Christmas Time In Brisbane City

I would not normally head in to the city on a Thursday night, especially as I have to get up for work at stupid-o-clock in the morning.

In need of some Christmas cheer, I had to say ‘yes’ to a Meetup Group event that was organised for just that purpose.

There is so much happening in the CBD at this time of the year, and when the girls were young, we would take them in to experience all the fun and frivolity, but since they are now teens, that just has not happened.

As the light fades Brisbane city starts to twinkle and sparkle.

Giant ornaments and fairy lights transform the mall.

Christmas time in Brisbane

There were so many people out and about and almost all the shops were trading till 9pm.

We joined the crowds that lined the path for the Myer Christmas Parade. If we had gotten ourselves truly organized (as others had), we would have booked a table at Jo Jo’s and sat upstairs in comfort with a cocktail in hand and enjoyed a birds eye view.

Queen Street Mall Myer Christmas Parade

Giant things everywhere!

Myer Christmas Parade Brisbane

Santa had REAL REINDEER! Just so cute. Poor things were a little spooked, but the handlers did a great job keeping them on track.

After the parade we headed to King George Square.

King George Square Christmas Tree and City Hall

City Hall is a beautiful back drop for the giant Christmas tree.

We didn’t hang around for the City Hall light show as the Christmas markets and fireworks at South Bank beckoned.

Even with rain threatening to fall, there were plenty of people enjoying South Bank looking absolutely gorgeous with lights and super cute market stall awnings that looked like gingerbread houses.

We had just enough time to do a circuit of the markets before we headed to the river bank to grab a spot for the fireworks.

Visit Southbank

We were lucky to choose a spot right in front of one of the barges.

Sushi and Sav Blanc followed.

Coffee and a Caramel Choc Log followed that.

I am so glad I made the effort to join a lovely group and enjoy the all the Christmas cheer available free of charge in the heart of our wonderful city.

I thoroughly recommend joining Meetup and adding your name to a few of your local groups if you need some motivation to get out of the house. This single mumma does need encouraging to leave the comfort of home, but I am always glad I did make the effort.

Have you joined in any fun Christmas activities this year?

Good Food & Wine Show Brisbane 2014

Win Tickets To The Good Food & Wine Show!

One of the most delicious events on the Brisbane social calendar is happening again in October.

For 3 fun and food filled days, the best of Australian produce, wine and chefs will be on display at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.

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Last year was the first time I ventured into this haven of all things yummy. See what I got up to here!

My only regret was the limited amount of time I got to spend at the show, an afternoon is not long enough to actually see everything that was on offer. I will not be making the same mistake this year.

Plan to make a full day of it.

For one low entry fee of on $26.00 per adult, you can sip away on wines from all around the country, sample sweet and savory delights, watch some of our best chefs in action and learn how to recreate amazing dishes at home. All of your favourite discoveries are available to purchase at special show prices so you can stock your pantry full of wonderful things you cannot buy at your local supermarket.

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This is a great opportunity to learn more about the things you love.

Some of the classes on offer are included in your general admission, such as the Riedel Wine Theatre which is a must for red wine lovers or those who would simply like to gain confidence in selecting wines. Coffee lovers will enjoy discovering the latest in home barista possibilities at the Nespresso Experience. Cheese lovers make sure you head straight to Cheese Alley, where boutique and popular cheese makers will delight you with just about every cheese known to man.

If you would really like to hone your cooking skills, why not join one of the many Masterclasses available.

Macaron making is an art, why not learn the secrets to making these delectable sweet morsels from the best. Adriano Zumbo will share all the tricks of the trade on how he creates his famous Zumbarons!

The Spiegelau Beer Classics Bar is offering a selection of Masterclasses on all things beer. These classes will change how you drink beer forever. Smell and sip your way to greater knowledge and appreciation of the golden brew.

Take some time to explore all the classes that are on offer and plan your day before you get there. Detailed information on each class is available here.

Porchetta slider

If all this talk of great food is making you hungry, why not whip up a batch of these incredibly yummy sliders. This is one of the recipes that will be being demonstrated by Matt Moran.

PORCHETTA SLIDERS     (Serves 12)

 

PORCHETTA

3kg pork shoulder, skin and fat scored

1/4 cup table salt

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

Salt and pepper

PORCHETTA SPICE MIX

1 tbsp fennel seeds

1/4 cup sea salt flakes

1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled

5 sprigs rosemary, leaves picked

1 bunch oregano, leaves picked

1 tbsp white peppercorns

60ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil

APPLE SAUCE

4 Pink Lady apples, peeled, cored and quartered

60ml dry apple cider

APPLE SLAW

3/4 cup good quality mayonnaise

1/4 cup dry apple cider

1/4 white cabbage, shredded

1/4 red cabbage, shredded

2 carrots, coarsely grated

2 Brussels sprouts, shredded

1/2 red onion, sliced thinly

1 Pink Lady apple, peeled

TO SERVE

24 dinner rolls, split and buttered

METHOD

Place the pork, skin-side up in the sink and pour boiling water over the skin until score marks open up. Pat dry, then rub salt into skin, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 5 hours.

To make the porchetta spice mix, place the fennel seeds in a small saucepan over medium high heat and dry-roast, shaking pan occasionally, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Cool, then tip into a mortar and pestle, add remaining ingredients and grind to a paste.

Rinse the salt off the pork and pat dry with kitchen paper. Place in a roasting pan, rub porchetta spice mix all over pork shoulder and marinate for at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 160⁰C.

Brush the pork with the melted coconut oil, then roast, basting occasionally, for 3 hours or until pork is tender and crackling forms.

To make the apple sauce, simmer the apples and cider in a saucepan over medium high heat for 15 minutes or until apple is tender, remove from heat, season to taste then process with a hand held blender to form a puree.

To make the apple slaw, stir the mayonnaise and cider in a large bowl to combine, add remaining ingredients (except apple), season to taste and toss to combine. Just before serving, shred the apple, add to the slaw and toss to combine.

Once the pork is cooked, remove from oven, cover with foil and leave to rest for 15 minutes. When rested, take the crackling off and chop in to small pieces, then carve the pork. 

TO ASSEMBLE

Spread the buttered dinner rolls with apple sauce, then top with a little apple slaw, pork and crackling. Season to taste and serve immediately.

Win A Double Pass!

Thanks to the Good Food & Wine show, I have 3 double passes to give away for Friday 17 October (only valid on this day). Indulge in a whole day out of wining and dining to your hearts content.

Entry is easy!

1. Leave a comment telling me what is one thing you would absolutely love to learn how to cook.

2. Follow Wonderfully Women on Facebook, as the 3 lucky winners will be announced there on Wednesday 08 October.

Good luck!

 Sharing for Weekend Rewind with Maxabella Loves

Cinderella – A Night Of Glamour, Glitz And Sparkle

Cinderella

 

Bring on the ballet season………….

I have always loved going to the ballet since I was a little girl, and really love the classics, so last night, thanks to my daughter, I was treated to a wonderful night at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, as a birthday present.

The Ballet Theatre of Queensland, showcases the young ballet talent of our state and they should all be so proud of their efforts.

The tickets were only $40 each and compared to the Australian Ballet, that is a real bargain. I was not expecting such a lavish production with absolutely gorgeous costumes and sets. What a wonderful experience, especially for the young performers to be able to be involved in such a superb production. I was so impressed with the 3 Ugly Step Sisters, they not only danced beautifully, they acted their parts so well, keeping us giggling away.

A wonderful start to the year, with a night full of sparkle, sequins, bling and pointe shoes, LOVE IT!

If you can find time to see this production that is only on for a short season, it is SO worth it!