My CookBook Shelfie

I have never been a great cook. I think everybody knows that. Least of all my long suffering family. But I do try.  And recently I have been trying even harder to do things differently.  Rather than the five things I can cook relatively disaster free, I have tried adding to that repertoire and branching out a bit.

Listen I will never be Nigella or Delia Smith but I would like to get to a point where my family don’t look at a plate of food and ask “and what should this be?”  or eat as little as they think they can get away with, bin the rest, and then raid the fridge for pate on toast an hour later.

To that end I love recipe books.  I read them like novels, from cover to cover.   I rarely use most of them, but do have a few firm favourites that I know I can rely on.   There are also some that have recipes in them that make no sense whatsoever.   Do you find that some recipes are just badly worded?  I hate that.

When I saw recently that Penny was asking people to join in with a linky she has started called “Cook Book Shelfie” I thought it would be a fun one to join in with as I have a rather groaning cookery book shelf.    And could show you some of my favourites


Delia’s How to Cheat was a present from the lovely Lady Barrow and it really does show you that you can make great food for your family, buying shortcuts.   Why we still think we have to make pastry when you can buy ready made pastry cases is beyond me.   This book is fab if you want something that tastes great, and looks fabulous, but without spending all day in the kitchen.

Lisa Faulkner’s book has been a favourite since it came out.   I adore Lisa’s still of cooking.   Learning from her mum she is self taught and is now passing on all her knowledge to her daughter.   The recipes are solid family favourites that you would not be ashamed to serve at a dinner party.   There are also lots of heart warming pictures.

I love my slow cooker and this is one of the books that I use a lot.   Full of great recipes, and lovely pictures it really shows you that slow cookers are not just for bolognaise or stews.    The splash marks all over the pages is an indicator of just how often I use this one!!!

One pot recipes, or recipes that produce food in 30 minutes are my standard mid week saviour.  I don’t have the time to cook during the week, as much as I would like to.   This book is the one that I have had out on the work top for the past few weeks.   Current favourite from it is the pork and cashew stir fry.  It’s quick, healthy, and delicious.

So there you have it.  Just a few of the books on my shelf.

PS these books landed on my desk last week and I am currently half way through them.   Like I said, I read cookery books like novels.   They have some really fabulous recipes in them.  Again, quick, easy and relatively healthy.   As long as you ignore the Pimms trifle recipe that I just know is going to be a firm favourite.    And as the cover of the one on the right suggests, without breaking the bank.   Both are out now from all good bookshops (I always wanted to say that).

Dairy DIary


Do tell me what your favourite book is!  I would love to know

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  • I read them like.novels too, with such good intentions to cook more. You reminded me I need a slow cooker cook book, I am.never quite sure of the rules. Thanks for joining in 🙂

  • Oooh I am another one who reads cookery books from cover to cover… I do the same with craft books too 🙂

    Tim (my husband) is a fantastic cook. His Grandad was Head Chef at Trinity College in Cambridge and so Tim’s mum learnt from her dad and passed hints and tips on to Tim and he’s just so adventurous with his cooking. I, on the other hand, am the opposite! I can cook, but I actually find following a recipe a bit of a faff and usually mess it up by substituting something I shouldn’t (I’m a creative, I can’t help but add my own flair to things).

    My favourite book on our shelf has to be Nigella’s Christmas one… we hosted a family get-together one year and we made loads of things from it. I focussed on the easier bits and Tim (ever the adventurous sort) decided to have a stab at shelling a crab LOL

    I’m glad I’m not alone in being a hesitant and less than enthusiastic cook who still enjoys reading cookery books 😉

  • Shelfie- i like the sound of that! i love Nigel Slater and everything he did on his program looked great so i bought his book and never used it, nothing in there is a family meal really and lots of stuff i wouldnt know where to buy. I have quite a lot of cook books i dont use…bought one last week!

  • I also have lots of cook books in anticipation of cooking new recipes, but it rarely happens. My husband is not enthusiastic about trying new things and I tend to forget to plan the ingredients I need before we do our shopping. Perhaps there needs to be an addition to this linky to encourage people to try a new recipe each month.