you for putting yourselves on the line, online.

Here’s a round up of some of my favourite bloggers who have been published:

Cooking and food

A Homemade Life – by Molly Wizenberg of Orangette website, Camilla Engman (website).
Chocolate and Zucchini– by Clotilde Dusoulier of Chocolate and Zucchini website. Also wrote Clotilde’s Edible Adventures in Paris
Gluten-Free Girl– by Shauna Ahern of Gluten-Free Girl website.
Super Natural Cooking– by Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks website.
Vegan Lunch Box– by Jennifer McCann of Vegan Lunch Box website.


Bend the Rules Sewing– by Amy Karol of Angry Chicken website. Coming soon is Bend the Rules with Fabric
The Creative Family– by Amanda Blake Soule of SouleMama website. Later in the year is Homemade Home
The Gentle Art of Domesticity – by Jane Brocket of Yarnstorm website. Recently followed up with Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer: A Golden Treasury of Classic Treats
Seams to Me – by Anna Maria Horner (website).
Stitched in Time – by Alicia Paulson of  Posie Gets Cosy website.


The Urban Homestead – by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen of Root Simple website. 
You Grow Girl – by Gayla Trail of You Grow Girl website.

Have I missed anyone?