Archive for the ‘Cook Books’ Category


The first thing that attracted me to Donna Hay was, of course, the beautiful photography that drenches her books and magazines.  They are so simple yet so extravagant.   




In this cookbook Hay takes all of our classic recipes that we grew up with and gives them an eloquent modern twist, such as soy simmered chicken.  This is such a breath of fresh air for the culinary world.  This book contains an array of very basic how-to’s along with a descriptive glossary, conversions and a list of useful tools.  This is a great book that ever new and seasoned cook should have in their kitchen.  It’s so nice to have one book to refer to when for basic things that not everyone knows how to do, such as making gravy, roasting a chicken, making hummus.  All of these recipes are very traditional recipes and I love how she lays it all out in descriptive wording and step by step pictures. 


I’m very much a soup person and I love new soup recipes, so I was naturally eager to see what this book had to offer…honestly I think that is the one pitfall of Modern Classics.  I just was not that impressed with this section of the book.  yes, it has the basic how-to’s for French onion, minestrone, clam chowder and chicken stock.  For some reason I just felt the chapter was lacking in comparison to the others. 


Recipes I’ve made and love from this book: basic bolognese sauce (the best sauce I have ever made!), hummus, basic mash, basic howto rice, lemon parmesan risotto.

Recipes I’m dying to try: Vegetable tempura, mixed mushroom risotto, smoked ham and cheddar quiche, vegetable pie, laksa.

Interesting recipes: Octopus salad, creamy spring vegetable soup, thai green chicken curry.

I love the quote on the back of the book, it depicts this cookbook perfectly “Commonsense cooking redefined with modern ingredients, outlook and style”.  🙂 I love it.

For more on Donna Hay check out her website here.  She is, on a smaller scale, the Martha Stewart of Australia. If you ever get the chance to check out her Magazines or Cookbooks you will be captivated.


Read Full Post »

Dinner was kind of rushed tonight but I managed to whip up this yummy basalmic chicken and amazingly good creamy polenta!! I had never had polenta before but thoroughly enjoyed this!!


For snack earlier today at work I had a wonderful cup of yogurt with a serving a bare naked granola!!! SOOOOOO GOOOOD!!!






Sorry for the quick post but a warm cup of tea, a three year old and walle are awaiting me 🙂

Have a wonderful weekend you all!!!!

Read Full Post »

Happy 2009!!!


I hope you all had a wonderful New Years!!  We really didn’t end up doing too much for New Years Eve and I sort of felt bad.  So on New Years day at the last minute I decide to make this decadent Chocolate dump-it cake from Cooking for Mr. Latte. I was a bit skeptical about the frosting (chocolate chips and sour cream?!) But it actually turned out so well!!! Ava loved the frosting so much thats all she ate of the cake 🙂 The cake it self is suprisingly moist and so chocolately!! I made a few changes from the recipe I added semi-sweet chocolate instead of the unsweetened chocolate and I dusted cake with powdered sugar.  If you are a chocolate lover this cake is for YOU!!! This recipe is definitely a keeper. 




If you all have not checked out this book you really should! The recipe selection is outstanding!

Read Full Post »

When I first picked up this book at the library I thought ‘hmmm..This looks cheesy and lame’ …to be brutally honest!  But I’m so glad I disregarded those first impressions.  This book turned out to be one of the most charming books I have read in a very long time.  I could not for the life of me put it down.  It was so captivating and vivid.  You feel as if you are right there with Amanda Hesser living her chic life, eating oxtail in Rome. 🙂

I love how she tells her story about how her and Mr. Latte met and fell in love, but does it in a subtle, classy way making the dining events much more prominent.  She describes cooking with her friends and family, dining abroad, dining in chic NY restaurants…places most of us only dream about.  She does all of this in a very humble way.

This book is filled with amazing recipes to boot!  Its so wonderful to see that this young girl has gone to professional cooking school and is writes about All of her experiences with food, even the not so pretty ones.  I love how she is still willing to learn from her grandmother and does not take on a know-it-all attitude.  She makes a point to describe every dining experience as a special occasion (even dining on an airplane is a special occasion of her!!!).  This book has a great selection on recipes that the average cook can use.   I can not wait to start cooking for it.  This copy will be going back to the library but I will be purchasing one for a permanent place in my collection.  This is a must read for any one with a passion for food. 

A few recipes I will be making from this book…(errr after all the holiday food is GONE):

toasts with chocolate and fleur de sel

chocolate dump it cake

poached peach and almond tart

creamy risotto with Myer lemon

double good blueberry pie

polenta with marinated pepper salad

zucchini baked with herbs and tomatoes

This cook book  has such an array of recipes.  Anything from Quail eggs to the classic macaroni and cheese with a modern twist.  Amanda Hesser has provided us with one charming book filled with all the great things you need in life; food, love, friendship, family all wrapped up in to one.


Read Full Post »