Author: Valli Little
ABC Books RRP $39.99
Review: Monique Mulligan

172181I love to cook. That’s no secret to those who know me well, and for those who don’t, the bookish treats at the end of each review are probably a good indication that I love food. So, of course, when I was sent delicious Love to Cook (yes, the lack of capital ‘D’ is deliberate) I was more than happy to look through it and try out a few recipes. I usually write down (and include) a list of recipes that caught my eye (or those of my loved ones) and I am a little embarrassed to see how many sweet things there are on it this time. Before I reveal them, here’s the blurb.

Sharing good food with family and friends is one of life’s great pleasures, but it’s easy to become trapped in the daily routine and lose your passion. Love to Cook is designed to help you discover (or rediscover) the joy of spending time in the kitchen and at the table. Inside, you’ll find more than 140 recipes – themed by ingredient for easy reference – that will take you from quick weekday dinners with a clever twist to impressive ideas for entertaining. Love to Cook is the eighth book from bestselling author and food director Valli Little, with the team behind one of Australia’s leading food magazines, ABC delicious. Each recipe is brought to life with stunning images created by food photographer Jeremy Simons and noted food stylist David Morgan.

Love to Cook is another attractive and mouthwatering book from the team behind ABC delicious. Its launch has been marked with cooking demonstrations and food tastings all over the country, none of which I have been able to attend! Don’t the pancakes on the front cover look amazing? Inside are pages of delectably-presented meals – the clever food styling is just as inspiring as the recipes (perhaps even more so, since if I like the picture I’m likely to read the recipe). I prefer cookbooks to have a picture for each recipe – it shows me what I am aspiring to. Layout-wise, it reflects the namesake magazine’s simple style; ingredients in bold on one side, method on the other. None of the recipes are too long or wordy, which is good for those who are put-off by something that seems too hard. There are no ratings for the recipes, but apart from some of the ingredients possibly being harder for some to source, none look particularly hard. There are no overall cooking/prep times, which I do prefer – I have fallen into the trap of not calculating the prep time ahead of cooking and have found myself in the kitchen far longer than planned.

I tested out the Crumbed whiting with citrus salad and it was a light, easy meal with plenty of taste – perfect for a summer’s night. The citrus salad was a clever suggestion that is a big step up from a wedge of lemon on the plate. I also (finally) tried using duck fat to make perfect crunchy potatoes. Three letters. OMG. I am now a convert to duck fat-roasted potatoes and judging by the looks of appreciation (“Be quiet, I’m eating) on the family’s faces, it’s safe to say they are too. The delicious method uses a smidgen of sunflower oil as well. Other recipes I plan to test include:

  • Chinese omelettes with barbecued duck
  • Egg and meatball shakshoura – eggs in tomato sauce
  • Even gives tips where to buy
  • Pan-fried chicken with Tuscan beans
  • Easy chocolate truffles
  • Salted macadamia and caramel tarts
  • Lazy lemon tart
  • Red wine chocolate cake
  • Mincemeat – for fruit mince pies
  • Peanut butter cheesecake

See what I mean about the sweet treats? Don’t worry, there are plenty of healthy recipes in there that are calling to me as well … just not as much, yet.

Available from good bookstores and ABC Books. This copy was courtesy of ABC Books. Don’t forget to check out last week’s Winning Wednesday post – there is ONE day left to win a copy of this book.

Bookish treat: Scones with home-made jam and cream. Mmmm.




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