This hot weather has not been good for cooking, I don’t think I ever really noticed it before (although thinking about it the last two summers have not been as hot as this one) but when it’s really hot, my kitchen is totally and utterly unpleasant. I think before my kitchen was refurbished it was just unpleasant full stop, so the effect of the weather was less noticeable. It’s a small galley kitchen that leads out to our suntrap back garden and if the oven or hob is on and the sun’s going full on nuclear blast outside the nearby back door, I might as well be roasting myself in there, let alone what I’m cooking. We’ve even stopped eating in there, going back to eating in the much cooler living room like we did before the refurbishment. There is a lovely time of year, when the weather turns from winter to spring, when sitting in the kitchen with the back door wide open is wonderful, but not right now. So anyway, this has stopped me cooking, so it’s been a little unfair on the cookbooks I’ve still been ‘testing’ to see if they deserved their place on my overburdened cookbook shelves and because of that I’ve been prepared to be more lenient but no, the following books deserve to go.
River Cottage Everyday
*Gulp*, I’m getting rid of a Hugh FW book and a particularly pretty one at that, I particularly like the pen and ink drawings over the photos of the food in this one but that is not a good enough reason to keep a book. In my last gasp attempt at cooking from it I made the following.
One side effect of this hot weather is that I’m getting quite into making smoothies for breakfast, in can be hot even to switch on the toaster sometimes (I’m British, therefore I spend most of the year wishing the sun would shine and then, when it actually does with any degree of ferocity, I don’t like it and wish it would rain again). The strawberry and mint smoothie was ok, the pear and cinnamon smoothie was absolutely delicious and I’ve since made it several times. The good thing about the pear and cinnamon smoothie is that you can substitute the fresh pears for tinned, I don’t think it makes any difference and therefore you’ve got a fairly cheap smoothie that can be made quickly and easily using store cupboard ingredients. I may have gone smoothies making mad but I still qualm at regularly making smoothies which require lots of fresh fruit, it is very expensive and it’s much cheaper, quicker and easier to just go and buy a carton of Innocent. However smoothies using tinned or frozen fruit and which can be bulked out using yoghurt, yay!
The roast squash was particularly unmemorable.
The 10 minute chocolate cookies were quite nice and lived up to their 10 minute name, which was handy when Girl Lacer had a friend over recently and I’d run out of dessert to feed them, so I made a second batch, although this time, as I had no chocolate, I substituted dried raspberry and butterscotch chips from Waitrose, which I had in the cupboard (honestly, if you’re near a Waitrose, go check out their baking section, you’d be like a kid in a sweet shop). Both the chocolate and my raspberry and butterscotch versions were nice, however they didn’t reach my desirable cookie bench mark of the Smitten Kitchen Popcorn cookies, these chocolate cookies weren’t chewy enough.
Other than that I also made the tartiflette toastie again (a cheese, bacon and potato toastie thing) which was ok.
Other than that there really wasn’t anything else I fancied making. I’m going to copy down the pear and cinnamon smoothie recipe, the 10 minute chocolate chip cookie recipe because even though it may not be the best cookie recipe ever, it is quick and it’s a reasonable base for other flavourings and I’ll possibly copy down the tartiflette recipe to, but then it’s going to the charity shop.
Tana’s Kitchen Secrets
I must get it into my thick head not to buy cookbooks on a whim from the heavily discounted cookbook piles near the tills in WH Smiths, they are heavily discounted for a reason and it’s rarely a good reason. I think with this one I’d already decided to stop religiously buying Tana Ramsay books but there it was, 70% off, sigh. I did menu plan from this one but I didn’t in the end cook a single thing from it. However searching back on my blog to see what I’ve cooked from it before, I can see I’ve made a few things. I may copy some recipes down, but it’s going to the charity shop to.
Cookbook rejects so far 3 (the first reject was a Tana Ramsay one to, sorry Tana)