Kidsplaynz’s Top FIVE recipe book recommendations

It’s nearly that time of year again, officially 97 sleeps till Christmas, well there may be less depending on when you read this blog. But it’s that time of year when we need to organise ourselves to buy presents or hand over our Christmas wish list.

One of the things that is always on my Christmas wish list is recipes books, I love them! The only thing though is when you buy or request a recipe book you want to know that you are actually going to use it and it’s not going to sit on your bookshelf collecting dust. The best recipe books are the ones that are dog-eared, have some writing in them, flour dust and a bit of chocolate cake mix staining the pages. If your recipe book looks like that, then you know it’s a good one.

I post a few pictures of food and cooking on my social media sites and I often get asked to share recipes, obviously, I can’t share a recipe if it’s from a cookbook but I can share with you which recipe books are my go-to books that I use on a weekly or monthly basis. You can then confidently add them to your Christmas Wish List or buy them for family and friends and then ask to borrow the book back. Cheeky Yes!

I love cooking with ingredients that won’t break the bank and that I can find in the supermarket or by just going down to Vetro in Ahuriri which stocks most speciality items. Also, my family needs to like what I make. No point making something for dinner with a bunch of funny ingredients when no one else in the house is going to eat it, including me. I made buckwheat pizza bases once, juso you know, I gave the packet of buckwheat flour away and we didn’t have pizza for tea that night!

So here we go, in no particular order, my top FIVE cookbooks that I use on a regular basis – husband and child-friendly.

Chelsea Winter – At My Table

This was Chelsea’s first ever book she put out after winning Master Chief and even though her books are more sophisticated now this one is still a gem. It’s full of family recipes with a Dutch influence, think Olie Bollen and Dutch Apple Tart from Chelsea’s Oma. I often refer to this book to make biscuits, quick dinner recipes to the crowd-pleasing Lemonade Scone which whenever I make them I always get compliments on how delicious they are. The Pork with Raisins, Fennel and Pancetta has me drooling, it is a winner! Ekk I think I am going to have to add that to next weeks menu planning.

wp-image-2120051392

Chelsea Winter – Homemade Happiness

Another book by Chelsea Winter. I think this one is actually my favourite book by far and I think it comes down to the Custard Square recipe! Who would have thought that Custard Squares would be so easy to make, and if you use the Lewis Road Caramel Milk instead of regular milk it takes it to the next level. Again this book has easy family dinners, more biscuits and cakes and lunch items for the kids. Our favourites in this house are the Mince and Cheese Pie, Chicken Fettuccine, Chelsea’s Apple Pie oh and the Giner Kisses, taste even better the next day, if they last that long!

Unna Birch, The Forest Cantina – Home

I bought this book recently and wow I have not been disappointed. Again this is one of those books that takes easy meals to the next level. I also love the fact that Unna self-published this book. You will want to leave Home out on your coffee table, it is so beautiful, the layout, the styling and you want to feature a grazing table at your next Party. Also included at the back of the book is a guide for growing your own vegetables, looking after chickens and your own beehive.

My favourite go-to recipes in here are the Banana Bread, this is delicious and so simple to whip up. Other favourites include the Homemade Falafels with Homemade Picked Onions and the Lemon Pie is my Alex’s favourite, I have lost count on how many times he has asked me to make him Lemon Pie in the last three months.

wp-image-448429811

Essential Volume One – Annabel Langbein

Earlier this year I was given Essential by Annabel Langbein for my birthday. This is a volume of all Annabel’s best savoury recipes from over the years plus new recipes as well, everything is in one place. It’s a huge book and I don’t think I have actually looked at all the pages yet. I made dumplings for the first time the other week and it has loads of my favourite throughout. If you know Annabel’s books this volume also includes her popular fridge fixings which is perfect for the upcoming summer months. My personal favourite to have in the fridge and stored away is plenty of Tomato Kasandi.

wp-image-1088625739

A Free Range Life Annabel Langbein Issue Four

This isn’t so much a book but a large style magazine. This is definitely the best foodie magazine/annual I have ever bought. It focuses on using Autumn and early Winter vegetables and fruits to make snacks and light lunches followed by hearty mains and comforting desserts. My favourite section is the Sunday Sauce – make up a large tomato base, portion it and freeze and then use later by adding a few different flavours to make Mexican, Chinese or Greek. There are ten different ways to use the base sauce. Another favourite and something I make quite a bit is the leek and ham tart.

This is my line up of favourite recipes books. Do you have any favourites to share, let me know in the comments or on our facebook page.

Becks 🥣🥗🥨

Advertisements

Homemade Seed Crackers

Since it’s Plastic Free July and so many people are really getting into it I thought I would share this great cracker recipe that I use all the time.    I can’t claim it as my own, nor do I remember who to say thank you to but from memory, it was adapted from a Donna Hay recipe and shared a thousand times over on the internet.  You can put your own mark on it and change it to suit your own tastes.

All these ingredients can be purchased from the bulk bins section of your supermarket or try places like Bin Inn or your local health food store.  Use your own bags and then you won’t be stuck with plastic wrappers.   I think you will be converted after trying them as well and never go back to eating packet crackers ever again.  They really are divine.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/4 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/4 Cup Linseeds aka (Flaxseeds)
  • 1/4 Cup Sesame Seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cup Spelt flour
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1/3 Cup of Olive Oil
  • Dried herbs of your choice for sprinkling. (Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano etc. My favourite is Cumin seeds.  YUM!!

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.  Line a tray with baking paper.

Place all seeds, salt, and spelt flour into a large bowl, stir to combine.  Add the water and oil and mix to form a wet dough.

P1050047

Divide the dough in half.   Place one-half of the dough onto the prepared tray and cover with an extra piece of baking paper.  Carefully roll out with a rolling pin to roughly 3mm thick.   Sprinkle with salt, and dried herbs of your choice.

Using a sharp knife cut lines to make the crackers, this will make it easy to snap once they are cooked.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and crisp.  Cool on a wire rack, and store in an airtight container if they are not all eaten first.

Repeat steps with the next batch of dough.

**(If you don’t want your crackers to have whole seeds in them, pop them into a stand mixer and give everything a quick mix, (my mum does this and they come out really well).**

P1050064_Fotor

Plastic package free crackers.  These crackers will keep in an airtight container for a couple of weeks.

What are you making from scratch this Plastic Free July?

Becks 🍪♻️🌏

If you want to see more from us check out Facebook or Instagram.