Hi, my name's Carina and I have a serious obsession. The objects of this obsession? Cookbooks. Ever since I was about twelve years old, my birthday and Christmas wish lists have largely consisted of cookbook titles. It's not just the recipes I love; it's the composition of the books themselves, the photography, the promise they bring of friends and family around one table and their wider cultural impact. Heck, I even wrote one of my final reports for my Media and Communications degree on cookbook publishing and the role they play in society (which, might I add, was the most enjoyable report I have ever written).
When I watched Nigella Lawson's cooking shows, her personal office with walls overflowing with cookbooks, I was filled with awe. I knew from that point that I would strive to replicate a similarly abundant personal library of cookbooks. I have to say, I'm not doing all too badly, especially after acquiring a healthy number of new cookbooks over the past month. A good majority of these I picked up while doing my work experience placement at Penguin Random House Vintage and while I hate to use such a predictable idiom to describe my experience there (ie. like a kid in a candy store), it really is most fitting. I have technically already started reading these and trying out recipes from one or two cookbooks but still thought a TBR post would be most appropriate as I cannot wait to sink my teeth ever deeper into them!
Neighbourhood - Hetty Mckinnon
Hot off the press from PanMacmillan Australia's food and lifestyle imprint Plum is the long awaited second cookbook by salad queen Hetty McKinnon. I fell in love with Community, which sparked a new-found appreciation of salad. Far from being a mere side dish or second thought, Hetty's salads are out of this world and really inspire you to think creatively with your meals. The best part is that her recipes don't require hours in the kitchen and they all keep well as leftovers for lunches throughout the week. Just as Community has become one of my staple cookbooks, I have no doubt that Neighbourhood will too!
3 Recipes I Really Want to Try: Beer-Marinated Mushrooms with Green Lentils and Freekah | Eggplant with Haloumi, Beetroot Tzatziki and Yoghurt Flatbreads | Chimichurri Salad Bowl with Eggplant, Tofu, Fennel and Shiitake Mushrooms
The Marshmallowist - Oonagh Simms
A marshmallow is a marshmallow is a marshmallow right? Not exactly. Oonagh Simms, aka the marshmallowist, shows
us that marshamllows can be so much more inspiring (and delicious) than the tasteless and uninspiring kinds you find in the supermarket. Having tasted an artisan marshmallow by Oonagh at Druid St Market (in the flavour toasted coconut), I can attest to how incredible they are. This cookbook is not short of intriguing flavour combinations and marshmallow centered desserts that would be perfect for a special celebration or event. If that's not enough reason to have a copy of this cookbook on your shelf, then the design (by Carol Montpart) will surely seal the deal - it did for me!
3 Recipes I Really Want to Try: Lemon & Basil Tart with Elderflower Fluffed Marshmallow | Milk Chocolate Almond Tart | Persian Raspberry, Rose & Pistachio Cake
26 Grains - Alex Hely-Hutchinson
If you're a foodie like me, you've probably heard about the cafe 26 Grains, which is set to reopen in the ever so gorgeous Neal's Yard, Covent Garden. While I was in London, I was determined to make a visit, despite not being a huge porridge lover. Well, let's just say that the warming and nourishing bowl of Hazelnut and Butter Porridge that I had changed that! It also ensured that I picked up Alex's newly released cookbook without a second thought. I have already tested out a number of recipes (including the aforementioned life-changing porridge about 5 times...). All have turned out spectacularly that I cannot wait to write a proper review!
3 Recipes I Really Want to Try (that I haven't tried already): Quinoa, Plum and Cardamon Frangipane Pudding | Sweet Potato Hash Browns with Chunky Avocado and Beetroot | Coconut and Butternut Squash Curry with Black Sticky Rice
Simpy Nigella - Nigella Lawson
Chatto and Windsor
I don't think there's any real need to justify owning a cookbook by the kitchen Goddess herself. This one is simply chock-a-block full of mouth watering recipes. The best part is, they are all quintessentially fuss free, just how Nigella has always approached cooking and what drew me to getting into the kitchen as a young girl. There's a good amount of vegetarian recipes in here, which suits me, and a plethora of meat based meals that will keep my mum and the rest of my family happy as well.
3 Recipes I Really Want to Try: Butternut and Halloumi Burgers | Cauliflower and Cashew Nut Curry | Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pots
Stirring Slowly - Georgina Hayden
Another fabulour title by Square Peg, Stirring Slowly is the epitome of comfort food for all seasons. I found Georgina's backstory - her culinary journey, the reasons for and means through which she discovered contentment in the kitchen - incredibly touching. It stands as a reminder that cooking and food don't just serve one purpose but can be instrumental in the processes of healing, happiness and memory making. As a result, I felt that the cookbook evokes a sense of warmth; it's unpretentious, approachable and the kind of cookbook you could see yourself treasuring for years to come.
I have tried one recipe already, being gyozas (just with a few variations to make them vegetarian) and they were absolutely delicious. I can't wait to spend more quiet afternoons in the kitchen with Stirring Slowly as my companion.
3 Recipes I Really Want to Try: Pudla (Indian Pancake) | My Favourite Quick Noodle Bowl | Spinach and Basil Gnudi