Weekend Cooking and Cook it Up!: My cookbooks




Trish at Love, Laughter and Insanity is hosting a cookbook challenge! The details are over at her blog but she’s left it up to us to decide whether to focus on one cookbook a month or perhaps, like Andi, to try something different each week.

I’m hoping to cook from one of my cookbooks once a week. It’s all too easy to turn on the phone or tablet and google whatever it is I’m thinking of cooking. It’s a bit harder to figure out if my cookbooks have a particular recipe I’m looking for. It all seems to come down to meal planning! We hit the farmers market on Sunday mornings to get fruits and vegetables (luckily my farmers market has plenty of stalls selling Asian vegetables), but have to visit Costco and my usual Asian supermarket (Marina Foods or Ranch 99) for other things like meats, fish and other ingredients.

My cookbooks sit in a shelf just below water bottles and other random things, above my Kitchenaid mixer, paper towel, and water jugs. They’re always there, always accessible but it’s just too easy to reach for a device these day!

And as I snapped this picture I realized how much history I have with some of them.




The Best of Singapore Cooking (orange cover on the left) is actually my husband’s, it was a gift from his Mum when he left for the US for college.

Next to that  is The New Mrs Lee’s Cookbook, which its author (the granddaughter of the original author) updated. I interviewed her when I was working for a newspaper in Singapore and she gave me the cookbook. The book next to that, Penang Heritage Food, is written by my cousin’s father-in-law. Consuming Passions next to it, is a collection of recipes from ‘old girls’ of my secondary school, which my mum picked up for me in Singapore.


Speaking of my Mum, she actually gave me quite a few of these cookbooks! The baby cookbooks were all presents from her, as is Bake by Rachel Allen, Sylvia Tan’s Taste, and Soya & Spice by Jo Marion Seow, the last two being Singaporean writers.

The Bread Bible was a Christmas present from my sister (by my request). It’s got great illustrations on bread-making techniques like how to form a round loaf!

Harumi’s Japanese Cooking was a gift from my Japanese friend and former flatmate. I wrote about it – and my friendship with her – here. 

The top two books lying horizontal are bread-making books by a Malaysian baker that my mother-in-law gave me one Christmas, as she knows how much I enjoy baking!

Bills Food by Aussie chef Bill Granger was a gift from my good friends in Singapore when I was leaving Singapore for the UK to study for a year. It might be the most thumbed of all my cookbooks! I regularly bake his oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and brownie recipes. Simple and delicious.

I’ve also got a couple of books by Nigella Lawson (always fun – and wow, those ice-cream recipes in Forever Summer sound fantastic), one by Nigel Slater (his kitchen diary), some food magazines by Donna Hay (so pretty!), and Smitten Kitchen, whose quick pizza dough recipe I depend on.

Now where do I begin?!?! 






Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, beer, wine, photographs


  1. I’m thinking of joining this challenge, myself! I tend to try recipes from my cookbooks lots and lots when I first get them, but after that I’m less likely to open them again. I need a good reason to get them out again!


  2. Whenever I plan meals, I go overboard and am too ambitious, so after a couple of meals, I get tired and discouraged! One recipe a week seems do-able, though, so good luck! I want to join this challenge, but haven’t decided which of my way too many cookbooks to focus on.


  3. I have a lot of cookbooks, too, and totally agree with you… it’s gotten so easy to just plug a few ingredients into some device and come up with a dinner recipe. The cookbooks require much more effort. I’m looking forward to this challenge!


  4. I love Singapore noodles. They are my favourite, followed by Ho Fun. I’m sure I’d be interested in seeing more of what was inside a Singaporean cookbook.


      1. That’s so funny! Obviously we Chinese go on all the time about how no-one would ever eat at home the stuf that comes out of a Chinese takeaway. i
        It never occurred to me that we of Hong Kong heritage might do the same to others’ cuisines! (It could well be a misnomer originating in HK – my mum definitely calls the curry powdered noodles Singapore noodles.)


      2. Hahah I know, right? It’s like when I was in Hong Kong and this acquaintance ordered curry, as in an actual curry, which made me laugh because it was so not a curry. It was more like a soup with curry powder. Then again, I thought, we make this chicken curry at home, I’m not sure that someone of Indian heritage would call that a curry either.


  5. I’ve had trouble with the Nigella Lawson’s cookbooks, so I’ve stopped using them. I’m thinking about joining this challenge but I only have two cookbooks! *sigh* We shall see. I hope you have fun with this challenge. Love your enthusiasm!


  6. Meal planning is definitely key for me as well. I’m hoping to cook a recipe from my BBQ cookbook tonight but who knows as most of them require marinading the meat for hours and it’s already 3:00pm. Might have to stick to a side dish. Sigh.

    And I’m with you–my cookbooks are RIGHT THERE in the kitchen but I’ll still go to the other room to google a recipe online rather than looking through the indexes for what I have in mind.

    Can’t wait to see what you whip up!


    1. That’s the thing about cooking isn’t it? All that thinking ahead is so tricky with little ones.

      I wish someone would catalogue my cookbooks’ indices for me. Then I could figure out what I wanted to cook, look up this database to see which cookbook has it, and ta da! get the recipe from the cookbook!


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