Cookbook challenge – Anthony Bourdain: roast chicken with lemon and butter

Andrew and I love Anthony Bourdain. His TV shows are a perfect mix of travel and cooking, so that they appeal to us both, and although I don’t think he’s the kind of person I’d want to know (man, he’s scary), he is entertaining, witty, and writes a great book. His latest book is ‘Appetites: […]

Cookbook challenge – The Sopranos Family Cookbook: Braciole

Andrew and I have always loved cuddling up on the sofa to watch a tv show or film, usually with a cat or four on our laps demanding our attention. In the olden days when Netflix and Amazon Prime didn’t exist and we had to watch DVDs (yes, I do also remember VHS), Andrew and […]

Cookbook challenge – Nigel Slater: beetroot and goats cheese, pork and lemons, rhubarb marscapone tart

I am writing this just after watching the first episode of a new cookery programme by Nigel Slater. As always I am struck by how genuinely nice he seems, and how much I’d like to go around to his house for dinner. In fact, years ago we used to live near to him in Highbury […]

Cookbook Challenge – Ferran Adria’s The Family Meal: Peas & Ham, Roast Chicken

I was a bit worried that Andrew was being too ambitious when he chose The Family Meal cookbook by Ferran Adria – he of El Bulli fame. The book is called The Family Meal because it focuses on meals cooked for staff at the restaurant as opposed to those cooked for paying guests, which at […]

Cookbook Challenge – Jamie Oliver’s Comfort Food: irresistible pork buns & potted custard

When I originally started my Cookbook Challenge I said it was because I wanted to avoid always picking recipes from my favourite stand-by books, generally by Nigella and Jamie. But when Andrew is picking the book each week and happens to have seen a TV show with Jamie Oliver making ‘irresistible pork buns’, there’s not […]

Cookbook Challenge – Two Greedy Italians: classic lasagne

Who doesn’t love lasagne eh? Most home cooks will have their own version, whether it’s made using a jar of sauce (which is how I first started making mine years ago, and I used to love eating the white sauce out of the jar with a spoon!), or a skinny version with leeks instead of […]

Cookbook Challenge – The Hairy Bikers: duck massaman curry

I find I can’t watch The Hairy Bikers now without thinking of Keith Lemon’s The Hairy Lairy Bikers, where they give the finger to everything and anything as they drive around on their little scooters. I can’t really imagine those cheeky, chirpy northerners being chippy in real life, but the sketch is very funny. Anyway, […]

Cookbook Challenge – James Martin: Lancashire hotpot and apple pie

I have been thoroughly enjoying these Cookbook Challenges, where Andrew chooses a cookbook each week (and usually a recipe) so that I can finally make use of the hundreds of cookbooks I own and rarely use. But I am struggling to write up each recipe straight away, and so I really need to be a […]

Cookbook challenge – The Magpie Cookbook: beer battered prawns, cod with an anchovy crust and dauphinoise potatoes

So much lovely food, so little time! Despite not posting about my Cookbook Challenge for a couple of weeks, rest assured I have been making a recipe (at least one!) from one of my cookbooks – chosen by Andrew – each week. A few weeks ago, that cookbook was The Magpie Cafe cookbook, which I […]

Cookbook Challenge – Gary Rhodes: goats cheese and tomato salad, cod with bacon and carrots, rhubarb tart

Gary Rhodes is one of those TV chefs who was always on the telly when I was growing up, with his spiky hedgehog hair and checkered trousers. Despite his (for the time) slightly unorthodox appearance, his cooking and presentation could not have been more traditional. Classic dishes, cooked traditionally, presented in a refined and simple […]