McDougall Winery – Mildura

I had the pleasure of spending a Sunday afternoon here!

On a Sunday afternoon the winery offers live music (on the afternoon it was blues artist Rusty Bonnit, lol), and a lovely setting to enjoy some drinks and simple food.

Having lived in Mildura, I felt like you are having a drink at the back of someones fruit block, it is homely, kitsch, and quirky.

Tables are outside, and a mix and match of old dinning tables. They are all under vines, which would be beautiful in summer. There are a few pot belly stoves around to keep everyone warm.


It’s also a great place to take kids, there is an old yellow school bus to play on, a few bits of junior place equipment and a friendly dog named Sally wandering around.


There also other old things lying around to have a look at, including cars, old farm machinery and even an old piano.


Wines are offered by the glass or bottle, and you can get beer, spirits, soft drink as well.


There is a small menu of shared platters and simple traditional pizzas.

The platters were generous, and the breads that can with,  were yummy!


Pizzas were also good, with some interesting toppings such as beetroot and beef, and also the classics like Margarita and Hawaiian for the kids.


Keep in mind this is not a restaurant, its fairly relaxed, and you go and order and pay at the bar as you go, go when you have a few hours to spend with friends.

Here is a link to there facebook page

McDougall Wines on Urbanspoon


Sunraysia Farmer’s Market

Sorry I haven’t posted anything for a while. I have had laptop and back problems!

I’m currently away in Mildura, and this is a short post about the farmers market that is ran here.

Mildura is a region in Victoria that has traditionally been associated with citrus, dried fruit and  wine production, which has grown extensively in the last 20 years or so. More recently it has become a gourmets paradise with fine restaurants, olive oil production, Murray river pink salt and beautiful boutique fruits and vegetables becoming available.

Monthly, a Farmers market is ran on the lawns opposite the river. Volunteers also put on a great breakfast full of local seasonal produce. We got the big breakfast for $12, which consisted of a poached egg, bacon, sausage, toast, orange and read roasted beetroot, greens in a bechamel sauce, fritatta and mushrooms.


Also  on offer beautiful Robinvale estate olive oil and vinegar to add to you breakfast for free, and a selection of pink Murray river salt and homemade preserves  made by stall holders to add to you breakfast. this is a great opportunity to try some of the products available at the market.


Also available is freshly squeezed orange juice and good coffee from the Grinders van.


Unfortunately, it was FREEEZING when we went down ,so I didn’t get many photos of the stalls as we left after a quick lap of the market of get out of the cold. They has many stalls selling oils, preserves, baked goods, local meat and many other products.


It’s also in a beautiful setting.


Lily demonstrating how cold it was!


If you find yourself in Mildura and the market is on, it’s really worth going down for a delicious breakfast and  to sample what is available locally.


Bacon and Egg Filo Pie – with Onion Jam


I was really craving bacon and egg pie. Although, filo is lighter than other pastries this is NOT a lighter recipe.

It does contain lots of yummy things though, eggs, bacon, cheese and onion!

The filo and use of a loaf pan makes for easy assembly of the pie.

It can be served hot or cold, and can make a good breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner dish.

I found this recipe on the website of the TV show everyday gourmet

In this version, I added the onion jam I posted previously , and used some mayonnaise in place of the sour cream, as I forgot to buy it. I would recommend using the sour cream, the mayonnaise made it a little to rich. I also didn’t use any fresh  herbs, but the chives used in the original recipes or parsley would be lovely.

To make this healthier, use less and leaner bacon, or ham, or replace bacon with some spinach or tomato. You could also use low fat cheese and reduce the amount.



50g butter, melted
7 sheets of thick filo pastry
9 pieces of thin streaky bacon
10 eggs
Salt and pepper
200g cheddar, grated
50g mayonnaise

1 portion of onion jam
Juice and zest of ½ lemon


1. Pre heat the oven to 190C. Grease the bottom of a loaf tin and line with one sheet of filo pastry, allowing excess pastry to runoff the edges. Repeat 5 times, lightly brushing each time with the melted butter.

2.Fry the bacon until golden brown, drain.


3. Place three pieces of the bacon in the filo lined tin. Crack the eggs into a bowl and season with salt pepper. Whisk, just to break up the egg yolks. Pour half of this mixture into tin, followed by another three pieces of bacon.




4. In another bowl combine  cheddar, mayonnaise and lemon. Place on top of bacon, top with the onion jam and then add the remaining egg mixture. Finish with the last three pieces of bacon. Cover with the remaining buttered filo pastry and seal by crimping the edges to form a pie. Brush with a little butter.



5. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Once cooked allow to cool slightly before removing from the tin.




Maggie Beers Roast Pork Loin and Apple Sauce and Roast Potatos


I really like watching Maggie Beer cook, however, I rarely make any of her recipes. I think because they often involve verjuice or some ‘other harder than usual to find ingredient’, that I would have to make a special trip to purchase.

I love that she showcases local and seasonal produce.


But when I saw this one on the latest season of Masterchef, I had to give it a go. It was a real ‘Sunday lunch’ or special ‘Family dinner’ recipe.

I didn’t have verjuice, so I used apple cider vinegar in the apple sauce and left it out pouring it over the pork. I also didn’t make the cavolo nero, but served it with some steamed zucchini

I won’t re-write the recipe here, here is the link to the Masterchef recipe.

This was not a complete success, as I didn’t have time to let the pork ‘dry’ overnight, I left it for about five hours, and the pork was already scored, but not at the 1cm intervals suggested. So, only part of my pork skin turned into beautiful crackling :(.


The use of apples and grapes was wonderful with the pork, and as always with Maggie’s recipes, it really uses the best of season produce. This is a good apple sauce recipe, using a beurre noisette really deepens the flavors.


I will include my recipe for crispy roast potatoes here.


Serves 4.

6 medium Kestrel Potatoes (or any good roasting potatoes)


salt and pepper

I clove of garlic minced

1 tbs of melted butter

1 tbs of olive oil.

1.  Preheat oven to 180c. Halve the potatoes. Add the potatoes to cold salted water in a large saucepan. Heat on high, bring to the boil and boil for about 10 minutes. You  want the potatoes to be partially cooked, but not falling apart. Drain and allow to steam dry in a colander.

2. Meanwhile, mix the remaining ingredients in bowl.

3. When cool enough to handle, use a knife to cut diagonal lines in the top of the potatoes, repeat in the opposite direction to create a cross hatch pattern. Do not cut all the way through.


4. Place potatoes, on a lines baking tray. Using a basting brush, paint the potatoes with the butter mixture.


5. Cook in oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden and crispy.

Give her method of getting the perfect crackling a go,  and let me know how it turns out.


Wholemeal Banana Yogurt, Coconut, Oat and Honey Muffins


The man of this house will not eat bananas that have brown spots (even just a few). So perfectly good bananas with just a few brown spots get left to die in our fruit bowl.

The positive is that I often have bananas laying around to bake with.  Luckily, brown bananas have the best flavor for baking! I also had some yogurt that needed using up, so that went into the mix as well.

I have used lots of ingredients in this recipe, feel free to play with it or  just use bananas  (just add or subtract dry or wet ingredients as needed). You can use different flours, sweeteners (or cut the sugar out completely), fruit, oils, nuts and grains or use butter milk instead of the yogurt. I made some really nice tropical themed muffins once with banana, coconut and pineapple, and some oat and pear ones which were different. If you use harder fruit like pears of apples make sure you grate it or chop it finely so they cook well.



1 1/2 cup of wholemeal self-raising flour.

1/4 cup of rolled oats

1/4 cup of white sugar

1/4 of dessicated coconut (plus about a tbs extra to top the muffins)

1 cup of natural plain yogurt

2 brown bananas

1 tbs of honey

1 tsp of vanilla Essence

2/ 3 cup of oil of your choice

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. LINE a 12-hole, 1/3 cup-capacity muffin pan, with muffin cases. Sift flour and sugar into a bowl. Mix in coconut and oats.

  2. Combine  yoghurt, egg, and oil in a large bowl. Mash banana with honey and vanilla in a separate bowl. Add this to the wet ingredients. Gradually add dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Over mixing makes for though muffins.
  3. Spoon mixture into muffin holes.  Sprinkle with remaining coconut. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Stand muffins in pan for 5 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely. Serve warm or cold.


Chipotle Mayo!

This is an easy condiment that will make any Mexican style meal extra special (or sandwich, or fries etc.)

Modern and authentic Mexican food is very popular in Australia at the moment, and I notice that this style of  mayonnaise is popping up on menus in things like sliders, tacos and Mexican street corn.

However, Chipotle chillies are not readily available here, and I had to go to a specialty shop to find them see this post .

I’ve based this recipe on this one by Bobby Flay

For those of you who are familiar with the Nandos chain, my brother in law thinks this tastes like their ‘spicy chip dip’. However, is has a smokey kick that is unique.


2-3  whole chipotle chillies in adobo, with 1 tbs of adobo liquid

1 cup of good whole egg mayonnaise (I like best foods)

juice of a lime.

  1. Process chillies and adobo in food processor until smooth.
  2. Add mayonnaise and lime juice and process until combined.
  3. Place in an airtight container and refrierate.


This will last in the refrigerator for a least a few days.





A very lemony, 2 Whole Lemon and 1 Mandarin Cake





This cake is based on this recipe for a flour-less orange cake . I had a surplus of lemons  (and a Mandarin)  so used them instead.

I have made flour based cakes like this, I love that there is no waste and you get an intense citrus flavor  (you also get all the fiber from the fruit). It’s citrus season in Australia at the moment, so its a perfect time to make a whole citrus cake!

This version is gluten free, if you use gluten free baking powder, and if you use a cooking spray to grease it is also dairy free. Using the almond meal adds fiber, good fats and vitamin E, however there is lots of SUGAR in the recipe

If using oranges or another combination of citrus you may be able to reduce the sugar or use another sweetener (not sure about how it will effect the texture of the cake). However, to counter the pith in the lemons you do need all that sugar.

Feel free to try different citrus or combinations : Orange and lemon (st Clemens), lemon and lime, grapefruit etc. Just try to keep the quantity to the equivalent of two oranges.

I was worried this was going to be a heavy cake dry cake, but it has a lovely texture, and is very moist. However, the almond meal makes it filling!

Serve  alone, with a little cream or even plain yogurt.


2 lemons

1 mandarin

3 eggs

1 cup of castor sugar

300gs of 3 cups of almond meal

1 tsp of baking powder (or gluten free baking powder)


1 lemon

3/4 of cup of caster sugar

1. Preheat oven to 170c. Grease and line with baking paper,  a 22cm spring form cake pan.

2. Place fruit in a saucepan and cover with cold water, bring to the boil on high heat and boil for 15 minutes. Drain fruit, return to pan and cover with cold water, boil for another 15 minutes (This apparently helps remove some bitterness from the pith).

3. Remove the mandarin from the pan, but boil lemons for another 10 minutes. Refresh Mandarin under cold water. After 10 minutes drain lemons, and refresh under cold water.


4. Coarsely chop fruit, removing seeds. Add fruit to the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.


5. Add eggs and sugar to a bowl, and beat until pale and creamy. Add the orange, almond meal and baking powder and gently fold until just combined. Pour into prepared pan.



6.  Bake for  appox, 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Set aside for 15 minutes to cool (my cake was ready in 50 minutes).


7. While cooling,  zest  and juice remaining lemon, add zest and juice to a pan with the remaining sugar. Stir over low heat, until sugar is dissolved and syrup thickens slightly.


8. Turn cake onto a serving plate. Use a skewer to gently prick the top. Spoon over syrup. Serve.