Cooking: Time consuming; harder than eating take out, laborious, yes. Rewarding, relaxing, involving and therapeutic, definitely.

I started cooking a few months ago, I had the second semester blues and couldn’t seem to shake them until I started cooking. While wandering down the reduced section of Tesco I came across some large portabello mushrooms on sale for 1p which, as a lover of mushrooms, I couldn’t pass up on. I had a vague recollection of making, or perhaps just eating, stuffed mushrooms at some point, and so when I got back to my flat I looked at a few recipes online and devised my own.

As I was taking them out of the oven a flat mate’s friend remarked upon how good it smelled, and that I should write a cook book. It was meant rather jokingly, but it got me to thinking “maybe that’s not such a bad idea”. I am no stranger to putting together a cook book as I had worked as a part of an award winning team compiling a cook book. I had not, however, written the recipes for it (which is apparently quite important in writing a cook book).

I took advice from TV shows and online food blogs on how to put together a cook book and from them I came up with 3 key “ingredients” to making a good cook book.

  • Read other cook books and learn from them; by that I mean look at flavour combinations and cooking techniques, not rip off the other persons work.
  • Develop a USP, whether it be the style of writing; the type of recipe; the location of the cookbook, or even the photography or artwork in it.
  • Try all of the recipes, and get others to try it, because often it can be difficult for you to rate your own work; some people love anything they make because they made it, and others are way too critical of their dishes.

Following these tips I’ve got off to a pretty good start although only time will tell. My cooking adventures have, however, caused great joy among my flat mates and my family, so whether it turns out to be a good cook book or not at least it has made people smile. I will keep you updated with my progress, and post the occasional recipe for you to give a shot.

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