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Whether they're masterchefs in the kitchen or struggle to find their feet a little, there's always that one endearing signature recipe that our mothers make - or that we make as mothers ourselves!

These are the recipes that get passed down through generations, and as mothers and daughters, we'd like to share them with you too.

Forget the recipe books for a change - from main courses to delicious deserts, here are our Mother's Day gifts to you for 2021 - enjoy!!


My signature dish (according to Zali!) is my tuna pasta. I always make this for the girls when we go away on shoots too.


1 large tin of tuna

1 red onion, diced

Capers, to taste

1 jar of quality Passata


  1. Heat some extra virgin olive oil in a medium sized saucepan over medium/high heat

  2. Fry until translucent and soft, approx 3 minutes

  3. Add capers and fry for another 1 minute

  4. Add the tuna, flaking as you go

  5. Add the Passata and give stir to combine

  6. Add salt, pepper and chilli to taste

  7. Turn the heat down and leave to simmer while you cook your pasta or spaghetti

  8. Stir the sauce through the pasta to combine and coat

  9. Top with a fresh grate of parmesan cheese and enjoy!


My signature dish "chicken veal" (when my son, Ben, was younger, he thought all meat was chicken. So it was "chicken from the crab", "chicken fish" and, finally, "chicken veal".)


Veal Scallopini from Nanny’s favourite butcher in Carss Park

2 eggs

Panko Crumbs

Canola Oil


  1. Lightly whisk eggs in a shallow bowl

  2. Place breadcrumbs on a plate - make sure you wet your hands so the breadcrumbs don’t stick!

  3. Dip veal in egg mixture then in breadcrumbs, pressing crumbs on with fingertips to secure

  4. Place schnitzels on a plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes

  5. Pour oil into a large frying pan until base is covered and heat over medium-high heat - once hot, reduce heat to medium

  6. Cook 2 schnitzels for 2 to 3 minutes each side for medium or until golden, drain on paper towel

  7. Place in oven on prepared tray to keep warm and repeat with remaining schnitzels

  8. Serve with lemon wedges (or tomato sauce), salad greens and garlic bread


My mum, Catherine's signature recipe is Beef Wellingtons (this recipe serves 4, but you can easily adjust it!)


4 steaks, preferably eye fillet (or anything that can be cut into a circle!)

500g mushrooms

4 sheets puff pastry

1-2 tbsp butter

Good splash of red wine

Milk, for brushing


  1. Remove puff pastry from the freezer and separate sheets to defrost while you cook

  2. Heat a frypan over medium heat and once hot, melt butter

  3. Add mushrooms and red wine and cook until reduced

  4. Remove mushrooms from heat and set aside

  5. Use the same pan to seal your steaks - 10 seconds per side (don't cook them here or you'll end up with dry Wellingtons!)

  6. Remove from heat and set aside

  7. Use a plate to cut a circle shape out of the pastry sheets

  8. Add steak to each circle and top with mushrooms

  9. Pull each pastry round together like a parcel

  10. Brush the parcels with milk


My mum, Fiona's signature recipe is lentil coconut curry.


1 tbsp coconut oil

2 medium yellow onions, diced

4 medium cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp fresh ginger

1 tbsp curry powder

1 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp coriander

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

2 cups (375 g) dry red lentils

1 can coconut milk

3 cups water or vegetable stock

Fresh coriander for serving


  1. Cook the onions, ginger and garlic in the coconut oil for 5-10 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently until soft

  2. Add the spices, coconut milk, lentils and water or vegetable stock

  3. Bring to a light simmer over low to medium heat and cook for 25-30 minutes, uncovered, until lentils are soft and it has thickened up

  4. Remove from heat and serve topped with fresh cilantro over brown rice


My mum, Catherine's signature recipe is Nigella's all-in-one chocolate cake (not her own recipe, but one that always makes me think of her!).


1 1/2 c all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda

1/3 c good quality coco powder

1 c caster sugar

165 g unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 eggs, at room temperature, beaten

2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 c sour cream, at room temperature

180 g good quality dark chocolate

75 g unsalted butter

1 tbsp golden syrup

1 c pure icing sugar, sifted

1/2 c sour cream

1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C

  2. Grease 2 20cm cake pans and line the bases with baking paper

  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarb soda and cocoa into the bowl of a food processor (or mix master!)

  4. Add sugar, butter, beaten egg, vanilla extract and sour cream

  5. Beat/process until a smooth, thick batter forms

  6. Divide the batter among the prepared cake pans and smooth the tops

  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean

  8. While the cakes are cooling on wire racks, combine the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water until melted

  9. Remove from the heat, stir in golden syrup and set aside to cool for 5 minutes

  10. Pour chocolate mixture into a processor, add icing sugar and process for 1-2 minutes until smooth (again, a mixmaster works here too!), then add the sour cream and vanilla and process until smooth

  11. The mixture will be quite runny, so transfer to a bowl, cover and chill for at least 30 minutes or until thickened

  12. Stir the chilled icing, then spoon about a third onto the bottom layer of the cake and spread (dome side down)

  13. Place the other cake on top (dome side up) and spread the remainder of the icing on top and around the sides

  14. Decorate!


My signature dish is rice pudding.


3/4 c short grain rice

4 c organic goat's milk

3 strips lemon peel

1/3 c caster sugar

Ground cinnamon, to serve


  1. Bring 2 cups of water to the boil in a saucepan over a high heat

  2. Add the rice, reduce the heat to low and cook until all the water has absorbed

  3. Pour in the milk and lemon peel and continue cooking on a low heat, stirring from time to time so the rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot

  4. Add the sugar when the rice is cooked and stir to combine

  5. Cook for a further 2 minutes

  6. Remove a few tablespoons of the rice with a slotted spoon and crush to a pulp with a fork then return to the pan – the starch from the rice will act as a thickener

  7. Remove from the heat, pour into individual bowls and allow to cool at room temperature before serving

  8. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top and enjoy!

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