A Food & Travel Blog

Win a Package for Cheesefest 2014

17/10/2014 | By

Well, it’s one of my favourite times of the year again and Cheesefest 2014 is just around the corner. This fabulous gathering of cheese, especially South Australian cheese, is now in it’s ninth year and, with the tirelessly dynamic and passionate Woodside Cheese Wrights Kris Lloyd at the helm, it is evolving into an ever more sophisticated South Australian  food celebration.

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Anyone Heard of Batter Bread? Another Fabulous, Fast Recipe!

14/03/2014 | By

I’ve really been cranking up the baking over the last week or two. The milder weather always does this to me – I want great cakes and breads and I want them right now, so the best way to do that is to make them myself.

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Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula – How Did I Miss This?

25/11/2013 | By

Sunny Ridge Farm, Mornington Peninsula

I’m a frequent visitor to Melbourne. I used to live there and enjoy catching up with old friends when I can, all of whom live north of the river, so my trips south of the Yarra are infrequent. All that changed a few weeks back when I spent a few days on the Mornington Peninsula – leaving me wondering why I didn’t know about this glorious food basket. While the food scene in Melbourne is wonderful, it is well worth the short drive down the expressway to the lush, rolling paddocks and orchards and breathtaking coastline of this region. They have a wealth of goodies there to tempt you.

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CheeseFest 2013 – Adelaide Not Afraid to be Cheesey!

29/10/2013 | By

 Adelaide's 2013 CheeseFest

Every year, once the cold weather looks to be mostly behind us, Adelaide turns off the heater, puts away the winter woollies and ventures, blinking and squinting, outside into the sunshine to celebrate in the best way we know how to – with festivals! With our outstanding produce, we’ve a rapidly growing reputation for celebrating all things food or wine related and this weekend saw over 15,000 of us embracing our cheesiness at CheeseFest 2013 – a massive growth spurt from the modest 800 or so who attended the very first event eight years ago.

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Cheesefest 2013 – Win a Double Pass!

11/10/2013 | By

Cheesefest 2013

Whoosh. It’s happened again – that was the sound of the last twelve months of my life rushing by and, somehow, it’s almost time for Australia’s biggest gourmet cheese tasting event and one of my very favourite foodie weekends, Adelaide’s unique Cheesefest on 26 Oct – 27 Oct.  This festival is a huge credit to it’s creator, Adelaide’s dynamic Kris Lloyd, and South Australian food in general and one I think we can be very proud of.  As an indication of how much this feast has grown, the very first Cheesefest in 2005 attracted 900 cheese-lovers  and last year’s event enticed 10,000 to the shady surrounds of Rymill Park in the centre of the city. This year cheese-lovers will find 20 cheese makers from around the country presenting cheeses made from cows, sheep, goat and buffalo milk, 60 stalls with selections of cheese, wine, beers, cider and local foods and, for the first time, the Bone Health Foundation will be on site with Sammy Strongbones  in attendance to entertain and educate the kids.

Kris Lloyd

There are some notable new and exciting things happening with Cheesefest this year, including the opportunity to win two return tickets to Europe with Singapore Airlines, just by buying your Cheesefest tickets and also the opportunity to win the use of a luxury car for a weekend from Solitaire Motors.

For those who want to get to know the face behind their favourite cheese there will be free talks presented by the various cheese makers over the course of the weekend. These will run for about 15-20 minutes and will be on any aspect that the individual cheese makers choose, with an opportunity for the audience to ask questions and learn a little more about their favourite food.

If you are looking to take your cheese experience to the next level there are a couple of very new and exciting treats. Firstly, for only $25 you can spend an hour in the Foodland Funky Fondue Lounge with a pot of fondue, a refreshing beverage and unlimited access to all of the dipping treats you can imagine. The fondue fun will run for three sessions on each day of Cheesefest, with cheese fondue for the first two sessions and chocolate from Cocolat for the final sessions. Alternatively, one for train-loving cheese enthusiasts and again for $25 for a whole hour, you can check in to the Indian Pacific Cheese Train. There you’ll find a real (but teensy) engine pulling carriages of various cheeses and accompaniments for you to select from.  These cheeses will be exclusive to the Cheese Train and not available for tasting elsewhere at Cheesefest.

fondue

If you really feel like treating yourself, you won’t be able to resist the Premium Pavillion Degustation Lunch on either the Saturday or Sunday – but be quick as the $95 tickets are limited. This five course feast will feature South Australian produce exquisitely prepared by either Kings Hotel chef Brendan Bell or the Elbow Room’s Nigel Rich and will feature a special cheese platter chosen by the Premier of South Australia, Jay Weatherall.

Kris Lloyd has kindly given me two free double passes to Cheesefest 2013 for two lucky readers to win – all you have to do to be in the running to win one of them is to tell me what you’ll be dunking in to your fondue at Cheesefest. Use the Rafflecopter link below to enter and check out the simple options for extra entries. It really couldn’t be any easier – see you at Cheesefest 2013!

Terms and Conditions

1.  This competition is open to Australian residents only and will be drawn on Saturday October 19, 2013.
2.   Log in to enter, using the entry form in the link below, and click on each task to view the instructions.
3.   The first task is mandatory and must be completed to enter the competition.  Subsequent tasks are optional, but will gain you more entries, thus more opportunity to be a winner.
4.   Make sure you record your entry to be counted.
5.   I have TWO double passes to Cheesefest 2013 to give away to 2 lucky readers.
6.   The lucky winner will be drawn at random.
7.   The winner will be notified by email and their name will be posted here.  They must reply within 48 hours or the competition will be redrawn.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Spring and a Tomato and Three Cheese Tart

06/10/2013 | By

Tomatoes

Like everyone else in this world, I’ve gushed about spring in the past and droned on rapturously about the sunshine, flowers, birdies, bees, blah, blah, blah. That’s all lovely, of course, but there is another side to spring that has slightly fewer charms. I’m talking about the swallows which insist on annually nesting on my outdoor blinds, pooping all over said blinds and the table and chairs below. Or how about the changeable weather with it’s sunshine, gentle breezes, howling gales and pouring rains – often all in the course of just a few hours, meaning I am continuously underdressed or overdressed. Last week the evening temperature up here plummeted to 5C – just when we’d run out of fire wood. Then there’s the skyrocketing pollen counts and the subsequent cost of boxes of tissues and giant economy-sized packets of anti-histamines. And, most exciting of all, the sudden appearance of hungry and aggressively bad-tempered brown snakes who, combined with the triffid like growth of the grass/plants/weeds around our property, make my trips to the hen house to collect the eggs an anxiety-ridden scuttle, complete with long rubber boots and a machete. I’m telling you, it’s not all beer and skittles up here in springtime in the hills.

My first spring roses

Spring flowers, Columbine

There – I’m glad I’ve got that little moan off my chest.

Spring lavender & bee

Spring flowers, Banksia Rose

One thing I always welcome at this time of the year, though, is the reappearance of the first of the seasonal tomatoes. Tomatoes in general are mostly a disappointment these days, with even the pricey, vine-ripened ones failing to deliver much in the way of flavour, and my complete and utter inability to grow them up here means that I’m reliant on those I buy at the farmers markets. However, I recently made a slightly happy discovery with the purchase of a punnet of the mini Roma tomatoes from my local Foodland store. They seem to have a little more flavour than other commercially available tomatoes and really come into their own when slow roasted.

Tomato & 3 Cheese Tart

This recipe uses the tomatoes after they’ve been slow-roasted and, with frozen puff pastry and lots of fresh herbs from my garden, is another of my lazy-girl cheats dishes. I made it for my dear friend Liz for lunch the other day, along with a big plate of brownies for dessert and we were both pretty happy with the meal. Just one tip, watch the baking of this tart like a hawk. I didn’t and let it go just a little too long – it tasted great, but didn’t photograph so well.

Tomato and Three Cheese Tart
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 300 gms mini Roma tomatoes, halved
  • 50 mls olive oil
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch fresh oregano
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • ½ cup of grated cheese (either mozzarella or cheddar, you decide)
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • 100 gms goats chevre or feta
  • 1 egg, beaten
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 150C (300F).
  2. Toss halved tomatoes, ½ the bunch of thyme leaves, ½ the bunch of oregano leaves, salt, pepper and olive oil in a bowl, then place the tomatoes on a lined baking tray, cut side up. Place in oven and roast for 1 hour. Leave to cool slightly.
  3. Raise oven temperature to 200C (400F).
  4. Place thawed pastry on a sheet of oven-proof paper, cover with another sheet and roll out gently to a rectangular shape.
  5. Leaving the pastry on the bottom sheet of paper, place it on a baking tray and using a sharp knife score a line 2 cms around the four sides of the inside of the pastry, making a 2 cm frame around the edge of the pastry.
  6. Sprinkle the interior rectangle with the cheddar cheese and the parmesan cheese and dot with the slightly cooled, roasted tomatoes.
  7. Sprinkle with the remaining thyme leaves and brush the pastry edge with egg wash.
  8. Bake in oven for 15-17 minutes - no longer or cheese will overcook.
  9. Scatter the tart with crumbled goats chevre or feta, then sprinkle with the remaining oregano leaves.

 

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