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I recently blogged about my growing collection of New Zealand cookbooks and I am delighted to confess I have just added another.  As a librarian responsible for the acquisition of New Zealand material, I was lucky enough to have Nadia Lim’s new cookbook pass across my desk, and what a beauty it is. Nadia Lim’s Good Food Cookbook is cram full of healthy, delicious and easy recipes – as soon as I started flicking through it, I knew I would buy it. Having owned it for just a week I had made four recipes from it – all were fast, easy and incredibly delicious, the stand out so far being Steak with Orange Miso Sauce, Sesame Cavolo Nero and Kumara Mash – we savoured every delicious mouthful! The Lamb with Tzatziki and Roast Cauliflower Pearl Couscous was a taste sensation, as was the Spanish Fish Stew and we greedily devoured the Barbecued Lamb and Olive Panzanella.

What has impressed me with Nadia’s recipes (I own her first book too) , is that they are nutritionally well-balanced, with each one accompanied by a simple nutritional breakdown.  Not only that, they were so quick to prepare, rivalling my well-used Jamie’s 15 minute Meals. The book is chock full of mouth-watering recipes, blending all sorts of flavours- Mediterrean, Middle Eastern and Asian, and the sweet fare looks enticing. There are also gluten-free options. All in all it is one of the best homegrown cookbooks I have seen this year.

I must mention too, the magazine I bought recently- the latest NEXT.  I was attracted by the promise of some great recipes for Christmas fare, and also because it  features Josh Emmet on cover. Due to a family connection, I have been watching the development of Josh’s new Auckland project Ostro with interest.  A brassierie with the most stunning view of the harbour, it can be found in the Seafarer’s Building in Britomart and it is receiving excellent reviews, like this one by another homegrown chef, Nici Wickes. (watch this space for a report on my own personal experience dining at Ostro next week).

But I digress … NEXT is consistently a good read, and always has an excellent selection of articles and recipes, the December issue being no exception. I dove straight in and made Julie Le Clerc’s Tomato Bean and Pearl Couscous Salad with Chilli-Herbal Dressing and it was great! (You can check out Julie’s blog here).

The NEXT cover story on Josh Emmet, gives an insight into what makes him tick and mentions his new cookbook Cut which I also saw in the course of my job. It is a beautiful book, with some brilliant photography and recipes for every cut of meat you could imagine, including rabbit and venison. The one that took my eye was my own personal favourite cut – lamb – Slow Roasted Shoulder of Lamb with Miso Glaze and Steamed Aubergine sounds delicious… perhaps I should be adding Cut to my collection too…

PS if you haven’t checked out Nici Wickes World Kitchen website take a look – it it is great source for recipes – one of my favourites being One Pan Chicken, Rice and Beans