Chelsea Winter's new cookbook brings together the recipes she shares with those closest to her - her friends and family.
Making food for others to enjoy puts Chelsea in her 'happy place'. In "Homemade Happiness" she offers up her favourite recipes for easy dinners and casual get-togethers, as well as popular lunchbox snacks and treats, delicious desserts, best-ever baking, and handy toss-together nibbles.
I bought this book a few years ago on my way back to London and wanted something 'New Zealandly' to take back with me and add to my cook book collection. I chose this Chelsea Winter one out of all that was available at the time as it looked like it had the most appealing recipes and ones that I would be more likely to use. Obviously I will be collecting all the books in the series but this was a good start.
I'm a particular fan of the layout of the book. It is split into Lighter Meals, Dinner Time, Delicious Desserts, Baking & Sweet Treats, Lunchboxes & Kids Snacks and Nibble & Sides. I also like that every recipe has a beautiful photo next to it so you know how it 'should' look when you recreate it. She also notes prep and cooking times and how many it serves.
What is also great is that some recipes have some 'Chelsea Tips' which I think makes for a great addition and personalisation from her. The book also comes with 2 bookmark ribbons so you can mark your favourite recipes for quick access.
A few highlights for me are the Indian-spiced Barbecue Chicken with Yoghurt Drizzle, the Sausage &Leek Frittata, the Lamb Moussaka with Creamy Cauliflower Topping and Custard Squares (which are my slice of choice!). This book has a great range of recipes that will help expand your reporte if you are stuck in a rut of the same meals each week like we are. And some good sweet treat desserts for the weekend.
Homemade Happiness is the book that turned me into a huge fan of Chelsea Winter and her easy to follow delicious recipes. This book has 232 pages of creative and family friendly recipes. This book is separated into 6 areas: lighter meals, dinner time, delicious desserts, baking & sweet treats, Lunchboxes & kids snacks, and nibbles and sides. There is also an index and section dedicated to people she is thanking.
The cover of this book is warm and inviting. It also has 2 bookmarks which come in handy for marking your favourite or go to recipes. Each recipe tells you how long the prep time and cooking time are and how many it serves which is so helpful. There is also tips and tricks with the recipes that helps to take the recipes to the next level.
Chelsea's white chocolate and berry cheesecake is a feature in this book. OMG it is amazing and it looks like a million bucks. It is so easy to make it is now a fixed part of our Christmas Menu. Another recipe from this book that my family enjoys is her chicken Fettuccine, which is better than I have had at some Italian restaurants. It is gloriously creamy and just what the doctor ordered on those cold winter nights.
Last year I attended 2 events during the Cadbury chocolate carnival where Chelsea winter was the special guest. She is a lovely down-to-earth person who is all about real food, real ingredients and everything in moderation and not about the latest fads. I am a total convert and own all her books. I would recommend you purchase this book and see how amazing this New Zealand Chef is and how you too can cook amazing and tasty food for your family.
I have followed Chelsea Winter since Masterchef and have tried a number of her recipes she has posted online. I have been meaning to invest in her cookbooks (because I keep borrowing my sisters!) so when I spotted Homemade Happiness on sale, I decided I had to have it. I'm now kicking myself I didn't invest in her books a lot sooner.
Checking out the recipes the first thing I noticed was how simple they all were, no fancy techniques or equipment needed. I was impressed that it was full of everyday ingredients too, apart from needing to stock up on a few spices everything I needed to start creating were already in my pantry. The photos throughout the book just made me want to start trying the recipes out straight away.
I have only owned the book for a few weeks but have already tried several recipes, so much so my husband often asks what Chelsea creation is for dinner tonight. I am yet to find a recipe I haven't loved and wouldn't cook again. I really like the fact you have a choice of family favourites and more adventurous meals. The mince and cheese pie has quickly become a favourite, the mince recipe makes such a rich complex filling. As the recipe is for 6 I whip up a pie for dinner and then use leftovers to make individual pies for the freezer.
Chelsea fried chicken is another favourite, it is a yummier, healthier version of KFC. While it takes a bit of preparing and planning as you have to soak the chicken overnight it is well worth the effort. Teamed up with the coleslaw and potato and gravy recipe it is heaven! One taste and you won't go back for takeaway chicken ever again.
Already Homemade Happiness has become my most used cookbook. The fact you can pick up the book and find a recipe you can cook with everyday ingredients you have at home is a real bonus for me. Often cooking from a recipe book takes planning and a trip to the supermarkets because you don't always have ingredients on hand. As most recipes are for families and make enough for 6 I freeze leftovers so there's always something on hand for nights we don't feel like cooking. I recommend the book to anyone who wants simple, tasty, everyday recipes.
After previously buying Chelsea Winter's second book 'At my Table' last year and loving how easy and delicious her recipes are to make, I decided to buy Chelsea's latest book out 'Homemade Happiness' when I spotted it on sale at my local bookshop a few days ago. There were a few recipes that I had seen online that I was really looking forward to trying after seeing amazing reviews on them on her Facebook page, and I couldn't wait to try out the custard squares that were in the book, and which the recipe however wasn't available online.
After buying the book, I flicked through the pages to find a few items that I wanted to try as my next stop was to the supermarket to buy groceries so I thought this would be the ideal time to go out and buy ingredients which I didn't have at home to make some of the yummy looking recipes. I was pleased to find that as I looked through the book that many of the ingredients were those which I already have as staples in my pantry which meant I was only needing to buy a few more items such as pastry, chicken and a few herbs which I was rather pleased about.
That night I decided to make Chelsea's chicken and pumpkin lasagna for dinner, it tasted really good and was a delicious combination of cheese, pasta, tomatoes, pumpkin and chicken and the flavours really did work so well together, my partner even asked for seconds which was surprising as he can not usually stand eating pumpkin, it must have been well disguised. Although the lasagna tasted wonderful I have to say it did require a lot of effort compared to that of a standard mince based lasagna, before even starting on putting the lasagna together you have to cook the chicken and pumpkin for a hour alone in the oven, so this is not something you can quickly whip up.
For dessert I made the custard squares and these really were to die for, smooth, creamy, thick custard with a lovely hint of vanilla sandwiched between 2 sheets of puff pastry and topping with a vanilla icing (the recipe does state chocolate icing but I choose not to), this was my first time ever making custard squares and it was so easy to do, the only problem with these is how fast they go so the recipe clearly doesn't make enough!
Since making these two scrumptious recipes I have also made the date loaf (twice as the first one ended up on the floor opps) and it is delicious served warm with butter and is full of dates. Scrolling through the book I can see several other recipes which I would really like to try one day soon such as the mince and cheese pie, roasted carrot whip, real fruit roll-ups and Chelsea's fried chicken, these all sound and look great and seem pretty simple to make.
The book is made of real good quality paper and has 2 bookmarks so that you can easily find what page you were on. The book is easy to read and has 8 different parts to it's contents page, and also a index at the back of the book so you can easily locate your wanted recipe. I look forward to the arrival on Chelsea's next cookbook.
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