“Burrata, Broccoli, Lentils” from “Greenfeast”

Kirstin: It’s halfway through the month and I am FINALLY making something from this book. It’s an interesting concept of a book, with pretty much every recipe title consisting of three ingredient names (while slipping in others in the final list). Last night’s meal was burrata and lentils with broccoli. Also some fried chilli and garlic. This was a perfect summer’s evening light meal. The creaminess of the burrata was beautifully mopped up by the lentils. And the brunch garlic and chilli added just the right amount of texture/ Yes, I would make this again. Oh yes.

“Burrata, Broccoli, Lentils” from “Greenfeast”

Cookbook of the month, June 2019; Greenfeast by Nigel Slater

Kirstin: This is such a pretty little book. I love the format too. It’s small, softcover and each page has an image of the recipe.

Maureen: It is gorgeous.

Kirstin: And it will be good to try and eat more vegetables. Miles is doing climate change at school and I keep being told about how bad it is for us to eat meat.

Maureen: Oh yes. I’ve been there too!

Kirstin: However, you know how I feel about Nigel books. I don’t remember the last one I actually liked.

Maureen: Let’s give this one a go. Maybe it will change your mind. I certainly hope to cook more from it than the book from the last month. I am fully prepared for all of the preparation work that has to go into vegetarian dishes, and I’m sure you are too.

Kirstin: That sounds like a plan.

Cookbook of the month, June 2019; Greenfeast by Nigel Slater

Our Verdict: India cookbook

Kirstin: Oooops. We haven’t really posted anything this month.

Maureen: Life has been very busy.

Kirstin: I was doing jury service for two weeks and it was much more intense than I thought it would be.

Maureen: I’m getting ready for the book festival.

Kirstin: I still loved the book though. And it’s good to know that I have that reference point for any more Indian cooking.

Maureen: And I did actually cook four things from it– all delicious– I just never got to the crucial final step of actually writing about them. I will try to do better next month. I’m really glad I’ve got this book, though.

Our Verdict: India cookbook

“Chicken Masala” from India Cookbook

Kirstin: Bank Holiday Monday. And I was in the mood for a curry. This looked like an easy recipe, with just 7 ingredients, plus the chicken. I read the ingredient list and had bought the aniseed online. But unfortunately I did not read the recipe directions thoroughly enough because there was the ominous line saying I had to marinate the chicken for 2 hours. Sigh. So, it had about 30 minutes. Once marinated, this recipe used a poaching technique followed by frying the meat in ghee.

And already I have been asked when I am making this again. And the answer will be soon because it was a wonderfully, authentic Indian flavourful and easy meal to make. I feel this was a good way to start this book. More.

“Chicken Masala” from India Cookbook

Cookbook of the Month, May 2019: India Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant

Maureen: Why did you pick this book? It’s from 2010 so it’s been around awhile.

Kirstin:  saw it in a bookshop, and it looked like the Indian equivalent of Italy’s Silver Spoon. Miles said that Indian is his favourite food. And we’ve both been there!

Maureen: That’s true, and Tim even lived there for a spell. Though it took him several months to want to eat curry again once he got back.

Kirstin: It comes in its own bag!

Maureen: Why?

Kirstin: Because it’s heavy and it needs its own bag, apparently. It’s quite a big book.

Maureen: I’m looking forward to a month of Indian, but I hope it’s not a wild goose chase to find certain ingredients.

Kirstin: Well, if it is, you don’t have to make it.

Maureen: That’s true.



Cookbook of the Month, May 2019: India Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant

Our Verdict: Simple Cake

Maureen: What’s not to love about cake? So it was a yummy month. My only criticism of the book is there really isn’t many recipes, and there’s nothing that’s really elaborate.

Kirstin: But that’s what I liked about it! You make cake all the time, so maybe you don’t need this book. I do. I liked that it was a simple book.  I wasn’t overwhelmed. I knew I could mix and match.

Maureen: This is def a book for beginners. But to her credit, she does simplify the process. I know I can get a cake made and baked in under an hour, but maybe a lot of people don’t know that. Once you read this book, you realise it doesn’t have to be a big deal to make it.

Kirstin: Yes! That’s just the point. For me, making a cake is huge deal. This cookbook showed me that it doesn’t have to be.

Maureen: I just wish she had slightly more elaborate or challenging recipes for people who do like to bake.

Kirstin: When I make a cake, it’s a big deal. People are impressed that I’ve done it.

Maureen: That’s definitely not true here. We’ve always got cake around, it seems. In fact, there seems to be excess cake in the house here all the time. It’s a good problem to have.

Kirstin: Indeed.

“Simple Cake”
Overall Grade (A- F):   A (Kirstin) B (Maureen)                                                                                 Best recipes: Maureen: Chocolate Olive Oil Cake Kirstin: Lemon cake.
Grade for Photography (A-F): A.                                                                                                    Any disasters? No! No disasters.                                                                                                Bookshelf or Charity Shop Donation? Kirstin: Bookshelf.  Maureen: Low-rotation bookshelf.

Our Verdict: Simple Cake

“Oh, Canada! Lemon Berry Crumble Cake” from “Simple Cake”

Yum. Berries, lemon and crumble: it’s a classic combination, and classic for a reason.

This was yet another cake that I brought to a meeting, and it was yet another cake that proved to be very popular. (People always seem very happy to see me. I think all the cake might be the reason for that.)

This was a very straightforward cake. It was another one that I baked in the morning and brought to the meeting a few hours later.

My only complaint, and Tim agreed, was that there wasn’t enough crumble on the top. This might have more to do with the fact that we both grew up on the East Coast, where crumble cake is taken very, very seriously, and East Coast crumble is at least 2 centimetres deep on top of a cake. This crumble didn’t really cover the top of all the cake. So while it was adequate, it wasn’t exactly generous. So when I make this again– and there will be a next time– I’ll probably double the crumble to put on the top.

Other than that, another winning cake to make the most popular person at our meeting.

“Oh, Canada! Lemon Berry Crumble Cake” from “Simple Cake”