• Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za’atar and Lemon by Ottolenghi
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    Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za’atar and Lemon by Ottolenghi

    I recently went on a tour of Newtown with some lovely bloggers and was asked how many cookbooks I actually owned. Well, I never really counted them, but I think its safe to say that I have around 200. I regret purchasing quite a few of them, they are usually the ones that are generically strung together by book publishers to raise revenue. Most of the time I only end up buying the junk because I’ve had a bad day and needed something new to cheer me up or there was one lone recipe that looked very enticing. Needless to say I don’t really cook from them. I am often pulled towards cookbooks written by one or two people that are driven by their love for food. It isn’t just…

  • Roasted Eggplant with Saffron Yoghurt by Ottolenghi
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    Roasted Eggplant with Saffron Yoghurt by Ottolenghi

    “Oh my goodness. You have so many cookbooks. Do you cook from them all?” This is the question asked by most people who are perplexed by the size of my collection. In fact the IKEA shelf that I purchased specifically to house them is now full and there are books overflowing onto the floor. Most of the books that end up on the floor are far too obese for the lean wooden shelves (Ripailles – yes, I am talking about you). Quite often I purchase a cookbook for its potential. This is the possibility of creating something that will satisfy my greedy appetite. If I only get one ‘great recipe’ out of a cookbook, then I consider it worth its value, at the very least. I…

  • Wild Barramundi with Black Olive Salsa by Sophie Dahl
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    Wild Barramundi with Black Olive Salsa by Sophie Dahl

    There are days when I really want to indulge. These are times when only chocolate and red frogs will do. Then there are days when I want something light and good for me. One Sunday afternoon I was feeling like eating for my health and so I flipped through some of my more healthier cookbooks. Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights has an exciting range of meals based around the seasons and breakfast, lunch and dinner. Whenever I want to make something quick and healthy I often reach for this book. I will often find something or feel inspired by it. She doesn’t eat red meat or chicken, however there a couple of lamb and chicken recipes (strange…). Vegetables and grains are…

  • Mushroom Risotto from Valvona & Crolla by Mary Contini
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    Cutting corners. If you have read my previous post about patience you’ll know that I have very little of it… except when it comes to cooking. I will not tolerate waiting in line for a sandwich but I can stand over a pot and stir a risotto for ages. There is something about the stirring that brings me joy and comfort. However, time is not the kind of corner that I am writing about. It’s the expense of ingredients. I try my best to stay faithful to a recipe when I am cooking. However, I am not opposed to substituting, adding or eliminating ingredients if I find them unnecessary, difficult to find, or ridiculously expensive. My jaw nearly hit the floor when I approached the…

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