Five truly useful new cookbooks

00:17, Nov 12 2013
Cuisine How To Cook
CUISINE'S HOW TO COOK, $24.90 (or available via for $17.90 until November 11): This glossy delight is aimed at new flatters and 20-somethings but there's lots of weeknight inspiration, with 100 recipes, step-by-step photos and handy tips. Everything is designed to be made from ingredients you'll find at the supermarket, eliminating any tricky searches. In stores on November 11.
Leith's How To cook
LEITHS HOW TO COOK, RRP $59.99: If you like to buy cookbooks on a cost per recipe basis, this is a pretty good deal with more than 500 of them on offer. The London cookery school, founded by Prue Leith in 1975, has turned out many a famous name (and a fair number of non-famous ones) and this 672-page tome is the next best thing to attending it. The recipes are comprehensively explained and the photos are lovely - finally, a coffee-table cookbook that combines form and function.
EAT by Nigel Slater
EAT - The little book of fast food, by Nigel Slater (RRP $49.95): Don't be fooled by this book's diminutive dimensions - it is absolutely jam-packed with really good ideas. Nigel Slater's recipes read like poetry and his dishes are full of simple, honest, flavours. If there's a cook in your life, buy them this for Christmas.
annabel langbein's summer annual
ANNABEL LANGBEIN'S SUMMER ANNUAL 2013, $19.95: Few people have the sort of summer that Annabel Langbein imagines ("throw your alarm clock out the window and let the sun wake you up") and even fewer retire to their well-appointed Wanaka bach. But there's no denying that this 'annual' is full of good ideas that will be trotted out at barbecues across the land. It's very well-priced, too.
Bluebells Cakery
BLUEBELLS CAKERY, by Karla Goodwin (RRP$49.99): I know what you're thinking - what is a book as pretty as this one doing in the useful category? - but look beyond the Pinterest-perfect images and this is a very handy book. Karla Goodwin, owner of Auckland's Bluebell Cakery, has included lots of insider tips for everything from dazzling rosette icing to making the perfect egg sandwich. And the white chocolate rocky road has to be seen to be believed.

Desperate for some commonsense kitchen inspiration? Here are five properly useful new cookbooks to really whet your appetite.