Everyday Easy Eats, a collection of loved recipes from friends of Balmoral School, deserves a certificate for being the most stylish school fundraising cookbook of the year. LeeAnn Yare, the talented Mum who led the cookbook team is a well-known Auckland stylist, writer, TV host and an airline pilot.
I have a soft spot for school fundraising cookbooks and have acquired quite a few over the years. So much love and effort goes into producing them and they are also a great way to find out what kind of food kids most like to eat.
All sorts of occasions are catered for in Everyday Easy Eats including Lazy Sundays, Lunchbox Love, One-pot Weekdays, Saladelicious, Fast Fridays, Naughty and Nice and Celebrate.
As so many people these days have special dietary needs these days the cookbook team has conveniently provided a key for each recipe to show if it is suitable for dairy free, gluten free, refined sugar free, vegetarian, vegan or paleo.
Parents have sent in their treasured heirloom family recipes like Mama Jacinta’s steamed pudding, Gran Diane’s Sausage Roll, Granddad Rob’s cake and Aunt Edith’s coconut slice.
The recipes also reflect the multicultural nature of the school. Chocolate coconut bites were sent by a Swedish au pair, and there’s a spicy Indian masala dosa and a Sri Lankan prawn curry.
It always helps to raise the profile (and the sales) if some celebrity chefs can be persuaded to donate a recipe. They have scored very well here. Two recipes by MasterChefs are featured: Josh Emett’s slow-baked spiced lamb with chickpeas and Simon Gault’s Moroccan cauliflower soup.
Chef Michael Meredith has contributed his Samoan Mum’s special recipe for cockle and mussel chowder. And from the popular Bluebell’s cakery comes a very decorative Vanilla Rosette Cake,
Some perennial favourites continue to pop up in every school fund raising recipe book like self-crusting quiche and chocolate self-saucing pudding. There is a good gluten free variation for the latter. The macaroni cheese recipe, another a golden oldie, has been given a new twist and is cooked in a slow cooker.
Included are some healthy recipes which use ingredients which may not yet be familiar to all such as chia seeds, psyllium husks, buckwheat groats and coconut flour. Here is a good opportunity to try something new for a change!
The cute photographs of Balmoral students proudly showing off their baking, licking the spoon and stirring a cake batter add to the charm of this book. And they may well encourage other children to feel that this cookbook is also for them. I’m looking forward to my granddaughters cooking some of the recipes for all of us to enjoy.
Everyday Easy Eats (a collection of loved recipes from Friends of Balmoral School) was styled by LeeAnn Yare. Imprint: Wairau Press. RRP $45
To find out more/or to order go to http://collected.co.nz/collections/charity.The recipe which follows is reproduced with permission from the publisher.
Heavenly Fruit Cake
From Prue McLafferty, mum of Harry, Nathaniel and Fergus
I am not usually a fan of fruit cake, but I can’t get enough of this one! It’s incredibly easy to make, freezes well and is perfect when hosting a big group of people.
Makes a 28cm cake
Prep: 10 minutes, plus overnight for soaking the fruit mince
Cook: 45 minutes
1kg fruit mince
2 cups strong black coffee or orange juice (freshly squeezed if possible)
250g Whittaker’s macadamia chocolate, roughly chopped
2 cups standard flour
2 tsp baking powder
1. Soak fruit overnight in coffee or orange juice.
2. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a 28cm cake tin or oven dish with baking paper (grease the sides if you just line the bottom).
3. Mix egg into fruit mixture, then add chocolate. Add flour and baking powder, and mix.
4. Pour into cake tin and bake for approximately 30 minutes, then cover the top of the cake with brown paper or foil to stop the top burning. Bake for another 5–15 minutes, until a knife inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean (ignoring any melted chocolate). Turn out onto a rack to cool.
By Lyn Potter. Read more here.