If you know me, you know I have a slight addiction to books, in particular cookbooks. At last count I have over 1200 books on a range of topics, including novels, travel, art, craft, Australiana, gardening, health, yoga, meditation, fitness, architecture to name a few. This doesn't include any of my teaching or children's books which would certainly boost that total number of books by hundreds. About half of this total number of books are cookbooks. Some of my cookbook collection is pictured above. I have cookbooks from when I was a teenager, some I received as awards for topping my Home Economics class in Years 11 and 12 at school! My collection is a culmination of cookbooks started and added to from these early years.
Cookbooks nowadays are really more than just a recipe book. The photography and layout of many of the latest cookbooks lend themselves more to coffee table books than being purely a cookbook. I really cannot resist the stunning covers and amazing photography; the recipes almost come second to this. Almost!
As you can imagine with so many cookbooks, there are many that I have only browsed through admiring the photos, the look and sound of the recipe, but have never actually got around to making things from them. Does this sound familiar?
Well I've decided it's time to do something about this (and also be able to justify to myself and my husband that it's well worth me buying more as I actually use them!). I'm going to choose a cookbook each week and cook at least one dish, be it entree, main, dessert, treat or other.
If you can relate to this, then join me. I've created an Instagram hashtag #tbc_cookbookchallenge (short for travel bake create cookbook challenge) where you can tag your recipes and cookbooks to share your dishes from your cookbooks or food magazines. I can't wait to see what everyone creates. This new community will also keep me on task and encourage us all to make use of our cookbooks that are sitting on our coffee tables, bookshelves or in our cupboards. After all they were created for us to use.
Be sure to share this hashtag with any cooking, baking or cookbook lovers you know. Whether you are a seasoned cook, someone who experiments occasionally, or are just starting out cooking and baking please join us. And it doesn't matter where you are in the world, everyone is welcome. In fact the more diverse our creations are and the more people we have involved the more fun it will be! Comment below if you are going to join our challenge, and make sure you go to Instagram and follow #tbc_cookbookchallenge there. Can't wait to see you all there and see the variety of delicious creations we prepare and share. After all, we all have to eat, so why not snap a photo of your cookbook or food magazine cooking and share with us.
My first Cookbook Challenge creation is in honour of Australia Day here in OZ. We all know the pavlova originated in Australia and it is a firm Aussie day favourite! The recipe I used for this pavlova today came from the cookbook 'the new classics' by Donna Hay. What's going to be your first cookbook challenge creation? (remember to post a photo and tag with #tbc_cookbookchallenge)
Donna Hay's Pavlova from 'the new classics' Cookbook
My Pavlova from Donna Hay's Cookbook
Here are a few of my favourite places to purchase cookbooks:
1. I recently came across a great bookshop in Sunshine Plaza, Maroochydore, Queensland called Harry Hartog. this has already proved to be a dangerous find as on my first visit there I purchased three cookbooks! They have an amazing range of all books, but I found there cookbook selection different to any other i have seen in other bookstores. It's almost like a curated selection of beautiful cookbooks. Well worth a visit to their physical shops, but if you are not near one, browse their online store.
2. Book Depository is a great online store to find books that may not be available in your local bookstore. Book Depository is very dangerous for me as it is way too easy, when browsing, to just go add to basket, checkout and there I have another cookbook on its way to my doorstep. Prices here are very competitive and shipping is free worldwide. Both great draw cards, but it doesn't compare to being able to physically browse through a book to decide if you really like it. (it is a close second though)
3. Eat Your Books is a great site to find out about new worldwide cookbook releases. Here you can also join a community of cookbook lovers and discover a great way to make better use of your own collection