Roasted Eggplant Dip Recipe

Roasted Eggplant Dip RecipeEggplant dip recipeI have not traditionally eaten a lot of eggplant, but after deciding to incorporate a lot more vegetables into my daily diet I have been keenly searching for recipes that feature vegetables.

Research also tells us that we tend to stick to the same small list of foods in our diet across a week, month and year and that there are nutritional benefits to breaking out a little and trying different foods. The Spice Adventuress recently shared with me that her favourite vegetable is Okra and I had to shamefully admit that I had never cooked with okra!

I also tend to get a little bored eating the same things over and over. As I explained to a girlfriend who asked me recently “what is your favourite thing to cook?”

Basically anything new.

Although, just like most Mum’s, week night cooking tends to steer toward the reliable and rehearsed recipes because life with three different aged children is just like that. Spaghetti Bolognese and chicken with rice and vegetables is on high rotation at my house and I won’t pretend otherwise.

This all leads me on my endeavour to try to cook with vegetables that I have avoided. Eggplant falls right into this category.

This Roasted Eggplant dip is a great way to get some more eggplant into your diet. It can also be used as an accompaniment to a simple rice bowl with grilled chicken.

It is quite easy to make. The eggplant will collapse in on itself when it is roasted, which I find kind of gorgeous and appealing.

You will need to let it cool a little before working with it, or if you are impatient like me, you will have to use some nifty cutlery tricks.

roasted eggplant

Roasted Eggplant Dip
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 2 large eggplants
  • 50ml of olive oil
  • Half a lemon
  • 150ml of plain greek yoghurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • A pinch of ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to season.
  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celsius
  2. Pierce the skin of the eggplant with a knife and then place them on a baking tray.
  3. Place in the oven and cook for around 45 minutes or until very soft.
  4. Remove from the oven and cut in half. Scoop out the flesh and place in a bowl. This should be very easy to do once they are completely cooked through.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the garlic and cook very gently for 1 minute. Add the cumin and cook very gently for another 30 seconds. You want to just heat it through.
  6. Add eggplant, olive oil and garlic mixture and the juice of the lemon into a food processor and blend until smooth.
  7. Gradually add the yoghurt and then season with salt and pepper.
  8. Chill in the fridge before serving.

I sometimes add some cooked chickpeas into he mix if I have some sitting around. I then adjust with a little extra lemon and salt if needed.

You can dress this dip with an extra swirl of olive oil and some toasted pine nuts. Some roasted cumin and coriander seeds in oil would also not hurt, but I am a little obsessed with this at the moment so I may be biased.

Serve it as an entrée with bread or crackers or as an interesting accompaniment to chicken, lamb or fish.

If you are also looking to incorporate more vegetables into your life then you might like to read cookbooks by the love of my life 

my food hero Yotam Ottolenghi who writes for the Guardian and who this week featured a lovely recipes inspired by Melbourne’s own Kathy Staples from the Sweet Greek Shop. 

Either way, enjoy your Roasted Eggplant Dip recipe.

Roasted eggplant dip recipe

Happy Eating.

Dani xx

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Good Cream Cake Recipe

Vintage Cream Cake Recipe 

Confession time. I have a slightly weird hobby.

No I don’t race ferrets and I’m not an “Extreme Ironing” competitor, although I do fancy myself achieving quite well in a “mooing competition.”

I collect old recipes.

Some of them are quite smelly in that very well used, very old book kind of way.

I hide them around my house, some in the office and some in the laundry and I dream about a day where I will get to cook some of the weird and wonderful recipes from within their musty pages.

Some of the recipes are in magazines that are actually quite beautiful, but some of them are definitely untidy and ugly.

But they all contain a fairly interesting sense of history and story when it comes to the food we eat and the way we cook it.

I love trawling through op shops to find these treasures and one of my more interesting recent finds was a completely useless book on food and architecture. It sounds so promising right? Well it was not.

When I first started out on my blogging journey I was keen to share some of the more vintage style recipes that have been given to me or left to me and this year I am getting back to basics by finally publishing a few more of my favourites.

Todays comes courtesy of a post-it notes sized piece of old, loose paper with a handwritten family recipe on it.

“Good Cream Cake .”

It comes with very few instructions, nor does it have an explanation as to why it is called a good cream cake. But it must have been precious to have been kept for so long.

A little bit of research though suggests that this is a good solid cake for covering with fresh cream and fruit.

It is definitely not a light and airy sponge, but a buttery cake with a lovely crumb. I am guessing that it was meant to look a little something like this.

Cinnamon apple cream cake recipe (1940)


I have included the original instructions, as well as my own notes from making it. I iced it and then added jam and cream like a sponge, but I think it could so with something more sturdy than that.

Cream Cake Recipe

1 small cup of sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 tablespoons butter, vanilla essence

1/2 cup of milk

1 1/2 cups of flour

1 teaspoon of cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon of soda

Bake in a brisk oven from 3/4 to 1 hour.


  • I discovered very quickly that one (1) teaspoon baking powder is equivalent to 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar, so I just used 2 teaspoons of baking powder in place of the tartar/ soda.
  • There were absolutely no instructions apart from the “bake briskly for 3/4 to 1 hour” which suggests it should be cooked somewhere between 200 degrees celsius and 230. I thought this sounded way to hot so I lowered it to the standard 180 cake baking temperature. Feel free to tell me I am wrong! Perhaps I would have got a slightly higher rise out of my cake if it was in hotter?
  • I also dropped the time to 40 minutes and then took the cake out. It was cooked beautifully on the inside and was starting to get a little dark on the top.
  • I ended up with a fairly dense cake that tasted delicious!
  • I whisked the eggs and added the dry ingredients together first. Then in with the milk, eggs and butter. Stir until smooth.
  • I made a really nice icing out of icing sugar, the juice of a couple of frozen berries and raspberry tea. The tea gave it a lovely pink flavour and also a lovely, mild, fragrant flavour.

This is what I ended up with.

Cream Cake Recipe

This was a very simple cake to make but it was also very tasty. I can imagine it would tolerate lemon or orange rind and a zesty cream cheese icing quite well. I feel like it is definitely asking for fruit of some sort on top.

So, do you know what a “cream cake” is? Can you provide me any more information on what I should do with this time honoured, simple and effective recipe?

Do you have a favourite vintage (old) recipe that has been passed down from one generation to the next?

Happy eating.

Dani xx


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Bistro Guillaume Melbourne

Bistro Guillaume MelbourneBistro Guillaume Melbourne is a classic French restaurant modelled on France’s popular neighbourhood bistros but sitting swankily alongside the Yarra here in our very own Melbourne.Bistro Guillaume Melbourne

The lime green colour scheme is the first thing you will notice when you approach Bistro Guillaume and it sets the scene for a dining experience that does not follow along with the trends, rather walks its own jaunty journey par excellence.

If you are not already in love with the riverside view and on point brisk but embracing service, then  the decor will capture your heart like a dashing French mademoiselle looking sweetly at you from under her thick long lashes.

Then the food will sweep you away.

The Roquefort soufflé is a cheese lovers delight. Light, fluffy and intensely creamy all at once with a perfect side serve of cress, apple and walnuts as an accompaniment. I am often trying to find an equal to my favourite ever dish of Goats Cheese Soufflé from Donovans in St Kilda which I ate a decade or so ago and Bistro Guillaume’s souffle comes daringly close.

A beetroot tart with goats cheese feta and horseradish demonstrates a similar philosophy in the kitchen of beautiful ingredients perfectly paired with lavish restraint and skill I can only dream of. The thin, buttery tart shell was uniquely memorable and I am sure, very hard to replicate.Bistro Guillaume Melbourne

Roast chicken with Paris mash was an outstanding dish and easily the most delicious roast chicken I have ever eaten (sorry Mum). I have since discovered that the recipe for Paris Mash includes a whole lot of butter and only a modicum of potato, but no bother, it was the chicken that really shone in this dish anyway.   Succulent, crispy-skin perfection with an outstanding jus drizzled all around.

There was little room for dessert but we ordered it anyway because who can resist a profiterole with vanilla bean ice cream and chocolate sauce?

Our waitress was helpful and of my favourite waitstaff breed. There, but not there if you know what I mean. Never intrusive and yet when I went to reach for the wrong knife during entrée there she suddenly was under my right arm proffering me the correct utensil. She also added a sprinkling of authenticity by way of a lovely French accent but I don’t think it would have mattered either way. She recommended the right wine and kept a rather rowdy table of business men in order and facilitated our dining experience with dry humour and helpfulness.

Visit for the perfect riverside Melbourne dining experience and food that you will remember long after you leave.


The details

8 Whiteman St


Open 12 midday to 10pm 7 days

03 8582 2014

Bistro Guillaume Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Slow Cooked Chicken Burritos with salsa and coriander lime rice








I have been searching for a great slow cooked chicken recipe for a while now but with no luck. I was inspired by a “Tasty” style video’s where the recipe is edited down to a simple 5 step video,  and voila, you have a delicious meal.

Well I gave that recipe a try because it looked tasty and simple, but unfortunately it was just simple. I love a good short cut, but not when the end result is tasteless.

So I borrowed some Mexican cook books from the library (quite hard to find incidentally),  read a lot of recipes online and got inspired by a beautiful box off goodies sent to me from El Cielo in Melbourne.  I also borrowed a little from this Shredded Beef recipe.

I have included a lovely corn salsa recipe that I have been making for ages but have never written down. It uses “Sushi seasoning” which sounds a bit weird, but is actually just rice wine vinegar with sugar and salt added. I love the fresh mild tang it provides.

The end result is fresh and tasty and pretty easy to make. It will also feed a group which is great if you have a family. Slow Cooked Chicken Burritos

Slow Cooked Chicken Burritos with fresh corn salsa and coriander lime rice

Slow Cooked Chicken Burritos with salsa and coriander & rice
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 2 limes
  • 750 grams of chicken thigh fillets
  • 300grams of tinned red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 teaspoons of ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon cumin ground
  • 3 teaspoon of paprika
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 400 grams of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 large tomato diced
  • 1 cup of corn kernels
  • ¼ of a cucumber, diced
  • 1 teaspoon of diced red chilli
  • mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of sushi seasoning
  • RICE
  • 1 cup (uncooked) of brown rice
  • zest of one lime
  • juice of 1-2 limes
  • salt
  • ½ cup of fresh coriander, shredded
  • ½ tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 packet of El Cielo White Corn Tortillas
  • Traditional Mexican Green Habanero sauce.
  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees celsius
  2. Heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook gently until all soft. About 5 minutes.
  3. Add Chicken and stir until browned.
  4. Add garlic, coriander, cumin, paprika and cook, stirring for one minute.
  5. Add tomatoes, red wine vinegar and tomato paste.
  6. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Place into a baking dish and cook for 1 hour.
  8. Take out, stir and add in the beans then return to the oven for 15- 20minutes, making sure the baking dish never dries out.
  9. When the chicken is cooked through, take two forks and shred the chicken into the sauce and beans. Cover with foil and set aside.
  10. Cook rice according to directions on packet.
  11. When it is cooked through, add lime zest, salt and stir through the freshly chopped coriander.
  12. To make the Salsa, chop the cucumber, tomato, red chilli and mint leaves and mix together.
  13. Dress with the sushi seasoning and oil then season to taste.
  14. Cook tortillas by heating on a pan, both sides.
  15. Prepare the dish by adding a little rice, chicken and salsa to a warm tortilla. Top with some traditional, El Cielo Green Habanero sauce and enjoy.

Slow Cooked Chicken BurritosThis post was kindly sponsored by El Cielo.

El Cielo is a  traditional Mexican food manufacturer started in Melbourne in 2010 by Cesar, Paola and Javier.  They now distribute tortillas and corn chips to over half of Australia’s leading Mexican restaurants!

Their products have just landed in independent supermarkets across Victoria and you can also make an order online.

El Cielo use their own 100% Australian white corn from northern New South Wales and their Habanero sauce is preservative free, which I absolutely love.

El Cielo also imports a range of gourmet products directly from Mexico that could not be found elsewhere in Australia. Check out my photos for a cameo by the very gorgeous Ancho Dried Chilli!Slow Cooked Chicken Burritos

I am sure you will enjoy eating this at home.

Were do you get your inspiration for new recipes from? Do you have a great mexican dish that you could share with me?

Happy Eating.

Dani xx



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Happy & Whole. Cook book review.

Happy & Whole. Cook book review.Title: Happy & Whole.

Author: Magdalena Roze. Television presenter, journalist. meteorologist, SMH Good Food Guide presenter and “Delicious Online” contributor.

Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia.


Magdalena’s debut cookbook is about enjoying food, the natural way. The food in “Happy & Whole” is simple, nutritious and delicious, and a lot of her recipes are based on traditional whole foods, that not only taste great, but also have great health benefits. The recipes are divided into chapters based on the weather and the kind of food we crave in those environments.

My Review

Happy & Whole is a beautiful cookbook full of beautiful images of Magdalena and her life in Byron Bay. I was initially a little sceptical about how practical these recipes were going to be for my own life, where I am normally busy working and looking after three kids in bustling Melbourne but once I started testing and trailing the recipes I was won over with the beautiful, wholesome ingredients lists and the delicious end products of the recipes.

I have cooked and enjoyed the chicken and ginger congee, Summery panzanella salad, almond milk panna cotta with fresh fruits and chai honey syrup, Byron bibimbap and the popsicles three ways.Happy & Whole. Cook book review.Happy & Whole Cook book recipe

“Happy & Whole” has a focus on using honey and natural sugars in place of refined sugar which I am really enjoying. The recipes also use whole grains, good fats and tend to favour the “slow food” approach to cooking, where ingredients are either sources fresh or made from scratch. This is my preferred way of cooking too, but it probably represents my “weekend/holiday” style, more than my every day life. Charmingly Magdalena asserts that she does not have a particular food philosophy and that no one food is either “good” or bad,” rather she just tries to get things back to basics.

Magdalena also shares some recipes for drinks including tea, broth and kombucha and also some more general lifestyle advice. There are a few pages on “food for babies.”

I made and particularly loved the fragrant “Mullum Curry” recipe which I have permission to share with you here. It is a beautiful vegetarian dish using cauliflower, chickpeas, pumpkin and green beans. It received 5/5 ticks of approval from my family.

Mullum Curry Happy & Whole Cook book review.

Mullum Curry


200 g (1 cup) dried chickpeas (see note)

2 tablespoons yoghurt, whey or lemon juice

2 tablespoons coconut oil

12 curry leaves

2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 large onion, sliced

3 cm piece of ginger, finely grated

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1½ teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon garam masala

½ teaspoon ground turmeric pinch of ground cinnamon

2 long green chillies, sliced

2 tomatoes, finely chopped

50 g (½ bunch) coriander, roots and stems finely chopped, leaves reserved to serve 1 x

400 ml can coconut cream

400 g butternut pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2 cm pieces

500 g cauliflower florets

200 g green beans, trimmed and halved

120 g baby spinach leaves

cooked brown rice, to serve

Minty cucumber yoghurt, to serve (see page 192)


Place the chickpeas in a bowl with plenty of water and 2 €teaspoons of yoghurt, whey or lemon juice. Cover with a tea towel and leave to soak overnight. They will double in size, so you’ll end up with about 2€ cups of chickpeas.

The next day, drain and rinse the chickpeas and place in a saucepan. Add enough water to cover the chickpeas by about 3€cm. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook, uncovered, for 1–1½ hours or until tender.

Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat.

Add the curry leaves and cook for 30 seconds until bright green and crisp. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the curry leaves to a plate. Set aside.

Add the mustard and cumin seeds to the pan and cook, stirring, for 1 minute until the seeds pop and become fragrant.

Add the onion, ginger, garlic, coriander, garam marsala, turmeric, cinnamon and chilli and cook, stirring, for 3–4 minutes until the onion softens.

Add the tomato, coriander roots and stems, coconut cream, pumpkin and cauliflower, and cook for a further 3–4 minutes until the vegetables soften. Stir in the beans, chickpeas and spinach, season and cook for a further 2€minutes or until the spinach has wilted and the vegetables are tender.

Spoon into serving bowls, top with the coriander and curry leaves and serve with brown rice.

A dollop of minty cucumber yoghurt is a delicious offset to the heat and spice.

NOTE If you can get your hands on a 2 cm piece of kombu or wakame (types of seaweed that you can find in most health-food stores), pop it into the liquid when you’re soaking and


A visually lovely book full of wholesome and tasty, slow recipes, using whole foods.

Many thanks to Pan Macmillan for providing this book.

Photographer credit: Rob Palmer

Recipe Credit: This recipe has been extracted from Happy & Whole by Magdalena Roze, published by Plum, RRP$39.99, available in all good bookstores now.

Pan Macmillan social media handles:

Instagram: @macmillanaus

Facebook: @PanMacmillanAustralia

Twitter: @MacmillanAus

Magdalena Roze social media handles:

Instagram: @magdalena_roze

Twitter: Magdalena_roze

Happy and Whole is out now.


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Melbourne International Coffee Expo 2017

The 2017 Melbourne International Coffee Expo was on in Melbourne last weekend. Held at the Melbourne Show Ground, MICE includes the Australian Coffee Championships,  Australia Barista Championship, PURA Latte Art Championship, Cup Tasters Championship and the Brewers Cup.

Hugh Kelly from One’s Coffee in Canberra  was crowned the Australian Barista Champion for the second year in a row, with his signature  coffee infused with tangerine fairy floss.

Aaron Dongsu Shin from Shortblack (Paesano) in Camberwell won the Latte Art Championship.  Cup Tasters Championship at Melbourne International Coffee Expo

The Melbourne International Coffee Expo is a great opportunity for cafe owners, producers, roasters, baristas and suppliers to all gather together. There was plenty there to keep the average coffee lover happy for the morning too.

Highlights for me included the Chai Spice Chai stand with its intensely aromatic tea blends.

spiced chai tea at Melbourne International Coffee Expo

Hearing about the soft lunch of World Vision’s “Little Things” coffee company, based right here in Melbourne but with a big vision to be a blessing world wide. A brilliant idea to capture Melbourne’s ongoing obsession with good coffee and use it to help fund community development projects and emergency relief worldwide.

World Vision coffee company "little things."

I enjoyed seeing the latte art competition. Some people have got skills!

And some people don’t….

latte art from Melbourne International Coffee Expo

There were also a variety of workshops on offer and heaps of great products to sample. It was interesting to experience such a huge variety of tastes that come from the little coffee bean.Melbourne International Coffee Expo

Melbourne favourites Sensory Lab and Zest Coffee were there and so were Axil Roasters, but there was a huge variety of smaller and larger companies also in attendance.

Coffee lovers look out for next years event!

Don’t forget…….. you can follow me on Facebook or Instagram to keep up to date.




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Do you Hygge?

If you hygge and you know it

Sip your tea.

Sip, slurp.

Earlier in the year I bought the beautiful book “Hygge The Danish Art of Happiness” by Marie Tourell Soderberg and I adored lingering over every single page in it.hygge in Australia

Hygge is the Danish word for finding happiness in the little things in life and it is closely linked to the idea of cosiness.

This gorgeous little book explains what is meant by the word “hygge” and also suggests a number of different ways you can include the practise in your every day life.

Given all the upheaval and change that I had going on in my  life, this was the perfect little book for me.

I immediately launched into baking fresh bread for breakfast using Soderberg’s recipe. Is there a more comforting experience than eating freshly baked bread, still warm from the oven in the morning?

I got in the habit of mixing dough together at night before bed and then simply spooning  rolls shapes on a tray in the morning and baking it.

Warm, tasty and delicious.hygge the Danish art of happiness

I also experimented with creating cosy little nooks in my house where the children and I can sit snuggled up and surrounded by things that are familiar.

I  introduced some house plants into my home following the suggestion to have a corner filled with greenery. So far they are all still alive and there is something very enjoyable about having living, breathing plants inside my home.

I do wonder about what our unique Australian sense of hygge might look like. Soderberg talks a lot about the importance of retreating somewhere warm, with candle light and blankets due to the cold weather and short days. Here in Australia of course we have lots of warm or moderate weather. We also have long days and an abundance of space and coastline.

I know for me, that lovely feeling of contentedness nearly always washes over me when I hit the road and the horizon opens up to countryside vistas.Apollo Bayroyal botanic gardens melbourne

But I think the most hygge thing that I can think of doing is to sit down with a cup of tea. Growing up, my Mum was the Queen of making tea. It was never rushed and when she made you a cup you always had her full attention. So lovely.
hygge with a cup of tea

tea is very hygge

I would also have to include sitting by the fire, baking and pottering in the garden to my list. being in the garden is very hygge

So, do you hygge?

What do you do in your home that helps it feel like a place of cosiness and comfort?


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What’s On for Foodies in Melbourne.

What’s On for Foodies in Melbourne and beyond.

March 31st.

What's On for Foodies in Melbourne.

With the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival running from 31st of March to the 9th of April, there is not better time to be a foodie in Melbourne.

There are so many great events on including the Crawl n Bite, Regional World’s Longest Lunch events, Fed in French (free and family friendly), Sweet Alley, Doggy Winery Tours and a whole amazing range of Master Classes. Some events have already sold out, but some have not and there are a quite a few that are free.

To find out more visit.

But there are some other great events happening in Melbourne and beyond this weekend too. Here are my favourites.

What's On for Foodies. Cannibal Creek Winery dinner.

Yarra Valley Wine and Food Festival at Rochford Winery. 1st and 2nd of April.

Melbourne River Graze. Entertainment, stallholders, food truck, wineries and the World’s Largest Floating Food Bowl. Free  But will the weather hold out?

Wine and Cheese Festival including a grape stomp North Melbourne. Sunday 2nd April.

Locavore Studio is throwing its doors open again for the most awesome bake sale. Featuring lemon curd, nutella and salted caramel donuts, sourdough, sweets and more. 9am Saturday 1st April.

Beer and Cider Festival Lilydale. Saturday 1st. 11am-5.30pm. Lilydale Show grounds.

Dandenong World Fare. Multicultural market, food trucks and more. Sunday 2nd April. 10am – 4pm.

Melbourne International Coffee Expo at Melbourne Show Grounds

Mornington Peninsula Doggy Wine tours.

Tasty Tunes at the Old Cheese Factory. Food trucks and tunes in the beautiful gardens. Sunday 11am-3pm.

Cannibal Creek Vineyard is open for Friday night dinner

The Peninsula Picnic. Food, wine and music in Mornington.

Emerald Fun Fest, as part of the PAVE Festival.


What's On for Foodies. Farmers Market.

Cockatoo Country Market

Hurstbridge Farmers Market

Kingston Farmers Market

Carlton Farmers Market at Carlton Primary School.

Daylesford Farmers Market

South Gippsland Farmers Market in Koonwarra.

St Andrews Community Market

Warrandyte Riverside Market

Torquay Farmers Market

Kalista Community Market

Produce Swap

April Bacchus Marsh Produce Swap.

In other exciting newsKit Kat Hot Cross Bun.

These holidays you can enjoy a Smurfs High Tea at the Langham. How good is that!? 3rd to 25th of April

The KitKat Chocolatery has launched a special Hot Cross Bun Kit Kat Bar to help celebrate Easter. Available exclusively in the Melbourne Central Boutique. Get thyself there!

You can Create your own Cronut.  Today! Friday 31st of March 9am – 12 at 727 Collins St, Docklands. Hosted by Long Shot Coffee.

What's On for Foodies in Melbourne.

Got any interesting plans this weekend? Did I miss anything important. As always, let me know in the comments here or on Facebook.

Happy Eating.

Dani xx

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The Meeniyan Store. Beautiful Gippsland Cafe and Store.

The Meeniyan Store

The Meeniyan StoreGet in your car and head South East and take in the infinite charm of life in South Gippsland. More specifically you might like to head to Meeniyan, setting for the ABC TV drama “Bed of Roses” and home to Victoria’s only Garlic Festival.

Meeniyan punches well above its weight in terms of great foodie spots with options for discerning diners including Moos at Meeniyan, Pandesal Bakery, the beautiful Trulli Pizzeria and of course, The Meeniyan Store.

The Meeniyan Store was opened by Kirsten Jones and her daughter Felicity 2 years ago with the idea of being a one-stop shop for sourcing local Gippsland food and produce. They now stock produce from more than 50 local farms and they help host the annual Garlic Festival.The Meeniyan Storeproduce from The Meeniyan Store

Visit for coffee, tea and something sweet. While you are there you are bound to want to have a wander through their kitchen garden and maybe even say hello to their bunnies. Before you leave you will want to pick up some Gippsland produce. When we visited the produce available included local tomatoes, chillis, potatoes and pears. There was also a selection local wine and Gin, meats and cheeses and beautiful bread from Thorpdale Bakery. Kitchen garden at The Meeniyan Store There is also a small menu of hot food available featuring beautiful pies from Thorpdale Bakery and seasonal sandwiches.lunch at The Meeniyan Store

Locals seem to stop in for supplies of bread, fruit and vegetables. I could not resist the locally made soaps from Barany Naturals and Rose bath salts from the South Gippsland Trading Company.

Why not make a weekend of it and stay somewhere local. Nearby attractions include The Great Southern Rail Trail, Wilsons Prom, the local art gallery and the delightful Loch Village with its popular Gin Company.

Visit for friendly service and local produce, in a beautiful location.

craft at The Meeniyan Store

The Meeniyan Store

Address: 106 Whitelaw St, Meeniyan VIC 3956
Tuesday -Saturday 10am–5pm
Sunday 10am–4pm
Monday Closed

Happy Eating

Dani xx

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Middle Eastern Restaurant Souk Opens in Melbourne

decor at Middle Eastern Restaurant SoukThis week saw the opening of an exciting new restaurant in Bligh Place, just off Flinders Lane, serving fresh, modern flavours from North Africa, Anatolia and the Middle East. Middle Eastern Restaurant Souk

Eat My Street was invited along on behalf of the Australian Good Food and Travel Guide, for the opening night. On arrival we were greeted with the “Omar Sharif” cocktail. Pink fairy floss and rose petals atop an elixir of gin, citrus mastic. orgeat and rose water. This delicious and gorgeous drink set the tone for the dinner ahead. There are four other Arabian style cocktails to chose from, including “Aladdin’s Mistress” with Moroccan green iced tea, crushed cardamom pods, rum and mint.fairy floss cocktail at Middle Eastern Restaurant Soukcocktails at Middle Eastern Restaurant Souk

The venue was recently redeveloped by Ergun Elmas (of Elsternwick’s Arabesque) and business partner Vlad Kovacevic and it spans two levels of neon pink and grey gorgeousness offset with striking artwork. Head Chef Rogelio Almanza, comes to Souk via Mexico, America and Japan and seems to have a deft hand when it comes to bringing a little extra kick and sizzle to the flavours on the plate.

To the food. Prawn falafel with smoked black tahini and chipotle hummus with burnt butter and paprika were the opening gambits. Both dishes delivered a fresh take on classic, much loved dishes. I enjoyed the extra dimension that the chipotle and burnt butter brought to the hummus and the prawn falafel had a great depth and intricacy of flavour.chefs at Middle Eastern Restaurant Soukfalafel at Middle Eastern Restaurant Souk

The Kuwaiti Fried Chicken (KFC) was another highlight that packed a big punch of flavour. These little crunchy chicken ribs were fried in harissa and paprika breadcrumbs and I  could have eaten a lot more.Middle Eastern Restaurant Souk

The Turkish Tabouleh with sumac, mint cucumber, mild chillies and roasted pine nuts provided a fresh and zesty interlude for our palates and demonstrates a thoughtful approach to menu design.Middle Eastern Restaurant Souk

Next up was the perfectly tender charcoal octopus which was served with muhammara sauce and roasted potato.

The Chicken and Apricot Kofta continued the theme of giant flavours in small sizes, and it was served on a roasted lemongrass stick that permeated the juicy meatball perfectly.

Dessert was a slow cooked black tapioca pearls in sweet turkish coffee cream.  This dish offered a perfect balance of sweet and bitter, crunch and cream. The  slippery luxuriousness of the tapioca balls were brought to life with the clean, crispness of the coffee. The crowning jewell of berries added the perfect burst of fresh sweetness and deep friend tapioca added crunch. I liked this dessert very much.

Middle Eastern Restaurant SoukVisit Souk for the excellent food that is full of exciting flavours , the modish setting, great service and of course, cocktails to remember.

Happy Eating.

Dani xx

Middle Eastern Restaurant Souk

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Brandied Caramel Apple Recipe

Brandied Caramel Apple Recipe

This gorgeous Brandied Caramel Apple Recipe comes courtesy of a much treasured hand written note passed down from my mother-in-law to her son on the event of his departure from home as a young man.

She sent him out in to the world equipped and ready to look after himself. So impressive I think.

I don’t think I could fall for a man that could not cook. There is something peculiar about an adult who cannot master such a basic and essential skill. Because really, we can all cook if we try. Right?

I love a simple dessert recipe and this one is oh so old fashioned. Leave out the brandy if you must. You can serve these apples with ice-cream or cream or even atop a pile of pancakes. I have long had it in my mind to drape them over a cake of some sort. I quite fancy that idea.

Brandied Caramel Apple Recipe

Brandied Caramel Apples
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Vintage Australian
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • 60g of butter
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • a pinch of mixed spice
  • 2 tablespoons of brandy
  • 4 large granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced.
  1. In a clean frying pan melt together the brown sugar and butter over low heat.
  2. Once it is melted add the nutmeg, mixed spice and brandy and stir through.
  3. Next, add in the cored, peeled and sliced apple and cook gently until just softened (3-5 minutes depending on size).
  4. Serve with vanilla bean ice-cream, greek yoghurt or spoon over the top of your favourite cake for an impressive topping.

Brandied Caramel Apple Recipe


Brandied Caramel Apple Recipe

I have used my favourite apple peeler/ cutter to prepare these apples,  but you can just slice your apples for an equally good result.

If you do make these apples, then let me know how you eat them. Pictures are more than welcome.

I hope you enjoy.

Cutting apples

Happy Eating.

Dani xx



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