Saturday, February 18, 2023

Weekend Cooking: In which I borrow far too many cookbooks from the library

A couple of months ago I mentioned that I had recently learned that Jamie Oliver had a cookbook club. And after that I learned about an Australian cookbook club as well called the Lambs Ear Cookbook Club. The reason why I joined the second one was to get to know about the Australian cookbooks that are being released.

I enjoy buying new cookbooks as much as the next person, but two monthly cookbook clubs does mean two new cookbooks every month. If you aren't sure you are going to cook from them, that is not only pricey but takes up space on the bookshelf too! So, where possible,  I am trying to borrow the books from the library. The only problem with that is sometimes the books take so long to come in that the month is over. I am finding that when I have the cookbook during the month, it is easier to find things to cook out of them as everyone is excitedly posting what they have made.

Today I am going to share the cookbooks that I currently have out from the library. 

More Fish More Veg by Tom Walton - I know that we should eat a lot more fish than we do, and should be way more adventurous with vegetables than we are.  The reality is that of the three of us who live in this house, I am the one who likes fish the most. And vegetables for that matter.

I have, however,  convinced Robert to try at least a couple of the fish dishes before I return the book to the library. 

There are also a couple of interesting vegetable dishes, which look impressive because of the way that they are served. One is a roasted pumpkin which is halved that you then pile a jeweled rice on top of. 

One thing I really like about this book is at the bottom of a lot of a button, there is a section which says this recipe goes well with which is a nice touch

One of the cool things about these kind of cookbook clubs is that the choices cover a variety of cuisines. This month's book for the Lamb's Ears Cookbook Club is Salamati: Hamed's Persian Kitchen by Hamed Allenyari with Dani Valent.

A lot of people are enjoying the section of omelettes, and I was skimming through there was a recipe for a tomato omelette that caught my eye.

There are a lot of authentic Persian recipes in the book, but there are also a lot where the author has given non traditional recipe a Persian twist.

One of the things I like from this book is that for various  seasons and special occasions there is a suggestion for a feast and it tells you which dishes complement each other. I also like that the food is so colourful and that each recipe has a little story about his memories or why he chose it.

Interestingly, there is a rice pudding dish with roasted rhubarb that Hamed worked on with Julia Busittil Nishimura, whose book is below.

I really like looking at this book and I would like to own it, but I am not sure how much we would actually cook out of it.

At the bottom of the pile of books in the photo above you may be able to notice that there is a magazine. In addition to the monthly cookbook, they have an annual option and this year it is about cooking from Delicious magazine, so I just grabbed one from the library on a whim.

Around the Table by Julia Busuttil Nishimura was another selection from Lambs' Ears cookbook and I think this is one that I am definitely going to buy.

This book had me at hello, by which I mean that I opened the book to the first recipe and it was for something that I had been thinking that I want to make!  

It is an interesting mix of predominantly Italian and Japanese recipes, but there are other influences throughout the book.

A couple of the recipes that caught my attention were the Summer Nectarine and Raspbery trifle,  a Pear & Polenta Torte and a Lemon Mascarpone Tart.

The final cookbook for this post is, unsurprisingly, from the Jamie Oliver Cookbook club - One: Simple One Pan Wonders by Jamie Oliver

This is Jamie Oliver's 26th cookbook. It makes me wonder how easy it is for him to come up with new concepts for each book. In this book, the idea is that you only use one pot, one casserole dish, one baking tray to cook with. 

Most of the recipes are are relatively simple, with not too many ingredients and use some store bought ingredients rather than making everything from scratch.

There are some interesting ideas here. There is a whole chapter on Frying Pan Pasta where you use fresh lasagne sheets as the pasta base, therefore meaning that you don't need to boil the pasta separately and then add to the rest of the ingredients

There is another chapter on the Joy of Eggs which has a few different versions of Shakshuka.

One recipe that I am definitely going to try before returning this book is a Baked Lemon Cheesecake which is made in an ovenproof frying pan. 

The current choice for the JO Cookbook Club is Hopper by Karan Gokan which is Sri Lankan food. I can't get this book from either of my libraries and I still haven't quite decided if I want to buy it. I am definitely interested in going to a Sri Lankan restaurant to try hoppers, which I had never heard of before this.

I wouldn't mind owning this book but of these four books, if I can only buy one, it would Around the Table. Of course, there's nothing to say that I am only allowed to buy just one!

I have bought one cookbook which I absolutely love cooking from which I will post about in the coming weeks.

Oh, and if you are wondering about the book on the top of my artistically photographed pile of books, it is a foodie related novel that I grabbed on a whim on my way out of the library. I mean, I borrowed it, I just didn't walk out the door with it. Now to find time to read it.

Weekly meals

Saturday - 
Sunday -  
Monday - Meatballs with mozzarella
Tuesday - Out for dinner
Wednesday - Out for dinner
Thursday - Cheese and crackers
Friday - Cumin cheese on toast

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. FUN! I joined the Oliver Facebook group, but haven't been following along. I really need to get back in the swing of things.

    AND you've made me think about making a library run. Since COVID I've gotten out of the habit of borrowing physical books from the library. I check out eBooks often (and often forget to read them --LOL).

    1. I have done that with ebooks from the library too BFR!

  2. I love this post! Also, very excited to hear you liked the new Jamie Oliver book as it's ready for me to pick up from the library. Can't wait to get into it.
    I frequently check cookbooks out of the library for the same reasons you mentioned. Too much money spent to find you only like a few recipes. And the space to stire them!

    1. Hopefully you will find some recipes to try Tina!

  3. I love borrowing cookbooks from the library, but I do it online. I used to get the hard copies but they were heavy to carry around when I was out and about!! Just borrowed Around My French Table this morning.

    1. Cookbooks is one thing I struggle with reading digitally. I need the colour pictures.

  4. I usually borrow cookbooks from the library first and then purchase them if I really like them. Thanks for sharing the ones you are enjoying now.

    1. Sometimes I take the plunge and buy it sight unseen Deb, but not always.

  5. I like the idea of One, some days with more on my wish list to do, a simple dinner is just the ticket!

    1. Simple is definitely good sometimes Melynda!