Tasmania for Christmas 2019

We have been calling Hobart, Tasmania home since January 2019. We have lived through part of a Summer and all of a Winter and we aren’t scared off. You see, people say the winters are harsh, bitter and never ending but we loved watching the change of seasons and rugging up by the fire.  We love everything about exploring this beautiful island and hosting our family here this Christmas will be busy and fun.

Pooley Winery

All time favourite winery in Richmond. We are there most weekends and it is hard to stay away. The tasting experience is exceptional and the setting is beautiful. The wine is outstanding.

Puddleduck Winery Picnic Day


BYO Picnic lunch to this wonderful venue with inside and outside areas you can book. A playground for the kids, duck feeding, wine tasting (for the adults) in a beautiful setting, this is sure to be a great family day out.

The only condition of this venue is that all drinks (including kids drinks) need to be purchased onsite. This is a great deal considering we can take everything else in to this awesome venue.

Read about the venue HERE


Hastings Caves


Approximately 1 hour and 45mins drive through the Huon Valley and the apple orchards will bring you to Hasting Caves and Hot Springs.

Formed millions of years ago, the dolomite cave is one of two show caves found in Australia. You will discover spectacular subterranean formations including flowstone, stalactites, columns, shawls, straws, stalagmites and the unusual helictites.

The cave is spacious there are no narrow passages.
We can secure a pre lit wood fired BBQ to cook lunch and explore the caves and swim if you dare (in the hot springs)

I suggest leaving home by 8:30am to arrive at the Caves by 10:15am. We could then take in turns to visit the caves.
A trip to the apple shed with house made cider could be included on the return journey.

Cost is $24 / adults $12 / kids.
Read about it


Sydney to Hobart Race


Tasmania gets the party started – from 27 December – as the participants make their way down the coast.

A warm welcome awaits you in Tasmania at the Hobart Race Village on Constitution Dock – the ultimate celebration venue for Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race finish. Once the village opens at midday on December 27, the festivities begin.

Children’s games and activities in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Village will keep the younger attendees busy, with The Taste of Tasmania festival, Australia’s oldest and largest food and wine festival, taking place nearby.

CYCA supporter Musto will be selling race merchandise in the Village, while celebrated Tasmanian yachting photographer Richard Bennett will again be displaying his stunning imagery.

The Hobart Race Village will be open from midday to 10pm on December 27, and from 10am until midnight up until the end of the race. It will however remain open until 1.30am on New Year’s Eve where you can welcome in 2019 with a prime view of Hobart’s fireworks show!

To see the entertainment schedule and read more go HERE


Taste of Tassie


If there’s one week on the calendar in which Tasmania’s capital city, Hobart, truly shines, it’s during the Taste of Tasmania festival.

The summer climate is superb, yachts from one of the world’s great ocean races, the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, fill the city’s docks, and Tasmania’s finest flavours are in abundance all around the waterfront venue.

Watch world-class street performers, settle into a bean bag for an outdoor movie in the park, and graze your way through the sumptuous flavours of the state.

From 28 December – 3 January
Free Entry


These are just the highlights. We also thought the following would be fun too:

Adults only trip to wineries
Trip to Redbanks for Shooting
Day trip to Port Arthur and the Lavender Fields via Cubed Coffee and Bangor Winery.
Trip to Mount Wellington to view the whole city from 1200m
Salamanca Markets on Saturday morning
Salmon Ponds fish feeding
Visit to Mona (lots to do, see and explore outside and around the venue)

Slow Roasted Moroccan Lamb

I adore people who can cook better than me. One time I would have been jealous, now I love the fact that they can teach me even more and surprisingly sometimes I actually teach them!

One of my favorite cooks is my friend Jacquie or Everyday Cook as she is known in Social Media circles. She is one of a kind. She can cook and she can bake. And bake she does!

You can follow her on
INSTAGRAM (everydaycook)

I have made quite a few things from her blog over time, and last night I attempted her Slow Roasted Moroccan Lamb.

Now Jacquie is not your ordinary women, she has lived in Paris! And while there she enjoyed many a Moroccan meal. Who knew France was more about bread, cheese and croissants?

So, back on task, my friend Bec and I both tried this new recipe last night and we have both put it on the MUST MAKE AGAIN list. We also both cooked ours in our oval Aldi knock off Le Creuset with lid on. PERFECT!

Your to do list.

1.   Add these item’s to the shopping list:

1 Large leg of lamb
A little olive oil
4 brown onions, peeled and sliced
1 bunch of coriander
1 teaspoon of chilli
50 g ground cumin
3 pieces of preserved lemons cut into slices
small piece of grated ginger
1 teaspoon of tumeric
2 pinches of saffron
2 cinnamon sticks
1/4 cup of honey
5 garlic cloves diced
250 ml of white wine
1 litre of chicken stock
{I had mine with sweet potato mash}
1 kg sweet potato

2. Method

Heat oil in a large fry pan and brown the leg of lamb, turning over.

Remove the lamb and add sliced onions and garlic. Cook until soft and brown. Add cumin, chilli, saffron, ginger cinnamon, preserved lemon and honey and stir. Then add the wine and stock and cook for a few minutes. Add half the coriander chopped. (If you want to take an easier way you can buy Herbies Tagine Spices and they do a great job)

Place the lamb in an oven proof dish, if you have one with a lid great, if you don’t you can cover with foil. Pour the sauce over the lamb, cover and place in an oven for 3 1/2 to 4 hours at 165 degrees. Check every hour and turn the lamb over and baste. When ready, the meat should be falling off the bones and be very tender. Sprinkle the rest of the coriander over the lamb before serving.

You can serve the Moroccan Lamb with cous cous and a salad, or I baked sweet potato and sprinkled it with toasted pine nuts and coriander.

Go to Everday Cook’s blog HERE to follow the steps.

3. Enjoy a most delicious slow cooked meal!

Mine on the left and another friend of mine Bec’s on the right.
I served mine with cinnamon sweet potato mash in the thermomix and a green salad.

Cooking With Emma

After seven months in France, we took a break from r-gargling and brie bingeing and visited Italy as part of our very brave eight-weeks-on-the-road-with-three-young-kids summer road trip.  Michael and I have been there done that in Rome, Venice and Florence, so we picked a small country village in the hills of Tuscany and a quaint terrace house in Nesso, Lake Como as our Italian destinations of choice.  For six nights in Tuscany, we stayed in an old stone relic of a house with those classic terracotta tiles you wish you could afford in a new home.  They would never look as good as they do in a house that has been lived in for hundreds of years … it’s the scratches, divots and dents and the smooth, worn down steps that give it such character.  I had a quick look on the other side of the ancient door that led…

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10,000 Miles to Home ~ Meeting my Italian Family Part 2 {Marc Knight}

So I was finally in Italy, a place I had tried to imagine in my dreams for many years.  No matter how many photos I saw or the endless surfing on the internet looking at where my family were from prepared me for the reality of the real thing.

Fresh off the train my cousin took me into the town of Arezzo.  I was instantly amazed.  This place is old I thought.  My mind started wandering trying to soak in the history.  In Australia we think 200 odd years of white Australia is old and all of a sudden I am looking at places that are several hundred years old.


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First Passport Stamp – Tokyo, Japan

In May 2013 I obtained a passport.

14 days later I left Australia. It wasn’t Italy, but I was on my way!
Tokyo was nothing like I had expected but so much more.
With the trip so quickly arranged and a full schedule leading up to the departure there was no time to research my guts out (like I normally do).
And this was no small feat. Three adults (one 70 year old) Four teenagers/preteens and one toddler all to Tokyo for five nights!

Ginza was stunning

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6 top travel tips my Facebook friends loved

Some quick tips from my recent long haul trip to Europe. Add them to your repertoire if you haven’t already.

View from the on-off bus

Up, Up and away!

Your carry-on kit contains the only belongings you will see for many hours if you’re travelling long haul so it is important to have everything you need.

I have labeled each person’s passport with their name on the front. This makes identifying your passport through customs super easy and much less fumbling.

If travelling with a child, pack a turkish towel too. They roll up and are compact. They will service everything from water slippages all over your seat or clean blanket or pillow.

Inside your carry-on kit, along with all the usual suspects, should be a leisure suit for each of the travellers to change into for the long haul flight, or a spare t-shirt if you are just flying short haul. Change out into your comfortable clothes after take off and back into your nice outfit before landing. This will ensure you are feeling the best you can as you walk off the plane in your new destination.

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How to see the world like a local

This post was written as part of a Virgin Australia Problogger Travel Competition. Learn more here.


To truly experience a place is to pretend that you live there. Sure, you can visit all the tourist spots and follow all of the tips in the travel guide but to see how a place really functions is to live like a local.

You can get more out of travelling than you ever have before. You can leave a place with more friends and know that when you come back (even years later) they will remember you.

Here are my tips for experiencing the world like a local.

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Simple Lemon Muffins

These muffins are my standby quick-someone-is-coming-over muffins. Also perfect for school holidays, morning teas, picnics, beach days and little baked gifts for friends or family.

They are light, delicious and have a lemony crispy topping.

You can finish these off within 20 minutes and there is minimal clean up. These little gems are also the most asked for baked recipe I have so to post them here means that all my friends have access to them any time.


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Italian Lemon Muffins

I love lemon.

Anything with lemon makes me weaken and indulge. These muffins are just delicious. I have two recipes to share. Both look the same, but taste different.

This one requires a few more steps, but it is worth it.

Do you love lemon too?


Italian Lemon Muffins

Italian Lemon Muffins ~ Tuscan Inspired


1 3/4 cups self raising flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
grated lemon rind
Juice of the whole lemon
1 large egg, lightly beaten


  • Heat oven to 180 C or 375 F
  • Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt into a bowl and make a well in the center.
  • In another bowl combine ricotta, water, olive oil, lemon juice & rind and the egg. Pour this mixture into the well. Stir until mixed.
  • Divide batter into a 12 muffin tin.
  • Bake for about 16 minutes. Test with a wooden tooth pick in the center and if comes out clean they are ready
  • Serve warm or cold. Delicious with lemon curd and cream.

now blogging at www.katesplates.com.au


Lover of Puglia Italy, living in Tasmania Australia


Delicious travel adventures by Dianne Bortoletto

Passive Gourmet's Blog

Turning my cookbooks from fiction to food. One meal at a time.

Uncorked and Cultivated

an Australian wine consultancy founded by Master of Wine Peter Scudamore-Smith