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Good food and good coffee: all you need in life is in these books

Good food and good coffee: all you need in life is in these books

Pick up your copy of Sunday Star tomorrow (June 17) for a 25% discount on some of these cookbooks. Look for the coupon in Star2.

Bosh!: Simple Recipes, Amazing Food, All Plants

Authors: Henry Firth & Ian Theasby
Publisher: William Morrow
Price: RM109.90

Henry Firth and Ian Theasby are lifelong friends who were once avowed carnivores, eating meat at least once a week. Then Theasby cut meat out of his diet and Firth soon followed suit. Both quickly discovered there weren’t many restaurants catering to their new diet.

So they started documenting their own recipes on an online channel they called Bosh. It has since become the biggest plant-based online channel in the world, with popular recipe videos being viewed at least 50 million times!

Cooking Books recipesFor this cookbook, the boys devised 140 new recipes (80% of the recipes are new and cannot be found on their social media channels and online). Whether you’re a fan of the sweeping plant-based movement or not, you’ll find something to whet your appetite here, including the world’s best pesto lasagna, creamy seaside pie, cauliflower buffalo wings, popcorn falafel, gooey PBJ brownies and sticky toffee pudding.

While some of the recipes are really long – the pesto lasagna being a classic example – everything is generally do-able and you won’t find too many ingredients that are foreign to this part of the world. So if you’re looking for meatless Monday meals or ways to embrace either a vegan, vegetarian or reducetarian diet, this book will be the plant-centric culinary saviour you’re looking for. – Abirami Durai

Cooking Books recipes

Magnolia Table

Author: Joanna Gaines
Publisher: William Morrow
Price: RM119.90

Although  Magnolia Table has been trending a storm and is now a New York Times bestseller, I wasn’t expecting to like this book quite as much as I did.

I suppose I was a little prejudiced because the cookbook is the work of Joanna Gaines, one half of the husband-and-wife duo on popular home design show Fixer-Upper. Gaines and husband Chip have parlayed the success of the show into other equally successful businesses, including a cupcake bakery, a restaurant (named Magnolia Table) and a real estate business, among others.

All that’s on top of the fact that Gaines is now expecting her fifth child! Which basically means it’s hard to believe she’s done all that and can cook too! But as it turns out, she can. And more than that, she has an indefinable quality, one that stems from being both photogenic and having plenty of personal charm. This charm emanates from every page, with tales of her children, husband and friends forming the foundation upon which all her recipes are built.

You’ll find delightfully simple (and beautifully photographed) recipes for cinnamon squares, white cheddar bisque, fried chicken with sticky poppy seed jam, brownie pie and lemon bars in here, but perhaps more engrossing are the stories woven into each of the recipes – of breakfast table favourites, discoveries as a newly-wed, and heritage meals.

In the end, I came away from this cookbook with lots of fresh new ideas and the certainty that like the rest of the world, I too had fallen in love just a little bit with Joanna Gaines. – AD

Cooking Books recipesLonely Planet’s Global Coffee Tour

Publisher: Lonely Planet
Price: RM109.90

This fascinating trek through some of the world’s best coffee destinations is as entertaining as it is educational. The book takes you through some coffee basics, including a very useful guide to roasting your own green beans at home (with a minute-by-minute elaboration of what to expect).

Countries included in the guide encompass Ethiopia (the birthplace of coffee), Wellington (long regarded as the source of the flat white) in New Zealand, and Melbourne (thought of as a pioneer of third wave coffee), Australia. Even our very own Ipoh is included here as one of the top three coffee cities in Asia, for the ubiquitous Ipoh white coffee.

With the help of this book, you’ll also learn how to order coffee in different languages and discover the best coffee haunts in each city, with tourist attractions nearby also highlighted. If you’re serious about coffee and love travelling to boot, you’ll want to invest in this handy little global coffee guide. – AD

Cooking Books recipesSpice Journey: An Adventure In Middle Eastern Flavours

Author: Shane Delia
Publisher: Murdoch Books
Price: Unavailable

AWARD-winning Maltese-Australian chef Shane Delia’s book on his journeys through six countries – Andalucia, Iran, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, and Turkey – is a beautifully photographed tribute to his heritage and Middle-Eastern cooking.

He offers readers 80 recipes, interpreted and distilled by a chef for home cooks. The recipes are not the usual traditional Middle Eastern fare, though; they are Delia’s modern takes on traditional recipes. There are even recipes for pork and duck, not usually seen in cookbooks on this region.

It’s a great book for browsing through the photos and reading Delia’s anecdotes, but it’s not quite the book for the average amateur cook.

As in most chef’s cookbooks, the list of ingredients are long. It’ll also require a trip to a speciality shop for ingredients such as sumac, Aleppo pepper, argan oil, kataifi, carob molasses and more. Delia has also included a short pantry guide with information and substitutes for lesser known ingredients.

But if you are a more adventurous and accomplished cook, you get to experiment with inventive flavours and try out new techniques.

There are many recipes here for impressing your guests with intriguing dishes such as Quail Egg Kefta Tabriz, Black Squid Ink Rice, Chorizo Filled Baby Calamari And Fried Seaweed, and Tortillas de Cameron’s and Pork Belly on Brioche Buns. There are also tempting desserts such as Argan Oil Chocolate Mud Brownie with Orange Cinnamon Ice Cream and Frozen Peanut Butter Parfait, Salted Tahini Caramel And Broken Baklava.

It’s definitely a book for chefs aspiring to expand their repertoire. For the rest of us, it’s an armchair culinary tour. – Ivy Soon

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