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Festive Tropical Trifle

The traditional trifle gets a makeover with this tropical version which combines a coconut custard with panettone (Italian sweet bread) and fresh mangoes. And what would a trifle be without a little booze, so in keeping with the tropical theme we have used white rum. This luscious dessert is perfect for your Christmas table, and can be made the day before so all that needs to be done on the big day is to tuck in and enjoy.

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Honey & Smoked Paprika Roasted Nuts

These addictive sweet, spicy, salty nuts will go down a treat this Festive Season. They were a big hit in our Christmas Cooking Class last weekend, and as well as being a cinch to prepare they make a wonderful gift. Use a selection of nuts – almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, macadamias, etc – just make sure they are not already roasted. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled, and the nuts will keep fresh for a week stored in an airtight container.

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Watermelon Salad with Cucumber, Feta & Mint

This colourful and refreshing salad is perfect for summer. We make this in our A Modern Australian Christmas Feast Cooking Class and it is always a winner! All the ingredients are in season and readily available at this time of year. If you are entertaining, everything can be prepped in advance and all that needs to be done at serving time is assemble and dress. Enjoy.

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Indonesian Stir-Fried Green Beans in Coconut

We here at Noosa Foodie love to cook by the seasons, and Green Beans are plentiful and of excellent quality right now. This dish, which features on the menu in our Indonesian Banquet Cooking Class, is a delicious and nutritious way to prepare them and can be enjoyed either as a side dish or a vegetable based main dish. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

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Mango Lassi

With summer almost upon us, the thought of preparing something to eat in the heat and humidity all seems like too much hard work. When hunger strikes in these conditions, the perfect solution is a big refreshing drink that not only quenches the thirst but also satisfies the appetite.

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Brownie Balls

I’ve just returned from a week at Eden Health Retreat in the beautiful Currumbin Valley. Apart from the pristine environment, plethora of activities and fantastic facilities, one of the highlights was the food.  There was no going hungry in this health retreat as we were spoilt with breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner each day – all nourishing and balanced, lovingly prepared and definitely delicious. Creating nutritious food that tastes amazing is one of my favourite challenges, and with this in mind this week I share with you my recipe for Brownie Balls. If you are endeavouring to clean up your diet and fill your body with healthy foods, these scrumptious little morsels will hit the spot if you have a chocolate craving.

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No-Knead Rosemary and Olive Bread

Who doesn’t love homemade bread, but really – how many people have the time, energy or inclination to knead the dough or the patience to wait for it to rise? You will fall in love with this recipe, in which the dough is mixed up in a matter of minutes, requires zero muscle-power and happily rises overnight in the fridge.  I teach this recipe in my Modern Australian Christmas Feast cooking class, as it is the ideal bread to bake on for Christmas Day where you are hard pressed finding a baker open. All you need is a little organisation (ie 5 minutes of your time to mix the ingredients the night before) and lashings of good butter or olive oil to serve.

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Asparagus with Fresh Herbs, Lemon & Cheese

You know spring is here when asparagus starts appearing in the shops. In this dish, asparagus sings with fresh herbs, olive oil, lemon and cheese with just a hint of chilli. A chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc is a perfect match.

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Pineapple with Lime & Cayenne

Who doesn’t love a sweet, perfectly ripe pineapple? The Sunshine Coast is pineapple country and whilst us locals are lucky enough to enjoy them year round, at this time of the year pineapples are at their best.

This ridiculously simple dish can be served as an appetiser, snack or dessert, as well as being ideal picnic food. The sweetness of the pineapple marries perfectly with the cayenne pepper, lime little salt – a classic sweet-sour-spicy-salty combination.

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Spanish Marinated Mushrooms

This time 4 years ago I was walking the Camino de Santiago, an 800km walk across Northern Spain. It was a life-changing travel experience and recommended for anyone with a reasonable degree of fitness and a sense of adventure. During my Camino, I ate my way across Spain as well as walked, and being an inquisitive foodie ensured I tasted as many different foods as possible! As a result, life’s a feast‘s “A Taste of Spain” cooking class was created, and showcases a selection of authentic Spanish fare. This dish from our cooking class features prominently on many Tapas menus and is delicious as well as easy to make.

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