Book Reviews





Good books do good food and friends make

If you think about what your most well-read, most re-visited and most "used" books are, you probably wouldn't even venture your mind to your kitchen...

But how often do you stare at the contents of your cupboards and turn to the good old cook book for help? A great cook book can stay with you a lifetime, and many in my collection have been passed down from mother to daughter over decades. Yes, I have rather young Delia Smith telling me how to boil, poach and scramble the perfect egg (from the days I could eat eggs - long gone!) I also have the archaic pounds and ounces cook books with iron rotary hand whisks adorning the cover (thanks goodness for the Smartphone when it comes to conversions!)

In the name of books, and good ones at that, I want to share with you my favourite cookbooks from my kitchen. Ok, so you may not loose yourself to a new book-boyfriend (if that's your thing) but you might fall head over heels in love with a crazily light sponge... or a crocodile (keep reading, it will make sense!)

I would love it, if you have a favourite cook book too, if you could share it and your favourite recipe in the comments. Cook books are the most social of the written words. Let's share, bake, saute and stir - and have a good natter over some cake!


One of the passed-down books of my childhood. This book is currently at my mum's house but I still call her to ask her to scan and email me over the sponge base recipe and the drop-scones quantities - not to mention the delicious cheese straws recipe! Everything you may ever want to make for the perfect tea party is in this book. Biscuits, cakes, pastries... Mmmm... And everything has simple, unfussy instructions and ingredients. Vintage baking at it's best!

River Cottage Veg

This may actually be my most-loved modern cook book. Since having my gall-bladder removed I have had to change the way I eat to make my diet easier on my body. This book has been my life line! I have become mostly veggie in the process of finding out what does and doesn't work for me, and this cook book makes meals exciting, healthy and most important of all - delicious! I couldn't be without it! (the mushroom "stoup" is amazing in winter)

Asian Vegan Kitchen

First of all, I may be mostly veggie, but no, I'm not vegan. However... eggs are the devil to me now! I get so ill if I eat them, and that makes my love of Eastern food quite challenging. This wonderful cook book has flown in and made everything brilliant again though! No egg fried rice here, but you'll find flavoursome spice/seasoning options to make scrummy, authentic alternatives. Egg noodles are banished and there are no soups topped with egg white... hurrah! I recommend the spicy cauliflower curry.

Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes 

The recipe book no kid should ever be without! My brother and I were entertained in the kitchen for hours by this book when we were young - trying to make the scariest "snozzcumber" crocodiles we could! I may not cook from it as often these days, but it's great for a bit of non-serious kitchen experimentation, and has so many great memories attached to it.

GoodFood 101 Chocolate Treats

I couldn't give you all the healthy options without an ultimate indulgence! This book has nothing but chocolatey recipes - yum! Tortes, muffins, ice creams, sponges, "bombes", fondues, cupcakes.... Trust me, you'll never run out ;)

So there you have it! My list of my favourite cook books. Leave yours in the comments below!

1 comment

  1. I always keep an eye out in charity shops for these: - especially the "The Cooking of..." series. I've got quite a few of them but want to complete the collection my mum started. (In fact, if anyone has the Student Cookbook one ... I lost it and have been looking out for a copy since!)

    Also love "Baking from the Freezer" and "Christmas from the Freezer" - they were a cross between books and magazines, but are always my go-to books for old fashioned cakes, scones etc.