A new year, new recipes & good ol' chocolate

Last updated 12:15 22/01/2013

Happy New Year everyone. 

I hope you all had a wonderful Yule and celebrated well for the New Year. And here we are again, the start of 2013...and the promise of good things to come. 

I hope you like the new photo for my blog, thanks to Earp-Jones Originals for kindly taking the photo for me. He is my brother-in-law so I guess when I harp on and on about wanting a new photo, he had to do it just to shut me up...but I have to say, I think he did a fantastic job.  www.ejo.co.nz if you want to take a look at his work. I of course think he is a fantastic photographer, and highly recommend him.

Al Brown_1I have been reading a couple of cook books over summer. Al Brown's latest Get Fresh with Al Brown and the Whittaker's new book A Passion for Chocolate.  There are some stunning recipes in both and I plan on making sure I try them out.

Al Brown's book is really interesting. It's not just a cook book and all about the recipes, he loves to tell a story so you get to know the characters he meets and understand the food he is cooking. I love that he focuses on different regions and what they have to offer and uses those ingredients as the basis for his recipes. 

The other thing about Al's books is that most of his recipes are not too difficult. He doesn't use too many weird ingredients that you will only ever use once and the techniques I find easy to follow - usually.  I have to admit to having some failures and my presentation doesn't always seem to be as amazing as his.  Mind you, he is a chef and I am merely a home cook so I guess so long as the food tastes good and I make an effort at presentation....all is well. 

The photography is brilliant and I love the texture of the book cover. All of these things combine to give a book its character and to make it stand out against others.

And - if that doesn't fail to impress, there is even a CD of Kiwi music to listen to while you are trying out his recipes.

This would be another great book to give to someone who loves to read and to cook, moderately priced at $60.

chocorangecakeThe other book I am enjoying is the Whittaker's new chocolate recipe book, Whittaker's Passion for Chocolate.  The cover alone makes me want to eat chocolate and the detail is evident with the bi-colour ribbon marker for the pages. 

This family owned business has been manufacturing chocolate 1896 and this book gives you a light-hearted look at the history of the business, how chocolate is made and then of course, delicious recipes.  This book is a must for any chocolate aficionado or chocoholic! 

There are recipes from high profile chefs and even one from the lovely chef at our local Ruby's Cafe! You really have to have a look at this book and it is very reasonably price at about $29.99 if you purchase it through their website.

I love to read and love to cook so being able to combine the two for me is a very relaxing way to spend my time off over Christmas. The two books are full of great stuff so if you are pondering gifts, ponder no more. 

I would be interested to hear if anyone has read either of these books and tried their recipes too. I think chocolate gravy might be a step to far but hey, gotta give it a whirl eh?

2013 is here and off we go.  I would love to hear your comments, or suggestions so don't be shy.  Let me know you are out there. Enjoy.

- Kapi-Mana News


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