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.

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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

This fantastic fruit and veg shop at the Marketfair shopping plaza in Campbelltown stocks a huge array of both fresh produce and specialty pantry items. After following these guys on instagram for a while, we finally got to check them out while in the area last weekend.

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The sweet swap is a fundraising and networking activity for australian food or parenting bloggers across Australia. Each blogger pays a small registration fee to participate. This year this money was collected to support a clean water initiative for Vietnamese children by Child Fund Australia.  Each participating blogger is sent the name and mailing address of three other sweet swap participants. All participants prepare and mail portions of a sweet treat to their sweet swap recipients. In return you receive three sweet surprises back. It was wonderful have the postman deliver something other than bills during the last week of August.

Read more: The Sweet Swap 2014

Sydney freezer cooking enthusiast Susan Austin has just released her third inspiring cook book of make ahead recipes for the freezer. Her latest book, available as an ebook, is aptly named “Frostbite, Make-Ahead Recipes to Eliminate Mayhem at Mealtime.” With my busy adgenda I am always looking for ways to streamline lifes activities to get more relaxation time. For several years I have used Susan’s Frostbite cookbooks as my go to guide when filling my freezer with ready made meals. From the very moment I purchased the first cookbook in the Frostbite series, I’ve been hooked on freezing.

Read more: I've Got Frostbite!

Located just off bustling Church Street in Parramatta, but still in the thick of it, Kouzina Greco draws in diners with its charming, checker green table cloths and its cosy size. If you can’t tell by the name, it is a Greek restaurant and it is serving up all you would hope for on traditional terracotta crockery.

Read more: Kouzina Greco, Parramatta

It was a cold and rainy Saturday morning, but that didn’t stop us from leaving the house at 6.30am and heading off to the beautiful Camden Produce Markets. The markets are held every second and fourth Saturday of the month and allow only farmers or producers to sell their goods. It is also a fairly small market and is the only one in Australia to be held on a working farm. All this gives the Camden Produce Markets a great vibe, full of people that are passionate about fresh, Aussie produce. The breathtaking view isn’t bad, either.  

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The Peppertree Cafe is a humanity project managed by Bankstown’s Multicultural Youth Service. This organisation were well deserving winners at the recent Fair Go For the West Awards for their achievements in employment. When we heard about their mission and success we decided to book a table for dinner at the cafe for their monthly performance night. We wanted to experience and contribute to this important social enterprise within the Bankstown community.

Read more: Bankstown's Humanity Project, The Peppertree Cafe