Donna Hay winners | Here are our readers' kitchen disasters and triumphs | STORIES, PHOTOS

■ For terms and conditions see the original competition page which features Ian Horner's interview with Donna Hay. Read it now!

Congratulations to the 14 winners of our Donna Hay 'the new easy' signed cookbook contest. The competition is now closed. Scroll down to read the winning entries – which are all highly entertaining!

HERE ARE THE WINNERS, in alphabetical order | Kathleen Attard, of Silverdale, NSW; Lisa Barnfield, of Engadine, NSW; Vanda Bellissimo, of Cabramatta, NSW; Meredith Cross, of Menangle, NSW; Emma Jones, of Ambarvale, NSW; Mick Kojic, of South Penrith, NSW; Christine Lazarevic, of Castle Hill, NSW; Renee Moroz, of Carlton, NSW; Louise Mulvey, of Cherrybrook, NSW; Melanie Murray, of Erskine Park, NSW; Darren Peel, of Cambridge Gardens, NSW; Lisa & Jarrod Plant, of Jannali, NSW; Joanne Rae, of Blacktown, NSW; and Cindy Sugden, of Wilton, NSW.

I have kitchen disasters all the time. It happens regularly in our test kitchen! If you don't push the boundaries you won't come up with something new or you won't find that brining chicken breasts for 20 minutes won't work. Maybe you put in five times more salt than you needed and it's inedible. But you just start again. Things go wrong all the time. Sometimes you need little adjustments, other times it's way off!

Donna Hay
LISA & JARROD PLANT | Wedding Smash-Cake (above and below)

LISA & JARROD PLANT | Wedding Smash-Cake (above and below)

TRIUMPH! | LISA & JARROD PLANT, of Jannali | For our wedding last weekend, my husband made our wedding cake! It was a smash-cake [pictured], filled with chocolates and sweets, which we cracked open with a ceremonial hammer. As we met in the UK he built a traditional “wattle and daub” house as the shell! Was amazing!

DISASTER! | KATHLEEN ATTARD, of Silverdale | My greatest disaster was when I tried making a chocolate mousse for my first boyfriend. I was trying to impress him with my cooking ability however I over-egged the mousse and it ended up like pug slop. Hence we didn't eat it and the relationship ended soon after.

TRIUMPH! | VANDA BELLISSIMO, of Cabramatta | My triumph was making  a pound cake for the first time and it was perfect!

DISASTER! | MEREDITH CROSS, of Menangle | We had friends over for our first dinner party when we got married and I totally under-estimated how much food we would need. Everyone was hungry and I know our friends stopped at McDonald's on their way home to fill up – how embarrassing!

DISASTER! | EMMA JONES, of Ambarvale | I made a Cherry Ripe Chocolate Steamed Pudding. It came together well. I cooked it per the instructions. Smelled great. The time came to get it out, it looked and smelled cooked. Upon turning it out though it became a pile of mush. Tasted nice, for Cherry Ripe Chocolate Mush!

DISASTER! | MICK KOJIC, of South Penrith | Surprise for my new fiancée and in-laws, seafood buffet, yum! No! Left seafood in car as in a hurry and when remembered thought it would be OK, seemed OK, but after we all ended up at the local medical centre with food poisoning, realised it wasn't -- anyway I'm now married and still have wonderful in-laws -- but am no longer allowed anywhere near seafood!

DISASTER! | CHRISTINE LAZAREVIC, of Castle Hill | I made scones that you could bounce off the floor!

DISASTER! | RENEE MOROZ, of Carlton | Tried to cook a baked spud filled with mince and sour cream for my boyfriend of only a few weeks. OMG, it was so bad I couldn't eat it, but he did. We all talk about it six years down the track as husband and wife. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. LOL!

CINDY SUGDEN | Layered Salted Caramel Meringue Torte

CINDY SUGDEN | Layered Salted Caramel Meringue Torte

DISASTER! | LOUISE MULVEY, of Cherrybrook | I'd moved out of home and was all grown up at 20 and decided to experiment by replacing all water requirements in the cake recipe with Cognac. I assumed any alcohol content would burn off. It didn’t. What a night we had. It was great!

DISASTER! | MELANIE MURRAY, of Erskine Park | Deciding on being one of the "good" mums, baked my daughter some cupcakes to take to school for her birthday, left the decorating for her to do so she felt involved, mixed the icing, set out all the sprinkles and lollies and let her be, only to discover she was licking and sticking the lollies to the cakes!

DISASTER! | DARREN PEEL, of Cambridge Gardens | I attempted a Valentine’s Day dinner with stuffed squid as the main. I prepared for hours and the table set, complete with mood lighting . . . and then an almighty bang! The squid exploded in the pan! Needless to say we ordered takeaway and I’m now banned from the kitchen.

TRIUMPH! | CINDY SUGDEN, of Wilton | This is a photo of one of my kitchen triumphs – a Layered Salted Caramel Meringue Torte! It took all day but was worth it!

DISASTER! | JOANNE RAE, of Blacktown | Chicken Tagine has been my signature dish for some time. One night with friends I have no idea what was wrong but the sweet potatoes were just not cooking. The chicken was soft and tender so I served, an hour late. My guests graciously gnawed crunchy sweet potato and vegetables.

LISA BARNFIELD | Red Velvet Cupcakes

LISA BARNFIELD | Red Velvet Cupcakes

TRIUMPH! | LISA BARNFIELD, of Engadine | For my Dad's birthday last month [November] I baked Red Velvet Cupcakes [pictured] with cream-cheese frosting. This sugar-free, beetroot enriched recipe was a success!

■ Buy 'the new easy' here | all Donna's books here

■ Donna Hay websiteonline store 

■ Donna Hay on Facebook | IMDbTwitter | YouTube | Wikipedia

■ Read Ian Horner's other interviews and reviews:

Director Atom Egoyan for Devil's Knot on BD & DVD and The Captive in cinemas | What did happen in the swamp that night? | VIDEO, PHOTOS

Kevin McCloud for Grand Designs Live home show now on in Sydney | INTERVIEW Kevin McCloud | AUDIO, PHOTOS

Peter Maddison for Grand Designs Live home show now on in Sydney | INTERVIEW Peter Maddison | VIDEOS, PHOTOS

Anthony Callea for Ladies & Gentlemen, the Songs of George Michael | Ladies and gentlemen, Anthony Calles | VIDEO, PHOTOS

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Masterplanned Housing Estates | Part 2 | Problems solved, problems created VIEW THE SPECIAL VIDEO

Masterplanned Housing Estates | Part 3 | If estates are a turning point, what's next? 

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