Winter Books & St Albans Cookbook Club – January 2013

How often do you cook a recipe from a cookbook on your shelf? They say that on average, we cook around three recipes from each book we own, which doesn’t seem like a lot, unless you have a rapidly escalating collection like me. In November, I started the St Albans Cookbook Club, in my town of St Albans, inspired by the Bath Cookbook Club, since we didn’t have anything similar. We met for the first time at a local coffee shop and talked about some of our festive titles. This time, I’ve asked everyone to bring a cookbook they received for Christmas. Next time, we’ll meet in one of our homes and I think we’ll challenge each other to cook a recipe from one of our new books to share.

Winter Cookbooks

For Christmas, I received one new cookbook as a gift, thank you Heidi, which was Peggy Porschen’s Baking Boutique, as well as a book on nutrition, called It Starts With Food. Since one promotes gorgeous cakes filled with buttercream and the other promotes a Paleo-style eating plan with no dairy, grains or sugar (Day 12, going well, by the way!) you could say they are at opposite ends of the spectrum. But that’s what I love about food; there is an endless supply of inspiration out there for whatever kind of cooking takes your fancy.

I reviewed and cooked from a few new cookery books before Christmas and the three-book Quadrille giveway I hosted proved to be hugely successful. Of the three books, I most fell in love with Tom Kitchen’s Kitchin Suppers.

I’ve also tried a couple of recipes from Nigella Lawson’s Nigellissima, including her Banana Bread and Prawn Pasta Rosa – both easy to make and equally delicious. I can also recommend her Chocolate Olive Oil Cake, oh, how I miss chocolate and cake…

Italian Breakfast Banana Bread

I have also enjoyed cooking from a new Polish cookery book, called From A Polish Country House Kitchen (soon to be reviewed) and have made a few good meals from Jamies 15 Minute Meals (which I much prefer to Jamie’s 30 minute meals,) despite the fact the timings suggested by both books are a bit unrealistic, even for a seasoned cook such as myself. I’ve yet to cook from Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Volume II and I can’t wait to dive into Rococo’s beautiful new book, Mastering The Art of Chocolate too.

Today’s snow is making me want to curl up, or make jam, a new skill I learnt from Diana Henry’s Salt Sugar Smoke.

Purple Fig Jam

It looks like it’s going to be a busy spring! 

A quick reminder for anyone local to me, the next St Albans Cook Books Club meets this Wednesday 16th January at 10am, at Bakehouse St Albans. Everyone is welcome, including children.

St Albans Cookbook Club

Did you receive any new cookery books for Christmas?



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