High Country Harvest

I was very lucky to have been invited along with other bloggers for a weekend away to the Victorian High country.  During the colder months there is a crispness in the air while the sun  tries to shine through to warm up the day. It’s perfect for walks along the grape vines and eating delicious meals with great friends. 

During the getaway we were treated to fantastic meals made with fresh local produce and tasted  wines at local family wineries.  

Lunch (and our first stop) was at Chrismont wines.  It is nestled in the King Valley and is an inspiring destination for all lovers of contemporary wines, authentic Italian food and breathtaking scenery.

We were treated like kings and queens by our hosts, Jo and Arnie Pizzini, the owners. After having a few glasses of wines to taste,  our table was ladened with beautifully plated food.

Chrismont wines

251 Upper King River Road, Cheshunt

03 5729 8220


Our accomodation was at the Quality Hotel Wangaratta Gateway.  We stayed in a 3 bedroom town house with modern facilities.  After a long drive and lots of wines consumed, it was great to check into our comfortable accomodation to rest. Well, when I say rest, some of us took naps while others listened to loud music and sang our hearts out.

Quality Hotel Wangaratta Gateway

29-37 Ryley street, Wangaratta 

Tel: 03 5721 8399


That evening we headed out to a local bonfire and drank more local wines. Nothing beats huddling around a toasty bonfire on a cold night. A bonfire is the heart and soul of many communities. Giving the chance to get together and reflect on past and future harvests.

Village Bonfire – High Country Harvest Event

Moyhu Hotel

18/16 Byrne St, Moyhu

03 5727 9333

That evening, we were also invited to The High Country Harvest Festival Grand opening dinner that was held in the stunning historic Barn at Brown Brothers Winery. The barn is the very building where the first Brown Brothers wines were first made.  Executive chef Douglous Elder created a menu using the high country’s magnificent produce.  We were also treated to matching wines to make the night unforgettable.

The dinner room was set up beautifully and elegantly decorated with produce from local farm gates and  orchards.

Brown Brothers of Milawa Vineyard

239 Milawa Bobinawarrah Road, Milawa

03 5720 5540


After the gala dinner, we felt very special as were invited to the secret family cellar by owner Mr Ross Brown and his daughter Caroline. 

After a great nights sleep on our comfy beds at our accomodation, we headed out for breakfast in Wangaratta.  It’s a nice quaint cafe in the heart of his little town, with great views of the river quietly flowing by.

The menu was extensive and the coffee was great!  You can see, as usual, we ordered up a feast.

Cafe the PreVue 

66-68 Faithfull street, Wangaratta 

03 5721 2092


With full tummies, we went off to Walkabout Apiaries. The owner Roger Whitehead began his love for bees and honey at the age of 22.  This small farm gate offers up amazing local honey, beeswax candles, honey, pear and ginger cordial and Whitehead’s mead.

Walkabout Apiaries 

1531 Snow Road, Milawa

Tel: 03 5727 3468


As if we didn’t get enough food for our ever growing tummies, we headed out to Oxley to a family winery called Sam Miranda Winery.  Sam is part of the 3rd generation of a familythat’s  been making wines in Australia since the 1930’s.  Sam has been making wines on the current site since 1997.  Where possible, they source local produce within 50km of the cellar door to show case the flavours of North East Victoria on their menu.

Sam Miranda Winery

1019 Snow Road, Oxley

03 5727 3888


What a bunch of good looking people🙂 Here we are with the head chef of Sam Miranda Winery, Chef Michael White.

I would to thank rural city of Wangaratta for hosting me for the weekend. Also like to make a special mention to the lovely hosts of the cellar doors, farmgates, cafes and wineries where we were treated fantastically by the owners.  It was an unforgettable experience.  It was an honour to have been introduced to the local wineries and produce.  I think the highlight for me was when Ross Brown personally invited us to his secret family cellar at Brown Brothers.  An experience I will never forget.


Merricks Creek Winery


Sipping a glass Chardonnay on a warm Summers day. Blue sky as far as the eye can see. Sitting next to Hubby on his birthday weekend, enjoying a child free day to relax and unwind from the busy week.

We spent the afternoon at Merricks Creek Winery. A family run winery.  After two decades of wine making, they have set up their own cellar door.  We sit on low casual seating with ample of cushions to make it feel homely. I instantly love the open space and the beautiful view of the vineyard.


We chat with Peter, the owner.  He tells us that his wife is in the kitchen, his son is the front of house staff that also greeted us when we arrived and his daughter was the lovely lady that first contacted me to invite us to check out their newly open cellar door.  They offer Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir Close and just last year made their first Chardonnay.  It’s a family run business.  I love that!

The day we visited, they had only opened a couple of weeks before, however a lot of people have already found them.


They offer a variety of share plates ($11 and $15) which are generous portions.  All their ingredients are fresh and are of great quality.  I can taste it with every bite. Hubby and I thoroughly enjoy the share platters


Rare eye fillet, caper vinaigrette and ciabatta


Crispy thins with pistachio, hazelnut, fetta, mint


20 month aged Italian prosciutto di Parma, Shaw river buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes and basil with ciabatta


White chocolate mousse mini pots with fresh passion fruit

They are open every day up till January 31st, then only weekends after that.

44 Merricks rd, (corner of Yal Yal rd)



James and I dined with compliments of Merricks Creek Winery

Bon appetite,


My Easter 2015. Time spent with Family


Easter 2015.

Easter this year, like most years, is spent with family.  During the Easter season, I am most thankful for the family and my friends around me.  Most of my days are focused on work and duties on being a wife and a mother.  I am constantly busy planning our days and weeks ahead that sometimes it is hard to live in the present.

This year, I spent 5 days focused on what is important.  My Family.  I love to have my table laden with food that has been prepared with love.

Here is how I spent my last few days🙂

Good Friday is always spent at my Mother in law’s home.  We are always well fed.  But for some reason (mostly due to the consumption of (numerous) glasses of wine) I forgot to take photos of the delicious roasted salmon and barbecued vegetables we ate.


For dinner I had my #luxbitefamily over for a pot luck dinner.  Nothing can go wrong with a bunch of foodies and chefs over for dinner.


We had a feast.  It is very rare that we are all able to get together for a meal.


I baked my Easter Hummingbird cake.  It’s moist and light.  I love this cake and I’m happy to say that it went down a treat with my co-workers.

On Easter Saturday, the day was warm and the sun was shinning.  A perfect day for a drive with Hubby, Kiddies and my parents.  We took a day trip along the Victorian coast to Torquay.


Easter Sunday.

My dear friend, Hilda, whom I have known for many years, came over with her family for lunch.  We used to work together back in my corporate days. We have kept in touch after I left and we are still so close.  So close that she became Thomas’ God mother.  Along with my parents, we enjoyed lunch together.

I was lucky to have received a pack from Murray Valley Pork.  I roasted up a pork shoulder that was boned and rolled.  The skin came out super crispy and the meat was so tender and moist.  My tip to achieve this is to pump up the heat of your oven to 220degC for the first 20 mins to get the crackling going then turn the heat down to 180 and cook for 20mins for every 500g of the pork.






Dessert was meringue nests with cream and strawberries.  I have to say the meringues came out really well.  I used Mary Berry’s recipe this time round and I think it turned out to be the best I’ve made.  Hilda also brought some of Phillippa’s hot cross buns and crepe cakes from Mille & B.



Easter Monday.

easter13Family time at Nature Play at Royal Park.  We discovered this park a couple weeks back. It’s a great park for all ages of children.  There is also a wet area for hot days.  But on this day, we kept ourselves dry.


The Simnel Cake I baked for Hubby.  I don’t eat fruit cake and marzipan so it’s all for him.


I had the day off so we went out for breakfast and a movie.

We try to eat locally to support great businesses in our area.  Unfortunately, there are not many in our area but when we do find a good one, supporting them is important so they survive.

Before heading off to watch a family movie, we had breaky at a local cafe, Red Beetle. Cafe.  Their food is honest and hearty.  It is affordable and will warm up your tummy.


I am happy to have spent days with my family to create happy memories.  These days are precious.

Bon Apetite,


Mediterranean Ploughman’s Lunch and Baker’s Delight Pack Giveaway.

bakers delight turkish bread

I had the opportunity to try the new Baker’s Delight Turkish Bread Roll.  They have different flavours to try, including sea salt and chilli and garlic.  I love this roll as it’s not only full of flavour but it’s soft and it can be used as a roll for sandwiches.

I decided to make a ploughman’s lunch and made a chicken liver pate to accompany the delicious bread roll.  I decided to grill the roll to warm it up which brought the flavours out even more.  To complete the platter, I added a ploughman’s flavoured cheese from Mersey Valley, pickled gherkins, celery and apple slices.

bakers delight turkish bread3


  • 200g chicken livers, trimmed and stringy sinews removed.
  • 150g butter, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion , finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1 tbs brandy
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 25g melted butter, for topping
  • 2 sprigs of thyme for garnish
  1. Rinse the chicken livers and pat dry with kitchen paper
  2. Melt 15g of the butter in a large frying pan, then add the garlic and onions.  Cook for about 5 mins until softened.
  3. Add the livers and thyme and cook for 3-4 mins continually stirring until the livers are coloured on the outside but pink in the centre.  Pour in the brandy and cook for a further 10 seconds then turn off the heat.  Add the remaining butter and nutmeg to the pan and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Set aside for a few minutes for the butter to soften then puree the mixture in batches in a blender until smooth.
  5. Spoon the pate into a 500ml capacity terrine dish and chill.
  6. Melt the extra butter and pour over the pate and place the thyme sprigs on top.
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before eating.

bakers delight turkish bread4

Thanks to Baker’s delight, I have a giveaway pack for my readers to make their own delicious platters.

Pack includes a solid timber bread board, a bread knife, a Baker’s delight bread bag, a recipe card and a $10 Baker’s delight gift voucher.

All you need to do is leave a comment telling me what you would include on your delicious  platter.

Competition is open to all Australian residents and the competition closes midnight 23rd November 2014.  Please share on instagram, facebook and twitter to better your chances.

Competition is now closed and I have chosen a Winner.

AND the winner is …  Emily..  Congratulations.  You will be contacted via email.


good luck,



Stromboli- a Fantastic Picnic Loaf


This one has been sitting and waiting to be blogged.  I don’t know why it took me so long because I really wanted to share this recipe with you as it’s a family favourite. You will never have a boring sandwich for your picnics ever again!

This was the first time I’ve made a stromboli.  I’ve made similar loaves but this one was far the best one I’ve made and eaten.  We took it out on one of our family days and it was a hit with the family.  It’s basically a sandwich and filling baked all in one.  You can choose what ever filling you and your family wants.  I made one with two different fillings.  One side for me and hubby with roasted peppers, pastrami, salami, and mozzarella cheese while I filled the other half with ham and cheddar cheese for the kids.   A two in one!!


The recipe below is slight variation from Jo Wheatly, the winner of BBC’s The Great British Bake Off.


  • 340g strong white flour (bread flour), plus extra for kneading
  • 7g fast action yeast
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 200ml warm water
  • 4 springs of rosemary


  • 1 jar of basil and parmesan tapenade
  • 1 small jar of roasted peppers in olive oil
  • 100g sun-dried tomatoes
  • 150g mozzarella cheese
  1. Combine the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre.
  2. Add 2tbs of olive oil from the roasted peppers and add 200 ml of the water.  Mix until you have a soft dough.
  3. Knead with hands for 10 mins or mixer with a dough hook  for 6 mins.
  4. Once the dough is smooth and elastic, place in a large oiled bowl .  Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  5. Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead for 1 minute to knock back and then roll into a 40cm x 20cm rectangle.
  6. Spread the tapenade then scatter the fillings evenly over the dough.
  7. Fold the shorter ends of the rectangle over and roll the dough into a tight Swiss roll spiral.
  8. Carefully transfer to a baking tray with the seam on the bottom.
  9. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to prove again for another 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  10. Preheat over to 220degC (200degC fanforced)
  11. Brush with a little olive oil and push the rosemary springs onto the top.
  12. Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 mins until golden brown, then turn down the temperature to 200degC (180degC fanforced) for another 10 minutes
  13. Cool and then cut into thick slices to serve.


Bon Appetite,




Sydney Holiday in Pictures

During Easter this year, we (Hubby, myself and the 2 munchkins) spent a few days in Sydney. Hubby and I have driven to Sydney many times before but this was the first time we took the 9hour drive with two small children.

We left home Thursday evening and arrived in Sydney on Good Friday. The kids were very good during the road trip and slept most of the way there.

The trip was mostly about eating and children-related activities.

As soon as we checked into our motel, we unpacked the car and headed out again. We had lunch at the famous Bourke street Bakery in Surrey Hills.
We had: chorizo pizza (top left), roast beef, chilli and coriander jam sandwich (top right), pork and leek sausage roll (middle left) and a honey roasted ham, cheddar, onion pickle, parsley mayo and rocket sandwich (bottom).
We also had the chocolate tart. Soooo good!
Next, it was onto to Gelato Messina for dessert. The highlight was the mini me ice cream dessert (bottom right)
As if that wasn’t enough, we headed off to Chinatown for the Friday night market. I couldn’t really eat much as we were so full already.

Next day (Saturday) we headed to Westfield Sydney as I have heard yummy things about the food court there. However, we were there too early for any of the cafes or stores to be opened so we wondered downstairs and I found this delicious grilled beef salad. It was a great find.

We then went to the aquarium where the children enjoyed and learnt about the different fish and sea creatures.
Before heading back to the motel for a much needed rest, we drove up to Manly for the essential visit to Zumbos. I bought his macarons. One of each, of course. In Zumbos these are called Zumbarons! Also got one of the infamous V8 cake and the citrus cake.
For dinner that night, we went to Chef’s Gallery. I found out about this place through instagram where I saw many wonderful photos of their food.
We had: Top: shredded peking duck roti.
Bottom left to right: wok fried rice and shredded pork and lettuce. Mini pork fillet burger. Boneless pork ribs topped with pork floss, corn cereal and roasted garlic. Handmade noodles with BBQ pork and soy sauce.

This was the reason why we went to Chef’s Gallery. This dessert is so popular that you have to pre-order when you make your booking. It is their signature “piggy face” sesame bun with marshmallow bunnies set in an edible garden served with berry and mango ice creams. Not only delcious but also very cute.

Every Saturday night, darling harbour holds spectacular fireworks. Darling harbour looks so pretty at night.

Sunday was another busy day for the family. We spent most of the day at Taronga zoo where we arrived by ferry.

My favourite animal at the zoo.

Lunch was Pad Thai at The Rocks.

Deanna and I shared a corn on the cob at The Rocks weekend market.

We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday in Sydney even though it was a short stay. Thank you Sydney for your hospitality. Hope to see you again very soon.

Bon Appetite,



My Christmas 2011 in pictures: 3 days of eating

My three days of eating was full of not only food but was full of family, love and laughter.  


The past few months have been a really busy time. Christmas, this time has been dedicated to spending quality time with the family. Time goes so fast and I don’t want to miss any part of it. Working 7 days a week at the shop can make that a little difficult but I’ve learnt to make time for not only with my husband and children but also with my mum and dad. 


I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas, just like me.

My Christmas celebrations started a month before. I held my annual Christmas Cocktail party for family. You can see the post here


I started my Christmas baking two weeks before the big day. I wanted the house to be filled with the smell of Christmas.  I found a recipe for cute mini chocolate pudding cookies. You can get the recipe here. With the left over cookie dough I made black and white cookies and tea cup cookies. 

I made mini gingerbread houses for the family to decorate. I think the children did a better job than I did.  

Christmas Eve

Noche Buena was held at my parent’s house. Dad worked hard on the barbequed lamb, pork and pork tocino (sweetened cured pork) and all was beautiful and delicious. Mum also had roasted chicken maryland and cooked up an amazing paella. Sis in law and I made salads to complete the feast. 

For dessert, my cousin brough along a box of sweet mangoes. Sis in law made a delicious chocolate and honey cashew bombe wtih mocha sauce. 

My contribution was a Christmas Wreath pavlova. I got the idea from Donna Hay’s Magazine, Christmas issue however, I decorated mine with fruit with Christmassy colours. 

Christmas Day

After the children opened their Christmas stocking presents, we started the day off with waffles with crispy bacon and maple syrup. Hubby made a buck’s fizz for me to drink while I cooked up breaky. 

The chidren then opened up their main presents. Santa was very kind to them this year. To see some of their presents, you can go to Deanna’s blog post here.

For our Christmas lunch, we had goose. I used Jamie Oliver’s recipe. So easy and so tasty. Our sides consisted of roast potatoes cooked in beef dripping, cauliflower cheese, corn cobs, pigs in a blanket, mashed swede and carrot and brussel sprouts with bacon. Needless to say, we were completely full after our lunch. 

For dessert, we had choc-honeycombe ice-cream pudding. A quick and easy cake, I adapted from super food ideas Magazine, December issue. Hubby also had my Christmas cake which I started 2 months ago. It’s the usual recipe I use, which you can get here, but I added chocolate chips to this one just to change it up a bit. 

For late supper, we had my home made country pate with Cheddar cheese and crustini. I made the pate about 4 days before. I try to make this every Christmas so it’s sort of a Christmas tradition in my house now. 


Boxing Day 


Boxing day is traditionally spent at my mother in law’s. As we don’t get to see her on Christmas day, the Moore families head over to her house to celebrate a late Christmas. She put on a lovely spread of roast turkey and ham, assorted roasted vegetables. As usual, we go home with full bellies. 

For dessert we had a mango cheesecake and a pavlova. Yum. 

As you can see my Christmas was fabulously filled with delicious food and fantastic company. 


I hope yours was the same. 


Happy New Year! 


Bon Appetite,