Brisbane Buildings

Brisbane is a true mixture of both old and new architecture. I love it! My son took these pics, he is 13 years old and was doing an assignment for year 7. Aren’t they fabulous!

Queen Street mall modern butterflies!

The Treasury Casino, old school.

 Old greatness!

 Modern spirits rising.

The Mansions.

 The Treasury Casino, front on from the park.

Old Government House.

Queensland University of Technology, P Block

 The New Government Building being built!

How diverse and fabulous is Brisbane! I just love the old buildings, and like the uniqueness of the modern high rises.



Brisbane Buildings

Brendo’s birthday cake

My hubby was turning 40 and didn’t want a ‘big deal’ made of this achievement. So naturally, I bought a flashing light and caution cones and asked his wonderful staff to pop them in front of his office so when he got to work he felt special….hahaha! A cake was in order, so this is what I came up with for a simple bloke who likes vanilla. It was scrumptious! Have a go, you won’t be disappointed!

Brendan's cake

Ingredients for the cake

250g butter

½ cup olive oil

3 cups caster sugar

5 eggs

3 cups plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

200ml milk

2 tsp vanilla bean paste

2 heaped tbs Greek vanilla bean yoghurt


Ingredients for the cream between layers

250ml cream

1 tsp vanilla paste

2 heaped cups icing powder


Ingredients for the ganache

2 tbs cream

220g white chocolate



Cream the butter and olive oil together in an electric mixer bowl. Slowly add all the caster sugar bit by bit, taking a few minutes to complete the process. Add the 5 eggs one by one, with electric mixing in between each addition. In a separate bowl combine your flour, salt and baking powder together. In another bowl combine the milk, vanilla bean paste and yoghurt together. Add half of the dry mixture to the main bowl and electric beat, then add half of the wet mixture and electric beat some more. Add the rest of the dry mix, beating, and then add the last of the wet mix. Electric mix the entire amount for a whole two minutes. As you can see, this is a lot of cake batter! Grease and line 2 cake tins you’d like to use, then pour the mixture into each tin, making sure not to fill to more than ¾ of the way up the tins. Bake at 170 degrees Celsius for approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes. This cooking time will vary depending on your cake tins. High tins should be backed at 160 degrees Celsius for the hour and ten minutes, but rounder flatter cake tins like 22cm ones only take about 50 minutes. You know your oven and you know your tin, so just keep an eye on it! Long and slow beats hot and fast – you don’t want to burn your outside and have it cave into the middle – so keep the oven on a slow heat like 160-170 and just bake longer if you need to.

For the cream between layers simply beat the cream, vanilla paste and icing powder together until almost stiff. Once the cake is cool, assemble with this beautifully naughty cream oozing out from the layering!

For the white chocolate ganache simply boil water in a saucepan and place a steel bowl above it. Once the bottom of the steel bowl is hot add the chocolate and cream, stirring with a metal knife as it melts. Once melted stir until there are no lumps. Once the cake is cooled and assembled, run the ganache all over with a flat steel knife. I went for a semi-naked look as my cake was a ‘construction zone’ for my hubby who works in construction. Make more and layer it thick if you like. If you prefer ganache to be more sweet and spreadable just add a cup of icing powder and another tablespoon of cream, whip and you’re done! However you make this cake, I do hope you enjoy it with friends!

Brendo’s birthday cake

Easy fried rice

This rice is good for a side dish but can stand alone as a meal itself. My family enjoy it both hot and cold, making it ideal for school lunches after having it for dinner (cheating but winning)! Have a go, it is easy, and oh so yummy!!


Splash of olive oil

1 diced onion

4 garlic cloves, chopped

6 bacon rashers, chopped

1 can baby corn kernels

1 cup frozen peas

2 cups cooked long grain rice

3 eggs

2 tbs butter

A handful of parsley

Dash of apple cider vinegar

Dash of soy sauce



Splash some olive oil in a heavy deep based pan and slosh it around. Add the onion and garlic and saute for a few minutes. Add the bacon and fry for about five minutes, until the bacon is cooked. Add the cooked rice, corn, peas, apple cider and soy sauce. Combine really well and leave on the stove top for about ten minutes to meld together. In another pan, melt the butter. Whilst the butter is melting whisk the eggs together. Add the eggs to the pan and stir with a fork. After one minute turn the heat off and stir the eggs with the fork once more. They should be almost done. Add the egg to the main pan and toss through the rice. Sprinkle with parsley and ta da! That’s as simple as it gets! I hope you enjoy this take on an old favourite!

Easy fried rice