Sunday 25 April 2010

Cookbooks update and easy roast dinner

I love my blog but I struggle to keep it up to date. Not only do I have great recipes and places I want to write about (as well as other blogs I want to read), but I also have lists that need attention. One of these is my cookbook list that I wrote up at the start of 2008. I have been having lots of fun buying new cookbooks lately so I thought I should list some recent purchases/gifts to prompt me to update the list.
  • Stephanie Alexander (2004) The Cook's Companion: the complete book of ingredients and recipes for the Australian kitchen, Penguin Books Australia, pp 1-1126.
  • Isa Chandra Moskowitz (2009) Vegan Brunch: Homestyle Recipes Worth Waking Up For--From Asparagus Omelets to Pumpkin Pancakes, Da Capo Lifelong Books, USA, pp 1-256.
  • Jean & Sue Easthope (1986) Classic Vegetarian Cooking, Golden Press, Australia, pp 1-184.
  • Maria Elia (2009) The Modern Vegetarian: Food Adventures for the Contemporary Palate, Kyle Cathie Ltd, UK, pp 1-176.
  • Rose Eliot (2006) Vegetarian Supercook, Hamlyn, UK, pp 1-192.
  • Jim Lahey with Rick Flaste (2009) My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method, W W Norton & Co, USA, pp 1-224.
  • Sara Lewis (2001) Veggie Food for Kids, Hamlyn, UK, pp 1-144.
  • David McGuiness & Paul Allam (2010) Bourke Street Bakery: the Ultimate Baking Companion, Murdoch Books, Australia, pp 1-368.
  • Mrs N Pescott, compiled by, (1977) Early Settlers’ Household Lore, Ballarat Historical Park Association, Australia, pp 1-180.
  • Judy Paterson (2006, reprint from 1993) Scottish Home Baking, Judy Paterson and Lindsay Publications, Scotland, pp 1-83.
  • Annie Rigg (2009) Birthday Cakes for Kids, Ryland Peters and Small, UK, pp 1-128.
  • Nigel Slater (2009) Tender: v. 1: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch, Fourth Estate Ltd, UK, pp1-592.
Of course if I had lots of time I would make my cookbook list far more useful. I would have links to information about the book on the web, links to dishes I have blogged about, and notes of dishes I want to try. The reality however is that I struggle to keep it up to date. So I will at least try to slot these books into the list, even though I know I have bought others since I have started the list.

It is a mystery to me as to why I have bought so many books lately (in recent months not weeks, mind you) when I have so little time to cook and my bookshelves are bursting at the seams, despite me clearing out an extra shelf for cookbooks recently. I confess that I haven’t even cooked from some books. Others have been inspiring.

Though I haven’t cooked an actually recipe from Stephanie Alexander’s book, I have used it quite a bit. It is a great reference book with any ingredient easily searchable, good basic recipes and lists of what goes with what, all in local parlance. The Judy Paterson book is the best Scottish baking book I have found and I will share a few recipes from there soon. The kids birthday cake book is fantastic although the sponge I made from there today had a dip in the middle that I need to deal with tomorrow. Meanwhile, Jim Lahey’s book inspired me to make more no-knead bread today.

You can see that I have been busy baking today. More on that later when I have more energy. We have had a pleasant lazy ANZAC Day, this Sunday but have felt a step or two behind all day. In the wee hours of the morning while others were remembering those who died in the wars at dawn services around the country, we were trying to get Sylvia back to sleep. I blame our tardiness on the Greek neighbours who had a noisy plate smashing party last night that made it hard to settle Sylvia. We must have been tired tonight because we spent a few hours worrying about Zinc being out in the rain, before she emerged with a big yawn from a lovely sleep in a hidey hole inside the house.

Enough about my day and more about my food. I made such a wonderful simple dinner tonight that I thought I would share it, though it is not a recipe as such. I roasted some potatoes and beetroot, served them with chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, steamed broccoli, cottage cheese, pesto and seeds toasted with a little soy sauce. Most delicious.

On the Stereo:
Twilight Rituals: TAC


  1. I only have one of those books - Vegetarian Supercook. It is a good one, although I have done more reading from it than cooking from it. I never seem to cook from my cookbooks these days, unless it is a cake recipe.

  2. I honestly think your blog is inspirational Johanna! I often want to make the delicious colourful dinners you post, and it's so lovely to hear the stories behind the food - why you added the puree to use it up or how something was a little overcooked due to distractions - it shows life in all its honesty and joy.

    I don't know how you manage to keep it up at all, let alone as fantastically as you do (even if you don't think so yourself!), I struggle to do mine and I don't even have anyone (child/partner/pet etc.) to look after!

    I would hate it if you felt your blog was unmanageable, because although I don't comment on every post, I read them all with great enjoyment and interest. I don't think it matters if your blog isn't perfect to you, it's still fabulous!

  3. That does sound like a tasty but simple dinner. The bread looks very fine too. Is Zinc preparing for winter - she looks lovely and fluffy! I was missing one of our cats all morning too, but I found her under the spare bed in the end. I love their ingenuity in finding cosy places to sleep!

  4. Thanks Jacqueline - I don't do as much cooking from cookbooks as I'd like but I still find them inspiring for ideas and solutions - haven't used supercook yet but love rose elliot

    Thanks C - what a lovely endorsement of my blog - don't worry I am not about to down tools - I was having a whinge as a sort of apology for not having the blog as ship shape as I would like. RE keeping up a blog with a partner and child - it is less daunting than it sounds because it means I go out less than I used to!

    Thanks Lysy - Zinc is always is search of new spots - some more hidden than others - and yes the dinner was the sort of simple one that I think I should make more often (and in fact used to make often when I lived alone)

  5. Where did you get that hilarious goblin statue-thingamabob in teh photo with Zinc? Did you steal it from Notre Dame? :P (And if so, why didn't you bring one back for me too? :D)

  6. That supper looks lovely Johanna, delicious, filling and energising. I love the no knead bread and want to make it again, possibly with a little sourdough too.

    I was slightly taken aback by your seemingly freakishly large cat until I realised that she is in a playhouse under a Sylvia sized table?

  7. Thanks Hannah - I did wonder if I should tell you I didn't need a gargoyle from notre dame as we already have one - well we have a gargoyle - it is from one of our local el cheapo shops and keeps us amused (what else would you put in a kiddy cubby hut!)

    Thanks Helen - would love to hear about no knead bread with sourdough - you made me laugh when you thought zinc was freakishly large - I wish our household walls were such a lovely garish green but unfortunately not :-)

  8. I love your pictures! The food looks delicious and your cat is so pretty.

    I totally sympathize with having difficulty keeping your blog up to date - or even cooking! I haven't really done much of anything in weeks.

    Working on it. Really.

  9. Hi Johanna, how are you? I was thinking that I do exactly the same thing, even if I can barely find the time to update my blog I keep on buying new cookbooks. I'll take a look at the ones you listed, I'm sure I will find one or two that I "desperately need"!! ;)) Ciao Sabrina

  10. So glad I happened upon your blog! There is nothing I love more than good easy veggie-friendly food!! Will definitely be stopping back again.

  11. I love that no knead bread! It's so easy and hubby said that it was just like a restaurant bread (and I agree). Hehe I spy another squirrel! :P

  12. Hey Johanna! Just discovered your blog and its great. I linked to one of your posts on my blog (Alison Holsts Red Lentil Loaf) hope that's okay with you. I can see I'll be visiting here a lot - looks delicious!

  13. Never too many cookbooks! Just like you can never have too many good roasted veggies.

  14. Thanks Jaime - life does get in the way of a good meal doesn't it! well actually I find more time for cooking than blogging at the moment - good luck with finding some cooking space in your life

    Thanks Sabrina - I am terrible at desperately needing cookbooks and I do enjoy sitting on the sofa flicking through them for ideas even if I don't cook actual recipes

    Thanks for visiting, My Simple Green Baby - anyone who loves easy veggie friendly food is certainly welcome here

    Thanks Lorraine - need to make more no-knead bread - and yes that squirrel just can't stay out of photos at the moment

    Thanks Clare - nice to hear we share a love of a loaf - it is a great one and happy for you to link here and hope you enjoy visiting

    Thanks Tanna - hear hear!

  15. I'm exactly the same with cookbooks--there are several from which I've never made a recipe! I think you are amazing at keeping up your blog and posts. I struggle with it all the time, and wish I had more time for reading my favorite blogs (as you can see by how late this comment is!). Your simple dinner sounds great, too--sometimes simple is best. :)

  16. I've been thinking recently that I want to create a list of all my cookbooks and post it on my blog. I love lists! The only book I have that you've listed here is Vegan Brunch. I'll be interested to see how you like the other ones. I have soooo many vegetarian books and very few that are consistently good. Lots of them are mostly unused sadly.

  17. Thanks Ricki - I need to do simple more - cookbooks inspire me to try lots of fantastic creations

    Thanks Ashley - would love to see a list of your cookbooks - having mine on the blog makes me aware how I do keep buying cookbooks and yet don't have much time to cook from them - the birthday cakes and no knead books have been most inspiring for me lately but if I have some time to browse my cookbooks I hope to try recipes from the others


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