Why Mum’s are to blame for everything


Nearly 6 years ago exactly, I decided to run away.

I had two beautiful children. A perfect pair to be precise. A hard working husband who was an awful lot of fun to share adventures with.

“Want to try something new?”


I had a house, a job, a few friends. I even had some rewarding community driven engagements.

“How fulfilling.” I hear you whisper.

But I wanted two more things; a baby and a trip to Italy.

I email my Mum, because that is always the right place to start.

“Mum I am thinking I might travel to Italy in September. I know that it probably won’t work, and I am not even sure that I can afford it, but is there any chance you want to come with me?”

A measly 5 minutes after I press send, the phone rings.

It was Mum, of course. (Who else still calls?)

“Yes I would absolutely love to go with you to Italy. If I can’t work out how to do it, you should go anyway. You will never regret it.

So we did go, my Mum and me. I ran away from my little family and all my responsibilities and the groundhog day routine and I travelled across Italy on a bus with a puking Canadian and I loved every minute of it.



I am a Superman blogger.

In my “Daily Planet” job I work as a Psychologist. It is not until night time comes that I rip off that suit and let my hair fly out and emerge from the phone booth (Ok, its more like a sturdy silver Mitsubishi family car) as a blogger.

Psychology has taught me one thing (not just one, mind).

It is always the Mother’s fault.

“Tell me about your childhood?”

Well I raise you one humble life lesson, Psychology, and tell you this.

“Of course it the Mothers fault, because the Mum’s do everything.”

TM (Book soon to be released by “Tell her she’s dreamin’ publishing.”

The Mum’s are there through the thick and the thin, the good and the bad. The wiping up and the cleaning down. The building high and striking down. The BFF’s and the frenemies and enemies, the bullies and the brokers.

Mum’s are IN IT ALL.

Case in point, when I wanted to run away, my loving, adventurous mother was right there with me, both literally and figuratively.

Conversely at the saddest, lowest ebb of my little life, my Mum shone through like a Mum/ Hulk hybrid (less green version).

My Dad was dying from cancer you see and he wanted to die at home. I am not really sure that he realised what this would mean when he made his request, but eventually we all came to understand it how difficult it was going to be to grant him his wish. But my Mum, she never wavered. She looked after him tenderly, persistently, carefully and purposefully. She took him on retreat to a hippy-freak organic-fruit-wielding-health-farm and when that didn’t work, she continued the plan from her own home.

She was a hero, draped in curly brown hair and hint of fatigue and a sadness drenched aura.

She was his hero and our hero and her hero and I will forever be grateful.


Back in Italy though, Mum was chastising me or challenging me, I am not sure which one, about nearly everything.

“Just do it. You will regret it if you don’t. You only live once. ”

And so I did. I drank bubbles along the Grand Canal, I shopped on Via Condotti, I ate pizza in Piazza Del Campo and I fell asleep listening to Opera in a cold stone building in Roma.

My Mum is definitely to blame for some of that.

italySo if we must go around attributing blame of the “she did not breastfeed long enough” variety, let’s not forget to dish blame out thoroughly.

So right here, right now I would like to blame my Mum for a few things.

  • for cooking for me and my 5 sisters night after night, day after day, year after year, for decades.
  • for picking me up and dropping me off and buying me everything and organising a thousand small things that brought forth my future.
  • for telling me I could when I couldn’t and thinking I wouldn’t when I did (I was a teenager once).
  • for holding my hand through a lot of scary moments, only some of which occurred in childhood.
  • for the warmth and the laughter and the Summer’s by the pool.
  • for teaching me to be brave and forcing me to try new things.
  • for teaching me about loyalty by being loyalty, through and through.

There is a lot more I could blame my Mother for because, indeed, she was just there through it all.

How about you? What would you like to blame your Mother for?

IMG_5441And one last thing, Happy 70th Val! I love you.


Dani xx


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Home made nut bar recipe


Home made nut bar recipe

Home made nut bar recipe

I am a little bit of a nut bar addict.

When I have a busy day coming up I tend to pop one into my handbag “just in case” and then I definitely, always end up eating it. Nut bars make for a simple, gluten-free, protein rich, snack on the run.

I eventually decided I had better find my own recipe so I could be sure of the ingredients. This recipe is a mega mix combination of a few different recipes that I have tried, utilising some of my own favourite nuts and seeds. The syrup-y mix is inspired by an Annabel Langbein recipe.

These were yummy and they keep in an airtight container in the pantry for ages.

Home made muesli bar recipe
  • 2 cups of rolled oats
  • 1 cup of cashew nuts
  • 1 cup of pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup of sesame seeds
  • ½ cup of Chia seeds
  • 1 cup of dried cranberries
  • 120g butter
  • 6 Tablespoons of honey
  • 6 Tablespoons Raw sugar
  • ⅓ of a cup of peanut butter
  1. Mix the nuts, oats and seeds (except the Chia seeds) together on a baking tray and bake in a moderate oven for 5- 10 minutes.
  2. Add to a large bowl, sprinkle in the dried cranberries and Chia seeds and stir to combine.
  3. In a small pot, melt together the butter, honey, sugar and peanut butter.
  4. Stir as it heats and simmer for 5 mins on a low heat.
  5. Add the sauce to the nut and oat mix and stir thoroughly. Transfer the mixture into a lined slice tray and press flat.
  6. Cool in the fridge for 3-4 hours or until completely set.
  7. When cool, cut into bars and enjoy.

In case anyone is interested, I did play around a bit with the recipe in an attempt to decrease the amount of sugar-y syrup. The result was I ended up with a lovely “crumble” topping that could be added to yoghurt or milk, but definitely not a bar. They syrup holds it all together and is thus a necessary part of the recipe. Oh well, that was a yummy week for breakfast at my house. ūüôā

Home made nut bar recipe

I hope you enjoy making it and eating it too.

Happy Eating.

Dani xx

Eat My Street is dedicated to “good food for the good life” in Melbourne and beyond. ¬†We share recipes, reviews, interviews and more.

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FullSizeRenderCocoa and birdseed no-cook slice recipe. 




FullSizeRenderDani B is food writer from Melbourne. She loves to cook and discover new places to eat and markets to visit. She lives tucked in tightly at the base of the¬†Cardinia foothills in Melbourne’s South-East. You can find out more by going here.¬†


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Weekend Wanderings. Cannibal Creek Winery


Cannibal Creek Winery

I go to nature to be soothed and healed and to have my senses put in order.

John Burroughs

We are on a mission to get out of the city, to see green horizons and windswept places, to embed some white space into our lives through connection with the green, and to find somewhere delicious to eat while we are there.

So far this has not been difficult.

This week we stopped at Cannibal Creek Winery and Vineyard in Tynong. 

Cannibal Creek Winery

The vines at Cannibal Creek Winery were first planted in 1997 and the Cannibal Creek wine has been receiving accolades since 2009.  But the restaurant housed in the newly built cellar door is a more recent venture.

Philipe Desrettes is the well renown chef behind the French inspired cuisine on offer 7 days a week from 11am to 5pm. He is ably assisted by his partner Karine Saille on front of house duty. The talented pair has moved to the area from Ballarat where Phillipe was Executive Chef at the legendary Craig’s Royal Hotel.

We had the pleasure of chatting with Karine over a wine tasting and I am told that she is enjoying the beautiful Gippsland countryside and also the slightly more temperate(!!) climate of Tynong North.

Local Gippsland cheese features on the menu (Gippsland cheese plate $27) as does Cannibal Creek bread (Charcuterie plate $32). There are a number of “share” options and also more substantial dishes designed to be eaten alone. The dessert menu has a tempting array of choices from Citrus panna cotta with rhubarb and pineapple syrup, to the eponymously named Far Breton sultan and prunes, flan style ($14).

We arrived early in the day and so ordered the  house-made pork and chicken terrine with brioche.

Cannibal Creek Winery

And the Charcuterie plate.

Cannibal Creek Winery

The food was perfectly delicious but it was the overall combination of ambiance, geniality, decor (an open wood fire ticks a lot of boxes at this time of year), view,  food and wine that was really the winning combination.

Cannibal Creek Winery

There is also a beautifully curated selection of gift ware and imported and local honey, condiments, chocolate and produce available.


Visit for wine tastings and beautiful prepared French food in a stunning setting. Stay for the roaring fire, the ambiance and the excellent service.

I cannot wait to visit again and I cannot wait to take some friends along with me.

Happy Eating.




The details

Address: 260 Tynong North Road, Tynong VIC 3813
Phone:(03) 5942 8380
11am‚Äď5pm 7 days a week

Full menu available Thursday to Monday and a limited menu Tuesday and Wednesday. Wine tasting is available 7 days a week.

Bookings are strongly recommended.


Eat My Street is a website dedicated to good food for the good life. We publish recipes, reviews, interviews, stories and more. We also love talking about soup and tea and gardening and community. Go on, click on a little green link and read a little more. Or visit us on Facebook to keep up to date with events.


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Tasting Australia Festival and Words To Go 2016

Words To Go 2016

Eat My Street was invited to attend the Tasting Australia Words To Go 2016 Festival in Adelaide this year as part of the bloggers contingent for the Words To Go Conference. I was very excited and honoured to be invited along to hear some wonderful presenters talk about food writing and blogging and also to taste and see all that South Australia has to offer at its premier food festival.

Tasting Australia and Words To Go 2016

The Tasting Australia Festival ran from the 1st to the 8th of May in the town square in Adelaide and it is a free event open to the general public. Food trucks, regional kitchens and produce stores, cooking demonstrations, classes, dinners and much more combine together to create the program for the Festival.

Words To Go 2016


Words To Go 2016In town square the opening of Tasting Australia 2016 was marked via the lighting of the eternal coal wood oven that was then kept running for the duration of the festival.

Words To Go 2016To see the full spectacular program you can visit the Tasting Australia website. If you are an enthusiastic foodie I recommend you lock this date in your diary for next year as there was so much on offer.


Here are my highlights from the events that I attended.

Introductory drinks with Jock Zonfrillo and Matt Orlando

On the opening night, after I had taken a little wander around town square and indulged in some sunshine, paella and views of the nearby Adelaide Hills, we were treated to a seafood and cider feast and a chance to hear from Matt Orlando and Jock Zonfrillo.

Words To Go 2016

Matt has previously worked at the Fat Duck in the UK, the critically acclaimed Noma in Copenhagen where he was Sous Chef to Renee Redzepi and has now established his own restaurant Amass,  in Copenhagen. He spoke to us about his interest in charring, burning and smoking food in order to create unique flavours and textures. He was joined by local chef Jock Zonfrillo who spoke with us about his passion for local, native, indigenous ingredients and his desire to incorporate them into his cooking in a way that acknowledges and honours the traditional owners of the land.

Jock tells us that there are more than 2000 edible foods that grow naturally in Australia but only a handful of them are currently part of the conversation of cooking in Australia.

It was wonderful to hear two leading chef’s share briefly about what keeps them passionate and engaged in their industry. If that was not enough though, this conversation was set against the backdrop of a delicious spread of local Hirama SA Kingfish, LOBO Cider from the Adelaide Hills region and slow cooked lamb sliders from Thomas Farms.



Words To Go 2016

Words To Go

Words To Go 2016

On day two it was time for the Words To Go food writing one day workshop. Excitement levels were high and so was my blood sugar as we were to treated to non stop sweets and treats and had our very own barista on hand to keep caffeine levels high. Good company, great food and non stop coffee would normally be sufficient to keep me happy but today I was also enjoyed talks from a range of great speakers.

Words To Go 2016


Matt Kurlansky, international journalist and author of Cod, Salt and The Big Oyster spoke with us about how to get to the heart of the story in food writing.

Telling a story is what makes food writing work.

and this gem

After 40 years of travelling the world writing about things I have learnt this, always eat your breakfast.

Matt encouraged us to always do our research and engage with the history, politics, key texts and stories of a local community before attempting to write about it. He also shared a little bit about the background to his renown book “Salt” and story about the day he received a phone call from George W Bush. Salt was once an extremely valuable and rare commodity and yet through changes to farming and industrialisation it is now worth very little.

Your way of reaching a reader is through the story you tell. This is true for a paragraph on food, a 140 character tweet or an academic text on Cod.

We also heard from journalist Max Anderson, bloggers Thang Ngo, Jacqui Lim and Jennifer Lam and Dr Roger Haden, academic director of Le Cordon Bleu in Adelaide.

Food has an amazing aesthetic capacity to link us to history, meaning, family, society and the world.

Words To Go 2016

Dr Haden wrote his academic thesis on the topic of “taste” and he spoke to us about the ever shifting importance of taste and its recent commoditization. Did you know that if you colour a glass of white wine red, it will change the overall taste experience for the drinker of the wine, even if that person is an experienced expert (prank alert)? This is because we now know that taste is effected by all the senses.

I cannot forget to mention the important parts of the day though.

Words To Go 2016

Afternoon tea was provided courtesy of Le Cordon Bleu Cooking students and for lunch we were asked to peruse the different regional offerings available in town square and select whatever we liked to eat. (Excitement!)

There was an amazing selection of regional food and I eventually settled on lamb ragout from the Fleurieu peninsula. Delicious.

Words To Go 2016

At the end of the day my tummy was very full and my brain was too, but probably the highlight of the experience was hanging out with some very awesome food bloggers and writers from across Australia.

Words To Go 2016

We celebrated our excellent day of activities with an amazing delegate dinner at Coal Cellar and Grill at the Hilton Hotel.

Words To Go 2016

Words To Go 2016Sign up to Eat My Street to read more about that in my review.

Market Tour

Day three was taken up with a tour of one of Australia’s oldest fresh food markets, Adelaide Central.

You can read about Adelaide Central Market by going here. Suffice to say there were gin tastings, a 6 course breakfast with Poh and an Italian feast under the market rooftop at Lucias Fine Foods.

Words To Go 2016

Words To Go 2016

Le Cordon Bleu Chocolate Masterclass.

Our final stop before returning to Melbourne was a tour and chocolate master class at Le Cordon Bleu, Regency Institute of Tate. We learned about how chocolate is farmed and processed and we tasted our way through the a number of different styles of couverture chocolate.

It was interesting to experience the different flavours and textures that come from the cocoa bean depending on how it has been conched, processed and tempered. We were even invited to taste a sample of local SA wines to experience how different wine will affect the taste of the chocolate.

When it comes to chocolate, the photos speak for themselves. Warning, drool worthy photos ahead.

Words To Go 2016

Words To Go 2016

Overall Tasting Australia Festival and Words To Go 16 was a wonderful experience. Adelaide is a beautiful location and its proximity to its nearby food regions meant that we were able to access such great regional SA food experiences all from the simplicity of the Town Square. A must do foodie experience for any enthusiastic food lover, cook or connoisseur.

Happy Eating.

Dani xx

Eat My Street is a website dedicated to good food for the good life. If you are an enthusiastic foodie or home cook then come hang out with us for reviews, food news, recipes and more. Sign up for our newsletter or keep up to date on Facebook. Thanks for stopping by! Dani xx

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Bread, War and happiness.


No new clothes for a year.



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Introducing Amy

I am so excited to introduce a new guest blogger to Eat My Street. I (Dani) started Eat My Street not because I am the best cook in the world, but because I love cooking and eating and writing and talking about all things food.

I quickly discovered that there a lot of other people out there who feel the same way, and so I invited some like minded people to become involved with Eat My Street. Amy is one of them.

Amy for eatmystreet

Amy proudly writes in the healthy eating niche and tends to post reviews of venues featuring raw foods, vegetarian meals and healthy options. She also loves to cook and you can take a look at her most recent recipe here.

Beetroot and Buckwheat Risotto with Amy.

Here are some of Amy’s reviews.

Shuki and Louisa’s Very Good Falafel

Dandenong Market Tour

Waratah Organics Cafe

You can also follow Amy on Instagram. 

Welcome to the team Amy!

Happy Healthy Eating. ūüôā



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The Flying Apron Patisserie Cafe Wesburn

The Flying Apron Patisserie Cafe Wesburn

Wesburn is a very special place to for me and I have been driving down its main street for more than 35 years now. The picture perfect tiny timber church at one end and the sprawling Pub on the corner at the other “I allus has wan at eleven.” Well now there is a new girl in town, the ever so slightly fabulous “Flying Apron Patisserie.”

The Flying Apron Patisserie Cafe Wesburn

Serving local Silva Coffee, this cafe is delighting locals and passers-by with an excellent selection of house made breads, pastries, quiches, cakes, cookies, sausage rolls (the amazing sounding chicken cacciatore) and sandwiches.

The Flying Apron Patisserie Cafe Wesburn

The Flying Apron Patisserie cafe Wesburn has been open since June 1st.  The little cafe also has some outdoor seating for when the nicer weather visits and it is the perfect place to stop, stretch your legs, take a wander and drink in the views.

We sampled the quiche, coffee, cake and the delectable almond croissant and enjoyed every mouthful. It is lovely to see such an elegant business take up pride of place in the main street of Wesburn and I look forward to visiting again.The Flying Apron Patisserie Cafe Wesburn


The details

The Flying Apron Patisserie Cafe Weburn

2874 Warburton Highway


Opening hours: Tuesday 6am till 4.30
Wednesday 6am till 4.30
Thursday 6am till 4.30
Friday 6am till 4.30
Sat 7am till 3pm
Sunday Closed
Monday Closed

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Cocoa and Birdseed No-Cook Slice Recipe

 Cocoa and Birdseed No-Cook Slice Recipe


This is a lovely gluten free, no cook slice recipe shared with me by author extraordinaire Cecily Paterson.

I think of it as my “magic slice” because you kind of just blitz together a whole lot of healthy ingredients and voila, you have slice.

Simple, quick and super healthy this is a winning recipe.

I hope you like it too. ūüôā

Happy Eating.


Raw Cocoa and Birdseed Slice
Prep time
Total time
  • 1 cup of dates
  • 1 cup of a mix of any of the following: buckwheat, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, coconut pieces or anything else you think would go in well.
  • 2 tbps coconut oil
  • 2 tbps cocoa
  1. Combine the chopped dates, seeds, nuts and coconut (depending upon your choice) in blender and blend for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the coconut oil (this must be in liquid form) and cocoa. Pulse until a smooth even consistency is achieved.
  3. Press into a tupperware slice container and set in the fridge.
  4. Eat when it’s firm.


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Two Ingredient Flatbread Recipe


 Two Ingredient Flatbread Recipe

Flatbread recipe

I love making this simple flat bread recipe because sometimes I really crave a delicious, crispy flatbread to soak up a curry, accompany a dip or just to snack on while I cook. This recipe is so simple that I can easily make it with just some of the basic items I keep stocked at home.

The trick is in the use of the natural greek yoghurt as apparently the enzymes within the yoghurt help break down the gluten in the bread.

I have labelled it a two ingredient flat bread because that is all you really need, but it will be made even more delicious by the addition of a toasted spice mix. I toast some cumin and coriander seeds until cracking, add in some toasted sesame seeds and some coarse salt and then sprinkle this on top. Oh, so, yum.

I recommend you serve this simple flatbread recipe with one of my favourite dips.

The only really trick to the recipe is to make sure you get the flatbread thin enough and that you cook it through properly.

I hope you like it as much as I do.

Two Ingredient Flatbreads
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12
  • 2 cups of plain flour
  • 1 cup of natural greek yoghurt
  1. Mix flour and yoghurt in a large bowl to form a soft dough.
  2. Take golf ball sized pieces and roll out as thinly as possible.
  3. Preheat a heavy based frypan and add some olive oil. Cook the flatbreads over medium heat until all cooked through and then flip. Add more olive oil to the pan as needed.
  4. Season with salt or with a herbed oil or Dukkah mix. I love using toasted sesame seeds, cumin seeds and coriander seeds with salt.
  5. Enjoy.



Happy Eating.


Eat My Street is a website dedicated to good food for the good life. If you love cooking great food and sharing your recipes with others then please join our Eat My Street Cooking Club on Facebook. We would love to hear from you.




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Exercise for normal-folk.


Exercise, the dreaded “E” word. We all know we should be doing it, and a whole lot of us also know lots of great reasons for not doing it.

  • I’m a bit tired, sickly, poorly.
  • I am way too busy.
  • I forgot.
  • the dog ate it.
  • I don’t wanna.
  • my ankle/ toe/ knee/ arm/ elbow / best friend’s left pinkie is a bit “funny” today.

Actually we don’t all come up with reasons for not exercising because there are those of you who are “so awesome” at exercising because it makes you feel great. If that is you, you are not welcome here.

Hang on, hang on, I take that back. Please enthusiastically jog/ lunge back over in my direction. You are more than welcome here, just be quietly encouraging Oright? A little less logging your super-runs onto Facebook and a little more explaining how and why exercising works for you. We can learn from you, oh super fit ones. Just please, pretty please, don’t talk to us about your diet if you are on one.

To quote my one super-fit-but-still-inspiring-friend.

I exercise because I took at look at all the research and I am convinced it is the best thing we can do to protect our health.

Word, super-fit friend. Word.

For the rest of us I have this to say- come in a little closer so I can whisper. (We don’t want the fit-bo’s laughing at us do we. Those guys can run fast and their great circulation allows for optimum brain firing wittiness.)

Find something that works for you, anything, and just stick to it. 

Yep, this is my new strategy. It is very, superbly, unimpressive in its complexity. And I really do mean anything.

  • Maybe you like reliving those white-sneakered, sucking on oranges, ¬†Netball days of your youth.
  • Maybe you enjoy going to the local gym because¬†peace, quiet, no children!
  • Maybe you like swimming laps or water dancing or strutting in circles around the pool at your local gym.
  • Maybe you enjoy putting on your make-up and your Lorna Jane’s and taking the long walk to your favourite cafe with a friend.
  • Maybe you like running on the treadmill in front of Netflix and then teaching yourself to do 1 real push-up while your kids laugh at you. This example comes from “a friend” of mine.

Because the truth is, as long as you do something, anything, you are doing well. In fact you are a legend. I think that sometimes our anything is not quite impressive enough so we just stick with nothing.

But here is the really important bit, I know you are going to love it.

When you get really sick and tired and bored with doing your anything, come up with something new.


Genius right? But I know that it is easy to try one thing and then eventually stop doing it. That is when we tend to give up.

How do I know this? Because I have lived it people.

So, join in with me? Find your motivation or don’t find it. But let’s just start doing some kind of exercise jiggery, right here, right now, and then find another one when we get sick of it.


If you are going to join in with me, I’d love to hear what you are doing. Yes even those¬†fitspo friends who are are up training for marathons while I am eating¬†croissants and reading the paper in my PJ’s. Leave me a comment to let me know¬†what you will be doing! Excellent.


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Lady Lavender’s Tea Room Bunyip


I recently had the opportunity to visit the Lady Lavender’s Tea Room in Bunyip.

Lady Lavender's Tea Room Bunyip

I have driven past this timber house set on the hillside so many times on my way to Gippsland. Surrounded by a lovely lavender garden and with rolling hills as the backdrop, the Lady Lavender Tea Rooms serve simple devonshire tea and traditional olde English lunch.

Lady Lavender's Tea Room Bunyip They also have a gift shop featuring their lavender products and a nursery/ gift shop out the back.

The dining room is decked out in traditional floral patterns and prints with antique furniture and decorative art work finishing off the look.

Lady Lavender's Tea Room Bunyip

Service was prompt and helpful and the whole experience was a little other worldly.

Lady Lavender's Tea Room Bunyip

Visit for traditional tea and scones and to while away your day in floral tranquility.

Lady Lavender's Tea Room Bunyip


The details

Address: 3085 Princes Hwy, Bunyip VIC *Set just back off the Highway
Phone:(03) 5629 6217
Monday to Friday ¬†10:30am‚Äď4pm
Saturday and Sunday ¬†10:30am‚Äď4:30pm


Lady Lavender's Tea Room Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Eat My¬†Street¬†is a website dedicated to good food for the good life. We publish recipes, reviews, interviews, stories and happiness tales.¬†We also love talking about soup and tea and gardening and being socially weird. Go on, click on a little green link and read a little more. If you think this sounds like your gang then come hang out on Facebook.¬†We had a cracking conversation about porridge the other day. ūüôā


Do you love cooking, eating and talking about food? Then we’d love you to join in the Eat My Street Cooking Club.¬†We even have some ace new events coming soon.

2016-05-27 11.49.10


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Who taught you to cook? Plus, a little visit to the Yarra Valley to learn the lost arts.


Winter has settled in. It has crept up on our houses while we slept and swirled its way through our gardens while we looked longingly out our windows into our shadow swept yards. The ground is cold and damp and a heavenly trio of rain, mist and fog dance and twirl their way across the pewter sky.

I mostly long to sit with a book and a cup of tea by my fire, but today I was off on an adventure to learn how to decorate a birthday cake. My destination was my tante Dina’s house in the Yarra Valley. Thirty something years ago she gave me my first school girl lesson in the art of rolling, pressing and shaping sugar into flowers. How enchanting for a young girl to discover adults also enjoy playing with clay, with the added privilege of eating cake at the end of it all.


Today I took my own daughter with me so the skills that I learnt at my Aunty’s knee are now being passed down to my own children. My Aunty has also mastered the art of sewing, knitting, crocheting, bottling, preserving, bread making ($3 for her sourdough loaf back before it was fashionable) and all round hospitality par excellence. Her traditional skill set is proudly matched by those of her husband who is a legendary gardener with seemingly infinite knowledge of the mystical art of getting things to grow. They basically know all the stuff that I do not.





It got me thinking about knowledge and craft and learning to cook. I learnt some of what I know about cooking from my Aunty (no jam is as good as a home-made jam) and some from my Mum and my Mother-in-law. I learnt a little more from Gabriel Gate and Ian “Huey” Hewitson and then a whole lot more from the internet.

My latest obsession is trawling through books on food and produce, as inspired by Mark Kurlansky, Annie Smithers and Charlotte Wood.

There is something fundamentally enriching about bringing something new into existence.  Charlotte Wood, Love & Hunger.

I think we can really learn to cook anywhere, from anyone and that we don’t all need to have parents or family members who sat with us and patiently taught us their skills. It is however, an enormous privilege when someone does share their knowledge, a little precious parcel of wisdom gently passed from one generation to another.

Did you have a perfect pair of elders who were able to teach you to cook or did you work it out yourself?

In other news, I will keep you posted on how the cake turns out. So far, so good. Please cross your fingers and everything else for me though.

Here are a few more photos from the Yarra Valley because I just love them and can’t help sharing.¬†IMG_5274

Fuchsias, so many beautiful fuchsias in the most amazing colours. I wish I was so well dressed.



A luscious array of succulents with varying textures, tones, shapes and sizes.


Perfect broccoli. I am told the the trick here is a lot of time, care and attention and an excellent composting system.

So, who taught you to cook and did you ever learn the traditional skills of making, baking and bottling?

Happy cooking.

Dani xx

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Eat’aliano by Pino


Eat’aliano by Pino

There is nothing more perfect than beautiful Italian food on a cold Wintery night, so last week I was very excited to be invited to the opening of Eat’aliano by Pino. I painted my nails and put my high heels on and headed out for some beautiful Italian food.


Eat’aliano by Pino is a newly opened Italian restaurant in High Street Windsor serving traditional Italian antipasti, pizza, pasta, salad and desserts all accompanied by a killer drinks list.


The opening night was busy and buzzing. There were two talented little DJ’s and even a celebrity or two to keep me impressed in between bites of food. The pizza was cooked in a cranking hot wood fired stove which produces an excellent chewy but crunchy base (the perfect combo). The lovely Suppli all romana, Breosola and other assorted antipasto items on the Eat’aliano menu were also delicious and I am told that the Nutella Pizza was sweet, gooey perfection.

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The restaurant has had a modern, chic fit-out tempered beautifully by warm Italian touches such as an open kitchen with a stunning white-tiled wood-fired pizza oven, a bespoke drinks area and a display of cured meats.

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I had a great night at the opening of this great little Italian gem of a restaurant and I can’t wait to go back.

Happy Eating.

Dani xx

The details

Eat’aliano by Pino

122 High St, Windsor

Phone: 03 8592 6979

Opening Hours.


Eat'aliano by Pino Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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