Category Archives: Eating

Spring Food Inspiration

A new season brings new produce, and some much-appreciated variety into our regular menus. If the warmer days and brighter sunshine are inspiring a craving for lighter, fresher foods, check out these great new cookbooks for Spring meal ideas:

Together by Jamie Oliver

I can totally agree with Jamie Oliver when he says that he really missed sharing meals with friends and family during lockdown. And looking forward to doing so again, has been the inspiration for his latest book, Together. Together is all about dishes designed for sharing, whether that means 2 people or 12; recipes are arranged into themed menus – such as taco nights, boozy lunches or picnics in the park – and are simple (or can be prepped ahead) so that you can spend less time on cooking and more time with guests. Like Jamie’s other books, Together is a complete toolkit, with additional tips on table decorations, accomodating dietary requirements, and event planning.

Every. Night. of. the. Week. : Sanity Solutions for the Daily Dinner Grind by Lucy Tweed

Even the best cooks can feel dragged down by the need to cook dinner every night – in which case Every. Night. of. the. Week. will perk you up with tasty inspiration and laughter. From one cult Instagram account, ENOTW has evolved into a website, a homewares collab and now a book – all of which retain Lucy Tweed’s distinctive sassy personality, her focus on clean ingredients and supporting local businesses, and the use of clever shortcuts to achieve deliciousness. Whether it’s a day where you want to cook, or one where you just need to get food into tummies, ENOTW will offer you something that looks and tastes amazing.

Seasonal Kitchen: 70+ Delicious Recipes from Fast Ed by Ed Halmagyi

Seasonal Kitchen offers 70+ recipes that are personal favourites of “Fast Ed” Halmagyi. He also sees it as a celebration of his almost 20 years with Better Homes and Gardens – the show that has made him one of the best known and liked on TV. Fast Ed’s understanding of seasonality has been honed during filming, where he has travelled all over Australia to showcase the flavours and produce of our diverse regions. This collection of breakfasts, snacks, mains and sweets are simple yet tasty, and perfectly suited to the relaxed, celebrated Aussie lifestyle.

Vegetable Simple by Eric Ripert

Take a sneak peek at how a Michelin-starred chef cooks and eats at home, with Eric Ripert’s Vegetable Simple. The recipes, such as seared shiitake mushrooms, and romaine lettuce grilled with Caesar dressing, offer elegant, classic flavours and many are surprisingly simple, with as few as two ingredients. Eric Ripert explains that many of the dishes are inspired by his childhood in Provence, and that they can be served as main meals or side dishes. The recipes are aimed at home cooks, supplemented by professional tricks that help readers achieve superior results.

Bowls & Broths: Build a Bowlful of Flavour from Scratch, with Dumplings, Noodles and More by Pippa Middlehurst

Just reading the title of this book makes me feel hungry – there’s nothing more nourishing and satisfying than a big bowl of broth studded with tasty bites; broths are also incredibly versatile, with flavours that span from light and clean, to rich and spicy. Pippa Middlehurst (aka @Pippy Eats) shares her passion for East- and Southeast-Asian bowl foods by showing you how to build a flavourful bowl from the bottom up, using seasoning and sauce, crunchy bits and fresh herbs, aromatics and toppings, to maximise the power of ingredients, texture and flavour. There are chapters on dumplings, noodles, hotpots, rice and even sweets, and plenty of tips on preparing ahead, catering for groups and stocking your freezer.

Linda McCartney’s Family Kitchen by Linda McCartney, with Paul, Mary & Stella McCartney

The late Linda McCartney, celebrated photographer and animal rights activist, played an important part in bringing meatless cooking into the mainstream over 30 years ago. Now her family – husband Sir Paul McCartney and daughters Mary and Stella – celebrate her legacy by updating and reissuing her book, Linda McCartney’s Family Kitchen. The 90+ recipes are entirely plant-based and suitable for beginners. Interspersed are family photographs and stories that highlight Linda’s philosophy on animal rights and sustainability. With dishes ranging from classics such as American-style pancakes, chili con carne and lemon drizzle cake, to more recent favourites including pad Thai and pulled jackfruit burgers, Linda McCartney’s Kitchen is a great resource for anyone looking for meatless/ vegetarian/ vegan recipes.

Top Cookbooks Hitting the Market this Winter

As the days get colder and shorter, there’s something very nurturing about cooking – creating hearty food that warms your hands and tummies; generating warmth and delicious smells throughout your home; or even recreating bright fresh flavours that remind you of the summer. If you do find yourself at home and keen to cook, find some fresh inspiration in this winter’s crop of new cookbooks :

The Pasta Man: the Art of Making Spectacular Pasta with 40 Recipes by Mateo Zielonka
Mateo Zielonka is an artist, and pasta is his medium – this chef has been delighting his more than 170,000 Instagram followers with hand-made pasta in a profusion of colours, shapes, and sizes. Besides the silky dough and flavourful fillings, he adds visual interest by colouring his pasta with stripes and spots (using natural ingredients). In The Pasta Man, his first book, Matteo offers beautifully-photographed, stepwise instructions on how to recreate his dishes.  Learn to master classic shapes such as pappardelle, ravioli and orecchiette, or try your hand at his whimsical coloured creations.

Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love by Yotam Ottolenghi
Shelf Love proves that necessity is the mother of invention – when the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen team turned the pandemic lockdown into a force for creativity. This tight-knit team of chefs, whose job is to dream up, experiment and develop food ideas for Ottolenghi restaurants and stores, kept their inventive spirit alive by experimenting with home cooking. The result is Shelf Love, which shows readers how to add some Ottolenghi flair – big flavours, veggie-forward, diverse influences – to your weeknight meals. With chapters on how to make the most of freezer and pantry staples, one-pot meals and tips on ingredient substitutions, Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love is a book you will want available to you all the time.

Crazy Sweet Creations by Ann Reardon
I first discovered Ann Reardon through my children (such is the way of social media).  She’s a YouTube superstar, with over 4.7 million subscribers for her baking channel, How to Cook That.  Ann Reardon combines her warm friendliness and professional understanding of food science to offer fun and informative videos about baking, desserts and debunking internet cooking hacks.  Crazy Sweet Creations showcases her most popular sweet treats – with step-by-step instructions for pastries, cupcakes, ice-cream and spectacular desserts.

Maggie’s Harvest by Maggie Beer
This reissue of Maggie’s Harvest brings a modern Australian classic to a new generation of cooks and readers. Maggie’s Harvest is a big, substantial book, divided into sections by seasons and ingredients. It is beautifully produced and packed with recipes, stories and reminiscences about a lifetime’s worth of enjoying and creating good food. Maggie Beer’s writing is evocative, with the same warm, enthusiastic tone as her TV persona, and reflecting her longtime championship of seasonal produce and the Barossa Valley food scene.

Pizza Czar: recipes and Know-how from a World-travelling Pizza Chef by Anthony Falco
Anthony Falco has the enviable job title of International Pizza Consultant – travelling the world, using his expertise and industry connections to help more restaurants develop their own distinctive and delicious pizzas. He’s been making, inventing (and eating!) pizzas for a long time, and can consistently turn out great specimens whether he’s in high-altitude Colombia or in subtropical India. Pizza Czar is Anthony Falco’s comprehensive guide to the techniques, tips and hacks of making world-class pizza.

Chasing Smoke: Cooking over Fire around the Levant by Sarit Packer, Itamar Srulovich
Chasing Smoke, the fourth book by the award-winning team behind Honey & Co, is firmly focussed on grilling – the special deliciousness of flames and smoke on meat and seafood, fruit and vegetables, even bread and cheese. This collection of recipes, whether traditionally cooked at street stalls, at home or in restaurants, highlights and contrasts the flavours of different Middle Eastern countries including Egypt, Israel, Turkey and Greece. And keen cooks who don’t have grills need not despair – the recipes provide advice on how to recreate the dishes in an oven or on the stove.

Cooking up a storm with Booko: Herb, A Cook’s Companion

Herb, A Cook’s Companion explores how to use herbs, when to deploy them, and how to capture those flavours to use when they might not be seasonally available. 

Cooking up a storm with Booko: Road Trip Cooking

From the ultimate hangover breakfast and salad in a jar, to campfire nachos and ‘apple pie to go’, Road Trip Cooking shows you how to make it all while on the road.


Cooking up a storm with Booko: Be More Vegan

Whether you’re ready to commit to a fully plant-based lifestyle or you’d just like to add a few meat-free dishes to your diet, Be More Vegan can help.