The Recipe to Riches Experience | Life is Tastier When You Make Mistakes.

Literally just half an hour ago we were on Australian national television. Yep, #merrymakersdoTV! Holey moley, what a life changing experience.

If you missed out on seeing us on telly, you’ve come to the right place because I’m going to share the real story behind the Merrymaker Recipe to Riches experience…

For those of you who didn’t tune in to see Recipe to Riches, let me break it down for you… basically it’s a reality TV show featuring 3 recipe creators chosen to cook and compete against each other to potentially have their recipe turned in to a product and sold in Woolworths Australia-wide.

Cool, yes? Yes! So we applied, the judges loved the product (Merrymaker Chocolate Mousse) and I was chosen to compete in the prestigious ‘Golden Ticket’ round.

So here I was, ready, willing and able to compete! We were confident in our recipe – a sugar free, grain free, gluten free, dairy free, chocolate mousse – a ‘grab and go’ paleo friendly dessert that everyone can enjoy, guilt free. Ummm, YES PLEASE!

Those of you who saw the show, well, I hope my cooking antics made you laugh and smile! I had an absolute blast during the whole process, and although there were a few mishaps in the kitchen that day, BOY was it one of the most fun-filled, panic-stricken, enriching moments on my life to date.

Thanks to that experience, we’ve dedicated time in the kitchen perfecting a brand new healthy choc-filled recipe – our ‘Paleo Choc Hazelnut Cups’. And at the end of this blog post, we’ll be sharing our recipe so you can whip it up tonight for dessert, YUM!

So back to the show… as mentioned above, mistakes were made during my experience in the Recipe to Riches Kitchen, however, where there are mistakes, come some of life’s BEST lessons and this is what I’d love to share with you all…

Lesson 1: there is a whole lot of stuff that goes on behind the scenes to create just 60 minutes of television.

Before the ‘batch up round’ a camera crew visited both Emma and I at Merrymaker HQ, filming for an ENTIRE day to capture our ‘back story’. Yes, an entire day JUST to create 3 minutes of footage! TV is a little crazy like that.

Without a doubt, filming our back story was probably the most fun part of this whole experience. We had a lovely crew come round, we cooked them lunch, talked all things merrymaker, pretended to be cavewomen (THEIR idea, not ours… next time we will think a little more about wacky TV production ideas before we say YES, lesson number 2: take some time to think before you say yes to anything!). I was also interviewed for around 3 hours on camera that day… talk about tiring! But all in all, lots of FUN! I truly loved this part.

The next part (the stuff you saw on TV) was the batch up round. This involved being thrown in to a kitchen for 3 hours, told to make a ridiculous amount of your product and… have fun! Ha! I thought MAYBE reality TV was a little staged… I thought maybe you get longer than 3 hours… maybe you get more help… maybe you have an idea of what you’re in for… lesson 3: maybe I was so wrong!

This is how it went down: I was mic’ed up and told to walk in to the kitchen to find my ingredients. I was told to say hi to my fellow contestants and wait for the host to walk in. I literally had no idea what I was in for!

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The second Darren (the host) told me I had to make 500 individual mousses I knew I was in for an interesting 3 hours… all I could think was ‘how many Vitamixes will I need to fill to make 500 merrymaker mousses?!”… and the worst thing was… there wasn’t even a Vitamix for me to use!! I may have had a little #merrymakerfreakout

Although I had 3 lovely ladies helping me make the 500 mousses, they were under strict instruction not to answer my questions or bounce ideas. I was on my own and missing my merrymaker sister Emma by my side to ask things like ‘How does this taste?’ ‘Do you think we need more cinnamon?’ ‘Should we divide it in to 4 batches?’.

Without Emma, I had to make quick decisions, PLUS I had to use my math skills to work out how much mixture I needed to make (all I could remember was I needed 30 litres of coconut milk and 50 avocados, as well as a whole lot of other ingredients to make 500 mousses). Add the pressure of a thousand cameras (ok, ok, this is an exaggeration, there was more like 9) and you’ll understand why my brain was a little fried within the first half hour! YIKES!

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Lesson 4: under pressure, your mind will play tricks on you… learn to listen to and trust your instincts! I had made my first batch out of the 4 and started to question the taste, even though I’d followed the recipe to a ‘T’. The texture wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked (they really need Vitamixes in that kitchen!) which meant I had to start all over again, adding more sweetener, more cinnamon and tasting as I went.

Instead of a Vitamix, I had to use a big, industrial-sized hand blender (I felt like a builder using a jackhammer!) I was way out of my comfort zone. Not sure if you noticed, but there was A LOT of splatter on that cute apron of mine.

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There was also a lot of running around like a headless chicken, swearing under my breath, all while taking selfies the entire time. Wait, what?! Yes! Taking selfies. Lesson 5: DON’T take selfies when needing to make 500 merrymaker chocolate mousses in 3 hours! Seems like an obvious one, but well, I was just so darn excited to be there, so apparently not! This might have something to do with lesson number 2 😉

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In what felt like half an hour, I was getting told we only had 5 minutes left of the 3 hours! Holey moley! Time flies when you’re making 500 merrymaker chocolate mousses! To make a long story short, I didn’t finish all 500 mousses – they didn’t set (needing at least an hour!) and in complete honesty, they just weren’t up to scratch.

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I walked out of the Recipe to Riches kitchen super grateful that time was up. I knew I hadn’t made it through to the next round. I was really upset with myself. I was annoyed I hadn’t finished all of my batches. I was annoyed that I wasn’t more level headed. I was frustrated with myself because I completely forgot to stop and just breathe. In my mind I had let myself down, cranky with the world… and then something special happened… a shift.

I called Emma and Merrymaker Mum, cried (a lot)… and then… got over it. I told myself enough was enough. Stop dwelling on the ‘shouda, coulda woulda’s’, there was nothing I could change, all I could do was learn from this unique experience (note lessons 1 through to 5) and never make the same mistakes again.

I realised my experience was all part of my journey. In hindsight, not getting through to the next round was a complete blessing in disguise… so many new, many magical things have happened since filming and many of them I have been open to BECAUSE of the mistakes I made during my Recipe to Riches experience!

Some of these magical moments include…

  • Quitting our corporate world jobs.
  • Travelling to America and meeting some incredibly amazing people.
  • Visiting Disneyland (on my Birthday which was maybe the most magical day of my life).
  • Having the opportunity to focus completely on the Merrymaker brand, remember, what you focus on grows.
  • Finding clarity in our direction. That is: spreading the health and happiness message further and wider.
  • Saying YES to many amazing new opportunities.
  • Perfecting our recipe for Paleo Choc Hazelnut Cups, and
  • Becoming the happiest merrymakers we’ve ever been… ever.

So merrymaker friends, it turns out things really do happen for a reason. Mistakes, failures mishaps or just plain bad luck can happen from time to time, curve balls that change your thoughts, motivations and even direction. My advice? Learn from your mistakes and move on. Promise yourself to never make the same mistake again and smile because you can know with absolute certainty that you have lived and learned!

Lesson 6: winning isn’t everything and ‘losing’ isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you. In fact, in my case, it just might have been one of the best things that could have happened to The Merrymaker Sisters!

In celebration of learning from our mistakes, I’d love to hear about your experiences, failures or mishaps and what you did to overcome them. Share them with me below in the comments section and let’s all be grateful for these amazing life lessons!

Always merrymaking,


p.s as promised, check out our Paleo Choc Hazelnut Cup recipe here and enjoy!


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