Category: Australia/Oceania

Australian Beef Burger With Mushroom Gravy

Australian Beef Burger, photo by Cristy Miclat


Australian Beef Burger With Mushroom Gravy


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 500g minced beef
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 5oz/150g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 cups beef stock (or 2 beef bouillon dissolved in 3 cups of hot water)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes or until onions are soft and translucent. Remove from the heat.
  3. Using a large mixing bowl add together the minced beef, the cooked onions, breadcrumbs, egg, tomato ketchup, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Mix by using your hands. Then season by crumbling the beef bouillon over the meat.  Mix a little bit more.
  4. Divide into 6 parts and pat and shape into patties or burgers.
  5. Fry the patties using a large pan over fairly high heat and cook until golden brown on both sides.  Remove the burger from the pan and set aside.
  6. Using the same pan, add a bit more oil but turn the heat down to medium.
  7. Add the butter and once melted add the flour.
  8. Quickly stir in the beef stock, Dijon Mustard and Worcestershire Sauce.
  9. Whisk until there are no more lumps.
  10. Stir in the mushroom.
  11. Return the burger steaks back into the pan and simmer for 7-10 minutes. Add more water if the gravy had thicken too much.
  12. Finally adjust the seasoning by adding salt (if required) and freshly ground black pepper.

Enjoy with steamed or boiled new potatoes and salad.

Callistemon – Bottle Brush

Callistemon – Bottle Brush or Australian Bush Tree

When we first got and bought our callistemon, we were told that they were called Australian Bottle Brush trees. At that time, they were no more than a couple of little twigs. We planted them and watered them, when we remembered, and now they have grown and have been producing these lovely red cylindrical bushy blossoms which resemble those baby bottle brushes.

Callistemon is a native of Australia. They have become a popular in landscape gardening because of their flowers, of course, as well as their thin, elongated leaves and seed pods.

They have been grown in Europe since a specimen of Callistemon citrinus was introduced to Kew Gardens in London by Joseph Banks in 1789.

Actually there are not trees but shrubs. They can grow very tall up to 15 metres high as well as bushy, depending on the species but some are ground hugger. luckily they do not mind a good pruning in the autumn and spring.

They can be propagated by using cuttings from the plant or grow from seeds by teasing them from the pods. 😉

The plant is lovely to look at winter, spring, summer or fall as it does not lose its leaves; in other words it is not a deciduous shrub.

New Species of Giant Jellyfish Found


I am interested in the sea and the creatures that dwell in there, particularly jellyfish, octopus, cuttlefish etc.
Seeing jellyfish slowly undulate underwater in the ocean is an amazing and fascinating sight almost… relaxing!

Josie Lim and her family were on a beach in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia last month when they came across a stranded gigantic jellyfish. As can be seen by the photo it is big being approx 1.5m (5ft) in size.

Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin, of Australia’s The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation CSIRO government agency, said that scientists had known about the species for a while but had not yet classified it.

New Species of Giant Jellyfish FoundCyanea capillata-Lions Mane Jellyfish
Cyanea capillata-Lions Mane Jellyfish

She described the specimen as a “truly magnificent animal”. This species was part of the Lion’s Mane group, she said.

These jellyfish “look like a dinner plate with a mop hanging underneath – they have a really raggedy look to them”, she said.

The Tasmanian discovery was found stranded belly-up, Dr Gershwin explained.

It was one of a “species I’ve known about for a while but it’s not yet named and classified”, she said. “We’re very eager to know more about it.”

Recent years had seen “huge blooms” of jellyfish in Tasmanian waters, she said, but scientists were not sure why.

“We’re very keen to find out why jellyfish are blooming in such super-abundances in these southern waters,” she said.

The world’s largest jellyfish shares the same genus – Cyanea – as the Lion’s Mane. Found in the North Atlantic and Arctic, the Cyanea Arctica can grow up to 3m (10ft) across the body, Dr Gershwin said.


Did you know?

A ‘SMACK’ is what you call a group of jellyfish!

Julia Gillard – Prime Minister of Australia

Julia Gillard

Julia Gillard – 27th Prime Minister of Australia

What is happening with Julia Gillard? Come on Australia! Why is this very accomplished woman, your Prime Minister, seems to be being disrespected left, right and centre.

First there was that offending sexist menu which was named after her – “Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail – Small Breasts, Huge Thighs & A Big Red Box”.

The latest is that DJ who harangued her on the sexuality of her partner, Tim Matheson, who happens to be a hairdresser? Kudos to Julia though, during the interview, she remained calm, logical and respectful unlike the radio DJ.

Now there are news that Julia is being asked to resign or step down in favour of the former Labour leader and 26th Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd.