Cook the Books | Recipes

30 day cookbook recipe challenge – week 2

Welcome to week 2 of my 30 day cookbook recipe challenge. (Have you seen week 1?) This month I challenged myself to dust off some of the cookbooks I own, and try something new from them. This is week 2’s recipes / cookbooks. Lots of winners in this lot!

#8 Balsamic Potatoes

I pretty much love potatoes in any state, so was drawn to this recipe by the key ingredient.

These were easy to make, but they do take quite some time cooking, so make sure you plan when you’re making these.

Balsamic Potatoes from Jamie Oliver's Christmas cookbook

I don’t think you can go wrong with potatoes, but they weren’t OMG I have to do this again. Next in his book I’m going to try the Tuscan Potatoes, so stay tuned.

Cookbook: Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook

#9 Broccoli with Lemon Butter and Thyme Breadcrumbs

Sounds delicious right I love broccoli, and I also love baking anything from Donna Hay. So making one of her sides was a step away from the recipes of hers I’m usually drawn to.

My verdict – it was ok. Really for me it affirmed that I’m not a fan of baked broccoli. If broccoli is to go in the oven, it needs to be char grilled. But when you bake it you seem to need to cook it for quite some time before it’s actually cooked, and by then it seems to have gone too far. So although the flavour additions were nice on this, I’ll stick with quickly boiled or steamed broccoli.

However, don’t let that deter you from buying this book if you don’t already have it. This is my ‘Christmas bible’ when I’m looking for dessert recipes, and I’m looking forward to trying a couple of new ones out next week. I mean – after all these dinners, I think we deserve a dessert.

Cookbook: Donna Hay Christmas Feasts and Treats

#10 One-pan Spanish Prawn & Chorizo Rice

I really love Chelsea Winter’s books, and have made lots of her recipes. I love that her food is real – she doesn’t skimp on butter or cream or the like, which results in delicious meals that everyone loves.

I was looking for something quick, and as a one-pot wonder, this seemed like it would fit the bill. The prep wasn’t quite as quick as it said, but I love that I could leave it to cook for 20 minutes, which gave me time to clean the kitchen, and prep the last part of it.

One pan Spanish Prawn and Chorizo Rice from Eat by Chelsea Winter cookbook

I’ll definitely make this again, it was super yum, and got the big tick from all the family. Another Winter winner!

Cookbook: Eat by Chelsea Winter

#11 The Best-Ever Fluffy Pancakes

I thought it was time to do a brekkie (although we did eat these for lunch). I bought a copy of Magnolia Table before I left the States to return to NZ. It was my souvenir from our summer there. I watched a lot of Chip & Jo on HGTV, and they’d also not long launched their range in Target. I’m in love with the house makeovers they do. (Although makeover seems somewhat of an understatement). So I purchased the book as a little thing to remind me of that summer in Seattle. BUT – I’ve not yet made anything from it.

These pancakes are definitely a little different from the ‘normal’ ones, and I was grateful I’d read the full recipe early on, to realise that you need to let the mix sit for 1/2 an hour before you cook them. Whew – you don’t want to read that when you’re ready to eat. You are given the option of using oil, melted bacon grease or butter – I used butter.

The verdict – delicious! This recipe lives up to it’s name of fluffy pancakes. You can see from my photo how fluffy they are from their thickness. And because of this, they’re also very filling, so my usually hard to fill boys were full after one. OK – it was quite a large one, but still!

I hope everything else in the book is as delicious as this.

Cookbook: Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines

#12 Brandy and Maple Ice-Cream Pandoro

If you’re looking for a simple, prepare ahead, show stopper dessert, this is it.

It’s been an entire year since I’ve tasted a pandoro. Just scooping out the inside ready to fill had the Christmas feels coming. I don’t know how they do it, but this funny looking bread/cake is soooo delicious. So as you make this, you get to eat all the ‘off cuts’. Then you make a simple flavour mix to add to vanilla icecream, fill and then freeze.

This is one dessert that looks amazing and tastes amazing. It doesn’t take long to make, and of course, you do it ahead of time, so whether that’s the day before you event, or a couple of days, it doesn’t matter. It totally takes the stress out of dessert.

This recipe is just another reason why you need to get this cookbook now!

Cookbook: Donna Hay Christmas Feasts and Treats

#13 Coconut and Jam Hearts

I was supposed to be hosting an event for Close To My Heart on Sunday, so these cookies seemed like a very appropriate morning tea.

Sadly, my mother in law passed away on the Saturday, so instead of my event, we instead hosted the family to begin funeral planning. 🙁

Coconut and jam hearts from Donna Hay Christmas Feasts and Treats

So my cookies did not go to waste, and they seemed like a very appropriate morning tea still, as my mother in law was the most loving person, whom we all loved very much.

And yes, the cookies were yum! Definitely recommend.

Cookbook: Donna Hay Christmas Feasts and Treats

#14 Pamela Salzman’s Noodle and Vege Curry Bowl

This is a very quick and simple meal, that is great for using up any leftover veges in your fridge or freezer. I added chicken because my men need protein, and with one intolerant to soy, I can’t use tofu. I poached it in the soup mix (similar to the method used for her Chinese Chicken Salad on page 64). It was nice, easy meal.

Noodle and vege curry bowl from Quicker than Quick cookbook

Cookbook: Pamela Salzman’s Quicker Than Quick

Whew, it’s been a challenging week personally, but cooking as usual has helped keep me calm, and given me a sense of purpose to help support those around me. Foodwise there’s been some great winners in this line up.

Stay tuned for week 3!

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