Quick & Easy Summer Salad

Quick Summer is back in Sydney, perhaps only for a moment! Take hold of the sunshine with a quick, delicious salad. No measuring, just chop, mix and serve. A big picnic hit, should Mother Nature decide to give us a sunny weekend anytime soon!

Watermelon, Feta, Mint tossed with dressing of lime juice, olive oil, salt & pepper. Easy, sweet, salty & refreshing!

Watermelon, Feta & Mint Summer Salad

Watermelon, Feta & Mint Summer Salad

I want to go to Tasmania!

Tassievore Eat Local Challenge

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One of the highly anticipated Tassievore events occurred last week, a tour of the Agrarian Kitchen garden by gourmet gun – Rodney Dunn.  Rodney – an entertaining host and champion of the paddock to plate concept, had a lots say on growing: how and why.  Based on the ‘Oooooh’s’ and ‘Ahhhhh’s of the 35 Tassievores present, a great time was had at the cooking school in Lachlan, just 10 minutes out of New Norfolk.

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Starting in the herb patch (Mexican hyssop, apple mint and shiso cress!), we then got the low down on the smoke house, met the pigs and goats, explored the fruit trees and row upon row of berries, walked through two poly tunnels (tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines and licorice basil all growing well!) and down the rows of planted out corn, beans, beetroot and lovage (aka “Celery on speed”).  Fascinating tales were told: growing tobacco as an insecticide, the…

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Packed to the Rafters

It’s not always easy to weed out the delicious from the mediocre, especially when travelling or visiting a new neighbourhood. Sometimes you just need to trust your gut…or follow the locals. If you’re in a business district, follow the suits. Near a construction site or factory? Listen for the bell and go with the flow. This is exactly how I discovered a delicious laksa in Sydney’s CBD. Followed the suits to spicy, flavourful laksa heaven.

Chicken and King Prawn Laksa from Malay-Chinese TakeAway in Sydney's CBD

Chicken and King Prawn Laksa from Malay-Chinese TakeAway in Sydney’s CBD

Local Tassie on Tour!

Tassievore Eat Local Challenge

Back in September I did part one of this post, which was about eating locally while on holiday in Far North Queensland. Happily, I can now do a similar post about camping and touring around Tassie eating locally.  It is actually quite miraculous how similar the two trip were given the vast distance and climactic differences!

In what is becoming a bit of a tradition, I took the few days between Christmas and New Years to go camping all by myself somewhere beautiful in Tasmania.  This year saw me driving up the East Coast, where I got to frolick on beautiful beaches, go bushwalking in Douglas Apsley Gorge and indulge in amazing fresh fruit and Tassie goodness!

Pyengana Farm VisitI found delicious peaches, apricots and cherries at farms around St. Helen’s and Bicheno. And drove a fair bit out of the way to call into Pyengana Dairy.  Pyengana offers cheese tasting and…

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Get local in Tropical North Queensland with Tassievore on tour!

Tassievore Eat Local Challenge

It is August in Tasmania, which often means chilly and wet weather and not a lot of fresh fruit around.  The feijoas and passionfruits are finished and I tend to be getting a bit bored of apples and pears (I know I should be appreciative and will try to cultivate this more). Even the reserves of frozen berries are getting low, so it was pretty amazing to hop on a plane and get off a few hours later in Tropical North Queensland!

At the very first meeting that we started talking about what has become the Tassievore Eat Local Challenge, someone asked about what they should do if they go on holiday somewhere.  We decided that in this case you should eat local to wherever you are.  Quite a fun prospect in August in Far North Queensland!

There are little road side fruit and veg stalls a plenty and I…

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Eat your way across Seattle!

Welcome to Sarah’s trail for eating and marketing across Seattle! Sarah writes an engaging and delicious blog cook.can.read, and is dedicated to all things local. Here’s her rundown of where she’d take you if you came to visit!

Fruit from Remlinger Farms with Sarah-picked berries

Fruit from Remlinger Farms with Sarah-picked berries

LS: If you were showing someone from out of town around your local area, where would you take them?

Sarah: I am lucky to have frequent out of town visitors, and usually take them to some or all of these spots.

Macrina Bakery: homemade baked goods with an emphasis on using local fruits and grains. Such a treat!

Theo Chocolate Factory: the only chocolate-maker in the US (at last check) to make chocolate starting with raw cocoa beans. Their emphasis is on fair-trade, fair-wage, organic, responsibly-sourced ingredients from start to finish. Theo chocolate is worth seeking out for so many reasons!

Espresso Vivace—well, we are in Seattle, so coffee has to come into play. Vivace is my favorite because they roast in-house. My husband and I sometimes buy green beans from them and roast at home, but labor-wise, I much prefer sinking into a comfy chair with a Vivace latte and the Sunday paper. It’s also conveniently located across from REI, a terrific outdoor gear outfitter.

Golden Beetle—Maria Hines is the chef/owner of this Ballard restaurant serving seasonal, organic Mediterranean food made from primarily locally-sourced ingredients. From brunch to dinner and including happy hour, GB has some of my favorite food in the city. Don’t miss the muhammara!

Lola—Tom Douglas is Seattle’s resident celebrity chef, with more than a dozen restaurants around the city. My favorite is Lola, another Mediterranean restaurant with a heavy lean toward Greek food. The atmosphere is wonderful, the buzz is exciting, the location is convenient, in the middle of downtown, and the food is my favorite in the city. I learned to love roast lamb and squid kebabs with chermoula at Lola.

In addition to these spots, everyone gets a trip to the farmers’ market!

Haul from Ballard Market

Haul from Ballard Market

LS: Hidden local gem?

Sarah: The Walrus & the Carpenter, a tiny, hard-to-find, expect-a-wait, bright and beautiful space in the old fishing district area of Ballard with a menu centered on local seafood, particularly oysters. The food is stunning, like you have never had, fresh and surprising and exciting. The staff is friendly and engaging, knowledgeable and just cool. The best meal I ever had was at W&C with my husband and my mother-in-law. We ate and ate and ate: 6 varieties of raw oysters with fresh horseradish; fried oysters; the best tomato soup you can imagine; cured salmon with pickled tomatoes; grilled fresh white sardines, house-cured bresaola; cold and strong Moscow mules; pudding with espresso butter sauce for dessert. I smile and groan remembering that meal, every time.

LS: Local person, cultural or food experience Local Sprouts should seek out?

Sarah: Go to one of the neighborhood markets—Pike Place is fun, but going to the Ballard Market, or West Seattle, or University District, or Columbia City will allow you to see the heart(s) of my beloved city. The range of available products makes me giddy with excitement, sometimes to the point where I am overwhelmed. You will see local chefs choosing fish and greens for tonight’s dinner service, moms buying fresh, just-picked apples for their kids, crazy ladies like me buying *another* case of apricots to make jam, folks out to see and be seen, friends meeting to grab a crepe and a bike-powered smoothie for a strolling breakfast… It’s the truest snapshot of the city I know.

Beautiful bunches piled high at Magnolia Market

Beautiful bunches piled high at Magnolia Market

Memories of Paris

Oh memories…oh Paris. City of love. City of light. Whatever the journey, it is often the little pieces we pick up and bring home which allow us to relive a fabulous meal, an afternoon stroll or special moments which can only be held by you. I picked these key chains up on my most recent trip to Paris. They were destined for a wedding event for friends who got engaged at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Three big moves and one glorious wedding later, they are still in my possession, holding more meaning than I could have ever imagined.

From Paris with love!

From Paris with love!

malayakahouse

Bobo’s Coffee, named after one of the kids with the brightest spirit & biggest smiles at Malayaka House!


Whole Bean Coffee Benefiting the children of Malayaka House orphanage in Entebbe, Uganda

Bobo’s Coffee is delicious! A smooth cup of coffee with notes of chocolate and ripe fruit. Bobo’s whole bean coffee comes in 1 lb bags and orders of 10 or more come with an original piece of artwork by one of the children at Malayaka House. No chemicals of any kind were used to make this coffee. These beans were grown under the shade of banana trees, at high altitudes in the Mt. Elgon region of Uganda. Groove Tea traveled to Uganda, toured the coffee farms, and even had dinner with the coffee farmers and their families. They were incredibly thankful and excited for the opportunity to partner with us.

100% of the profits goes directly to supporting the…

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