The temperatures have dropped here in Sydney, whilst the sun is still shining there's a chill in the air. Today a fierce wind is blowing outside, I love being indoors on days like this, looking out at the beautiful trees in the National Park that our house backs onto.
An unfortunate side effect of Winter, for me though, is that little bit of "Winter Weight" I always seem to pile on. It can't be helped, at this time of year all I want to cook are big casseroles with rich, creamy sauces, lots of comfort food (mostly involving melted cheese where possible) and I bake more in Winter than any other time of the year. Lemon cakes, hot chocolate pots, apple pies... you get the picture :-)
I love browsing though (my way too big) cookbook collection for inspiration. Whilst I find I rarely follow a recipe exactly as printed from start to finish (unless baking which is an exact science), I prefer to use the books as inspiration for my own concoctions.
A large majority of my cookbooks were online purchases from Book Depository, World Books etc. but I also love to browse through the bookshelves in Op Shops for bargains. Here are a few of my favourite op shop finds...
First up, "Bourke Street Bakery" from the popular bakery in Sydney's Surry Hills, it is full of fab recipes for breads, pastries and cakes.
I think I will try some of these olive breads soon, they look so yum!
This book "Kitchen Coquette" is so cute, full of recipes to suit your mood/condition, there are hangover foods, heartbreak ideas and all sorts of occasions too :-)
I think this rosewater madeleine recipe will put my lovely vintage madeleine tin to good use.
"The Ethnic Paris Cookbook" is a beautiful celebration of the melting pot of cultures that is the city of love :-)
Usually I prefer cookbooks to have photos for inspiration (and to let me know what the finished product should roughly look like) but the illustrations in this book are so cute I couldn't resist!
The "Country Show Cookbook" is a family favourite!
The boys and I love their "orange cake" recipe except we substitute the oranges with lemons from our tree, "So yummy" to quote my youngest :-)
And finally "Apples for Jam", a really beautiful book packed with recipes for all the family, gorgeous food kids will love too.
Can you think of a better comfort food on a cold day than fried mozzarella sandwiches?!?
That's all for now. These photos have made me hungry, I'm off to cook something gooey and cheesy :-)