“A Change of Appetite” – Our Verdict

Anna: What did you think?

Maureen: As expected, I thought it was earnest, but good. Some of the recipes really took a good amount of time to do, like a whole afternoon. Is that fair to say?

Anna: I completely agree. My thoughts of the beginning of the month have been confirmed. If i had a personal chef, I would eat this way every night, but as it is, I’ve had to save the recipes for days when I knew I had time to cook.

Maureen: I lost the will to live when I had to spend an entire afternoon making broad bean puree.

Anna: What was the biggest success?

Maureen: The tagliata. There wasn’t much to it, but it truly was a 15 minute meal and everyone loved it.

Anna: Putting the leftover garlic and olive oil on the bread sounded genius.

Maueen: It was delicious. What were your successes?

Anna: Everything was a success apart from the squid, though I think tht was more my cooking than the recipe. We’re already making the Vietnamese beef again and I’m dreaming of the Turkish eggs. I can’t identify exactly what it was, but you shut your eyes and you were in Turkey.

Maureen: I liked the part about diets and eating well. The woman speaks sense when she says don’t go on a diet, just eat better quality food and less of it.

Anna: I felt if I was picking a meal from there, I didn’t feel in any way that I was depriving myself.

Maureen: It’s a good book. It’s not a book you can use day to day, but if you plan ahead, you can get a delicious meal.

Anna: Or if you had a personal chef.

Kirstin: And can I add that the kindle version leaves a lot to be desired. For a start there is no index which can make things a little tricky to say the least. So if you’re going to get this book, my advice would be do not get the kindle version!

“A Change of Appetite”
Overall Grade (A- F):  Maureen: B+ I liked everything I made from there, but it definitely takes effort and time, which I don’t always have in abundance.
Best recipes:  Maureen: Tagliata. I’ll definitely be making that again.
Grade for Photography (A-F): Kirstin: A+. Absolutely stunning.
Any disasters?Maureen: The broad bean puree took all afternoon to make, and I ended up with only a small bowlful of it.
Bookshelf or Charity Shop Donation?  Maureen: Bookshelf, but not the high rotation one. Anna: Definitely bookshelf. In fact I think I’m going to get a hard copy.



“A Change of Appetite” – Our Verdict

“Black Bread” from “A Change of Appetite”

Sorry. We’re just excited. We love pumpernickel bread and it’s hard to find. Diana Henry calls it, “Black Bread” but it will forever be pumpernickel in our hearts.
We first attempted pumpernickel more than 15 years ago, when we were newlyweds in Chicago. We used a method that the author Bernard Clayton described as `not for the beginner baker.’ It had no white flour, just rye and whole wheat (if memory serves), and the result was a predictable inedible brown brick. So it was with some trepidation that we decided to try again.
This one has plenty of white flour, maybe 75 percent of the total volume, so we had a little more confidence in what we were doing. Nonetheless, this dough is hard to work when kneading by hand. (It will be easier to use the dough hook if you’ve got one for your mixer. In this house, one of us doesn’t mind using the dough hook, the other of us is old school and does it by hand. I’ll leave it you to decide who is who.)  We still weren’t sure it was going to work until it came out of the oven. We were in a rush so it probably needed more time in the second rising, but it still worked.
This method calls for shredded carrots, but we didn’t have any to hand so we made it without. It still worked fine. They might have added a little sweetness to the final product. We also used the E5 Bakehouse trick of baking the bread in our casserole pan, with the lid on. Doing this creates a micro-climate for your bread so the crust gets crusty while the inside bakes evenly. It’s a good trick.
We will definitely be making this again. Pumpernickel for the win.


“Black Bread” from “A Change of Appetite”

“Broad Bean Puree with Feta Relish and Cumin Flatbread” and “Lamb Kebabs with Georgian Adzhika” from “A Change of Appetite”

CBAMLambKebabsMaureen: Let me tell you, this dinner truly was a labour of love.

Tim: What do you mean?

Maureen: Well, first I had to pod the broad beans. Then, after I cooked them, I had to take the skin off. Diana Henry even says, “It’s a bit of a pain at first, but quite soothing when you get into a rhythm.” Respectfully, I disagree. It’s just a pain. I never found it soothing.

Nicholas (10): I like the pita.

Tim: I’m not so sure about the pita. I think we have other recipes for flatbread that were better.

Maureen: I’m with you on that. These are fine, but we’ve made better. The fact that it took yeast and needed a few hours for it to rise was a real minus.

Andrew: The kebabs are good.

Maureen: I agree. They’re nice. I also like the feta relish– that’s delicious. This other stuff [pause to look up the name] the Georgian adzhika is also good.

Tim: Did that take long to make?

Maureen: Nope. That was a quick whizz in the food processor.

Tim: So what do you think?

Maureen: I would make again everything but the pita and the broad beans. The pita is just OK and I lost the will to live making the broad beans.

Tim: Agreed.

“Broad Bean Puree with Feta Relish and Cumin Flatbread” and “Lamb Kebabs with Georgian Adzhika” from “A Change of Appetite”

“Turkish Poached Eggs with Spinach and Yogurt” from “A Change of Appetite”

Oh wow! If I close my eyes I could be in Turkey. Seriously. I think it’s the garlicky yoghurt. And the foaming butter drizzled over the eggs. This tastes so indulgent and not at all healthy. But the recipe is from this book so it MUST be healthy! In which case I will be making it again. Weekend brunches. Yum, yum, yum.

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“Turkish Poached Eggs with Spinach and Yogurt” from “A Change of Appetite”

“Vietnamese Beef with Rice Vermicelli and Crispy Vegetables” from “A Change of Appetite”

Anna: This tastes and smells just like authentic Vietnamese. Or the Vietnamese food we used to eat in Sydney. Making this has taken me straight back to that restaurant we went to in Glebe with Edyta and Mark. We had the summer rolls and I’d never had anything like them before. Isn’t it brilliant that a smell can take me back to seven years ago like it was yesterday!

Peter: It does taste pretty authentic. It’s delicious.

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Anna: It is, isn’t it? I love this. I love this type of food. If there wasn’t so much bloody chopping involved I’d make it every week.

Peter: Well I do like a good noodle so I’m happy for you to make it any time.



“Vietnamese Beef with Rice Vermicelli and Crispy Vegetables” from “A Change of Appetite”

“Chicken and Fennel with Honey, Mustard and Orange” and “Black and White Pilaf” from “Change of Appetite”


Yes! Yes! Yes! This was absolutely wonderful in every way, if just a little bit time-consuming to make. The two kinds of rice complimented one another beautifully. And the chicken and fennel was a winner too. The mustard and orange added a little something special to the mix. Would I make this again? Oh most definitely. I might even make more so we could all have a little more because it was so yummy!

“Chicken and Fennel with Honey, Mustard and Orange” and “Black and White Pilaf” from “Change of Appetite”

“Tagliata” from “A Change of Appetite”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANicholas (10): Whoo-hoo! Steak night!

Andrew (14): Everybody’s favourite.

Maureen: I’ve got news for you, gentleman. You have to eat the salad AND the steak. Not just the steak.

Tim: There’s a good strategy.

Maureen: Here’s hoping it works. As we know, they are not huge salad fans.

Andrew: This is delicious.

Maureen: Of course it is. Sirloin from Dring’s. What’s not to like? This is slightly different from the tagliata that I usually make, using NIgella’s recipe. That one you marinate. This one you don’t.

Tim: Five out of five stars. Would eat again.

Maureen: The other good thing about this recipe is that it’s super quick. Talk about a 15 minute meal. I think it took me even less time than that.

Nicholas: Let’s have this again.

Maureen: You bet.

Cook’s Notes: As noted above, for this tagliata, you don’t marinate it. I don’t know if that’s strictly tagliata or not, but it’s still delicious. Also, you make the dressing by heating up olive oil with garlic, lemon and rosemary. Tim took the cooked garlic cloves and rosemary with a bit of the olive oil and spread them on top of sourdough bread. Yum. That was a very effective use of some nice left behind ingredients. 

“Tagliata” from “A Change of Appetite”

“Farareej Mashri” (Egyptian grilled chicken) from “A Change of Appetite”


Oh my goodness, this smelled divine as I prepared it. 12 cloves of garlic! Yes please! And it was a delight to eat it with warm flatbread too (I added the Greek yoghurt for the full effect). The fussier eaters in this family also enjoyed it. Would I make this again? Possibly, but I might frying it next time instead of grilling it.

“Farareej Mashri” (Egyptian grilled chicken) from “A Change of Appetite”

“Hot Chilli-Ginger Stir-fried Squid” from “A Change of Appetite”

Anna: Meh. I had such high hopes for this and I am disappointed. I’m sure if a personal chef had made it for me I would love it.

Peter: It wasn’t as hot as I thought it would be.

Anna: That’s the chilli’s fault. I could have left the seeds in and probably should have done.

Peter: Did the squid need marinating?

Anna: Why do you say that?

Peter: It was a bit dry I guess…..

Anna: Couldn’t you taste the lemongrass?

Peter: Yes. And I got the salty and sour. I’m not sure what it is that’s missing.

Anna: A professional chef. This would be perfect in a Thai restaurant. Somehow it hasn’t worked for me at home. It’s perfectly ok. And it was easy to cook. But I won’t be doing it again.






“Hot Chilli-Ginger Stir-fried Squid” from “A Change of Appetite”

“Sharwarma Chicken with Warm Chickpea Puree and Sumac Onions” from “A Change of Appetite”

Anna: Well this is a perfect prepare-ahead meal. It was all ready for you boys to cook while I went for my long run this evening.

Peter: We didn’t need to start cooking it until you were back and in the shower to be honest.

Ian: I think you will find the chicken ‘gorgeously singed’ but tender within.

Anna: Indeed. It’s very nice indeed. I have fond memories of sharwarma chicken. It was the only thing I could eat when I had morning sickness during my first pregnancy. I used to get it in a wrap for lunch. A couple of times a week.

Peter: Yes it’s very good. Everything is very colourful on the plate.

Anna: The puree has split a bit though. We probably reheated it a little too vigorously.

Ian: I take responsibility for that.

Anna: I’ll definitely be making this again!



“Sharwarma Chicken with Warm Chickpea Puree and Sumac Onions” from “A Change of Appetite”