This month is all about irresistible recipes for every occasion. Caroline Khoo of Nectar and Stone shares her much-awaited recipes for her incredible desserts in I'm Just Here for Dessert; Luke Mangan brings friends and families together with moreish Sharing Plates; nutritionist Vanessa Clarkson steers parents away from a life of cooking up multiple dinners with recipes that will appeal to adults as well as the kids (think Spiced Butternut Squash Apple Almond Fritters) and Sean Wainer breathes new life nto our packed lunches with Love Your Lunch.
I'm Just Here for Dessert by Caroline Khoo
Desserts tell a story — they can take the person eating them on a sensory journey from the first look to the last bite. In I’m Just Here for Dessert Caroline Khoo of the highly successful dessert business Nectar and Stone, blends her talent for creating simple yet delicious desserts with her love of beauty and sophistication to provide the reader with the skills and tools needed to shape their own personal style of dessert design.
Caroline believes that everybody eats with their eyes first so how you style your food and which props you use to set the scene are an integral part of making food and drinks look amazing. In the first part of the book, Caroline talks through the importance of understanding, learning and mastering the basics when it comes to baking and decorating, including harnessing your inspiration and style to create something gorgeous. And because sharing images of her work has been such a huge part of Caroline’s success (she has over 364,000 followers on Instagram), Caroline includes her top tips for styling, capturing and sharing your own triumphs on social media.
In the second half of the book, Caroline presents basic recipes to shape the foundations of your business, as well as some flavour combinations that will have you itching to get baking in the kitchen. Learn to make two-tone meringues and Cotton candy cupcakes; Ombre iced donuts and Caramel macarons with pink salt; Salted caramel and dark chocolate tart and Spiced apple waffles; and a Lemon and coconut dream statement cake. There are even cocktail ideas (think Lychee squeeze and Pink tequila). Along with piping, icing and decorating techniques and advice on flower styling and concept design, I’m Just Here for Dessert is a must-have book for any dessert lover who’s looking to turn their hobby into a full-time occupation.
Sharing Plates by Luke Mangan
What would you rather eat, Mini hot dogs with kimchi, American mustard and chipotle mayo or Spicy soy, ginger and sesame chicken wings? Or how about Vegan dark chocolate and coconut tart or Peanut butter ice-cream sandwiches with dulche de leche, strawberry jus and cherry sorbet…? Can’t decide? Well don’t worry, Luke Mangan’s Sharing Plates is finally a cookbook that lets you cater for every craving, at any time.
Whilst traditional dining will always have its place, there is something truly satisfying about sharing good food with family and friends. The shared plate is casual and intimate, friendly and laid-back, encouraging conversation and interaction around the table and catering for every dietary need – it also makes for a more relaxed cook!
Luke’s recipes are made for sharing. Each recipe takes inspiration from around the world – Spain and Italy, Scandinavia, the Middle Easy and Asia – including a chapter of Luke’s famously divine desserts to complete the feast. Have a lazy weekend brunch with Quail eggs benedict with chilli kale on mini muffins and Toasted apple and walnut bread with ricotta, smashed banana and fresh honeycomb; whip up a supper for friends at the kitchen table featuring Patatas bravas with spicy sauce and garlic aioli, Crispy salt and pepper popcorn chicken and a Salad of roasted pumpkin, chorizo, chickpeas, quinoa and blue cheese. Last of all, create your own afternoon tea with irresistible sweet treats from Gooey chocolate tart with caramelised banana and caramel ice cream to Brandy snap cigars with strawberry ice cream.
Luke’s Sharing Plates is a little taste of everything, for everyone, for any occasion.
Real Food for Babies and Toddlers by Vanessa Clarkson
The first 1,000 days of our lives is a time when our bodies grow at a pace never to be repeated at any other time. These days are when we are open to exploration and when we form opinions on what we like and what we do not. It’s also when our bodies depend on nutritious food to aid our development. In Real Food for Babies and Toddlers, UK-trained nutritionist Vanessa Clarkson provides support for parents who want to make the most of this window and use the foundation of a wholesome diet to support their baby’s development in every way possible.
In an area that can sometimes attract the enthusiastic but ‘ill informed’, Vanessa Clarkson argues against the traditional method of spoon-feeding their babies pureed food. Instead, Vanessa calls for parents to learn how to read their baby’s natural cues and introduce them to real food which can ultimately make a difference in their enjoyment, development and long-term health. Packed full of invaluable nutritional advice, Vanessa’s grounded approach makes good, healthy whole food for babies and toddlers achievable for 'real', busy families, especially for those who don't have time to make separate meals for each family member at each stage of a baby's weaning or a toddler's introduction to new foods.
Containing over 80 seasonal recipes, Real Food for Babies and Toddlers is all about introducing babies to a world of bright and flavoursome foods from the get-go. Each recipe encourages babies to try a wide range of tastes and textures so they are more accepting of different foods as they grow up. Introduce your baby to Almond Buttermilk Porridge with Cherry Compote for breakfast; Banana, Raspberry and Coconut Bread at snack time; Chicken with Green Couscous, Blueberries and Toasted Almonds for dinner; and Summer Berry Frozen Labneh Bars for dessert. And the best thing of all is that all of the recipes appeal to all ages, so parents can spend less time in the kitchen cooking multiple meals.
Love Your Lunch by Sean Wainer
For many people a homemade lunch usually means a ham sandwich or a simple salad - something quick and easy to make but lacking in excitement so by the time you reach the end of the week it’s all too easy to be tempted by the delicious smells wafting out the local café. Sean Wainer’s Love Your Lunch contains 60 varied and delicious recipes that will have you looking forward to eating your homemade lunch every day of the week. From sauces, spreads and sandwiches to mains, salads and soups, Sean has every craving covered so you can look forward to tucking into some elegant home-cooked food during your lunch break. Sean has even included some sweet treats for that naughty 4 ‘o’ clock slump as well as some picnic ideas for when you’d like to bask in the sunshine when the weather’s good.
On Monday enjoy Turkey breast and Roasted Pumpkin with Honey and Flaked Almonds; on Tuesday warm yourself with Sean’s recipe for Spicy Coconut and Parsnip Soup; on Wednesday tuck into a Prosciutto with Marinated Artichoke Hearts, Lemon Olive Oil and Rocket sandwich and dip some vegetable sticks into Coriander Hummus; on Thursday tuck in to Thai-Style Fish Cakes with warm Avocado and Wasabi Mayo and a side of Haricots Verts with Roasted Walnuts and Parmesan Shavings; and on Friday savour Goat’s Cheese with Balsamic Onions and Rocket on crusty bread and a cheeky slice of Carrot Cake.
With Sean’s Love Your Lunch, it's never been so easy to liven up your lunchbox.