Monday, October 1, 2012

Cookbook Challenge Oct. 2012 ~ 31 Days; 10 Books & 1 Challenge!

The Challenge – To cook at least one meal a day from a cookbook of choice for the month of October. The recipes must be followed exactly so as to properly test them and the budget must be no more (and hopefully less!) than an ordinary month.


That's right folks, for the month of October I am challenging myself to cook at least one meal a day using a cookbook! Now while that might not sound like a challenge for a lot of you, for someone who owns over 1000 cookbooks and rarely cooks from them, this is a challenge for me! Inspired by the bloggers challenge 'Random Recipes' hosted by Dom over at the lovely Belleau Kitchen, I have stepped things up a few notches so that I am not making one recipe a month from a random book, but rather one a day!

With that said however, this challenge isn't quite so random as I have picked out 9 books of choice (fairly randomly and without looking through them) in order to help with meal planning and shopping. The final book for the challenge - book number 10, was picked by you - the readers (through facebook). For those of you that missed it I selected 5 books from my 'library' and the one with the most votes was the lucky book to join the challenge, which turned out to be the Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten. The other 9 books were fairly randomly picked - I tried to do a real mix and choose books that I thought might be fairly familiar to people..... so here they are the 10 books I will be cooking from in October.....

The Books:

  1. The Meat Free Monday Cookbook – Meat Free Monday Campaign
  2. The Homemade Pantry – Alana Chernila
  3. Cook Yourself Thin Faster – with Laura Deen
  4. Pretty Delicious – Candice Kumai
  1. Jamie's Great Britain – Jamie Oliver
  2. Nigella Express - Nigella Lawson
  3. Tender Volume 1 - Nigel Slater
  4. Healthy Appetite - Gordon Ramsay
  5. Kitchen Seasons – Ross Dobson
  6. Barefoot Contessa at Home – Ina Garten

The first 4 books on the list are brand new so I felt that I had to pick them – especially since I haven't had the chance to look through them properly yet. I really debated about including 'Cook Yourself Thin Faster' but since I am trying to eat better and lose some weight I thought it was important to try it out. Jamie, Nigella, Nigel and Gordon were picked due to the fact that they are internationally known and loved (or hated!) and between them have over 50 cookbooks published, so this was a good opportunity to put a few of them to the test. Kitchen Seasons by Ross Dobson was a completely random pick with my eyes closed (had to have one!) and as previously mentioned the Barefoot Contessa at Home was picked by you!

Every morning I will share on my Facebook and Twitter pages the recipe I am making that day and from which book, (so make sure to follow those pages if you haven't already) and I will do a weekly round up every Monday of the previous week. I'll post some of my favourite recipes randomly throughout the month on my blog and will do complete reviews of each book as soon as possible after testing the recipes! 

So there you have it – 10 cookbooks to cook from and review in just 1 month. Can I do it? Hopefully! So let the cooking, reading and reviewing begin!

{I will try my best to take as many photos as possible of the dishes I make but since I will be taking them as and when they are about to be eaten they probably won't be the best quality!}


*Do you have any of these books? Or do you fancy just putting some of your books to the test? Feel free to join me in this can be for the month, two weeks or even one week – you just have to randomly pick some books and start cooking from them!


  1. wowzer... that's a lot of cooking... but then again a heck of a lot of good food!... I only have the Nigella Express... let me know the date you're planning to cook from that and maybe I could cook along!

    1. Tell me about it! I'm just hoping I can do it, but you're right it's going to hopefully be a month of great food! Will definitely let you know when Nigella will be making her first appearance! : )

  2. You have HOW many cookbooks? :) This is a great challenge for the month, I should really do more cooking out of all my cookbooks too!

  3. That is a lot of cooking indeed! I wanted to challenge myself with the same but I figured I would never ever last. However, if you're interested I am doing something similar (with less pressure) with two blogger friends. We aren't blogging about it as yet because we agreed to post whatever we make to Instagram instead (because the other two no longer have time to keep up with their blogs). I do intend to blog about things I make so I'll be going ahead and doing that. We are calling our challenge 'inspired kitchen' (we will be going by the hashtag #inspiredkitchen on instagram) and the idea is to pick one cookbook each month and cook/bake however much we want from it all month long. It can be anything between 1- infinite recipes. We felt this keeps it a lot more realistic. If you're interested drop me a line at needfulthings at ymail dot com. (p.s i have a loooot of cookbooks too)


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