Cookbook Review: Chop Chop

Chop Chop – Brett McGregor

Chop Chop
Asian food is my nemesis so I am glad for all the help I can get when it comes to preparing delicious meals with an oriental flair.  Curries and Thai food I have a handle on but anything else bewilders me.  I can’t tell if the recipe is Malaysian, Vietnamese, Chinese or otherwise.  Not so for Brett McGregor, New Zealand’s first MasterChef winner.  This is his third cookbook, and as with his first (Taste of a traveller) and second (A Taste of home), Brett shares a whole heap of tasty recipes suitable for family cooking. Continue reading

Cookbook Review: Melie’s Kitchen

Melie’s Kitchen by Amelia Ferrier (Penguin Random House New Zealand)

Melie's Kitchen

I have a fair collection of cook books both new and old.  My favourite cook books are anything with baking or preserving (jams and jellies and such like).  Some books I have never made anything from, although I want to try three or four of the recipes.  Other books I have get me extremely inspired to get into the kitchen and try stuff out.  Melie’s Kitchen falls into the second group – there is so much in there that is just ‘wow’ and ‘oh-my-goodness’ and ‘I’d never have thought of that’.  It’s so exciting (and no, it is not sad that I find a cookbook exciting). Continue reading

Cookbook Review: Pipi at home

Pipi at HomePipi, a vibrant pink café in Havelock North, Hawkes Bay, has locals bowled over and visitors listing it as one of the attractions not to miss when visiting the region. That being said, I haven’t yet managed to find my way there despite being in and through Havelock North many times. The main reason (excuse) is that we are usually on our way to somewhere or we are visiting friends so time to sit and have a leisurely meal hasn’t presented itself as yet. It doesn’t help that Havelock North is stuffed full of fabulous places to visit – from Bellatino’s Foodlovers Market and Poppies bookshop which, as I’ve mentioned before, is packed with a huge variety of cookbooks to the Adam & Eva café & food store and Jacksons Bakery & Café.  It is also worth a mention that Pipi, while described as a café, is open 4pm – 10pm so it is an evening meal destination (or very late afternoon tea/lunch).

Continue reading

This cookbook is a keeper: One-dish Dinners – Easy all-in-one meals

One-dish dinners – Penny Oliver

Published by Penguin Random House (NZ)
One-dish dinners
I was lucky enough to receive a review copy of One-dish Dinners by Penny Oliver.  A long-time NZ food writer, Penny has written six cookbooks including Beach Bach Boat Barbecue and Single Serve.  The easy all-in-one meals theme of her latest book, One-dish Dinners, appealed to the busy-week-night-mother-with-hungry-chickens in me.  I work from home, so I have more freedom than most working mothers in that I can put tea on at any point during the day.  However, with after school trips to guitar lessons, choir practice and such-like, dinner prep time can be a harried affair.  On these nights, I don’t want to create a delicious healthy macaroni and cheese that uses every pot I have in the kitchen and most of the bowls as well.  I do want to create delicious healthy meals with minimum fuss and bother. Continue reading