We seem to have a bit of Jamie Oliver and Donna Hay on high rotation at the moment, what’s your go to cook book when cooking at home?
In the lead-up to Fathers Day, we are celebrating Dads of all ages and levels of experience. If you know a First Time Dad, here’s how to help them celebrate their first Father’s Day – they need all the laughs, encouragement and sympathy they can get!
Once upon a time, Jordan Watson made a spoof video teaching his mate How to Hold a Baby. That video went viral, and a new YouTube-and-Facebook star was born. How to Dad now offers advice and solidarity in hundreds of “instructional” videos and two How to Dad books. How to Dad is great because he’s so ordinary – experienced parents will recognise all his tips and tricks – and his deadpan goofiness will make you snort with laughter. Lots of reassurance and inspiration for newbie dads who want to be hands-on but don’t know how.
The creative team of Eric Veille and Pauline Martin also excel in deadpan humour. Team Booko loves their take on Mums, and now they turn their attention to Dads. When a little boy accidentally loses track of his dad, he heads to the Lost Dads Home to try to find him. Here he finds dads of all shapes and sizes – but will he find the right one? The Lost Dads Home celebrates dads in all their weird and wonderful glory.
You don’t have to be the biggest or strongest or smartest to be amazing. In Stories for Boys who Dare to be Different, Ben Brooks challenges gender stereotypes by profiling 100 boys and men who have made important contributions to society, despite not being “prince charming, dragon slayers or mischievous pranksters”. The subjects came from many different countries and eras; some are famous, such as Roald Dahl, Barack Obama and John Lennon, while the lesser-known are no-less impressive for their selflessness, perseverance and sense of humanity. Stories for Boys who Dare to be Different is a powerful read-aloud for Dads to share with their children.
Foodie Dads can show their culinary flair – and their love for their families – by cooking some delicious, family- friendly meals; and Hetty McKinnon’s latest book is here to offer some fresh inspiration. Through her previous bestsellers Community and Neighbourhood, Hetty has become known for vegetable-based salads and meals that are hearty, flavourful and great for sharing; now she puts her own spin on a multicultural range of comfort foods. If you love foods that are simple but generous, and if you love the idea of creating family rituals, then Family is definitely a book for you.
Now that you are responsible for a tiny, vulnerable human being, maintaining your health (both mental and physical) is more important than ever. Dr Ron Ehrlich, a dentist and holistic health advocate, sets out to understand what stress means and how it impacts our health and wellbeing. Based on his holistic outlook, Dr Ron argues that problems in one area will have repercussions over our entire body. He shows how we can take control of our health by strengthening the “five pillars” of sleep, breathing, nutrition, movement, and thought – which will help us become more resilient, and able to be the best selves and parents we can be.
Parenting a newborn involves spending a lot of time holding the baby – and sitting around. Make the most of that downtime by listening to an audiobook. Catch up on a recent release, such as the Illuminae trilogy by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – it is a huge, magnificent and acclaimed space opera. The audiobook version has appeared on many “Best Of” lists – with a cast of twenty narrators, this is more a performance than a simple read-aloud. Illuminae is also available for instant download from Audible. Volume 2, Gemina, is also available as an audiobook. Alternatively, rediscover a classic, such as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone as read by Stephen Fry.
Preparing and sharing food is an important part of many festivals, and Christmas is no exception. Celebrate the culinary side of Christmas, whether you prefer a traditional meal with all the trimmings, or something different, more modern or casual. Here’s some delectable inspiration from our best-loved cooks; from guidance on how to host your first Christmas lunch, to the perfect gift for your foodie friend, or a bit of indulgence for yourself, these are books that will entertain, delight and inspire:
First up, two trusted guides to help you achieve a stylish and delicious feast, year after year. For those who prefer their recipes to be detailed and precise, you’d love Delia Smith; Delia’s Happy Christmas will show you, in meticulous detail, how to cook all the traditional Christmas dishes. For those who prefer a more relaxed vibe and modern flavours, look to Jamie Oliver – he also loves the classics, but he’s not afraid to take shortcuts, and he offers a big range of alternative options, including vegetarian and vegan dishes. Both Jamie’s Christmas and Delia’s Happy Christmas are much more than just a collection of recipes – they are complete how-to guides, and include planning tips, shopping lists, decorating ideas, and recipes for gifts and for leftovers – in short, everything you need to help you survive and succeed at entertaining during the entire holiday season!
This latest book from Yotam Ottolenghi – co-written with pastry chef Helen Goh – makes an indulgent gift both to yourself, or to a loved one. Sweet is a book about baking, desserts and confectionery, based on the delicious offerings in Ottolenghi restaurants. Honouring Helen Goh’s Australian background, many of the recipes are inspired by Antipodean classics, including pavlovas, Anzac biscuits and even a coffee-flavoured “Ottolenghified” Eskimo Pie. The recipes are supported by extensive notes on ingredients and cooking techniques. Sweet is also about the celebratory joy of sharing sweet treats – so browse here for your showstopping dessert for Christmas Day, ideas for food gifts, or for the perfect cake or biscuits to make your home super welcoming.
In our current obsession with everything Scandi, there’s curiously little attention on one Swedish icon – Smorgasbord. This tradition – of a table laden with good breads and savoury toppings for DIY open sandwiches – is perfect for relaxed holiday entertaining. Johanna Kindvall’s guide includes recipes ranging from perennial favourites such as rye bread, chicken liver pate and Swedish meatballs, to contemporary and seasonal specialties such as elderflower cured trout and butter-fried mushrooms with walnuts. There are also recipes for pickles, sauces and infused aquavit liqueurs. Get some healthy and elegant ideas for an everyday lunch, or for a feast!
I’ve already mentioned The Christmas Chronicles in my blog post about Creating your own Christmas Traditions; but I love this book so much that I am including it again! The Christmas Chronicles is Nigel Slater’s love letter to winter – the crisp cold air, the cosiness indoors, the food and festive traditions at that time of the year. Arranged like a diary (from early November to early February), each entry is a mix of anecdote, recipe and folklore – there’s interesting stories on candles, and pantomimes, and (of course) an extensive discussion about plum pudding. Fascinating and curiously intimate, The Christmas Chronicles will take you to a sparkling wintery Christmas, wherever you are in the world.
Baking cookies and biscuits are part of the Christmas traditions of many countries, and a Cookie Swap / Exchange is a fun way to meet up, share and have fun. Have each guest bring a batch of cookies, enough to share with everyone. At the party, sample the treats, mix and match the cookies and provide pretty packaging, so that everyone leaves with a beautifully wrapped cookie assortment. The Great Christmas Cookie Swap Cookbook offers large-batch recipes perfect for sharing. With recipes for goodies including blondies, chocolate crinkles and apricot almond squares, it offers plenty of inspiration for hosting your own Cookie Swap.
So you had a great time last night at your end-of-year work do, but now you are feeling a bit under the weather. And 25 of your relatives are coming for a “casual” pre-Christmas catchup. The Hungover Cookbook (or rather, The Hungoevr Cookbook) promises to help you perk up, ready for another day – and another drink. Drawing on the wit and wisdom of P.G. Wodehouse, Milton Crawford classifies hangovers into six different types, before prescribing appropriate cures – actually quite delicious-sounding recipes including lemon pancakes and breakfast burgers – to suit each type. And for those who really can’t manage more than a phone call just now, the author has thoughtfully offered a range of takeaway suggestions in addition to recipes.
Six more weeks to go…. as my stress level rises with the growing list of things-to-do-before-year’s-end, so does my excitement and anticipation for the festive season. For me, year’s end is the delicious time of year – a whirlwind of catch-ups and family birthdays as well as Christmas and New Year – all made more memorable with delicious and plentiful food. No matter what your cultural or religious traditions, it’s a great time to wind down and catch up with loved ones – and the following books will provide food inspiration whatever the occasion. Of course, half the fun in entertaining is browsing cookbooks and choosing the right dishes….
It has taken Jamie Oliver seventeen years of fine-tuning to achieve the recipes worthy of his “epic” Christmas cookbook. He’s planning to do only one Christmas cookbook, so he wants to do it right. Jamie’s Christmas is not just a collection of recipes – it is a manual that aims to guide and reassure. There are plans, tips and shortcuts to minimise the stress of entertaining a crowd. Besides show-stopping mains and desserts (for vegetarians and vegans as well as meat-eaters), there are extensive chapters on sauces, salads, sweet treats and edible gifts. Happy days!
Antipodeans looking forward to a summery Christmas (think fresh seafood, juicy mangoes and ripe cherries) are forging a new style of Christmas feasting. And the Test Kitchen of the Australian Women’s Weekly – synonymous with foolproof recipes – is ready to guide you with step-by-step instructions. Celebrating Christmas has everything from menus to drinks, and ideas for decorations and leftovers. There are recipes for both casual and formal occasions including brunches, lunches and dinners. Whether you prefer a traditional or modern gathering, Celebrating Christmas has great ideas for you.
The premise of Basics to Brilliance is, well, brilliant. Take some basic recipes – and Donna Hay is here to show you how they should be done – then expand your repertoire by learning some variations with wow factor. Thus a plain grilled steak can be transformed into beef skewers with a fresh and zingy chimichurri sauce. This formula is a great way for beginner cooks to experiment and gain confidence, while giving experienced cooks fresh ideas. Basics to Brilliance offers lots of inspiration for both home cooking and entertaining.
Age and parenthood are mellowing Anthony Bourdain (just a little), and his latest book, Appetites, reflects this life stage. It’s a collection of family-oriented recipes that should appeal to even the fussiest of youngsters. The dishes range from scrambled eggs to Italian, Malaysian and Korean classics, striking a good balance between comforting and exotic, and reflecting Bourdain’s extensive travels. Add some irreverent commentary and a cover by Ralph Steadman (known for his work with Hunter S. Thompson) and the result shows that Anthony Bourdain hasn’t lost his gonzo cool.
For many people, food forms an integral part of memories and traditions – whether it’s birthday cake or greasy fry-ups – and Stephanie Alexander is no exception. In The Cook’s Table, Stephanie has arranged 130 recipes into twenty-five themed menus, such as “A Jamaican Jerk Party” and “Autumnal Italian Lunch in a Suburban Farm”; which are based on memorable occasions throughout her long and celebrated life. Stephanie’s reminiscences encourage us to reflect on our own special foods – while she also invites us to create our own memorable occasions, through sharing her delicious dishes with our families and friends.
If you want to host a gathering but don’t feel like cooking, how about a drinks party instead? Get great ideas on stylish and seasonal drinks in Cocktails for the Holidays. Fifty recipes compiled by the award-winning Imbibe magazine cover any festive events from breakfasts to nightcaps. From classics to the drinks du jour, and from hot toddies to sparkling punches, these drinks just shout festive cheer.
As we are packing more and more into each day, the act of eating is simply another task that is completed while we are online or engaged in another activity. As a result, we’re not fully aware of what food is being consumed.
The practice of mindful eating is about focusing and minimising distractions so you are paying full attention to the foods you are eating: by taking this more slowly you can really savour the food and pay attention to how much of it you are consuming. Reports indicate that many consumers base their food choices on taste first, followed by the price and finally the health benefits of the food. There are many resources that can support the practice of mindful eating, including cookbooks and guides that help us slow down and engage with our food. Here are some of our recommended reads for this genre:
Every Bite Affects the World is a guide that helps connect our bodies to the external world around us.
Verrall’s book helps us to be mindful of the connections between what we eat and the health of our bodies, as well as the health of the soil, water, climate, communities and farmers both here and far away.
Featuring many vegetarian recipes, ‘Every Bite’ also contains the imperative for meat eaters to obtain their food locally and from humanely raised sources.
Ever feel that you really taste the first few bites of a meal and then, seemingly on auto pilot, find that your meal has been eaten and you have not even tasted the rest? This book is for you.
Drawing on recent research and integrating her experiences as a physician and meditation teacher, Dr. Jan Bays offers a clear presentation of what mindfulness is and how it can help with food issues. Particularly interesting are the 7 different types of hunger and how they impact your food choices: eyes, nose, mouth, stomach, mind, heart, and cell hunger.
This book is based around common sense thinking with respect to our eating but backs it up with research, which makes it a comprehensive read.
Every day, we each make around 200 decisions about eating. But studies have shown that 90% of these decisions are made without any conscious choice. Why? Wansink explains the hidden ‘persuaders’ that are used by restaurants and supermarkets to encourage you to eat more. Even music choice and the colour of a room can influence how much and how quickly you eat. ‘Mindless Eating’ will change the way you think about your next meal.
Want to lose weight, improve your health and look younger, all in 14 days? Who doesn’t??
Our bodies function best with a pH balance of between 7.3 and 7.5. According to Dr Domenig, our modern lifestyles upset this balance by making our bodies too acidic. His book aims to rectify the balance.
‘The Alkaline Cure’ is a clinically tested fourteen-day plan designed to help establish acid-alkaline balance in the body. It includes daily menus and more than 40 recipes to give your body a kick start.
A former steak-lover himself, Chef Tal struggled for years on a vegan diet that left him filled with cravings for meat and dairy. Frustrated by the limited options available and unwilling to sacrifice the delicious flavours he associated with eating meat, he created vegan meals that could hold their own at the centre of the plate. Chef Tal found that by applying traditional French culinary techniques to meatless cuisine, he was able to create delicious meals full of rich flavour.
‘Oh She Glows’ was written after Liddon struggled for over a decade with an eating disorder and ate predominantly low-calorie processed foods. Seeing the benefits of changing her diet to whole foods, she spent time perfecting cooking and eating the right foods in the right way.
‘Oh She Glows’ contains over 100 vegan recipes that are easy to perfect. Whether you are a vegan or you simply want to incorporate a few vegan meals into your week, Angela’s recipes are a must-have for anyone who longs to eat well, feel great, and simply glow!
Jamie Oliver turned 40 this year – a Big Birthday that encouraged him to reassess his life and improve his health. The result is a 12kg weight-reduction, better sleep and more energy. So how did he do it? His new lifestyle approach forms the basis for his new show – Jamie’s Super Food Revolution, and accompanying book, Everyday Super Food.
A major part of his strategy relates to diet. In Jamie’s Super Food Revolution, Jamie and his team travel the world to find places famous for longevity – such as Japan, Costa Rica and Greece. Jamie then investigated their food secrets for staying healthy and productive well into old age. The result is Jamie’s version of super foods – 14 “hero ingredients” that are nutrient-packed, health-giving yet commonly-found. These include:
Jamie and his team of nutritionists then created a range of recipes based on these ingredients, from breakfasts, lunches and dinners to snacks and drinks. These form the basis of the book Everyday Super Food.
One appealing aspect of Jamie’s approach is that he has not relied on the exotic ingredients that are currently considered “super foods” – such as chia, quinoa, and goji berries (although they do make an occasional appearance). Instead, most of Jamie’s “hero ingredients” are commonly available, cheap and similar to ingredients we already use. The recipes are pure Jamie – simple, family-friendly recipes showcasing bold natural flavours – that look vibrant and appetising in the gorgeous photos. His “everything in moderation” mantra means that he has not sworn off foods such as carbs or sugar – but instead has created healthier, tastier versions of favourites such as French toast and pasta carbonara. This makes Jamie’s Super Food approach very accessible to everyone, including people on tight budgets, even those who are cynical about food fads and unusual ingredients.
Another appealing aspect of Jamie’s approach is that it is holistic. He emphasises a number of other lifestyle changes that has improved his health – such as sleeping longer, drinking more water and less alcohol, and valuing incidental as well as scheduled exercise. In effect, Jamie has used his own experience to show how a healthier living philosophy can improve anyone’s health.
Jamie is not the first champion of these teachings, but his hugely influential voice offers welcome support to the fight against rising obesity rates. (Do you know that Jamie is the second best-selling author of all time in Britain, only after J.K. Rowling? Or that his campaign towards improving school dinners resulted in a pledge of GBP280 million from the British Government?) Jamie’s Super Food Revolution is his personal, approachable (and tasty!) health improvement strategy, a worthy successor to his earlier efforts to improve public health through improving school dinners, and teaching people to cook.
Hunting for that perfect gift for dad? Whether he’s a music buff or a sporting fan,we’ve got all the books to cover every dad’s taste this Father’s Day. Here are 5 different options from a wide variety of genres:
Gudinski: The Godfather of Australian Rock ‘n’ Roll by Stuart Coupe
Known to many as GODinski, Michael Gudinski is unquestionably the most powerful and influential figure in the Australian rock’n’roll music business – and has been for the last four decades. Often referred to as ‘the father of the Australian music industry’, he has nurtured the careers of many artists – Kylie Minogue, Jimmy Barnes, Paul Kelly, Skyhooks, Split Enz, Yothu Yindi, to name just a few.
Life and Football by Jonathon Brown
AFL legend Jonathan Brown on footy, living life to the full and having what it takes to win three premierships.
Dexter is Dead by James Lindsay
Dexter returns in an all-new, all-Australian, blood-soaked adventure written by his creator, Jeff Lindsay. Dexter Morgan isn’t just Miami’s #1 forensic blood splatter expert…he’s also a serial killer who targets other serial killers. But when Dexter travels down under, he quickly discovers that sharks aren’t Australia’s only deadly predator. Who is setting up illegal hunting safaris in the Outback – and are humans in the crosshairs? Dexter investigates as only he can, and that means only one thing…
A boxed set of the landmark fantasy from Brandon Sanderson, the man credited with breathing fresh life into Robert Jordan’s WHEEL OF TIME. An epic fantasy set in a world where the Dark Lord has gained dominion over the world. A world of ash and pain. A world subjugated. But a world where magic can be drawn from metals. A world waiting for a new heroine, a new hope. A word of mouth bestseller in the USA Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy have become a massive hit in the UK, and now in Australia.
Meatballs: The Ultimate Guide by Matteo Bruno
Meatballs make the perfect dish for a Monday night supper, a Saturday night dinner party or a Sunday feast. And here are 60 recipes for meatballs like you’ve never seen them before – Meatballs rustico, devoured with crusty bread to sop up the delectable sauce; Seared beef carpaccio meatballs, best eaten glass of Prosecco in hand; Pork, ginger and lemongrass meatballs; Lobster meatballs. Tuck in!
There are lots of different types of dads: the sporty, the thrill seeker, and the foodie (amongst others). Whatever type of dad your dad is, we have the book for him. Here are our top 5 picks for Father’s Day:
The New Dad
Your baby’s first word will be . . . “Dada!” Right? Everyone knows that fathers wage a secret campaign to ensure that their babies’ first word is “Dada!” But how does it work? One of the most popular entertainers in the world and NBC’s The Tonight Show host, Jimmy Fallon, shows you how.
From the mythical heart of Greece to the fruits of the Black Sea coast; from Croatian and Albanian flavours to the spices and aromas of Turkey and beyond – the cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean is a vibrant melting pot brimming with character. Accompanying the major BBC Two series, Rick Stein: From Venice to Istanbul includes over 100 spectacular recipes discovered by Rick during his travels in the region.
The Thrill Seeker:
The world’s bestselling thriller writer teams up with Australia’s bestselling crime writer for the latest action-packed instalment of the PRIVATE series.
Even for Private Investigations, the world’s top detective agency, it’s tough to find a man who doesn’t exist . . .Craig Gisto has promised Eliza Moss that his elite team at Private Sydney will investigate the disappearance of her father. After all, as the CEO of a high-profile research company, Eric Moss shouldn’t be difficult to find. Except it’s not just the man who’s gone missing, all evidence he ever existed has vanished too. And there are powerful figures pulling the strings who want Moss to stay ‘lost’. But when a woman is found brutally murdered and a baby is missing, Private is suddenly drawn into another frantic search. And this is a case Craig has to throw everything into, because he may well be responsible for sending the killer straight to the victim’s door . . .
The Sporting Fan:
A portrait of Michael Long, the man who changed the AFL. In 1995, Aboriginal footballer Michael Long gave the AFL its ‘Mandela moment’. He quietly revolutionised Australian sport by refusing to let a racial insult pass during the Anzac Day match between Essendon and Collingwood. When the majority white football public backed a black man against a white institution (the AFL), the culture of the game flipped and the AFL became a leader in Australian race relations.
The Quirky Dad:
The director of The 40-Year-Old Virgin presents a collection of uproarious and intimate conversations with some of today’s most popular comedians, drawing on his teenage radio hosting days to include pieces from the early years, in a book that includes interviews with such names as Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno and Sandra Bernhard.
The recent cold snap has brought plunging temperatures and surprise snowfalls to much of the Southern Hemisphere. Here at Team Booko this means a craving for cosiness, open fireplaces and comfort food – the perfect mood for celebrating “Christmas in July”!
Christmas in July is the perfect excuse for enjoying traditional Christmas fare in their rightful wintery setting. It is a great opportunity to spend some indoor time with friends and loved ones and bring some fun to cold dreary days. Here are some books to inspire you in creating your own Christmas in July festivities.
Nigella Christmas by Nigella Lawson
Nigella’s philosophy of maximum indulgence for minimum fuss just resonates with Christmas in July. Nigella Christmas has a range of traditional and modern recipes including for canapés, drinks, edible gifts, breakfasts and hangover cures. There are also meal plans and schedules to help you get everything ready at the right time. Now in a stylish new edition.
Scandinavian Christmas by Trine Hahnemann
If anyone knows how to make the most of cold weather it would be the Scandinavians. Nordic Christmases have retained many traditional festivities that brighten up the whole of December. This book combines charming folkloric customs with fresh seasonal recipes and Nordic design cool. Christmas with an exotic and elegant twist.
Gluten Free Christmas by Hannah Miles
Those on a gluten-free diet no longer need to feel left out! Hannah Miles is helping more people enjoy Christmas with her recipes for gluten-free treats such as baked goods, desserts and gravies and sauces.
Craft it Up: Christmas Around the World by Libby Abadee and Cath Armstrong
Besides delicious food, a Christmas celebration is incomplete without decorations. Libby Abadee and Cath Armstrong have collected a range of fun and unusual Christmas craft ideas from around the world, including an Uruguayan crib scene and beautiful Snow Queen dolls. Each project is described step-by-step with illustrations. Perfect for young and old to join in the fun.
How to Drink at Christmas by Victoria Moore
For the more culinarily-challenged, how about a Christmas in July drinks party? This book contains a collection of drinks perfect for chilly days, including mulled wine, spiced coffee, cocktails and even restorative herb infusions. It also provides advice on matching drinks to festive foods. Sure to build atmosphere for a fabulous winter celebration.