07 December 2009

Life is Grand when you get free recipe books!

Ever since I was a little girl I have been obsessed with my Mum's collection of Recipe Books. Taking up almost 3 shelves on our bookcase at home, they were an oasis of colours, flavours and delicious looking wonders that were usually unavailable in the small, remote town I grew up in. They were a reminder of the places that my Mum had been, the travels that, one day, were ahead of me.

So it is no wonder, now that I have a home (and bookshelf!) of my own - that it is filled with a variety of Cook books. Asides from the one lonely "Dirty Weekends: A 4wd guide to Queensland" - this is my domain. In fact - I don't even know why that book is there in the first place...

So it was squeals all round last week when I got not just one, but 2 free Recipe Books!

Marie Claire: Spicy

I have always been a big fan of Marie Claire books, everything is so delciously well styled, the photos are gorgeous and recipes always work. The secret is to get a book that actually has recipes you want to cook and eat at home, rather than just daydream and drool over.

It has a broad range of dishes from nibbles, to mains and even a few desserts as well as a great "basics" sections to get you started. If Quince and Red Wine Duck, Cider Glazed Pork and Hazelnut Meringue with Marinated Berries sound appealing... then this book is a winner for you. There are even some cocktails just to round it off as the perfect last minute entertainer.

How did I get it free? Mt Ommaney Shopping Centre sent out a mailer with a coupon. All you had to do was present the coupon and walk away with your book. Easy? Not quite. The shopping centre is new and badly signed. I walked the entire place twice before I finally found the office and then had to hand over my Drivers Licence, allow it to be photocopied and have her sight my signature... I felt quite violated and secretly wondered if they were doing some kind of social experiment... but I did get a free book, and a Marie Claire one at that.

Delicious: Summer

I was super excited when this book arrived in the mail, I have been a long time subscriber of Delicious Magazine and absolutely love the way they produce this magazine. I was slightly disappointed when I flicked through it though as it all seemed a little bit weird.

Don't get me wrong - I love to try new things and experiment a little - but the majority of people I cook for are pretty "safe" - so when I flicked and saw recipes like: Curried Crab and Watermelon Salad, Lamb Cutlets with Strawberry and Feta and Chilled Cucumber Soup with Spicy Crab - I was intruiged, but disappointed as I couldn't think of a single way that I could dress those meals up and make them look "normal". I could already see the horrified faces of the Carnivores at our next BBQ... "I think your wife's gone mad, she's put some of the dessert on the meat..."

But today, I have had a chance to have a better look - and I'm hooked! Pork and Chorizo Kebabs, Coconut Cream Tarts with Tropical Fruits and Herb Crusted Beef with Confit Cherry Tomatoes had me drooling and will easily pass inspection by the less-than-adventurous! I cannot wait to pull some of these recipes out of the bag for Christmas!

How did I get it for free? PayPal and ABC Online were doing a promo where any purchase at ABC Online that was paid for with PayPal would score you a copy of Delicious: Summer.

I love ABC Online and I love PayPal - so for me it was a no brainer, it just meant that Dad's Xmas present was bought via internet instead of the local shop - but no clues Dad!

Would I recommend either or both of these cookbooks? Absolutely - but like I said earlier - make sure they are recipes that you will actually try out one day! Happy cooking :)


  1. That's fantastic and just in time for the Summer holidays! :D

  2. I know!! Although I think I've run out of time to try out any of the recipes before Xmas... I can definately fit in a few trial runs before NYE :)