Cookery bookclub - who is with me?

(449 Posts)
tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 10:19:27

I love cookbooks and have picked up a ton of recommendations since joining mumsnet. I am keen to set up a cookery book club - anyone else interested? I propose:
- we select one book each month
- we go away, try out the recipes and generally revel in the deliciousness
- we chat about it

We could alternate between books people are likely to have eg Nigella, Jamie, Delia and something a bit more unusual. If we have a rolling three month list, that gives people time to borrow / buy books they don't have (from the library for example).

What to you think?

Pantah630 Fri 05-Apr-13 10:32:38

Sounds good to me, I have far too many cookbooks and only use a few of them, this might get me either using or culling a few. I love looking at the pictures and recipes but can never stick to a recipe, I have to adapt them. It's the Cypriot gene I think, everything is better with lemon, oregano and thyme smile

tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 10:34:57

Ok that's two (exciting)... Any more for any more? pantah perhaps you could nominate a book to kick us off?

ScienceRocks Fri 05-Apr-13 16:24:25

Yes please!

ScienceRocks Fri 05-Apr-13 16:25:32

I have most nigella, jamie and nigel slater books if there's an inclination to kick off with one of those...

snoworneahva Fri 05-Apr-13 16:28:09

Nice idea - maybe we could suggest a couple of books at a time? I need to exercise my cooking mojo - I was on fire before Easter...but there are cookbooks that have never had a proper airing.

Pantah630 Fri 05-Apr-13 16:34:34

When I do my blindfolded, Wonder Woman spin in front of bookcase later, I'll concentrate on those shelves science smile

Kneedeepindaisies Fri 05-Apr-13 16:34:57

Yes please!

I have alot of Jamies, a Nigella and the usual really but would like to try new or different ones.

SillyBlueHat Fri 05-Apr-13 16:35:51

I will lurk - there isn't a lot of cooking going on in this house with a newborn dictating the rules

tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 16:38:37

Ok, pantah you throw darts while wearing a cape! Just please don't pick nigella Christmas ... I had to throw my copy away as it was covered in soy sauce (not even a sodding recipe from the book!)

tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 16:44:01

Does anyone else want to suggest a non-obvious one? I have tons of ideas but don't want to inflict my preferences on the group yet

tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 16:44:42

As well as pantah's, I mean, not instead of

Kneedeepindaisies Fri 05-Apr-13 17:16:03

Go for it tigerlily

tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 17:57:46

Right ok, here is my frankly brilliant suggestion. I propose the smitten kitchen cookbook because a. it's frankly brilliant too and b. I believe all the recipes are also on her blog (google smitten kitchen if you don't know it) so will be readily available to everyone. I am very pleased with my cleverness there! So that can be book 1 for April and we'll let pantah pick book 2. Please can you all think of books for may though as I would like to give plenty of notice (one trad, one new again).

I suggest we all try and cook at least two recipes from each book over the month - that's basically one a week so should be doable!

Pantah630 Fri 05-Apr-13 18:22:58

More difficult than I thought, my cookbook bookcase not including those housed in bedroom if a narrow five shelfer with another lot on top. I span and pointed and hit an American, oops, it was The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, therefore I looked above and below and hit Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros, Delia's Complete Cookery Course, Nigellas Feast and 2 Hairy Bikers, Ride Again and Mums Know Best. If I had to pick one it would be Feast, seem to remember a rather good poached chicken recipe in there but happy to bow to peer pressure grin

Off to google Smitten Kitchen now.

tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 18:25:53

Right let's go with feast, as it's the book that taught me how to cook! So April is feast and smitten kitchen. Ready steady cook! I am genuinely really excited about this.

Orangesarenottheonlyfruit Fri 05-Apr-13 18:30:34

ooh watching this thread with interest. Follow Smitten's blog and have been humming and hawing over her cookbook. Think I would like it but have SO many cookbooks already!
Any top recipes on there?

Pantah630 Fri 05-Apr-13 18:33:25

I'm looking at her lamb kebabs with tzatziki and its the Barefoot Contessas recipe smile the salted caramel brownies look rather yummy too. How do we know which ones are in her cookbook?

ScienceRocks Fri 05-Apr-13 18:38:08

Ooh good, I have feast and like the look of smitten kitten. Do we randomly choose recipes or are we going to try and do the same?

tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 18:41:08

Right it's not very convenient but if you go to the page for the book on amazon and go to look inside then go to Table of contents, then scroll down to index, you'll get a list... Not sure if it's exhaustive. Based on my sample of two I think it's worth cooking a book recipe (that's also on the blog) as I think they may have been tested more... I hav e already made the whole lemon bars in the book (amazing... I've made them three times as the ingredient list is short and cheap!) and the coconut muffins in the blog (disappointing but I am not great with muffins), which is why I say that.

Just thought of a new rule for the group... If you have the book already you have to cook two new recipes, although you can discuss your tried and tested favourites as well of course! That should keep things interesting.

Great idea. Would be especially interested in Nigella ones, as I have most of hers and no longer trust her, so it would be good to get recs! Oh and mine would need to be veggie too.

From 'Feast' I can heartily recommend the Guinness cake and the veggie chilli is pretty good (but mine is better!).

tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 18:43:25

Science I am tending towards choose your own as we're bound to have different preferences ... I don't mind though. I think I will be asking people to recommend ones they've tried and follow them if I like the sound, so bound to be a bit of convergence.

Pantah630 Fri 05-Apr-13 18:54:15

The bread sauce flavoured potato gratin with the one pan sage and onion chicken and sausage is calling me from Feast. Anyone tried it? Shall add to next weeks menu unless I get some bad reviews.

tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 18:55:56

I made safe and onion chicken and it was delicious!

ScienceRocks Fri 05-Apr-13 18:57:00

Shall I get the ball rolling on Feast, as I have already cooked from it quite a bit? My thinking is that some of my comments on some of the recipes in there may fire up some enthusiasm smile

From the Christmas chapter, I have done both the chestnut and gingerbread stuffings. My notes state that the gingerbread stuffing would be good with venison, if anyone is inclined that way, and that is can be made up beforehand and stored in the fridge until baking. The chestnut stuffing is also lovely, but I'm a purist about chestnuts so wouldn't make it at this time of year, which also applies to the chestnut cheesecake (though I make this regularly at Christmas time to great acclaim). One recipe from this chapter that works year round is the cranberry and white chocolate cookies - as unctuous as a biscuit ever gets and quite a hit at school bake sales!

From the Easter chapter, I can recommend the lemon meringue cake. The macaroons in the Passover chapter are also very good.

The breakfast chapter in my book is very well thumbed. The rhubarb muffins are excellent as is the banana breakfast ring (which I often make in smaller quantities according to the number of black bananas I have, and in a smaller cake tin) and the granola (which is good in hampers to give as presents).

In Kiddiefeast, I regularly make the chicken pot pies and use the crepe recipe. The cut out cookie recipe is also a winner and I usually make double the quantity of mixture and freeze half to cut out and bake at a later date.

In the chocolate cake hall of fame, the old fashioned cake is a rare thing: a disappointing nigella recipe. Maybe someone else will be more successful with it than me. The quadruple loaf cake is fabulous, however, though you do need to be careful to not let the syrup turn to caramel!

One thing I do want to try is the kedgeree risotto from the Easter chapter. I'm intrigued to see how it turns out. Some recipes in the midnight feast chapter are also tempting.

Too much? wink

Has anybody done the Georgian feast? The melon and spiced relish really appeals.

ScienceRocks Fri 05-Apr-13 19:02:13

I was a bit scared of that chapter, Remus...

smile

ScienceRocks Fri 05-Apr-13 19:08:06

Why don't you trust Nigella anymore, Remus? Has she let you down?

I'm loving nigel slater at the moment. I read kitchen diaries like a novel blushgrin

I had terrible results with a couple of her brownie recipes - had to throw them away.

tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 19:20:16

I've done the entire Georgian feast about six times, I love it (if I find something I like I cook it A LOT). Always for dinner parties. I think I made a mistake with the hachapuri cheese bread as I cooked it in a 23 cm pan and it was just like a huge cheese pie (about four cm deep!) it was so well received though that my then bf insisted I cook it like that every time!

Personally I thought the melon and relish thing was a good accompaniment to the overall menu but not something I would personally make on its own.

tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 19:21:37

Btw I also went to the Georgian resto where she got the recipe to try the authentic dish (it's in hackney) .... Honestly not as good as hers / mine!

Thanks Tiger. I fancy the cheese bread, melon & relish and salads and could probably serve those with plain roast chicken for the meat eaters. She makes the cheese bread sound a complete faff though: is it actually pretty easy?

tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 19:29:31

I didn't think it was too hard, no, I can't remember if I was following the recipe carefully by try no 6 but if I remember rightly you make a strange yoghurty kind of pastry and then fill it with mixed cheeses and egg. I do remember though I made it once with crappy ready grated mozzarella and you could tell, you need reasonably good stuff.

Ruprekt Fri 05-Apr-13 19:33:33

I am in!!smile

Not got either books but will look on websites/blogs.

Am also low carbing so will have to adapt recipes for my way of eating.

Thank you.

Hello can I join in? I don't have feast but can google some recipes. I have some Nigellas, Jamies, HFW, Bbc good food series and lots of other odd bits. Can I nominate Jerusalem for a future look too? Its my current favourite. I like the sound of the sage chicken for next week so off to Google smile

tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 19:40:12

Jerusalem can be may book no 1!

tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 19:42:27

If you get stuck for the sage recipe I will pm it to you although nigella is extremely generous with her recipes online I think. It's a good one though as she has do many variants on that one in other books eg the chicken and chorizo one in kitchen. (My only complaint about nigella is that she repeats recipes a lot, but I love her and can overlook it on the grounds that she writes really long books fairly frequently so it's bound to happen!)

Ruprekt - am happy to copy recipes from Feast for you if there's one mentioned that you fancy and can't find online.

Brilliant. I'm a bit obsessed with Yotam Ottolenghi at the moment. Ds has only just stopped sleeping so I have a bit of time free in the evenings now. I've really missed pottering around the kitchen, this should get me motivated.

I've got the sage chicken one online so I'll do that next week. Off to find a pudding now as I generally love her desserts.

greensnail Fri 05-Apr-13 19:53:57

Can I join in please. I have Feast and it has been very well used in the past but neglected recently so will be nice to rediscover it a bit. Haven't heard of the other one but looking forward to investigating tomorrow (off to work now, boo sad )

tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 19:55:47

I second the suggestion up thread for choc Guinness cake, I think it's one of the best I've ever made.

pisgah Fri 05-Apr-13 19:56:10

Ooh, can I join? I have lots of nigellas books, but not Feast - I'll get it from the library next week.

Remus, nigella is rubbish at brownies, none of her recipes seem to work. I made some once that BOUNCED. Nigel Slaters brownie recipe, on the other hand, are amazing <finds self drawn irresistibly towards recipe shelf>

Guess what I have in my kitchen right now, Tiger. smile

Pisgah - thank you for that. It's reassuring to hear it's not just me.

tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 20:03:19

greensnail great to have you! Nominations are still open for may book 2...

tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 20:04:32

Remus I am coming round!

The kettle's on. smile

aftereight Fri 05-Apr-13 20:31:45

I'm in! Feast is my favourite Nigella book, will try to cook something new from it, using others's suggestions. I tend to default to a couple of tried and trusted favourites otherwise.

aftereight Fri 05-Apr-13 20:33:25

May book 2 - Kitchen Diaries (original)? I love the seasonal feel it has.

tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 20:38:07

Ok done. That's two I don't have so will definitely be a new experience for me.

Crikeyblimey Fri 05-Apr-13 20:42:40

Oooh - can I join?

When do we has to "report"?

I have just treated myself to a sparkly new KitchenAid mixer, so any baking needs doing - I'm your gal smile

tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 20:50:47

Hello crikey you can report any time in april but at a minimum you have to cook two new recipes from smitten kitchen and nigella feast and let us know what you think! Enjoy!

This thread is going to cost me a fortune - I keep flicking between here and my Amazon account. Kitchen Diaries better be good - its £11 second hand!

tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 20:54:03

Yes it is expensive isn't it ! I am trying libraries first as a secondary resolution is to support my local library.

Good idea. My local library is tiny and rarely open but they are great at ordering things in so I'll try them next week. I don't have much bookcase room left to keep buying.

Does anyone subscribe to any food magazines? If so we could do recipes from them too.

Grockle Fri 05-Apr-13 21:23:13

Good idea, I'm in!

I suggest Yotam Ottolenghi because I won his new book on here

I'm not convinced about Nigella's guinness cake & DS won't eat it sad

tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 21:33:08

grockle it's on the list for may! I won't ask for reccs now but in may it would be great if you could let us know which ones are your favourite.

Grockle Fri 05-Apr-13 21:34:46

Ooo, good! I read the start of this thread then skimmed so have obviously missed the reading list. I will go back and read properly blush

Grockle Fri 05-Apr-13 21:36:56

Also, not a cook book but Tastespotting is a fab site for finding inspiration. Smitten Kitten often linked to on there.

bewareoftheswan Fri 05-Apr-13 21:38:13

Ooh, great idea, me too please! I love reading Feast, but I've cooked very little from it as I was a veggie when I bought it. So I'll try some meaty recipes. I like the choccie Guinness cake, and also the vodka pasta. Will try and find a copy of the other one.

My suggestion for a future book would be Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian. I used to use it all the time, but I haven't cooked from it for ages. It's expensive, so would be happy to post recipes...

tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 21:42:17

bewareoftheswan do you mean vodka pasta or vodka steak from feast? I have to say that I made the vodka steak once and it was the worst meal I have ever cooked. I kept waiting for the magical alchemy of cooking to manifest itself and it never happened... just tasted like vodka poured liberally over steak. I have always wanted to ask someone who's tried it if it's meant to taste like that, because I ended up chucking both steaks!

tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 21:43:09

Oh presumably you do mean pasta, just seen the veggie bit. Was it good? I am not sure i can face more vodka-infused disappointment...

tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 21:44:38

I will keep a list of future book reccs as want to strike a find balance between giving people time to get the book and allowing a bit of surprise. So keep them coming and I will make a note.

Yes to World Vegetarian - one of my favourites! What have you made and really liked, Swan? I like the lentils in a grated tomato sauce, the Trinidadian split peas, lots of the dips, the chilli, more that I can't currently remember.

Grockle Fri 05-Apr-13 21:46:34

Madhur Jaffrey is a great idea too.

I've been quite ill for a long time & no longer cook. I used to love cooking & made everything from scratch. I think this thread might inspire me to actually start cooking again. The vodka pasta thing is a staple in the US so I might try that. smile

Kneedeepindaisies Fri 05-Apr-13 22:25:18

The thread's moved on since I was last here earlier. Can I just clarify:

April: smitten kitchen and Feast- 2 from each

May: Jerusalem and The Kitchen Diaries- 2 from each

ScienceRocks Fri 05-Apr-13 22:26:00

IMHO, nigella has good and bad books. I love How To Eat, Domestic goddess, Feast and Kitchen but Bites, Summer and Express were awful.

Kitchen Diaries 2 is a fab book, well worth the money (again, IMHO).

Madhur Jaffrey is a good call. Not done any ottolenghi stuff, so that will be interesting. May I also request Thomasina Miers one month? My copy of Mexican Food Made Easy is filthy smile

ScienceRocks Fri 05-Apr-13 22:27:18

Is the second book for may the first or second kitchen diaries?

Express has the excellent Blackberry Crisp recipe though.

Kneedeepindaisies Fri 05-Apr-13 22:31:05

PP who mentioned food magazines. I get Good Food and the Sainsburys magazines a fair bit and they have quite a few recipes online.

ScienceRocks Fri 05-Apr-13 22:36:43

Express also has the recipes for coleslaw and baked eggs, so it isn't entirely useless, I agree Remus. But so many main dishes were disappointing - steak with white bean mash, and chicken and mango curry spring to mind.

I think I need to get out more.

tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 22:49:38

Recapping
- April: feast and smitten kitchen
- May: Jerusalem by ottolenghi and the first kitchen diaries book by Nigel (as requested by poster)

Two recipes from each that you haven't cooked before. Try and stay broadly close to the actual recipe (pantah I am looking at you). Tell us what you think! Plus any thoughts more broadly on the book. And any suggestions as to which two to pick from books you already know and love are very welcome.

I will keep a note of all cookery books suggested and will put madhur j down for June (need one more ... Let's go trad for June book 2 and pick one people are likely to have or can get easily). However I'm closing the list after that as want to be three months in advance (long enough to plan, short enough to keep it fun). I will still keep a note of reccs though.

JUne 2 - Rose Elliot?

tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 22:55:35

science I agree on bites but like express and summer. The chicken section in summer is lovely I think. And the coq au Riesling in express is so easy and so tasty, sometimes I have as is, sometimes I use it as pie filling... Yum.

tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 23:03:32

I've got the new English table by rose Elliott but wonder if we should hold off in favour of a blockbuster book that more people are likely to have as I would think the madhur J one is less likely to feature on everyone's bookshelves as well? Thoughts?

tigerlilygrr Fri 05-Apr-13 23:37:26

Oh my god! I tweeted nigella asking for a recommendation from feast for our inaugural month and she tweeted back! Custard cream hearts! She is my absolute hero you know, I am so excited!

Taffeta Fri 05-Apr-13 23:43:21

One pan sage and onion chicken and sausage is good but not amazing.

I have made the old fashioned choc cake loads and it has been well received....

bewareoftheswan Sat 06-Apr-13 06:43:58

Tigerlily - yes the pasta, it's good, the cream balances out the vodka.

Remus - I love pretty much everything in there, but off the top of my head the chickpea and chana Dahl curry with mint is pretty much my favourite curry. It's very hot and pretty sour, but so good. There's two really nice sweet potato recipes, and the pilafs are yummy, especially te dried lime one.

Right, off to consult Feast...

ScienceRocks Sat 06-Apr-13 08:31:56

Tiger lily, that's very exciting!

I think the coq au Riesling is in more than one nigella book. In fact, I think it might be in a nigel slater book too mulls

ScienceRocks Sat 06-Apr-13 08:35:56

I've followed you on twitter, tigerlily. I have an equally cooky handle...

MrsSchadenfreude Sat 06-Apr-13 08:55:39

May I join in please? grin

I've never had a failure with the Nigella brownies (the one that makes industrial quantities in Dom God), BUT I do now adapt her recipe and substitute 300g Muscovado or dark soft brown sugar for 300g of granulated (so still using 200g granulated in the recipe) and substitute 50g cocoa powder for 50g of the flour. It gives a better, more intense, chocolatey flavour.

I have a better Khachapuri recipe if anyone would like it? I have also done the green relish thing (can't remember what it is called) from the Georgian section of Feast, with melon, and it works very well.

I have a lot of American cook books - these can often be had v cheaply secondhand from Amazon - I would recommend The Silver Palate CookBook, Mom's Big Book of Baking (excellent brownies, blondies and choc chip cookies), the USA cook book, the New Basics cook book, and pretty much anything from Williams Sonoma.

tigerlilygrr Sat 06-Apr-13 09:08:40

science thank you, I've followed you back! I am new to twitter... I am now cookbook club @read cook eat, if anyone else wants to follow (I will put book reminders and so on up there as I am hoping to wrangle some RL friends into the group as well).

mrs s come on in! Pleased to see you! I have very few American cookbooks, that would be an interesting comparison. Do you find them more sugary like other users say?

Pantah630 Sat 06-Apr-13 09:18:38

Just signed in to say I'm following too, though I only check twitter sporadically.

I bought the smitten book on kindle so am now at work perusing, rather than smiling sweetly at other bikers as I take their money for all the mots booked in this morning smile

ChocsandChipsandSealingWax Sat 06-Apr-13 09:33:08

Ooh can I join?

I love Nigella's recipes (and her writing, but find her annoying on tv) and also have feast and haven't cooked from it in ages. How to eat is my favourite - everything is in there really; the other books are just reprisals with photos.

tigerlilygrr Sat 06-Apr-13 09:43:57

chocs great to see you. I am not such a fan of how to eat although I am 100% sure it's because there are few pictures, I really need the visuals, I find. Any reccs from feast for newbies?

ScienceRocks Sat 06-Apr-13 09:52:54

Choc, I don't like watching nigella either. She used to be ok (when she did guest spots on nigel slater shows, for example) but she's almost become a parody of herself. And all that raiding the fridge in the middle of the night with perfect make up and hair does my head in grin

Thanks for following me tigerlily! My twitter feed will reveal as and when I cook new things. I am utterly food obsessed!

ScienceRocks Sat 06-Apr-13 09:53:58

I agree that how to eat can be offputting because of a lack of pictures. But then I hate books that prioritise pictures over content (yes, lisa Faulkner, I mean you).

tigerlilygrr Sat 06-Apr-13 09:58:35

I have to have pictures to be truly content but they must be of the food. Not of gorgeous Lorraine Pascale for example (her baking made easy is a prime example, half the pics are of her and not of the food, I find it so annoying, particularly as she is really focused on presentation!)

tigerlilygrr Sat 06-Apr-13 10:09:32

Right, I have people coming round tomorrow so am going to knock out my two smitten kitchen recipes in one day. I will cook the grapefruit olive oil pound cake using this recipe:
grapefruit olive oil pound cake
There is a very similar recipe on her blog for grapefruit yoghurt cake but it must have evolved by the time it made it to print.

Then I am also making wholewheat raspberry ricotta scones
Same on blog as in book.

Btw I have thought a bit on the policy on linking to recipes and I will do it wherever possible but only if the source looks credible eg the author, the BBC website, a newspaper etc, as I am assuming no author would have a problem with that. But if anyone has other knowledge as to how copyright works for recipes I'd be happy to follow their advice!

Ooh I'll join in, have loads of nigella books but not feast as I usually cook for 2 and all the recipes in there seem to feed about 30 grin

will get it from the library later though.

MrsSchadenfreude Sat 06-Apr-13 10:11:27

Oh and I like Nigella Bites! It has the best chocolate fudge cake recipe! And Liptauer! Childhood food!

I think she has gone off the boil with Nigellissima though. Meatzza? WTF is that all about?

MrsSchadenfreude Sat 06-Apr-13 10:14:58

I don't think recipes can be copyrighted, can they?

WhinGin Sat 06-Apr-13 10:15:34

Hello! May I please join in? smile I have a gazillion recipe books, love Nigel and Nigella (to read, both a bit annoying on tv) also a big fan of the Australian Womens Weekly recipe books, especially for specific cuisines like Thai. I have recently got into baking, especially bread, which I am finding very rewarding and am enjoying working my way through Paul Hollywoods How to Bake smile
I love Feast, always make the Lemon Meringue Cake for DH's birthday in March as it always usually feels like the start of spring. Its so popular in our house now that DD7 and DS5 have requested it for their most recent birthday cakes as well, choosing it over a garish beautifully iced party cake smile I shall get it out now and find 2 new recipes to try from it, I think I will go for one savoury and one sweet. Then I will have a look at Smitten Kitchen, I have found myself there once or twice when googling stuff but never really had a good look around or cooked anything from there so its quite exciting!

ScienceRocks Sat 06-Apr-13 10:32:27

I'm loving How To Bake as well WhinGin. Toying with buying his new one but scared there will be too much overlap and I will be disappointed. He's another one I can't watch on TV smile

Tigerlily, I love that you are hitting the ground running with two new recipes in one day! The scones look fab, I may well do that one myself later in the week.

WhinGin Sat 06-Apr-13 11:04:28

Science I know what you mean about PH! I can just about bear to watch him but I think he has got a bit too aware of his silver fox status. I do quite like to watch him with Mary Berry though because I love it when she speaks to him like a silly child grin Nigella has just become a parody and Nigel seems to move his mouth at least twice as much as is necessary for each word he says!
I looked at Bread and How to Bake and decided that How to bake was better for me, Bread has a lot of recipes of how to use bread as well as the bread recipes but I think there must be a fair amount of overlap as the ciabatta and baguette recipes he did this week are both in How to Bake.
I made the Christmas Buns last week, they were lovely, and i happened to have some dried cranberries in that my sister had given me because she didn't like them, but I think unless it was for Christmas I wouldn't bother with the cranberries and they'd be just as nice with the same weight of sultanas subbed instead.
I currently have baguettes on their first rise and am v excited as I have one of those special wiggly baguette pans to use grin Mum gave me it when she moved to France as she decided she didn't need it anymore!
I think my sweet recipe from Feast will be the Quadruple choc loaf, not yet decided on the savoury......

tigerlilygrr Sat 06-Apr-13 11:19:00

Hi whingin what sophisticated tastes your dc have! You are clearly raising them well! I have two little ones coming round tomorrow, let's just hope they are similarly inclined!

glorious Sat 06-Apr-13 11:19:26

ooh can I join? I have a 9 week old DD and just starting to manage to cook the odd thing. v exciting Nigella tweeted you tigerlily. I've made those custard creams, they're nice but I prefer bought blush. The lemon meringue cake is fab though. We also like doing chilli with cornbread topping though do our own chilli. and the malteser cake is great but horrifically sweet. think I'll try the chicken pot pies first off.

I found the lemon meringue cake over sweet - much prefer a proper lemon meringue.

Have just had a look through Feast and am struggling to choose a second recipe. I'm going to do the Georgian cheese bread (but will halve it and cut down drastically on the obscene amounts of cheese!) and the relish for melon, but would like to try a cake or pud for my other.

Meant to say I use her mattar paneer recipe from Feast as a guide but leave out the tomato puree (because it makes me feel sick just to think about the nasty tinny stuff) and up the spices substantially. It's a decent base for fiddling with though and mattar paneer is food of the Gods.

greensnail Sat 06-Apr-13 12:27:13

Ooh, how exciting to get a tweet from Nigella. I still can't really get my head around Twitter but should make an effort to try. I've made the custard creams before pre dc but might try them again as I bet my des would love them.

Pantah630 Sat 06-Apr-13 13:14:21

I've been flicking (can you flick on kindle?) through Smitten Kitchen and think I'm going to pick the chicken with grapes and olives with the broccoli slaw also fancy the vermouth mussels and tarragon oven chips. Has anyone tried any of these? The broccoli slaw is on the blog as well as in the book.

tigerlilygrr Sat 06-Apr-13 13:33:34

Ooh please do the chicken with grapes as I love the sound of that!

Pantah630 Sat 06-Apr-13 13:39:00

We got a tweet back from Tonia Buxton from My Greek Kitchen as well. smile

Just realised I'm doing two chicken dishes, will do the grape and olive one but have another look through Feast for something else, maybe something fishy. I only started eating fish and shellfish when I got to 40. I always thought I was allergic but thought I'd give it another go. Still not keen on smoked fish but now love sea bass, salmon, plaice, squid, etc...

kalidasa Sat 06-Apr-13 13:43:42

Loving the idea of this thread! Not sure I'll be able to join in properly as have 4 month old baby and have just started back at work so everything a bit chaotic and haven't had time to think much beyond old favourites. Don't have either 'Feast' or the 'Smitten Kitchen' but just been having a look at SK on Amazon and it looks tempting.

I LOVE the Kitchen Diaries so glad you're doing that next month. I have also been experimenting a bit with Kitchen Diaries II but I'm not quite so convinced so far. Generally a big fan of Nigel, less so of Nigella, whom I enjoy reading but find I don't actually cook from very often.

I have some ideas for more unusual (but still readily available) books but will keep quiet for now.

blue2 Sat 06-Apr-13 15:10:14

Out of Feast, I've cooked the Banana Buttermilk pancakes which are a big hit for breakfast in this household. Brilliant for the slightly past it bananas...

I've also cooked the Easy Action Christmas Cake which I cooked as cupcakes for a wedding, and then iced. The kitchen smelt heavenly (even in June!).

Red roast Quinces with Pomegranate were good, too.

Having looked through the book again, I should try out a few more!

I like the look of the Georgian Chicken, but the I remembered Yottam and I am so completely in love with the man atm, that I think I'll save my chicken recipe until we get to 'Jerusalem'

Kneedeepindaisies Sat 06-Apr-13 15:33:04

I've reserved Feast from the library but will probably buy Smitten Kitchen on pay day next week.

I'm now off to find you all on Twitter smile

Have had a look at the Smitten Kitchen site but found it all a bit overwhelming. Can anybody recommend a couple of good things from there? Need to be veggie and have no aubergines, mushrooms or tomatoes.

Must admit, I don't like Kitchen Diaries much.

rabbitonthemoon Sat 06-Apr-13 17:19:58

Marking my place, excellent idea and I have Feast and love Smitten Kitchen (though don't have the book). Thanks OP. my cookbook addiction is out of control and this will help me actually use them and not just look at them.

rabbitonthemoon Sat 06-Apr-13 17:21:00

(I actually made the sausage and lentil stew from SK yesterday. It was ok but I didn't love it enough to make it again)

Cristiane Sat 06-Apr-13 17:35:35

Please can I join? I've cooked loads from feast but I will try to find something new

One suggestion is felicity cloake's 'cook the perfect...' Column in the guardian. She searches through recipes and tries them out and almagamates the best ideas to make an über recipe.I made her crab linguine on Thursday and chicken tagine last night and both were AMAZIG... Also all the recipes are online smile

Brices Sat 06-Apr-13 19:04:19

I've ordered smitten kitchen and am now looking through Feast, never cooked anything from it before, but great read

MrsSchadenfreude Sat 06-Apr-13 19:23:16

Damn you, I've ordered Smitten Kitchen as well! I need another cookery book like I need a hole in the head!

dairymoo Sat 06-Apr-13 21:46:30

I've made loads from the SK blog, and a few things from the book too. (Although, have to say, just fyi for members of this club - most of the recipes in the book don't seem to be found on the blog?)

From the blog:
Arroz con pollo
Chewy oatmeal raisin cookies
Spring panzanella
Favourite choc brownies
Brownie mosaic cheesecake
Texan carnitas & green slaw

From the book:
Mushrooom bourguignon - amazing!
Chicken mustard milanese
Wild rice, caremelised onion & kale gratin - made for Easter Sunday, delish
Roast carrot & parsnip salad with harissa & feta
Cranberry crumb bars with mixed spice
Granola (using egg white to bind) - v yummy

Happy to answer q's on any of these recipes....

ScienceRocks Sun 07-Apr-13 07:29:37

Cristiane, felicity cloake has a book called Perfect too. Like her guardian column very much.

ChocsandChipsandSealingWax Sun 07-Apr-13 09:04:49

Have been having a lovely time browsing through feast.

Haven't yet decided on my recipes but have always wanted to do the Georgian feast so will perhaps use this as the impetus. DH is veggie though so I may need to host a feast to cook it!

Also I have been wanting to do him an Arabian nights feast for a while so might pull some of the curry/ pomegranate etc recipes together and do that next Saturday.

I did the Chilli chocolate pudding for a Dia de Los Muertos Mexican hallowe'en feast but wasn't very impressed by it. I liked the combination of chocolate and Chilli, but it looked like cowpat and taste only so so.

In general I don't think nigella is nearly as good at puddings as savory (despite the domestic goddess moniker) - and they are always much too sweet too, althought she claims not to have a sweet tooth!

Now off to check out SK blog.

HappyGirlNow Sun 07-Apr-13 11:29:19

In want to do this! I've just ordered Feast grin to go with my other millions of cook books.

Nigel Slater's books are my favourite! The kitchen diaries are amazing - like beautiful novels and so inspirational. And love his slightly less than prescriptive approach to recipes. Shame he's a bit annoying in the telly!

minimuffin Sun 07-Apr-13 12:21:51

Ooh can I join please? I love Feast - think it is my favourite Nigella book. I have made her simnel cake yet again this Easter, it's gorgeous. Also it has transformed our Christmas dinners (which DH cooks, lucky me...) with gingerbread stuffing, her turkey brining method and the leftover turkey recipes all huge hits here. The rhubarb muffins are fabulous too and I keep thinking I need to dig a bit deeper into that book - will have a browse and choose a couple of things. The DCs meals could do with a bit of a shake-up too - I might try one thing for them and one for us, likewise from the Smitten Kitchen blog which I'll have a look at.

I too have hoardes of recipe books. The first Kitchen Diaries is my favourite of the past 5 years or so - love love love it. Every January when the catkins appear on the trees I think of the beautiful photo in the January chapter... sigh. I agree he's hamming it up just a wee bit much now on TV, shame. I still want his life though - unencumbered by kids, faffing about gently in his kitchen, pottering around his garden and tasteful artisan shops, eating and drinking with his mates <looks at 3 small boys running around garden needing lunch soon and sighs>

One book I think I need to do more from is the River Cafe cookbook (first one). And I've just discovered cookery blogs recently and can see an addiction growing there - Esther Walker's Recipe Rifle makes me laugh.

Has anyone actually tried Tessa Kiros's recipe books? I flicked through one (Apples for Jam?) in a holiday cottage and swooned over its flowery style and lovely stories and photos, but are the recipes any good?

What am I missing with Nigel Slater? You all seem to love him. As far as I can tell from Kitchen Diaries, he lives on cheese, tomatoes and hunks of meat. I've just spent half an hour with it and the only thing I fancy is a raddish and feta salad (and quite frankly, I could do that without Nigel telling me how) and the courgette fritters (which he ridiculously calls zucchini fritters) and again, I don't need a recipe for those.

rabbitonthemoon Sun 07-Apr-13 13:48:39

Remus have you got appetite? I cook lots more things from that. I like to read kitchen diaries to get a bit of inspiration for seasonal things rather than the recipes I think. I like his writing style, it whets my appetite.

I have, but can't say that inspires me much either tbh. I think the problem is that he doesn't cater terribly well to the idea of family cooking, as of course he doesn't need to. And I hate tomatoes, but pretty much everything he does involves the nasty red balls of seedy gook. smile

rabbitonthemoon Sun 07-Apr-13 14:08:34

Ha I feel the same about the evil tomato! DH says Nigel cooks sides as mains and I do get that. But his fast food taught me to cook at uni so I think I hold a special place for him. I'm just thinking now of books I've got the most recipes from that are keepers. It's probably a Jamie one.

tigerlilygrr Sun 07-Apr-13 14:12:51

remus have to say I agree re Nigel. I said on another thread I think he takes a hero ingredient and gives you a few ideas about what to do with it, rather than full on recipes. Although his ideas are nice I would use the Internet for that rather than a book. I haven't read kitchen diaries though so am waiting to see if that changes my mind.

tigerlilygrr Sun 07-Apr-13 14:14:44

Hello to all the newbies! I have made the raspberry ricotta scones and grapefruit cake from sk but am sat staring at them greedily now while I wait for friends to arrive. So will report back when I've tasted them!

tigerlilygrr Sun 07-Apr-13 14:18:13

rabbit - sides as mains - perfect description!

Grapefruit cake sounds good.

ScienceRocks Sun 07-Apr-13 16:48:25

Remus, there is a recipe in kitchen diaries I make almost weekly , but it is close to the back of the book so maybe you haven't got to it? It's chicken and fennel in a spiced creamy sauce, and I adore it with brown rice. Not a tomato in sight! Maybe worth a go? Or did you say that you are veggie?

Some of his baking is fabulous. Kitchen diaries 2 has a wonderful apricot crumble cake in it, for example.

I admit that i have a soft spot for nigel based on real fast food, a book I used a lot when I was younger. He has also tweeted me a few times, which means that we are friends, no?! smile

Kneedeepindaisies Sun 07-Apr-13 17:00:06

Is it ok if I do 1 book recipe and 1 blog recipe from Smitten Kitchen?

tigerlilygrr Sun 07-Apr-13 18:05:59

kneedeep ... Of course!

Here's my school report for smitten kitchen. I made the raspberry ricotta wholewheat scones first. I followed the recipe very closely but haven't made scones before. Tbh I was very disappointed, the mix was very wet and the scones didn't rise as I had expected, so they came out like thick cookies. As there wasn't a pronounced raspberry taste this was doubly disappointing because I would have split them and had them with jam if they were thicker. Annoyingly they smelt amazing so I felt cheated!

Then I made the grapefruit and olive oil pound cake. I thought this was a good cake and I would probably make it again. Note to self: if a recipe says pierce with a toothpick and soak with syrup, it is inadvisable to poke whopping holes with a kitchen skewer and mar the appearance of the cake! But I can't blame the author for that.

Having also made the whole lemon bars previously, which were fantastic, I'm cautiously optimistic for the rest of the book but really interested to see what everyone else thinks.

tigerlilygrr Sun 07-Apr-13 18:21:48

remus you asked for veg reccs from smitten kitchen... I haven't cooked them myself but here is the veg section from the book. If any of them appeal but you can't find them let me know and I will pm you the recipe.
-gnocchi in tomato broth
- Alfredo pasta with sweet peas
- linguine with cauliflower pesto
- giant pasta shells with artichoke and ricotta
- leek fritters with garlic and lemon
- sweet potato blinis
- Mexican stuffed peppers
- slow cooked bean ragout
- roasted tomatoes and baby onions with white beans
- spaghetti squash and black bean tacos with feta
- roasted aubergines with yoghurt- tahini sauce and cumin chickpeas
- wild rice gratin with kale and caramelised onions
- mushroom bourguignon

I know you are not fond of toms etc but others are so this might help them. There's a salad section too...

ScienceRocks Sun 07-Apr-13 18:27:42

Interesting about the scones, tigerlily. I wonder if they are supposed to be flat, American breakfast scones, rather than the fluffy English ones some of us are more used to?

Good to hear that the grapefruit cake was good though.

I have earmarked the tacos to make later this week, plus the kedgeree risotto from feast. Exciting!

tigerlilygrr Sun 07-Apr-13 18:33:09

science I bet that's it because they were in the breakfast section. I haven't seem breakfast scones like that before. So maybe the problem is my expectation. Tbh though I still wouldn't recommend them as I don't think they're strongly flavoured enough to hold their own without a spread of some kind

Thanks Science, but you're right - am veggie, so the chicken recipe is no good for me. I'll probably just do a salad and a curry when we are on Kitchen Diaries.

DairyMoo - Wild rice, caramelised onion & kale gratin sounds nice. I don't think I've ever had kale.

Tiger -

- leek fritters with garlic and lemon
- sweet potato blinis
both sound like something my dds would eat. I'll have a hunt for them and then let you know if I need you to do any typing. Thank you.

ChocsandChipsandSealingWax Sun 07-Apr-13 20:35:15

Ooh tiger I would love the mushroom bourgignon recipe if it's not on the blog too - DH is veggie and adores mushrooms so that would be perfect to be one of my SK ones!

tigerlilygrr Sun 07-Apr-13 21:16:01

Here you go chocs it's on the blog
mushroom bourguignon

Job done!

Grockle Sun 07-Apr-13 21:49:14

I am going to make that mushroom bourgignon, thank you

tigerlilygrr Sun 07-Apr-13 22:17:23

I detest mushrooms you know. Absolutely cannot stand them in any form. But I hope you enjoy it you weirdos

Pantah630 Mon 08-Apr-13 20:28:14

We have just dined on Chicken with Olives and Grapes with Broccoli Slaw from Smitten Kitchen. I'm unable to stick precisely to recipes so managed to add more grapes than necessary to the first, I stand by that decision, it was very nice indeed. All clean plates here, except DS1's olives.
I didn't have any buttermilk so added lemon juice to milk as substitute and upped the mayonnaise content. It's very different but I liked it, I wouldn't go overboard with praise as she does in the book but again all plates cleared. I think it would be better added to a BBQ buffet or some grilled fish as the sauces of both joined together on my plate but that was my mistake putting them together, not the books.
In conclusion, I would make the chicken again for tea, served with steamed veg and wedges or rice/orzo. The Slaw I'll try again with buttermilk next time but probably not until the summer.

I need to pick my Feast dishes now smile

MrsSchadenfreude Mon 08-Apr-13 20:53:51

I made the grapefruit cake today and it has nearly all gone. blush

MrsSchadenfreude Mon 08-Apr-13 20:55:28

I have a fabulous Mushroom Goulash recipe if anyone would like it? From a Hungarian cookbook my Hungarian relatives gave me.

tigerlilygrr Mon 08-Apr-13 21:35:36

Glad to hear it mrs s - surprisingly more ish! But a firm no thank you to mushroom goulash <runs away> <runs back> pantah I am definitely making the chicken now, it sounds delicious. I have a whole chicken in the fridge so I might force myself to learn how to cut it up properly.

ScienceRocks Mon 08-Apr-13 22:24:29

I made the smitten kitten crispy black bean tacos this evening. Recipe ((http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2009/02/crispy-black-bean-tacos-with-feta-and-slaw/ here))

It was nice. I used Chinese leaf and carrot instead of cabbage and onion for the slaw, and ran out of Cheshire cheese (used instead of feta) so used some natural yogurt too. My Wahaca habanero sauce added a bit of kick

Grockle Mon 08-Apr-13 22:39:44

I'm going to make Smitten Kitchen's caramel cake, I think. Do I have to follow the recipe exactly as it is or can I adapt it? I want to put caramel in between 2 layers rather than on top.

tigerlilygrr Tue 09-Apr-13 08:56:56

grockle adapt away - as long as its recognisably the same recipe that will be fine (ie sage for rosemary, fine, fish instead of meat, not really the same recipe). The only reason I even specify the latter is because, for me at least, this is partly about getting out of a rut with cookery and I think following the recipe is a way to do that. But do let us know about your adaptation! I am generally a bit scared of caramel so tips appreciated.

poppy77 Tue 09-Apr-13 13:14:49

I hope no one minds me joining in - my two recipe books arrived today (any excuse to buy more books).

I'm going to attempt a recipe from one of the books this afternoon, although I don't yet know which, and it will have to be something I can cook with what we've got, because I have two vomity children and one new puppy who can't be left. So possibly nothing too complicated!

tigerlilygrr Tue 09-Apr-13 13:36:41

Hi poppy! Let us know how you get on!

tigerlilygrr Tue 09-Apr-13 13:43:04

Just to let you all know I tried the coffee toffee from sk last night. It was a disaster but I think probably my fault. The recipe required me to put butter, sugar, espresso powder etc into a pan and heat. I am so lazy with butter that I just put the whole pack in (should have cubed it). This then took ages to melt, but the rest of the ingredients melted really quickly. So then by the time the butter had melted everything else was much too hot (the recipe is very precise about temps). Then you are meant to add choc drops to the top and smear them over the toffee to form what looks in the picture like two layers. But when I did that it just puddled in with the toffee so all became one layer. I then stuck it in the freezer to make it hard as suggested, and when I took it out some of the butter had just frozen pretty much as is (so was like lard), and the rest was just a mess. I am annoyed as the flavour of the middle bits was actually very nice and different ... A strong coffee taste which would have been great for after dinner coffees. So hopefully I will get a chance to try again and not cock it up. Grr.

I know I'm late, but I have to join! I'm nearly out of excuses to buy more cookbooks, and like a guardian angel MN provided for me a perfect one!

I'm ordering feast now and will pop by sk blog for a bit of inspiration nowgrin

Can't wait til next month, I love.kitchen diaries,. I will report backsmile

karmakameleon Tue 09-Apr-13 14:24:50

Another latecomer here! By happy coincidence my copy of smitten kitchen arrived on Friday and I've spent every spare minute of the weekend flicking through and deciding what to make. I made the lemon bars last night and they are gorgeous and very easy. Took about an hour including baking time and all the ingredients are in the store cupboard. DH has requested the cinnamon squares next!

On the savoury side, I have my eyes on the meatloaf. Maybe one to do at the weekend. I'm also quite keen on the breakfast and brunch recipes so might give those a go too.

Remus another veggie option from the book is the pancetta, bean and chard pot pies (leaving out the pancetta obviously) and I think that one is on the blog too.

I have Feast too, but as much as I love to read it, I only really seem to use it a Christmas time or for the odd cake. I love the lemon meringue cake and the quadruple chocolate loaf cake. Any suggestions for savoury recipes that aren't meant to feed the five thousand as its only DH and me (nine month DS doesn't eat enough to count)?

As I don't have the book and the recipes mentioned that I fancy aren't in the blog, I'm going to do a blog recipe tonight and hope my library has smitten kitchen in tomorrowsmile
I'm doing the mushroom marsala, (as I have hthe ingredients in house)
I'm not a born cook tbh - I do well with a recipe but it doesn't come naturally. Here's hoping this will be delicious.

GinRickey Tue 09-Apr-13 15:21:27

Ooh, can I play? I have Feast and read the SK blog obsessively and could always do with more cookbooks.

Ditto on only using Feast for cakes. I make the snowflecked brownies regularly and they are v nice (in small pieces as very rich!) and also reasonably easy.

SK - I have made several of her cakes (blog, not book) with varying success - can particularly recommend the chocolate chip sour cream cake.

I think the lesson is that I need to try something savoury from these too and stop eating cake . Will have a look through tonight and see what looks likely...

tigerlilygrr Tue 09-Apr-13 15:37:32

Hello everyone! We are very popular now, I'm delighted!

karma possibly my top recipe in feast is the sake steak one which is perfect for two. I realise sake may not be a store cupboard ingredient exactly but it is so so good (you can substitute Marsala for sake and duck for steak as well). Or there is the tempura style cod with pea purée, very easy and looks quite impressive. I think she also has a lamb steak with redcurrant sauce type recipe somewhere ( tbh I think it features in all her books). There's a carbonara as well. If you get really stuck you could make the chilli and freeze half?

Grockle Tue 09-Apr-13 15:41:57

Great - I will bake on Thursday then. I will follow the cake part of the recipe as smitten kitchen does it then adapt with different icing. Looking forward to it - I haven't baked in ages.

Grockle Tue 09-Apr-13 15:43:15

Is the chilli with cornbread on top in Feast? I LOVE that. I also only use it for cakes & even then, not so much any more. I now use The British Bake-off book or Hummingbird for baking.

Maybe I should take Feast to bed with me & have another read.

glorious Tue 09-Apr-13 16:51:48

Ooh tigerlily I've been meaning to try the sake steak. That'll be my second recipe then. I've just finished the chicken pot pies which have taken all day with my 9 week old in the sling at strategic moments. Hope they're good. Next up will be carrot, harissa and feta salad from sk.

glorious Tue 09-Apr-13 16:52:57

oh and grockle yes it is and me too.

ScienceRocks Tue 09-Apr-13 16:55:28

I'll do sake steak too. I've just bought a massive bottle of sake because my DDs are obsessed with teriyaki (salmon or chicken), which is a recipe in Nigella's kitchen smile

Thanks for highlighting that one tigerlily thanks

karmakameleon Tue 09-Apr-13 16:59:54

Thank tiger I'll take a look at those tonight. I had forgotten about the cornbread chilli. It's one of my favourites and I regularly make big batches for the freezer. Haven't had it for a while so maybe it's time to bring it out again.

tigerlilygrr Tue 09-Apr-13 17:39:37

With the sake steak just remember the length of marinading does make a difference, so allow for that! I love it.

tigerlilygrr Tue 09-Apr-13 17:40:56

Ps I sometimes double the quantities for the sauce as most unusually I think nigella is bit stingy with that one.

ScienceRocks Tue 09-Apr-13 18:20:53

Thanks for the tips tigerlily! Kedgeree risotto tonight!

poppy77 Tue 09-Apr-13 18:29:38

We went for the whole lemon bars from the Smitten book and they were absolutely delicious and so easy to make. Even with a set of digital scales which is only marginally more useful than guessing (about the fifth cheap set I've had to bin). I do love recipes which only need one bowl (or food processor in this case). Child 1 loved them, Child 2 liked the top and bottom but not the delicious lemony layer in the middle (she is still sick, though).

I will now read through the rest of the thread carefully in search of tips for veggie recipes (especially those suitable for fussy children who aren't that fussed on most vegetables).

glorious Tue 09-Apr-13 19:51:55

Yes thanks for the tip on the steak tigerlily

Chicken pot pie from feast was good if quite generic pie. The pastry is quite rich.

ChocsandChipsandSealingWax Tue 09-Apr-13 19:54:49

Sake steak - mmmm! yes please! That's my second SK recipe then :-)

I haven't started actually cooking anything for the thread, but it has really got me in a cooking mood - have got DH to put the DCs to bed tonight and I am doing the sweetcorn "oysters" (fritters) from Cranks Fast Food (they serve with mango salsa but I don't have any mangos so am doing tomato) with rose petal harissa marinaded chicken and sliced avocado garnish and salad.

It's very much a store cupboard/freezer version so is lacking fresh coriander but am hoping the rose petal might compensate.

Waaa can't find sake steak on the site! I am really loving it though.

This lamb with pistachio tapenade looks amazing:
http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2010/06/lamb-chops-with-pistachio-tapenade/

Reminds me of a lemony pistachio crust lamb I did from an italian cookbook, possibly Cuccina Siciliana, or if not that one then Bringing Italy Home.

glorious Tue 09-Apr-13 20:47:39

choos the sake steak is from Feast smile

tigerlilygrr Tue 09-Apr-13 21:02:27

I haven't started actually cooking anything for the thread, but it has really got me in a cooking mood

^ that is what it's all about! It's great that we're all trying specific things but honestly any recipe is better than processed food!

tigerlilygrr Tue 09-Apr-13 21:03:43
ScienceRocks Tue 09-Apr-13 22:13:55

The kedgeree risotto from feast was good. I added chilli and peas because it felt odd not to, and used normal eggs rather than quails and it was very tasty. Not sure I'd do it in preference to my usual kedgeree recipe, but good to have n the bank smile

Oops that'll teach me to read the thread blush

Well it'll be one of my Nigella's then! Also like the idea of the kedgeree, (and as I said before the Georgian Feast, but need people round for it as DH veggie; and Arabian nights/curry which I am planning for Saturday, poss with Smitten Kitchen extras for good measure!)

The rose petal harrisa-marinaded chicken was really good - added lemon and oil and roasted with foil over to keep moist.

Pantah630 Wed 10-Apr-13 09:33:13

I'm going to make the Sake Steak tomorrow night but with a nice bit of rump as it'll be marinating all day and Marsala as no Sake. Will also be scaling up to serve 3. I'm thinking I probably have the ingredients for the lemon bars in my cupboards at home, they might get made tonight smile

Pantah630 Wed 10-Apr-13 09:34:18

Meant to add, the leftovers of the Broccoli Slaw went down very well with a potato, mushroom and pancetta omelette/frittata hybrid last night.

tigerlilygrr Wed 10-Apr-13 09:40:14

I think the lemon bars are proving to be the best recipe in the book so far, judging by all the positive comments, so pantah for the sake of scientific objectivity...you really should!

Angelico Wed 10-Apr-13 09:43:57

Marking place grin

bewareoftheswan Wed 10-Apr-13 10:21:28

Ooh my copy of the Smitten Kitchen arrived - it looks good! I have the raspberry & ricotta scones in the oven... My plan is the rhubarb triangles and Nigella's sweet tagine at the weekend. We have an over active rhubarb plant, so new rhubarb recipes are always exciting.

tigerlilygrr Wed 10-Apr-13 10:25:05

Ooh beware let me know how you find the scones as I did not find them easy... Would be good to know if I should try again.

karmakameleon Wed 10-Apr-13 11:12:20

Morning all. Had another look at feast last night but struggling to find anything I want to cook that isn't sweet.

Pantah let me know how the sake steak works out with Marsala wine. Like the idea of it but don't want to buy a bottle of sake just for that one recipe.

Also has anyone made the veggie chilli? Was thinking that I may make that as a change from the usual meat one.

tigerlilygrr Wed 10-Apr-13 13:32:54

I am also finding it difficult to pick two savoury recipes from Feast, although in my case it's because there is hardly anything I haven't already done that doesn't have mushrooms or aubergines in (my bête noire). I think I will do the crunchy pork chops as that kind of individually portioned food is not something I would often cook. Then the lamb shanks with figs and honey as my DH would love that (we like fruit in savoury recipes a lot).

poppy77 Wed 10-Apr-13 15:53:39

Pantah - definitely make the lemon bars, I made them yesterday, they were delicious, and I am just about to make them again (not for us this time, I bake every week for the local children's centre).

Am I the only person who thought that Nigella's Georgian Feast would be a tableful of whatever they ate 300 years ago? I felt extremely thick (but rather glad) when I realised it was Georgian as in the country, not the historical period. I can totally identify with her introduction as well - I spent a summer in Moscow and the best food I had by far was in a Georgian restaurant. I am looking forward to trying the khachipuri.

Nigella's veggie chilli is pretty good, although I've now stopped using it in favour of one of my own invention.

glorious Wed 10-Apr-13 16:45:36

poppy yes I thought the same blush
I made the Smitten Kitchen carrot, harissa and feta salad today. It was good, possibly a bit sweet but nice and fragrant and plenty of dressing. Perhaps I'll try the fabled lemon bars next.

Pantah630 Wed 10-Apr-13 19:48:50

Lemon bars, well slab still, cooling on rack. Waiting to dig in with a cuppa later.

Steak in fridge marinating. smile

Pantah630 Wed 10-Apr-13 20:38:47

Slab disappearing quickly, blimey they're good!! A definite recommendation from me on the lemon bars grin

tigerlilygrr Wed 10-Apr-13 22:17:46

The lemon bars tick every box for me:
- cheap, readily available ingredients that you've probably got anyway
- pretty much foolproof recipe
- little washing up
- absolutely delicious!

I wonder if orange would work?

bewareoftheswan Thu 11-Apr-13 10:37:49

I agree that the raspberry and ricotta scones from SK are distinctly 'meh'. I've had similar in desperation from Starbucks in America, so I think maybe they're and American thing that we just don't have an equivalent for.
I found making them really messy, and the method was a bit odd - I have a kitchenaid, so pretty powerful, but no way can it reduce fridge-cold butter to pea-sized lumps without spraying flour everywhere.
Anyway, I ate them for breakfast on the train this morning as they're still considerably nicer than anything First Great Western has to offer, and my 16-month-old DD absolutely adores them. So I might end up making them again for her, as they're 'cake' with quite a low sugar content.

Is this the recipe for the lemon bars? They look lovely. Does anybody have a non-cup version though? I'm an old gimmer and like ounces!

tigerlilygrr Thu 11-Apr-13 10:58:22

No remus that must be an older version, this is the recipe from the book. The difference us that here you use the whole lemon, rind and all.

ELR Thu 11-Apr-13 10:58:51

Can I join pease? My shelves are groaning with cookbooks! I have feast and like the look of smitten kitchen. Now to catch up in the thread.

Thanks Tiger. Any idea how I convert from cups to ounces?

tigerlilygrr Thu 11-Apr-13 11:00:25

beware I think you're spot on. science said that flat scones are an American thing. I didn't dislike them but they definitely weren't worth the effort.

tigerlilygrr Thu 11-Apr-13 11:03:11

remus have you got a smart phone? I put cook converter into App Store and there's a few apps which look promising?

tigerlilygrr Thu 11-Apr-13 11:04:15

elr with pleasure! To recap you need to cook two recipes from each book that you haven't cooked before, by end of April. And let us know how you get on! Any tips re feast welcome.

tigerlilygrr Thu 11-Apr-13 11:08:07

remus if you get stuck let me know and I will ping over the recipe to you from my uk cookbook.

tigerlilygrr Thu 11-Apr-13 11:10:34

* beware* one more thing before the thread degenerates into me chatting away to myself. Have you tried draping a clean tea towel over your kitchen aid when you're whisking etc? That's what Lorraine Pascale does so it must be right cos she seems like a neat freak.

ScienceRocks Thu 11-Apr-13 11:21:26

<bustles in and offers tiger brew so she doesn't feel like she's talking to herself>

tigerlilygrr Thu 11-Apr-13 11:29:31

Cheers! brew clinks

Pantah630 Thu 11-Apr-13 11:33:24

For Remus
For the crust: 125g plain flour, 65g sugar (I used caster for both bits), 1/4tsp salt and 115g unsalted butter (I used salted as that's all I had)
For the filling: small- medium sized lemon, 265g sugar, 115g butter, 4 large eggs, 2tbsp cornflour, 1/4tsp salt

smile

Pantah630 Thu 11-Apr-13 11:34:53

I've got the SK book, and now Jerusalem and Kitchen Diaries, on the kindle at work so I can plan my recipes during quiet times grin

tigerlilygrr Thu 11-Apr-13 11:39:52

What kind of kindle do you have pantah? Do you get the pictures as well as the text?

TheRealFellatio Thu 11-Apr-13 11:49:15

Me Me Me Me.
I want to join. I am the cookery book queen.

tigerlilygrr Thu 11-Apr-13 11:56:16

thereslfellatio are you the one who suggested eat your books to me? Glad you're joining us!

Pantah630 Thu 11-Apr-13 12:30:10

Kindle Ap on iPad tiger yes lots of pictures, not the same as the feel of a real book though. DS2 has Kindle Touch that he loves, am not keen on the original Kindle though, very plasticy and clumpy buttons.

tigerlilygrr Thu 11-Apr-13 12:37:43

Ahh. Had not thought of kindle apps on iPad. I have an old fashioned kindle with no keyboard. Will remember for the future.

Pantah630 Thu 11-Apr-13 12:39:42

I did the free 4/5 books on eat my books but am not keen on it. It doesn't bring up the recipes and only lists ingredients and then not store cupboard ones, unless I'm doing it wrong somehow?

kneedeepindaisies Thu 11-Apr-13 12:44:45

I am going to do 1 recipe from SK this weekend probably this http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2010/01/southwestern-pulled-brisket/

And hopefully the Chocolate Guinness Cake from Feast, if my DH stops drinking the Guinness I buy smile

tigerlilygrr Thu 11-Apr-13 12:47:54

No that is how it works but I find it really useful. Yes it would be better if it gave you the whole recipe but I get that anyone could say they'd bought a book and get the recipes for free otherwise. Quite often though I find myself staring at the fridge looking at, say, butternut squash, and thinking, what shall I make with that? Then it's great. Also quite good if you're round the shops and want to check ingredients.

tigerlilygrr Thu 11-Apr-13 12:49:38

Oh kneedeep the Guinness cake is amazing. One ofmy favourite cakes ever!

kneedeepindaisies Thu 11-Apr-13 13:10:11

Ooh great. Not so great for my diet though.

minimuffin Thu 11-Apr-13 13:31:07

Right - today is a cooking day, the DCs actually asked if we could not go anywhere so we only went as far as the butchers and I am going to make the Finger-lickin Ribs from Feast for their tea. Going to substitute pineapple juice with apple juice as we don't have pineapple juice and I didn't really want to get a whole carton just for this. Should be OK shouldn't it? Also going to make the Jacked-Up Banana Bread from SK as I have 3 mouldering bananas in the fruit bowl.(Probably with their help, so the results may not be reliable...!) Will report back later!

ELR Thu 11-Apr-13 14:04:33

Ok I've read through all the posts and have followed on twitter my twitter name is kitchenstars I would follow some of you guys but unsure who's who!
Anyway I'm going to make the Whole lemon cake bars and the spaghetti squash, black bean and feta tacos from Smitten Kitchen. Also like the look of the lamb chops with pistachio tapenade but noticed that is a recipe on her blog by someone else, so not sure if I will do that but will def keep for the future.

The feast book I have not looked at for a while so will peruse that this afternoon over a cuppa.
I can recommend the gingerbread muffins they are yummy I make a cinnamon glaze to go on them.

Actually cooking will have to wait until tomorrow as I am on the 5:2 diet and today is a fasting day!

Glad I found this, its just up my street!

minimuffin Thu 11-Apr-13 14:17:11

I'm doing the 5:2 diet too ELR. Fasted yesterday - finding it very do-able but not sure if I could manage to read a cookbook on a fast day, it might tip me over the edge!

WetWeekend Thu 11-Apr-13 15:21:44

Hello! I just made the SK caramel cake mentioned way down the thread. I overcooked it angry so it looks quite solid and dry. I'm hoping that because it contains buttermilk it will be ok. The recipe was easy to follow. Will report back about the taste tomorrow.

WetWeekend Thu 11-Apr-13 15:23:00

And yes, yes, yes to the gingerbread muffins in Feast. I make them often. I always used to make the Easter next cake until I decided I didn't actually like it. It's a shame because it's very easy to make & people always seem impressed with it. I'm going to look at some more SK recipes.

minimuffin Thu 11-Apr-13 15:59:07

Right - the Smitten Kitchen banana bread looks and smells great, but is slightly dwarfed in my 2lb loaf tin. Would do it in smaller one next time. Very easy to make and will be interested to see what the bourbon and nutmeg in it are like when we taste later.

The ribs have just gone in. I left the chilli out of the marinade just because even though the DCs are OK with spicy stuff I find raw chilli hard to judge for heat and didn't want to overdo it. The marinade is v liquid but I like the fact you tip everything in - hopefully it will go nice and sticky with plenty of sauce... Also the ribs are the kind that don't have bones in so I hope an hour at 200 isn't going to annihilate them... will see what I think at 30 mins as that's when you have to turn them.

Thank you, Pantah.

Kneedeep - the Guinness cake is amazing: my favourite cake recipe ever. smile

ELR Thu 11-Apr-13 17:25:11

minimuffin have earmarked the ribs as a contender so let me know what you think. Also love a banana cake so will have a look at that. Been looking at cookbooks all day and watching cooking Chanel too I'm a glutton for punishment! Are you on the 5:2 thread?

Have ordered Jerusalem from the library for next month and I already have kitchen diaries.

I am cooking SK's mushroom bourgignon tonight as a side for Nigella's sake Marsala steak (venison instead as had one in freezer and still not been to shop - working too hard this week - but suspect that may be a rather wonderful substitution. Will report back!)

Two in one meal, one from each book! Do I win a medal or summat?! <polishes halo>

On a side note, all this talk of chocolate Guinness pudding is reminding me thAt I have some real cocoa powder from Venezuela (DB works there) that I need to use up!

Any recommendations on recipes?

karmakameleon Thu 11-Apr-13 20:47:14

Well, I'm happy to report that I've done my bit for the day and made the sk meatloaf. They were fab and especially good with the tomato sauce in the recipe. I ended up making the full amount of tomato sauce but a half quantity of the meatloaf and there was only just enough sauce as DH thought it was so good. Baby DS was also a big fan and made it clear by ensuring that not one piece of meatloaf hit the floor although a pity the same could not be said of the spinach I made to go with it.

Again, hits all of the same notes as the lemon bar recipe - relatively cheap, all ingredients that we generally have in and tasty.

Pantah630 Thu 11-Apr-13 22:27:29

Have just devoured our Marsala Sake Steak and the steak, I used rump, was delicious not so keen on the sauce, was a bit too much Marsala or me, maybe it's better with sake but I could really taste the acohol in it rather than the saltiness from the soy and fish sauce. Rice was good with cardamom. I will definately marinate steak again this way but omit the sauce, it was incredibly tender and just melted in the mouth.

tigerlilygrr Thu 11-Apr-13 22:35:18

pantah I think the 'cook and wrap in foil and rest' method really works, I only ever cook steak like that now. Interesting about the alcohol - I don't like taste of alcohol in food if it's noticeable - perhaps that's why I always have to make twice as much sake sauce than the recipe (because I'm reducing it down to my taste!)

I made a bit of a half arsed version of the grapes and olive chicken from SK tonight. I roasted a whole chicken with no fat at all for half an hour, then added the grapes and olives to the casserole dish and continued to roast for about twenty minutes. Then transferred the whole lot to the hob and added vermouth as had no open white wine. Although it wasn't the exact recipe it was probably a bit easier and I have to say, it was really tasty, I'd make that again.

tigerlilygrr Thu 11-Apr-13 22:39:20

choos that choc sounds AMAZING, I would love that. One of my proud foody moments was when someone bought me tea leaves which had literally been picked on the Himalayas and were the best of the crop - they were huge and the tea was completely out of this world! I imagine Venezuelan cocoa vs our standard cadburys might be similar ... You've got the chocolate cake hall of fame in feast for inspiration?

tigerlilygrr Thu 11-Apr-13 22:41:45

mini and wetweekend it truly delights me that you're on a diet and still on the thread! Raising a glass to the 5:2 diet!

Pantah630 Thu 11-Apr-13 22:42:38

Thatll be what happened, I didn't reduce it enough to burn off the acohol, d'oh blush I can still taste it now horrible aftertaste. YY t the foil wrapped steak, lovely and tender, next time I'll probably only cook for 1.5 mins per side as I like my meat rare.

minimuffin Thu 11-Apr-13 23:00:00

The verdict on the ribs was good. DSs ate them and liked them, but they like ribs with Wagamama teryaki sauce on equally well. I liked them too, the marinade was quite sour and savoury, which was a nice change from the usual sticky sweet thing (maybe because I used apple juice rather than pineapple) but I wouldn't be gasping to do them again if that makes sense. They were nice but not amazing. I also wouldn't try using them as a seduction technique as she suggests. (By the way I used black treacle instead of molasses by the way and cooked them for 45 mins in the end.)

The banana loaf is very nice, lovely flavours but quite dense - I normally break up a banana bread with walnuts or raisins and I prefer it with one of those in. Just thought I wouldn't muck about with the recipe to give it a proper test run. My favourite is Nigella's banana bread from Domestic Goddess and this recipe hasn't quite knocked it off top spot, but it's good. I always have really high expectations of American baking recipes - they seem so good at it both on a home cooking and professional level - so I am always a bit disappointed when I bake something using an American recipe and it doesn't blow my socks off. I've got the America's Test Kitchen Baking Illustrated book and expected to be producing the ultimate of everything from it, but have yet to find my ultimate anything. Find the recipes fiddly as ingredients slightly different or hard to find, US measurements etc.

Will try another couple of recipes next week but am going to make another Nigella simnel cake over the weekend as the last one vanished too quickly.

ELR not on 5:2 threads but have got a few useful links from them. Have just been plodding along with it quietly for about 7 weeks and have dropped 5 or 6lb. Cursing it today as I fasted yesterday and didn't feel like lunch for the first time ever, so I just skipped it. But haven't been feeling hungry today either - just been to pub with DH for dinner and nothing on the menu really grabbed me. Loss of appetite on fast days is fine but not on other days!!

ELR Thu 11-Apr-13 23:26:59

May change my mind about the ribs then as I have my own fab recipe which is delish! Still looking through feast and so far it's the desert recipes I am finding I like, will carry on till I come to a savoury one!

tigerlilygrr Fri 12-Apr-13 14:35:28

Just put smitten kitchen cranberry and mulled spice bars in the oven. This is an ideal recipe for those of us with --questionable food hygiene--a large quantity of homemade cranberry sauce left over from Christmas that exactly matches the specified ingredients suggested for filling! (Just to reassure everyone, homemade cranberry sauce lasts a spookily long time, it must be the sugar and pectin). I will let you know how i go. Very easy recipe indeed and my dd got involved with the mixing which was very nice. I am sure as well you could adapt it to include any thickish jam that you have around, so it's pretty low cost if you have the spices (other ingredients are just flour, sugar, egg, butter).

tigerlilygrr Fri 12-Apr-13 14:37:50

Recipe is here as I don't think it's up on the site.

Brices Fri 12-Apr-13 19:23:48

I tried the crepe-canalloni from Feast it was ok but I wouldn't do it again. Children ate but not enthusiastic. Next I will try the paneer recipe.
Smitten kitchen is a really lovely book isn't it? Some of the recipes seem quite hard for me. I'm on the salads chapter at the mo and I'm very tempted

brices I am doing the pander recipe tomorrow! Will report back!

pantah I cooked the Marsala for much longer than she suggested - practically evaporated - and it was really good - think that is the way forward.

General report: venison excellent substitution, worked v well with (much-reduced) Marsala. Am low carbing so didn't have the rice, instead used French "poivre saveur" which is basically pepper with some spices, mainly cardamom - ground over the steak. It was vey good! Subtle edge.

Mushroom bourgignon also good but for me was too mushroomy to be a main - worked well as aside but wouldn't have wanted as main event. Lashings of kale too to balance out otherwise slightly rich flavours of venison/bourgignon.

Thanks tiger for tip on the chocolate hall of fame - will have a browse! Loving idea of Himalayan tea!

paneer.

Damn autocorrect.

tigerlilygrr Fri 12-Apr-13 22:38:10

choos I really fancy that poivre saveur, I've never heard of that. I never salt my food so pepper would be a treat for me, I will look out for it!

brices I made the crepes cannelloni many years ago, but remember it as being a bit bland. I would have thought it would be good for Dcs though. Better luck with the mutter paneer which I remember as being good!

I tried the cranberry and mulling spices recipe from sk today. Really easy to make - I realised after trying it that it's basically a crumble type layer, then a cranberry sauce (jam consistency) than a crumble layer on top (with extra spices), then bake. You could probably prep it in fifteen minutes, maybe even less, if you substituted jam for the cranberry. It's not a massively exciting recipe (maybe why there's no photo) but I have mentally bookmarked it as a keeper... It would be really easy to knock it together when guests come round and it tasted good.

Tiger I got it ready-made in a French supermarket in its own little disposable mill - they love things like that! And so do I, so I have a veritable collection - also a Provençal one with sundried tomatoes and stuff in, and a seasalt and seaweed one (though that would be no good to you).

You could make your own one up in a separate mill though - I will check which spices are in it as it's very good.

Liking the sound of that crumble - love mulling spices!

MrsSchadenfreude Sat 13-Apr-13 09:31:16

Tigerlilygrr - PM me if you would like me to send you one. I'm in France. It is indeed wonderful stuff - I put it on everything (particularly good in home made burgers) and have taken the spices out and used for pickled onions!

MrsSchadenfreude Sat 13-Apr-13 09:34:14

Minimuffin - I soak raisins in Bourbon and add to my banana cake recipe. The flavour works really well with bananas!

minimuffin Sat 13-Apr-13 10:45:36

Thanks MrsS - that's the way Nigella does it too in her domestic goddess recipe and it's really nice. I definitely prefer a banana bread with something extra in for texture.

I'm tempted to try the vodka pasta from Feast next - it's one of those recipes I've always meant to try as it looks like it could be a good staple one for one of those evenings when you're short on inspiration, ingredients and time

Those lemon bars from SK sound like a hit and the grapefruit cake sounds interesting but I can't quite get my head around that bitter taste grapefruit has in a cake

tiger have checked and the poivre saveur if you wanted to make up your own mill is 50% black pepper, then the other half coriander, cardamom and green pepper in descending order but it doesn't say how much. Wonderful stuff, I agree MrsSch!

To ought am doing some of Nigella's eid curry feast - the mutter paneer, aloo ghobi, pilaff, then as DH is veggie adapting the lamb maharaja to be with aubergine, and the pheasant curry to be with tofu.

And thought I would also do these Indian vegetable fritters from SK to munch on to start:
http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2006/11/throwing-pancakes-to-the-wind/

Much too much but will have leftover tomorrow night/freeze.

Tonight not to ought!

I have tried two recipes so far, one feast one from the blog.

Smitten kitchen blog- alexs mushroom and chicken marsala- this was beautiful. Very easy, looked delicious, and tastes wonderful. I would have paid for it in a resteraunt. I'm going to buy the book now, as originally I felt buying both books was a bit extravagant if the recipes are this good, I see it as an investment.grin

Feast- Vietnamese turkey and glass noodle salad- this too was delicious,, and very easy to make, lalthough I did eat it warm, as am not huge on cold food. Having had leftovers for lunch, it's definatly better slightly warm. The coriander is essential I think,it really completed the meal.

My copy of feast is misprinted- kiddie feast features twice and cuttable cookies is omitted, as well as part of chocolate cakes.sad can't send it back as it's been used, and I bought it from Amazon market used already. Still it's a book that's got me excited about Christmas I can tell yougrin

WeakAtTheCheese Sat 13-Apr-13 21:29:39

I am clearly very late to this thread but it sounds great. I have Feast and so will dig out a couple of recipes. I don't have Smitten Kitchen but have soooo many cookbooks I could not possibly justify buying another. I'll use the blog to get an idea. I fact I made the chocolate brownie cookies the other day and they were pretty good although didn't keep brilliantly. Hot from the oven though they were awesome grin

minimuffin Sat 13-Apr-13 22:48:42

Blimey Choos can I come and live at yours if that's an ordinary Saturday night in?

grin I have been put in a cooking mood by the thread! I thought that since we were doing Feast, it would be nice to actually do a feast, and it was our anniversary so that was an excuse for it!

Also made a Mughal Martini to start (made a vodka/sugar syrup infused with cardamom and, then mixed that with rose petal liqueur and vodka) and also made rose petal, saffron and cardamom ice cream scattered with pistachios for pudding.

Thoroughly recommend the pheasant curry - I did with tofu as DH is veggie - the sauce was heavenly and would be very good with chicken if you're not a pheasant person.

The smitten kitchen Indian vegetable fritters were also very good.

poppy77 Sun 14-Apr-13 18:04:08

I have now tried the cheesy feet from Feast - although I didn't bother rolling them out and using cutters (and I certainly don't have feet cutters), I just squished little balls into circles. Nice easy recipe and I think would go really well with tomato soup. Thumbs up from child 1 (usually the fussy one) and thumbs down from child 2 (usually less fussy). They were competing with rainbow cupcakes though.

I am trying to select some savoury recipes from both books (I have my eye on the Malteser chocolate cake from Feast, but really need to expand my savoury repertoire). The Smitten Kitchen book is definitely more veggie-friendly I find - although I like the idea of adapting the Feast recipes as well. I currently can't decide whether the pasta with chopped up raw cauliflower (in the Smitten Kitchen book) sounds disgusting or not.

glorious Sun 14-Apr-13 20:27:05

Mmm, the whole lemon bars are good and very easy indeed. Possibly they'd be nicer a touch tarter. But bonus marks for using my new foodx processor smile

WeakAtTheCheese Sun 14-Apr-13 20:46:04

Can I ask a question re the amazing lemon bars. I don't have a food processor, I have a blender will that do? confused or my kitchenaid?

karmakameleon Sun 14-Apr-13 20:49:56

I found that with the whole lemon bars my average sized lemon didn't weigh as much as Deb's so I used a lemon and a half. That may be the way forward if you like a tarter lemon bar.

We've been out a lot this weekend so not much time for cooking but I did manage to squeeze in the banana buttermilk pancakes from Feast. They weren't really any better than normal buttermilk pancakes but did use up the last manky banana in the fruit bowl so can't complain.

karmakameleon Sun 14-Apr-13 20:53:25

You could do the biscuit base by hand but I'm not sure about the lemon layer. I don't think there is enough liquid to work in a blender but it may be possible. A Kitchenaid mixer wouldn't work as it wouldn't chop up the lemon.

glorious Sun 14-Apr-13 21:03:50

It might work in a blender, not really sure about the liquid as karma says. And another half a lemon is a good idea too.

tigerlilygrr Mon 15-Apr-13 07:25:40

Hello all! Sounds like everyone's been productive! I need to catch up.

mrsS thank you so much, that's really kind. I will have a go at making my own but if you're in the supermarket could you have a look at the mill and see if you could guess the spice proportions? Otherwise I'm going with 50% black pepper, 25% coriander, 15% cardamom, 10% green pepper. I love spices so am excited about this. Also I have googled and googled and can't find a recipe for it anywhere, how strange!

tigerlilygrr Mon 15-Apr-13 07:37:44

pregnantpause do you know which cake recipes are missing from your copy of feast? Or if you want let me know which ones you have and I will tell you which ones are missing. Then you can check on the nigella website or I'll pm them to you. Would be a shame not to have the complete set as it's my favourite bit in the book!

weakattheknees not sure if it would work without a food processor although a hand held blender might work as you could make sure every little bit gets chopped up. Or as an alternative there is an older recipe on the sk blog for lemon bars which is slightly different.

lemon bars
But for this one you have to do a lot of grating which I personally hate!

tigerlilygrr Mon 15-Apr-13 07:44:25

choos your feast sounds amazing, very in keeping with the tone of the book. I do the pheasant curry with turkey each year after Christmas, it's lovely!

My final update is that I made the gingerbread pancake from sk yesterday. Really easy if you have a stand mixer, just whisk a couple of eggs, then lots of spices and flour etc and bake in the oven. It tasted good although I would double all the spices personally, i love warm sweet spices. It looked really impressive as it rose like a soufflé. However I don't know if I'd make it again as it's so airy it's not a filling breakfast. In the future I would only do it as part of a breakfast buffet for guests and that is not a very common occurrence in the tigerlily household (and luckily so, I hate mornings!)

poppy77 Mon 15-Apr-13 12:46:07

Wow, a breakfast buffet would be completely beyond me. Porridge is absolutely my limit early in the morning, I'm impressed.

Has anyone made the sweetcorn fritters from the kids' section in Feast? My attempt has just ended up a complete disaster. I think there was way too much sweetcorn (because my weighing scales are broken) - so there wasn't enough batter to stick all the bits together. Either that or I was wrong to assume that frozen sweetcorn would be fine instead of a tin. Can I claim the prize for first attempt on the thread to end up in the bin?

tigerlilygrr Mon 15-Apr-13 12:54:25

poppy I think a breakfast buffet is beyond me too really but we can all dream! That's a shame about the sweet corn fritters. I made them years ago and added blueberries (I was copying a recipe I saw in a restaurant, I love fruit in savoury food). They were yummy so think perhaps the frozenness might have been your downfall...? Or could be the sweetcorn quantity. I have to say I can't cook without my weighing scales; I have no eye for it whatsoever.

kneedeepindaisies Mon 15-Apr-13 12:56:40

Wow everyone is doing so well and I haven't even started hmm

I was meant to make the Guinness cake today but have been called into work so I will attempt it tomorrow instead.

Can anyone recommend a Smitten Kitchen cookie recipe please?

tigerlilygrr Mon 15-Apr-13 13:04:10

kneedeep once you start you won't be able to stop! I am worried for my waistline but otherwise very happy and replete! The cookie recipes in sk are:
- buttered popcorn cookies
- choc peanut butter cookies which are sandwiched together
- brownie cookies

They all look quite tempting...

WeakAtTheCheese Mon 15-Apr-13 14:36:14

Thanks all. I'll give it a go with what I've got.

tigerlilygrr Mon 15-Apr-13 16:56:31

weakatthecheese your nn sums up my entire life. Best of luck!

Everyone else, as a reminder we're doing Jerusalem by ottolenghi and the first kitchen diaries by Nigel slater next month. I've got Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian down as book one for May (thank you Remus). I am having problems ordering it from the library though (as in, they don't have it at all), has anyone else tried? I would buy it but as I've recently bought prashad and veggiestan, and am not actually veggie, I think I'm quite well stocked for veg curry cookbooks. However I will do it for the good of the group if I'm the only one who can't get it easily!

Then, can you let me have a suggestion for book 2 for may? Rose Elliott was proposed but a. I got confused and thought she was rose prince and b. two veggie books in the same month might limit those of us with DCs who will tolerate No. Veg. At All.

tigerlilygrr Mon 15-Apr-13 18:37:50

Oh yes, just wanted to add I do think it's good if the second book is a fairly popular choice eg Delia, Jamie, Hugh etc... Someone we're all likely to have or find easy to get.

What about Jamies 30 min meals? Loads of people have it, and it's a complete meal, plus sides. We could also find out who comes closest to the 30min mark, I'm always closer to 60, surely I can't be alone in that?smile

XBenedict Mon 15-Apr-13 18:56:58

Oooh can I join? I have just been given the first Kitchen Diaries book and so far I haven't cooked anything out of it so that's a perfect slection for me smile

tiger, thanks, I'm not too worried about the cakes, we don't have much of a sweet tooth in this house tbh, but the index tells me which I have missed out on. I have made her guinness cake from the website in the past though, and it went down well amongst family if I remember correctly.

glorious Mon 15-Apr-13 19:07:51

How about one of the River Cottage books for May? e.g. the easy book, meat and fish also good but not ideal for the veggies)

issimma Mon 15-Apr-13 19:15:52

I'm in! Kitchen Diaries is one of my bedtime reads (although it makes me ravenous). Do love Nigel.
Have been meaning to look at Jerusalem for a while, so this is the kick I need!

For May how about Nigella's How to Eat? Would complement Madhur nicely.

Pantah630 Mon 15-Apr-13 19:22:51

Have loads of Hugh F-W but not Easy. Jamie's 30 a good idea or one of the naked chef ones?

I have May Good Food mags, Mac'n'Hock-a-Roni Cheese on the go at the moment, it looks delicious, just waiting for DH to come home so I can finish it off under the grill smile

Pantah- do tell us how it is- I have the mag and was considering it for this week, although I will have to find a way to.include more veg for the DC, a side salad would be treated with naught but disdain.

karmakameleon Mon 15-Apr-13 20:43:51

tiger just checked our local library for World Vegetarian and they don't have it either. Although I'd love to do both a curry book and a vegetarian choice, I probably wouldn't be rushing out to buy WV as I'm not generally that fussed about MJ's books. Btw, what do you think of Prashad and Veggiestan? Had my eye on both of them for a while!

On the popular choice, I'd be happy with any of the books suggested but can I put in a special word for Delia. Her website has pretty much every recipe she's ever published on it so would be great for people who don't have lots of cookbooks to join in.

poppy77 Mon 15-Apr-13 20:57:35

pregnantpause I was going to suggest Jamie's 30-minute meals (and spookily nearly posted my suggestion about the same time you did, before getting distracted).

I can totally do the meals in 30 minutes - but the prep/clear-up probably adds another hour on top of that. I am sad enough to enjoy timing myself though.

karmakameleon Mon 15-Apr-13 21:04:16

Oh nearly forgot to mention, I made the cauliflower pesto fro sk tonight. Quick, easy and reasonably tasty but probably not one I'd rush to do again in a hurry. We found that the pesto didn't coat the pasta as well as normal pesto does so didn't feel like it really worked. I'll probably have the leftovers on crostini for lunch tomorrow and think that may well work better.

karmakameleon Mon 15-Apr-13 21:16:01

Oh by the way all, the chat about breakfast buffets has reminded me what a good thing a proper brunch is. I was thinking about making some homemade granola and so far the recipe in Feast is by far the best I've tried. Was wondering on whether anyone has tried the sk one or do I need to make both at the weekend to compare and contrast?

greensnail Mon 15-Apr-13 21:26:30

Hi everyone. Unfortunately real life has been getting in the way of both mumsnet and cooking so I've only really got started today. I made the plum and poppy seed muffins from sk today. Dh and I like them but the dds are not at all impressed. I think they might have been more popular if I'd just used white flour and maybe a bit more sugar. I found the plums deliciously gooey though. Won't be rushing to make them again but would consider them if we get a glut of plums from my parents' tree this summer.

I actually used the feast recipe for cauliflower cheese yesterday but as I wouldn't usually use a recipe for cauliflower cheese I'm not counting it as one of my choices. It was really nice though, her method of hardly cooking the cauliflower first worked very nicely, the cauliflower came out with a nice bite to it.

I'm planning to make the Ritzy chicken nuggets for the dc (and me!) this week from Feast and then will try the Guinness cake I think. Then I just need to choose a second Sk recipe. I was planing to choose a savoury recipe but am very tempted by the sound of the lemon bar so will probably do that too.

tigerlilygrr Mon 15-Apr-13 21:32:46

Shall we go with Jamie's 30 minute meals then? Will be easy for everyone to get. Definitely let's try timing ourselves because I've got an iPhone and like commanding Siri to time me. I read that he said it was possible if you have a well organised kitchen - ha!

So for book 2 in may what do you think then? As Jamie is our easy choice we can be a bit more adventurous but ideally something we can still get in libraries. I don't want to discard remus' suggestion entirely as it's good to try new things so I thought about a more recent madhur jaffrey book - curry nation or ultimate curry bible?

XBenedict Mon 15-Apr-13 21:35:45

How about Lorraine Pascale?

tigerlilygrr Mon 15-Apr-13 21:39:59

xbenedict welcome to our growing group ( in every sense!)

karma both prashad and veggiestan are really sumptuous gorgeous books but they're both on the back burner at the moment! Both of them have quite obscure ingredients and need a bit of planning (not like the sk book where you can just knock up a few of the recipes from store cupboard ingredients). I was going to suggest themthough for future months as the pictures look fabulous and I think it would be a nice challenge. Totally agree re Delia and will put her on the list for future months.

tigerlilygrr Mon 15-Apr-13 21:45:54

greensnail the ritzy chicken nuggets are totally delicious and the caper salad she recommends to go alongside is the perfect accompaniment. I made my feast recipe no 1 today and it was the crispy pork chops with garlic salad which is similar. It was sooooo tasty and a great example of how this thread has pushed me to try something new... I am a bit scared of deep frying normally and so have never tried it before, despite liking the sound of the end result. It was a bit fiddly but easy! And my lamb shank with fig and honey is cooling on the job for tomorrow as I type.

tigerlilygrr Mon 15-Apr-13 21:46:44

Cooling on the HOB

ScienceRocks Mon 15-Apr-13 22:59:40

Did the sake steak tonight. It was nice, but I deviated from the recipe by using cheapskate frying steak instead of fillet Nd deglazing the pan to make the sauce rather than using a separate saucepan. I think it would have been nicer with wasabi instead of mustard.

Happy with 30 minute meals for may. Can I suggest one of the Thomasina miers books for the second if madhur Jaffrey is proving tricky? I substitute normal chillies for the millions of different varieties she talks about, and still get good results.

Science- I was about to suggest thomosina, I love wshaca and haven't looked at it for ages. I know that it's in my library too (as that is where I discovered it before buying) so it might be one that's easy to get. Don't know about it's online credentials though, and on phone. Can anybody check?

Pantah630 Tue 16-Apr-13 07:28:15

pregnantpause Mac'n'Hock-a-Roni was very good, will definately make it again. I used less than half a mug of cooking water for the sauce and it looked wet enough but after grilling it seemed drier, next time I would use more fluid. We had side salad with it but I think you could easily add broccoli florets, spinach or frozen mixed veg into the mix. Don't scrimp on the mustard, it adds a lovely flavour.

The River Cottage veg book looks really good but have yet to cook anything from it, can I throw that into the mix for future months smile

Pantah630 Tue 16-Apr-13 07:30:00

BTW most of Jamie's recipes are online so should be easy for those without 30 minute meals. Made the Moroccan lamb the other day, used lamb neck rather than break the bank racks of lamb, absolutely delicious.

glorious Tue 16-Apr-13 08:03:47

Happy with Jamie, I've never cooked anything of his so it'll be an education.

pantah the veg book is great. We love the courgette and tahini salad, the dukka, and several of the raw ones. I'm sure there's more but stuck under a feeding baby and can't check.

tigerlilygrr Tue 16-Apr-13 09:13:24

Mexican food made easy is one of my favourite books of all time so I am really happy with that. Although it will be similar to feast for me in that I've cooked a lot from it already! I think it's a good complement to 30 minute meals as the better recipes take a lot of time .... But they're so worth it! So let's go with that. I've looked and some recipes are online at the moment as channel 5 are showing the TV show, but not in IMO the best ones (try have quite clearly chosen all the quick ones for filming). However I am more than happy to pm people recipes, very happy to share my love for this book!

Can I give advance warning that I disagree a bit with science - I really think you need to make chipotles in adobo with chipotles chillies as this is a requested ingredient for most of her recipes (plus it is is so so good, I can't recommend it enough). Apart from that though you can swap out the specialist chillies for more accessible ones. So there is potentially a bit of online ordering required. However I will remind everyone of that nearer the time to give a bit of warning.

I use tesco dried chipotle chillis. They're in most tesco and are about 3 quid. They work well

tigerlilygrr Tue 16-Apr-13 09:56:23

I didn't know you can get them from tesco! Mexgrocer.co.uk will be cursing you pregnantpause as I buy chipotles from them regularly!

greensnail Tue 16-Apr-13 10:26:02

Oooh, I've just say down to have one of the plum muffins with a cup of coffee and they are delicious the next day, so much better than yesterday! They've gone really gooey in the middle and the plum flavour has really developed so I'm revising my review of that recipe and saying I'll definitely do them again.

Looking forward to the Ritzy nuggets now, will have to make a shopping list.

Looking forward to trying Jamie's 30 minute meals too. I've only got the 15 minute meals book and have made some lovely things from there. They usually take me closer to 30 minutes to make though but that might be due to having little helpers most of the time. I always time myself and try to get close to the 15 minutes but my kitchen ends up looking like a bomb site when I've finished!

kneedeepindaisies Tue 16-Apr-13 10:29:18

My chocolate Guinness cake is in the oven!

tigerlilygrr Tue 16-Apr-13 10:35:41

xbenedict will put Lorraine down on the suggestion list for future months (I love her books, will be a pleasure!)

ScienceRocks Tue 16-Apr-13 12:47:12

I use chipotle paste when chipotles in adobe are called for, tiger. I am lazy as well as cheap .

kneedeepindaisies Tue 16-Apr-13 12:52:04

Ok what did I do wrong?

The cake has sunk and is falling apart. I did have to cook it for 1hr 20 because it wasn't done but even so.

I'm gutted hmm I can always make a good cake.

poppy77 Tue 16-Apr-13 13:06:51

kneedeepindaisies oh no - I hate cake fails. Can you rescue it by cutting the good bits into mini cakes? Or crumble it up and make it into cake pops?

I haven't made it but it looks like it has a fair amount of liquid compared to dry ingredients - maybe it needs to be taken out of the oven before it is quite done, like cookies?

tigerlilygrr Tue 16-Apr-13 13:12:51

science the chipotles in adobo are so so so good... My husband comes home from work and spoons it onto bread sometimes. But it is good to know there's an easier alternative. I was gearing up to explain in may that before you cook anything else you have to make this paste which will take an hour and require some obscure ingredients... I did think that might put some people off! So this is good to know.

kneedeep... Oh no... I think it does come out of the oven fairly damp even when cooked...

kneedeepindaisies Tue 16-Apr-13 13:31:46

I've stuck the big bits back on with the icing and turned the cake upside down to hide the giant sunken bit grin

I've also put in the fridge to hopefully set a bit. It tastes bloody great though!

ELR Tue 16-Apr-13 14:00:25

Just made white choc and cranberry cookies from feast only made a half recipe though to try to cut back! Am about to make the lemon bars from SK but doing a full recipe as sound so delish.
Tonight I am making the lemon chicken with easy mash from feast but as I make this all the time I'm not counting it.
Also ocado shop done ready to make the paneer curry and the pheasant curry from feast tomorrow.

Happy with books for June both are on my bookshelf and both are very much loved and used. Gonna have to try hard to find something new from both these books as have made so much from them. I would recommend the churros and chocolate, courgette soup, feta and butternut squash salad and summer tacos from TM book.
From 30 mins book I would recommend the steak sandwich, pork loin and celeriac mash, pasta puttanesca and the picnic.

I also could not get Madhur Jaffrey's veggie book from the library, but her Ultimate curry bible is fab. I would recommend river cottage veg everyday as a fab veggie book too.

tigerlilygrr Tue 16-Apr-13 16:22:21

elr I will put mj ultimate curry bible and river cottage veg everyday down for future months as they're getting a lot of reccs.

tigerlilygrr Tue 16-Apr-13 16:29:07

Oh also, I made lamb shanks with figs and honey from Feast last night and sampled them at lunchtime today. I have to say I was disappointed - I thought they were stodgy and not 'falling off the bone' enough. Possibly though my downscaling of the recipe from ten to three shanks may have been a bit to blame.

ELR Tue 16-Apr-13 17:37:18

Great tiger will not look at those books until we have them on the list.
Shame about the lamb shanks I have not made them but have been to a dinner party where they were served and was not that impressed I put it down to the cook but maybe it is the recipe!!

I'm just going.through feast with the idea to make more recipes this week, and wondered whether anyone had tried the meatballs and cous cous? I'm also toying with the damp apple and apricot cake. I must say, even for a house with a strictly savoury.tooth, I have.bookmarked.many deserts. I may.even push the boat out with the malteaser cake, as I am lucky enough to have it in my defective copysmile

Excuse the grammer, fat thumbs and smart phones do not mix.

Pantah630 Tue 16-Apr-13 20:27:57

I'm just back from Cubs, stinking of woodsmoke, we've been doing marshmallows and sausages for their first night back. smile

Have just assembled the stuffed mushrooms, and put in the oven, also from GF May mag and will be rustle up the spring chicken one pot later in the week. Need to pick my feast dishes, have meatballs in the fridge so may do the meatballs and couscous tomorrow night. Will have a look at the recipe.

glorious Tue 16-Apr-13 22:35:52

The malteser cake is really fun but extremely sweet. If you make it dissolve the horlicks in some milk aa you get lumps otherwise.

The sake steak was yum and I also loved the cardamom rice, a nice level of spicing.

greensnail Wed 17-Apr-13 20:56:15

Well, I've just had my first slice of Guinness cake and it was good but I'm not sure I'm blown away by it. I think it's just about the only one from the chocolate cake hall of fame I haven't cooked before and I can't say it's my favourite but maybe it will grow on me. I enjoyed making it though and found it simple to put together although I'm slightly concerned how much Guinness my two year old consumed while licking the pan! I found it cooked much quicker than the recipe said, I think next time I would cook it for longer at a lower temperature as it was starting to burn on the outside after 35 minutes but still a bit gooey in the middle.

I have all the bits in for Ritzy nuggets but will have to wait a couple of days as my freezer got left open yesterday so have lots of random defrosted stuff to use up first!

greensnail Wed 17-Apr-13 20:59:09

Oh, and do I need to try and find space in the fridge for this cake as the icing has fresh cream and soft cheese in it, or will it be ok in a tin?

XBenedict Wed 17-Apr-13 21:02:47

Are you cooking from just Feast this week or any Nigella?

tigerlilygrr Wed 17-Apr-13 21:46:26

greensnaill I am pretty sure it will be fine in a tin as I've left it in my office kitchen overnight before. Freezers are the bane of my life, mine is so frosted up I broke a drawer trying to ram it in...

xbenedict just feast. Although there is a fair bit of repetition between feast and her other books.

tigerlilygrr Wed 17-Apr-13 21:48:36

By the way after the crushing disappointment that was the lamb shanks last night I made the choc muffins in the kiddie section of feast which were nice. I made them with my toddler so didn't really give the recipe a fair trial, but they tasted good, and were very easy.

tigerlilygrr Wed 17-Apr-13 21:54:20

One final thing - earlier in the thread I got my months muddled up. Just to recap -
April: feast, smitten kitchen
may: Jerusalem by ottolenghi, kitchen diaries by Nigel slater
June: Mexican food made easy (thomasina miers), 30 minute meals by Jamie

So sorry if I confused anyone! In may, we can pick books for July, so we have a rolling list and a bit of room for spontaneity.

greensnail Wed 17-Apr-13 22:05:12

tigerlilygrr I did the same thing with my freezer drawer a couple of weeks ago. At least I've now been forced to defrost it and seem to have about 3 times as much room as before. I recommend it!

I hadn't noticed the chocolate muffin recipe, my dds would like to try that I'm sure.

XBenedict Thu 18-Apr-13 11:13:22

I don't have Feast but luckily my lovely friend does and she's just brought it over for me so I'll get cooking. Do we choose anything, cook it and report back?

tigerlilygrr Thu 18-Apr-13 11:16:15

Yep anything as long as you haven't cooked it before. The minimum is to do two recipes but if course you can do more. I stuck quite closely to the recipe for my main two but went off piste a bit for later recipes!

XBenedict Thu 18-Apr-13 11:54:26

Ok I'll have a browse and pick a couple smile

kneedeepindaisies Thu 18-Apr-13 14:57:29

I can't stop eating my Guinness cake. Don't get me wrong it looks awful but tastes soooo good.

XBenedict Thu 18-Apr-13 16:17:25

Right I am going to make roast loin of pork with caraway, lemon and garlic tonight. Will report back later smile

tigerlilygrr Thu 18-Apr-13 16:37:34

Ooh don't think I've made that one (my DH is not keen on

tigerlilygrr Thu 18-Apr-13 16:38:23

Pork! Posted too soon). Let me know how you get on as I am trying to convert him after the success of crispy pork chops.

ScienceRocks Thu 18-Apr-13 16:42:55

Are recipes from Jerusalem available online somewhere? Tried t get it out of the library today and it isn't even listed. Don't really want to buy it sight unseen...

Soupqueen Thu 18-Apr-13 16:48:18

Ooh, can I join in? I've just moved house and, despite taking about 50 cookery books to the charity shop, I still have far too many blush

I have Feast, Kitchen Diaries, 30 Minute Meals and Jerusalem so off to a good start.

The only things I've made so far from Feast are the chocolate and banana muffins (lovely) and the roast lamb for one. I'm veggie but make it for DH, it's one of his favourite dishes and really easy to scale up for 2 people for those who were looking for something that doesn't feed the five thousand!

I might struggle to make 2 from each this month, with coming to it late and half of my kitchen still being in boxes but I will give it a good shot!

poppy77 Thu 18-Apr-13 18:05:08

ScienceRocks - there are Ottolenghi recipes in the Guardian each Saturday I think, might be worth having a look at those?

I made the Malteser cake today - it is certainly a crowd-pleaser. The cakes were fine, but I wasn't entirely convinced by the icing - I made it in the food processor as she suggests, but it seemed at bit grainy (and I think it looks a bit grainy in the picture too). Does anyone else make it by hand? She says using a food processor is easier than sieving, but personally I find it way more effort anyway.

I am going to make a real effort with savoury dishes next week as that is my definite weak point. So I'd be grateful for any veggie recommendations that will convince reasonably fussy children - I figure I'm safe with the pizza from the Smitten book, but I'm a little stuck after that.

karmakameleon Thu 18-Apr-13 23:01:55

Hello all, thought I'd quickly check in before bed. Really looking forward to some of the future choices, especially Tomasina Miers. Love Wahaca and have both her books but have never cooked anything out of either of them so will be interesting for me.

Made the chocolate Guinness cake tonight and not quite sure if its the best chocolate cake ever or a total disaster! On the plus side, it's very easy method and readily available ingredients.

However, on the downside, the cake didn't just sink but actually has a crater in the middle of it! The icing was a total disaster. I made it in the food processer as suggested in the recipe and it became a thin, runny liquid. Will do it by hand if I ever make it again. But although my cake looks a mess, it does taste fantastic!

Tomorrow we are having the veggie chilli from Feast so will report back on that tomorrow night.

tigerlilygrr Fri 19-Apr-13 03:14:16

Hi karma, I remember the icing from the cake as being a bit dodge too. I have started making it with just icing sugar and cream cheese, and only adding the cream to thin it down if necessary. It puzzled me how she gets the foam like effect shown in the picture with the ingredients listed tbh. Can't help you with the crater though!

Hello soupqueen come on in! I seriously have to reorganise my kitchen too although at least you have the excuse of a recent house move.

poppy I am looking for an excuse to make the Malteser cake now but think it may have to wait for a birthday party by the sounds of it.

karmakameleon Fri 19-Apr-13 22:02:28

With the malteser cake, is the quantity of butter correct? I've always fancied it but the recipe just looks wrong.

We had the veggie chilli for dinner tonight and it was fab. Nice change from the meat version I usually make and a definite to have again.

greensnail Fri 19-Apr-13 23:36:32

I've made the Malteser cake lots of times and don't think I've ever altered the amount of butter. It comes out great, I love that cake!

Guinness cake still going down a storm here. I made the icing in the food processor too and it did go runny at first but I took the whole funnel bit out of the lid to let more air in and gave it a long blitz and it thickened up nicely. I think my icing looks pretty similar to Nigella's but next time I will try with the whisk attachment on the processor to try to get it even fluffier.

I made the Ritzy nuggets for tea this evening and they were a success with everyone except the chicken nugget loving 4 year old. She only ate her carrots though so suspect she wasn't really hungry anyway, probably due to too much Guinness cake!

Just had an email from the library to say my reservation for kitchen diaries has arrived so looking forward to picking it up this weekend but will have to resist cooking from it until next month!

ScienceRocks Sun 21-Apr-13 10:39:19

Made the smitten kitten blueberry yogurt pancakes this morning. Recipe here

Really good.

greensnail Sun 21-Apr-13 21:13:50

We had pizza for tea made with smitten kitchen pizza dough. Was lovely and very simple to make.

Just finished the Guinness cake but dd1 has requested we make another one for her grandparents visiting next week. Hopefully I'll be able to squeeze in making the lemon bars first as I really want to try them.

tigerlilygrr Sun 21-Apr-13 21:35:27

I made the beesting cake which was the latest recipe from the SK blog yesterday. I am a reasonably good cake maker (no Mary berry, but competent) and I found it quite difficult. First you make a yeasted base, then a crunchy honey almond topping, then a creme patissiere style filling. The topping and the creme pat were beyond gorgeous - I literally had to force myself to stop eating them out of the pan! But the yeasted base (which required two rises) didn't rise properly and was a bit chewy. I am going to try again though as it felt like I'd almost made a fantastic and quite showy cake, if you know what I mean!

So anyway even though it's not technically in the sk book I'm telling you all in the hope that someone will pick up the gauntlet and give it a go and tell me where I'm going wrong with the base!

cakeandcava Mon 22-Apr-13 10:12:28

Hi, can I join? It's probably a bit late for April, but will try to cook something from the Smitten Kitchen blog this week, and then get properly stuck in in May. I've been eyeing up Jerusalem for weeks, so this is a great excuse!

tigerlilygrr Mon 22-Apr-13 10:20:46

Pleasure to have you in the club cakeandcava

Probably too easy and obvious for most, but we had nigellas creamed chicken tonight with pasta and it was delicious. The DC especially loved it (although as it's in kiddiefeast I would expect them too) I did add onion and sweetcorn as I am somewhat obsessed with getting at least some veg in, but I think it added to the meal tbh.
I still haven't received sk so am going to go out of April with a bang (not literally I hope) and cook a recipe from feast everyday that's leftgrin
Tomorrow I will be attempting the damp apple and almond cake and chicken murgaharli(sp) with the panneer peas and some cardamom rice.
Wednesday I am going for the lamb meatballs with veg stew and cous cous.
Thursday will be yellow pea and frankfurter thing.
Friday will be the much recommended sake steak.
Saturday I am making the simnel cake, and because it's the recipe that nigella herself recommended, the custard cream hearts. If I get that far I will be proud of myself and less annoyed with the non arrival of sksmile

Soupqueen Mon 22-Apr-13 20:43:24

I made the mushroom bourginion from smitten kitchen tonight.

http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2009/01/mushroom-bourguignon/

It was really good - rich and satisfying and filled the kitchen with lovely smells. I couldn't get pearl onions (not sure I have ever seen them in the uk?) so used shallots, adding them with the mushrooms before the 20 minute simmer. I also misread the recipe and didn't buy enough mushrooms so had to alter the liquid quantities- all worked beautifully though. I didn't use half a carrot, used the whole one because it seemed daft not to. apart from all that, I followed the recipe exactly......

I haven't found the box that Feast is hiding in yet, so it'll be the weekend at the earliest before I can rediscover it.

Pantah630 Mon 22-Apr-13 21:03:04

Do you remember back at the start when tiger tweeted Nigella and she recommended her custard cream hearts? I made those tonight and they're going down a storm here, more popular then the lemon bars by a mile smile. We had leftover custard filling so DS2 is sandwiching rich tea biscuits together to use I up!

Also made the bread sauce potato gratin to go with sausages stuffing and veg. Also delicious but very heavy on the cream and milk so will only be an annual dish I fear or we'll all be the size of houses grin

Looking forward to May now.

Pantah630 Mon 22-Apr-13 21:04:27

Oh should have read the new posts first. pregnant prioritise the biscuits, you won't regret it smile

kneedeepindaisies Mon 22-Apr-13 21:49:30

There's only 8 days left of April and I need to do 3 recipes!

Smitten kitchen blueberry muffins tomorrow.

I've got kitchen diaries from the library. It looks fab!

greensnail Mon 22-Apr-13 21:53:32

I was considering doing the creamed chicken too. . I think I've done it before and wasn't that blown away by it but I have cream and chicken in the fridge so maybe I'll give it a whirl for tea tomorrow.

Have spent most of the day stuck under a poorly toddler on the sofa but going she'll allow me to make lemon bars tomorrow.

Greensnail- I also added a clove of garlic as had no garlic oil, it was lovely. Not the best meal ever, but easy and most importantly in this house, the DC wolfed it down.

Thanks pantah, I will make a go of the hearts todaygrin

greensnail Tue 23-Apr-13 13:08:33

Lemon bars are cooling in the kitchen, I'm looking forward to trying them later.

I use garlic oil a lot so always have that in, but might try adding a bit more garlic anyway. I think I would prefer it with added sweet corn but that would not go down at all well with the dds. They are side salad sort of girls!

kneedeepindaisies Tue 23-Apr-13 14:08:57

I made the Smitten Kitchen blueberry muffins and they're very nice and light.

I'd probably make them again but that will depend on what the chief cake testers think when they come home wink

tigerlilygrr Tue 23-Apr-13 14:22:52

I'm either going to make the leek fritters tonight or broccoli fritters which I think are on the blog, as an accompaniment to steak. I am dying to try the custard creams!

greensnail Tue 23-Apr-13 14:45:25

Ooh, like the sound of broccoli fritters. Might try them too

tigerlilygrr Tue 23-Apr-13 14:52:06
Pantah630 Tue 23-Apr-13 15:47:37

They sound good tiger and I have some broccoli languishing in the salad draw. Looks like tea is sorted.

cakeandcava Tue 23-Apr-13 17:46:07

Planned on doing the stuffed Lebanese aubergines from Smitten Kitchen tonight, but DS is not well and DH is out so going for something simpler, will try the aubergines tomorrow and report back.

Can't wait to get stuck into Jerusalem, it looks amazing. And Nigel Slater is always great, so May should be a good month smile

kneedeepindaisies Tue 23-Apr-13 18:54:50

The blueberry muffins are "immense" according to the DC.

Success!

Gerrof Tue 23-Apr-13 19:18:33

What a fantastic thread. I would love to join if I may. I am unwell so won't be cooking this week, but love Feast and can heartily recommend the Tunisian stew. It is delicious and I cook it often - you can get the rose harissa in Sainsburys. I use more harissa than she says.

I also adore the Georgian feast and the eid curries. The curries in particular are very simple to cook.

Gerrof- do you really have to do the Curries the day before? I'm making the chicken one, have all the ingredients to make tonight ready for tomorrow, but with the cream in it I'd rather not let it sit overnight. Will I be okay just cooking and eating it tomorrow?

TheRealFellatio Tue 23-Apr-13 19:38:51

I so wanted to join in with this but I cannot get hold of the book you are doing now for a quite a few weeks as I live abroad and have to get it shipped. I will try to 'jump on' as soon as you do a book I already have.

kneedeepindaisies Tue 23-Apr-13 20:22:30

Thanks for the recommendation Gerrof. I haven't looked at anything apart from cakes in Feast but I like the sound of the Tunisian stew.

kneedeepindaisies Tue 23-Apr-13 20:23:28

Fellatio, you can use recipes online if that's easier.

I haven't bought Smitten Kitchen, I'm just looking at the blog.

tigerlilygrr Tue 23-Apr-13 20:25:47

gerrof great to have you join us. Get well soon!

pregnantpause I made the curries on the day and think they're good, interested to see what gerrof says (it would be a minor miracle in my house for DH not to 'sample' them if made in advance.

realfellatio no problem at all. You know that you can get a lot of Feast recipes online at nigella.com, and similarly Smitten Kitchen is a blog as well? As the months go by we will always try to have at least one book which is popular so people may have it / be able to borrow it easily, plus one which may be a bit more unusual.

greensnail Tue 23-Apr-13 21:00:08

Did the creamed chicken this evening but chucked in a loss of grated parmesan too and it was really yummy. Dd1 threw a strip because she wanted pesto and dd2 wanted hers with no chicken so not a great success with them but I enjoyed it.

I really liked the lemon bars. Dh thinks they need more sugar to balance the lemon so I might have to end up eating his share too.

Gerrof Tue 23-Apr-13 21:16:32

No, you can make the curry on the day, I usually do anyway because I am never organised enough. Like all curry and stew it will be better the next da but it is still delicious as it is.

tigerlilygrr Tue 23-Apr-13 22:11:49

greensnail/pantah did you make the broccoli fritters? I tried them; my DH loved them, I thought they were quite good if a bit messy ... Did yours fall apart a bit in the pan?

Pantah630 Wed 24-Apr-13 14:07:08

No I'm going to do tonight, along with the Guinness cakes think...should be a good combination for a healthy diet. Greens, carbs, protein in the topping and a good old fashioned helping of stout for some iron.
When my Nanna was pregnant during the war, her doc regularly prescribed her stout. smile

Damp apple and almond cake is beautiful. Very easy, and lighter than air. I have never succeeded quite so well with any cake, I'm a terrible baker. It looks and tastes wonderfulgrin grin
I must say that it wasn't cheap, ground almonds are 1.80 for 150g in asda and this takes 325g, but well worth it.

I have done the chicken murhali, it's waiting to be reheated and eaten this evening. I hope it goes down as well as the cake.

Oh, and the sake steak (made with marsala) was very nice too. Brilliant method of cooking the steak just right, although I could have done with more sauce as it was delicious.
Nobody will respect my critique if all I give are rave reviews. I can feel credibility draining away each post I writewink

Pantah630 Wed 24-Apr-13 14:53:24

Oh that cake sounds very nice, I can see my waistband is going to keep expanding with this thread smile

Soupqueen Wed 24-Apr-13 18:12:11

Broccoli fritters are on the menu for tomorrow night!

Pantah630 Wed 24-Apr-13 19:09:36

The broccoli fritters were a hit, Guinness cake is cooling. I drank the rest of the Guinness, when I don't normally drink, so in might happen tomorrow night if I fall asleep smile

karmakameleon Wed 24-Apr-13 19:57:48

tigerlily I'm very impressed that you tried the bee sting cake. It looks amazing and certainly not easy!

I made the Mexican stuffed peppers from sk yesterday and really liked them. They are really easy, basically you make a sweet corn risotto, fill the peppers, cover with cheese and pop in the oven.

I've realised that we've practically got to the end of the month and there's still loads I want to make out of both books. How do people feel about keeping this thread for sk and feast and starting a new thread for the May books? That way we may pick up some new joiners in May too.

karmakameleon Wed 24-Apr-13 20:01:30

Oh also, I've just realised that I'm not going to get Jerusalem from the library in time. Apparently all the rest of world wants it too and I'm number nine in the list! But I did notice that there are extracts from it on google books so that may be helpful for anyone else that wants to join in but doesn't have a copy.

kneedeepindaisies Wed 24-Apr-13 20:26:53

Karma do you have a link for the stuffed peppers? They sound yummy.

Pantah630 Wed 24-Apr-13 20:35:38

karma that's a great idea keeping this one for April and starting a new thread for May. Shame about Jerusalem, I have it on Kindle if you find n recipes in the bookshop online you want to try, give me a yell an I'll send them to you.

The icing is on, I had no patience for waiting for it to cool completely! Wanted to ice and try and relax, it's very good, had a slither an DS2 loves it. It's now waiting in the fridge as I don't want to leave it out and risk temptation smile

karmakameleon Wed 24-Apr-13 20:37:53

kneedeep looks like there are extracts from the sk book on google books too.

Mexican stuffed peppers

karmakameleon Wed 24-Apr-13 20:42:00

Thanks Pantah. I may take you up on that!

kneedeepindaisies Wed 24-Apr-13 20:43:41

Thanks karma I've never heard of google books before

sayanything Wed 24-Apr-13 20:44:02

Can I join you please? I'm ever so late for April, but I'll start in May. I absolutely love Nigel's Kitchen Diaries (the brownies and the chickpea curry are heavenly) and I've wanted to try some Ottolenghi recipes for ages.

karmakameleon Wed 24-Apr-13 20:49:36

No worries kneedeep nor had I till the kindly librarian told me about it

Pantah630 Wed 24-Apr-13 21:04:12

Welcome to the club sayanything also looking forward to trying out recipes from Jerusalem. I've determined to just pick savoury for May, April has featured too many cakes and too much cream grin

sayanything Wed 24-Apr-13 21:19:11

Just ordered Jerusalem. I may have to hide the parcel from DH and just casually stuff it among the piles of other cookbooks when he's not looking.

BetsyVanBell Wed 24-Apr-13 21:26:47

Hello! I'm a tad late to the party but I'd love to join in - spent hours poring over my glossy new Smitten Kitchen book when it came out and reading this I've realised I've only fantasised about recipes from it but not actually made anything. I don't have feast but as there's only a few days left I'm sure you'll forgive me only doing a couple of recipes grin

I make these candied nuts from her blog regularly - the recipe is pretty adaptable and I generally use a third less sugar, have only used sweet spices so far, once forgot the water, another time forgot to whisk the egg whites separately and just bunged everything into the liquid whites, then whisked - they turned out brilliantly anyway. It's very quick and every body loves them!

I'll definitely make the lemon slices, I'm trying to source some Libby's pumpkin puree to make the pumpkin gingersnap tart recipe and I'm really lusting after the chickpea and aubergine recipe so that's on my menu!

The eid chicken curry was nice, but tbh, madhur jaffrey has given me a tastier curry with easier methods.
The paneer peas were also okay, but again more dirty dishes than worth it IMO.

Pantah630 Wed 24-Apr-13 21:47:53

betsy Our local Waitrose stocks tinned pumpkin purée, it's worth a look in the tin fruit aisle.

BetsyVanBell Wed 24-Apr-13 21:53:44

Thanks for the tip pantah smile

tigerlilygrr Thu 25-Apr-13 10:02:28

Hello all! karma great idea re keeping the thread going. I'll start a new one for May in a sec. I too have loads more to cook from smitten kitchen. Also I think for newbies it's a put off putting to wade through three hundred plus messages of me talking about cake.

sayanything I like your style with the casual cookbook hiding! Is your nn based on the film? I have had a crush on John Cusack for basically my entire life. So heartily approve.

And finally hi betsy!

tigerlilygrr Thu 25-Apr-13 10:04:32

pantah when you made the broccoli fritters how small did you chip the broccoli? Mine still looked like little trees and I'm guessing that this was why they fell apart...?

Pantah630 Thu 25-Apr-13 10:57:23

Mine were quite big chunks but in a largish frying pan I could only fit three or four at a time. My first one fell apart but the others I left in for longer and they were fine, despite being quite misshapen. I might have used more Parmesan but not enough to make a difference in holdtogetherability grin