Category Archives: Holiday

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.

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.


Our favourite children’s books on the market

Ahh… children’s books. We love their ability to share big ideas in fun, engaging ways; tell tales of mischief, feelings and friendship; bring characters to life through unexpected adventures; delight budding imaginations and inspire little people to become life-long readers. 

We have scoured the internet to find six of the most delightful and heart-warming children’s books that we know you are going to love reading these school holidays. 

Oli and Basil: The Dashing Frogs of Travel by Megan Hess 

Meet Oli and Basil, the dashing frogs of travel, in Megan Hess’s first World of Claris story! Two frogs dream of flying, but don’t realise that they’ll need each other to take to the skies. Oli is an artist who dreams up wild, fabulous machines, but he doesn’t know how to build them. And Basil is a master craftsman who can build anything from scratch, except he doesn’t know what to build. If only there was a way that these two dashing frogs could become friends. From the beloved creator of the Claris stories comes this heart-warming adventure about the joys of newfound friendship. You can see Megan’s other books here.

Malala Yousafzai (Little People, Big Dreams) by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara 

When Malala was born in Mingora, Pakistan, her father was determined she would have every opportunity that a boy would have. She loved getting an education, but when a hateful regime came to power, girls were no longer allowed to go to school. Malala spoke out in public about this, which made her a target for violence. She was shot in the left side of her head and woke up in hospital in England. Finally after long months and many surgeries, Malala recovered, and resolved to become an activist for girls’ education. Now a recent Oxford graduate, Malala continues to fight for a world where all girls can learn and lead. This powerful book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the activist’s life. You can read Malala’s own story here.

Bedtime is Boring by David Campbell 

Billy Bunny REALLY doesn’t want to go to bed. He’s NOT tired! Not even a little bit. It may be bedtime, but Billy is NOT going quietly… See if Billy wins the bedtime battle in this hilarious sequel to Stupid Carrots, written by (a quite tired) David Campbell.

Maybe…by Chris Haughton 

Chris Haughton is a fan favourite in our household. Maybe is another funny, suspenseful and keenly observed cautionary tale about pushing boundaries and indulging your more mischievous, cheeky side (when nobody is looking). Three little monkeys, and their big monkey, are sat high up on their branch in the forest canopy. “Ok, monkeys! I’m off,” says the big monkey. “Now remember. Whatever you do, do NOT go down to the mango tree. There are tigers down there.” Mmm . mangos! think the little monkeys. They LOVE mangos. Hmm … maybe . maybe they could just look at the mangos? That’d be ok, right? You can see Chris’ other books here.

With a Little Kelp from Our Friends: The Secret Life of Seaweed by Mathew Bate 

Did you know that feeding seaweed to cows can reduce the methane in their burps and farts by more than half? Or that a forest of kelp absorbs more carbon than a tropical rainforest of the same size? We can even make edible bioplastics from seaweed! Beyond the tideline, there are around 10,000 types of seaweed. An essential ingredient for life on Earth, seaweed has sustained animals and people for many thousands of years. From ancient history and mythology to modern uses in food, health and medicine, discover how seriously cool seaweed is, and how it can even help tackle climate change. Complete with a guide to common seaweeds and foraging guidelines, this charmingly illustrated picture book will educate and inspire, and encourage respect for the natural world.

Reggie Red by Josie Layton 

With freckles and curls so big and so red, Reggie felt worried…’Just look at my head! Others have hair that is brown, blonde and flat, How can I make MY hair look like that?’ Reggie Red tells the story of a little girl who discovers that beauty is far more than what you see on the outside.

Enjoy!

Books are better than chocolate (though sometimes it could be a tie) – Here are six of the best chocolate books on the market

It is that time of year when eating chocolate and buttery buns for breakfast is not only acceptable, but expected. So we are jumping on board the chocolate bandwagon and have rustled up six fabulous chocolatey cookbooks that will definitely give you a much needed sugar hit this easter. So pop the kettle on, make yourself a tasty cup of tea and why not heat up an eastery bun while you’re at it. 

The Ultimate Book of Chocolate by Melanie Dupuis

In The Ultimate Book of Chocolate trained pastry chef Melanie Dupuis will teach you how to make your chocolate dreams become a reality. Learn how to temper, mould and decorate like a pro with the complete guide to everything chocolate. Melanie guides the reader with step-by-step pictures and detailed instructions on all the essential techniques, from tempering to making ganache, chocolate mousse, creme anglaise, biscuit bases, meringue and more. The main recipes include every chocolate dessert you could ever imagine, from caramel bonbons to shortbread to Easter eggs, truffles, macarons, cakes, swiss rolls, eclairs and more. This is a masterclass in making chocolate desserts from an expert pastry chef, and is truly a chocoaholic’s dream book!

Chocolat by Pierre Marcolini

Belgium’s foremost practitioner of the art of fine chocolate making shares his passion and his knowledge in this extravagantly beautiful volume. Pierre Marcolini’s confections have been acclaimed as the world’s most delectable chocolate creations, and his book is a delicious immersion into the world of fine chocolate and a tribute to its majesty. Marcolini was the first chocolatier to create his chocolates according to a bean-to-bar philosophy an idea born from the realisation that just as the finest wines reflect the terroir in which the grapes are grown, so too would chocolate benefit from careful selection from specific estates. Here, he reveals the trade secrets of the art of fine chocolate making: learn how to roast, grind, and temper the chocolate at home just like the professionals and master all aspects of chocolate making. His recipes run the gamut of chocolate possibilities irresistible creamy sauces, decadent pastries, bars, truffles, and even a smattering of savoury dishes and are beautifully presented and gorgeously photographed in this handsome volume that no chocolate lover should be without.

Lonely Planet’s Global Chocolate Tour by Lonely Planet 

Chock-full of the world’s tastiest chocolate experiences, the latest book in the Lonely Planet Global Tour series is sure to satisfy the sweet tooth of cocoa lovers near and far. From South America to Europe to Australia, Lonely Planet’s Global Chocolate Tour includes master chocolatiers and artisan producers, exotic cocoa plantations, and must-visit shops, plus illustrated spreads on the history, production, and science of chocolate making. Features 150 chocolate experiences from around the world with full-colour photos guaranteed to make mouths water.

Chocolate by Ferrandi Paris

This is the ultimate reference on cooking with chocolate from Ferrandi, the Parisian school of culinary arts that was dubbed the “Harvard of gastronomy” by Le Monde newspaper. This book offers a complete chocolate course for the home chef from the world-renowned professional culinary school Ferrandi Paris. It presents comprehensive techniques for working with chocolate, from tempering and decorative flourishes to recipes such as molten chocolate cake. From rich chocolate ganache to melt-in-your mouth truffles, this book leads aspiring bakers through every step-from basic to special occasion skills. Starting with advice on how to equip your kitchen, to essential techniques, fillings, and decorations, the books covers everything from quick desserts to holiday specialties and from frozen ice creams and sorbets to candies. Ferrandi offers an intensive course in the art of baking with chocolate. Written by the school’s experienced teaching team of master chefs and adapted for the home cook, this fully illustrated cookbook provides all of the fundamental techniques and recipes that are the building blocks of the illustrious French chocolate tradition.

Cocoa : An Exploration of Chocolate by Sue Quinn

Chocolate has beguiled us for millennia. From the spiced drinks sipped by the elite in ancient Mesoamerica to the artisan bars spiked with intriguing flavours we devour today, chocolate has always had a magical pull on our senses. Exotic, indulgent, hedonistic and sensual, its power over us somehow exceeds the sum of its parts. This ground-breaking exploration of chocolate, by award-winning writer and lifelong cocoa enthusiast Sue Quinn, will intrigue, inspire, surprise and fascinate you in equal measure. In these pages is a wealth of cultural, historical and culinary information about the story of chocolate through the ages and across the world, illustrated with vintage packaging, iconic adverts and stunning illustrations. Interspersed throughout the book are 80 tantalising sweet and savoury recipes, such as Salted Caramel and Lime Chocolate Sauce; Triple Chocolate and Liquorice Cake with Treacle Syrup; Spelt, Cranberry and Cocoa Nib Crackers; and Sticky Slow-Roasted Beef Short Ribs with Cocoa and Maple.

The Chocolate Addict’s Baking Book by Sabine Venier

Sabine Venier, founder of Also the Crumbs Please, shares her favourite chocolate recipes, including Dark Chocolate Almond Truffles, Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Skillet Cookie, S’mores Chocolate Cheesecake Bars, Chocolate Fudge Birthday Cake, Black Forest Cupcakes and Fudge Brownie Chocolate Ice Cream. Sabine’s rich, creative treats go beyond the basic cake and brownies to help readers discover new ways to get their chocolate fix and incorporate it into their baking. Perfect for bakers looking for that next deliciously chocolaty recipe or as a gift for the chocoholic in your life, this book is the ultimate guide to all things chocolate.

Enjoy!