All posts filed under: A Cook’s Bookshelf

lime and chicken rainbow salad

I‘d like to say I’m the kind of cook that never feels like ordering a takeaway. That fresh, nourishing (if indulgent) food is the name of the game in my kitchen. But that would be… an untruth. Having had a surplus of tired evenings when my brain was wrung out and rewards were necessary, the takeaway drivers of South Glasgow were indeed summoned to my door bearing hot, naughty aluminium- and cardboard-encased dishes from far and near. And, let it be said, I have no regrets. However, in the bright light of day, I’ve been craving something that sets the balance to rights. It’s all very well and good to yield to temptation on occasion (and doesn’t it just feel great?), but the body wants it wants. And mine wanted zing. That mouth-puckering freshness that comes from citrus. The cleansing crunch of fresh veggies. And chicken because, well, who doesn’t love chicken? Having some leftover Zuni roast chicken and an overflowing citrus bowl that boasted a whole host of gleaming globes – including limes – …

peanut butter crisscrosses

Peanut butter is a fairly new discovery for me. We’d circled each other warily for years. I’d seen jars of the stuff swirled with jelly and wanted to like it. Heard about the PB&J but just couldn’t get on board. But then, seemingly through sheer force of will, I started to like it. Now? Can’t get enough of the stuff. My favourite way to eat it: liberally spread in the crevasse of a celery stick and doused with hot sauce. I have been informed that this is something of a peculiarity of mine. An aquired taste, if you will. Happily, these cookies are not. They’re crowdpleasers if ever there were ones. Softly crispy, with a pleasing chew, and a really moreish mix of sweet and salty. While they won’t be as crispy on day 2 (cookies are always going to be best the day you bake them), as long as you keep them in an airtight container, the soft chew remains, and they won’t change much beyond that. Yum. The recipe is adapted from The …

what is “a cook’s bookshelf”?

A friend recently stood in the middle of the kitchen and exclaimed: “Wait – these are all cookbooks?” Swivelling in place, he took in the numerous bookshelves and stacks, seemingly seeing a new book with every turn. He seemed surprised enough; I didn’t mention that this is just the kitchen. Books – cooking and otherwise – have free and full reign over the whole flat. There are currently three book stacks on either side of the bed, another on my desk chair, two on the desk. There are piles in corners. On (and under) coffee tables. Hiding in the wine rack. There are little ones perched on scrappy-thin surfaces. Big ones squatting, happily, waiting. New ones, old ones, all jostled up next to each other, brimming with beautiful ideas, flavours and places. Cookbooks are windows into other worlds. They show you how people eat on the other side of the planet. How they ate in the past. How I want to eat in the future. They tell stories, and show places. They’re made by people …

Maya Angelou’s lemon meringue pie

I found myself awake and at my kitchen table at 6am this morning – and a Sunday morning, no less. After making coffee and toast, I sat at the kitchen table to read Hallelujah: The Welcome Table, Maya Angelou’s book of recipes and memories. And I read the whole thing – barring, of course, the hour and a half that I’d driven around London (driving lessons in the city, I find, are better when no one else in their right mind is awake and on the roads). So before most of the city was even awake, I’d concocted a plan to make Maya Angelou’s Lemon Meringue Pie. Having not really made pie many times before, let alone one that involved not only pastry, but lemon curd AND meringue, this was a bold decision to make before 9am on a Sunday. But I loved the story that went with it and I had a desperate desire to know what it tasted like. And that’s good enough for me. Maya Angelou’s Lemon Meringue Pie Ingredients Pie 200g …