Two Cookbooks I Love: a modern way to eat & a modern way to cook by Anna Jones!

Pic by Franzi.

Today I would like to present you two current cookbook favs of mine: a modern way to eat and a modern way to cook. Both are written by Anna Jones – a cook, stylist and writer. The books are a wonderful collection of vegetarian recipes that are not quite ordinary but easy to prepare and totally convenient for everyday.

Plus, every recipe is accompanied by a little story told by Anna Jones: Why and how she did create the recipe in the first place, at which season it should be served or she gives some clever tips regarding the preparation. I have the German versions of the cookbooks – simply because those books are printed on apple paper (yes, that’s indeed paper made from apples). I just think that’s wonderful – not only because it’s sustainable, but also because it looks and feels really beautiful.

Two weeks ago, Anna Jones announced her third cookbook – its name will be The Modern Cook’s Year and it will be released (in English) on October 5, 2017. Yeah :)!

Enjoy your week!

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How Good Are Your Cookbooks? Today: Cook, Eat, Smile by Bill Collison!

All photos by Dania!

Yippee, here comes the next cookbook 🙂 ! This time, Dania wanted to test Cook Eat Smile by Bill Collison. She saw this book, fell in love with it and its gorgeous pictures, bought it … and then never had the time to prepare something from it. Enough reasons to take it out of the bookcase, to blow away the dust and cook, cook, cook.

The contestant: Cook Eat Smile by Bill Collison.

But first things first: This cookbook had actually an incredible hard testing team – we looked for recipes that are vegetarian (me), contain no mushrooms or potato fritters (Dania) & are without any casein or gluten or pineapple juice (Küken). Yap, like I said – it was difficult, …but we finally found three suitable recipes. You may think that this was already the most complicated part of our testing party, but then we started shopping the ingredients: Two people and four (!) stores later (This scenario didn’t happen in a small village town. – It was Hamburg.) we had 95% of everything we needed. Then the fun part started…

The testing team.

We cooked, drank red wine (and a little bit salmiakki) and ATE. The whole procedure took a while (around three hours) – but afterwards, three smiling, happy and full women (without any bellyache) sat around Dania’s dining table, ready to start into Hamburg’s night life (and its unique characters).

Our end result: The book deserves **** (from five stars). Everything was delicious. The one star missing is caused by some difficulties in getting all needed ingredients (Do you ever heard of Cavolo Nero or palm sugar?!) and a relative long preparation time (the curry needed at least 1,5 hrs).

1. Starter: Roast Tomato and Orange Soup:

…Three women and all we were able to say was “Incredible delicious.” or “Life can be so good.”. That’s how excellent this simple-made soup tasted. Rumor has it this recipe was already used a second time in Dania’s household.

2. Side Dish: Spiced Cauliflower and Chickpeas Salad:

…An exotic variant of a winter salad. We used savoy instead of the Cavolo Nero. I liked the heat of the dish, but this was not the consensus. A dish that tastes healthy and different, but not something that urgently has to be repeated.

3. Main Dish: Pumpkin and Coconut Curry:

… I’m a big curry (& pumpkin) fan. So I really looked forward to our main dish. Despite the quite long preparation time and some uncommon ingredients, I definitely plan to repeat this recipe soon. It tasted full and rich and Indian and … delicious.

BTW: Since THIS book counts to my favorites, the title of Cook Eat Smile alone was worth testing it.

Do you still remember our last tested cookbook? Nigella Express!

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How Good Are Your Cookbooks? Today: Nigella Express!

Like promised last week, I start today with testing different cookbooks and the potential of their recipes to make us full and happy :). The series starts with the book Nigella Express: 130 Recipes for good food fast by Nigella Lawson which has its home in Isa’s kitchen. Together we tested a whole range of recipes – from breakfast over a starter, a main and a side dish to a dessert. Evaluated were the practicability, the originality aaand the taste, of course. The book promises to offer recipes for a variety of different occasions (after-work dishes, for friends and family, for the soul..) that are all easy and fast to prepare.

What I liked most about the recipes was that you don’t need to buy many extravagant ingredients, but the combination of the ingredients is often quite innovative and guarantees new flavor experiences. Besides the fact, that we prepared some of the tested dishes at the same time, it was all very uncomplicated and took at least one hour until it was ready to serve (…with the exception of the moonblush tomatoes which are prepared while you are SLEEPING). And finally our statement about the taste: Every single dish was DELICIOUS!

Our end result: The book deserves ***** (from five stars) + one revelation for Isa (=the moonblush tomatoes which she repeated already thrice. And she found out that it is also working with bell peppers)!

1. Breakfast: Caramel Croissant Pudding

Croissants, eggs, cream, rum, sugar? Are you kidding me?! Ohh, but it’s so worth it! We couldn’t stop eating… It was impossible.

2. Starter: Moonblush Tomatoes + Salad with Moonblush Tomatoes

The incredible red moonblush tomatoes: Just put them into the preheated oven, turn the oven off, go to sleep and on the next morning they are done! What most astound me was that they are still looking like common cherry tomatoes, but they taste like DRIED tomatoes!

3. Main Dish: Festive Fusilli

…Isa: “Can you imagine to sit around the table on a family festivity and then serve this vodka pasta?!”. Seriously, its delicious. But there’s  still a whole shot of vodka inside!

4. Side Dish: Halloumi Bites

…Easy-peasy prepared and suddenly a common halloumi tastes even more delicious!

4. Dessert: White Chocolate Mint Mousse

Isa: “The ingredients photo will look funny with the china oil.” How is it possible?! We added ONE DROP of the oil to our mixture and it tasted incredibly minty!

All pics by Franzi (click on the pics to enlarge!).

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links.

New Series: How Good Are Your Cookbooks?

My pal Isa came up with a gorgeous idea last week: Why not test the potential of the cookbooks in our kitchen drawers? This will bring us three BIG advantages: First, we will finally prepare recipes from them and not only look at the pictures and plan to make something someday in an uncertain future. Second, it provides the perfect opportunity to invite some friends for a big cooking party. Third, in the end you all will finally know how good your cookbooks really are. I love the idea and will start the series with the following three cookbooks during the next months.

Do you want to test any other cookbook? I’m happy for your ideas. Thus, let me know!

Nigella Express: 130 Recipes for good food fast by Nigella Lawson
(That’s the one we will start with next week!)
Picture Credit

Meine Sonnenküche: Mediterrane Rezepte / Ma cuisine végétarienne by Virginie Besançon (Unfortunately not published in English yet)
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The instant Cook by Donna Hay
Picture Credit

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links.