You know how we love reviewing cookbooks – well I have to say, we were a little daunted when we received this one. Knowing that Jackie Cameron is a young chef showered with accolades and she produces incredibly beautiful food again and again, yup a little intimidated. But to tell you the truth, her book is fab and a whole lot of new recipes have landed on the family menu. Clearly when she “Cooks at Home” it is quick, easy and comfortable food.
It is not often that I can take se7en+ 1 recipes from a cook book and serve them to our family over the span of a few days, without any complaint… there was one grumble from a particularly resistant mushroom hater, but other than that – all recipes have been embraced and our menu is so much richer for reviewing this book. The layout of the book makes it really easy to use, there is no fluff – just one recipe on a page, and one fabulous photograph to inspire you… pretty much a book of stunning recipe cards.
Se7en + 1 Recipes We Tried
- Savoury Pork Pie: Well hello pork pies. I have been making roast chicken for dinner every Wednesday night for the last twenty years. I kid you not. My mom-in-law likes a roast chicken dinner and I know not to argue. Well last week when she saw the pork pies on the counter she refused roast dinner – she was having pork pies with mash and peas. My life has been transformed and Wednesday nights have become “pork pie nights.” These are really easy and I am popping them onto my “teach the kids to cook and impress list” of things to create in the kitchen.
- Health Loaf: I have discovered a loaf of bred that conquers my kids… Ok, I admit the recipe does say “it can be halved,” well I totally ignored that and we made this giant loaf of bread… and I heard not a sound from anybody between lunch and supper. Nothing. This is the house with a few teens residing here, that can eat a loaf of bread just carrying it in from the store. So I was thrilled to discover this recipe – a great big loaf of bread, packed with goodness and totally delicious.
- My Mother’s Sausage Rolls: Oh take me back, to wet walks in the park in London, trailing tired and “museumed-out” kids and reviving them with hot sausage rolls. We had to try these and they went right onto the list of ” will never ever buy them again!!!” So easy, so quick and Sunday dinners may be trending away from omelettes… do we hear a hearty “yeah.” Trust me if you had to make ten omelettes in a row and everyone wants different goodies on theirs – you would also think sausage rolls were simply heaven on earth.
- Olive Tapenade: I only have two words to say: “yes please.” Super quick, super easy, eat with anything and anyone… works for me.
- Braai Style Potato Bake: This is the recipe that looks like a side, but is main… it is a potato bake of note – with bacon, cheese and (for one poor hood – there were mushrooms and a crisis of note… note to mother “omit the mushrooms”) and one of those recipes that looks lovely in the book… but ours did not look lovely… it looked kind of tossed together – which may be because we are not actually chefs!!! Anyway it tasted magnificient… and literally vanished in a flash… this is a definite wintery one dish meal that I will be making again and again…
- Burger Bun Rolls: I gave these rolls to Hood #3, for her weekly baking assignment. Everyone was happy. We don’t usually make rolls with cake flour… but it worked they were delicious and they may well be transforming our Friday night burger nights, for the better!!!
- Baba Ganoush and Tzatziki with Pita Bread: Baba ganoush, from brinjals (egg plants) is good, and so is tzatziki from cucumber… you might want to remember to prick your egg plant with a fork before you put it into the oven to char the skins… just saying. If you don’t, there will be a mighty explosion… MIGHTY… and you won’t have to peel your eggplants, they will peel themselves for you. Otherwise – pita breads, why oh why do we buy these – so easy to make, so quick, so tasty… and when you see what they cost in the store, you just cannot compare. Will definitely never, ever buy pita breads again!!!
- Lemon Meringue Pie: This version of the old time classic, is a lot easier than the one I have made before that uses lemon curd for the pie. You can’t really beat a recipe that uses tennis biscuits for the base and a condense milk based custard for the filling.
And the se7en + 1th:
That’s it, se7en + 1 recipes that have quickly been absorbed into our family… as if they have been there all along. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised to discover a number of recipes in one book, that were really easy to implement and used basic ingredients that we had in our home. The one thing about the book that was a little tricky is that it didn’t have an index, rather a list of recipes at the end… you try and quickly find what page the sausage roll recipe is on when it it listed as “My mother’s sausage rolls.” Anyway, a small fault, that was easily corrected with a pile of post-it-notes. What can I say well done to Jackie Cameron for a recipe book that is easy to use and lovely to look at and provides the tools for us to create impressive meals fast.
We really want to thank the publisher, Penguin Books South Africa, for providing us with a copy of the book to review. We were not paid to write this post and the opinions expressed are as usual entirely our own.