Since Violetta was born, my kitchen escapades have been a little less adventurous. Most days, I make ragu for pasta, throw fish fingers, jacket potatoes or a chicken in the oven, bake chocolate cakes and assemble salads and sandwiches. But sometimes I still love just leafing through cookery books for inspiration. Tom and I often adapt things, depending on what we have in. And I love reading books by people who love writing about food. Here are a few of my favourites:
1. Chocolate and Zucchini by Clotilde Dusoulier
Fresh seasonal recipes mixed with food reminiscences. Clotilde has a mouth-watering blog and web site too. Her chocolate and zucchini cake is scrumptious.
2. How to Bake by Paul Hollywood
Every recipe I’ve tried from this book has worked so far. The sourdough especially is so easy – perfect to make with a toddler.
3. Kitchen by Nigella Lawson
What can I say? Since her How To Eat, I’ve been a huge Nigella fan, mainly because she writes so beautifully about food and clearly loves eating as much as I do. This is a big, fat book full of inspiration.
4. Venezia: Food and Dreams by Tessa Kiros
Gorgeous photography and styling, delicious recipes and currently my inspiration for many of the foody bits in The Glass.
5. Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache by Harry Eastwood
I fell in love with this book whilst searching for healthier ways of baking when my stepdaughters were younger. They loved some of the cakes in this book – and it’s very handy to have tiny hands to help you grate the courgette, butternut squash and sweet potato that are some of the essential ingredients in the recipes. These natural cakes really work – and they taste wonderful.
6. Hugh’s Three Good Things by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Exactly what it says on the cover. I love simplicity – in food and, come to think of it, in all things. Take three ingredients. Make them mouthwatering. Brilliant book for busy people.
7. The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit
Not a recipe book per se but bursting with inspiration. Have some chicken in your fridge and a jar of lentils in your cupboard? Look them up and get some new ideas for flavour combinations.
By the way cookery books are the only books I tend not to buy on Kindle these days. I find it so much easier to leaf through them, enjoy the pictures and ruminate over the recipes in print format. Some cookery books just seem made for sitting on your shelf, slowly acquiring smudges of chocolate and floury thumbprints.
What are some of your cookery favourites? I’d love to hear.