If you have a love of cooking and trying new and easy recipes, then here’s 3 of my new favourite cookbooks you might like to check out.
When things get a bit busy and there are people needing support an immediate ‘go to’ for me, Jacqueline, is to start preparing meals or offering practical ways to help. There’s been a bit of that of late with some family members having surgeries and the resulting post operative care plans, general sickness, a few accidents, along with some stress! Now that I think about it, it’s been hectic.com! And all while heading into the ‘silly season’.
It’s during times like these that I tend to move into my way of providing support – cooking. For some it’s a chore, but for me it’s a practical way that I can help to (hopefully) relieve a bit of the burden and the stress of planning and juggling tasks and meals for others.
While I have a number of trusty recipes for nourishing soups and slow-cooker favorites (which therefore make it super easy to prepare), along with some trusted recipe books, I’ve recently been enjoying not 1 but 3 new cookbooks from some of my favorite cooks, and one even being a local friend.
New favourite cookbook #1: From Scratch – Fiona Weir Walmsley
As the name suggests, this is about making food ‘from scratch’. I’ve been lucky enough to attend quite a number of the on-farm cooking classes and workshops that Buena Vista Farm hosts in Gerringong NSW (even one of the same name) and have loved the bounty that I get to bring home.
On top of that I’m also able to get a hold of their amazing pickles and fermented foods via their weekly presence at local farmer’s markets and their farm shop. But if you don’t live local and would like to try the deliciousness that is Buena Vista Farm beetroot relish, tomato chili jam, bread & butter pickles, water kefir, not to mention their special jersey milk egg custard (it’s seriously the BEST custard. Ever.) then grab the book and start your journey. From Scratch!
In this beautiful book, which you can also just enjoy reading as a collection of short stories and life lessons, Fiona shares tried and trusted recipes from her family and friends, along with her own kitchen. As well as some of my favourites mentioned above there’s recipes for biscuits (Marry Me Caramels are to die for) and cakes, breads, broths, pantry staples, snacks and sweet treats, dip and sauces, and also fermented foods which we love for good gut health too.
New favourite cookbook #2: Tenderheart – Hetty Lui McKinnon
One of my dearest friends introduced me to this wonderful vegetarian cook a few years back through her cook book ‘Neighbourhood’. So recently I returned the ‘favour’ by gifting her this latest offering from Hetty Lui McKinnon, simply called ‘Tenderheart’. Dedicated to family traditions and legacy, Hetty calls it a book about vegetables… and so much more. There are beautiful recollections of her late father and growing up in Sydney with immigrant parents from China. Hetty now lives with her husband and family in Brooklyn, NYC.
Each chapter is a dedicated to a particular vegetable with stories behind her love of each veggie and memories associated with the recipes. My friend and her 12 year old daughter have already tried several of them, after her daughter devoured reading the book, highlighting over 100 recipes to try within 24 hours of receiving it! I’m told the mushroom and potato coconut chowder is a winner.
If you love your veggies and want to be inspired to cook more vegetarian based meals then this is the book for you; or a dear friend…
New favourite cookbook #3: Dinner – Nagi Maehashi
Well, I think most of Australia has probably heard of Nagi Maehashi and her recipe website blog RecipeTin Eats by now. If you haven’t already cooked one of her recipes after doing a Google search I’d be surprised (I’ve cooked countless, always fail safe dishes over the years). Based in Sydney but popular across the globe it seems Nagi’s recipes are a go-to for many.
More recently, following the launch of her first cookbook, Dinner, she’s been appearing on TV screens fairly consistently. Her popular blog and website, RecipeTin Eats, is followed by 3.6million people on Facebook and over a million on Instagram. It might also have something to do with the other star of the RecipeTin show; the most adorable doggie, and apparently chief recipe tester, Dozer, the golden retriever.
‘Dinner’ is packed with over 150 recipes (nearly all of them new for the book) to provide inspiration for Dinner. Chapters group recipes in categories such as Effortless, Stir-fries & Noodles, Meal-Worthy Salads, Mexican food and more.
Gift inspiration and the 2023 cookbook challenge
I’ve loved reading the stories and memories woven throughout the recipes in each of these new favourite cookbooks. They are filled with so much more than recipes and could be the ideal Christmas gift for the foodie friend in your life (seriously, whether they like to cook or not). And for yourself, you might even find some inspiration for your special festive season gatherings.
Given how many beautiful cookbooks I have, which I add to on a fairly regular basis, I’ve set myself a challenge for 2023, and that is to select three recipes to try from two different cookbooks every month.