Recipes and this image from Courtyard Kitchen by Natalie Boog, published by Murdoch Books
I have two problems (well, just two at this moment in time):
1) I live in the inner-city, which means I have limited outdoor space, which means I have limited chance of growing my own herbs, which means when a recipe calls for just a tablespoon of herbs and I have to purchase the whole bunch....!!!!!
2) I HATE waste!
So when the good folks at Murdoch Books asked me if I would like to take a look at the new cookbook Courtyard Kitchen by Natalie Boog, I was very intrigued.
As you know I love to cook and do it almost daily, however I do not have a green thumb, so even though I love growing my own herbs, they often don't live a very long and fruitful life under my care. So for me personally, this book has given me inspiration in selecting which herbs will grow best on my windowsills, as well as some great tips on storing and freezing all those pesky leftover herbs we all end up with in the bottom of our veggie draw - resolving my two issues above.
One of my favourite herbs to cook with is rosemary. I'm always snipping stems off friend's bushes when I visit, so the first recipe of Natalie's I just had to try was the....
Flourless Orange and Rosemary Cake
2 oranges (small) | 4 eggs | 220g (1 cup) caster sugar | 200g (2 cups) almond meal | 1 ts baking powder | 2 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
- Preheat the oven to 150 degrees (300F).
- Lightly grease a 15cm round cake tin and line the base with baking paper.Zest the oranges, then remove the white pith and seeds.
- Coarsely chop the flesh and put in a food processor with the remaining ingredients. Process until well combined, then pour into the prepared tin.
- Bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. This cake will brown a little more than usual due to the sugar and juice from the oranges, so if necessary, cover loosely with a piece of foil during baking.
This recipe turned out a beautifully moist and dense cake with the aroma of sweet orange and sugar filling my kitchen. The flavour of the rosemary is prominent, which I loved, giving this sweet cake a deeper, earthy taste.
One thing to note was I used two fairly large oranges in this recipe which meant I had to add on almost another 40 minutes cooking time, so my suggestion to you - use two small oranges, or just the one big one.
There is nothing complicated or scary about this cookbook. In fact, I found everything about it to be simple and easy, from the lovely uncluttered, fresh photos, the easy home-style recipes to the simple yet practical tips. It's been created for those who are not avid gardeners and who are not culinary chefs, but for those of us simply wanting a starting point for inspiration.
Finding out that Natalie is a self-taught home cook (just like me) was a wonderful bonus, with thoughts that run similar to mine - that cooking from scratch (not using ready made products) does not have to take a lot of time and energy, just a little pre-planning.
Thank you for this lovely, inspiring cookbook Natalie. Your love of fresh ingredients comes through right from page 1.
Needing a little inspiration? The Courtyard Kitchen is due to be released on 1 May 2015 by Murdoch Books, but if you can't wait that long for a little inspiration, then check out Natalie's blog here!
Disclosure: I received the above product for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, all words are my own honest opinion and I only recommend products or services I would use personally.