Australia's Favourite Recipes by Leila McKinnon

Cherished family recipes from around the country

By Laura McKinnon
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Australia's Favourite Recipes by Leila McKinnon

Australia's Favourite Recipes by Leila McKinnon


Edited by Channel Nine personality Leila McKinnon, Australia’s Favourite Recipes is a treasure trove of cherished family recipes from around Australia.

The book is a tribute to the role that food and food books played in her life and those of the many contributors.

Mckinnon describes the book as a one full of ordinary peoples’ recipes, and this comes through in its very down to earth styling and the brief introduction penned by each contributor at the top of their recipe.

The recipes were selected from submissions from all around the country – rather like the recipe competitions in newspapers of the 1920s – and you get a real feel of how the authors use these recipes in their daily lives, for example when they give tips about freezing or what sort of occasion or non occasion they are best eaten at.

My personal favourites are the stories about how some of the recipes came in to being, such as the meal invented to help a child eat more vegetables or the recipe clipped from the newspaper to impress the first boyfriend.

Broken down into the chapters of Starters and Snacks, Soups, Vegetables, Seafood, Meat and Poultry, Cakes and finally Biscuits, Slices and Treats, Australia’s Favourite Recipes features more than 70 recipes.

Each recipe is beautifully illustrated with a full page photograph for each recipe and additional images of families, historic cookbooks, native plants and Australian scenery dotted throughout the book.

Old favourites such as lamingtons and Margaret Fulton’s Berry Meringue (Fulton also provides the introduction to the book) are always handy recipes to have on hand but my new favourite is the “I can’t believe I’m enjoying Brussel Sprouts.” This simple pasta recipe wins awards in my house as, like the author, I have never had a fond spot for these little green vegetables and this recipe doesn’t only make eating them bearable but a pleasant experience!

Other highlights for me have been the Salt and Pepper Calarmari and the Chocolate Mousse. While I have made both of these before from alternative recipes, the ones contained in Australia’s Favourite Recipes are quick, easy and family friendly. All factors that make a recipe one that is handed down through families and enjoyed for many years.

Australia’s Favourite Recipes is a well put together book that would make a fantastic addition to any household; the trick will be holding on to it once your family and friends get sight of it.

Part of the proceeds from sales of the book will be donated from the author and publisher to Legacy.


Australia's Favourite Recipes edited by Leila McKinnon is published by Plum, an imprint of Pan Macmillan Australia (Sydney, 2012; sc, 180 pp) and retails in Australia for RRP A$29.99.

Subscribers of and Winepros Archive can purchase Australia's Favourite Recipes at 12.5% discount via our book partners Seekbooks (postage extra).

Australia's Favourite Recipes is also available via Booko here »



  • Sydney (NSW)

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