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  • 03/24/13--21:07: Chefs in the North dinner
  • with Maggie Beer, author of Cooking with Verjuice

    Join Maggie in the eighth Chefs in the North dinner that will showcase North Queensland's outstanding local produce. With a magical setting under the stars and overlooking Magnetic island, there will be chamber music performances and a degustation menu prepared by Maggie and other fine Australian chefs.
    P (07) 4727 9797 or 1800 449 977.


    Dinner and music under the stars
    Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 18:30
    Maggie Beer

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  • 03/24/13--21:14: Food Safari with
  • Maggie Beer, author of Cooking with Verjuice

    Join Maggie on this six night food safari traveling through Kangaroo Island. Go on excursions from farms to wineries and choose the  best produce for the evening's menu and discover the Island that is emerging globally as an island of exceptional, sustainable food producers.  
    Contact Southern Ocean Lodge
    P (08) 8559 7347

    Food Safari
    Saturday, August 24, 2013 - 09:00
    Maggie Beer

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  • 04/03/13--21:24: Good Food & Wine Show
  • featuring Maggie Beer, author of Cooking With Verjuice

    Join Maggie in the celebrity theatre and be inspired by her fresh, natural and entertaining approach. Maggie has also prepared a  menu at the Yalumba Y Series restaurant, which is the perfect place to soak up the atmosphere. Price (general admission) $33

    Friday, June 7, 2013 - 12:15
    Maggie Beer

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  • 04/03/13--21:34: Good Food & Wine Show
  • featuring Tobie Puttock, author of Italian Local

    Come watch Tobie in the Melbourne celebrity theatre as he demonstrates his favourite dishes that he cooks at home as part of a balanced diet, for a happy and healthy family. Price (general admission) $33

    Saturday, June 8, 2013 - 16:45
    Tobie Puttock

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  • 04/03/13--21:41: Good Food & Wine Show
  • featuring Maggie Beer, author of Cooking With Verjuice

    Join in the fun in the Sydney celebrity theatre as Maggie shares her love of a good food with her fresh, natural and entertaining cooking approach. Price (general admission) $33

    Friday, June 28, 2013 - 11:45
    Maggie Beer

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  • 04/03/13--21:44: Pasta soup with Peas
  • This hearty soup is so quick and simple to make that it easily becomes addictive. We use ditalini or tubetti for this, but broken spaghetti or a mixture of pastas will do just fine.

    In the old days, when dried pasta was sold from huge sideboards with glass-fronted drawers in Italian grocery stores, there was always lots of broken pasta left in the bottom of the drawers. Sold cheaply to make way for the next batch, this pasta often found its way into soups.

    1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan or stockpot over a low-–medium heat. Add the onion and pancetta and sauté for about 6–8 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the onion is soft. Add the peas, then season with a little salt and pepper and stir for a couple of minutes to allow the peas to absorb the flavours.
    2. Add 1 litre of water or broth, bring to the boil and cook the peas for 10 minutes (5 minutes if using frozen peas). Add the pasta and cook for the time indicated on the packet, stirring often with a wooden spoon.
    3. When the pasta is ready, stir in the parsley and serve immediately with the parmesan.
    Lucio Galletto
    Serves 4

    90 ml extra virgin olive oil

    25 g butter

    1 small white onion, finely chopped

    70 g pancetta, cut into small strips

    400 g fresh or frozen peas

    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    200 g tubetti, ditalini or broken spaghetti

    1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

    80 g freshly grated parmesan

    The Art of Pasta
    Other tags: 

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    I'm rather partial to a big breakfast, but during the hotter months a big plate of bacon and eggs is a bit on the heavy side. This fresh little number takes ten minutes from start to finish – perfect for breakfast, which if you are anything like me, is a time of the day when you don't want to be fussing about too much in the kitchen.


    1. Mix together the grated zucchini, mint, parmesan, fennel fronds, eggs and a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
    2. Heat the vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat Working in batches, fry 1/4 cup portions of the batter until golden on both sides. Repeat with the remaining batter and place on paper towel to drain any excess oil.
    3. Divide the fritters among 4 plates, then drape a couple of pieces of gravlax over each. Drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil, place a dollop of goat’s curd on top and finely grate over some lemon zest, then squeeze with a little lemon juice and season with freshly ground black pepper. I also like to finish mine with some chopped fennel fronds if I have some kicking around my kitchen.
    Tobie Puttock
    Serves 4

    2 zucchini, coarsely grated

    a small handful of roughly chopped or torn mint

    2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan

    1 tablespoon fennel fronds or dill sprigs

    2 free-range eggs

    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    2 tablespoons vegetable oil, for pan-frying

    8 slices gravlax or smoked salmon

    extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

    2 tablespoons goat’s curd

    1 lemon

    Italian Local

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  • 04/17/13--19:23: Apple and pine-nut cake
  • This is the sort of cake you should bake when you’re trying to sell your house – the gentle smell of baking apple fills the kitchen with a reassuring homeliness. It’s amazing served while still
    a little warm, with cream.

    1. Preheat oven to 180˚C and butter and flour a 20 cm-diameter springform tin. 
    2. Sift the flour with the baking powder into a bowl, then stir in the sugar. Make a well in the centre and add the beaten egg and butter. Stir the wet ingredients together, gradually incorporating the surrounding dry ingredients to make a thick batter.
    3. Fold in half the apple, half the pine nuts and all the lemon zest and spoon into the prepared tin, smoothing the top evenly. Top with the remaining apple and pine nuts and bake for about 65 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean (cover the cake with baking paper or foil if the top is browning too much).
    4. Remove from the oven, leave to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a serving plate to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar and serve as is, or with cream.
    Suzanne Gibbs
    Serves 8

    1 cup plain flour

    1 teaspoon baking powder

    ½ cup caster sugar

    2 large eggs, lightly beaten

    125 g unsalted butter, melted

    4 golden delicious apples, cored and thinly sliced

    ½ cup pine nuts

    finely grated zest of 1 lemon

    icing sugar, to dust

    whipped or pouring cream (optional), to serve

    The Thrifty Kitchen

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  • 04/24/13--00:34: Anzac biscuits
  • I’ve always loved Anzac biscuits. How my mum ever kept up with the rate we ate them, I’ll never know. Yet somehow she managed to keep just ahead of our voracious appetites and nimble fingers (that could even whisk them off the baking trays while they were still hot). And even though we burnt our mouths as we ate them, they were worth it and more. I doubt that anyone these days could ever lay claim to the recipe as their own, as there are so many versions and they all tend to use similar ingredients – although some now include fairly exotic additions like wattle seeds and lemon myrtle, while others are studded with chocolate chips. Very good they are too – but for me, it’s hard to beat the chewy, oat-laden, golden-syrupy originals. 
    This recipe makes biscuits that are quite chewy as I like them that way, but if you’re one of the ‘crisp biscuit’ brigade, just use a bit more flour in the mixture and cook them slightly longer. 

    1. Preheat your oven to 160°C. Line a couple of large bakingtrays with baking paper and set aside. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together the oats, coconut, flour and sugar. 
    2. Put the butter and golden syrup into a small saucepan over low heat and warm them, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the boiling water and bicarbonate of soda and stir them in briefly; just be a bit careful as 
    3. the mixture froths up. Pour this buttery liquid into the oat mixture along with the vanilla extract. Quickly stir the two together until they’re thoroughly combined. 
    4. Roll the resulting sticky dough into walnut-sized balls, then flatten them slightly and sit them at least 5 cm apart (as they spread quite a bit) on the prepared baking trays. Press an almond, if using, into the top of each biscuit; the almonds are really just a bit of window-dressing to make them look a bit different, so you certainly don’t have to use them. Depending on the size of your oven, you may find you need to bake these in batches. 
    5. Bake for 16–20 minutes or until the biscuits are deep golden brown but still soft, then remove them from the oven. (It’s a good idea to rotate the trays from shelf to shelf halfway through the baking time to ensure the biscuits cook evenly.) Leave them to cool on the trays for a few minutes, then carefully transfer them to wire racks to cool completely. They keep well in an airtight container for up to 1 week (I wish – I don’t think they have ever lasted that long in my house!).
    Belinda Jeffery
    Makes 24-30

    1 cup (90 g) rolled oats (not quick cooking oats)

    2/3 cup (50 g) shredded coconut

    1 cup (150 g) plain flour

    ¾ cup (165 g) castor sugar

    125 g unsalted butter

    2 tablespoons golden syrup

    2 tablespoons boiling water

    1½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    whole blanched almonds (optional), for topping

    Mix & Bake

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  • 05/01/13--23:05: Ginger and mushroom congee
  • This congee is ideal for autumnal nights. It’s not just the comforting smell; one of ginger’s volatile oils is a sedative and it also has analgesic properties, so if you have chilly bones this is the best supper dish. You’ll find young ginger at the markets in late summer and early autumn. It has none of the fibre of the later, mid-year ginger, and it requires no peeling and very little cooking. Choose unwrinkled thumbs with pinky tips on the roots, and skin that slips off with a fingernail push – it should weep a little juice immediately or it’s too old. Young ginger has a delicate, subtle flavour, which means you can add bucketloads to a dish without it stomping all over the accompanying flavours. In this, it brings a nice crunchy contrast to the velvety rice.

    Any pickled Asian green or cabbage works here. I generally use mustard greens (available from Asian grocers) because they kick the subtle zing of the ginger and shallot up a notch. You’ll need to start the rice a day ahead.

    1. Place the rice in a colander and wash it several times by running cold water over the top while agitating the rice. Drain well. Place the rice, ½ teaspoon of oil, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 litre of water in a large saucepan. Leave the rice to soak in the fridge overnight (there’s no need to cover the pan).
    2. Meanwhile, to make the stock, place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 1 hour (you may need to place a plate on top to keep the shiitakes immersed). Strain the stock, reserving the shiitakes and discarding the aromatics. Chuck the shiitakes in a container and store them in the fridge. You’ll need 6 mushrooms for the congee; the rest will keep for up to a week.
    3. The following day, add the stock to the rice and its soaking water. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer with the lid on for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the rice is creamy and broken down to a smooth porridge consistency.
    4. Remove and discard the stems of 6 shiitakes and finely slice the caps. Heat a small heavy-based frying pan over medium heat, then add the oil and sliced shiitakes. Fry for 2–3 minutes until the shiitakes are just colouring and crisping a little, then add the sliced ginger and fry for a further minute or so until the shiitakes are well browned. Deglaze the pan with the shaohsing, then remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
    5. Add the mustard greens and half the shallots to the rice and cook for a few minutes over medium heat, stirring to combine and warm through.
    6. Serve the congee in one big bowl or smaller individual bowls, sprinkled with the fried ginger and shiitakes and remaining raw shallots. Top with coriander, chilli, Sichuan pepper, Crispy shallot chips and soy sauce. Add salt to taste. Serve with a little extra soy on the side if you like.
    Simon Bryant
    Serves 4 for supper

    ½ cup (100 g) jasmine rice

    2 tablespoons flavour-neutral oil, plus ½ teaspoon for the rice

    salt flakes

    4 cm piece young ginger, skin on, thinly sliced (about 2 heaped tablespoons in total)

    2 tablespoons Shaohsing

    3 tablespoons pickled mustard greens, washed, drained and finely chopped

    3 red shallots, halved and finely sliced lengthways

    1 large handful coriander leaves with 3–4 cm stem

    1 bird’s eye chilli, chopped, seeds and all

    ¼ teaspoon ground sichuan pepper

    1 teaspoon crispy shallot chips

    2 tablespoons Chinese light soy sauce


    2 cups (500 ml) water

    12 dried shiitake mushrooms

    2 star anise

    3 spring onions, tied in a knot

    2 cm piece ginger, bashed

    2 cloves garlic, bashed

    Simon Bryant's Vegies

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  • 05/08/13--19:16: Feast for the Senses Tour
  • with Dominique Rizzo, author of My Taste of Sicily

    Travel with Dominique as she personally escorts a culinary tour of Western Sicily. This is an exciting oppotunity to get a taste of Dominique's Sicilian heritage first hand and share her passion with creative and innovative food.
    Phone 0434141322    

    Culinary Tour
    Sunday, June 9, 2013 - 09:00
    Dominique Rizzo

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  • 05/08/13--22:14: Raspberry friands
  • I featured these little cakes on the blog a year or two ago, and I’ve never received so many compliments from my girlfriends (who claim they can’t cook!). They love making them for all sorts of occasions, including baby showers, hen nights and engagement parties. Raspberries pair so well with almonds, but chopped peaches, pears, plums or cherries would work just as well.

    1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C fan-forced. Lightly grease eighteen holes of two silicone friand moulds or non-stick friand pans.
    2. Whisk the egg whites for a few seconds just to lightly combine; you don’t need to whip them into peaks or anything like that.
    3. Add the butter, almond meal, icing sugar and flour and beat lightly to combine well. Pour into the prepared moulds or pans, filling each hole two-thirds full.
    4. Place two or three raspberries on top of each friand and bake for 25–30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
    5. Dust the friands with icing sugar and serve warm, with extra fresh raspberries if you like.
    Katie Quinn Davies
    Makes 18

    10 free-range egg whites

    300 g unsalted butter, melted

    175 g almond meal

    370 g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting

    2/3 cup (100 g) plain flour, sifted

    2 x 125 g punnets raspberries, plus extra for serving

    What Katie Ate

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    If only travelling was as easy as daydreaming about it. That’s when food can be a close substitute. This salad is very similar to one I had at a tapas bar at the La Boqueria Market in Barcelona. Use the best chorizo you can find for a delicious whack of smoky paprika.


    1. Place the beans, tomatoes, onion and parsley in a bowl.
    2. To make the dressing, place all the ingredients in a jar with a screw-top lid and shake to combine. Pour the dressing over the salad and set aside for 5–10 minutes for the flavours to infuse.
    3. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over medium–high heat and add the oil to the pan. Toss in the chorizo and cook for a minute or two until crispy. 
    4. To serve, arrange the salad on a plate, scatter the chorizo on top and serve immediately.
    Indira Naidoo
    Serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main course

    100–150 g canned butter or cannellini beans, thoroughly washed and drained

    20 cherry tomatoes, halved

    ½ red onion, thinly sliced

    handful flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped

    olive oil, for pan-frying

    250 g mild or spicy chorizo, diced

    salt and freshly ground black pepper


    1 clove organic garlic, crushed

    1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar

    squeeze of lemon (optional)

    ⅓ cup (80 ml) extra virgin olive oil

    salt and freshly ground black pepper

    The Edible Balcony

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    Carrot soup runs the risk of becoming one-dimensional if the sweetness of the carrots is allowed to dominate. This recipe acknowledges the sweetness, but it’s rescued by the cumin and coriander, which nudge the flavours more to a savoury spectrum, and the yoghurt and orange zest, which deliver tang. The farro brings an earthy dimension to the dish and almost turns it into a complete meal.

    I don’t get too fussy about the quality of the carrots for this. I believe very strongly in buying the best ingredients I can, but in this case I would rather spend the money on a great extra virgin olive oil to finish the dish.

    Farro usually requires quite a bit of soaking. You can get away without it in this recipe, if you’re in a hurry, but make sure you rinse the farro a few times under cold running water, then up the water content by ½ cup (125 ml) and add 15–20 minutes to the cooking time.

    Oh, and a note about using wine in cooking: if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it. You will notice undesirable flavours in your dish if you skimp on the wine. In this case, you are after something dry; I often use sparkling white if I don’t have a suitable dry white wine on hand.


    1. Drain the farro, discarding the soaking water. Place it in a heavy-based saucepan with ¾ cup (180 ml) of cold water and 1 teaspoon of salt and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook the farro for 20 minutes until it’s tender to the bite, then drain and set aside. 
    2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and sweat the onion until it’s soft and translucent. Add the garlic, coriander, cumin and cinnamon and saute for 5 minutes, then add the carrots and 3 teaspoons of salt and saute for a further 5–8 minutes until the carrot is coated with the spices and slightly coloured. Deglaze the pan with the wine. Add 800 ml of water and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes until the carrot is tender.
    3. Remove the pan from the heat and discard the cinnamon. Carefully blend the diced carrots to a smooth consistency using a stick blender. Stir in the orange juice, then check the seasoning, adding more salt to taste.
    4. Fold the orange zest and chopped herbs through the yoghurt and add a pinch of salt. Place a large spoonful of farro into four warmed soup bowls and ladle the carrot and orange soup over the top. Garnish with a dollop of the herb yoghurt. Finish with an extra splash of olive oil and a good twist of black pepper.

    Simon Bryant
    Serves 4

    3 tablespoons cracked farro, soaked overnight in cold water

    salt flakes and cracked black pepper

    100 ml extra virgin olive oil, plus a splash for drizzling

    1 onion, diced

    4 cloves garlic, crushed

    1 tablespoon ground coriander

    1 teaspoon ground cumin

    1 cinnamon stick

    1 kg carrots, diced

    4 tablespoons dry white wine or sparkling white wine

    finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange

    1 handful each mint and coriander leaves, chopped

    ½ cup (140 g) Greek-style yoghurt

    Simon Bryant's Vegies

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  • 05/29/13--22:36: Clam chowder
  • This hearty soup is particularly good on a blustery winter evening. Serve it with big chunks of crusty baguette and a fresh green salad.


    1 Place a heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Once hot, add the wine and clams to the pan, cover tightly with a lid and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the clams have opened.

    2 Strain the clams, reserving the cooking liquid. When the clams are cool enough to handle, remove them from their shells and set aside. Strain the reserved cooking liquid through a muslin-lined sieve and set aside.

    3 Place a corn cob upright on a chopping board and, with a sharp knife, carefully cut downwards along the cob to remove the kernels. Repeat with the remaining cob, transfer the kernels to a bowl and set aside.

    4 Melt the butter in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, then add the onion, leek, bacon, celery and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, taking care not to let the vegetables colour. Add the potato and corn kernels and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the bay leaf, fish stock and the reserved cooking liquid and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low then cook for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

    5 Stir in the clams and cream and season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the chopped herbs and serve immediately with crusty bread.

    Matt Moran
    Serves 4

    100 ml white wine

    1 kg clams

    2 sweetcorn, husks and silks removed

    25 g butter

    1 onion, cut into small dice

    1 leek, white part only, well washed, cut into small dice

    100 g smoked bacon, cut into small dice

    2 stalks celery, cut into small dice

    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

    1 potato, cut into small dice

    1 fresh bay leaf, torn

    600 ml fish stock

    2½ tablespoons pouring cream

    1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped

    2 basil leaves, chopped

    crusty bread, to serve

    Dinner at Matt's

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  • 05/29/13--23:04: Chicken Cacciatore
  • Cacciatora means ‘hunter’s style’. The key ingredients are mushrooms, tomato and wine. While chicken is the classic meat for this dish, rabbit also works particularly well. While I have used red wine here to make the dish quite rich, you could try white wine for a lighter sauce. Serve with soft polenta, risotto or mash.


    1. Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with water. Leave to soak for 2–3 hours. Drain well.
    2. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based ovenproof saucepan or casserole over high heat. Cook the chicken in batches for 3–4 minutes on each side or until golden. Transfer to a large plate and set aside.
    3. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
    4. Reduce the heat to medium, then add the onion, garlic, chilli and sage to the pan and cook for 3–5 minutes or until the onion has softened. Add the soaked mushrooms, button mushrooms and tomato paste and cook for
    5. 2 minutes. Increase the heat to high, then add the red wine and bring to the boil, using a wooden spoon to scrape any caught pieces from the bottom of pan. Pour in the chicken stock and simmer for 10 minutes or until reduced.
    6. Return the chicken to the pan, cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for 35 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened slightly.
    7. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with roast potatoes.
    Guy Grossi
    Serves 4

    35 g dried forest mushrooms

    2 tablespoons olive oil

    1 × 1.5 kg chicken, jointed into 8 pieces

    1 onion, chopped

    1 clove garlic, crushed

    1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped

    4 sage leaves, chopped

    250 g button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced

    ¼ cup (70 g) tomato paste

    1 cup (250 ml) red wine

    3 cups (750 ml) Chicken Stock

    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Recipes from My Mother's Kitchen

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    featuring Kylie Kwong and Matt Moran

    Join Kylie and Matt, as they discuss their thoughts on food sustainability, ethical farming and the future direction of food in Australia with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, author of River Cottage. Tickets $40
    Contact Seymour Centre
    P (02) 9351 7940

    Food sustainability discussion
    Monday, June 17, 2013 - 19:00
    Kylie Kwong

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  • 06/03/13--16:27: The Big Lunch prepared by
  • Simon Bryant, author of Simon Bryant's Vegies

    Join Simon in this unique dining experience held at the iconic Adelaide market, with ingredients sourced from market stallholders. An annual event that delivers a delicious, social and historic, all proceeds will go towards the work of The Big Issue in South Australia.
    Contact The Big Issue

    Big Lunch for Big Issue
    Sunday, July 14, 2013 - 11:30
    Simon Bryant

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  • 06/03/13--16:48: Styling a kid's room with
  • Megan Morton, author of Things I Love

    A decorating workshop dedicated to one of the most perilous rooms in the house- your kid's bedroom! Explore the potential of the room in this three hour class, that talks to all age groups, styles and budgets. Price $230 (includes copy of Megan's book)
    Contact The School
    P (02) 9693 2782

    Decorating Class
    Life & Style
    Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 18:30
    Megan Morton

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  • 06/03/13--16:54: Science of Styling with
  • Megan Morton, author of Things I Love

    Come find your inner stylist with Megan and learn the language that is styling, through theory and practical. Perfect for both professionals and those wanting to spruce up their homes.
    Price $450 (includes lunch)
    Contact The School
    P (02) 9693 2782

    Styling Master Class
    Life & Style
    Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - 09:45
    Megan Morton

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