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There's a blogging contest out there called Hey, Hey It's Donna Day! Where the previous winner of the last contest hosts the current challenge and each person has to make a specific Donna Hay recipe.

Check out winos and foodies blog for the info. She's the one who started the whole idea.

I may have my info a little wrong, but there's definitely a whole group out there who are into Donna Hay. And if you have a blog, you can join in too!

(note, I have no blog, and have never cooked anything by Donna Hay)

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i have the books and the mags...."i'm cherie and i am a cook addict."

the mags are BIG...like mini-editions of the books. i think they run about $10 an issue on the stand, but i succumb each time. i keep thinking i should subscribe, but then i don't. (btw, that price seems lower than i think it actually is...that may be australian dollars or something...still, i think it might be worth it.)

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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Hey Bella,

I am starting to think we have a lot of the same cookbooks... :biggrin:

I am also a huge Donna Hay fan and have 4 of her books. I had never heard of her when I was in the US but I found her cookbooks at the Costco in Japan and became hooked. Her food is really so simple and tastes really wonderful and I am a sucker for the beautiful pictures of every dish in the book!

The only things I don't care for are her baked goods, but I have this same problem with Jamie Oliver's baked goods as well. Everything just seems so dry, maybe in the US we just like our cakes really moist?

So what are some of your favorite dishes? It is time I pulled the books back off the shelves..

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Donna Hay is huge here in Australia. I haven't cooked from her books but the recipes seem to be as you describe, Bella. Easy, relatively quick and with good flavor. She seems to be the equivalent of Martha Stewart here.

If only Jack Nicholson could have narrated my dinner, it would have been perfect.

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torakris, looks like we both have really good taste! I also first saw Donna Hay's cookbooks at Costco, the one here in San Francisco. We have a wonderful book store here called Green Apple. They have a HUGE section of cookbooks some new but shelves and stacks of remainders and books they were able to swing a good deal on. They also have an amazing collection of "used" cookbooks. Most of them look like they have never been opened. That's where I satisfy this particular addiction.

Let's see. In Classics Book 1 I like her recipe for chicken stock. The "Toasted Cheese Sandwiches" on P.36 are just amazing. Who would think you'd need a recipe for a grilled cheese sandwich? She mixes grated cheese with sour cream and dijon. Wow! You relish each bite. Really like the "Chicken, Pancetta, and Mushroom Stew". I make extra sauce and then server it over pasta the next day or so. I have tried the different salads with pears and some sort of blue cheese that she has in different books. Have enjoyed different risottos. Really liked the "Saffron Porcini Risotto Cakes" in The New Cook The "Roast Pork with Apple Stuffing" on P. 110 is great. I somtimes make it with pork tenderloin. For some reason I can't remember what I have made from Off the Shelf or New Food Fast. Perhaps I am just looking too quickly. In The Instant Cook there is a "Carmelised (her spelling) Pear and Rocket Salad" which is very good. Made an asparagus and lemon risotto adding some prosciutto to it. I made it on the stove, where the recipe was an oven version. I just felt like making it the other way. The flavors were wonderful. I know that I have made other things from that book also, but at the moment, can't remember what. Looking through these books now,, I am making a list of so many things that I want to try. One of the things that is nice about The Instant Cook is that for many of the recipes she gives three variations. For example under her recipe for "Thai Lime and Lemongrass Chicken" she tells how to adapt it for "Pork with Lime an Peanuts", "Prawns with Lime and Lemongrass", and "Beef with Lime and Tomato".

The only dessert recipe that I have made of her's is the "Peaches and Berries Baked in Cream" P. 174 in The New Cook. It was really very good. It did need to bake a bit longer than the recipe said, but I was making so many other things that night that it could have been me.

What do you like to make from her books?

cherie, as it seems to work with addictions, one person being able to admit what is going on, helps others to do the same. "I'm Bella S.F. and I am a cooking and cookbook addict." I do not know if there is a twelve step program for this, but I am not interested in one, even if there is.

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne."

John Maynard Keynes

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OFF THE SHELF

pg.40 stirred tomato risotto with mussels

--I tweaked this a bit and it very popular in my cooking classes

pg.62 bok choy and noodle stir fry

--this is more like a soup than a stir fry..

pg.84 couscous salad

--this may be my favorite recipe, everyone I have made it for asks for the recipe

THE NEW COOK

pg.91 roast pumpkin and couscous salad

--another one of my favorites

FLAVOURS

pg.62 soy and galangal fish

pg.102 balsamic chicken with garlic couscous

pg.150 basil-fried tomato and couscous salad

--I like serve this with the balsamic chicken on pg. 102

NEW FOOD FAST

pg.64 pasta with rocket (arugula) and blue cheese

I know that I have made more but these were the ones that popped out at me.

Either she has a lot of couscous recipes or I really like couscous... :biggrin:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Marlene, which books did you order?

Modern Classics I

Modern cClassics II

Intstant Entertaining

Flavours

Donna Hay Christmas

The Instant Cook

Ok, so I went overboard. :biggrin: I am a cookbook junkie. I can't help myself. :biggrin:

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Marlene, where did you order the books from? I am not that familiar with Flavours and I have never seen or heard of Donna Hay Christmas.

I'm interested in hearing about those two books as well as how you like the others. Please let us know what you make.

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne."

John Maynard Keynes

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Thought that I would make this easier to read for folks who do have her cookbooks. Wanted to do this the first time, but felt badly about taking up too much space, however, Iwant it to make sense.

In Classics Book 1

Really like her chicken stock. I substitute chicken broth for some of the water

"Toasted Cheese Sandwiches" on P.36 are just amazing. Who would think you'd need a recipe for a grilled cheese sandwich? She mixes grated cheese with sour cream and dijon. Wow! You relish each bite.

"Chicken, Pancetta, and Mushroom Stew" P. 100 I make extra sauce but use less stock, (I like it a bit richer) and use it over pasta the next day or so.

In The New Cook

"Roast Pork with Apple Stuffing" on P. 110 is great. I sometimes make it with pork tenderloin.

"Saffron Porcini Risotto Cakes" P. 38

For some reason I can't remember what I have made from Off the Shelf or New Food Fast. Perhaps I am just looking too quickly.

The Instant Cook

"Carmelised (her spelling) Pear and Rocket Salad"

"Asparagus with Lemon Risotto" I added prosciutto to it. I also made it on the stove, where the recipe was an oven version. I just felt like making it the other way. The flavors were wonderful.

I know that I have made other things from that book also, but at the moment, can't remember what.

I have tried the different salads with pears and some sort of blue cheese that she has in different books. Have enjoyed different risottos. One of the things that is nice about The Instant Cook is that for many of the recipes she gives three variations. For example under her recipe for "Thai Lime and Lemongrass Chicken" she tells how to adapt it for "Pork with Lime and Peanuts", "Prawns with Lime and Lemongrass", and "Beef with Lime and Tomato".

The New Cook

The only dessert recipe that I have made of her's is the "Peaches and Berries Baked in Cream" P. 174. It was really very good. It did need to bake a bit longer than the recipe said, but I was making so many other things that night that it could have been me.

I am looking through these books now and making a list of what I want to try, hoping that that way I can just pick something off of the list. The books are so "chock full" of great recipes with delectably pictures that if I try to pick one on the spot, I just keep turning and turning and can't choose.

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne."

John Maynard Keynes

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I just ordered her 'Entertaining' book and have 'Instant Cook' in my shopping cart. The 'Entertaining' one was only $3 at Amazon Marketplace so I jumped on it and sent it to my parent's place, I won't actually be able to look at for about 2 1/2 months though... :sad:

Bella,

The Flavors book I am pretty sure is available at Amazon, it is tied for my favorite with Off the Shelf.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Flavours is definately available from Amazon, as it is one of the books I ordered. I don't have them yet, and if I get them before our travels mid May, I'll make some stuff and report back, otherwise, it will be late June before I get to these books. :biggrin:

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I've got them all. I find them to be the most used cookbooks in my entire collection. I can't think of a recipe I've tried that didn't come out as it should. This isn't mind-bending food; but it's of a high quality, is simple, and usually very visually stimulating which can go a long way in how we percieve it's success/failure. If I have one gripe (and it would be VERY tiny), it's that I've found there to be some repetition from book to book. But I mean, there is enough there to keep me cooking something new for years.

I also love that each dish comes with a beautiful colour photo. I'm very visual, and that really appeals to me.

In short, I highly reccomend Donna Hay's books. Every time a new one hits the shelves, I unquestionably pick up a copy.

Marlene, I was astonished you'd not heard of her up until this point. I think you'll like what you find, after seeing your cooking.

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If you like the Donna Hay cookbooks, then you should also check out the Marie Claire ones. I think Hay was involved with the Marie Claire magazine at some stage, but their cookbooks have the same format and cover a similar style of recipe to Donna Hay.

Another Australian cookbook author that covers similar territory is Bill Granger. He's had five cookbooks released....Bill's Food, Bill's Open Kitchen, Every Day, Simply Bill, and Sydney Food.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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I actually have four of the Marie Claire books that my son gave me for Christmas: Easy, Spicy, Hot, and Crisp. I guess I should get them down and look at them. :biggrin:

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I think Donna Hay was the food stylist for Marie Claire in Australia, which is why everything is so visually stunning. I love her books, too - I kept looking at New Food Fast in the bookstore when it came out, and it was just so pretty, I had to have it! We cook out of there a lot over the years, especially when we are just pooped after work. Will probably use it a little more now that there is a new baby in the house! I stopped buying the magazine, though, to keep household costs down.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We made the Thai Lime and Lemongrass Chicken from The Instant Cook tonight. The house smelled like a Thai restaurant, and one bite of it made us feel like we were in a Thai restaurant. (a good thai restaurant.) Thinking of adding peanuts next time. Also looking forward to trying her variations one with shrimp and the other with pork. I recommend it highly.

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne."

John Maynard Keynes

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  • 1 month later...

Made another wonderful dish from her book, The Instant Cook, "Roasted Prosciutto and Bocconcini Salad". Could have eaten a whole platter of them. Actually, we can't think of a way to make enough to be able to serve company as an appie.

Marlene, have you gotten your books and tried any of the recipes yet?

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne."

John Maynard Keynes

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I got the books just before we left for Europe for three weeks, so didn't have a chance to look at them. They are now packed, ready to take to the cottage on Friday. They'll be the first books I read when I get settled, and I'm looking forward to trying some things!

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I finally got these books unpacked. The first thing that will be made, is a blueberry and white chocolate mousse, from The Instant cook. My son is in charge of this one. :biggrin:

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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  • 5 months later...

Is rocket the same thing as argula? From her books, Hay uses rocket as in ingredient many times but she'll have argula in parathensis next to that. I don't know if she's saying they're the same, or that argula is an acceptable subsitution.

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Is rocket the same thing as argula? From her books, Hay uses rocket as in ingredient many times but she'll have argula in parathensis next to that. I don't know if she's saying they're the same, or that argula is an acceptable subsitution.

Yep, its the same thing. In Australia and the UK, arugula is called rocket.

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