Category: Uncategorized

What is an ice cream bean?

Icecream bean 2

If you’ve never heard of an ice cream bean and you’re sitting there scratching your head thinking – what in the world is an ice cream bean? – don’t worry, you’re not alone.

While immensely popular in its native habitat in South America (villages even hold competitions to see who can find the biggest ice cream bean pods and monkeys love them), it doesn’t enjoy the same celebrity status in Australia where it grows wild in the tropical north.

It’s a shame because the white, spongy flesh inside the seed pods is delicious!

So named because the flavour has been described as similar to vanilla ice cream, I’m more inclined to describe it as kind of like a custard apple.

It is soft and spongy in texture, and the juice that comes out once you chew it, is quite sweet.

Continue reading

Mango and avocado panzanella

Tropical panzanella 2

Tired of the serving up the same-old salad every time friends come around for a barbecue or party but don’t know how to mix it up a little? 

Then this easy mango and avocado panzanella dish is for you.

Panzanella is a traditional Tuscan recipe which literally translates to peasant salad.

Like so many recipes from Italy, it makes use of simple ingredients that would have been available to even the poorest families, hence the name.

It’s usually based around stale bread, tomatoes and onions. These ingredients would almost always be on hand in Italy.

At my family’s recent New Year gathering, one of my jobs was to bring along a salad. I didn’t want just any old salad though, I wanted something different, something interesting . . .

I started thinking about what is fresh and in-season here in the tropics in summer.

I started thinking mangoes.

Continue reading

I’m baaack!

What’s that? You thought I’d given up on my blog?

It’s ok, I thought I had too but to be honest I’ve missed it so much that, well . . . here I am!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year with friends and family.

I know I did.

So what was on your dinner table over the festive season? Lots of fresh local produce I hope because as we all know, you just can’t beat it for flavour.

You may notice that there are a few changes around here. First of all, the name of my blog has changed. It’s now called All You Can Eat and has a new address at

The decision to re-brand was made after a lot of soul searching over the last few months.

While the philosophy behind Grow it, Catch it, Make it has not changed, I’ve expanded the concept slightly.

Don’t worry, All You Can Eat isn’t a food blog about my favourite $10.95 smorgasbord at the local club. I won’t do that to you, I promise!

Continue reading

Pecan nuts


Forty years ago Innot Hot Springs farmer Bill Godden planted one of the few pecan nut orchards in the Far North.

Each winter, the nuts are harvested and sold mostly through word-of-mouth and local markets, providing top-quality produce for those who are lucky enough to be in the know.

I visited Bill at his property recently and found not only a first-class product, but also a true character of the Australian bush.

To tell you the truth, up until about a week ago, I didn’t know much about pecan nuts. Sure, I had heard of them – even used them from time to time – but they were always just something I’d bought off the supermarket shelf, with no idea of where they came from.

I just assumed they were something I couldn’t source locally . . .

Continue reading

Quick and easy pumpkin soup


Few things are as satisfying as a hot bowl of pumpkin soup on a cool, winter’s night.

And as you’ll see, it’s dead easy to make.

Just thought I’d share this quick recipe with you. It’s a favourite in my house at this time of year, when the nights are cool and clear and you need something to warm your insides . . .

Continue reading

Small gestures can have big impacts



Well, it’s been four months since I started my blog and as anyone who has been down this path will tell you – it ain’t easy!

For me the hardest part is dealing with the frustration (and at times disappointment) that comes from having a head full of ideas for my blog but lacking the time and (if I’m honest) confidence to turn them into something I can share with my readers.

So much so, that for the last few weeks I’ve been thinking about closing my blog down and walking away from it.

Sounds a bit dramatic, I know, but I have a habit of starting what I think are really good ideas at the time, then losing patience with them before they can fully bloom . . .

Continue reading

Star fruit upside down cake

Star fruit upside down cake

Looking for the perfect treat for your guests next time you invite them over for morning tea? Try serving up a delicious star fruit upside down cake – I guarantee it will surprise and impress them . . .

At least a couple of times a week, I try to go for a walk in the afternoons. Partly because I need the exercise and partly because I live near a river and it’s relaxing to walk along the bank and enjoy the view.

I usually take my two English staffies with me (they enjoy getting out of the backyard), and occasionally my teenage kids join us.

I follow a footpath which runs along its eastern bank, flanked by houses, then under a bridge and up alongside the town’s high school. The high school hasn’t always been a high school though.

For a long time it was a TAFE College; a place where adults went to further their studies through courses aimed at improving their job prospects.

I was teenager myself when it first kicked off and it was a roaring success. It had all sorts of subjects on offer and in its heyday, had a lot of really cool infrastructure in place.

One of these was an orchard.

Continue reading