Every weekend during winter, a big pot of soup bubbles away on my stove. A good soup can be a one pot wonder. I always make sure there's enough in the pot for dinner, and a few workday lunches throughout the week.  The best soups are huge, hot and hearty. I like to make ours healthy with loads of fresh vegetables, a few herbs, plenty of garlic and some tummy filling protien. One of our favourites is a ham hock minestrone, this soup is so thick that even the men of the household are happy to eat it as a meal.

 

Read more: Minestrone

Last week, we were lucky enough to be invited to Oliver Brown to sample some items from their menu. We took Mr 10 along with us to fulfil every child’s dream of chocolate for dinner. We visited the Auburn café, but this Western Sydney based business also has a whopping 28 other cafes in Sydney so you are sure to find one near you and we suggest you visit it ASAP.

Read more: Oliver Brown Belgium Chocolate Cafe

Jamie Oliver, aka the Western Sydney Food Blog’s Food God, has certainly done a lot in Western Sydney lately. There’s his Ministry of Food cooking school in Wetherill Park (the first in NSW), his appearance at the Sydney Royal Easter Show (where we had a huge fan girl moment) and last year he even spent a day in the Southern Highlands (not exactly western Sydney, but we’ll claim it). And it seems that he has heard our prayers, as most recently, he has opened up at restaurant in Western Sydney’s CBD, Parramatta.

Read more: Jamie's Italian Trattoria, Parramatta

The Armory Wharf Café has to be one of my favourite cafes in Sydney. Mainly, I love the location. Hidden down the bottom of the hill of Blaxland Riverside Park, it is a fantastic place to soak up the sunshine as you watch the rivercats float past. On the weekends and during school holidays, the place gets packed and for good reason. The parkland is a trail of playgrounds, bike tracks and walkways. You can pack a picnic, or like we do, choose to visit the Armory Wharf Café for coffee and brunch.

Read more: Armory Wharf Cafe, Newington

Our family loves curry! Its a great winter warmer. In this weather curry appears on our household menu a few times a week. I am always on the lookout for new curry recipes to try, the type that don’t come out of a jar. It was exciting to stumble across some blended spice mixes while shopping at Riverview produce in Richmond. They caught my eye because they were packed with love and care and not mass produced.  I picked up a packet of the curried sausage mix to try at home.

 

Read more: Curried Sausages / Connor's Kitchen

At the beginning of the year little ole' us got the chance to have our mugs on tele. We were interviewed for TVS show Shelf Life. Shelf Life is a show about books and writers in Sydney. The episode we appeared on was about the Book and the Cook. It was so much fun to film! You can check out our story below.   

Read more: Western Sydney Food Blog Appear on Shelf Life

While in Blacktown checking out the Westpoint shops with Alice and Mr 10 last weekend, we thought it would be nice to have lunch in one of the local Blacktown eateries. We decided to escape the hustle and bustle of the Sunday shoppers and step out into Main Street to find a local restaurant in a quieter setting. We found our way to Blacktown Thai.

 

Read more: Blacktown Thai

When someone asks me for a suggestion on where they should go out to eat, the Western Sydney suburb of Plumpton, located near Mount Druitt has never come to mind. But that’s because I had never heard of the Alroy Tavern before. Now that I’ve visited, it’s high up on the Western Sydney Food Blog’s list of recommendations in this region of Sydney.

Read more: Alroy Tavern, Plumpton

Mr 10 celebrated a special birthday last weekend finally reaching double digits. To mark the occasion we invited several of his best mates out for a rip roaring Saturday afternoon of bowling and laser tag fun. The centrepiece of every birthday party is always the cake. By last Thursday I still didn’t have a cake planned for Mr 10’s bowling birthday. It became a bit of a challenge to create something with a bit of wow factor, when I didn’t have the time to bake.

Read more: Birthday Chocolate Crackles and Exploding Candy Cake

To celebrate the last day of Autumn, Sydney Living Museums hosted the food focused Autumn Harvest at the historic Rouse Hill House and Farm. We braved the rain and trudged through the mud to have a quick browse at the festivities.

Read more: Autumn Harvest at Rouse Hill House & Farm