Melbourne Bloggers Supper Party

party for Melbourne BloggersI was very excited to join with Christine from “Our Little Caravan Collective Store” for our first ever Melbourne bloggers supper in December.


The idea was to bring some lovely Melbourne bloggers together to celebrate a year of hard work and to have a chance to meet with each others and share ideas. We all deserve a little end of year Christmas party don’t you think!

We were so pleased to have the very gorgeous Stacey of “Veggie Mama” come along to share a little bit about her blogging journey and also to inspire us on ours.Stacey with some Melbourne bloggers

There was a great range of newbie and more experienced bloggers along for the evening and I loved hearing the stories of how and why people got started.

Check out some of these fabulous blogs if you are interested.
Melbourne Bloggers
Food for Belly, My Daily Bread and Butter and The Spice Adventuress join in the fun.

I was in charge of food for the evening (no pressure there) and I used this fabulous recipe for seasonal, ripe peaches from Rosa’s Canteen in Melbourne. If you have a glut of beautiful, seasonal Australian peaches then give this recipe a try.

Peaches with Raspberries and Frangelico

I also relied upon my ever faithful, most fabulous Chocolate Cake Recipe because I desperately love making it. This recipe is by Jill Duplex and is originally from Elizabeth David. Oo, la la. Such wonderful pedigree.

Incredibly Wonderful Chocolate Cake.

It paired perfectly with the wonderful tea that we were sent from the Yarra Valley Tea Company especially for our event, and this sweet little Christmas wreath.

I also decided to share my latest gift, Cobs Hip Chips,  that I had been sent in the mail from Cobs Chips so I could see what everyone else thought of their new flavours. A healthier alternative to normal chips (which I love) I was very pleased with their flavour and crunch.

Christina and I both really love meeting new people so we would love to run more events like this in the future. If you are keen to be involved then shoot me an email.

Thanks goes out to the stallholders at Our Little Caravan Collective for providing the goodie bags, and for Yarra Valley Tea Co for providing drinks for the night and our door bags for Melbourne Bloggers

I can’t wait to do it again.

Dani xx



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Eat My Street meets Man V. Food.

Castello Blue have launched a new cheese that is perfect for eating on your burger and Eat My Street was invited to celebrate.Easy burger Castello Blue

Australia’s first sliced blue cheese is built especially for adding to your burger. Consistently creamy with just the perfect amount of bite, it was a delicious addition to the burger we were invited to build ourselves upstairs at Easey’s Burgers in Collingwood.

Adam Richman from Man V. Food fame was the guest of the evening and he was charming, erudite and sweet. He was also obviously passionate about good burgers. He entertained us with some burger blue based rhymes, assured us of his love for beautiful Australia and even complimented the very Aussie Tim Tam slam.img_7588

My date for the evening was Simone from Basil and Chook and we were very pleased to run into Sarah from Eat My Words.

BBQ season is almost here (YAY) so why don’t you break out and try a little sliced blue cheese on your next burger.2016-10-13-19-00-08-1

In the mean time, here is a little Adam for you to enjoy at home.


Dani xx

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We are getting ready to move house. Things are starting to look a little quieter in some areas of the house, and a little more frantic in other areas.

Change is not something that I feel comfortable with, although I do not really dislike it either. My allergy to boredom mingles with my anxiousness toward change creating a weird elixir of excitement and fear.

It is hard to let go of things, and packing up a house really forces you to examine what you keep and what you let go.


I have decided that as long as I have my bed and three pillows then I can be comfortable nested in with my children and husband.

I know now that my sisters and my Mum are basically my best friends; why fight it? They, being blood relatives, will be forced to follow me wherever I go and so even though I move house, they will come with me (kind of).

My books get carted out to the car and driven to the op-shop, only to be granted a reprieve at the last minute. Who can let go of favourite books? I did send off my Catherine Cookson collection. I fell in love with reading as a pre-teen at the alter of this dramatic author but I am ready to let go.

Tiny baby clothes, spunky toddler clothes, childhood dresses, hats and mittens. They cannot all travel with me but they make me cry when I am forced to let them go. So I keep too many for too long, hoping that one day I won’t be so sad to see my children grow up and knowing really, this will never change.


Change is forcing me to think about life and in turn, death. This is probably the hardest thing of all. The children were so much younger last time we moved and these precious years will never be repeated.  At dusk I herd them toward their beds remembering how much smaller they were when we first moved here. I feel grateful for peaceful, happy, play-filled days here in Berwick and  for the family & friends who walked through our door.

My mother-in-law had many opinions and offered practical support last time we moved and now she too is gone forever. I think about what advice she might give as I pack boxes and I am thankful to realise she is still with me even though she is gone from this earth.

This time around I have determined to boldly ignore sentimentality and ride roughshod over regret. Who has time for such things when there is boxes to pack? Occasionally though they seep intoxicatingly into my thoughts and so we dance for a moment before I bow out, rush off.

Wish me luck with the big move.

Dani xx


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Happy New Year

Things have been very quiet around here for a while but I am happy to see the start of a new year, after the whirlwind that was 2016.

Sometimes you just have to take a moment to say “thank you” and thank you was definitely on my heart last night.

Thank you for my family, thank you for my friends. Thank you for a busy year and new beginnings. Thank you for good health and sunshine and persistence and opportunity.

I like to start each year with a theme. So far I have not worked out my theme for 2017 but it will come to me.

Two years ago I had “the year of saying yes.” I determined to stop saying no, to quit being so cautious and to give up on excuses.

That was a fun one for sure.

It was followed closely by “the year of just keep going.” I guess I should have seen that one coming.

2016 was a year of working hard and juggling to keep everything going. I did alright I think, dropping the balls here and there but learning some cool tricks along the way.

I need to walk the beach and let fresh air blow in some new ideas before I can find my theme for 2017. It will come to me though.

How about you? Do you have a theme for 2017? I’d love to hear what it is. Inspire me.

Happy 2017.

Dani xx

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What’s On. Adventures of a frantic foodie.

Tea Ceremony

Tis the season to be completely overwhelmed with wonderful  options. Is it not?

While I dream about the beginning of school holidays, time spent pottering in the kitchen and making pinterest worthy gingerbread house creations, I am actually spending most of my time running around busy and frantic and getting. stuff. done.

But there are three very exciting little events looming on the horizon that I just had to share with you.

My lovely friend, and talented local artist Andrea Hopgood is hosting a Twilight Market at Paperworks Gallery tomorrow night. There will be a coffee cart and a food truck and just maybe the weather will be kind. There are beautiful and unique handmade gifts and artwork available for purchase, so wrap up your Christmas shopping like a boss and come and say hello!

26 Inglis Rd Berwick. 4-9pm.

This weekend the Symposium of Australian Gastronomy is being held in Melbourne. First held in 1984, the symposium is a gathering for foodies, chefs, academics, cooks, gardeners and food enthusiasts that meet together in order to promote Australian Gastronomy. The event usually ends with an epic feast which will be hosted in 2016 by the very talented Annie Smithers. Swoon.

This years theme is “Utopian Appetites” and while I do not exactly know what that means, I do know that the line-up of speakers includes Josh Evans (formerly Nordic Food Lab), Stephanie Alexander, Philippe Mouchel and Guy Grossi. I also know that there will be a wine makers fair, a negroni workshop and presentations from a wide range of engaging speakers.

Talking food, non-stop. I will be happy.

You can buy tickets for the whole weekend, or just for part of it. You are invited, so take a look here. 

Our Bloggers Supper Party with tea and champagne for all, is happening next weekend. The Yarra Valley Tea Co has kindly donated a lovely selection of tea and Stacey from Veggie Mama is going to bring the chats.

Christine Douglas from Our Little Caravan and I dreamt this whole thing up so we would love to see you there. We felt the need to celebrate and hang out and we want you to come along.

Tickets can be bought by going here. $30 for supper, conversation and a little Christmas gift from us to you.

I know it is a very exciting time of year. Do you have anything that you are really looking forward to pre-Christmas? Maybe I’ll see you around these parts?

Happy Eating.

Dani xx


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Supper Party for Bloggers

I had the pleasure of meeting Christina Douglas from My Little Caravan and Our Little Caravan Collective, earlier in the year.

I was inspired by her love of creating and also the amazing way she had pulled so many creative people together in one little building that somehow oozed charm and happiness.

Seriously, pop into her store and you will feel the lovely vibes.

Not long after we met we decided to collaborate on an event for bloggers.

Enter the “Melbourne Bloggers Supper Party.”

Stacey from Veggie Mamma is coming to speak to us about “a year in blogging” because we all need a little high five/ hug at this time of year for all the awesome content we have created this year.

So if you write recipes, take photos, make tutorials, write about craft, share your adventures, or simply share the love online then come along and join in the fun.

Yarra Valley Tea Co have agreed to supply some lovely tea for a tea bar on the night and we will also have bubbles.

We have even organised supper, snacks and a little gift for you to take home.

Newbies, old timers and wannabes bloggers are all welcome.

Christina and I would love to meet you.

Let’s face it, most “norms” have no idea how much time and effort you put into a simple blog post, but WE GET IT! (Don’t worry, we will never tell.)

So come along, say hello, and let’s celebrate.

You can book here

Dani xx

Feel free to shoot any questions my way.


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Choc-Orange Brownie Recipe

chocolate biscotti recipeI have a few favourite flavour combinations… lemon and rosemary, lime and chilli, coconut and raspberry, pear and cardamom… but few trump my ultimate favourite: chocolate and orange. When these two flavours- beautiful in their own right- come together, a new, more primal Amy appears… I become Dawn French in that classic ad- that choc-orange explosion is “mine!”

I love the bitterness of the dark chocolate which is balanced with the sweetness of the orange. I love the tart bite of citrus, measured with the smoothness of the creamy cacao. I adore the scent of the fruit which precedes any taste and I relish the lingering richness that the palate is left with.

So, when I saw a recipe for Choc-Orange brownies which had a healthyish makeover, I knew I had to try it out. Now, the original recipe called for GF flour (which I didn’t have any of) so feel free to substitute that if you’re gluten intolerant, but if you’re not, just stick with the wholemeal flour. The original recipe also called for one cup of date syrup, which seemed excessive to me so I cut it down (dramatically) which meant I had to increase the liquid in another way, which I did by adding the orange juice and a splash more almond milk. I also changed the carob chips she originally suggested for walnuts and raisins to add a bit of crunch and flavour variety to these fudgy morsels.

They’re rich, certainly, and you only need a small piece, but they are delicious. I made them for my year 12 students who are coming up to exams and need all the immune and mood boosting benefits that oranges and cacao (and frankly, brownies in any form) provide! They enjoyed them (despite the lack of refined sugar and increased hit of healthy ingredients) and I’m sure you will too!

Choc-Orange Brownie Recipe
Cuisine: Modern Australian
  • Chocolate Orange Brownies
  • ¼ cup barely ripe avocado
  • ¼ cup Sweet Freedom date syrup
  • Juice of 1 and a half blood oranges
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened plain or vanilla almond milk (plus some extra, if required-I probably used ½ a cup in total)
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee
  • ¾ cup wholemeal plain flour
  • ½ cup oat flour
  • ¾ cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon psyllium husks
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • zest of 1 blood orange
  • ½ teaspoon orange extract
  • handful of raisins
  • handful of walnuts
  1. Blend together the avocado, date syrup, vanilla extract, coconut oil, almond milk, flax and coffee.
  2. Add the flours, cacao, psyllium husks, baking powder and soda and salt.
  3. Add the juice and zest of the oranges, the extract and the raisins and walnuts.
  4. If needed, add more almond milk to moisten.
  5. Bake for 25-30 mins in an 180C oven!




I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Let us know if you give them a try.


Recipe adapted from:


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Palm Oil. The good, the bad and the cookies.

I had heard about the problem with palm oil production and its ubiquitous use in ever day food items via the “Don’t Palm Us Off” campaign at Melbourne Zoo. I had never really looked much further into it though but I recently discovered that over 50% of supermarket items contain palm oil.


Even ever delicious noodles contain palm oil.

Come on….Not the noodles?

Globally over 74.01 million tonnes of palm oil was consumed in 2014 with around 70% of the worlds cosmetics and household detergents containing raw materials derived from palm oil.

But while you might not be able to imagine giving up noodles or lipstick (the horror) there is another alternative.

The team at Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the not-for-profit association that champions sustainable palm oil, believe we have a choice between good and bad palm oil and that achieving 100% sustainable palm oil is a realistic and vital ambition. They have asked people to get on board with spreading the word.

They have brought in knitted ice-cream to make the whole process easy.

We do have  a choice between good palm oil (sustainable, grown under fair working conditions and with the goal of protecting vulnerable species and forests) and bad palm oil.


So what can we do?

We know that the production of ‘bad’ palm oil is causing  significant rainforest deforestation and is causing endangered animals to lose their natural habitat. You can read more about that in this article in The Guardian. 

We also know that the use of alternate oils is not always a viable option due to the fact that palm trees produce 4-10 times more oil than other crops,  so planting alternate crops could also have environmental consequences.

I would prefer not to be eating foods that contain palm oil in the first place, but seeing as their use is so wide-spread, I am definitely keep to support the use of sustainable palm oil only.


One way to do that is to look  out for the RSPO symbol on products that we buy and try to only purchase items that contain sustainable palm oil.

To find out more information you can visit

One final video, this time of knitted cookies. 🙂

So what do you think about the use if palm oil? Did you know that there was so much of it in your house? Will you make a choice to only buy products with sustainable palm oil? 

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Dani xx

Disclosure: RSPO commissioned this post for me to raise awareness of good palm oil. All opinions are my own.



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“Go Nude” lunch box challenge

I have a lot of trouble with lunch. I never know what to eat for lunch and when I do occasionally stumble onto something that I love, I obsess about it for months until I am well and truly sick of it.

I have had a soup with toast phase, the home-made pita pizza phase, the nut bar and banana phase, the rice bowl/ roast veg stage and even occasionally the chocolate cake phase. That was a good one. Continue reading

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You do for family. The sisterhood edition.

You do for family. The sisterhood edition.

This week I had an overwhelming number of things to do and I also had an overwhelmingly bad headache. No amount of organisation was going to save me, nor was my desire to hide under my bed (weird that, it solves lots of other problems).

But the sisterhood came to my rescue. Or more precisely, my sister from my (neighbour)hood came to my rescue. She turned up, took over, pitched it and was endlessly kind about it in the process.

A lot of people have asked me over the years, “What is it like to have five sisters?” Well I can tell you now, it is very awesome and also ten types of special.fullsizerender

There is a sister for every occasion and every season and despite some obvious issues regarding problems of sharing and crowd management, having a big family provides an awesome and profound sense of place, purpose and belonging.fullsizerender

Who wouldn’t want to belong to this group of cool cats?

My sisters have lent me their clothes (satin-quilted bomber jacket anyone?), taught me about lipstick (90’s Poppy matt brown all the way), driven me to all over the place, checked out my boyfriends (no, no, yes, no, yes), invited me to their parties, paved the way for my parents to chill-out and listened to all my problems.

So much talking, so much listening.

No matter what the circumstances, someone has always got my back. And no matter how isolated, lonely and disastrous my life has been, there has always been a sister or two holding my hand, cheering me on and making my world a little sweeter.

They may have stolen my shoes, blabbed my secrets and dobbed on me to Mum, but that doesn’t really matter because the good always far outweighs the trouble.

“You do for family” to quote Frankie Heck from the Middle (#LifeGoals).

In a family of 8, that is a whole lot of doing and a whole lot of family. Ain’t nothing else coming close to that.

So next time your kids are arguing over noise, knee-touching or movie selection, take a note from the book of my Mum and force them to get along, because one bad headache day, they will need each other for sure.

Long live the sisterhood.fullsizerender


Dani xx

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Fen Restaurant Port Fairy

Fen Restaurant Port Fairy

Have you ever wondered what modern Australian cuisine looks like? Well Chef Ryan Sessions at Fen in Port Fairy, seems to have conjured it up. Local seafood, native Australian ingredients, seasonal produce and more seafood are thoughtfully woven together to create a menu that is unique, modern and very Australian. fullsizerender

Fen, which is an old norse word for a low-lying, flat, coastal land underwent  a rebrand earlier in the year but has been open 18 months prior to that. Owned and operated by husband and wife team Ryan and Kirsten Sessions, Fen features native and locally sourced produce and an all-Australian drinks list. Continue reading

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