Category Archives: Food

Savouring Summer with Food

Beaches, swimming, holidays, reading and sun loungers. There are so many great things about Summer time and one of our favourites is the food that we get to enjoy. Summer time food is full of flavour, sharing and taking your time to enjoy meal with friends and family. We have found six tasty books that will help you inject a little extra into your Summer meals whether you choose to whip up a cheese platter, blend an icy cold drink, add a little spice to a dish, or take your time to marinate. 

Before you read on, please make sure you have eaten today because these books are sure to make you hungry just reading about them!

Summer: A Cookbook by Marnie  Hanel

Whether for cocktails and bites at the lake house or a come one, come all dinner with friends, Summer has more than 100 seasonally inspired recipes guided by the principle that summer cooking means keeping things loose (and the oven off when it’s just too hot out). Fuel up for a surf day with a basket of Fantastic Focaccia Sandwiches, host lunch on the deck with a Grilled Shrimp Louie salad, pass around the beach picnic fare (hello, Spicy Pineapple Spears and Landlubber’s Lobster Rolls). It’s a cookbook and so much more, with perfect party menus – how to choose between a Paella Party and Grilled Rib Revelry? – tiki cocktails, Five-Minute Frose, tips on building a beach fire pit. And to wrap it all up on the sweetest note, what could be better than Six Sensational Ice Cream Sandwiches?

Fabulous Food Boards by Anna Helm Baxter

Whether you want to make a weeknight meal more interesting or wow guests at your next get-together, Fabulous Food Boards! delivers with incredible presentation ideas that go beyond the classic charcuterie board. This over 200-page cookbook explores different themes and taste palettes on every spread. Food boards are amazingly versatile and are sure to have a little something for everyone at your table, even the most selective eaters. Through beautiful, full-colour photographs and step-by-step assembly instructions, you’ll be able to recreate the artful and unique arrangements of each food board.

Inspired Grazing by Laura Billington

Inspired Grazing is designed to spark creativity and excitement by encouraging personality and individuality in every platter. At its heart, this book aims to fuel a passion for grazing, whether you’re a kitchen connoisseur or a cheeseboard newbie. Over 75 recipes provide ideas for every occasion and take you on a tour of the seasons, alongside hints and tips on pairing flavours, building your own beautiful boards, and bringing that personal touch to all your creations. With stunning photography, the book is packed with grazing boards so beautifully crafted, they almost look too good to eat! It also includes recipes to suit little grazers, as well as extras such as Cheese Straws, Caramelised Onion Chutney, Cinnamon Candied Pecans, Chocolate Hazelnut Dip and much more.

Taco Loco by Jonas Cramby

This one is an oldie, but it is a goodie. In Taco Loco Jonas Cramby takes us  on a trip through one of the world’s most exciting street food cuisines, recreating all-time street-food favourites with delicious recipes that are bursting with authenticity. Crunch your way through the crispiest corn tostada, feast on a classic quesadilla, and then cool off with a thirst-quenching fruit agua fresca. Jonas will teach you all the tips and tricks to recreate these mouthwatering dishes at home, from the best recipes for antojitos (snacks), to dulces (sweets) and bebidas (drinks). Plus, you’ll discover how to make traditional sugar skulls to celebrate Día de los Muertos, the simplest way to to make the ultimate tortillas, and the trendiest tunes to ask a mariachi band to play! And, of course, you will learn how to make tacos. Lots of tacos. An incredible amount of tacos.

World of Flavour by Matt Preston

Matt Preston’s mantra is flavour. Tasty and easy-to-make food that puts a smile on your face is what he’s all about. In this colourful new cookbook, Matt brings together our favourite, flavour-filled dishes from all over the world – from carbonara and chicken korma to potsticker dumplings and Portuguese custard tarts – with the intriguing and myth-busting stories behind them. Some recipes are in their classic style, others have a special ‘Matt twist’, and all of them use easily found ingredients. With Matt Preston’s World of Flavour, you’ll not only have the ultimate delicious recipes to perfect and enjoy, but also their surprising histories and facts about them to share around the dinner table.

Rubs by John Whalen

Rubs is a game changer and a sure fire way to up your bbq game. This book will be your guide to season any dish to create your own signature concoction. 

There are over 175 recipes for rubs, marinades, glazes, and bastes along with instructions and explanations for the types of proteins on which each one works best. Rubs is a little handbook that is perfect for those who bbq, enjoy cooking in the great outdoors, along with recipes you can use in the kitchen. With this flavour-packed handbook at the ready, you won’t believe how good these easy-to-follow recipes will make your food taste.

Enjoy!

Party Ideas to Welcome 2022

Start 2022 in an upbeat mood with delicious food and drink. Whether you are staying home or travelling, keeping things low-key or expecting a crowd, now is the time to take a break, mark the end of this eventful year, and make wishes for the next. And to help you relax, Team Booko has done the work for you, and gathered some great food and drink ideas for this holiday season:

Gin Made Me Do It: 60 Beautifully Botanical Cocktails by Jassy Davis

If you’re excited about the profusion of flavoured gins available, but don’t know where to start, Jassy Davis is here to help you. In Gin Made Me Do It, gin aficionado and cocktail maven Jassy Davis explains everything you need to know: how to choose the perfect blend, mix the ultimate martini, and deliver delicious cocktails for every occasion. Her recipes range from classics such as the Aviator and the Vesper, to more adventurous styles incorporating yuzu, to recipes for DIY gin infusions . Gin Made Me Do It showcases the versatile potential of gin – its refreshing herbaceousness isn’t just for summer refreshment, but can add depth and flavour to cocktails for any season and occasion.

Celebrate: Plant-Based Recipes for Every Occasion by Bettina Campolucci Bordi

Celebrate does what its title says – it offers a collection of delicious plant-based recipes for special occasions and entertaining. Each section offers a complete menu for an occasion such as Christmas, Halloween, birthdays, or picnics. Bettina Campolucci Bordi has focussed on making her recipes accessible and affordable, focussing on common, seasonal produce and not relying on exotic ingredients; she also shows us clever ways to maximise yield and minimise kitchen waste. Sugar-free, gluten-free, free-from and seasonal alternatives are provided for each recipe, so nobody is excluded. Whether you or your loved ones are vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian, or just want some inspiration for plant-based dishes, this will become your go-to guide!

Zero Proof: 90 Non-alcoholic Drinks for Mindful Drinking by Elva Ramirez

No-alcohol and low-alcohol drinks are a major trend right now, driven by a desire for healthier, more mindful drinking. In Zero Proof, Elva Ramirez, walks us through a range of non-alcoholic craft cocktails as imagined by top bars in London, New York, Paris, Mexico City and more. From refreshing botanicals to spicy herbals and velvety chocolate flavours, these lush and sophisticated recipes showcase the creativity of top bartenders, who strive to recreate the full sensations and elegant cocktail experience without the alcohol. Zero Proof offers plenty of inspiration, as well as a wealth of techniques, on how to take your zero-proof drinks to the next level.

Poppy Cooks: The Food You Need by Poppy O’Toole

Tiktok sensation Poppy O’Toole is the real deal – behind her entertaining cooking videos (100 million views and counting), cheerful personality and her infectious enthusiasm for potatoes (she calls herself the Potato Queen), lie some serious (Michelin-trained) chef skills. And now, in Poppy Cooks, she offers the full details on how to recreate her unfussy-but-totally-delicious dishes. Poppy Cooks is divided into twelve sections, each starting with a core skill/recipe – such as pasta sauce, roast chicken or salad dressing; she then shows how each core recipe can be used to create other types of dishes – the Staple, the Brunch, the Potato Hero and the Fancy AF recipes for entertaining. Perfect for novice cooks (especially teens and young adults) wanting to learn some great standby dishes, as well as the skills and confidence to adapt them to suit any and every occasion.

The Martini: Perfection in a Glass by Matt Hranek

Martinis are one of the best-known cocktails in the world – but there’s much more to them than that “shaken-not-stirred” mythology.  Man-about-town Matt Hranek (who has already written about another iconic drink, The Negroni), is here to share his enthusiasm and knowledge about everything martini-related, from its nineteenth-century-origins, to the low-down on ingredients (Matt Hranek favours the classic gin martini over vodka), methods, garnish, equipment, and glassware; and to where to get the best martinis around the world. There are also recipes for 35 different variations, from famous bars, famous drinkers, and the author’s own repertoire. The stylish photography matches the sophistication of this deliciously simple drink. The Martini makes a handy reference for your drinks collection, as well as an elegant gift for fans of the drink.

The Kitchen Studio: Culinary Creations by Artists by Phaidon Editors

Is The Kitchen Studio an art book or a cookbook? Maybe it’s both – with a bit of autobiography thrown in. The Kitchen Studio is the result of asking 70 acclaimed contemporary artists to contribute their most exquisite and meaningful culinary creations. Some have responded literally, with family recipes such as chickpea pancakes; others have done so professionally, showing the art they have been creating with food; while others have tackled the brief playfully and with political awareness, such as the “patriotic jelly” in red, white and blue, studded with toy soldiers. The Kitchen Studio is an unexpected, creative and fascinating fusion of food and art; incorporating a range of sketches, photographs, collages, paintings, and personal snaps, each contribution is intensely personal, offering glimpses of the artist’s history, influence as well as their artistic practice.

Inspiration for Festive Food with Booko

It’s been a while since we have been able to celebrate with extended family and friends around our festive table. So this year why not take the opportunity to go all out and dazzle your guests with something a little special. It doesn’t have to be expensive at all, some of our favourite family recipes use the most humble ingredients, but when it’s made with love and ready to share, it is all the more delicious. 

Make yourself a cup of tea, grab a piece of festive gingerbread, sit back and get ready to be inspired. 

Christmas Table: all the recipes you need for the festive season by The Australian Women’s Weekly

While this beautiful book contains all the recipes you’d expect for ham, turkey, sides, desserts and puddings, this year they have taken a modern approach to the season’s fare. Christmas is a special time of year for indulging in food and fun with your loved ones. Create your own traditions, have a seafood buffet instead of a formal sit down meal or celebrate with a barbecue on the beach. How ever you choose to celebrate, the ever-helpful Women’s Weekly will help you through the festive season in style.

Feast: 100 generous dishes to share by Miguel Maestre

In Feast, Miguel shares his absolute favourite recipes to enjoy with family and friends. There are big, satisfying dinners as well as lots of smaller dishes to mix and match in classic share-plate style. Miguel’s food is a loving nod to the dishes of his Spanish heritage, but is also very firmly based in the modern Australian kitchen. Whether you’re getting together for brunch, looking for something fast on a weeknight or to try some new dishes for a family celebration, there are so many bold and exciting flavours here to discover. These are generous meals from a big-hearted chef who knows that simple, good food makes everyone smile.

Everything I Love to Cook by Neil Perry

Sixteen years since the publication of Australian national treasure Neil Perry’s groundbreaking bible for home cooks, The Food I Love, comes a bookend to that masterwork: Everything I Love to Cook. Neil’s influence on the food culture of Australia and beyond has been profound: inspiring us to try new flavours, making simple food simply brilliant, and tirelessly supporting the producers who sustainably grow the food we love to eat.

Now he revisits legendary dishes from his flagship restaurants like Rockpool Bar & Grill and modern classics from his long-running ‘Good Weekend’ column, as well as new favourites he – and we – can’t get enough of. With tips and techniques to set you up for success every time, Neil is on a mission to boost your kitchen know-how and confidence, covering everything from basic knife skills to the art of barbecuing, dressing a salad and mastering a roast dinner.

Whether you want the perfect steak sandwich or a comforting bowl of pasta, a southern Thai-style chicken curry or classic tiramisu, here are more than 230 recipes you’ll love to cook.

Home by Stephanie Alexander

Home is a collection of more than 200 original recipes by Stephanie Alexander. Each recipe is a finely crafted tribute to her passions and preferences for produce and flavour, and each reflects her consummate skill in communicating the fundamentals of technique. There are detailed recipes for the more ambitious home cook, but also simple ways to combine beautiful ingredients to make dishes for everyday eating. Essays on people, places and experiences offer inspiration to readers looking to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of food. Beautifully designed and photographed, Home is a celebration of the sensual and social delights of food and an essential addition to any kitchen shelf. The recipes – classic, masterful and delicious – will be cooked, shared and enjoyed for years to come.

Gathering: Setting the Natural Table by Gemma Ingalls, Andrew Ingalls, Kristen Caissie

Gathering showcases creative tabletop ideas and styles for all seasons. These stylish interiors feature local, artisanal floral designs and handmade objects, capturing the current trend of living and decorating more mindfully and with one-of-a-kind objects.

Exploring every aspect of tabletop design, with setting ideas for different seasons and situations, this volume presents tabletops in situ in a range of stylish spaces designed by the creatives and artists who live there (and sometimes who are the makers themselves). From rustic country living to urban eco-chic, what these beautiful interiors have in common is a desire to bring nature indoors and an intentional and personal approach to design.

Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer’s Guide by Cecily Wong, Dylan Thuras

From those ever-curious, ever-quirky minds behind the #1 New York Times bestselling Atlas Obscura comes an unputdownable guide that marries our endless appetite for travel with our insatiable interest in food. Continent by continent, country by country, Gastro Obscura takes up the mantle of Atlas Obscura to radically expand our sense of wonder about the world – in this case, what humans eat and drink, which turns out to be far more marvellous than we could ever imagine. Discover English bog butter. ‘Threads of God’ pasta (only three women know how to make it). The best black bean fritter restaurant in Brazil. The world’s largest floating restaurant. A croissant museum in Poland. Focusing as much on food’s place in our lives as well as our bellies. 

Enjoy!

Booko’s Gift Guide for Yourself this Christmas

There are a number of different ways that people shop for Christmas; some wait until the last minute, others buy well ahead of time, some take their time shopping for the perfect gift for each special person in their lives. Then there’s that group of special individuals (just like a few Booko team members) that are brilliant, in fact masters, at shopping for themselves and love to reward their Christmas shopping capabilities with a ‘one for you and one for me’ gifting approach.

Today’s post is for all of you that love to wrap a little something to yourself and pop it under the tree. Top tip – you can keep this up for years if you say it’s from the family pet.  

Taste – My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci

From award-winning actor and food obsessive Stanley Tucci comes an intimate and irresistible memoir of life in and out of the kitchen. Before Stanley Tucci became a household name with The Devil Wears Prada, The Hunger Games, and the perfect Negroni, he grew up in an Italian American family that spent every night around the table. Taste is an intimate reflection on the intersection of food and life, filled with anecdotes about growing up in Westchester, New York, preparing for and filming the foodie films Big Night and Julie Julia, falling in love over dinner, and teaming up with his wife to create conversation-starting meals for their children. Each morsel of this gastronomic journey through good times and bad, five-star meals and burnt dishes, is as heartfelt and delicious as the last. Written with Stanley’s signature wry humour and nostalgia, Taste is a heartwarming read for anyone who knows the power of a home-cooked meal.

Why Did I Buy That? Fashion mistakes, life lessons by Kirstie Clements

Musings, style tips and thoughts on being a woman from Australia’s leading fashion insider, internationally-bestselling author and former editor of Vogue, Kirstie Clements – all delivered with a good dose of wit, common sense and chutzpah. Kirstie Clements has seen trends come and go, from the sublime to the ridiculous, but she knows real style when she sees it. This is about how to spot those wardrobe gems, from a classic loafer that makes you feel comfortable in your own skin, to a beautiful winter coat to take you through more than one season. Why Did I Buy That? is for those with an interest in style and fashion who want to know what to wear, what to buy and how to age stylishly in these changing times. Sharing personal stories, musings on fashion trends and thoughts on everything from gender to selfies, Why Did I Buy That? is about how to successfully edit your wardrobe and lifestyle, how to live decadently on a budget and how to spend your money more wisely. Oh, and how to kick ass in your career with a well-chosen blazer. It’s also for those of us who want to look good in our thirties and beyond without becoming a slave to fashion (or the surgeon’s knife). Including loads of clever style hints and tips and a foreword by Brooke Boney, Why Did I Buy That? will take you by the hand and help you confidently navigate the often-challenging world of fashion trends and impulse buys. Seasonal updates allowed.

Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love by Yotam Ottolenghi

This is Ottolenghi, unplugged. The Ottolenghi Test Kitchen team takes you on a journey through your kitchen cupboards, creating inspired recipes using humble ingredients. Relaxed, flexible home cooking from Yotam Ottolenghi and his superteam. Whether they’re conjuring up new recipes or cooking for themselves at home, the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen team do what we all do – they raid their kitchens. But then, they turn whatever they find into approachable creations with an ‘Ottolenghi’ twist. This instinct is in perfect sync with recent times, when we’ve all been standing in front of our kitchen shelves, our cupboards and our fridges, wondering what to cook with what we’ve got; how to put a can of chickpeas or a bag of frozen peas to good use, instead of taking an extra trip to the shops. For the first time, the team welcome us into their creative space. These dishes pack all the punch and edge we expect from Ottolenghi, but offer more flexibility to make them our own, using what we’ve got to hand. There’s the ultimate guide to creamy dreamy hummus, a one-pan route to confit tandoori chickpeas and a tomato salad that rules them all. This book is all about feeding ourselves and our families with less stress and less fuss, but with all the ‘wow’ of an Ottolenghi meal. It’s a notebook to scribble on and add to, to take its ethos and absolutely make it your own.

The Flower Hunter: Seasonal flowers inspired by nature and gathered from the garden by Lucy Hunter

Lucy’s evocative, gently humorous words accompany her glorious photographs and exquisite floral arrangements, as she encourages the reader to marvel at the intricate cycles of the natural world, develop their own innate creativity and to look for beauty in the everyday. Her garden provides the raw materials for Lucy’s floral artistry; breathtaking naturalistic arrangements with the painterly beauty and flourish of a Dutch still life. Simple projects accompany Lucy’s text, from drying garden flowers for an autumnal wreath to making your own journals and natural dyes to assembling lavish arrangements that showcase the voluptuous beauty of garden roses. Lucy believes that we all have a creative voice buried deep within. The Flower Hunter will encourage you to find your own creativity and help it to blossom.

The New Hustle: Don’t work harder, just work better by Emma Isaacs 

What if we’ve been served a big, fat lie about what it takes to be successful at work? Pro-hustlers will tell you living in a work-more, sleep-less world is how we get ahead. But on the back of the pandemic, entrepreneur and Business Chicks founder Emma Isaacs believes the hustle is now dead. Moreover, traditional ways of working – long commutes, unproductive meetings and outdated systems of bureaucracy – actually don’t work at all. Emma believes we don’t have to work harder; we just need to work better. In fact, we can slash our hours, take shortcuts and still get more done – without feeling depleted. In The New Hustle, Emma condenses her wisdom into 77 anti-rules for maximum efficiency. Drawing inspiration from her team, Business Chicks members and the many entrepreneurs and leaders who have graced the Business Chicks stage, she will teach us to embrace radical flexibility, make quick decisions, work smarter and say no to the things that don’t matter, so we can say yes to the things that do. Written with humour, insight and a serving of tough love, The New Hustle is your go-to for more productive, creative and meaningful work by one of Australia’s most unconventional and effective entrepreneurs: a best-selling author, mum of six – and a woman determined to start an anti-hustle revolution.

The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music by Dave Grohl

So, Dave Grohl wrote a book! Having entertained the idea for years, and even offered a few questionable opportunities (‘It’s a piece of cake! Just do four hours of interviews, find someone else to write it, put your face on the cover, and voila!’), He decided to write stories just as he has always done, in his own hand.

“The joy that I have felt from chronicling these tales is not unlike listening back to a song that I’ve recorded and can’t wait to share with the world, or reading a primitive journal entry from a stained notebook, or even hearing my voice bounce between the Kiss posters on my wall as a child. This certainly doesn’t mean that I’m quitting my day job, but it does give me a place to shed a little light on what it’s like to be a kid from Springfield, Virginia, walking through life while living out the crazy dreams I had as young musician. From hitting the road with Scream at 18 years old, to my time in Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, jamming with Iggy Pop or playing at the Academy Awards or dancing with AC/DC and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, drumming for Tom Petty or meeting Sir Paul McCartney at Royal Albert Hall, bedtime stories with Joan Jett or a chance meeting with Little Richard, to flying halfway around the world for one epic night with my daughtersthe list goes on. I look forward to focusing the lens through which I see these memories a little sharper for you with much excitement”.

Enjoy!