Vanessa Pike-Russell
Long Island Cafe, Windang by you.
I have been living back in Lake Illawarra, NSW for a few years after living in Northern Wollongong suburbs and Tasmania and one of the things I really enjoy is a visit to Windang, a tourist town for fishermen and people that want to just slow down and enjoy the wonderful Lake Illawarra and nearby beaches.
It was after 2pm and most of the restaurants and club meals had finished so it was nice to find the Long Island Cafe and its vibrant orange interior which drew me in to have a closer look. Long Island Cafe, Windang NSW 2528 by you. The smell of coffee was in the air and the cold bar with different types of fish and other seafood available soon piqued my interest.

I asked if it was possible to have the hoki fillet grilled with garlic butter and I was told that it wouldn't be a problem. There was a small fee of 50 cents. Believe me - it was well worth it! One of the most succulent, flavourful fish I have had in years!
Grilled Hoki with Garlic Butter from Long Island Cafe, Windang NSW 2528 by you.

The seafood skewers I had spotted on the menu were great value, including prawns, mussels, calamari and vegetables and served with a wonderful salad which included beans, cauliflower and a really nice dressing plus chips.
Long Island Cafe Seafood Skewers with chips and salad $11 by you.

There were plenty of seats available if we wanted to dine in but what I was really looking forward to was a seat by the waters edge and I wasn't disappointed. There is nothing like it and for $16 we had a full fillet of fish grilled to perfection and two seafood skewers with chips and salad. More than enough to feed two people and a few (dozen) seagulls as well. A short distance away I enjoyed watching the sun go down over Windang island. Such a wonderful day to end a day.
Windang Island at Sunset from Redall Parade, Lake Illawarra Foreshore

Located near the Post Office and Liquor Store on the south-bound side of Windang Road it is a well kept secret that will soon be a firm favourite.

I also purchased some Viking Blue Cheese form the mixed goods store on the corner which was enjoyed as supper hours later. They stock a wide range of cheeses and other gourmet items as well as a range of grocery items and fresh produce. Perfect for making up a picnic or enjoying a nice cold icecream on a warm Winter's day.


Fresh Fish, Meal Combos, Gourmet Burgers, Foccacias & Sandwiches, All day Breakfast and coffee.

Fish and Seafood: Catch of the day $4.50 or $8 with chips and salad. Lightly fried in lemon tempura batter (50 cents more for grilled). Nile Perch or Barramundi $6 or $9.50 with chips and salad.

Seafood combos (with chips and salad) include: Seafood basket $9.50; Grilled Barramundi with horshradish sauce $10.50.; Salt & Chilli prawn $11; Grilled Barramundi Karumba with prawns & avocado $14.50; BBQ Rump Steak $14, Grilled Salmon Kilpatrick with bacon $15.50

Other combos (all come with chips and salad): Chicken Schnitzel $7.50, Lasagne $8.50, Boneless fried chicken $8.50, Salt & Pepper Squid $8.50, Seafood Skewers $11

Gourmet burgers starting at $4.50 for Traditional hamburger or Egg & Bacon Roll up to $5.50 for Steak & Mushroom Roll

Foccacias Creat your own with 3 fillings are $4.50 then $1 per filling or try Long Island Cafe's Beyond 2000 (chicken, avocado, sundried tomato & tasty cheese), New York New York (Turkey, cucumber, onion, carrot w. cranberry sauce), Device Dream (Roast beef, carrot, mushroom, seeded mustard & swiss cheese) or Tropical Island (Ham, cheese, capsicum and tomato).

All Day breakfast starts at $2.50 for raisin toast or cinnamon toast, 4.50 forTurkish bread melt or $9 for the big breakfast of Bacon, egg, grilled tomato, sausage served on toast with orange juice or coffee $9.

Coffees: All coffees are $3.00

Long Island CAFE
Shop 1, 233 Windang Rd, Windang
Phone: 0242 965556
Monday - Sunday 7.45am - 6.30pm
Closed Tuesday

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Vanessa Pike-Russell
A few weeks ago I made some amazing cornbread with some yellow polenta I purchased from an Italian Delicatessan & Cafe in Warrawong, NSW. The bread was so light and fluffy that we went through two loafs in no time. It is delicious hot or cold and the older the loaf got the more tasty it was, the texture changing to a crusty bread with a really unusual texture from the polenta flour in the mixture. This recipe makes two loaf pans and it freezes well.

1 cup gluten free flour (I used white maize meal but you could use one of a number of gluten-free flours listed)
1 cup yellow polenta
1/4c sugar or alternative (the first time I used raw sugar and the second I used agave syrup which has lower GI and tastes great)
2tsp cream of tartar
1tsp baking soda
1tsp cornflour
3/4tsp salt
1/4cup butter (or coconut oil)
2 eggs (or Orgran Egg Substitute)
1 cup buttermilk (or rice milk for dairy-free)
Combine and fill two loaf pans and bake @ 220oC for 25 min

Other variations found on the web include:

Green Chilli Cornbread Muffins A spicy little cornbread studded with fresh jalapeño peppers. Yum!
Chilli & Cheese Cornbread (with Polenta) Recipe

Note: To make this recipe gluten free it is important to use baking soda, cream of tartar and cornflour rather than baking powder.
Read more information below

How to make homemade gluten free baking powder

Different between baking soda and baking powder

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Vanessa Pike-Russell Photography

I have been hearing rave reviews about Lee and Me Cafe in Lower Crown St. Mall and today I finally got the chance to visit. It is located in the building that also houses Educated Palate which has downsized, now located on Townhall Place with the entry to Lee and Me on Crown Street opposite The Glasshouse Tavern.

I had just finished a photoshoot and was in need of a sugar fix to recharge the batteries when I arrived at Lee and Me and I made my way to the gluten-free baked goods I had been reading about. After a few moments I settled on a flourless Lindt chocolate cake with a tantalising crust giving way to a mousse texture to one amazing cake. Such a sinfully delicious taste with a dollop of cream and with a refreshing Iced Coffee for that afternoon pick-me-up.

Illawarra Food Reviews: Lee and Me - Flourless Lindt Chocolate Cake by you.

After a stressful, if productive day it was great to sit and unwind with some amazing cake and enjoy some easy listening music and watch the people walking by. It was my first visit but I am certain to be back again soon. I also discovered that they offer Gluten-Free bread alternatives for sandwhiches and rolls. They have an amazing breakfast menu and lunch menu, both which feature some of my favourite foods including slow roasted pork belly, ricotta, chipolatas and the breakfast menu runs until the store closes at 5pm. Perfect for those who like a late breakfast like I do.

Lee and Me,
Cafe, Fashion and Lifestyle
75 Crown St Wollongong
NSW 2500 Australia

please ask the staff if you have dietary requirements and they will do their best to accommodate your needs. 10% surcharge on public holidays. No smoking. BYO wine only with corkage at $2.50 per person. Cakeage $1.0 per person. There is a toilet upstairs in the boutique which carries the latest fashions including the very popular Nudie jeans.

Make sure to check their blog for special offers and new products. If you are an artist Lee and Me are offering $250 in summer threads, looking for the best photos to launch their look for summer10. For more information visit their blog entry dated August 18th, 2009 for details.

Lee and Me
Cafe, Fashion and Lifestyle

opening hours - weekdays 7am - 5pm
weekends 8am - 4pm

87 Crown Street Wollongong 2500

phone: 02 42440695
email: leeandme[at]

Illawarra Food Reviews by Vanessa Pike-Russell

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Vanessa Pike-Russell
Vanessa Pike-Russell Photography

Shop with Woolworths and you'll see a Shop-A-Docket for Warilla Hotel's $9 meal deal. Buy a Steak, Schnitzel or Salt and Pepper Calamari and get a voucher for a beer or wine.

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Vanessa Pike-Russell

After another visit to the Windang foreshore we decided to give in to our rumbling tummies and visit the Blue Ocean Restaurant on Windang Road, Windang. I had spied a $7.50 lunch sign in the window and within moments I knew that the Szechuan Beef with boiled rice would be my choice. After some deliberation, Phil settled on BBQ Pork with Plum Sauce .

Unfortunately I had left my Pentax digital slr's at home so I snapped these with our mobile phones. Apologies for the quality but I am sure to return again soon as the flavours were amazing and we are definitely going back another day.

Illawarra Food Reviews: Szechuan Beef with boiled rice $7.50 from Blue Ocean by you.
Szechuan Beef - tender pieces of beef with flavours of hot bean paste, szechuan pepper, sesame oil, rice wine, ginger, garlic and soy as well as szechuan spices. Make it yourself with Neil Perry's recipe or call in and visit to experience it yourself.

BBQ Pork with Plum Sauce by you.
BBQ Pork with Plum Sauce and Fried Rice

An amazing dish that was so nice we ordered another to take home. A bargain at $7.50 and despite the fact we were full we couldn't help but go back for more. Sooo good! Flavours included garlic, plum sauce, hoi sin, chinese five spice and sesame oil. Delicious!

There was an interesting moment after ordering when we asked for 'no capsicum' and due to a language barrier the chef and waiter thought we meant Philip was allergic to carrot. After some trial and error the chef brought out a selection of vegetables and I pointed to the capsicum. Relief all round and my husband was so happy to be able to sample both meals for a change. You'd be surprised how often capsicum is added to dishes in restaurants and cafes. I must remember to print out my "NO capsicum" cards and keep some in my wallet. Better safe than sorry :)

As we were enjoying the last of our Chinese (Green) Tea a couple with their baby entered the restaurant. They are regular diners at the Blue Ocean restaurant and can't recommend it enough, eating there at least once a week. I can't wait to try their Satay Chicken and Prawn Chow Mein.


Szechwaun Chicken, Beef, Pork or Lamb
Garlic Chicken, Beef, Pork or Lamb
Sweet and Sour , Beef, Pork or Lamb
Chicken, Beef, Pork or Lamb with cashews
Satay Chicken, Beef, Pork or Lamb
Mongolian Chicken , Beef, Pork or Lamb
Curry Prawns or Chicken, Beef, Pork or Lamb
BBQ Chicken, Beef, Pork or Lamb in Plum Sauce
Prawns or Chicken or BBQ Pork Omelet
Stir Fried or Steamed Mixed Vegetables
Vegetarian or Mushroom Omelette

Prawn, Chicken, Beef, Pork Fillet, BBQ Pork or Vegetable Chow Mein

Blue Ocean Restaurant,
Windang Rd. Windang
NSW 2528 Australia

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Centacare Art Show at Kembla Grange August 14th-16th.
Opening night Friday 14th $20 Gourmet food and wine.
Art Show Saturday and Sunday 15th & 16th

Vanessa Pike-Russell Photography
Friday 14th opening night gourmet food includes:

* Chicken and Leek Pies
* Smoked salmon on a Dill Pikelet
* Chuiapi Hotdogs with Tomato and Onion Chutney
* Thai Pumpkin, Coconut and Lemongrass Soup
* Mini Zucchini Frittata
* Sri Lankan Curry Pots
* Chorizio and Mushroom Skewers
* Brie on Walnut Bread

Saturday & Sunday cafe will be open.
Sunday is kids day with painting, drawing, craft activities, storytelling and facepainting.

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Vanessa Pike-Russell
Gluten free baking with Siobhan by you.

Today Siobhan and I made some Triple Choc Gluten Free muffins with the Orgran No Egg substitute and some delicious Buckwheat pancakes. We had a great time baking and now to enjoy the fruits of our labours. More photos to come! The food is just too YUMM! Tweet This

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