Friday, 26 February 2016

Cook The Books - February

Gosh it is almost the end of February, so that means my first Cook the Books month has finished. Here's a round up of the new recipes I tried, what were hits and what were misses.

Week 1.
I made the most of not being at work and made two new dishes.  Both were from the Annabel Langbein 2015 Summer Annual.
  • Beetroot and Carrot Tabbouleh, using beetroot and herbs from vegetable garden
  • Plum Sorbet - I was given a large bag of plums, and with the hot weather we  had been having, this was the perfect recipe.
Verdict: Definitely make again dishes, especially the sorbet,we have already been thinking of different seasonal fruits and flavours we could try.

Week 2
A couple of years ago, Mr J had tried spiced chick peas somewhere and liked them.  Lately he has been asking me to make some.  Luckily for him, I came across a recipe for Spiced, Toasted Chick Peas in Sarah Raven's Food for Friends and Family, and thought I'd try to recreate them for him.

Verdict: They're good,  and I'd make them again, but perhaps they need a little more paprika or the addition of crushed chili flakes for a little more zing.

Week 3
I like coleslaw as a change from salads in summer.   Apple and Poppy Seed Coleslaw from The Revive Cafe Cookbook 3,  sounded particularly good, as well as helping  use up some of the cabbage and older apples in my fridge.

Verdict: A different type of coleslaw, because it doesn't have a creamy mayonnaise mixed through it.  Tangy and refreshing,  and yes, I am allowed to make it again sometime.

Week 4
This year I have a great crop of basil and a poor crop of tomatoes.  Murphy's Law I guess,  In an effort to use up some of it, and because we don't eat a lot of pesto, I decided to make Basil Hummus, a recipe in The Revive Cafe Cookbook  3.

Verdict: I was disappointed that my Basil Hummus wasn't the same fresh pretty green as in the photograph in the book.  Taste and texture was good, and should I make it again, I would halve the quantity.

Overall it hasn't been too hard cooking new recipes.  Most ingredients I have had on hand.  I am finding I do need to spend some time going thought my cook books and marking the pages with different coloured sticky tabs, so I know where to find the recipes when I want them each week.  A little bit of meal planning is happening too now, which I guess isn't a bad thing.  Now lets see what I end up cooking in March.


  1. Gosh you have been busy! Looking back to when I lived at home, you knew exactly which day of the week it was by what mum cooked! (And I still know what was cooked when, but I won't bore you!) Great to test out new recipes, I love experimenting, and the beetroot & carrot tabbouleh looks yummy... how are the family coping?

  2. Such a good idea to try new recipes I seem to stick to what I know. Love the sound of the coleslaw.

  3. Beautiful photos, Julie! I love the way beets look, so I always want to eat them. My husband is not the biggest fan. The sorbet looks really good. I'm craving sweets :) :)

  4. They all look so good! The plum sorbet looks great as well as the apple and poppy seed coleslaw! It all looks so fresh and yummy! There is nothing better than good food. Enjoy your time in the kitchen! Keep us inspired!

  5. I really admire you for trying new recipes! Maybe you could keep a photographic record ( a blog even) on the recipes that work and that you want try again! I had a recipe for a fantastic chicken salad which I made a couple of times, then I lost the recipe. Endless searches of the internet proved fruitless!


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