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Craft mixed mushroom and pistachio tartlets

For those who don’t believe it’s a meal without meat, Suzy Spoon wants a quiet word. As the woman behind Australia’s only vegetarian butcher, the Sydney foodie has been filling bellies surprisingly well with vegetarian and vegan dishes for more than two decades. Now, she shares her collection of no-fuss recipes in her new cookbook, Suzy Spoon’s Vegetarian Kitchen. Layering enoki and oyster mushrooms, these delicious tartlets can be served either hot or cold and are perfect for entertaining or between-meal snacking. more

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Sink your teeth into mini pork banh mi sandwiches

Sydney is a vast metropolis packed with culinary gems, but ask any local and they’re likely to point you in the direction of El Loco, Ms. G’s or Mr Wong. Now the critically acclaimed chef behind these unconventional venues is revealing some of his best-kept cooking secrets, with the launch of his new cookbook, Mr Hong. The tome meanders from China to Vietnam to Mexico, sharing some of the countries’ best dishes that merge Dan Hong’s heritage with his fondness for bold, fresh flavours. Balancing texture, freshness, richness, acidity and spice, the famous mini pork banh mi sandwiches found on the menu at Ms. G’s in Potts Point will make the perfect addition to your spring barbecue spread. If you’re pressed for time, take a short-cut by using roasted pork from your favourite Chinese barbecue. more

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Crunch into freshly baked Margate biscuits

Biscuits have come a long way from the humble versions originally developed as long-lasting, easy-to-carry snacks for sailors and voyagers. Our tastebuds are certainly grateful for the development, as are the bakers who spend their days dreaming up new varieties. One lot of cooks who have a wicked way with the oven and a keen sense of imagination are the husband-and-wife team behind new cookbook, Sweet Envy. The dessert wizards have pulled 100 of the best creations from their bakery of the same name in Hobart, to offer up a host of inspired biscuit, cake, pastry and pie recipes. Biscuits are given a creative twist in this recipe for the bakers’ ode to the Kingston, the Margate. more

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Combine sweet and savoury in pumpkin pancakes

We love a dish that surprises our tastebuds and baffles our brains. In this easily prepared snack fusing both sweet and savoury, pancakes make a new ally out of the humble pumpkin. Nosh on these fluffy beauties at any hour of the day, whether the cravings call at breakfast, brunch, lunch or any time in between. more

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Carve a spoon into a 70-year-old dessert icon

While Brisbane and Gold Coast locals have been happily shoving slices of Goldsteins Bakery's original baked cheesecake into their maws for decades, the signature dessert didn’t always carry the celebrated crown. In fact, when Julius and Paula Goldstein first arrived in Australia from Europe in 1939 and set up The Busy Bee bakery on Roma Street, their customers would often voice concerns that the cheesecakes had gone off, due to their traditionally sour taste. But the Goldsteins stayed true to their roots and now, as the second and third generations celebrate 70 years in business, the artisan bakers are sharing their original cheesecake recipe with their loyal customers. The Goldsteins traditionally make their own quark, but you can source it locally from Barambah Organics or Paris Creek Farm. Follow in the bakers' floury footsteps and try your hand crafting this European indulgence… more

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Get your head back in the game with a spicy bloody mary

We all have our own unique strategies and tactics for knocking out a killer hangover – from electrolyte-packed sports drinks to whole-body plunges into cold pools – but perhaps one of the most universally accepted is the tabasco-loaded bloody mary. Take up the hair-of-the-dog challenge with a shot of vodka and distract that compressed brain by busying yourself with garnishes. Drink forth, and good luck. more

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Graze on crispy fig and walnut parmesan crackers

You may not usually take cooking advice from an 18 year old, but food blogger, recipe developer, photographer and stylist Izy Hossack is one unique talent. Since her early teens, she’s been experimenting with food and luring hordes of loyal followers to her site, topwithcinnamon.com. Now the internet phenomenon has published her first book, which is packed with gems like ten-minute granola, coconut berry pancakes and kale pesto. In this recipe for 40 crispy fig and walnut parmesan crackers, the foodie has once again simplified the cooking process without sacrificing the end result. Keep a batch of these beauties in the freezer for unexpected drop-ins, lingering guests or between-meal hunger pangs. more

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Welome the warmer weather with horchata pie and lime curd

The culinary mastermind behind Melbourne’s Beatbox Kitchen burger trucks, two Taco Trucks and dessert paradise All Day Donuts has now spread the foodie love around the nation with the release of his new cookbook, Hungry For That. Raph Rashid is a legend in the Australian food-truck scene and his new tome of edibles is sure to tickle the tastebuds of anyone who has felt the satisfaction of homemade burger sauce dripping down their arms or the crunch of fried chicken in their teeth. Of course sweet endings haven’t been forgotten, with Raph quoting his personal favourite dining term ‘betsubara’, which translates from the Japanese to mean ‘even if I am full, I have an extra stomach just for dessert'. We couldn’t agree more, so it was with great pleasure we whipped up this refreshingly creamy horchata pie with zesty lime curd. Celebrate spring with a bunch of sweet-toothed friends… more

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Eat seasonal with a warm custard apple crumble

There’s something humbling yet soul-lifting about harvesting fresh seasonal produce from the earth and crafting the edible rewards into a nourishing meal for friends and family. South Bank’s new Epicurious Garden, which opened to the public last week, is inviting local foodies to do exactly that – help maintain an edible, productive garden in the parklands. The organic patch of herbs, fruit and vegetables has been designed by horticulture experts but will be partly maintained by volunteer gardeners, and hungry visitors will also be able to nibble on free samples as the produce grows. Inspired by the bounty of seasonal produce currently available in Brisbane, South Bank has shared its recipe for custard apple crumble, calling home cooks to forage for the last few custard apples of the season. Follow the recipe below to warm up your weekend. more

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Celebrate the Big Cake Bake with Maggie Beer’s burnt fig jam and almond cake

No matter where you are or what you’re legally obliged to do on Monday August 25, we’re imploring you all to take a break, have a seat and hoe into a mighty slice of cake. All for a good cause, of course. Australian Red Cross turns 100 this month and so it’s only right to show our respect by baking and binge-eating for the 2014 Red Cross Big Cake Bake. One of this year’s ambassadors, the wonderful Maggie Beer, has shared her recipe for burnt fig jam and almond cake, which is sure to be a standout on any Big Cake Bake table spread. more

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Craft a stack of gluten-free chestnut crepes

Delicate, paper-thin crepes drizzled with raw honey, a slathering of fruit conserve or a few fresh banana slices are the perfect snack to nibble between meals, at breakfast or as a late-night dessert. But for those whose bellies wage war against gluten, this sweet treat can often equal significant pain. The three chefs behind Parisian restaurant and grocer No Glu have banded together to share their palate-seducing gluten-free recipes with homecooks the world over, launching their first cookbook Good Without Gluten this month. The French favourite has made a very welcome appearance in the tome, substituting regular flour for gluten-free and chestnut. Cooks are recommended to make the batter the night before and allow it to rest in the fridge overnight. more

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Wrap your mitts around a fool’s gold mandwich

The mandwich is no humble repast. It’s a beast subject to its own laws; one that may leave you gasping for breath, wiping condiments from your chin and sitting out your next meal. But Billy Law, the culinary genius behind new cookbook Man Food, has toned down the fool’s gold from the mighty monsters originally developed in Colorado, which boasted a hollowed-out bread roll stuffed with one jar each of peanut butter and grape jelly, and a pound of crispy bacon. Billy’s recipe below serves two very hungry bellies. more

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Tuck in to a classic hot apple pie this winter

While our southern counterparts might scoff at Brisbane’s version of ‘winter’, we’ll still take any excuse to wrap ourselves in wool and hoe into comfort food. Of course no winter feast is done without dessert, so no matter how full you are from slow-cooked meats or stout pies, make sure you locate that extra dessert stomach and give this winter warmer a crack. Feel free to get creative with the pastry by carving out letters or creating a pattern, and serve the finished product with a dollop or three of whipped cream, custard or ice-cream. more

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Build a fresh Vietnamese chicken banh mi sandwich

From the chaotic crannies of Hanoi to the sleepy beach town of Doc Let, Vietnam is a street-food lover’s utopia. Stalls stud street corners and markets fill city plots, offering handheld snacks ranging from rice paper rolls to marinated pork skewers. A popular street-food snack that has found overwhelming popularity internationally is the classic banh mi. Combining the French influence of the baguette with the balanced Vietnamese flavours of the fillings, this travelling sandwich is a street-food staple. Fillings can vary depending on taste, but typically include fermented vegetables, meat, coriander and mayonnaise. In the recipe below, we’ve opted for chicken dressed up in a variety of condiments. more

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Embrace seasonal produce with fish tacos and sweetcorn salsa

Sure you can munch on imported fruit at any time of year and crack into tins of vegetables month in and month out, but the simple pleasure of eating in tune with the seasons is unsurpassed. Any local who has ever strolled through the aisles of Rocklea’s Brisbane Produce Market and eyed off the bounty of fresh fruit and vegetables available will appreciate the value of fresh, local and seasonal. As we step boldly into winter with scarfs knotted and soup ladles at the ready, the Queensland vegetable industry has united with the Brisbane Produce Market, Bowen Gumlu Growers Association Inc. and Bundaberg Fruit & Vegetable Growers to launch the Colour Your Winter initiative. As in-season local produce like sweetcorn, tomatoes, broccoli and capsicum takes the spotlight, some of the state’s best chefs have been inspired to share their favourite dishes. In the recipe below, Restaurant Two… more

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Slice into a sweet potato and macadamia frittata

Just 25 km north of Gympie, on the rolling green hills of Anderleigh, more than 3000 macadamia trees are doing their darndest to flower. Once these pale-yellow blooms are pollinated by bees, they will develop into small green buds which will eventually mature into that gloriously creamy nut, the macadamia. The hardworking folk from Sandy Creek Macadamias will then rustle up the harvest for you to enjoy as a standalone snack or whipped into a dressing, meal or garnish. Before the crew share their wisdom at Regional Flavours in South Bank Parklands on Saturday July 19 and Sunday July 20, they’ve been kind enough to share this recipe for a sweet potato and macadamia frittata. Slice it up for lunch, dinner or a snack in between. more

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Toast the weekend with beer-battered fries

You might be accustomed to swilling a schooner of beer alongside a fresh bouquet of crispy fries, but why not try something a little different by raising that glass and pouring it straight into the batter. Try this basic recipe for beer-battered fries to fill the gap before dinner, accompany an after-work tipple or serve alongside gourmet homemade burgers. more

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Sweeten up with banana crepe pockets in dipping sauce

Australian palates may be more accustomed to fluffy pancakes or portly little pikelets, but the thin crepes favoured by the French can make the perfect snack or post-dinner indulgence. Easily adapted to sweet or savoury, crepes are often topped or cocooned in various condiments, from a squeeze of lemon and a dusting of icing sugar, to a simple berry compote or spinach and cheese. We’ve opted for a creative twist on presentation by gathering the crepes into pockets, stuffing them with sliced banana and serving them in a warm chocolate dipping sauce. more

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Nourish the belly with Italian risotto al radicchio

We can’t think of a better way to spend a chilly winter’s evening than hovering over a pot of aromatic Italian goodness, with glass of wine in hand. Take the time to cook up a real winter warmer this weekend, adding radicchio and bacon to the standard Italian staple of risotto. This leafy chicory lends a slightly bitter taste and lovely purple hue to your risotto, while the addition of bacon and red wine will do wonders to warm that belly on a cold evening. Add plenty of parmesan and you'll question why you're ever tempted to leave the house. more

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Dip hot, fresh churros into gooey chocolate sauce

Winter has finally fallen upon Brisbane. As the sun drops below the horizon earlier each day, long cool evenings beg for belly warming indulgences and simple pleasures. We’ve taken to spending those longer night hours crafting wintertime desserts and this week we struck upon edible gold with those fried Spanish doughnuts, churros. While these snacks are traditionally nibbled at breakfast, we’ve been dipping them into warm chocolate sauce as a post-dinner treat. more