Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Australian Women's Weekly FOOD WE LOVE ★★★★★

I CAN BAKE!  I CAN BAKE!

When I think of The Australian Women’s Weekly cookbooks I think of my first attempts, over thirty years ago, at cooking and my first ever cookbook, The Women’s Weekly Cooking Class Cookbook.  I loved it so much because until I owned that book everything I cooked was a disaster.  They had fabulous pictures of every step of the process and a picture of how the dish was meant to look at the end.  I truly learnt to cook with that book. Until a recent house move that book sat on my shelf for three decades. 
Of course, over the years you add more and more books to your collection and most of mine were Women’s Weekly.  Any time favourite cookbooks are mentioned amongst friends there is usually the comment, “You can’t go wrong with a Women’s Weekly.”
The Australian Women’s Weekly cookbook series has been around since 1976 beginning with Best Ever Recipes.  After that one book a year was released and they have now sold over 75 million copies worldwide across 100 countries. 
Enough of history though, you want the review part don’t you?
So, when my The Australian Women’s Weekly ‘Food We Love’ (favourite recipes from the AWW Test Kitchen) arrived, I took one look and fell in love.  This book was first published in 2006 and this is the latest 2013 edition.
In Food We Love 90 past and present staff of the AWW Test Kitchen have gathered together their favourite recipes. Even though some of the recipes are years old, these are recipes they helped develop and are still cooking today for their family and friends.
Let me be honest, despite my cooking experience—some say I am not bad—I am not a baker.
Muffins, yes!
Biscuits, rarely!
Ice-cream with a banana for dessert, mostly!
I blame the oven every time a cake failed.  Of course, said my friends nodding, while probably thinking she can't bake.  It’s always the oven, right?  Eventually, I gave up and brought salads or Tim Tams to gatherings .

So the first section I turned to in Food We Love was ‘Baking’. Here is the real test of the success of a cook book for me. Can I bake something from it and not watch my family chew for far too long on the initial bite?
Results:  Moist orange cake. Yes! “Please make another,” said the 10 year old. 
Moist coconut cake with coconut ice frosting.  Yes! “Wonderful and different,” congratulates the husband.
Carrot and banana cake.  Yes! “Please pack extra for my lunch,” said the two boys who normally will only take those horrible, deadly, sugary muesli bars you buy from the shop.
Cinnamon teacake. Yes! Yes! Yes! Everyone loved this big, yummy, donut-tasting cake which my fussiest son devoured after first licking—yes licking—the side nervously having experienced my baking for years.
And this is only some of the baking section. There are finger foods, soups and starters, and mains; broken into the usual meats, pasta & rice, seafood, salads, and accompaniments.  Then desserts, baking (wonderful baking) and even Christmas fare.


It’s bright and breezy and basic—with a beautiful picture of the result—which is what we average cooks want.  In the side column of the recipes there is also a little blurb from the test kitchen employee who chose the recipe.  They tell you who they are and why they love this recipe.
The Australian Women’s Weekly Food We Love is now the cook book I love.  I could write so much more about this book but I have a lemon sour cream cake in the oven and …

Review copy thanks to my delicious friends at Bauer Media
Please click here for purchasing info and further details.
More Women’s Weekly Cookbooks to check out HERE

Published: June/2013
Page extent: 240pp
ISBN: 978-1-74245-385-9
RRP: $29.95