Saturday, 26 November 2016

Cook the Books - November

Week One:
After discovering I enjoyed Chelsea Winter's newer cookbooks, I checked out from the library one of her earlier ones - Everyday Delicious.  Needing to do some baking for school lunches, I made
Banana Bran muffins, which used up all the old frozen bananas I had in the freezer.

Verdict:  A nice moist muffin, not overly sweet, delicious warm with butter.

Week Two:
Birthdays always require a cake or two.  Again Chelsea's books came to the rescue:
  • Coconut Lemon and Passionfruit Cake - from Everyday Delicious - this looked as though it was going to make an enormous cake, so I divided the recipe and made two  good sized cakes.  One for work and one for the kid's lunchboxes.
  • Crazy Italian Chocolate Cake  - from Scrumptious, an utterly decadent treat, this cake is dairy and egg free,  Very moist and dark and the chocolate icing/ganache was sublime.  
Verdict:  Of course they will both be made again.  I may try using a different oil instead of olive in the chocolate cake, and I know now not to leave the chocolate icing in the fridge too long to cool it down for spreading.

Week Three:
Something savoury for a change.  Butter Chicken Rice Pie - this was another of those recipes ripped from a cooking magazine and stuck into that giant note book I have.  I did manage to find the recipe online though - so if you are interested in making it - here it is.  I don't have saffron, so add about 1/2 teaspoon dried turmeric powder in the water as I am cooking the rice to get that lovely golden colour.

Verdict:  This recipe was well worth finding, and will definitely be made again for the family.  A little spicy from the chilli powder, but really delicious, with subtle hints of cinnamon.

Week Four:
Yes another Chelsea Winter recipe from Everyday Delicious - Oaty Apricot Slice.  I was concerned at how the apricot topping would set, but it does firm up in the fridge.

Verdict: Not really suitable as a slice for the school lunchboxes, I think the apricot topping would be a bit of a disastrous mess after a couple of hours sitting in there.  However it made  nice dessert, not overly rich or sweet.

December means the beginning of summer and lots of Christmas cooking and busyness, Here's hoping I try some new recipes and not just the good old tried and true, never fail options.


  1. It all looks delicious. I never thought about freezing bananas, I use them as needed into banana bread which I then freeze.

    1. If you are going to freeze them, peel them first. Great way to have a supply on hand for baking.

  2. I think the Chelsea Winter cookbooks are some of the very best around. I'm definitely going to bake the banana muffins (thanks for the info on keeping bananas in the freezer). Butter chicken rice pie is also going on my list, I'm off to print out the recipe - thanks.

  3. I love reading about your baking and your verdicts Julie Lou. I look forward to your christmas baking! :-) My DIL peels the bananas and freezes them for the kids to make smoothies!

  4. The chicken recipes looks delicious! I really like the look of that, so thanks for the link! Of course, all the cakes look wonderful too, but I'm not the baker in my house!

  5. I always enjoy your thoughts on the goodies you cook. The muffins have my mouth watering.

  6. Looks delicious ... that cake!! Yum!
    I think I will be trying the chicken recipe.
    Thank you for sharing, I always enjoy these posts.

  7. I always drool after reading your Cook the Books posts! These look delicious and thanks for the link to the chicken recipe too.


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