Food & Drink Buzz
May 2009 | Edition Two
Welcome, and join me as we gather 'round the metaphorical hearth for this, the second edition of the Booktopia Food & Drink Buzz. As winter approaches I have selected some of the most glorious tummy warming cookbooks to fill your heart and your belly, whilst the travel and regional cookbooks will take your tastebuds on a journey from the Alps to southern India and many cultures in between.  Our celebrity chefs have also been cooking up a storm, including Donna Hay and Neil Perry's two new releases into paperback. For all those enjoying the resurgence of  the High Tea phenomenon, I have two stunning feature books, and another something special for anyone into specifically Australian food. Absolutely do not miss the three fabulous book packs we have on offer, featuring Bill Granger, Suzanne Gibbs, Margaret Fulton and the CSIRO Total Wellbeing cookbooks. Of course, you can navigate through the entire newsletter using 'In This Issue' to the right, so without delay, let us find the cooking book tailored for you.

Karen-Anne Coleman
Booktopia Food & Drink Editor


Selfish Food for Modern Life

Suzanne Pirret

Was it Blackadder who said he talks to himself because it is the only way he can be assured of intelligent conversation? Pirret is the equivalent in food - she eats alone so she can be assured she will enjoy her meal. And my goodness does Pirret know how to make that look sexy! Her book is an exercise in empowerment - a manual to treating oneself to the good things in life. This love affair with decadence takes food as its focus, but meanders to a range of other topics and life endeavours. Pirret's relaxed, conversational style makes for good reading on the couch, perfect with a glass of wine in hand while the Three-Cheese Ravioli softens to perfection on your stove or the Wild Blueberry Free-Form Tart turns crispy brown in your oven. Her approach to life is delightfully ridiculous, detailing anecdotes such as that of the 'neanderthal' date who takes her to a fabulously pretentious French restaurant and proceeds to make every social faux pas possible including commenting on her shellfish, that they 'are bottom feeders… that means they eat shit from the bottom of the sea'. Recipes include Jasmin's Pad Thai, Best Duck Confit, and Croque Monsieur with Smoked Salmon and Caviar. Pirret revels in cooking delicacies without the expense or hassle of anything more than basic equipment, since as she explains, she 'hates cleaning up'. Offering wine and cocktail pairings for each recipe, these 100 recipes make for a perfect escape from the nuisance of restaurants or annoying dinner guests with some devilishly entertaining stories set in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, and London thrown in. Maybe it's the hermit in me, but this book has found a very welcome spot in my heart and on my kitchen shelf.

Click here to browse inside this book.

Click here to see a clip of Suzanne preparing a myriad of delicacies in her New York home.

Click here to buy this book.
For a limited time only Booktopia is offering the bestselling CSIRO TOTAL WELLBEING DIET books 1 and 2 together for less than the price of one!

The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet Book 1  

Dr Manny Noakes

Dr Manny Noakes, Senior Research Dietician and Dr Peter Clifton, Director of the Clinical Research Unit, at the CSIRO Human Nutrition  Centre in Adelaide, ran a volunteer program to develop the research behind this diet and lifestyle plan. The volunteers were divided into two groups, one was placed on a high protein, low-fat diet, the other on a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet. The researchers found that more weight and fat was lost by the volunteers on the higher protein diet, and more dropped out of the high carbohydrate diet, which was unexpected since conventional wisdom predicts that starchy foods would have had more appeal. The researchers concluded that the higher-protein diet was more successful because people preferred it!

This book comes with over 100 mouth-watering recipes and 12 weeks of menu plans and shopping lists to help you get your lifestyle rebooted in a serious way.

Click here to buy this special pack.

The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet Book 2

This companion volume summarises the essential principals of the first book, provides 80 fantastic new recipes, and introduces an all new focus on the importance of exercise as part of a complete wellbeing program. Simple, easy-to-follow, 'do anywhere' exercises are described in detail with diagrams and photographs to encourage even those of us with natural inertia to get off the couch. Other helpful sections include  'Can certain foods be substituted to accommodate personal taste?' and 'How appropriate is this diet for me?' (including detail on how a high-protein diet might work for vegetarians).

Click here to buy this special pack.

David Herbert

David Herbert began cooking from magazines and books, simply because he was passionate about food, and eager to learn. In this book he lays out all the tricks his experiments led him to. Taking his lead from masters such as Margaret Fulton and  Anna del Conte,  Herbert uses a variety of sections such as Chocolate, Crumbles, Meatballs, Salads and Soups to deliver over 200 recipes, a wealth of kitchen knowledge and handy hints to help you create delicious, simple dishes. I can't wait to try out the Mushroom and Goat's Cheese Crumble. In fact, one of Herbert's best qualities is his is ability to instil in me the confidence that I will be able to make each as beautifully as the photographed version in the book (or some variation to my taste). Acting like a calm Michael Palin walking us up the Himalaya, Herbert is encouraging of both beginner chefs and those more experienced in the kitchen, to take pleasure in exploration - to branch out from the recipe and cook by instinct. I adore the philosophy - who needs more encouragement to play with their food?

Click here to browse inside this book.

Click here to read an extract.

Click here to buy this book.
 Juleigh Robins and Adrian Lander

Twenty-two years ago  Juleigh Robins and her partner had a true 'eureka' moment. They stumbled upon Australian indigenous foods. In this moment they began to realise something that Indigenous Australians had known for many thousands of years - not only are Australian 'Wild Foods' delicious and versatile,  but recent CSIRO research has listed them as 'superfoods' for their health and nutritional benefits. Robins began a new business using her previous experience as a French pastry chef, while her partner Ian used his knowledge and love of charcuterie (preserving meats). This combined expertise is evident in the recipes they now create, such as Wok-Seared Duck Breast with Davidson's Plum Sauce and Chocolate Lamingtons with Wild Rosella Jam. Their most popular and famous product, Bush Tomato Chutney, uses bush tomatoes from the Laramba community in the Tanami Desert, actively developing an arid land agronomy in this area. This is a book that makes my digestion system proud to be patriotic!

Click here to browse inside this book.

Click here to read an extract.

Click here to buy this book.
The Art and Soul of Baking by Sur La Table and Cindy Mushet

Cindy Mushet introduces her book as your best friend, the pastry chef, right inside your kitchen. Her aim is to take the fear out of baking, including such elusive recipes as the chocolate soufflé - which she assures me is actually not that hard once I've whisked the egg and melted the chocolate.  The photography in this book makes me salivate but the real appeal of The Art and Soul of Baking over others in its genre is its sheer comprehensiveness. The vast array of imaginable baking possibilities that Mushet covers makes my fingers itch for a kneading board. Her depth of understanding of the chemistry involved in baking is conveyed in every titbit of information fostered down to us. Designed with a mixture of easy reference boxes, detailed feature articles and straight-down-the-line recipes, this book broadens the mind of a home baker to the ideas of a culinary school. With 250 recipes, information on 100 specialist ingredients and techniques such as caramelising sugar or working with croissant dough, this is the ultimate guide for anyone who finds baking a particularly relaxing form of yoga.
This book was a 2009 IACP Cookbook Awards winner and was nominated for a 2009 James Beard Foundation Award.

Click here to see Mushet demonstrate one of the recipes from her book, Pumpkin Pie and Flakey Crust.

Click here to read Mushet's blog on baking all things magical!

Click here to browse inside this book.

Click here to buy this book.

Favourite Menus for Tea Parties and Celebrations

Kim Waller

With the wave of elegant High Teas hitting Australian restaurants in recent years  I thought it might be nice to begin celebrating this delightful tradition in the comfort of our own homes. Victoria is a beloved US brand with a host of loyal readers. In The Essential Tea Companion we are given three  bestsellers in an all new redesigned single volume. Served up  on a silver platter, we are presented with the history and lore of tea, advice on brewing the perfect pot and menus for eight themed parties from a child's (and doll's) tea party to bridal shower. Recipes include Spinach Cheese Tartlets, Blackberry Muffin Miniatures with Spiced Blackberry Jam, Lily of the Valley Cake, Marmalade Torte Paradiso and Iced Lemon-Mint Tea. An authoritative appendix and beautiful photographs finish this book - making it a perfect gift book, as delightful an indulgence as a warm cup of tea.

Click here to buy this book.
  Margaret M. Johnson

'If you are cold, tea will warm you; if you are too heated, it will cool you; if you are depressed, it will cheer you; if you are excited, it will calm you. Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea! I am glad I was not born before tea.'
- William Gladstone, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1809 – 1898).

Margaret M. Johnson is an expert in tea. She has travelled the world playing the Marco Polo of these leaves, discovering the beverage's history and tasting its various cultural manifestations in all their splendour. In Tea and Crumpets Johnson transports you across the Pacific to legendary European tearooms and Parisian salons offering simplified recipes for recreating the sandwiches, pastries, cakes, and confections that have made them famous. She features Salmon Mousse Pinwheels, Battenberg Cake, the Ritz's Cucumber Sandwiches and Claridge's Raisin and Apple Scones. Johnson explains when to serve each course and how to make each seem like Edinburgh's Balmoral Hotel or the London Savoy.

Click here to buy this book.
Australian Women's Weekly

AWW Cookbooks are classics - they're the place to go when you know what you want to bake and now you want the perfect recipe for it. In this volume three favourites have been collected into one beautiful collection. Recipes include delightful dessert cupcakes, elegant afternoon cakes, tempting cheesecakes, (both baked and unbaked), and a range of scrumptious cookies for after dinner or, more indulgently, with cream or ice-cream. Designed with photographs throughout, this books would make a lovely gift - this is, if you can bear to part with it yourself.

Click here to browse other Australian Women's Weekly cookbooks.
  The Only Cupcake Compendium You'll Ever Need

Fergal Connolly

At a great price, this compendium of 500 cupcake recipes is the best value cupcake book you will find on the market. There are low-fat, gluten-free dairy-free, egg-free and nut-free sections for all those who are determined to be good - and for the devilish there are also 'Chocolate heaven' and 'Decadent Indulgence' sections. The recipes are user-friendly, with an introduction and basic, simple recipes to tailor for every skill level. I am hoping this book entices more people down that magical yellow brick road where the icing to cake ratio is completely imbalanced.

Click here to browse others titles in the 500 Compendium Series.

Click here to buy this book.
  Angela Boggiano

Let's face it, Britain isn't hailed for much in the food department, but I think we can all agree that it is the home of a darn good pie. Angela Boggiano is a Londonite with a passion for the history of pies, pasties and pastry in her country. She fills this winter-warming book with details of some very fine looking mixtures of meat, vegetables and fruit encased in a crispy crust. Dating back to the 9th century, Pie presents the story of classic variations, such as Steak and Kidney, or Beef and Ale, including with recipe a history, provenance of pie-makers, innovation and experimentation. Boggiano also demonstrates how to master the art of pastry making, demystifying the process for even a variation such as a wheat-free pastry so that even coeliacs can partake of a glorious pie.

Click here to read a review of this book on Foodepedia.

Click here to buy this book.
The Instant Cook by Donna Hay

Our own Australian culinary wonder, Donna Hay, has been taking the US by storm with the hardback edition of The Instant Cook, and is now releasing it in paperback in Australia. As has been her style since breaking free from the Marie Claire mould, Hay uses exquisite full colour photographs on every page to illustrate her chic yet never fussy recipes. In The Instant Cook Hay focuses on food that can be whipped up painlessly at home, she writes: 'Time, for most of us, is a precious commodity. Which is why, although we all love a home-cooked meal, we don't want to spend hours in the kitchen - or at the supermarket - pulling one together'. Combining flavour combinations and techniques from the Mediterranean and Pacific Rim - two of the most luscious and quick-cooking cuisines on the planet - Hay creates soup, salads, pasta, rice, noodles, chicken, meat, fish, seafood, vegetables and sweets. Each chapter also includes a new feature, an essential sauce or dish with three variations to give home cooks the confidence with their own instinct and style. Hay's signature 'short order' ideas are also included: quick dishes to serve on the side or as meals on their own; using simple methods and flavour combinations.

Click here to buy this book.

Late last year, Donna Hay also released No Time to Cook, the ideal companion to The Instant Cook. This elegantly designed book makes cooking at the end of a busy day seem like an achievable goal. Particular favourites include the Fast Flavours chapter, using just a few pantry ingredients, and the One Pot chapter, cutting down on the washing up. The Freezing with Flair chapter could also come in handy if I could ever manage to save any for later...

Click here to buy this book

Balance and Harmony: The Secrets of Asian Cooking

Neil Perry

Having recently dined at Neil Perry's newest Sydney restaurant, Spice Temple, I would be very well pleased with myself if I could cook like this man. The flavour palate that Perry and his team are able to pack into a banquet is amazing. Contrasting tastes with textures and concocting a stunning array of infusions on the tongue, in Balance and Harmony, Perry shows how to progress from the easiest steamed, stir-fried, braised and deep-fried dishes,
to the most gloriously memorable, more challenging and intricate dishes. Perry builds his readers' confidence along the way and ultimately celebrates the ethos of a shared table, and a love of Asian cuisine.

Click here to visit his website, including Perry's blog featuring some of his favourite recipes.

Click here to see a video of Perry whipping up a stir-fry and speaking about Balance and Harmony.

Click here to buy this book.

Heston Blumenthal


We still have  some stock of Heston Blumenthal's stunning
Big Fat Duck Cookbook and Further Adventures in Search of Perfection an excellent discount.

Blumenthal came to Oz earlier this year for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival where he spoke about his unique and witty approach to gastronomy. Blumenthal is a self-taught chef, whose restaurant, The Big Fat Duck, has been named The Best Restaurant in the World and granted 10/10 in the UK's Good Food Guide. Blumenthal has also received an OBE and an Honorary Doctorate of Science.

The Big Fat Duck Cookbook tells the full story of Blumenthal's rise and The Fat Duck, birthplace of snail porridge and bacon-and-egg ice cream, whilst introducing us to the passion, perfection and weird science behind the man and the restaurant. Fifty of his signature recipes - sardine on toast sorbet, salmon poached with liquorice, hot and iced tea, chocolate wine - which, while challenging for anyone not equipped with ice baths, dehydrators, vacuum pumps and nitrogen on tap, will inspire home cooks and chefs alike. With an introduction by Harold McGee, incredible colour photographs throughout, illustrations by Dave McKean, multiple ribbons, real cloth binding and a gorgeous slip case, The Big Fat Duck Cookbook is not only the nearest thing to an autobiography from the world's most fascinating chef, but also a stunning, colourful and joyous work of art.

Click here to watch a video of Blumenthal in action.

Click here to browse all of Blumenthal books.
Click here to buy this book.

 Recipes from the City's Best Chefs

Florence Fabricant, NYC & Company, foreword by Danny Meyer

This armchair tour of arguably the most culinary cutting-edge city in the world  features over 100 signature recipes from New York's best restaurants. While each has been selected and adapted for the home kitchen by food critic Florence Fabricant,  the cookbook shows how to re-create the distinct art that each restaurant offers. This new edition features all-new recipes from  the most happening restaurants in Manhattan, and its surrounding boroughs. Highlights include Union Square Cafe's Grilled Filet Mignon of Tuna, Brooklyn's  The Grocery's Seared Foie Gras with Asian Pear and Endive Salad, the iconic Second Avenue Deli's comforting Chicken Soup and the newly minted Fig & Olive's fresh Zucchini Carpaccio recipe. Also included are chef's tips, wine and beverage suggestions, a list of sources, and full directory of restaurant addresses.

Click here to buy this book.

Click here to browse Fabricant's other books.

Danny Meyer this month also released Mix Shake Stir: Recipes from Danny Meyer's Acclaimed New York City Restaurants

Danny Meyer founded Union Square Hospitality Group which includes some of New York City's most acclaimed restaurants, rating numbers 1 and 2 for the past decade in the Zagat guide. Meyer, his restaurants, and his chefs have earned an unprecedented nineteen James Beard Awards. The bartenders at these restaurants are known for their creativity and flair. Mix, Shake, Stir offers all the tips and tools needed to whisk up a Venetian Spritz or a Cranberry Daiquiri. Whilst enabling you to master mixology at home Meyer also offers a range of gourmet takes on bar snacks. Featuring over 100 recipes of bar classics, signature favourites, and all new originals, these gems will go very nicely with your drink of choice. I'll have one shaken and one stirred I think.

Click here to buy this book.

Jill Dupleix

In Lighten Up, Jill Dupleix focuses on food that is not only good for you but is also fresh, full of taste with high quality nutritional value. Recipes like Butternut Risotto with Goat's Cheese, Fish Saltimbocca and Lemon Yoghurt Cupcakes helped her husband, restaurant critic Terry Durack, lose 32 kilos. So maybe there's something to this technique? The book features over 100 recipes, key ingredients and techniques, and irresistible accompanying photographs.

Click here to buy this book.
  Nigella Lawson

The Nigella Lawson Box Set comprises How to Eat and How to be a Domestic Goddess. Lawson's first book, How to Eat, taught that cooking is not just  about slavishly following one recipe and then moving on to the next. Lawson instils an understanding of food, a simple desire to make yourself something and the realisation that in cooking, as in writing, you must please yourself to please others. How to be a Domestic Goddess is a book about baking, but not in the sense of being a manual or a comprehensive guide. Lawson encourages her chef's to trust their own palate, follow their instincts and  induce a mood of languor.

Click here to buy the boxed set.

Click here to browse Lawson's other books.
  Gordon Ramsay and Mark Sargeant

In this book, Ramsay harks back to 'the good old days' of pub cooking where simple‚ cheap food and a great Sunday roast were always guaranteed. In the age of steak houses, fast food and takeaways took home cooking from away from the pub kitchens. Ramsay has continued to sought out the best quality pub grub, cooked with excellent ingredients‚ love and attention - these meals are comforting, relaxed and homely. Ramsey also includes a short history of the great British pub.

Click here to buy this book.
Country Women's Association Cookbook by the Country Women's Association (CWA)

First compiled in 1937, this collection of recipes is as much an insight into the personal histories of rural Australians as it is a practical guide to essential home meals. The CWA was originally formed by women fighting isolation, limited health facilities and the constraints of a male dominated society. Banding together, they formed baby health care centres, bush nurse facilities, maternity wards, hospitals, schools and rest homes, whilst continuing to advocate for women's roles and responsibilities in their own families.

These recipes, enjoyed in homes around Australia for more than 70 years, have now been updated for the modern kitchen. Sections include starters, appetisers, mains, cakes, pastries, desserts, jams, preserves, pickles, chutneys, sweets, beverages and more.

The book, now in its 17th edition, is an essential reference for every Australian kitchen, offering helpful advice and handy hints that have stood the test of time, and a unique insight into the lives of others.

Click here to buy this book.

Rosa Mitchell

This book is a wonderful concoction of connections: family history, awareness of the earth, stories within a community - and of course, intermingling flavours. Rosa Mitchell introduces her cookbook with memories of a childhood in Sicily, her Grandparents, and her family's migration to country Australia. With this, Mitchell welcomes us inside her family home and kitchen, and with each recipe she shares a new detail or experience found with the people there. For Mitchell, 'making food is not just something we do to survive; it's the coming together and sharing, chatting and arguing over the methods and superstitions'. Mitchell often uses fresh and found produce, including cardoons and fennel still growing wild on Melbourne roadsides and fresh home-laid chickens eggs.

When a young girl and her family move from Sicily to country Australia, it is a surprisingly small step in kitchen miles. The tablecloth and stockpot are the same, cardoons and fennel still grow wild on the roadside and the extended family and neighbours gather to make salami in the barn once a year. My Cousin Rosa captures the atmosphere, experiences and recipes of Rosa Mitchell's Sicilian kitchen. Rosa's food is very special: soulful, traditional, family-orientated and utterly authentic. In this beautiful book, her thoughts on life, both Australian and Sicilian, are scattered among the recipes like biscotti crumbs. Chapters offer recipes for antipasto, soup, pasta, meat dishes, vegetables and desserts. The recipes are complemented by stunning photography of both finished dishes and from throughout the preparation process, be that the making of salami the traditional way or the preparation of fresh cannelloni. Gorgeous illustrations and family photographs complete the book.

Rosa Mitchell is passionate about food and how it links history, tradition, family and friends. Rosa was a founding member of Slow Food Victoria and together with her husband Colin Mitchell, runs a small vineyard in Central Victoria specialising in Italian varietal wines. Rosa is currently chef at the highly acclaimed Journal Canteen cafe in Flinders Lane, Melbourne, and teaches cooking classes at Melbourne’s Centre for Adult Education (CAE).

Click here to see inside this book.

Click here to buy this book.
  Tessa Kiros

More than anything else, Kiros is a beautiful writer. Her recipes are long, lingering descriptions including loving details on how peeling and squeezing a lemon, to remove the pips and discard the 'skeleton' might be carried out. She writes as a mentor passing down years of knowledge. Yet Kiros is anything but didactic. Her approach is to liberate the reader, inviting them to 'add herbs if you like' and to discern the meaning of 'largish' carrots  for inclusion in a stew. The photography that accompanies each of her recipes is sublime, interspersed between the textures of smoked salmon or potato pancakes and landscapes of Kiros' family home. Throughout the book, Kiros also gives an intimate portrait of her family history, through stories, photographs and a family tree featuring sketches of each of the loved ones she remembers. Kiros was born in London to a Finnish mother and Greek-Cypriot father. She grew up in South Africa and has since travelled the world, working in restaurants in Australia, Greece, Mexico, and at the famous Groucho Club in London.  Her book can be read as a travel journal of all the places she has visited and here learnings from  each of their cuisines. The 170 recipes  are arranged by country, taking the reader on a global journey of taste and experience. As we enter the winter months, Kiros' recipes from the northern hemisphere look particularly appealing, for instance Pork Fillet in Pastry with Wild Mushrooms and Cream Sauce, Sautéed Potatoes and Cinnamon and Cardamom Buns. Kiros and her husband now call Italy home.

Kiros has also written a number of other cooking books, including the bestseller Apples for Jam. Click here to browse Kiros' other books.

Click here to watch a video of Kiros cooking in her family home and speaking about Falling Cloudberries.

Click here to buy this book.
101 Things To Do Before You Diet by Mimi Spencer

I am aware that putting an anti-dieting book as my number-one feature in the dieting section is a little antithetical, but this is just too good to resist. 101 Things To Do Before You Diet is essentially about developing a positive relationship with yourself - and the way you think about yourself - to enable women across Australia to stop themselves in the act of committing that tyrannous thought process: 'If only I were thinner' as a solution to all life problems. Instead, Spencer focuses on feeling good, making oneself happy and finding confidence. She provides 101 practical ways in which to think about a lifestyle and thinking change, before resorting to the umpteenth diet. She argues, very convincingly to my mind, that no matter what size you are, genuine happiness and confidence are two very sexy qualities.

Click here to buy this book.

The South Beach Diet Supercharged : Faster Weight Loss and Better Health for Life by Arthur Agatston, Joseph Signorile


Five years ago, when Miami cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston published The South Beach Diet he was aiming to change the way America eats. In this collaboration with  Dr. Joseph Signorile, a professor of exercise physiology at the University of Miami, he is aiming to help Americans  speed up their metabolisms  even more. Dr. Agatston presents a cutting-edge, three-phase workout that complements the three phases of his diet. Combining low- and high-intensity exercise (with a focus on walking), the regime aims to burn calories all day - even at rest. Nutritional research is also included, as well as a new and expanded lists of foods to enjoy, meal plans, new recipes including Eggs Frijoles, Chock-Full-of-Veggies Chili, Roasted Tomato Soup, Homestyle Turkey Meatloaf, and South Beach Diet Tiramisu. As an added bonus, Dr. Agatston answers the questions most often asked of him since the original book was published.

Click here to browse other books in the South Beach Diet series.

Click here to buy this book.

Indulgently Healthy Cuisine

Scott Uehlein

For three decades now, Canyon Ranch Resorts  have been celebrated as global destinations for health and wellbeing. Uehlein is executive chef at the original resort in Tucson, Arizona. He and his staff have compiled 200 of their most accessible recipes using natural, wholesome ingredients, to create meals that are both inventive and satisfying.  Each recipe is accompanied with a calorie count and explanation, and every meal is designed for the average dinner at home, using ingredients that are readily available and techniques that  won't seem overwhelming after a long day at work. Breakfasts include Thai French Toast with Orange Ginger Syrup,  sides feature Butternut Squash Tart, mains include Cod with Cauliflower Tomato Broth or Zahtar-Crusted Lamb and indulgent desserts feature the Alsatian Plum Cake. These are nutritious dishes that promise to please the senses and the soul.

Click here
to read an extract.

Click here to browse other Canyon Ranch books.

Click here to buy this book.
 The Glycemic Index-Based Life-Saving Diet of the Greeks

Fedon Alexander Lindberg

GI diets are the new buzz word for healthy pyramid. As doctors around the globe come to the consensus its health benefits, and the classic appeal of Mediterranean cuisine such as Italian pastas and wine maintains, this diet combination is difficult to go past. Including exotic dishes from everywhere between Marrakech and Marathon The GI Mediterranean Diet shows readers how the ancient world's most celebrated foods can keep you keep lean, young and living a longer and healthier life. His complete guide applies the Glycemic Index monitoring system to the Mediterranean Diet, including scientific analysis of traditional Mediterranean foods, meal plans and a day-by-day, four-week program. Low GI recipes include Moroccan Chicken, Greek Moussaka, Lamb Casserole and the Nut-encrusted Cheesecake, each accompanied by a calculation of GI score.

Click here to buy this book.
Hungry Girl: 200 Under 200: 200 Recipes Under 200 Calories

Lisa Lillen has created an institution out her mantra: she's not a nutritionist she's just hungry. Lillen claims that she is obsessed with food, and is not willing to give up either indulging that obsession or fitting into her pants. Funnily enough, since beginning, she has found that many women share her experience. In her latest book, Lillen provides 200 recipes all under 200 calories. Recipes include: Hot Boneless Buffalo Wings, Holy Moly Guacamole, Swirls Gone Wild Cheesecake Brownies and Personal Pretzel-Bottomed Ice Cream Pie. Lillen writes with a giggle in her pen, successfully convincing the reader that dieting might actually be a bit of fun.

Click here to buy this book.

Lillen has also written a number of other books, including, Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies for Guilt-Free Eating in the Real World. This book explains Lillen's philosophies on a life not worth living without brownies and onion rings and sure-fire ways to tame cravings. Recipes include breakfast ideas and chopped salads to guilt-free junk food and cocktails.

Click here to buy this book.

Hungry Girl: The Official Survival Guides is an audio book filled with survival strategies for guilt-free eating choices. Tips include choosing from every restaurant, aeroplane and cocktail menu as well as successful snacking at the office and brunch buffets. With her usual wit and sassy style, Lillen makes tackling any and every food challenge possible.

Click here to buy this book.
Sally Sampson with Foreword by Katherine D. McManus.

If you're aiming to lose weight it is a very simple equation: energy in must equal less than energy out. And so, Sampson argues, no matter what the diet plan, this cookbook offers hundreds of homemade 100-calorie snacks that are tastier, healthier, and more satisfying than store-bought pre-packaged snacks. Presenting options for every craving and every diet program – from salty, cheesy, and crunchy to salads, protein, and cookies – this book is all about options in minimal prep time. Recipes include Spiced Popcorn, Pickled Cherries, Curried Tuna and Spinach Quesadillas. These snacks are can be eaten between meals or combined together to make a whole one.

Click here to buy this book.
  Teresa Marie Howes

Don't be fooled by the size or placement of this review - this book is by far my favourite of all this month's diet books. That colourful, delectable delight that is a good cocktail has been made even more accessible to the deserving many through Howes' imaginative rethinking of some classic recipes. 70 new versions of our favourites, including the Skinny Appletini, a Skinny Cosmopolitan the Skinny Mojito and a Skinny Margarita, using low-sugar or sugar-free mixers, fresh fruit and other creative tools for weight-conscious social drinkers everywhere. There is also a section on diet-friendly drinks available to order at a bar or restaurant, usually halving the calories of a standard drink. The more the merrier I say!

Click here to buy this book.
Enhancing Bioavailability: Absorb More of the Good Stuff

John La Puma

'Food is like sex. When done well, it engages all our senses; it taps into our most primal needs and urges and it's among the greatest pleasures you can experience. And like sex, eating good food is a celebration, and an affirmation of life'.

So begins La Puma's wonderfully educational book on the medicinal benefits of eating well and finding proper nutrition. Analysing in detail the effects of bioavailability on our food sources, La Puma aims to maximise the effectiveness and efficiency of the way we eat by focusing on the chemical reactions certain foods will have inside our bodies once we consume them. He promises to teach simple and delicious recipes such as Parmigiano Caesar Salad with Shrimp  using olive and walnut oils for healthy fat, fighting fatty build-up in the arteries, saving on sugars that may be in bottled fat-free dressing and using garlic which contains allicin, a substance that can fight hardening of the arteries. Further more, he will explain how the garlic clove has to be exposed to air to make the allicin active, and what you'll  do when you crush it for the dressing. La Puma explains these details in the context of both human biology and environmental sustainability, finding a diet that works best for both us and the planet.

Click here to read an excerpt.

Click here to buy this book.
  250 Amazing Dishes for People with Diabetes and Their Families and Friends

Tom Valenti, Andrew Friedman

In this book New York chef, Tom Valenti, has put together a collection of recipes that would never give themselves away as designed for diabetics. The recipes aim for variety and flavour foremost, such as Thai Beef Salad with Watercress and Plums, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Turnovers, Spicy Coconut Turkey Soup, Mixed Shellfish Risotto, Steakhouse Sandwich Wrap, Pan-Seared Snapper with a Quick Olive Relish, Pork Tenderloin with a Pea and Bacon Stew, Avocado Mousse, Banana Foster and Miniature Pumpkin Pies with Graham Cracker Crusts. Each comes with a nutritional analysis, including carbohydrate choices and exchanges. Valenti includes his personal tips, shopping information, fun food facts, plenty of variations and suggestions.

This team has also written another book, Tom Valenti's Soups, Stews, and One-Pot Meals, based on recipes from Valenti's New York Restaurant, Ouest. Click here to browse Soups, Stews, and One-Pot Meals.

Click here to buy this book.
Dana Carpender

60% off

Dana Carpender has written extensively on  low-carb cooking and is founder of Hold the Toast Press. In this book she details an entire of host of low-carb options, including everyday variants for common favourites such as bread, bagels, cereals and pasta. Recipes include Cheese Cookies, Yorkshire Pudding, Chocolate Cheesecake and Cinnamon Raisin Bread.

Click here to browse Dana Carpender's other books.

Click here to buy this book.
 People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

PETA is a society in the US with nearly two million members, and in this book they have collected together 250 inexpensive, simple and healthy recipes perfect for anyone who has limited space and cookware. In an apartment or shared kitchen, these scrumptious recipes can be whipped up in the microwave. The book also include advice on stocking your kitchen/fridge, meat-free sandwiches, salads, soups and stews, drinks, dips, sauces, and desserts as well as spotlight sections on peanut butter, potatoes and noodles. President of PETA Ingrid E. Newkirk, has also written a forward specially for every vegetarian or vegan on a budget.

Click here to buy this book.

60+ Recipes That Are Better for Your Health, Better for the Planet

Joy Manning, Tara Mataraza Desmond

The two writers of this book bring two very prominent and very worthy perspectives to it. Manning, having been a vegan, vegetarian and omnivore a various times of her life, finds that eating an 'almost meatless' diet compliments the greatest balance of flavour, health and nutrition she can find. Desmond has never been a vegetarian, but she has always been a conscious consumer. As sustainable agriculture becomes less and less favourable towards rearing animals, Manning argues that eating less meat is the only responsible course to take for our planet. These 60 recipes aim to use quality meat, poultry and seafood as enhancements, rather than the centrepiece of a meal. They focus on maximising taste and health whilst minimising the grocery bill.

Click here to browse inside this book.

Click here to buy this book.
  Richard Ehrlich

Richard Ehrlich writes a weekly column, 'Green Kitchen' in The Times, where he extols the virtues of eco-friendly cooking methods. In this book he has collected his wisdom and expanded upon the techniques we can all use to reduce energy waste. Through careful changes in our cooking practices,  such as using the microwave and pressure cooker, we can lower gas and electricity bills. The recipes are divided by cooking method, with an additional inclusion on the use of cleaning products and appliances that will help you achieve a greener kitchen. Ehrlich writes with an infectious sense of humour - I never like to disagree with Kermit with, but this book proves it is very easy to be green.

Click here to buy this book.
Ysanne Spevack

50% off

Spevack is editor of and his written extensively on organic cooking. This book features over 100 seasonal recipes, in both metric and imperial measurements, with a delicious range of photographs. The benefits of organic food are discussed and sections include healthy light lunches, elegant dinners, and desserts.

Click here to browse Spevack's other books.

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Annabel Karmel

Karmel has now written 14 books on nutrition for babies, children and pregnancy.  A mother of three children, Karmel was inspired to write children’s cookery books following the death of her first child Natasha aged just three months. Although Natasha's illness was not diet related, the experience made Karmel determined to give her second child the best possible start in life and she spent two years researching child nutrition and development, interviewing leading UK paediatricians and child nutritionists. In June 2006 Karmel was awarded an MBE on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her outstanding work in the field of child nutrition.

In Top 100 Finger Foods Karmel discusses how, by the age of nine months, many babies want to start feeding themselves but can't yet handle a spoon. Karmel's answer, for babies and toddlers, is a range of tempting, nutritious finger foods including Fresh Fruit Ice Lollies, Goujons of Fish and Raw Vegetables with Dip. In this range Karmel hopes to introduce your child to new textures and tastes, making for a healthy, happy and contented child.

Click here to buy this book.

One of Karmel's original bestsellers, Annabel Karmel's New Baby and Toddler Cookbook was written out of Karmel's determination to feed her children well whilst coping with the demands of a professional career. This edition, now fully updated for the new millennium, contains recipes for every occasion, transforming healthy foods into fun foods. A section on junk food gives a consumer guide to good and bad children's food and offers some tempting homemade alternatives. Annabel Karmel's New Baby and Toddler Cookbook is crammed full of exciting new ways to keep your children happy and well nourished.

Click here to buy this book.

Click here to browse Annabel Karmel's other books.

Kitchen Garden Cooking with Kids

Stephanie Alexander

This book is Alexander's story of the successful Kitchen Garden at Collingwood College, now in its 6th year. Written in collaboration with Anna Dollard, Stephanie’s long time friend and research assistant, it records the challenges and the milestones, offers guidance and practical advice to schools and communities interested in establishing their own kitchen garden. The book also includes over 100 recipes that have all been prepared by the students at Collingwood. The format is designed to encourage cooking with children either at home or in the classroom. Muffins, slices, homemade pastas, Indian curries, Asian tea eggs and vegetable-rich winter soups are all created from scratch, right back to planting, growing and harvesting an organic kitchen garden. This book was a winner of the Le Cordon Bleu World Food Media Awards 2007.

Click here to buy this book.

This book aims to create an entire collection that the whole family will love. No longer slaving away making multiple meals to please multiple members, Australian Family Table  promises to please even the fussiest of eaters. Soups, stews, stir-fries, vegetarian treats, pasta and noodle dishes, one-pot meals, great barbecue and lunch ideas and, of course, plenty of desserts, cakes and biscuits, emphasise less-stress and (my personal favourite feature of any recipe) less cleaning up.

Click here to browse inside this book.

Click here to buy this book.
  Having Fun in the Kitchen with Your Kids

Erin Quon, Tatum Quon, David Matheson

Erin Quon is an award winning food stylist, chef and mother to Tatum. Together, they developed and tested all of the delicious, easy-to-prepare recipes in this book, as well as lots of ideas for making wholesome food fun. This cookbook encourages kids to get creative in the kitchen and start cooking.

Based in San Francisco, Quon works with the Williams-Sonoma group. Click here to browse other books in this series.

Click here to buy this book.
Jane Lawson

There has got to something good about these nippy mornings we are starting to feel again - and I think we can nominate two of them as hot chocolate and schnapps (although not always before noon)! As we tip toe into the colder months, let's escape with Lawson into the Narnia-like lands of northern, central and eastern Europe. Seaside towns of Scandinavia, alpine villages of Austria, ski fields of France, Harry Potter-esque castles of Germany, and white-blanketed cities of Russia and beyond, this stunning collection is too delectable to miss. Thanks to this book, over winter my belly will be warmed by simmering soups, hearty meals and indulgent desserts. Humble and satisfying classics alternate between glorious celebration feasts worthy of any medieval banquet.

Click here to buy this book.
  Manuela Darling-Gansser

If you've never been skiing, you will definitely want to learn after reading this book. This is a glorious traipse through the winter wonderland that is a Swiss Alpine holiday, with a few recipes thrown in (really more because food is an integral part of this holiday than for the reason that recipes should appear in a cooking book). Now available in paperback, Darling-Gansser's book photographs encompass the scenery, people, atmosphere and experience of being (and eating) in this place with joyous exquisiteness. Some history of skiing and culture is included, amidst the delicacies of Cloud Soufflé, Pappardelle with Duck Ragù, Spätzle, Rösti and Creamy Zabaione, Glühwein and Roast Chestnuts.

Click here to buy this book.
South Indian Vegetarian Specialties


Celebrating the flavours of Tamil festivals, this collection provides Australian cooks with a new range of exciting and unusual tastes. Priya includes personal memories and reminisces with each recipe, involving the reader in the heritage of her culture and personal history. The recipes have been adapted for easy use in a western kitchen, and providing suggestions on where to procure any unusual ingredients or suggested alternatives.

Click here to buy this book.
  Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee

Those who seek out  the all-to-infrequent Korean barbecue houses and noodle joints in Australia for their deliciously complex and fresh flavours, will find in Lee, a guide, and mentor. Korean cooking becomes simple to make in these 70 favourites such as spicy Kimchi and Barbecue Beef Ribs, Dumpling Soup with Rice Cakes, Spicy Stewed Mussels, Red Bean Rice and Garlicky Sautéed Eggplant. All can be prepared in just 30 minutes using readily available ingredients and familiar techniques.

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Bill Jamison, Cheryl Jamison

The Jamisons are an award-winning cookbook team who decided to take three months off to visit ten countries and  write about the food they found there. In Bali they celebrated a second honeymoon, in Austraila they found the world's best sandwich, in Thailand they rode elephants, in India they hit the Diwali festival of lights, in China they attended a banquet of local Chiu Chow cuisine, in South Africa they went on safari with very hungry lions and in Brazil they discovered real Creole flavours. This is a fantastic odyssey of a travelogue.

Click here to buy this book.
  Simon Majumdar

At age forty Majumdar hit forty, quit his uninspiring desk job and remembered a dream of his younger self: 'Go everywhere, eat everything'. He embarked on a year-long search for the delicious, and curious across thirty countries, diving mouth-first into local cuisines and cultures from China's stir-fried rat, to po' boys of post-Katrina New Orleans. The friends that Simon makes as he eats are as passionate about food as he is and eager to welcome him to their homes and tables. Eat My Globe promises to make you laugh, even while it's making you hungry.

Click here to buy this book.
One Long Strange Trip Through the Great Cooking Schools of Europe

Bob Spitz

All at once, Bob Spitz turned fifty, finished an eight-year book contract and a fourteen-year marriage. So, he picked up his broken heart and ran to the cooking schools of Europe. Driven by an obsession, Spitz drove himself on to cook like a virtuoso, to unravel the mysteries of the process. As he hop scotched from one great European city to another, he learnt gastronomic lore from hot-tempered chefs, and transformed himself from a professional writer and lifelong kitchen amateur into a world-class cook.

Click here to buy this book.
 A. A. Publishing

One of greatest the pleasures of travelling is sampling local food and drink. Whether your tastes are adventurous or conservative, AA guides will wet your appetite and give you a genuine taste of the country. The perfect companion to any meal, this book will help you appreciate the true flavours of Italy, and enable you to cope with new and unfamiliar menus. The guide is split into sections including Food of Italy, Wine and Drink of Italy, Eating Out, Eating In and Practical Matters.

Click here to buy or browse this book.

Click here to browse other travel books from A. A. Publishing.

Cocktails, Culture, and the Art of Drinking Well

Eric Felten

Since 2005 the Saturday Wall Street Journal feature How's Your Drink? has been reviving the culture of the cocktail. The title of the book comes from Frank Sinatra, who habitually asked this of guests to his home. Felton fills the rest of the book with historical cocktail details such as John F. Kennedy's playing nuclear brinkmanship with a gin and tonic in hand and Teddy Roosevelt's taking witness to testify that six mint juleps over the course of his presidency did not make him a drunk. Ernest Hemingway and Raymond Chandler are also both recorded to do their part in promoting the gimlet. Meanwhile Felten offers exhaustively researched cocktail recipes of both famous and obscure drinks, including the provenance of each, for example the Martini emerged during Prohibition, and John Updike killed F.D.R.'s drink of choice when he made it the instrument of infanticide in Rabbit, Run.

Click here to buy this book
  Liz Franklin

Franklin is an Italian cooking expert. In this book she introduces you to the best way to brew coffee at home, from espresso to caffe freddo. To accompany your latte, Franklin includes recipes for Cookies and Biscotti, including Baci di Dama (almond biscuits with chocolate butter filling) and Toasted Hazelnut Florentines.  Her Little Tarts are perfect with a long coffee, and try Bocconotti (chocolate and almond cakes) or Crostatine di Frutta di Bosco (woodland fruit tartlets) with an espresso. Big Tarts and Cakes include Torta di Mandorle e Pistachio (almond and pistachio cake) and Crostata di Pere e Cioccolato (chocolate and pear tart) - great  for dessert. Finally, Franklin's savouries are perfect for a light meal, Salatini con Ricotta e Spinaci (ricotta and spinach rolls) or Piadine con Ruccola, Taleggio e Pesto (rocket and taleggio flatbreads) will keep you going through the afternoon.

Click here to buy this book.
Or How I Saved the World from Parkerization

Alice Feiring

Feiring has a mission. She wants to bring down standardisation. She writes, "I want my wines to tell a good story. I want them natural and most of all, like my dear friends, I want them to speak the truth even if we argue". In this book she travels ancient vineyards from the Loire to Champagne, Piedmont to Spain, in search of authentic barolo, the last old-style rioja, and the tastiest new terror-driven champagnes. Revealing the chemistry of wine to the average reader, reverse osmosis, yeasts and enzymes, she discusses why old-fashioned techniques and wines with individuality will ultimately please your palette and soul more than those on the conveyor belt of judging panels, wine consultants, the 100-point scoring system and tyrannous homogenisation.

Click here to read a review from the Organic Wine Journal.

Click here to buy this book.

In This Issue

Karen's Pick of the Month

Two Books in One Pack: CSIRO

Special Australian Books

Beautiful Baking

Celebrity Chefs

Food Glorious Food!

Diets for Weight Loss

Diets for Special Requirements


With Kids

Regional Cuisines





Make It Easy

Suzanne Gibbs & Margaret Fulton

Bill Granger

A Spaghetti Memoir

Making the Most of Your Slow Cooker


Change Your Newsletter Preferences

Booktopia Buzz

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Buzz

What's After Twilight?

Romance Buzz

Australian Good Food and Travel Guide

Australian Good Taste Magazines

Agnes de Keijzer & Cathay Brackman
Minjung Min
Rajah Carol Selva
Saw Betty
Saw Betty


These books are for all those times when a basic dinner is all you want from your cook book shelf, or if you realise going back to basics and learning new skills can be a very useful thing! Click on the title to read more or to order:
Vasili Kanidiadis
Laura Zavan, Pierre Javelle
Marie-Laure Tombini
Valli Little


Suzanne Gibbs

In The Pressure Cooker Recipe Book Gibbs shows how to use a pressure cooker to create slow-cooked flavour in a fast-paced world. She uses a pressure cooker's high temperatures to cook quickly, cheaply and efficiently. The method seals in flavour and nutrition, using cheaper ingredients to great effect. Gibbs selects more than 80 of her favourite pressure-cooker recipes, and describes the process from beginning to end. Recipes include a 25 minute Osso Bucco, 15 minute Chicken Tagine and 20 minute Bread and Butter Pudding. The Pressure Cooker Recipe Book is packed with information on practicalities, such as choosing, using and cleaning your cooker, and fully illustrated with beautiful photography. It is a must-have guide for anyone balancing the constraints of time and money with a desire to create delicious healthy meals for themselves, their friends and their families.

Click here to browse inside, read an extract, watch a clip of Suzanne Gibbs or get a sneak peak of her recipes.

Click here to buy this book.

Margaret Fulton... and Daughter!

Margaret Fulton is a national institution, her career has spanned 50 years and she has written more than 25 cookbooks. Suzanne Gibbs is Margaret Fulton's daughter and a consummate home cook and magazine editor in her own right.

To celebrate Gibbs' new book, Booktopia is offering 30% off a double pack of the Pressure Cooker Recipe Book and Margaret Fulton's Encyclopaedia of Food and Cookery


Click here to buy this special pack.

Click here to browse Australian Biography's wonderfully detailed account of Margaret Fulton's life. You can also click here to read or listen to Andrew Denton's interview with Margaret Fulton on Enough Rope.

Click here to browse all of Margaret Fulton's books.




Copies are still available of this fabulous deal on signed copies of Bill Granger's latest release Feed Me Now! and, just to sweeten the deal, Booktopia is throwing in Susan Loomis' On Rue Tatin for free! Loomis' little treasure is a classic collection of recipes and stories written whilst  she was living in regional France teaching cooking classes.

Bill Granger spoke to Booktopia about what Feed Me Now! means to him and the last year of his life whilst writing it. Click here to listen to what he had to say.

If anyone knows how to please a crowd its Bill Granger, the man behind Sydney's  landmark Bill's restaurants. Bill's food is fresh, simple, healthy and delicious. It is food for people who love to eat but are short of time to cook - people with too much to do to fuss in the kitchen, and at the table, people with families and friends to feed - people just like you. Divided into quick reference chapters so you can find the meals which best suit you, Feed Me Now! is Bill Granger's seventh cookbook and gives you new ideas for breakfasts for which Bill is world famous, lunches and dinners, food for two, food for more, meals on a budget, snacks and nibbles, and meals you can freeze now, eat later. Recipes are accompanied by beautiful photography and handy kitchen tips. Destined to become a kitchen essential Feed Me Now! is Bill Granger at his best, bringing you real food you can enjoy every day.

Click here to buy this special offer.


I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti
by Giulia Melucci

Melucci has written a delightful dating-recovery novel in the form of the recipes she used to help her get over variously ridiculous men. Great Chip-Lit.

Click here to buy this book.


At the end of a long day, the thought of preparing a meal can seem pretty overwhelming. Enter the wonderful slow cooker. Deliciously stewed flavours, and a healthy satisfying meal that greets you as you walk in the door. Here are two of my favourite slow cooking recipe books (click on the title to read more, or to buy the book):

Slow Cookers by Jane Price

The Everything Slow Cooker Cookbook
by Pamela Rice Hahn