Cook me a book

It’s the Summer of cookbooks. I have a huge slew of new ones that arrived in time for Christmas – or just after.

My outstanding favourite is probably The River Cottage Family Cookbook (Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall & Fizz Carr) which is specifically designed for kids to pick up and cook from, with a little adult supervision (depending on the age of the child obviously) so while it is not quite where Amelia is at yet, it’s full of fun, easy things to make which are instantly appealing to the family palate / time constraints / budget. Also it is loaded with lots of good basic information about the hows and whys of cooking and the layout is pretty fun and original for a cookbook too. It’s a very nice chunky little hardback that makes you want to pick it up and dive in. I love it. High on my list of must-makes from the book are the jellies, turkish delight, marshmallows, peppermint creams and ice lollies (I believe I may be craving sugar at the moment).

I also got Delia’s Complete Cookery Course (Classic Edition) which seems to be a good one to have on hand for all occasions. It has her Christmas Pudding recipe in it which blew of our socks when we visited Christina and Paul for (a most amazing) pre-Christmas dinner last month, so for that alone, it’s a happy addition to the kitchen bookshelf.

I also finally got a copy of Nigella’s How to be a Domestic Goddess. I had an idea that I might get a kitchenaid in the Boxing Day sales and thought I had better prepare myself with some cupcake (etc) recipes. I have since decided against the kitchenaid as it was on sale for $580 (or something) down from $660 so while it was a fair saving it was still scarily expensive. My good old 35 year old Kenwood will have to keep running it’s noisy course in the mean time. I am yet to really explore HtbaDG – but even the index had my mouth watering.

Lastly, while not exactly a cookbook, I have some Summer reading – Julie & Julia by Julie Powell. You have probably already read it, and I am sure I am the last one to catch this boat, but I am looking forward to it and can see myself now, lying on a beach towel, swatting flies and reading while Amelia happily builds enormous sand castles with Big-P (who, by the way, has become a blogging fiend!). Woohoo! Roll on Venus Bay!

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23 Responses

  1. I purchased a Kitchen Aid mixer before Thanksgiving and wow! I have been thrilled to bake and have been baking up a storm. I might have to look into the Nigella book. But as I just finished Julie & Julia I wanted to comment, I enjoyed it and can’t wait to hear your comments.

  2. The Domestic Goddess book is great – all the recipes I’ve tried so far have been really good. You should try the brownies, they’re amazing, and the madeira cake – the best one I’ve had. I’m so happy I have my copy.

  3. Nigella is great and I have borrowed that book many times from a friend. I too, must look out for it at the sales. By the way, what has happened to Charlie and Lola? Have they been permanently removed or am not watching at the right times. We love them too …. especially me!!!

  4. says:

    Nigella’s Domestic Goddess book is fab..the damp chocolate loaf cake is worth trying too(several times!!:))…If you cant get the lovely thought of a shiny new KitchenAid out your head, have a look on ebay, as they have lots to choose from, new ones for about 370 dollars…I have a red one and I love it so much! I think I will get my brother in America to start sending me all the great attachments! X

  5. I might need the Nigela one. I have a crush on her!

  6. says:

    Are kitchenaids really that expensive in Australia? Would you be able to have a friend in the states pick you up one and ship it to you (you could use a plug converter for the different outlets). I know that here you can get a artisan model (the colored ones) for about 180-220 USD. Just a thought..I love mine and I just got a ice cream making attachment for it for christmas : )

  7. Hey! I got the Domestic Goddess Book for Christmas!
    Please tell me which recipies you give a go.

  8. says:

    We got a refurbished KitchenAid mixer for a steal on the KitchenAid website (and free shipping, but that is in the US, I don’t know about aust.)

  9. says:

    I too longed for a kitchenaid to make cupcakes with. I have (very happily) settled for one of the new Breville mixers from Myer. Highly recommended. Actually, my husband gave it to me for my birthday, unprompted! And, it is pale pink and gorgeous. I am now the sponge cake queen, topped with passionfruit icing and filled with fresh strawberries and cream. It took me three recipes before I found “the one”. And on cupcakes, dare I say it, but I lashed out on the Donna Hay, 6 egg cakes that were in her special kids edition of her magazine last year, and I was frankly a little disappointed. Did I just say that? Donna let me down? How could that be? Anyway, the best recipe for cupcakes came from a friends grandmother – they are fantastic! I can pass it on if you like. Have you seen “Notebook” this month, speaking of cupcakes. Anyway, I am supposed to be packing, we are off to Cowes today – beach, beach, beach, in the words of my two year old.

  10. Ooh, I love the River Cottage tv series and I had no idea there were books as well! Yippee! Now I can continue my fantasies of living the self-sufficient life whenever I want to 🙂 Thanks for the info.

  11. oops … and I got a Kitchenaid for Christmas from my lovely husband and I highly recommend it. She will whip up anything in a flash 🙂 Maybe ebay has some secondhand ones at a good price ?

  12. says:

    People have already said it, but I feel the neet to say it too, make the brownies (they are the ones Paul and I brought over) and the chocolate loaf cake, that will fix any sugar cravings you may have.

  13. Ooh! I plan to buy that River Cottage book this weekend — I’ve been wanting it for some time now. Even without a family proper, I feel like I ought to have it, as there seem to be simple recipes/guidelines that nobody else bothers with.
    Love HtBaDG — am going to try her chocolate macaron recipe this weekend, which will hopefully work better than my last macaron attempt.

    Lastly, I’m enjoying Julie & Julia at the moment; it’ll be interesting to see what you think.

  14. …and now i’ve found your blog! always a good story and tonz of info for the eyes! great!ive just added you on my links so i can keep checking. I’ve started -snail like- to translate my blog so drop me a line whenever you feel like it!

  15. Oh wow, Davin and I just recently purchased the River Family book and admittedly it was probably at least 50% because we liked the design. But he already made the fish pie recipe (toning down the copious amount of milk, etc) and it was very rich but tasty. So far the only thing it has done for me is shifted my method of boiling eggs.

  16. Excellent selection of books – I have all of them! The Delia one is really reliable and useful, the Julie & Julia is a great read, I’m in the middle of the River Cottage as you know, and the Nigella one will certainly satsify your sugar cravings. I love the brownie recipe as well, but divide the quantities by three because I don’t want to be the size of a house!

  17. I’ve never known a persion who doesn’t have a copy of Delia – it’s a total bible 😀

  18. I am reading Julie & Julia too, and it is lucsious and light and quite insightful too. It even makes me want to cook, which is remarkable.

  19. remember the onion pie? domestic goddess. the damp chocolate loaf cake is a winner, as is the lemon syrup and raspberry cake, the joe dolce italian cheesecake, the cherry chocolate cupcakes…i could go on…if one aimed to cook through the book in a year (a la julie & julia), i know i’d be the side of a house, but gee, the recipies taste freaking amazing.

  20. can i recommend another food writer, (assuming you haven’t had your fill of them?)
    Nigel Slater. (here is an example of how he writes:,,1674961,00.html)

    If you like Nigella you’re sure to like him. 🙂

  21. says:

    Do the KitchenAids in Australia do the dishes, iron the laundry and wash windows for that price? My God you should be able to drive it for that much! I picked up mine at a model closeout price and my hubby gripped when he learned I paid (this is embarrasing) $129 USD for it. But it was so worth it. I wonder what it would cost to send something that heavy to you. Have you tried EBAY? This is a gadget that anyone that likes to bake should have. It even stirs up bread. Good luck in your quest for one.
    And congrats on #2. When will you find time to create with 2 of the little rascals? Have fun.

  22. I’ve got 2 of those books and love them. I’m quickly going to leave this entry on your site as I can feel I want for the River cookbook coming on and I already own abou 50 cookbooks !!

  23. says:

    Wow — just saw that the 6-quart kitchenaid I bought in December is now $399.99 US. I got mine for 20% off of $369.99 with a BedBath&Beyond coupon, AND kitchenaid was offering a $50 rebate — so I only paid about $250 US one month ago. and Ebay both have great refurbished mixers.