When I was 10 or 11 years old I took cooking classes with a friend. Each class we would make a new recipe and we could take the food home or we would eat it all together. The last class was a dinner for family and friends where we made all the recipes all at once in little groups. Looking back at it I think that is where my love of cooking started.
Right now I cook usually from what I know or I use some of my cookbooks when I feel adventurous. I have many different ones: some bought by myself or given to me for special occasions (birthdays/Christmas etc.) I discovered that not all cookbooks are the same: some just nice for the show, others to use for a special occasion or to use during the week.
Cooking out of a cookbook with a full intention behind it: something special for family/friends or just because I feel like it makes me really calm. (of course, when you see me in the kitchen it doesn’t always look like that, just leave me alone)
In this blog, I will share my favorite cookbooks. Some of them I use on a (bi)weekly basis and some for special occasions.
Simple – Yotam Ottolenghi
Simple is one of my most used cookbooks. It’s very versatile and is perfect for special occasions or a comfy meal on Sunday. Sometimes I combine some dishes as a 2- or 3-course dinner or I make some of the one-pot hits. I got this book for Sinterklaas from a colleague. I always recommend it to friends, because it has something for everyone. You can find a good Pasta Alla Norma in there for a weekday or you can surprise your guests with Chicken Marbella and Confit tomatoes and rice.
The Quick Roasting Tin – Rukmini Iyer
The Quick Roasting Tin was not per se on my radar for a long time. I got interested when I was at a friend’s house for dinner and she showed me this one-pot/roasting tin wonder cookbook. This is one of the first books where I almost made everything out of the book for a normal week. The recipes and ingredients are very straightforward and don’t cost a lot of effort because the oven here is doing the most. In 30 minutes you can already have a good nutritious meal on the table.
One of my favorite recipes is the Honey and Soy Roasted Salmon. In the video below you see how easy it is to make this dish.
Indorock – Vanja van der Leeden
With roots from Indonesia, I need to have an Indonesian-inspired book on my list. There are many books, but not as fun as this one. Other Indonesian-inspired books are about Dutch Indo food, where Indorock is explaining the real Indonesian food and also gives some Dutch Indo dishes a really nice twist. You will also find amazing pictures in the cookbook, which makes it very unique. Indorock is based on the journey the writer made with her and her family and discovering her own roots. All different Islands of Indonesia are featured here so you can find Balinese-inspired pork and Rendang from Padang, Sumatra.