Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Cook the Books - May

Week 1:
Miss B's birthday was the perfect opportunity to try out a couple of new recipes.
She went through my Annabel Langbein books and we eventually settled on Tuscan Meatballs from Free Range in the City, - other options had included Duck Red Curry and Tofu Stir Fry, however as this is a meal for the whole family we decided to make it one that everyone (read  The Scout and Mr J) would eat.  Dessert was my choice and I came across a recipe for Chocolate Swirl Pavlova in the April 2016 issue of delicious Magazine .  I omitted the spiced maple pears which were meant to top the pavlova for serving.

Verdict:  Both meals went down a treat with the family.  The meatballs were quite light but richly flavoured,  and the pavlova was a big hit - no surprise there really.

Week 2:
 A cool blustery grey day, demands warming comfort food.  Devilled Sausages from my new Annabel Langbein Winter Annual certainly fitted the bill.  Pork and bacon sausages in a spicy brown onion sauce. served with mash and broccoli. This recipe differed from the more traditional recipe we Kiwis usually make, in that it didn't include apples.  However I slow-cooked some which I served as a side dish.

Verdict: The cayenne pepper used in this, makes for a tangy spicy sauce,  but everyone was able to tolerate it and I have been told I can definitely make it again.

Week 3: 
The cake tins were empty, I had a day off work, so of course I did some baking.  This is an old  slice recipe that I remember eating at my grandparents when I was little.  It doesn't come from any recipe books as such, more a collection of family favourites that my sister compiled for us all. Called Jumbles, this slice was apparently a favourite of my Grandpa's.  After making it, I decided my Gran must have loved him an awful lot, cos it was a fiddly sticky recipe to make.  There are lots of Jumbles recipes on the internet, but they all seem to be biscuits rather than a slice, so it would be interesting to have found out where and how the name and recipe originated.

Verdict:  It tastes delicious, brings back memories of afternoon tea with my grandparents and no doubt will be made - perhaps I can persuade Miss B to make them next time.

Week 4:
Sausages again - this time Basque-style Lentil and Sausages, again from my Annabel Langbein Winter Annual.  Served with rice, this was a hearty yet gently warming  and spicy meal, (due to the smoked paprika, chili flakes and fennel seeds) making it perfect for the wet gloomy weather that we have had this week.

Verdict:  Perfect winter comfort meal, I will make it again, but won't serve it with rice.  I had a good amount of the tomato lentil sauce left, so kept that to add to the next batch of vegetable soup I made.

I think that my challenge for June will be to use any book that is not one of my Annabel Langbein books.


  1. Had to laugh.. I've just got Annabel's 'lentil & sausages' in the oven as I type! Hope mine turns out ok!

  2. A Mouth watering post! Lucky I have already had my evening meal!

  3. So glad I had already eaten when I read this! All looks super yummy

  4. Certainly sounds delicious and looks amazing.

  5. How in the world can you stay so slender with such tasty temptations like this around the house?!? I might have already gained four pounds just reading this post! With the sense of smell being the sense that is closest linked to memory, it's no wonder that it's called comfort food.

    I have come to know afternoon tea time since living in Germany, and it's actually my husband's favorite part of the day! I find that I am dragging quite a bit until I get that second cup in the afternoon.

  6. Yummy! You are doing well. :-)
    Keep on Cooking the Books.


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