What’s cooking – a book review


One of our big successes of 2014 wasn’t veggies we’d grown or even beer we’d brewed. It was quite simply that we tidied the shelf in the den creating space to organise our ever-growing pile of cookery books. Previously we’d kept the books in a messy pile in the living room but because it had become so difficult to find the one you were after, they had mostly sat about being ignored.

The new organised shelf mean that we are re-discovering some of our favourites and trying some new recipes.

So we thought we’d share our current favourite cookery books and recipes with you.


Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall – of River Cottage fame

everydayOne of the first and indeed most used cookery books we bought was the “Every day” book.  It came about because our friends Hayley and Luke cooked a few dishes for us that we really loved and when we asked about them, Hayley raved about this book and let us have a leaf through it. By the time Kate had driven us home that evening, I had been online on my phone and bought a copy.

The recipes in the book are nice and simple and very easy to follow and if you are eagle-eyed you will find a few of our versions of these recipes on our blog. Stuffed squash is a particular favourite of our as well as beetroot tart.



Gok Wan – Fashion Guru????????

gokThis one may throw you a little. Yes Gok Wan of TV fame for being a fashion design guru.

Lots of people are a bit confused about why he has released a cookery book after all he’s not a tv chef, doesn’t do cookery shows etc but it turns out he grew up cooking in his dad’s Chinese restaurant and has reworked a lot of his old favourite dishes into  slightly more healthy and less stodgy versions.

I love them.

In fact one of my favourite dishes to cook came from this book – Garlic Chicken.


Paul Hollywood – of Great British Bake Off fame

hollywoodOk I have to admit to my deep, dark secret. I am a massive Paul Holllywood fan – massive.

I had a nightmare of a time trying to learn how to make bread and then got his “How to Bake” book. An overnight transformation and I’m now making bread easily and sometimes I’m even a wee bit adventurous. Again I have to admit, it was Luke that turned me onto this book – he was making a cottage loaf one afternoon for lunch and I can still remember how amazing it smelled.

I think I had even ordered that book before we got home.

I now own 3 or 4 of Paul Hollywood’s books and even though he is a self-confessed “yellow, fizzy swill drinker”, I’m a fan.


Allegria Mcevery – TV chef

AllegriaAlledria Mcevery’s “Big Table Busy Kitchen” is a new purchase for us and so far we’ve only made one recipe from it, her Key Lime Pie. However it was fantastic, so I know I am going to be using this book more as the year goes on and I’m happy to recommend it.

I think my next experiment is going to be into pastry and tarts and there are certainly a few in this book that have caught my eye – who knows I may tell you all about it.


So there you have it, our kitchen reading recommendations for 2015. Stock up your bookshelves and get cooking.




We are Kate and Eli and we love gardening, growing veggies and cooking.

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About Us


We are Kate and Eli and we love gardening, growing veggies and cooking.

About Us


We are Kate and Eli and we love gardening, growing veggies and cooking.