Thursday, May 16, 2013

{cooking = sanity}

Thinking of delicious things to cook on the weekend. And loving this newfound app. #ABeautifulMess

Increasingly I am finding that cooking has become a major creative outlet.  What I love about cooking is the instant gratification.  I spend an afternoon in the kitchen on the weekend and at dinnertime I have something wonderful to enjoy.  Or even better I have meals for a couple of days, which is a great help during the week.

More and more I look forward to that precious time.  And more and more I'm wanting to try new things, develop new skills and stretch myself.  I've always enjoyed cooking and I've always been a pretty good cook, but I want to be better.  I want to keep growing.

The trick to becoming a foodie is to get inspired.  I won't lie - you're going to need to invest some time and money as well - but to get the creative juices flowing you need to get some ideas brewing.

Here's some of my favourite places for inspiration,  some new discoveries and upcoming cooking plans:

  • Delicious magazine - it's by far my favourite foodie mag.  It has a great mix of recipes, always easy to follow and not too many ingredients.  I have a subscription and look forward to it arriving on my doorstep every month.  I don't always cook recipes from it each month and I don't care.  I just like flipping through the pages, dreaming about cooking and planting the seeds of ideas.
  • Jamie Oliver - I love Jamie.  I'm a bit disappointed to see the current TV advertising for 15 minute meals using an outdated 'sex sells' model that I find pretty rudimentary, lewd and unnecessary.  But I still love Jamie.  He's approach to food is genius and his ability to combine flavours is brilliant.  He makes cooking accessible and fun.  I have a heap of his recipe books and am particularly loving 15 minute meals at the moment. It's great being able to watch the show and see him prepare the meals.  Works well for this visual brain. 
  • The Cook's Companion by Stephanie Alexander - this is such a great resource if you want to become a better cook.  Mostly I use it to learn about particular foods, what goes with what and for basic recipes. It has lots of recipes but no pictures and again as a visual person I like to see a picture of what the food is supposed to look like. Especially when you're finding your way as a cook.
  • Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day - if you want to learn how to make great bread in the simplest possibly way you have to get a copy of this book.  Everything I know about making dough I learned from this book and now I can pretty much make any kind of dough there is {except shortcrust pastry - this skills eludes me still!}.
  • Other mags I love - Donna Hay, Jamie Oliver, SBS Feast, Australian Good Taste.
  • Other cooks I love - Katie Quinn Davies, Julie Goodwin.
  • Places I love to shop {all in Melbourne sorry} - Vic Market, local farmers' markets, Richmond Hill Cafe and Larder Cheese Room, Simon Johnson, Millawa Cheese Shop {bit of a theme around cheese}, Gewurzhaus, Key Ingredients - Clifton Hill, The Essential Ingredient, cookware shops.  Actually Fourth Village in Sydney is also an absolute favourite.
  • Best recent discoveries - La Latteria Mozarella Laboratory.
  • Things I want to learn/try - homemade ice-cream, homemade pasta, preserving, jam and chutney making, sauce making, cheese making, knife skills, sourdough bread, cooking with zucchini flowers, authentic Mexican food.
  • Cooking plans for the weekend ahead - it's my birthday on Saturday and I have a tradition of baking for my own birthday.  I'm planning some Chocolate Bourbon Peanut Butter Cupcakes, Rosewater Rhubarb Cheesecake, Peanut Butter Fudge and Salted Pecan Caramels.

I'd love to hear any of your recommendations or favourites.

If things go according to plan I hope to share more recipes and ideas here in the future.


  1. kitchen time is fabulous!
    i had a shitty shitty stressful day at work, and then i came home, dragged my butt into the kitchen (i did have to drag it, i was SO tempted to get terrible takeaway!) and came out of there feeling much less flat.
    to create something to nourish yourself is a brilliant thing.

  2. Oh My God. That last bit with your birthday baking has me salivating! Hope you have an awesome, cake and treat filled day!

  3. And then of course there's the great dinner parties that come with all the good food, wine and cheese !
    Feels like an age since we last dined together......need to rectify soon.
    Hope you have a lovely birthday xxx

  4. I'm drooling just trying to imagine what Rosewater rhubarb cheesecake might taste like, not to mention chocolate bourbon peanut butter cupcakes - wow! All sounds wonderfully celebratory