Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Cook the Books - February

Week One:  A birthday always means cake, Mr J's birthday was no exception. As pieces also get taken to school for lunch box treats, I decided not to make anything too rich or inclined to melt in the summer heat we have been enjoying.  I made him Chocolate Chippy Cake from Annabel Langbeins Celebrate Summer Annual.

Verdict:  I found the cake a little dry, but I may have cooked it a little too long.  It was a hit with The Scout, and of course the birthday boy.   I especially like the vanilla icing.

Week Two:  Life has been pretty hectic with school, work and of course all the after school activities that start again.  Finally on Friday afternoon, I managed to get some baking done.  Again a recipe from Annabel Langbein's Celebrate Summer - Peanut Crunch Slice.  This was a very simple and quick recipe to make, the most time consuming part was probably chopping the peanuts.

Verdict:  A nice slice, though mine was a little crumbly due to the fact I misread the size of the tray it was meant to be cooked, meaning the base was a little thinner. Enjoyed by everyone, and I completely forgot to take a photo until it was all gone.

Week Three:  My sister had been raving about the Moroccan Chicken and Apricot Salad from Chelsea Winter's  book, Homemade Happiness.  Nicely flavoured, with apricots, nuts, herbs and lots of different spices in the chicken marinade.  A creamy yogurt dressing tops it all off.

Verdict:  Not too bad, it possibly could have done with a little more salt and if I had read the recipe properly and used spinach instead of assuming it was lettuce, it may have tasted a little different too.  Mr J not overly impressed with the Israeli Couscous,   Maybe next time I'd try it with orzo too.

Week Four:  Plums that needed to be used up, and a fortuitous recipe find on facebook, led to me creating Plum Ice Cream Sandwiches.  Super simple to make, even the wafers were easy to create.

Verdict:  I would recommend making this the day before you intend to serve it, my ice cream was slightly more semi-freddo than solid.  Still very yummy and it received rave reviews from all the family on a hot summer evening.

I think next month's meals maybe a little different as I try to help Miss B in her quest for a sugar free month.  Interesting times ahead.

Please link up your Cook the Book endeavours in the linky below - would love to see what you have all been up to.


  1. All your dishes look delicious, the plum ice cream sandwiches particularly so with this hot and humid weather.

  2. A perfect meal right there Julie! I love the look of the Moroccan Chicken salad. We love that Israeli Couscous here. I think I might need to add this one to my small repertoire!

  3. Love reading about your baking/cooking efforts. The choc chippy cake looks a little dry. I made a lemon cake last week...just the same. The verdict from my friends husband was...not enough butter! poo hoo to him too. VBG! My DH said it was quite alright! haha!

  4. That salad looks amazing and I am just gobsmacked at the idea of plum ice-cream. who knew?! I don't think I tried a single new thing this month (if I did - it must not have been memorable ;-)

  5. Oh goodness... icecream sandwiches! I rmemeber the old icey sliceys from years ago! Your version looks much more appealing!

  6. The chicken and apricot salad looks delicious, my mouth is watering...

  7. Yummy and fun sounding recipes Julie! I haven't tried anything new lately but did make a particularly nice salmon-plus-pick-it-and-into-the-pan within 5 minutes meal the other night!

  8. Your photos are always so well done. Great photography!!
    I made a sandwich ice cream treat using Nutella.


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