Cookbook Review: Everyday Delicious

Everyday Delicious
Everyday Delicious is the second cookbook from Chelsea Winter, winner of NZ MasterChef season three.  At My Table, Chelsea’s bestselling first cookbook, is marketed as ‘hearty, delicious, no-fuss mainstream New Zealand recipes’ and Everyday Delicious continues this theme with recipes specifically created for home cooks.

Chelsea is an active social media cook, posting & tweeting about delicious recipes and giving away lots of goodies to her loyal followers.  She is a fresh voice in the kiwi cooking world: her messages, posts & updates are quirky, funny and often very “kiwi”.  She even has an avid fan that has cooked & baked her way through ‘At My Table’ and shared the photographs online – along the lines of the Julie & Julia blog, book & subsequent movie. There are many posts of home cooks sharing their photographs of food made from Chelsea’s recipes and for a cook/chef, there is nothing more satisfying that having people make your recipes and giving positive feedback.

Seeing so many of the delicious dishes on Facebook, I felt the need to track down a copy of ‘At My Table’ but no retail outlet in Gisborne (I tried them all: Muirs, Paperplus, Whitcoulls, Balance Street Bookstore, The Warehouse…. as well as any other place that might sell cookbooks) but there was nary a copy left in sight.

Chelsea’s new book ‘Everyday Delicious’ has graced our kitchen bench for about two weeks and so far, four recipes have been tested and tried: Soft Tacos with Mexican Fish, Tasty Pork or Chicken Lettuce Cups, Good Green Spaghetti & Mushroom, Spinach & Herb Quiche.  Mr L has decided Tasty Pork or Chicken Lettuce Cups is now his favourite meal and the recipe has been added to our Family Recipe Folder.  Mopp decided to cook dinner for us one night and started with the Good Green Spaghetti – it took a little longer than the prep & cooking time indicated on the recipe but it was well the wait.

There are the tips included at the bottom of the pages and I was very impressed when two 17-year-old boys shared the spinach (silverbeet in our case) cooking water between them and decided it was quite nice.  I couldn’t have got them to do that, but Chelsea can (and did). Mopp & I also cooked the Mexican Fish Taco’s together, another delicious dinner that had Mopp thinking he could cook his way through this book.  The recipes are accessible, the ingredients ordinarily found in most people’s pantries and easy enough for week night dinners.  No trouble for a teenager learning to cook.

As for me – the recipes I have my eye on are in the back of the book (surprise huh?) – I am tossing up with between Coconut, Lemon & Passionfruit Cake, White Chocolate & Passionfruit Mousse or Fruit Tart with Passionfruit Curd for my sweet little girl’s 16th birthday (passionfruit is her absolutely favourite above all favourite fruits).  Chelsea shares her recipe for Fresh Mint & Chocolate Slice on her website – that recipe can be found here.  I have a booming mint patch this year and dark chocolate/mint is one of my favourite flavour pairings.  With Xmas season in full swing, some Berry Delicious Rocky Road has been added to the Gifts to make list for friends and family – Chelsea has also shared that recipe here.  I am super tempted by the Peanutty Marshmallow Squares as chocolate & peanut are another match I can’t resist – the only trouble with making this slice is that Miss M and I are the only ones that feel this way about peanuts & chocolate and so we’d end up eating the whole slice.  Hmmmm, second thoughts, why is that a problem again?  But in the meantime – the Banana Bran Muffins will make good use of the spotty bananas left in the fruit bowl.

And thinking about apples – I find Slow-Cooked Pork Belly with Perfect Crackling has a little tip on home-made apple sauce.  I know it’s meant to be summer but the clouds have smothered the sun today so I’m thinking a roast dinner is just the ticket to brighten the day.


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