Friday, October 31, 2014


Finding the best recipes amongst the millions online is not easy – but you don’t have to! The team here at Eat Your Books, searches for excerpts from indexed books and magazines and every week we bring you our latest finds. Every day recipes are added from the best blogs and websites.

As a member, you can also add your own favorite online recipes using the Bookmarklet. With EYB, you can have a searchable index of all your recipes in one place!

Happy cooking and baking everyone!



Lemon Meringue and Hazelnut Biscuits, Indulgent Salads

31, October

It's the last week of NZ Cheese month! Below are two salad recipes that are transformed with cheese - one with indulgent pillowy mozzarella and spicy, the other with creamy Labne.
I had the pleasure of tasting Claire's Friday Baking recipe this week, and I think it's my favourite of the year so far - perfect lemon meringue with a crispy, rich biscuit base. A must bake!
Online Editor,


Lemon Meringue and Hazelnut Biscuits

Top these buttery hazelnut biscuit bases with a good purchased lemon curd and a plume of glossy toasted meringue – scrumptious!

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Raw Zucchini, Mozzarella and Green Tomato Salad with Apple Dressing

This salad is summer in a bowl: fresh veg and crisp diced apple, topped with creamy mozzarella.

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Raw Beetroot, Walnut and Mint Salad with Cumin Labne

With a consistency between yoghurt and cheese, Labne adds a creamy, spicy depth to this colourful salad, and is surprisingly simple to make...

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Vintner’s Table – stories, wines & recipes from Pegasus Winery

The Vintner’s Table – stories, wines & recipes from Pegasus Winery – by the Donaldson Family and Adrienne Rewi  with photography by Aaron McLean – Random House – Hardback - $65.00

This handsome book is the tale of a pioneering winemaking family, it includes 82 delicious recipes from its award-winning winery restaurant, as well as the story behind its superbly crafted wines; it is a book that transports you to Canterbury’s Waipara Valley.
This family is of course the Donaldsons who operate Pegasus Bay Wines established in 1986 by eminent neurologist Ivan Donaldson and his wife Chris, a stalwart of Canterbury’s opera community. There are now three Donaldson sons in the business. Matt is the winemaker, Paul is the general manager and Ed, is their marketing manager. Ed’s wife Belinda is the Pegasus Bay winery restaurant manager.

They are regarded as pioneers of local wine growing and making in Canterbury’s Waipara Valley – now New Zealand’s fifth largest growing region. Back then people said they were crazy. There was a massive wine glut, and North Canterbury was largely unproven as a place to grow quality wine. Thirty years on, and still family-owned and run they have built an enviable reputation for producing some of the country’s finest, high-quality wines; especially for me their Riesling and Pinot Noir both of which I notice Michael Cooper rated as super classics in his 2014 Buyers Guide to New Zealand Wines. Accolades don’t come much better than that!.
The Vintner’s Table is their inspiring story of a long-standing love affair with wine and the hard graft behind becoming such hugely successful wine-makers.
The story starts with the young Ivan and Chris’s modest beginnings as amateur winemakers, making wine from surplus fruit and their subsequent European travels, where they immersed themselves in the business of wine-making, and moves on to the creation of a thriving, award-winning boutique winery, exporting to 27 countries around the world.
And while wine is at the heart of the Donaldson’s story, it is not their only endeavour. Cuisine has also played a significant part in their journey, and the creation of their restaurant winery has attracted top international and local chefs.Today, the restaurant has an established reputation as a top dining destination, having been judged top of category in the Cuisine magazine restaurant of the year awards six times and in 2014, being awarded a Cuisine Good Food coveted ‘Chefs hat.’
This is an impressive book filled with gorgeous photographs about an impressive family. It is a book for both foodies and wine lovers, and also for the many who enjoy visiting the beautiful Waipara Valley an easy forty minute drive north of Christchurch.

bookcooker - Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins

Posted: 29 Oct 2014 
These muffins, from the "Baked: New Frontiers in Baking" book are a great example of a minimal effort, maximum reward recipe.  You can throw them together in 20 minutes and they take another 20 minutes or so to bake, and yet they are definitely something a little special.  What clearly makes them unique and more sophisticated than the average muffin is the addition of the instant espresso powder.  Pairing chocolate with coffee is obvious, but coffee and banana made me question this recipe briefly - but the coffee adds a nice depth to muffin, making it not too sweet.  This recipe is from the original Baked book from Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, owner of the Brooklyn bakery of the same name.  When it came out a few years ago it seemed like the perfect Brooklyn hipster cookbook - baked goods styled with little plastic dears and such.   It is the real deal though, the recipes are both recipes you really want to make and recipes that work really well. 
The most famous recipe from the book is the "baked brownie", which I have made many times and it is my go to brownie recipe.  The brownies turn out glossy, rich, with the right balance between fudge-like consistency and depth of chocolate flavor.  There are other gems in here that you should give a try in addition to these amazing, easy muffins (maple walnut scones, chocolate pie, brewers blondies, classic sugar coookies) and many more I want to make (green tea cupcakes, malted milk cake, sweet and salty cake, icebox towers., pumpkin whoopie pies..)

As it so happens, this banana muffin recipe is perfect for two books I have recently read: Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly Whittemore and We are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler.  I really loved both books, and they are both quite different - but one featured a scene with muffins, and to the other bananas are quite important.  Bitterwseet is about Mabel a freshman in college (and kind of an outcast) who strikes up an unlikely friendship with the beautiful, most popular, and rich girl in her class - Generva Winslow.  

This friendship buys her a summer at the beautiful compound of the Winslow family by a gorgeous lake.  The compound (or I should call it a "camp") is not luxurious but nevertheless screams money and privileged - owned for generations, sprawling, charming, with a dining hall and old Russian cook, a mass of towheaded kids running around and the perfect patriarch.  Mabel loves it immediately  - it represents everything she isn't and doesn't have. She makes herself at home but notices something is a little off pretty quickly.   

The book is filled with mystery, secrets, romance, friendship and some pretty dark stuff.  It is fun page turner I highly recommend.  Oh, and where do the muffins come in?  Mabel brings some homemade corn muffins to a Winslow grand party and the scrappy muffins really make her seem out of place at the fancy, catered perfect Winslow party

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

People queue up to toast the Donaldson family as they launch ‘The Vintner’s Table’

The launch of The Vintner’s Table was always going to be a special event, featuring award-winning wines, exquisite food, talented musicians, family and friends. The capacity crowd of 130 (20 more had their names on the waiting list!) gathered at historic Riccarton House, set in beautiful grounds in the middle of Deans Bush, on a perfect Spring evening to celebrate with and raise their glasses to remarkable wine-making family, the Donaldson’s of Pegasus Bay Winery.

To start, a fulsome selection of Pegasus Bay and Main Divide wines were served to guests along with a generous section of canapés from the book, prepared by Riccarton House Bistro’s Head Chef, Sebastian. The guests were entertained by a group of incredibly talented musicians – Hera, Jed and Mosus. Hera and Jed are about to head to Iceland to perform at a music festival there before going to play two shows in New York; they are part of an artistic and musical collaboration called Fledge

When it came time for speeches, Edward Donaldson was the first to speak and talked about the creative process in putting together The Vintner’s Table. He also spoke about each of the contributing chefs, their individual style of cooking and personalities. Ed was full of praise and gratitude for Random House, Nicola Legat and her team, for being so incredibly easy to work with. He also acknowledged photographer Aaron McLean and writer Adrienne Rewi. Chef James Stapley then spoke about his time at Pegasus Bay, remarking what a great experience it had been and that it was “the best place he’d ever worked.” Random House Publisher Nicola Legat responded and officially launched the book, talking about her reasons for approaching the Donaldson family to create a landmark food, wine and business book in one. Once the ribbon was cut, the Donaldson’s held a special draw where guests could win a case of Pinot Noir (six bottles) and another of Riesling; comprising six vintages of each in a special wooden box.

More entertainment, food and vino flowed, as the Donaldson family signed books and chatted to guests. For those lucky enough to have booked, a four-course degustation menu was served as part of the ‘after party’ dinner soiree. This was also a sell-out, with 55 people enjoying top food matched with a Pegasus Bay wine, including some aged gems form the cellar.

 Photos from top - Ivan & Christine Donaldson, publisher Nicola Legat, and happy gathering at launch.

Report by book publicist Sarah Thornton.- Thornton Communications Ltd

Review of book to follow

Family Food by Pete Evans - award-winning chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, TV presenter

Family Food
Pete Evans
Publication: 1 November 2014, Macmillan - RRP $44.99, Paperback

130 delicious paleo recipes for every day

With two children of his own, Pete Evans knows how hard it can be to get a healthy and delicious meal on the table night after night. That's why he's put together his absolute favourite recipes for busy parents and their kids in Family Food. These meals follow Pete's paleo style of eating –
no grains, refined sugar or dairy, and a focus on sustainable meat and seafood, nuts and seeds, and loads of fresh veggies.

There are heaps of quick, healthy and satisfying dinner ideas: Chicken Drumsticks with Rosemary and Lemon, Ginger and Chilli Fish Stir-fry, Cauliflower Fried Rice with Garlic Prawns, and Easy Pulled Pork Tortillas.

While all of the recipes in Family Food can be enjoyed by young and old, there are also specific chapters on baby and toddler food as well as kids' lunches and snacks that you can be sure won't be left in the bottom of the lunchbox: Chicken Pad Thai, Ham and Pineapple Pizza with Pete's special paleo pizza dough, Kale Caesar Salad and Homemade Fruit Roll-ups. Guilt-free paleo treats include Strawberry Bliss Balls, Red Velvet Cupcakes and Blueberry and Chia Ice Cream. Family Food is filled with Pete Evans' go-to recipes when he's looking for something quick, tasty and nutritious to cook for his own loved ones, and these meals are sure to become favourites in your home too.

About the Author
Pete Evans is an award-winning chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, TV presenter, adventure seeker and father. He's one of the leading authorities on healthy cooking and lifestyle and is dedicated to improving people's lives through education about nutritional food and wellness. Pete is co-host of the hugely successful TV show My Kitchen Rules.

Whole-Wheat Sunflower Seed Rye Bread

Posted: 29 Oct 2014 - David Lebovitz
Whole wheat sunflower seed rye bread recipe-6

I had a phone interview the other day, and the journalist was so nice and interesting that we ended up talking about a whole bunch of other subjects that we didn’t intend to talk about. Like a good interviewer, she didn’t start off by asking the usual questions, but came up with some original ones, which was a lot more interesting than being asked for the name my favorite bistro (I have a whole list here) or who makes the best macarons in Paris, which are now available around the world. One particular subject that we talked about extensively was blogging. The interviewer asked me how long it takes to write a post.

While massaging my wrists, I thought about it for a moment and while contemplating my dwindling vision as I removed my glasses, I replied, “After writing, editing, proofreading, translating terms, adding foreign accents (sometimes by hand-coding each one), writing the recipe (it’s fourteen keystrokes just to type oven temperatures – no wonder my wrists are a mess!), formatting text in internet code, taking pictures, deciding which pictures look best, eating the leftovers because I can’t stand to wait any more, editing pictures, uploading pictures, and placing the pictures in the post — which is a challenge because the whole document looks like a jumble of code, rather than the pictures and text that you see here — then re-reading and proofing, and finally, publishing the post, it can take me a couple of days to get it all together.”

Whole-Wheat Sunflower Seed Rye BreadAdd to that, I love blogging and have so many things that I want to share, that I always seem to have five posts in the pipeline that I want to put up on the site as soon as possible. And I can’t wait to jump into the next one.

Whole-Wheat Sunflower Seed Rye Bread
Over the years, I’ve been playing around with photography, trying to take better pictures for you (and me) – not for any particular reason other than I enjoy taking pictures of food. Plus living in France, there are so many beautiful products and places, that I can’t help taking a snapshot when I see something enticing. (Which I sometimes get in trouble for in Paris, if I don’t ask first.) I’m not really all that interested in carefully arranged things, but I find something charming in a mess of oozing cheeses, fresh herbs tied in bundles from the market, and knocked-around avocados (with bruises and all, since I haven’t quite mastered many editing tricks). Or sometimes I’ll be sitting down to eat something, and it’ll look kind of interesting, so I’ll get up and take a few pictures. Then, one thing leads to another, then another…and before I know it, I’m racing to write up another story and a recipe to share.