Cake decorating, like sewing, has never been my forte. Perhaps I was standing behind the door when those skills were being handed out. Food stylist and cook, Lyndel Miller, has come to rescue of those who don't like working with fondant and don't have the patience to do all that painstakingly intricate decorative icing with a piping bag.
Courtyard Kitchen by Natalie Boog, $39.99, Murdoch Books. Read my review and my conversation with Natalie here.
The opening of a French-style patisserie less than ten minutes from my home has inspired me to once again dip into the delicious pages of Stéphane Reynaud's Pies and Tarts, which, I must shamelessly confess, arrived for review at this time last year (at about the same time that I broke my foot!). Now, I realise that a broken foot is no excuse for not showcasing a cookbook, but I wanted to give this title a decent run. And, besides, despite 22 years of appraising new cookbooks, I have never been one to rush into my reviews.
'Intermittent fasting is among the latest trends in dieting. Originating in the UK, it has quickly been taken up around the world. Based on solid research, its effectiveness has been scientifically proven, unlike many other fashionable diets. The basic principle is eat less, which allows you to lose weight and offers numerous health benefits'.
'For me baking is about memories: old ones, new ones and ones yet to be made. I love how the smell of fresh bread baking can give you that cosy feeling and for me, there's nothing more welcoming than entering the house of someone who's baking.'
— Jo Wheatley in the introduction to her book, Home Baking.
As a child, Eleanor Ozich lived above her parents' restaurant in Auckland, New Zealand and has been a passionate food lover ever since. Eleanor is a self taught cook who has worked as a food writer and food stylist for various publications, including Taste magazine. She created the Petite Kitchen blog as a personal diary, documenting her family's road to simple eating after her daughter was diagnosed with severe eczema. I had the opportunity to catch up with Eleanor via email recently. Read our conversation here.
If the fun, quirky title of this cookbook doesn't catch your attention, then author Poh Ling Yeow's delightful writing style and inspiring recipes surely will! Poh says she's no chef and she's proud of that fact. 'For me the joy in what I do is all about representing home cooks. I always want to write books that honestly reflect how I cook every day, which is how every Aussie cooks... I want you to USE this book. I hope I inspire you to make a mess in your kitchen and get these pages dirty.'
'We all want to look, and feel, our very best. In our quest to do so we often fall prey to the claims of beauty experts, inviting us to "try this" and "smooth that' with various creams and treatments. This book is my antidote to those beauty myths, inspired by what I learnt in recent years on my own journey.'
Merelyn Frank Chalmers, Natanya Eskin, Lauren Fink, Lisa Goldberg, Paula Horwiyz and Jacqui Israel started meeting once a week to cook and chat over coffee in March 2006. Three words became the mantra for what was to become the Monday Morning Cooking Club: share the recipes, inspire people to preserve their family recipes; and give all the profits to charity.
They dreamed of writing a cookbook and, using their combined skills of cooking, fressing (eating ravenously) and perseverance, they slowly grew that seed into their dream. Their first book, Monday Morning Cooking Club - the food, the stories, the sisterhood, was published in April 2011 and was for them 'like the birth of a child'. They were so inspired, excited and encouraged by the success of that book, that another was bound to follow. This time, the call went out across Australia and the MMCC were inundated with hundreds of recipes from readers all over the country.
The Feast Goes On features the best-loved and most delicious recipes and stories from the heart and soul of the Jewish community across Australia, it speaks of a community drawn together by food, telling poignant stories of sharing and survival, love and hope, friendship and family. But mostly, it's about the food.
I caught up with the Monday Morning Cooking Club by email and you can read our full conversation (and enjoy a recipe) here.
Thank you kindly to the Monday Morning Cooking Club and the publicity team at HarperCollins for giving me the opportunity to review this title and catch up with all of you. There is much to cook from here and I can barely wait to splatter, annotate and cover the pages with sticky notes! I'm going to start with this cheesecake!
The Feast Goes On by the Monday Morning Cooking Club, $49.99, HarperCollins. All MMCC profits from the book will go to charity.
Anneka Manning started collecting recipes at the ripe old age of seven and remembers being the only one in her primary school who ordered cookbooks through the Scholastic Book Club. She was drawn to recipes that involved baking and would spend her time making scones for the shearers on her father's property, and entering baked goods in the Delegate agricultural Show.
'This was just the beginning of a life that was destined to be one long foodie journey,' she writes in her book Bake, Eat, Love - Learn to Bake in 3 Simple Steps. Anneka has worked for leading publications including Australian Gourmet Traveller, VOGUE Entertaining + Travel, and australian good taste; as well as appearing on television and radio. She has also compiled, written and contributed to a number of successful, award-winning books, including good food and more good food (Text Publishing), The Low GI Family Cookbook (Hachette) and Mastering the Art of Baking (Murdoch Books). Anneka now owns and runs a baking school called BakeClub, which she says is a reflection of not only her life-long passion for baking, but also her personal and professional experience as a home economist, food editor, author, publisher and mother of two children.
Anneka and I caught up by phone and email recently. Read our full conversation here.
Cookery book reviews and interviews with noted food writers and chefs.