FRIDAY FEAST with Jennifer Scoullar

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Tra-la-la! Another excellent Friday is here and what fun we’ll have with it too. But first, one must gloat!

Did you see my darling Swannies? They were magnificent last week against Geelong. Magnificent! It’s taken a while but my boys have really hit their footy straps now. Which leads me nicely into Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf news. Last week I didn’t just play to my Australian author Jennifer Scoullarnew handicap, I beat it. By TWO WHOLE STROKES. Imagine! ‘Tis a miracle, but for some very strange reason the Great Golfing God loves me at the moment. It will pass, of course. That is the Hein fate, but for now I’m loving it!

Speaking of loving (hee!), today’s Friday Feast guest has been receiving rave reviews for her latest release. Jennifer Scoullar broke into the rural romance genre with the hugely successful Brumby’s Run, followed by Currawong Creek. Now her latest, Billabong Bend, is out and it’s being praised by readers and bloggers everywhere.

Check it out…


Cover pf Billabong Bend by Jennifer ScoullarFor riverine farmer Nina Moore, the rare marshland flanking the beautiful Bunyip River is the most precious place on Earth. Her dream is to buy Billabong Bend and protect it forever, but she’s not the only one with designs on the land. When her childhood sweetheart Ric Bonelli returns home, old feelings are rekindled and Nina dares to hope of a future for them both on the river. But a tragic death divides loyalties, tears apart their fledgling romance and turns her dream into a nightmare. Will Nina win the battle for Billabong Bend? Or will the man she once loved destroy the wild wetlands she holds so close to her heart?

Billabong Bend is a star-crossed love story which sets Nina, a floodplains grazier, and Ric, a traditional cotton farmer, on a heart-rending collision course amid the beauty of New South Wales’ northern riverlands.

A star-crossed love story! Now, how could anyone refuse that? And you don’t have to because Billabong Bend is available right now from your favourite book shop or chainstore. Or you can order instantly online from Booktopia, Bookworld, Angus & Robertson, Dymocks, Fishpond, Boomerang Books, and QBD The Bookshop. For the ebook, try Amazon for Kindle, iBooks, JB Hi-Fi, Google Play, Kobo or your favourite ebook retailer.

All stocked up? Fabulous. Now it’s time to get native with Jennifer!

Cooking With Native Mint

‘Two moons, one in the sky and its dimpled twin in the river, cast a soft glow over the bush. The velvet night was fragrant with eucalyptus and wild river mint.’ Billabong Bend

Thanks so much for asking me over for a Friday feast Cathryn. As you already know, I’m a fan of bush tucker. To celebrate the release of Billabong Bend I’m sharing a recipe using the rambling River Mint bush Mentha australisis – a subtle Australian native herb with the taste and aroma of spearmint. It thrives along waterways after flood, particularly in the beautiful Murray Darling riverlands. Indigenous people used River Mint to flavor food, and also medicinally for coughs and colds. Early settlers embraced this perennial herb, commonly teaming it with roast lamb. It can be easily grown and is great for boggy places. Although not as invasive as common mint it does spread, so may be best in pots for small gardens. Dry it, or use it fresh in savoury sauces, salads, fruit drinks and desserts. You can buy dried River Mint online very reasonably from The Bush Food Shop. They also sell River Mint and Pepperleaf Jelly and a delightfully refreshing Wild Spearmint Cordial!

Here’s a delicious no-bake slice that takes hardly any time at all to prepare, and will impress people with your bush tucker skills!

Native Mint and Macadamia Slice

Jennifer Scoullar's macadamia slice

200gm chocolate (I like dark best)

175gm Shortbread (Butterfingers shortbread made by the Old Colonial Cookie Company in Victoria’s Yarra Valley is yum and Aussie made. I’m not much of a shortbread cook!)

I/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts

40gm butter

2 tablespoons of Australian honey

2 tablespoons dried River Mint

– Line a pan with baking paper

– Place the dried native mint in a saucer and add 2 tablespoons of hot water. Leave to cool.

– Combine 200gm chocolate with 40gm butter and 2 tablespoons of Australian honey in a

stainless steel bowl over a saucepan of boiling water until the chocolate just melts, and the

ingredients are combined.

– Remove from heat and stir in the native mint. Then fold in the packet of shortbread broken

into chunky pieces.

– Pour mixture into lined pan.

– Press macadamia halves on top and chill for 2 hours.

– Sprinkle icing sugar on top

– Slice and serve


Jenn, this sounds a lovely slice! And so easy. Like hedgehog slice but with a minty hint. I’ll have to give this one a try.


We adore a good giveaway on Friday Feast and Jennifer has very generously offered one. This is your chance to win a paperback copy of her brand new, raved about release, Billabong Bend. Star-crossed lovers, Feasters! Star-crossed lovers! And yours to be had with just a teensy bit of effort.

To be in the draw, tell us your favourite slice. Maybe it’s lovely gooey caramel. Or perhaps you love nothing better than a savoury slice made with zucchini and fetta. Or even a bakery made apricot or apple slice that oozes luscious fruit the moment you bite into it.

Simply share your tastiest slice and we’ll pop you in the draw.

Giveaway closes midnight Tuesday, 10th June 2014. Australian postal addresses only.

If you’d like to learn more about Jennifer and her books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook and Twitter using @JenScoullar.

This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Andrea, who has won a copy of Jennifer’s Billabong Bend. Great reading ahead. Thanks to all who joined in the Friday Feast fun. Hope to see you again soon!

37 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with Jennifer Scoullar

  1. AvatarLouise Collins

    My favourite slice would have to be a slice my mum calls ‘quick mix bars’, they take 5mins to mix and 15-20mins to bake. The outcome is slice that resembles the taste of anzac biscuits with the consistency of a soft muesli bar.

  2. AvatarMichelle Pope

    My favourite slice would have to be chocolate hedgehog with a nice soft coffee icing. OMG, it good. I don’t me it that often because I just eat it all myself. This slice has dried apricots on it, so you could say it’s a little healthy!! It take about 30minutes prep and20-30inites on the fridge.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Hedgehog is lovely, Michelle. So easy but I’ve never had it with coffee icing. Now that sounds really interesting. And with healthy dried fruit. A winner all round!

      Thanks so much for dropping by.

  3. AvatarMichelle Pope

    My favourite slice would have to be chocolate hedgehog with a nice soft coffee icing. OMG, it good. I don’t me it that often because I just eat it all myself. This slice has dried apricots on it, so you could say it’s a little healthy!! It take about 30minutes prep and20-30inites on the fridge.

  4. AvatarChris R

    My favourtie slice is bakery bought Vanilla Slice. I love to cook but nothing comes close to this pastry and custard delicious treat. Now I am hungry and the bakery is closed !!

  5. AvatarKatherine Ryan

    I love raspberry coconut slice, with a buttery base, filled with raspberry jam and topped with a crumbly coconut layer. 🙂

  6. AvatarKathy Gallagher

    My favourite is Ice Cream Crunchie Bar Slice.
    Looking forward to getting my hands on the new book.

  7. AvatarGemma

    My favourite slice is lemon because I love walking out into my garden and pulling a fresh lemon off the tree to use. And addin the zest makes it extra tangy! Yum!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Oh, lemons are one of my favourite fruits too, Gemma. Tangy slices are the best. And the zest is a must for extra zing!
      Thanks for dropping by and sharing.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Sounds beautiful tonyshah567. I thought I saw a recipe for a slice like that in one of my cookbooks recently, or was it one of the latest cooking magazines? Hmm. Either way, you can’t go past hedgehog for ease to make and chocolatey goodness!

      All the best in the giveaway.

  8. AvatarJane Bliesner

    My favourite slice would have to jam slice with a coconut topping my mother use to make.

  9. AvatarGloria Bale

    Oh Yummo!…………My favourites have all been mentioned.
    Currently, me favourite is because of ease of making.
    Basic crushed biscuit base, tin of ready made caramel, and dark chocolate topping.
    Pantry staples always on hand……………well, usually. I was off to a function and ready to bake, only to discover that HE had been helping himself to cooking chocolate :/
    Aghh, it is the best weather to curl up with a good book and a delicious slice.
    Enjoy, people.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Anything with caramel gets my vote, Gloria!
      LOL on the cooking chocolate going missing. I guess desperate times…

      Definitely the weather for books and slices. Thanks for dropping by!

  10. AvatarSally Bedggood

    My favourite slice is Jelly Slice! Got to be red Jelly and made with yo yo biscuits on the bottom!! Love love love it!!!!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Yes! And what a blast from the past too, Sally. I used to love jelly slice but Mum never made it so I’d scoff myself silly whenever I came across it. All that wobbly goodness. Love indeed!

  11. AvatarKirrily Cant

    Well my very favourite slice is the kind you find on the tennis court, , especially if demonstrated by Bernard or Rafa, lol, but since it has to be edible my favourite is the good old caramel slice, preferably with an inch of ooey gooey caramel and a not too thick base.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Ha ha ha ha!!!!! Some super fast slices found with those two, Kirrily.
      Caramel slice. Sigh. I’m going to be hard pressed not to raid the pantry at morning tea today.

  12. AvatarJaye

    I am a fan of caramel slice so either the traditional with chocolate on the top or a caramel cruch slice made with jersey caramels a coffee and a good book……..

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Lots of us have sweet teeth when it comes to caramel by the sounds, Jaye. Understandable, of course! But caramel crunch slice made with Jersey caramels? Now THAT sounds awesome! I may have to get a-googling…

  13. AvatarPaula Beavan

    I make a few variations of slices, but top of the pops at the moment is a no bake chocolate one made with nuts, dates avocado and coconut – man it’s nice, but very rich, so good for not overeating. I keep it in the freezer and just chop off a chunk to have with an afternoon cuppa.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      With avocado, Paula? Wow. You make some seriously interesting things. This is gluten free? I’ve seen quite a few recipes lately using avocado. Such a versatile ingredient.

      Super convenient – albeit dangerous! – to have it on hand in the freezer too.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Mars Bar Slice? Oh, that’s baaaaaaaaaad. Now I really want some.
      Lovely to see you here, Jess. Even if you’re terrible for my waistline!

  14. AvatarVanessa Hair

    My favourite slice is the Good Old Brownie Cake, my Mum’s recipe which I still have!! :O)

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Ahh, an oldie but a goodie, hey, Vanessa. Nothing like an easy choc cake that you can whip up in minutes and is all fudgy and lovely. Perfect comfort food!

      All the best in the giveaway draw!

  15. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

    My all time favourite slice is a hedgehog slice that my mum makes and my homemade vanilla custard slice, anything with chocolate and custard in it is pretty much my favourite. And I have a favourite healthy slice I make which is also very very yum – apple, zucchini and oat slice.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Anything with chocolate and custard is a lot of people’s favourite, Sue! Although caramel is rating quite a few mentions.
      Apple, zucchini and oat slice sounds lovely. Slices like these are so good. With all the veg and fibre you can eat two slices and not feel bad!!!!

  16. AvatarAndrea Cook

    Well I like slices mums raspberry slice was just so yummy and was one of my favourites growing up. I don’t make many slices these days being year and wheat intolerant. But I must say one of my favourite slices is the Mars bar slice and so simple to make in doesn’t require cooking much. From memory think it only had four ingredients to. Can’t remember as I don’t have a copy with my recipes. But it’s just delicious.
    This isn’t a slice but I made gluten free Anzac biscuits yesterday. Oh so nice and use sultanas instead of nuts. Oh so yummy thing I will have to make a second batch in the next few days. But for my to cook biscuits it’s the first time ever they have come out looking like biscuits. So proud of myself there. Most of my biscuit attempts turn into a slice.
    Looking forward to getting my hand on this book sound amazing. I really enjoyed brumbies run and I hit so excited to as it had the name of the town I grow up in published in the book. Sure is one I will re read if I get my hand on it again. Happy cooking.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Ooh, another vote for raspberry slice. It’s proving nearly as popular as caramel.
      Wonderful news about the nut-free ANZAC biscuits, Andrea. Good to have a win there and even better when they look delicious.

      Brumby’s Run was good, wasn’t it? I enjoyed that too. And I’m sure we’ll both have a lovely time with Billabong Bend. Good luck in the draw!

  17. Avatarjulie wilton

    favourite slice would have to be hedgehog slice with cashews instead of penuts, warm with icecream yummo nothing nicer

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