Top ten food experiences to have in Brisbane

After much debate with my husband, we have come up with this list of our top ten food experiences to have in Brisbane:

  1. Award winning Very chocolate gelato from Sugo Mi Gelateria.
  2. Fat Pho Noodles at Fat Noodle
  3. Sustainable fish and chips from Swampdog.
  4. Coffee at Cup Cafe
  5. Authentic Italian wood-fired pizza from Vespa Pizza
  6. Romantic dinner for two at Montrachet
  7. A slice of cake from the Welsh Lady
  8. Three course celebration lunch at Aria Restaurant
  9. A takeaway wrap from Cafe Wrapture
    mayfield-chocolates
  10. A selection of chocolates from Mayfield Chocolates

What are your favourite eating experiences in Brisbane? 

Bill’s Italian Food by Bill Granger book review

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Bill’s Italian Food by Bill Granger covers over 110 recipes with full-colour photographs of the dishes and happy shots of Bill’s family. Although the recipes are not necessarily authentic Italian fare, they are Bill’s interpretation.

bills-family-pizza

The recipes are divided into the following sections: pantry, instant, weekday, slow, dinner, party and sweets.

bills-chicken

We tried the Bellissimo meatloaf with simple tomato salad as well as the mozzarella, roasted capsicum and caper pizza and both were delicious. Highlights from the book include slow roasted lamb shoulder, with orange, anchovy and fennel; as well as the chocolate and hazelnut cake with Nutella frosting.

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Granger confesses it’s not just the food he loves, but they way Italians live: “They don’t suck coffee from disposable sippy-cups … They lean against marble bars and drink tiny grown-up espressos.”

Bill’s Italian Food is a delightful and seasonal Italian inspired cookbook.

Bill’s Italian Food – buy now on Fishpond

In My Kitchen – August 2013

Thank you Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for allowing me to participate In My Kitchen August 2013. This month, in my kitchen are …

Loose Leaf Tea House

I tried three teas from The Loose Leaf Tea House, with English Breakfast being my firm favourite.

Herbies spices

Fragrant Sweet Spices by Herbie’s Spices. I have used 1/8 teaspoon in a mug of hot chocolate to give it a lovely warm spicy taste. You can also add 3 teaspoons to a cake mixture – I tried it with some gluten free chocolate brownies.

I recently interviewed Ian Hemphill from Herbie’s Spices.

Melinda's Red Velvet Cake

Melinda from Melinda’s Gluten Free Goodies allowed me to try some of her delicious products. My favourite was the gluten free Heavenly Chocolate Fudge Brownies. The Decadent Red Velvet Cake is the last one I have to try – but I’m saving it for a special occasion.

San Remo Spelt Pasta

We have been having San Remo spelt pasta and using spelt flour instead of wheat, as spelt is one of the more tolerant gluten grains. Both are easy substitutes and we have hardly noticed the difference.

JarKey

This nifty little device is called a JarKey and it helps lift off the lid of bottles and jars. It’s invaluable and every kitchen should have one, especially if you have arthritis in your hands or you do a lot of preserving.

We are giving away plenty of passionfruit to family and friends.

Posted for In My Kitchen August 2013 hosted by Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

Hungry for Change – about the experts

I’m counting down the days for the new Hungry for Change documentary. Why? Because it’s produced by the same people who did the “Food Matters” documentary, which is my all time favourite food and nutrition movie. Hands down.

If I’ve learnt anything is the last few years, 100% what food you eat does matter to your health.

While waiting for the release, I wanted to find out some more about the experts featured in the new movie.

Wow what an incredible range of talented people.

I’m allergic to chilli and paprika

I tell people I’m allergic to chilli and they just don’t get it. They think I don’t like spicy food. Actually I love spicy food and used to love the taste of chilli in curries. Fortunately, I don’t have a life threatening true allergy to chilli, it’s an intolerance. I do, however, get terrible double-over tummy cramps if I eat anything with chilli or paprika in it.

Many companies have started to add chilli to their food to add flavour (especially ones that are trying to reduce fat, salt and sugar levels). Even though the food labelling laws are fairly good in Australia, it can be listed under a generic label of “spices”, which incidentally can also include MSG. It is possible to contact the company and find out precisely what the ingredients of a particular product are and I have found the majority of companies I have contacted very helpful.

Although I have had people lie to me about what is in their food. I can’t believe how ignorant people are about allergies and intolerances.

Here are some of the foods that I’ve learnt to be careful with:

  • Beetroot, tinned – containing spices. Edgell sliced beetroot in a tin is safe.
  • Greek restaurants – often sprinkle paprika over their meat, including kebabs.
  • Grill’d burgers – contain spices. They did not reply to my email to say if it was chilli or not.
  • Herbamare Spicy – contains chilli. The Original version is safe.
  • KFC – original and hot’n’spicy chicken, bbq sauces. Chips are safe.
  • McDonalds – most of their burgers contain spices.
  • The Meating Place – 100% beef sausages actually contain paprika. Their 100% pork sausages contain nutmeg.
  • Mustard – often contains spices.
  • Nandos – cross-contamination
  • Olives and pickles- often contain spices. Be wary of spoon swapping in delis and at the markets. Sandhurt Sicilian green olives are safe.
  • Red food colouring – often listed as natural as it’s paprika.
  • Red Rooster – the stuffing and the seasoning on the chicken contains spices. Ask for no salt on the chips and add your own.
  • Salami
  • Seasonings – Masterfood’s All Purpose Seasoning, Chicken Salt, Italian Herbs, Pizza Topper, etc

I ♥ Brisbane Food Bloggers

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Here are some of the Brisbane based food bloggers:

Sorry no more updates to the list. You are more than welcome to leave a comment with your details.

Gardening and food forums

tawny

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?

The Permaculture Path to Sustainability

The Permaculture Path to Sustainability illustrates the steps we can take to transition to a life with a smaller footprint on the earth.

When I was completing my Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC), I wanted a simple way to plan the future of our house and garden. I was feeling a little overwhelmed by all the different ideas buzzing around in my head. I needed to capture these and create a clear plan of attack.

I started by writing down all of the elements found in a typical permaculture garden and divided them into different categories. The categories are food production, fauna, practices, flora, energy, water, and waste.

I then sorted the elements out in to levels. Each level reflects an increase in the level of difficulty, commitment and/or expense.

  1. Level 1 is what you may find in an average suburban backyard.
  2. Level 2 are practices and elements found in a more sustainable household. Perhaps the owners have been influenced by a book or gardening show on TV, or have been involved in a PermaBlitz. Only a few of the categories are closed loops.
  3.  Level 3 are practices and elements which are found in households dedicated to resilience, self-sufficiency, and sustainability. The owners view their property as a system. These households may be completely off-the-grid.

I love to see concepts come alive as a diagram, so I created a colourful table to illustrate “The Permaculture Path to Sustainability”:

Level 3
Food Production
  • Vegetables beds (with annuals)
  • Fruit trees
  • No-dig garden
  • Mandela and key hole beds
  • Herb spiral
  • Seed saving
  • Bush tucker (native) plants
  • Exotic edible plants
  • Nut trees
  • Perennials
Fauna
  • Native plants
  • Bird bath
  • Nesting box
  • Messy space and logs (for lizards etc)
  • Bee hive
  • Chickens
  • Fodder plants
Practices
  • Mulching
  • Companion plants
  • Crop rotation
  • Crop succession
  • Greenhouse
  • Green manure
  • Shade house
Flora
  • Native plants
  • Wind break
  • Fire break
  • Trellising
Energy
  • Energy efficient bulbs and appliances
  • Insulation
  • Solar power hot water and energy
  • Wood fired oven
Water
  • Buckets
  • Gray water hose
  • Drip system
  • Water tank
  • Grey water system
  • Pond
  • Swales and rain pits
Waste
  • Reusable containers & bags
  • Recycling
  • Compost
  • Bokashi
  • Worm farm
  • Composting toilet
  • Living mulch

Where is your household on the “Permaculture Path to Sustainability”?

Are you doing well in one category and neglecting another?

Trees for a suburban food forest

I haven’t mentioned that we have about 10 dwarf fruit trees in pots, that we purchased at various times in 2008.

To decide which ones to plant, I made a list of all the trees that were under 3-4metres high, could be grown in a pot and trimmed to size and/or available as a dwarf. I was surprised at the variety available. When purchasing trees also consider their suitability to your climate, water requirements and whether or not you like the fruit they produce. If you eat lots of apple (say), you may like to consider getting a few different varieties – one that fruits early, one middle and one late season.

Here’s a list of suitable trees for suburban backyards:

  • Acerola Cherry
  • Apple (d)
  • Atherton Raspberry
  • Australian Round Lime
  • Avocado (d)
  • Babaco
  • Bananas
  • Black sapote
  • Blackberry
  • Blueberry
  • Boysenberry
  • Calamondin
  • Cape Gooseberry
  • Casana
  • Cassava
  • Ceylon Hill Gooseberry
  • Cherry
  • Chilli
  • Chinese Water Chestnut
  • Choko (v)
  • Cocona
  • Coffee
  • Comfrey
  • Currant (Red or Black)
  • Davidson’s Plum (p)
  • Fig (d)
  • Finger lime
  • Ginger
  • Goji Berry
  • Gooseberry
  • Governer’s Plum
  • Grape (v)
  • Grapefruit (d)
  • Grumichama Cherry
  • Guava
  • Jaboticaba
  • Japanese raisin
  • Jelly Palm / Wine Palm
  • Jerusalem Artichoke
  • Kakadu Plum
  • Kei Apple
  • Keriberry
  • Kiwifruit (v)
  • Kumquat (d)
  • Lemon (d)
  • Lemonade (d)
  • Lillypilly
  • Lime (d)
  • Loganberry
  • Loquat (d)
  • Macadamia (d)
  • Madrono
  • Mandarin (d)
  • Mango (d)
  • Medlar
  • Midyim
  • Miracle Fruit
  • Monstera
  • Mulberry (d)
  • Naranjilla
  • Natal Plum
  • Olive (d)
  • Orange (d)
  • Passionfruit (v)
  • Paw paw
  • Peach (d)
  • Pepino
  • Persimmon (d)
  • Pineapple
  • Plum
  • Plumcott
  • Plummelo
  • Pomegranate (d)
  • Raspberry
  • Rhubarb
  • Sea Grape
  • Strawberry
  • Tamarillo
  • Tangelo
  • Taro
  • Tea
  • Ugni
  • Yacon
  • Youngberry

Legend: (d) – dwarf available; (v) – vine; (p) – pot.

These edible trees, vines and others may be available in Australia from:

Please let us know if you have any other recommendations.

Update – I have more recently compiled a list of fruit trees for Brisbane backyards.