I have been cutting out and tearing recipes from magazines and newspapers for as long as I can remember. I have on old scrapbook hidden somewhere in the kitchen that holds all these great old tears, taped and glued on different pages. Most of them are faded but every recipe I cooked from those pages takes me back to a wonderful memory.
My love affair with enjoying good food and cooking, first started when I was about five, hanging around my grandmother’s kitchen in her house in Brisbane. I used to watch her after school as she’d prepare the evening meal, usually shelling peas, having spent most of the afternoon baking some ridiculously good sponge cake. She was an incredible dessert cook, mastering Melting Moment biscuits, prize-winning cakes and the world’s best pikelets.
Over the years, in the back of my mind I always wanted to produce a cook book. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no chef and make plenty of mistakes but having friends and family around and cooking up some delicious meal to share is my idea of heaven.
I even stated writing this book about 10-15 years ago, wrote quite a few chapters, and went about collecting my favourite recipes of the time. The working title was “Stolen Recipes” because I figured every recipe has been adapted from an original somewhere…most recipes have a basic structure that’s similar, we just put our own tweaks to it. Anyway, over the years, I just got busier and it never eventuated.
So last year I picked the project up once again, had a rethink about the direction I wanted to take with the book and at the end of most days or very early in the morning, I’d write a few stories to get the ball rolling again. My partner Rob loved the whole idea so much, he gave me a hand with finding the right people to get some of the recipes shot. Can I tell you, food styling is a whole other game…“It’s way too much cheese, change the direction of that bean, that piece of chilli on the right is too obvious”. It was fascinating and totally amusing.
I wanted to capture that feeling of my old book sitting in the kitchen, and recreate a modern day scrapbook of my all-time favourite recipes, easy things to whip up, crowd pleasers that leave everyone wanting more and importantly with as little fuss as possible in the kitchen.
So here we are, April 2015 and I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to be officially launching my first cookbook through newsagents and supermarkets. This book is for everyone! And especially for my Mum, who also features throughout the pages. Seeing as its being launched in the lead up to Mother’s Day I wanted to include my Mum, who is not bad in the kitchen either. It’s selling for under $15 so there’s no excuse not to buy one or two. One for you and one for your nearest and dearest 🙂
The greatest honour was given to me when the publishers of The Australian Women’s Weekly asked if I’d like to have their masthead on my book. I was taken back. It’s the one magazine that I have worked for, loved and been associated with for many decades. It’s humbling to be included under such an iconic brand.
May you enjoy my recipes, share your love of food with others and create wonderful memories that last a lifetime.
My Love Affair With Food is available now from Woolworths and all leading newsagents and bookstores or click here to buy online