Cookbookmaniac
  • Jamie’s America by Jamie Oliver
    Cookbook Reviews
    Jamie’s America by Jamie Oliver
    I have never really been drawn to the work of Jamie Oliver. I received his Italy book as a Christmas gift and was very impressed with its layout and use of colours. His recipes seemed enticing but i have yet to find inspiration from them to really test them. I was very drawn to the idea of Jamie at Home. Cooking from the garden and using seasonal products to reduce your carbon footprint and be healthy. Fantastic idea. Same problem. I didn't cook from any of the recipes. They just haven't grabbed me by the eyeballs and lured me into the kitchen like a big bad wolf. One day i was walking through a small bookshop and came across Jamie's America. "Interesting" i thought aloud. The striking cover with its red, white and blue and Jamie quite happily posing was enough for me to pick it up and flick through it. I was astounded and overjoyed at what i found inside. True to form Jamie has recognised the influence of ethnic foods in our culture and has cleverly interwoven many recipes through various chapters that are catergorised by states. New York, Louisiana, Arizona, Los Angeles, Georgia and Wild West (not a state - I know). Hot Choccy & Churros Jamie has far outdone himself in this book. This - in my opinion - has improved on all his other books by leaps and bounds. Where all the other books seem to have their various problems (hard to read fonts, cluttered…
  • Cookbook Reviews
    More from Magnolia by Allysa Torrey
    I am a HUGE Sex and the City fan. So naturally, I had to go on the Sex and the City tour when I was in New York. One of the sites we went to was the Magnolia Bakery. I remembered the scene where Carrie and Miranda eat pink cupcakes on a bench. But did not realise it was this bakery, nor did i realise how iconic the bakery was. The tour guide bought us all a cupcake. They were unlike any cupcake i had ever eaten before. The vanilla bottom was light and the butter cream was pillowy soft and over-the-top. It was very indulgent and (gasp) i couldn't finish it. But that didn't take away from the impression it has forever made in me. I can no longer make a cupcake with just a swipe of runny icing. I must make mountains of icing placed in a icing bag with a star tip and squeeze copious amounts on top of the cake. Isn't that what amazing experiences do to you? They change the way you think and behave, beyond any kind of control imaginable? I emailed my partner that evening and told him to go buy the book immediately, ready for me when i get back to Sydney. Upon my return, i made the cupcakes the following weekend. They were exactly the same. Oh joy! The 'Helpful Hints' section is really... helpful. Technique is the secret ingredient to a successful cake. Everything that i have made from this…
  • Cookbook Reviews
    The Japanese Kitchen by Kimiko Barber
    There is something about the Japanese cuisine that captures my heart and taste buds. It seems that every time we visit a Japanese restaurant or cafe, I am inspired to recreate or research whatever it is that i have experienced. It is more than just a plate of food. It is the current seasons best offerings, prepared with utter reverence to its natural taste and texture. When my partner and i go out to eat, it is usually the Japanese cuisine that we go  searching for. Ramen, Izakaya (bar & grill),  sushi train, sukiyaki etc etc. It is so simple and yet complex. It is mysterious but approachable. It is so healthy and one of the world's most misunderstood cuisines. The Japanese Kitchen is a good starting place for people who have just opened the door to the Japanese cuisine. It goes into the history and uses of essential ingredients and gives the appropriate recipes to accompany the descriptions. It is elegantly put together and easy to read. There are beautiful photos of the ingredients, everyday life and dishes. A great, well written novel takes its readers on a journey straight from the pages and into its intended destination... this is not different to cookbooks. This is the Japan that I know and love.