Christmas Cookbooks – Part 2

Super Natural Cooking: Five Ways To Incorporate Whole and Natural Ingredients into Your Cooking by Heidi Swanson (Ten Speed Press)
Blogger, photographer, graphic designer and passionate cook Heidi Swanson demystifies unfamiliar health shop ingredients in Super Natural Cooking, a cookbook that drags the world of whole foods very firmly into the 21st century. Nothing is complicated, all is creative and original and Heidi is an encouraging teacher. This is a satisfyingly chunky book, designed with love and attention to detail. Must Cook: Giant Crusty and Creamy White Beans with Greens

Chocolate and Zucchini by Clotilde Dusoulier (Marion Boyars Publishers)
For fans of her food blog, Clotilde needs no introduction and the warm and friendly tone of her writing translates as well on to the printed page as it does online. There are lots of entertaining tips, French-style, from choosing a decent cheeseboard to thoughtful wine notes and many of the recipes come with invaluable suggestions for cooking ahead. A charming insight into 21st century French home cooking. Must Cook: Pain d’Epice

Nobody Does it Better: Why French Home Cooking Is Still the Best in the World by Trish Deseine (Kyle Cathie)
An Ulsterwoman who now lives in France, Trish Deseine is a well-known cookery writer in her adopted country, with five bestselling cookbooks under her belt. In this attractive book, her official English debut, she explains how to cook comme une femme Française. Trish places great emphasis on simple – but very high quality – ingredients, successfully demystifying French attitudes to food. Must Cook: Cream of Puy Lentil Soup with Hazelnuts

Cheat’s Cuisine by Aoileann Garavaglia (Curragh Press)
Based on her Saturday column in the Irish Independent, Aoileann Garavaglia’s Cheat’s Cuisine is a selection of dinner menus that can be put together in just 60 minutes. Divided into seasons and occasions – North African Twist in Winter, Mother’s Day Lunch for Spring – Aoileann gives a detailed and colour coded time plan (oh-so-familiar to me from school!). Some of the colours aren’t the easiest to see so make sure you prop up the cookbook in a bright corner of your kitchen. Nothing is difficult, ingredients are easy to source and you will get plenty of ideas even from just looking at the index in this cookbook. Must Make: Baked Cheese in a Walnut Crust

2007 was definitely the year of food bloggers’ cookbooks – next year I’m particularly looking forward to the ice cream book from Kieran Murphy of Ice Cream Ireland. A good excuse, methinks, for picking up the ice cream making attachment for my KitchenAid?! Happy Christmas to all, I’m off to make this year’s batch of Cranberry Orange and Port Relish


Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

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5 Responses

  1. Kieran says:

    Thanks for the mention, Caroline, and thanks for the cookbook tips! I have the Chocolate and Zucchini book. It’s all you say!

  2. Laura says:

    Happy New Year Caroline and congratulations on completing the Ballymaloe course! I’m really looking forward to Kieran’s book too and thanks for the cookbook recommendations, I have a few already but could always use a few more. I think Dennis Cotter’s new book will be my bible for 2008!

  3. barbara says:

    Hi Caroline I hope you had a nice Christmas and New Year. I am an Aussie again. Yay.

  4. Hi all – finally back. Thanks for noticing that I wasn’t here, Lorraine!Kieran and Laura – glad to hear that you enjoyed the cookbook write up. After my recent trip to NZ I’ve a couple of great ones to try out so must get back to reviewing.Barbara – enjoyed Christmas and New Year but January was really topped off properly by a quick trip to NZ. We exchanged icy roads and frozen cars for 25+ degrees, blue skies and sunscreen. Sounds like you’re really enjoying the benefits of being back in Australia, especially mangos! I spent the time in NZ just gorging myself on seasonal fruit and salads – no raspberry, plum, boysenberry, strawberry, sun-warmed tomato or avocado was safe from me over the last few weeks.

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