Saturday, 22 December 2007

Best Cookbooks of 2007

As some of you may know, I have a slight cookbook addiction (amongst others). I find myself getting on a bit of a theme and suddenly I have (accidentally) just bought 5 new books on bread. I think I have more cookbooks than everyone else I know put together! It’s nothing to do with me, though. I have a perfectly reasonable amount of cookbooks, perhaps not even enough. It’s just that everyone I know is slack. It’s nothing to do with my issues. (I’ll be right back, just have to blistex).

Actually, I have put myself on a ban until at least 1 January. No more cookbooks. I am still allowed to get all my standard monthly cooking magazines (and all the special Christmas ones!) – just no books! Only 10 sleeps to go! Wooohooo! You should see the size of my amazon wishlist!

I thought I should share the benefits of my addiction with you all, and let you know my absolute favourites for 2007. These are the books that I think even the most part-time home cook should definitely have. I have included their amazon links so you can order them today!

2007 Grand Champion: “The Perfect Scoop” David Lebovitz
This is a book all about ice cream. Nothing more, nothing less, just everything ice cream! (including sorbets, granitas and gelatos; and sauces, add-ins and cones). This is a seriously cool book ! (haha!) The photography is great and the recipes are better. It has a huge range of weird and wonderful flavours, as well as all the classics. You could spend the next few years trying them all out! My favourite part of this book is the basic ice cream method. I have made a few different ice creams before but this method gives me the creamiest, tastiest ice cream (the only problem is that it uses heaps of bowls!). 10/10 Love this book. Get it NOW!

Second Place: “Everyday” Bill Granger (not available on amazon - just get it at k-mart!)
Bill Granger has been hanging around for quite a while now and I have never really got into him. Earlier this year though, I received a freebie DVD (with my delicious magazine subscription!!!) which had him doing 3 recipes from his new book. I loved all of them! It also happened that around the same time, my friend FattyBoombah had got the new book and absolutely loved it. So of course, I felt compelled to get it, and I was definitely rewarded! For sheer ease of access, his recipes are 10/10. The methods are straightforward, they use straightforward ingredients, and they turn out how they are supposed to. This is a great book to help you with ideas for weeknight dinners and weekend entertaining. It’s so good, I felt compelled to go out and get 2 more of his earlier books! (Which are also great, but this is the best). I am having some severe issues trying to restrain myself from getting his newest one, “Holiday”, which was recently released. I am going on holidays soon, and I like to have the odd new cookbook to look at, so it will be interesting to see if I can last til my self-imposed deadline!!!

Third Place: “Whole Grain Baking” King Arthur Flour
King Arthur Flour is a baking company from Vermont, USA. I think I have written about them in a previous post. They have quite a few big baking tomes, but this one caught my eye this year, because I decided it was probably time for us to incorporate some marginally healthier foods in our diet. I was hoping this would be a way to get some whole grains happening without compromising my love of white flour baked goods! And it has been quite successful! What I love most about this book is the whole encyclopaedia-type thing it has happening. The structure of the book makes it an excellent reference, and it is well and truly aimed at the home cook. Whilst there are a lot of American-style ingredients which are not necessarily available in exactly the same form in Australia, there are no poshy-weirdo things which are downright annoying. All the baking bases are covered, and all the recipes I have made to date have been great. I am very tempted to get their baking book which just uses white flour!!!

Honourable Mentions:
A few others could also take a handy place on your bookshelf:
“Jamie at Home” Jamie Oliver – the usual Jamie stuff. I got my fabulous 4 hour lamb shoulder from here. (K-mart)
“Mix and Bake” Belinda Jeffery – great Aussie baking. (K-mart)
“Just a Bite” Gale Gand – fabulous desserts

Happy Reading!

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