Caloundra Street Fair

If you’re into street markets, this is a good one. Apparently it’s been voted best street market on the coast. I’m not sure about that, but it is certainly the largest. As an aside, I’m not counting Eumundi as a street market – it’s in a class all of its own…

Anyways, every Sunday – from 8am to 1pm – the main street of Caloundra is closed to traffic and 200 stalls move in selling everything from arts and crafts to produce to plants to clothes to fresh food to…you get the idea.

These were the biggest dream catchers I’ve ever seen!

I’ve seen some of the stalls at Eumundi, so if you’re staying around Caloundra and can’t make it up to Eumundi on Saturday, this is a good alternative.

If you’re after something to eat, there’s plenty of food on offer, and music while you eat it.

We chose instead to wander the couple of blocks down to Bulcock Beach and had fish and chips overlooking  Pumicestone Passage.

Bliss.

When?

Caloundra Street Markets are on every Sunday from 8am-1pm

Where?

Bulcock Street, Caloundra

Dog friendly?

Leashed only…

Parking?

There’s plenty around the side streets.

More information?

If you want more information, check out their website or stay up to date with their Facebook page.

 

Marcoola Night Markets

Ok, right at the outset I’m going to apologise for the photos in this post. We’re still a little too used to eating a tad later than is fashionable on the coast and as a result, it was pitch dark when we arrived. Plus, it’s winter.

I promise I’ll go back when the days are longer and the light is better. Besides, there are too many other stalls I want to try food from!

Having said that, this is a fabulously laid back way to put a full-stop under your working week.

From 4pm each Friday night a vacant block in the middle of town is transformed with fairy lights into an international food court…but in a very good way.

And the cuisines? Too many to mention.

We shared a serve of tempura crab

and then went with the naked souvlaki

and Mexican.

As for dessert? The sweet tooth in my family chose the oreos cheesecake. Yes, really.

As for seating, there’s a long table up the centre of the block that you can crowd around. Other than that, pack a picnic blanket and take your food into the park or onto the beach.

If, like us, you’re feeling that this night could only be more perfect if there were craft beers or a glass of wine to have with your food, then head across the road to Little Boat Cafe. Their bar is open on Friday evenings – but it’s bring your own food.

There’s music, a great family feel, and plenty of good food. In all, it’s a perfect way to end the week.

When?

Fridays 4pm – 8pm

Where?

10 Lorraine Ave, Marcoola

Parking?

Yeah, can be a challenge. Head to the side streets.

More information?

Their website is here, or keep up to date with their Facebook page.

The Urban Crafters Gang

So anyways, today we headed down to Moffat Beach. There’s this café I’d been wanting to try – One Block Back (I’ll tell you about that next time, but #spoileralert, it was great) – and because the garbage truck hadn’t been and the wheelie bins were on the road, we had to park around the corner. Which ended up being a good thing as it meant we walked past The Urban Crafters Gang.

Here’s another spoiler – you can’t just walk past this place. It draws you in and before you know it you’re signing up for a macramé class. No, I didn’t do that, but honestly, I could have. It’s that sort of place.

I guess the easiest way to describe The Urban Crafters Gang would be to say it’s a collective of fabulous crafters. There’s restored and up-cycled furniture, wall hangings, amazing crocheted rugs and woven baskets, hand-dyed cushions, ink works and so much more.

Each crafter has what is pretty well a pop-up up store within the space – and apparently they all help out in the shop. It’s a fabulous concept that works because of the talent of the makers.

I bought this fabulous planter full of succulents that have already brightened up our outside table. Cute, hey? And just needs a spray of water every so often to keep it healthy.

I have my eye on a dragonfly, and a blue ink feather from The Gypsy Heart that I think would work perfectly in my study. I suspect it will find it’s way home over the next week or so… I was also seriously tempted by the little baskets in Colour & Chic – after all, you can’t have too many baskets, right?

Anyways, the crafters are below – with links to their facebook profiles.

The Urban Crafters Gang:

Mezzie and Frank chalk effects paint
Timeless Style & Design
Eclectic Vibe
TheGypsyHeart
The Decorative Cow
Lush Relics Furniture
Succulent Artistry
Colour & Chic – Handmade

You’ll find The Urban Crafters Gang at 96 Nothling St, Caloundra.  It’s well worth seeking out…

The shop is open from Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm, Saturday 10am – 2pm.

Market update…and how to make chicken biryani

So yesterday we took ourselves off to Yandina Markets. I’d heard (and read) great things about this market and am sure we would have enjoyed it more if we were there to buy plants or look at bric-a-brac…but we weren’t. We were there for fresh produce.

I ended up buying some lovely young ginger and a bulb of garlic, and Miss T indulged in a donut, but we all voted to head back to Hinterland Harvest for our veggies.

Anyways, I’ll tell you more about Yandina next time.

dumplings…for breakfast…as you do.

Aside from dumplings for breakfast (yum), my star ingredient this week was a premixed Biryani spice mix from Di 4 Spice. You can find her on Facebook here.

Biryani is something we all enjoy – and that I especially love the next morning for brekky. With a fried egg on top, it’s a little like kedgeree, but with chicken.

Anyways, this spice mix was a great short-cut – I can’t wait to try some of the other mixes. Oh, if you want the original recipe, you’ll find it here.

What you need

300g (1 ½ cups) long grain rice. We use basmati as it’s lower GI

2 tbsp olive oil or rice bran oil. You can also use coconut oil if you like.

1 onion, finely sliced.

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tsp grated fresh ginger

Diced chicken thighs- say 600-650g.

1 chopped birdseye chilli. We like it hot & left the seeds in. You might find the spice mix has enough heat for you.

1 ½ – 2 tablespoons biryani spice mix

200ml thick plain yoghurt

1 tsp sugar (I’m sugar free, so leave this out)

a handful of toasted slivered almonds…or cashews… to serve

1/3 cup roughly chopped coriander leaves to serve

What you do with it

  • Cook the rice in boiling salted water for 8 minutes, then drain and set aside. The rice will continue to cook later…
  • Heat the onion in a large frypan over medium heat, add the onion and cook for a few minutes until they soften.
  • Add the garlic, ginger and the spice mix and stir it all through.
  • Add the chicken and cook for about 3 minutes
  • Spoon in the yoghurt, stir it all through, then reduce the heat to very low.

  • Carefully spoon the rice on top of the sauce. Cover it with a (clean) tea towel, then place the lid on top. This sounds strange, but it keeps it all steaming nicely.

  • Cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it sit for a further 10 minutes. Refrain from the temptation to take the lid off and have a peek- and smack his knuckles (softly, of course- we don’t tolerate violence of any sort here) when your husband tries to do that.
  • Remove the lid, add the nuts and half the coriander and stir well to combine.

  • Garnish with the remaining coriander.

Eumundi Markets

Make it, bake it, sew it, grow it. A simple philosophy and one that has seen Eumundi Markets grow from just a few craftspeople into a must do – and not just because you have visitors from interstate/overseas in town.

The original markets have been going since 1979 and still holds to the locally made mantra. These days, there’s also a sustainable and green element to it, with a no plastic bags policy.

As far as I’m concerned, the best part of the markets is getting there early for breakfast. I’m on a mission to try something different every visit – and there’s certainly plenty to try.

This time I chose the brekky bahn mi from the Asian Street Food stall. I also sampled some chicken satay spring rolls – for something a little different. Others in our party tried the fried Hungarian bread with nutella and banana, and the french crepes.

There’s plenty to see, listen to, buy and eat…so I’ll let the photos tell the story.

How to get there?

Eumundi is 20kms west of Noosa in the gorgeous Sunshine Coast hinterland. Just follow the signs on the Bruce highway.

For more information, check out the website.

The pub across the road

Hinterland Harvest Market – and 3 ways with ginger…and peanut butter…

As part of our quest to buy local wherever possible, we took ourselves off to Hinterland Harvest Markets at Woombye last Saturday morning. It was a drizzly morning, but the produce was fabulous – as were the stallholders…and before we knew it, we’d whiled away a couple of hours.

My key buys were:

  • Crunch from Pip’s Real Food. This is a gluten free, dairy free, no added sugar brekky granola that tastes amazing. I couldn’t decide which of her crunches that I liked best, so bought one of each. My problem is now eating it quickly enough so I have an excuse to go back and chat to Pip. I was so busy chatting that I forgot to take a pic of her stall, so here’s one I snaffled from her Facebook page.

  • Local limes, finger limes, avocados, and bananas. The finger limes have been put to good use in vodka…
  • Locally grown ginger and turmeric
  • Organic, free range eggs – beautifully sunny yellow yolks the way they’re meant to be
  • Tomatoes that taste like tomatoes taste before they’re sprayed, transported huge distances and kept in cold storage
  • Some extremely good sour dough bread
  • Cheese from Gympie Farm and Woombye Cheese company – yes, I know that I don’t tolerate dairy real well these days, but this cheese was worth it.
  • Daryl’s peanut butter – that I was assured is the best peanut butter that I’ll ever taste. I later discovered that even though the peanuts are from Kingaroy, the product itself is from Melbourne. Oh well.

What did I do with it?

First up was the peanut butter. The best I’d ever tried? Now that’s a challenge. It was pretty good, so as well as spreading it on the sourdough for brekky when we got home, I also made these peanut and choc chip cookies with it. The thing about using real peanut butter in this recipe, though, is that because it doesn’t have all the added sugar and oil that commercial peanut butter has, you need to add some extra brown sugar and butter. This makes the cookie a tad shorter, but no less tasty.

I’ve blogged the recipe before – you can find it here.

I also used the peanut butter in a satay dressing. This works perfectly on barbecued chicken thighs, or, when you’re not feeling like barbecuing chicken thighs, store-bought barbecue chicken – shredded – and tossed through some wombok, cucumber, capsicum, shredded carrot or whatever other veggie you have in the crisper.

Oh, what goes in it? About a ¼ cup of peanut butter, a couple of teaspoons of grated ginger, around 3 teaspoons of soy sauce, a pinch or so of chilli flakes, and a ½ cup of boiling water. Shake it all about and drizzle over the chicken and salad ingredients. It’s pretty easy to turn this into a satay sauce too – just by adding some chopped chilli and a small tin of coconut milk.

As well as the satay dressing, I also used the ginger and turmeric in a Kapitan chicken paste. It’s my hubby’s favourite and we’re having that tonight…you can find the recipe here.

The ginger was so young and tender – barely toddling – that I figured it needed to be used in something in which it could star – Chicken With Ginger Sauce. This is a Vietnamese dish from a book I was lucky enough to be given by the hotel where we stayed in Hoi An. If you book (directly with Maison Vy) for more than 5 nights, this is just one of the fabulous rewards on offer.

What you need…

  • 500g chicken thighs, sliced
  • 1tbsp shallots, pounded into a paste in your mortar and pestle (or is it pestle and mortar?)
  • ¼ cup ginger, sliced super fine
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 cups onion slices – I used 1 brown onion and a few shallots
  • 12 spring onion stalks – the white part only. These can be whole or chopped to a manageable length…your call.
  • ¼ teasp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil – I use rice bran oil

What you do with it…

  • Add the oil to a heated wok. Toss in the onions, spring onions, ginger, and shallot paste.
  • Stir it round for a minute or so and then add the chicken, fish sauce, salt, sugar, pepper, and chilli.
  • Stir fry for a few minutes until the chicken is cooked and serve it with steamed rice.

Super quick, super tasty.

If you want further info on the markets, you’ll find it here. The Hinterland Harvest Markets are on in Woombye every Saturday from 6-11am during the summer, and 7am- 12pm in the winter.

Pip’s super crunch can be found here – and is well worth seeking out… (I’m enjoying it with Maleny Dairies yoghurt for brekky after my sunrise walks)

Kawana Waters Farmer’s Market

img_0396

Queenslanders, well, perhaps just Sunny Coasters, tend to be early risers – especially when the rest of us are on daylight savings. I suppose it has something to do with the fact that the sun comes streaming in just after 5am at this time of the year. (As an aside, they tend to dine earlier too – the waitress in one of the Italian restaurants in Mooloolaba apologised for not having a table available before 6.30pm…)

img_0395It’s why, when hubster asked if I’d got the time right for the farmer’s market we were going to for breakfast (‘7am? Are you sure?’) I was sure. I didn’t like to tell him that Woombye Farmers’ Market is underway by 6am. He’ll find out about that soon enough.

‘Nothing will be open that early,’ he said, with the confidence of always being right. ‘It won’t get going until 8.’

Not only was it under full steam at 8am, but people had already bought their veggies (and their brekky) and were starting to leave.img_0394

It’s when you visit farmer’s markets like these – especially in places like this – that you realise there is a growing number of people (it was particularly pleasing to see so many young families) who want to eat fresh food sourced locally. And why wouldn’t you? All the produce from these markets is both of those things.

img_0409Sure, there were some stalls selling raw treats and fermented foods, but mostly it was produce – locally grown vegetables, fruit, cheese, and meats – that was the star attraction. Not everything is organic, but much of it is – or at least chemical free. Real food – with the dirt still on it, sweetie.

I was especially happy to see baskets of locally grown tumeric, ginger and garlic – for most of the year at home we can only get the imported stuff. This looked young and fresh – the way it does in the markets in Ubud…the way it rarely is in supermarkets.

img_0410For brekky we grabbed a plate of home-made pork and prawn dumplings to share, and split a brekky bacon and halloumi roll with home-made pesto. Perfect.

Kawana Waters Farmers’ Market is on every Saturday from 7am- noon at Kawana Waters State College, Sportsman Parade, Bokarina. Don’t forget your market bags.

This post was originally published in October 2016 on andanyways…