Saturday, April 14, 2012

5 new Kiwi cookbooks worth slapping a request on

List by Danielle

'I like to think that if you eat food with gratitude then you somehow won't put on weight. It's all about your attitude.'
~ Kim Evans

There's a neat story on the front page of Friday 13th's North Shore Times (read it here on Stuff), about single mum/baker/businesswoman Kim Evans, who went from selling homemade goodies at the Takapuna markets to running not one but two wildly successful Auckland bakeries (Little and Friday), after working her way through something like 18 hour days when her first bakery was getting going. She's just put out her first cookbook, Treats from Little and Friday - which we have!!! yay libraries - so I thought I'd see what else is new in the way of recent Kiwi cookbooks. We've got some gems coming out in 2012, an eclectic mix that runs from fancy restaurant fare to rural recipes for seasonal fruit and veg, with a couple of Masterchef NZ spin-offs thrown in for good measure. Plenty to get your tastebuds going and give you something new to try on anyone kind enough to play guinea-pig for you!

Honourable mention

Jax cooks : great food for family and friends / Jax Hamilton ; photographs, David Baird
Nadia's kitchen : fresh, tasty recipes from Masterchef NZ winner / Nadia Lim
Good times : favourite recipes to share from Viva / Amanda Laird (on order)

Pipi : the cookbook / recipes by Alexandra Tylee ; photography by Brian Culy
Pipi is a magical cafe in Havelock North that's always packed with people enjoying its beautiful rustic ambience and its delicious homely food. The Pipi philosophy is about family, fun, nurturing, good simple seasonal food, and love. These are all universal things, but Pipi gives them the New Zealand slant. Owner and chef Alex Tylee learnt to cook providing meals and smoko for the workers on the farm, where the tins always had to be full. By making her way through Mrs Beeton's cookbook, she realised that if she followed a recipe carefully then she could make anything from puff pastry to chicken stock. And so, Pipi was born. This book captures some of the atmosphere and the recipes which make up the essence of Pipi. A lot of the recipes come from the Italian tradition of simple, rustic food that tastes delicious and that encourages a sense of community around the table.

I love cookbooks that take Italian food and adapt it to New Zealand ingredients and methods. One of my favourite home cookbooks is Shirley Bradstock's The New Zealand Italian Cookbook, which is wonderfully simple to follow, with it's mix and match pastas and fillings. Reading up about Pipi's online, I have to admire the idea of a beer 'honesty fridge' - help yourself, pay later - and the pizzas sound fantastic.

A good harvest : recipes from the gardens of Rural Women New Zealand / Rural Women New Zealand
A compendium of tried-and-true recipes from women in our rural communities, making the most of abundant seasonal produce from New Zealand gardens ... shows you how to make the most of an abundance of seasonal fruit and vegetables ... practical, easy to use ... recipes from the collections of members of Rural Women New Zealand includes chutneys, jams and pickles, marinades and pie fillings, sauces, cakes and biscuits and more. Step-by-step instructions on bottling, freezing and other preserving methods are clear and easy to follow.

According to the Rural Women New Zealand blog, their book was #3 in NZ as of April 11th, go you beauty! With the amount of fruit and veg in the supermarkets and shops shipped in from overseas, it's easy to lose touch with what's actually in season locally. This looks like a handy way to get back in touch with what's good and local, and I'll bet it's a money-saver, too. Shout-out here to Julia, who took an abundance of juicy red-black plums from my back-yard plum tree over Christmas and turned them into wonderful, wonderful jam. MAD skills!

Find it, eat it : cooking foraged food gathered around New Zealand / Michael Daly
Divided according to edible weeds, food foraged from the fields, forest and seashore and a pantry section, Michael Daly provides recipes that demonstrate the use of wild foods in everyday cooking. Promoting the health-giving, nutritional benefits of foraging ... from chickweed and potato samosas to wild mock strawberry and passionfruit tartlets.

Honestly? This whole idea makes me nervous. Not quite as nervous as eating offal and all those less wildly-popular animal parts I'm afeared of, but there's definitely something in me that shies away from eating something I found under some trees on a bush-walk. But it really might just be unfamiliarity... and that's why I'm interested in giving this a go. There's a good interview with author Michael Daly here (from Nelson Mail).

Dulcie May Kitchen : everyday / Natalie Oldfield
From breakfast to light lunch and beyond, these simple, tasty dishes are among those favourites prepared and served everyday by Natalie and her family in their cafe and at home. The recipes offer a fresh look at how to eat well everyday, in the signature Dulcie May Kitchen style.

If you're looking for a virtual morning tea, look no further than Dulcie May Kitchen's incredibly mouth-watering website. OMG. I could watch those rotating images of cakes fade in and out all day. Oh, ice-cream too. And beautiful, beautiful dough. STOP IT PEOPLE.

Treats from Little and Friday / Kim Evans ; photography by Rene Vaile
You know you're on to something when the queue for a cafe stretches out to the pavement most weekends. So it is at Little and Friday's two Auckland locations. Those in the know flock to the Little and Friday stores in Takapuna and Newmarket for addictive cream-filled donuts, buttery brioche, melt-in-the-mouth sweet tarts, and moreish savoury pastries. In this delightful cookbook owner Kim Evans, a self-taught baker, shares the recipes for her most popular tarts, biscuits, savouries and cakes. Adapted for the home cook, Kim's approachable recipes and helpful hints allow even the novice baker to master the delights of her delicious café treats.

Take a look at the news piece in Stuff for the story on Kim Evans (and a pic of the biggest, plumpest, tastiest looking hot cross buns), and another interview in the Herald where she discusses her aesthetics and her passion for baking. It's really inspiring - the amount of work she must have put in to make her dream a reality is humbling. Can't wait to get my crack at the book and try out the cream donuts!


breve711 said...

i love this blog, you guys do a great job! i've requested a couple of these cookbooks, and some from previous food-related posts...i pretty much only look at the pictures :) will resolve to at least try one of these recipes this time. and not gaining weight by eating with gratitude? it'd be the best thing ever!

Danielle said...

Thanks so much and yay, me too with the pictures! My food never looks the same as them, either, specially with baking, but it's fun challenging myself (even if I just eat whatever it is myself and don't make others try my experiments! small kids can be SO PICKY). I'd love to hear if you do end up making something new. I've got all the ingredients for the maple syrup-roasted pumpkin soup from my last post and, looking outside, I've even got the crappy grey weather to go with it :)

tosca said...

@breve711: My cooking skills are poor to even worse and, much like you, I live to look at the pictures. I often watch the cooking channel for the stories/histories of food that a lot of the chefs/cooks talk about, too. Last night, I'm glad to say, I mastered a mustard herb crust for a roast beef. FTW! Nobody died, nobody complained. I consider that a good night :P

Anonymous said...

I live in California and would like to get these cookbooks...any ideas?

Danielle said...

Wow, I just went looking to find out how easy it was to buy these online for shipping to America - not easy! When I finally gave up and checked Amazon, only one of them was even in stock there (Dulcie May Kitchen Everyday). My first thought, actually, was maybe suggesting them as a purchase for your local library system? Not sure if it works the same where you are, but here any library member can suggest that we buy something they've come across that we don't have. It's not guaranteed, but it might be something.