Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Random Recipes 1st Birthday Round Up

its my birthday and i'll cry if I want to...

...so before we start with the round-up I just wanted to chat with everyone about the recent recipe copyright debate that's been doing the rounds and how it impacts on what we all love doing and how it particularly impacts on this challenge which actively encourages you to use your cookbooks... I want to lay it on the line, here and now, that I personally and actively encourage all of you out there to use your wonderful cookbooks and write about how wonderful those cookbooks are... scream them to the stars... they are mostly written by lovely people who want you to be inspired by their work and share their work with others because, lets face it, without us... the fans... they would not sell their books...

...and it mostly seems to be the newest books that have the biggest issue as authors strike exclusivity deals with their publishers and can get into trouble if recipes from their newly published books are seen to be plastered all over the internet... although in this day and age Lord knows how anyone can expect anything different... they almost become victims of their own success...

...i'm not an expert and you shouldn't take this post as legal advice but as far as I can tell from the many things i've researched, there is no copyright on a list of ingredients it is only the method and the style that a recipe it is written in that can be seen as being attributed to the author and therefore be subject to copyright... you will not have anyone knocking at your door in the middle of the night to whisk you off to prison... you will not have your lovely blogs closed down... but ... and it is a big BUT... I am NOT talking about typing out a recipe verbatim and claiming it as your own... that is wrong and you will burn in your own personal hell for that...

... now we all have different styles of food blogging... some of us review...some of us bake... some of us do a little of everything... do NOT let anyone intimidate you into thinking that your way of blogging is wrong... what i'm saying is, is if you believe that you need to share someone else's recipe, particularly if it comes from a newly published book, be honest about where you got it from and do try, if you can, to get permission from the publishers to re-print it... encourage your readers to purchase the books themselves by including links to amazon or other on-line retailers... I, as well as many of you, have gone out and purchased books entirely because i've seen recipes printed on other peoples blogs...

... the whole point of my Random Recipes challenge is to get you to use those hundreds of books that you had the decency to purchase... and the very fabric of this challenge is compromised if you don't tell us what page and what book the recipe is taken from... yes, you can and should adapt the recipe to suit your needs but don't fear being proud of the fact that you are using a recipe from a book that has inspired you to cook... it is not illegal to cook from a cookbook, take photos of what you've cooked and then write about it... and again I re-itterate how important it is that you are not intimidated by anyone into not blogging... we all do an amazing job and love what we do... we have a wonderful community that runs in harmony with all of the food world... you are good people who love good food.

the above rant is without prejudice

...and I suppose that all that's left to say is thank you for celebrating Random Recipes first birthday with me... I really REALLY couldn't do this challenge without you good people!

... we're off to a cracking start with a Random Recipes Virgin, Denise from the delightful Magnolia Verandah with this rather wonderful looking Baked Ham and Cheese Bread Pudding take from Apples for Jam by Tessa Kinross

next up we have Michael from Me My Food and I, who was one of the original random recipes gang... he's made this stunner of an Eggplant Timbale taken from Giada's Kitchen: New Italian Favourites by Giada De Laurentis

and onto another RRO with Lucy The KitchenMaid and her random choice taken from The Silver Spoon is this very moreish looking Pollo Arosto... or 'Random Chook' as she choses to call it...

next is lovely Jo at the brilliant Comfort Bites who went back a year to her first RR book, Gary Rhodes' Great British Cassics and picked this rather marvellous Custard Tart

next we have poor Harriet from Food Love Food and an ice cream disaster with her chocolate ice cream taken from a little second hand book she found in an old shop in France... that'll teach her!

next is the brilliant Manu, from Cooking Manu another RR Original with this rather wonderful looking Carrot Cake... just look at that icing... please forgive me Manu!

next up is Janice from Farmersgirl Kitchen with a recipe that both proves she is not cheating and that this challenge can throw you a hysterical curve ball sometimes... particularly with these bacon and egg rolls from Seasonal Cooking by Clare Macdonald

next, please welcome a Random Recipes Virgin (RRV) its Vanessa from Cakes and Teacups with this rather wonderful looking Valentine Flourless Chocolate Cake taken from Sophie Dahl's Voluptuous Delights

and another RRV from Suzanne at This Upside Down Life with, what I consider to be the perfect bowl of heaven, a Chicken Noodle Soup with lemon taken Bills Sydney Food 

next up we have the insatiable Karen from Lavender and Lovage who, if she could keep her hands and filthy mind to her self for one moment, has created this lovely Creamy Cauliflower and Stilton Cheese Soup taken from some Waitrose recipe cards

next up we have another big welcome to RRV Sheelagh from An Irish Village Pantry with a rather wonderful Tomato and Chilli Jam Salsa taken from Darina Allen's Forgotten School of Cooking

here's an original Random Recipes hero Phil from As Strong As Soup with a bloody tasty looking Pork cooked with oranges and Lemons taken from the rather swish and wallet busting The Cuisine of Alain Senderens

now... let our hearts go out to Sam from Pistachio and Rose who's first cookbook last July was Nigella's Christmas!... I actually think she's lucked out this time with her recipe of Choc Chip Chilli but it must have been with a heavy heart that she returned to this books so soon after Christmas!

next up is Corina from Searching for Spice who has made these rather moreish Potato and Pea Samosas taken from the brilliant Indian Food made Easy by Anjum Anand

here's the lovely Susan from The Spice Garden another original RRer... with a new one for both me and her with this Peruvian Quinoa Stew taken from the excellent Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home

a double whammy next from Lou and Steve from Please Do Not Feed The Animals who have very sweetly taken a break from real life to take part in Random Recipes and this month they revisited their first books... for Steve it was this Paella taken from Moro by Sam and Sam Clark

and for Lou it was this Lemon Souffle with Almonds taken from I love to Cook by the Lady laird of Ballindalloch Castle

next is the very lucky Lyndsey from Vanilla Clouds and Lemon Drops who I say is lucky because if you ask me her bowl of Jambalaya is a bowl filled with heavenly wonder... she randomly selected it from Just One Pot by Lindsay Bareham

and here's Baking Addict from The more than occasional Baker with her wonderful Orange Poppy Seed Muffins... I adore poppy seeds and citrus together and these do look rather fabulous... she randomly selected them from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking

next up is the really lovely Jean from Baking In Franglais with these truly divine looking Orange Polenta Cookies taken from the rather 'Alice in Wonderland' inspired Eat Me cookbook

next is my favourite chocolate lady Choclette from Choc Log Blog and this bloody marvellous Pecan and Chocolate Streusel Cake taken from Divine by Linda Collister... don't you just want a slice...?  I want a slice... Choclette... NOW!!!

here's Debbie from Cooking up a Storm in a Teacup with a very classic Minestrone Soup randomly chosen from The St Michael Freezer Cooker Book... it may be a classic but its perfect for this time of year!

another Random Recipes stalwart here from Victoria over at 21st Century Urban Housewife who has given us a rather unusual Mr Pricklepin's Cream of Cottage Cheese Sandwiches taken from the delightful Peter Rabbit's Cookbook... of all the random choices...

next is the sublimely retrospective Kate from What Kate Baked with this very simple but award winning Madeira Cake taken from Nigella's How to be a Domestic Goddess...

now... will you LOOK at this cake... I don't think 'divine' even comes close... I actually want this now... NOW!!!... but I can't, it belongs to Miss Cake Baker from What I baked this Weekend who chose it from  Eat Drink Live by Fran Ward... lucky her!

next along to the party is Angela from Free Angela who has made these fun Jeff's Jiffy Cracker Jacks taken from Loaves and Fishes - A Love Your Neighbour Cookbook

and here's the most excellent Gary from Exploits of a Food Nut who randomly selected this Stir-Fried Butternut Squash from Gordon Ramsay's Great Escape, a nice vegetarian dish... served with a hunk of juicy steak... nice work!

next is Ruth from the rather marvellous Makey Cakey who celebrates with me in style... her first cookbook was actually the magazine clippings month so she delved into her clippings with gusto and came up with this stonker... Topinambours a la Barigoule... or Provincal Jeusalem Artichokes to you and me!

and next is the delightful Shu Han from Mummy I can Cook who also went to her box of clippings to make this rather divine Spicky Purple Sprouting Broccoli with Fried Red Lentils... I wish I lived closer!

next up I think we have a little bit of kismet with Nicola from 41 Feasts who have made what I probably consider as my ultimate food... Honey Baked Chicken Thighs... inspired by a clipping from the mysterious Andi... well done you!

and last but by absolutely no means least is the dear dear Brownieville Girl with these genius Christmas Pudding Muffins taken from Rachel Allens Bake... genius!

and that's all folks for the first year of this brilliant challenge... i'm glad you all loved it as much as me and i apologise to all of you for making you suffer!... next month's challenge will be announced soon and I have 2 books to give-away to celebrate going into my second year of Random Recipes!


  1. Dom, did you forget me ;-) ??
    Where is my recipe?

    Have a nice dat

  2. No problem!!!!
    You're faster than Superman...

  3. Well said in your introduction, Dom. We all needed to hear that and you put it so well. It's comforting for those of us who have been on the receiving end of the bogey man's nastiness and now wish to put it behind us and move on.

    This looks like a marvellous round-up and I'm really looking forward to delving in and baking may way through a whole lot of them. Thanks for organising another great Random Recipe Challenge.

  4. Well said, Dom!

    Just one addition, my understanding is that the method itself, as in the actual steps one takes to make the recipe, is also not copyrighted, but what is copyrighted is the author's own words/ phrasing in describing these.

    So, using the exact same method, and writing the exact same method, is not copyright, provided you write it in your own words. I do mean properly in your own words, rather than occasional changing of a word or two.

    I've been fortunate enough to be sent a lot of cookery books for review, by the publishers, and sometimes I've copied the method verbatim. I have also written a detailed review of the book, and included links for readers to buy it (and know that some have purchased through my referral link, and others have also bought but independently). I always send the links of the reviews to the publishers/ PRs afterwards and they've never once asked me not to include a recipe, and indeed continue to send me books. It seems it's more of an issue for some / one editor(s) than most.

    It is important to be aware of the issue, of course. I'm no keener to see anyone pass the fruits of my labour off as their own than anyone else.

    However, I agree wholeheartedly with your advice not to allow worries about the current debate to scare bloggers from blogging, or to make them feel like criminals.


  5. great round up Dom, happy birthday to Random Recipes, and I look forward to taking part in year 2! (though for the next two months, with all my books in a container ship, it may be more of a challenge than usual... I'll try my best!)

  6. Well said Dom, great advice, I think we are all a little more aware/savvy/clued-up now after last week's events and more. A lovely round up and Happy 1st Birthday. Your into's make me laugh and Michael's Timbale is staggering! I will join in next month...it will have only taken me a year! x

  7. What a fabulous round up, so many delicious recipes and talented cooks and bloggers.
    I really appreciate your introduction, I have bought so many new cookery books in the last year (I now have 250+ in the UK, and 60+ in France) through reading positive reviews and seeing recipes working on other blogs. Jude x

  8. A topical intro - hear hear.
    What a line up of recipes - how fabulous. Happy 1st Birthday.

  9. Thank you for the wonderful information and introducing me and the cake I had prepared. This is quite exciting for me! I'm now inspired to cook even more and blog more than ever! It's so wonderful to see all of these amazing dishes. I'm so delighted to be a part of this. Thanks again! : )

  10. Oh very well said Dom. You've put it most succinclty and with feeling and as you say I hope no-one has been put off and we can all just get on with blogging as usual.

    Brilliant write up with some stunning photos - really enjoyed reading it. Happy 1st birthday to my favourite challenge.

  11. This is a marvelous posting, Dom.

  12. I agree with you and Kavey, Dom. It is important to state your inspiration or source when tackling a recipe from a cookbook, but that being said, so many recipes are very much alike, technique is somewhat different and it all comes down to how the recipe is laid out in words. making the recipe your own through re-wording is the only way to cover your tail ...

    I suppose though, that if someone (editor or cookbook author) wants to make life miserable for bloggers or newspaper and magazine publishers they will try to copyright , "Crack an egg." Shame on them for cutting off an audience that might be their next group of supporters ...

  13. A great roundup Dom. Well done on your rant xx

  14. What a fantastic round up - that would have been one extra special Birthday Party if we had all been together!!

    Great intro/rant as well. It's too bad what's been going on recently - you would think in this day in ages with so many bloggers out there, all authors and publishers would be delighted to have people reviewing their books and sharing their insights! Oh well, I guess there's always one ; )

  15. Happy Birthday to the Random Recipes! Thank you for the perfect rant/intro. We need people like you to remind this community why we are here, fear left behind.

  16. I agree with your views. The important thing is to be honest. Don't pretend that someone else's idea is yours, and give credit where deserved. I think authors / editors ought to be flattered to see that people actually want to use and publicise their recipes!

  17. What a great round up - I did plan to take part, I even got as far as choosing the recipe, but I landed on Danish pastries which I just haven't had time for!

    I wholeheartedly agree with your introduction - I too have bought books on the basis of recipe write ups I've seen online, but things I've read recently have made me feel like the way I blog isn't 'the right way'... Thanks for speaking up!

  18. A great roundup Dom - I enjoyed reading down through all the recipe posts. As for copyright protected materials, there's not much more to be said than you've already said and I plan to tweet your post because it's well written and succinct - thanks for sharing =)

  19. Fabulous collection at Random Recipes.Thanks for introducing me to such great chefs and dishes!!

  20. Great post and round up Dom! I agree with you about all this copyright thing...
    Fantastic entries this month... I'm drooling at that custard tart (will be checking that out next). I look forward to the next challenge.

  21. Excellent post. I count on blogs to let me know which cookbooks are worth it and which are not; I am sure that we increase sales. I love how eclectic the selection is this time round. Happy birthday!

  22. wow a great review of recipe :x super love it :)
    happy birthday dear .

  23. Interesting post Dom. I'd been reading Lucy's post about the same thing over at the kitchenmaid blog. It seems that some cookery writers are much more sensitive about the issue than others...thanks for clarifying a bit.

    Great challenge again some lovely recipe. Thanks for hosting for another year. Happy Birthday...her's to another awesome year.

  24. I am going to keep my filthy hands to myself for just a minute to say to you BLOODY WELL DONE for your wise and honest intro' - you said it all, and in a manner in which anyone can see is honest and sensible.....GOOD for you Dom!
    Now back to the round up, JUST look at all of those GREAT recipes for your 1st Birthday! It's just an amazing list of food porn if you ask me!

  25. Too many honests there in that post, but you know what I mean darlink.....so well put!

  26. Fab collection again, Dom.

  27. I couldn't agree with you more Dom and thanks for putting the message out, power to the bloggers!

    Wow, what an amazing birthday party, imagine if we had all been there with all that food, wouldn't it have been wonderful?

  28. what a great great great roundup! I love the look of everything, am off to see them all (:

  29. Well said, Dom. And well done too to all the RR crew, us oldies and you newbies alike. Bloomin' good fun, playing with your recipe books, innit?

  30. wei! its jut like a roundtrip all around the world haha! so many amazing recipe ..! so good!
    exactly this is what ive looking for!

  31. So many delicious recipes Dom. I believe that even the top chefs got their inspiration for their recipes somewhere. I wonder at what point a recipe truly becomes your own. Personally I think that if we give clear credit where credit is due bloggers are actually increasing exposure to what might possibly be a otherwise unknown.

  32. Happy birthday to Random Recipes! Thanks for a great round up Dom, I'm completely blown away by the amazing recipes and writing and photos out there. Wow.

    As for the rest of it - I'm in complete agreement with you and pretty much anyone else, especially those of us who take the time to acknowledge the sources of recipes. But really, who invented the wheel? Who can decide if a recipe is completely original? I made something today for eg that was out of my head and using stuff up I already had, but I'm 100% sure that if I googled, there would already be a million versions of the same thing in existence.

    I'm also not very well disposed to the now-infamous managers of certain food writers who are trying to clamp down on whatever they think we're doing wrong, but are going about it in completely the wrong way. There is at least one food writer now who will never see any of my money, which is a shame as -up till now - I'd always liked his writing (Dan Lepard, I'm looking at you).

  33. I cant resist this. all of it is good
    awesome pips :)

  34. Hi Dom, a massive thank you for the copyright pep talk! I was feeling a bit hurt and miffed by being contacted by someone who works with a well know food writer about a recipe I posted a year ago. Despite the fact that I had devised the recipe some time ago without reference to theirs, I posted a link to their version, saying that I wish I had seen theirs first! I also linked to their own website and to their books on Amazon and to the publisher. There was an implication of plagiarism which really p*ssed me off! But I bit my tongue and ended up removing the recipe as I couldn't be bothered to argue. However, and here is the childish toy out of the pram moment which makes me feel better . . . I won't ever be referencing this person and their work again!

    1. Honey. Glad I could pep you up. I don't think there's a foodie left in blog land who hasn't been touched by the withered hand of this bitter old queen. Short and definitely not sweet!


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