Here at Western Sydney Food Blog we love cooking at home and eating out. However, we also have those nights where want to lie on the couch and have someone spoon feed us fried rice as we watch Man vs. Food. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to find anyone to spoon feed us yet, but we have found the next best thing: Menulog.

Read more: Jenny's Asian Kitchen, Chester Hill

Amina Elshafei first won Australia’s hearts when she appeared as a contestant on Masterchef Australia in 2012. Not only was she the shows first Muslim contestant and an infectiously positive competitor, but her cooking style captivated audiences as she drew influences from both her Egyptian and Korean heritage. Since the show, Amina has continued to follow her love of cooking. We caught up with her to find out what she has been doing.

Read more: Masterchef Alumnus Amina Elshafei

There have been many food and culture festivals happening all throughout western Sydney during October's Good Food Month. Hopefully you didn’t miss Parramatta Lanes or Parramasala over the past few weeks. Both festivals filled the streets around Parramatta with great food, colour, lights, contemporary art and dancing. In what I can only describe as a party atmosphere, I immersed myself in the colour and culture of both nights and got reacquainted with some of the thriving streets around Parramatta.

Read more: Parramatta's Parralanes and Parramasala

We recently visited a small, rustic café. The walls were styled with exposed brick, corregated iron, timber and tiles. The seating area was a covered green house, surrounded by hanging ferns. You’d be forgiven for thinking that this hole in the wall café was located in somewhere like Balmain, but in fact it’s in western Sydney’s Liverpool.

Read more: Brunch at Ristretto and Co

It’s an exciting time in western Sydney with the October Good Food Month now full swing . From what I have experienced so far, western Sydney is definitely the place to celebrate Sydney’s big annual food event. Yesterday I ventured out to the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre with my nine year old son. We were there to tempt our sweet tooth at the Sweet As Festival 2014. As an added bonus we were treated to some art and culture with many colourful art exhibits on show around the desserts.

Read more: Sweet As Festival 2014, Casula Powerhouse

Despite feeling gloomy about turning another year older, last week I celebrated my birthday in style with two fantastic dinners arranged by my thoughtful family. First we enjoyed an Italian extravaganza made at home by my daughter Alice. Throughout the day my husband had managed to keep his birthday surprise under his hat, but before dessert the secret was out. The following night we were heading into town for a night at The Rocks and a fine dining experience at Sydney’s iconic Aria restaurant.

Read more: Two Birthday Dinners: Aria

Lately there have been some new burger joints popping up across western Sydney. They are part of the ever expanding Dougie’s Grill franchise, but don’t think that this is your typical takeaway burger place. The burgers at Dougie’s Grill are all grilled to order, inspired by Middle Eastern flavours and all meat is hand slaughtered halal, filling several gaps in the burger market. Oh, and by the way, in 2012 they were put on the list of top 10 burgers in Sydney by the Daily Telepgraph!

Read more: Dougie's Grill

When I took my dad out for lunch the other day, the brief was: a pub for a beer and a steak. Not hard to find really. However, I wanted to take him to a pub where the food had a little bit more pizazz and we didn’t get given a buzzer to know when our food is ready. After much research, I took him to nearby Richards on the Park in Canley Vale.

Read more: Bistro 2166, Canley Vale

The sun seems to be rarely making appearances lately, so when it decided to poke its head out the other day, we drove to Picton to make the most of it. We went to the gorgeous Common Ground café and bakery at the Razorback Inn. This beautiful place that is run by an alternative religious group has been on our agenda for ages, so we were thrilled to finally visit.

Read more: Common Ground at Picton

The Southern Highlands Food and Wine Festival was held this weekend at the beautiful Corbett Gardens in Bowral. The festival is held to celebrate and showcase the fine food and wine available in this culinary inspiring region of NSW . The easy drive to Bowral from our home in south west Sydney took just over an hour. We arrived in time to enjoy a coffee and have a look at the fashionable shops before progressing on to Corbett Gardens which were ablaze with colour from the many  blooming tulips on display.

Read more: The Southern Highlands Food and Wine Festival 2014