Friday, July 27, 2012

5 new cookbooks for busy worker folk

List by Danielle

"Derive happiness in oneself from a good day's work, from illuminating the fog that surrounds us."
~ Henri Matisse

Grey, dampish weather, lines of rush-hour traffic, dark by the time you get home... if you're a keen cook but are finding your enthusiasm is low for hanging out for hours in the kitchen at the end of a busy workday, or your bank account's feeling a bit tight and pinchy at the thought of fancy ingredients, we've got a stack of great new cookbooks on this month's New Titles list. Easy to prepare, simple ingredients, but still really inspiring recipes that look like fun to try. You can even try making your own (healthy yeah sure blah blah blah whatever) takeaways!

The Food truck cookbook / Michael Van de Elzen ; photos by Babiche Martens
Over 80 tasty, healthy recipes from series one and two of the hit television show, The Food truck. From burgers and pies to chicken pieces and pizza, chips and curries, New Zealanders love their takeaways. In this fabulous book, chef Michael Van de Elzen, of TV's wildly popular Food truck fame, shows you how to make your favourite fast foods at home.

For more takeaway tips, check out another new book, More Takeaway Secrets by Kenny McGovern. It promises to teach you how to make 'Ice Cream Frenzy', if that's not enough enticement...

The homemade pantry : 101 foods you can stop buying & start making / Alana Chernila ; photographs by Jennifer May

On a mission to kick their packaged-food habit, Alana Chernila learned that with a little determination, anything she could buy at the store could be made in her kitchen, and her homemade versions were more satisfying, easier to make than she expected, and tastier. The Homemade Pantry is a celebration of food made by hand--warm mozzarella that is stretched, thick lasagna noodles rolled from flour and egg, fresh tomato sauce that bubbles on the stove. Whether you are trying a recipe for butter, potato chips, spice mixes, or ketchup, you will discover the magic and thrill that comes with the homemade pantry. Alana captures the humor and messiness of everyday family life, too.

Possibly not as much a time-saver as a money-saver, but what a satisfying idea! Just a reminder, too, that reading blurbs for cookbooks when you're between tea breaks can make you freakin' hungry! 

The mom 100 cookbook : 100 recipes every mom needs in her back pocket / Katie Workman ; photographs by Todd Coleman
Here are 100 family friendly ways to find that happiness in your kitchen. In other words, getting the daily three squares on the table or in the lunchbox or at the playground with little hassle and lots of flavour. Organised into chapters that take the stumble out of the most common mealtime roadblocks, from weekday breakfast to one-dish-feeds-all dinners, this book offers delicious solutions delivered with plenty of fork-in-the-road variations that aid in meeting every family member's taste. Prepare a recipe to a certain point then set aside portions before adding extra ingredients to make the dish more sophisticated. Every recipe also comes with a sidebar called "What the Kids Can Do" - since young ones love to help out in the kitchen, Mom 100 has fun assignments throughout.

Total food-geek admission: the idea of cooking 'assignments' sounds really really cool. I also really like the idea of recipes that you can make for kids with simple tastes, then fancy up.

Grace & flavour : old New Zealand recipes for modern cooks / Barbara Keen ; recipe photographs by Simon Young
Grace and Flavour is a collection of classic recipes from an assortment of New Zealand cookbooks published between 1883 and 1940. Each recipe is presented in its original form, followed by a modern version which is easily accessible to today s cooks. Weights and measures are converted to metric and instructions, which are often sketchy in old cookbooks, have been expanded and clarified. But the spirit and style of the original dish is always kept intact - no sundried tomatoes or lemongrass here! For some, these long forgotten recipes will bring back fond memories of years past. For others, it will be a unique insight into the dishes their parents and grandparents enjoyed. The recipes are complemented with images of the dishes and styled with nostalgic table and kitchenware.

Those old-school cooks knew a lot about economy. There are bound to be some neat tips in here for saving both time and money. Looking forward to seeing if I can find anything my nana back in Taranaki used to cook.

Alex Mackay believes that cooking is an adventure and that good food should be for everyone. You don't have to spend a fortune on hard-to-come-by ingredients or have an encyclopaedic knowledge of cooking methods to eat well and healthily. Alex knows that most of us shop in the supermarket and work from nine to five. With 126 adaptable recipes, this really is a book for everybody who wants to cook delicious food every day-be they young, old, single, part of a large family, new to cooking, or an old hand. Let the adventure begin!

Bit of a change in philosophy from our other Alex Mackay cookbook, Cooking in Provence which "...offers a range of dishes, from daube nicoise to gratin of Swiss chard and wild herbs to chocolate, orange and pinenut torte." Blimey. And you say this Alex knows we shop in supermarkets and work nine to five?

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