Saturday, October 22, 2022

Weekend Cooking: Australian Women's Weekly Cookbooks

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that there is a monthly cookbook recipe club run by Jamie Oliver (or his people at least). In the comments to that post a friend mentioned that there is actually an Australian based monthly cookbook club on Facebook which has the interesting name of Lambs' Ears Cookbook Club. The idea is that each month there will be a nominated cookbook that everyone cooks out of and then shares their photos.

This month, it's not so much a single cookbook but rather any book from the Australian Women's Weekly range. This means that there are hundreds and hundreds of cookbooks to choose from.

The Australian Women's Weekly used to be a weekly magazine filled with celebrity news, articles, food and garden and had a profound influence in Australian households including for social issues and the spread of ideas. In 1982 it was changed from a weekly magazine to a monthly edition, filled with all of the same things, just more of it.

One of the most important aspects of the magazine has been the food section. According to Wikipedia, there was a survey done in 1999 which suggested that more than 90% of people bought the magazine for the recipes. It was certainly the reason why I would keep magazines, although I don't think I have bought one of the magazines for 30 years or more. When you do find one, for example in a doctor's waiting room, it is the food section that I turn to most regularly.

A spin-off of the magazines was the cookbooks. The first cook booklet came out in 1948 with the first proper cookbook coming out in the 1970s. All of the recipes are tested in the AWW Test kitchen and it is something that is taken for granted. If cook an AWW recipe then chances are high that it will turn out as expected.

Since that first cookbook in 1970, there have been hundreds and hundreds of cookbooks published as part of the range.  If you need a book for specific cuisines there will be one, for food intolerances, for a specific appliance, for celebrations, for budget busting. Pretty much for everything!

I did buy a lot of these back in the early 90s but I have misplaced them along the way. I do have a few though that I thought I would mention today. I have also posted about some of these before as well.

I'll start with what is possibly the most well known, the Children's Birthday Cake book, which I have posted about here previously.  These are the cakes that everyone wanted to have as a kid. There was a swimming pool cake where the water was blue jelly, trains, numbers, a Dolly Varden cake (where you have a doll with a skirt made of cake.

A couple of years ago, one of our lolly (as in candy) companies brought out a version and I made my then 23 years sold a green flamingo cake!!

The next AWWC book I have on my shelf is simply called Cook. The subtitle is How to Cook Absolutely Everything and it's probably a fair call. It is nearly 700 pages of recipes, tips and tricks, techniques and more. I have made a couple of things out of this book since I bought it at least 10 years ago but flicking through the pages today has made me realise that I need to take a closer look at this book. I have previously shared a recipe for Triple Choc Brownies.

If I had to confess which AWWC cookbooks we cook from the most it would be these two Pressure Cooker and Slow Cooker books. I picked the first one up on a whim from Kmart and there were so many recipes we wanted to cook from it, so I quickly ordered the second one. These books are unusual in that for every recipe there are two variations. One is where the recipe is cooked in a slow cooker and the other where it is cooked in the pressure cooker. So far we have mainly cooked the pressure cooker recipes. We have cooked poached pears, pork ribs, chicken curry and more. 

Our go to recipe out of this book is Steak and Pepper Dumpling Pie, although we never make it with dumplings. We have served it with mash potato, with soda bread, with a pastry lid and turned into an actual pie. We have also served it up to dinner guests and it has gone down a treat. It's just so tasty and versatile.

I do also own a book called Bake but that must still be in a box somewhere as I can't find it on my shelves right now.

I have already requested next month's book from the library so hopefully it comes in time for me to participate in the cookbook club.

  Weekly meals

Saturday - Steak and Pepper casserole, mash, veggies
Sunday -  Pork chops mash, beans and gravu
Monday - Pasta bake with chicken and green veg
Tuesday - Burgers
Wednesday - Out for dinner
Thursday - One pot Honey Soy chicken stir fry
Friday - Out for dinner

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.


  1. My uncle was married to an English girl. In the 60s, she would get Woman's Weekly. She then passed them on to me. I loved them.

    1. It looks like the English Women's Weekly is still published weekly too!

  2. I always treasured my women's magazines especially the cooking section. With the Internet and blogs, they have taken a back seat. However, I have saved many of them and do enjoy looking through them even now.

    1. I just got rid of a whole heap of magazines when we moved. I may regret that at some point I am sure.

  3. I enjoyed looking at those cookbooks. They area weakness of mine and I have so many! There aew some old ones with horrid photos from the 1960's I still have.

    1. And the dishes that aren't quite as popular as they were back in the 60s either!



Related Posts with Thumbnails

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by 2009

Back to TOP