The best cookbooks reviewed by you!

02 Dec 2010

How often do you escape to your cookbooks? I know I do. I cannot remember a time that I didn’t go to bed with a stack of food magazines or a new cookbook. I read recipes like some people read novels. The great food writers like Nigel Slater, Phillipa Cheifitz, Maggie Beer, Terry Durack and Alice Waters have been responsible for my food education.

A good cookbook is more than just a collection of recipes that work. I love a book that also tells a story – of ingredients gathered and of good times shared around a plate of well-loved food. The books that I truly treasure - and return to - are those with  little hints and tips that only an experienced cook can impart.

At Food 24 we are extremely privileged to have talented people who are just as passionate as us about food: our food bloggers. Like a living online cookbook they share their stories and recipes with us daily. This food blogging community is the heart and soul of Food24.

Since it is summer and holidays and a time of the year when you buy some cookbooks as gifts or to read on the beach – have asked some of our bloggers to each review a new cookbook for us. These are ordinary people with a passion for food and the same budgets and time issues as all of us.

Read what our bloggers said about these new cookbooks and even take a peek at the recipes they cooked from these books.

Jamie’s 30-minute meals - Jamie Oliver
Pink Polkadot says: “The book offers fifty varied meals ranging from vegetarian to red meat and desserts. The meals are easy to make and most of them make use of ingredients that are easily obtainable.”
Read part 1, part 2 and part 3 of Pink Polkadot’s review.
Order 30-minute-meals from

Easy – Phillipa Cheifitz
Sardines on Toast says: “I can just see that these are the types of dishes that I would love to quickly (and probably quite lazily) whip up on hot summer days."
Read the rest of Sardines on Toast’s review.
See 5 more recipes from Easy.
Win a copy of Easy.
Order Easy from

Kitchen – Nigella Lawson
Simply Delicious says: "I know many people don’t like the way she makes cooking sauce seem like she’s shooting a porno, but I love all that. Even people who burn toast will be able to rustle up a delicious meal using these recipes.”
Read the rest of Simply Delicious’s review here and also see this fried gnocchi recipe from the book.
Order Kitchen from

Best menus - Gordon Ramsey
Scrumptious says: ”These menus … take all the hassle out of planning an interesting three-course meal using fresh seasonal produce.”
Read the rest of Scrumptious’ review.
Order Best menus from
7de Laan Cookbook
Lavender & Lime says: “I literally devoured this book. From starters to stir-fries, cocktails to canapés, dinners to desserts, this recipe book has it all.”
Read the rest of Lavender & Lime’s review.
Order 7de Laan Cookbook from

Bill’s Basics – Bill Granger
Bits of Carey says: “I love Bill’s healthy versions of classic family favourites; check out his fried chicken and lasagne. We can relate to his dishes and flavours because the Australian seasons are so similar to South Africa’s. Fresh, seasonal and flavourful food.”
Read Bits of Carey’s review.
Order Bill’s Basics from

Cooked: Out of the frying pan – Justin Bonello
Fired-up Cooking says “The recipes range from really difficult to wonderfully easy. There’s are also lots of tips, like using bicarb to control the acidity of tomatoes and how to make cous cous properly.”
Read the rest of Fired Up Cooking’s review and see this cous cous recipe from the book.
Order Cooked from

Easy, simple and delicious – Sonia Cabano
Leaine’s Kitchen says: “Sonia’s views on food … are very similar to mine - being that only the best ingredients should be put into your body in order for you to look and feel your best.”
Read the rest of Leaine’s Kitchen review.
See 4 more recipes from Easy, Simple and Delicious.
Order Easy, simple and delicious from

I'm currently busy cooking my way through Marita Van Der Vywer's sumptious cookbook Somerkos in provence. It has all the ingredients of a great book: Nostalgic stories, vibrant photographs full of light and wonderful food that real people long to eat. (Mom you are getting it for Christmas!)

Let me know which books you will be cooking this December.


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