Monday, 30 July 2012

random recipes round-up #18

... I think the word you're looking for is voyeurism... so many stories... so much to say... and everyone put quite a few photo's up in their posts, so I implore you to go visit each and every one of these entries and have a  good nosey around... oh and one thing I think we can be sure of is that Nigel, Nigella and Jamie MUST be billionaires...

... I must also apologise now because im sure i've missed a couple of people off here... I think it was going away halfway through the month... i'm sure I had a few emails that got lost somewhere... so if you're missing I am SO sorry and just nudge me an email or a comment and I will rectify immediately...

...and here's my collection to kick us off...

... read the other 62 entries after the jump!

... first off the mark this month was 'long time listener first time caller' or random recipes virgin as we like to call them... Annie from Annies Supperclub... who, some may say, chose a 'safe' month to take part... although others may interject that opening your home to the world wide web may also be quite brave... however, Annie keeps her cookbooks in a cupboard... what do we make of this folks?

Victoria from 21st Century Urban Housewife laments the fact that her vast kitchen has no shelving for books so makes do with a trolley and much-needed work surface... she shows us both and also the fabulous list of coveted cookbooks she desires...

the Veg Box Boy had me rolling around with laughter with this 'guide' to his, quite frankly, shocking display of cookbooks... but as an rrv I really shouldn't be too mean...

Nora does have a blog but so keen she was to take part she sent me some pics and a little info about her kitchen... which is gorgeous isn't it...?

Here’s my kitchen. It looks deceptively big in the photos. I keep my books in what was once the only larder in our converted cottage in Wicklow. The brown book to the left of the Nigel Slater one is an Irish Home Economics Bible of yesteryear. It taught young ladies of the 1980s how to make Queen Cakes and Eve’s Pudding. You will see that Jamie features heavily. The Naked Chef taught me how to cook. The purple folder at the top (full of magazine recipe cut-outs is my real inspiration now.) 

Ruth from Makey-Cakey gets a bit snap-happy on us with a tour of most of her home, let alone the billions of books on any surface available... but I think this bookshelf is the best...

next is Jen from Blue Kitchen Bakes who has a very tidy little bookshelf that sits in her kitchen... the blog post is brilliant and well worth a read as it tells the story of how her mum encouraged her with cookbooks from an early age... clearly paid off!... plus I love the carboard folders for magazines... all very organised!...  and is anyone else seeing a trend here...?  That Nigella Lawson's KITCHEN book really stands out doesn't it...?

love Kate from What Kate Baked is back to random recipes with a lovely set of photo's of her books which are organised, it seems into sweet and savoury (the savoury with a layer of dust...) and a fabulous cookbook of her very own made by her sister with all her favourite recipes.... genius!

Janice from Farmersgirl Kitchen has it wrapped up when she says this months random recipes is like us all going on a mini-break tour of peoples homes... I see it more like a magical mystery tour!... Janice seems to have books everywhere... some fabulously neat and others strewn with wild abandon!

next is Michael from Me, My Food and I who really has been on a trip half way across the world and I am honoured that he's taking part in this challenge when he should be catching up with old friends... he keeps his books on the window ledge in his bedroom... it's a very very long window ledge!

i think I have quite a bit of 'shelving-unit envy' over Denise from Magnolia Verandah's incredible neat and tidy collection... even the magazines have a nice tidy alcove... oh to be grown up!

next we have the very busy Laura from How to Cook Good Food who has a few shelves dotted all over her home and is a self-confessed retro cookbook purchaser... 

Natalie the Hungry Hinny manages to squeeze quite a few choice cookbooks into her teeny studio apartment... and a clever use of the old chocolate container as cake box... nice work Natalie 

we're all convinced Gary from Exploits of a Food Nut had a proper tidy of his kitchen when he took on this challenge.. well, he includes the picture of his 'engine room' twice, so he must be proud... the books have 3 homes but i'm loving the 'for cooking only' whisky cabinet the most...

whilst Jenny from Jennifer's Journal actually admits this months challenge gave her an excuse for a good tidy up... so this is tidy Jennifer... ;0)

tucked here and there, all over the kitchen - it seems that Debby from Cooking Up A Storm in a Teacup has a multitude of hiding places for her books... she counted 35, nearly all gifts, lucky thing!

please welcome Sue from My Recipe Book Blog not only a RRV but a new blogger too... and the USP of her blog is to cook her way through her cookbooks... it may take a year or two... just check out the blog!

another RRV with Cat from Crunchy & Snickety... who doesn't have many books at all (right Cat...?) let's just hope her hubby doesn't read this!

Caroline from Caroline Makes thinks she has a lot of cook books and on a normal day with 72 she wouldn't be wrong... but that's nothing compared to some of the collections here...

next is Sue from Onions and Paper... another RRV (they could start their own club this month couldn't they?) and a HECK of a lot of books... well she admits to have started her collection in the 1970's and only ever given away a few over her lifetime!

next is Susie from Fold in the Flour... who admits to an addiction... and all I can say is... Jesus H Crikey Susie!

and another RRV for the slaughter... (what they don't realise folks is just how hard Random Recipes really is when we play it properly) is lovely Graeme from A Scots Larder with some lovely stories about his growing collection

next is an RR Original with Phil from As Strong As Soup and his beautiful, very grown up and very elegant hand-made cabinet... I am jealous...

next is Lucy The KitchenMaid who is not too happy about the amount of us who keeps our cookbooks in the loo... I don't get it...what's the issue?... I do love Lucy's home though...

lovely lovely Susan from The Spice Garden and her incredible kitchen... how homely and beautifully comfy... I just want to turn up and sink into an armchair and wait for cookies... or pie... or, well anything really... you have to check out the pictures...

and next, the beautifully quintigenarian Choclette from Chocolate Log Blog and her collection, again spread across the house and even has a purpose built bookshelf... lucky minx...

another RRV victim with Kat from Life of a Cupcake Baker and her collection of cookbook favourites that have pride of place directly at the source of her mastery... genius if you ask me!

next is the very dear Javelin Warrior from Cookin w/ Luv and his wonderful apartment all the way from Virginia Beach... he admits to a little dusting off and tidying up (didn't we all...) and also admits to much cookbook neglect... which is WHY random recipes is so good people!

next is the wonderful Jac from Tinned Tomatoes with her very tidy and very organised bookshelf... or is it a giant bookshelf towering over that village, where the villages pray to the god of the shelf... and is it just me or is that teddy a little scary, looking over it all with a keen eye!

next is yet another Random Recipe Victim Virgin with Stuart AKA Cakeboi and his collection of cookbooks squEEzed onto one shelf... so he can devote more space to his food magazine habit...

don't you just HATE this wonderful woman...? YES i'm talking about you Karen Burns Booth and your fabulous kitchen and your bloody marvellous Lavender and Lovage...!

Mr. B (who, you will find is the very creative partner of Gill from Tales of Pigling Bland) recently artistically re-arranged all the books in the apartment according to colour... which not only looks fabulous but also means books crop up where you least expect them!

next we have Corrie from CorrieCooks an RRV and her incredible library... it's a stunner isn't it... i'm thinking of booking a day trip to sit and read, anyone want to join me?

Lyndsey from Vanilla Clouds and Lemon Drops has converted the spare room into a library, she has so many books... if it were me i'd do away with the bed altogether and set up a desk for the library clerk!

Lou from Please Do Not Feed The Animals has set Snappy the Robot hard to work at collecting and sorting her cookbooks... he's not done a great job really but he knows how to make Nigella's Chocolate Fudge Brownies like a dream....

Ros, The More Than Occasional Baker, was worried about how untidy her shelves were but to be honest, they look pretty normal to me and compared to many they look positively regimented!... nice to see her Harry Potter collection in there too... I think there are many of our homes where these books sit, now sadly neglected, next to Delia and Nigella!

next is Jean from Baking in Franglais with her pretty cottage in France and her wonderful collection... I particularly like her 'cloakroom collection' but don't tell Lucy The KitchenMaid she wouldn't be impressed...

Fiona from TIFFIN is a RRV (welcome, welcome) and it's a lovely blog so do go visit... although I am suspicious over the ultra tidy cookbook shelves...

next is Jude from A Trifle Rushed and her fabulous double home double collection... I thought this challenge would make me happy but I am beginning to feel slightly sick with envy... not a good look on me... and WHAT a collection of books she has too... pah!

next is dear Susan from A Little Bit of Heaven on a Plate with her very chic and super-tidy collection of books... and even a book she's been published in... how fabulous is that?

next is Claire from Under the Blue Gum Tree and a very lovely collection of books... so lovely to see so many books that i've not heard of... makes me think evil thoughts about next months random recipes.... I love the way that she also uses Susie from Fold in the Flour as a stool pigeon when him indoors complains about having so many cook books... I like your style Claire!

what you get is what you see with Camilla from Little Macaroon... this shelf is her self-edited collection of 20 books... talk about streamlining your life... I am impressed.

next is Amanda from Dancing Veggies who also has a petite cook book collection to go with her petite 'two bum' kitchen... in fact the collection is not even in her kitchen it's so small...

Anne from Anne's Kitchen had a special clear up of all her bookshelf knick-knacks just so we could actually see the books she has on her shelves... thanks Anne!

Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe has a great collection, again, like most of us, littered throughout her beautiful home... if only Zinc the cat would let her at them once in a while she might take part in Random Recipes for real!

next is C from Cake, Crumbs and Cooking spent most of the month retrieving stray books from around the house and placing them back on the very full shelves where they belong... she should have a whistle for this...

Mel from Sharky Oven Gloves had the genius idea of laying over the facts and figures of her bookshelf onto the picture so we can clearly see her very tidy and compact cookbook collection...

next is yet another RRV and it's Mel from The Cook's Notebook who had a new book case built just for me... not really, it's new from a recent renovation... but it's already full!

Sue from Mainly Baking gives us a delightful cake and some lovely history about her years of cookbook collections... and it looks like a very eclectic mix of books too..

i'm very pleased to say that Fiona from London Unattached has entered this month, her blog is so stylish (as you can tell from this picture) and so cool from a London perspective... she also has a great story to tell about her University days...

next is Vanessa from Cakes and Teacups with, what I think is the smallest collection so far... not that there's any shame in that, it is perfectly formed with some of the best cook books out there, so who needs any more?

next is the Working London Mummy herself and her collection of books... like many of us she keeps many of them on a shelf but she also has a stack closer to hand in the kitchen... no doubt taking up much needed space...

Chris from Cooking Around the World falls into the 'books all over the home' category that many of us seem to be in, although his does seem to be a rather wonderful and eclectic collection, just not sure he'll ever find the 'time' to read them all (you see what i did there Chris?)

from Lapin d'Or and More with so many books scattered in so many disparate places I wouldn't even know where to start, you'll just have to go over there yourself... and see this bookshelf dedicated to baking and chocolate!

next up is the lovely Ren from Fabulicious Food with her very artistic shot of her cookooks and a brand-new bookshelf... and she got to meet Heston at the opening ceremony for the Olympic Games!

here's the adorable Sarah from Maison Cupcake with her fantastic collection of books... I am AMAZED she even managed to enter this month with her huge kitchen renovation but it seems as though she's keeping it neat and tidy elsewhere... plus, look at what else she has on her bookshelves!

next is Heidi from Kitchen Talk and her stack of signed cook books... I think i'm a little bit jealous of all the fabulous chef's she's met... check out the list on her blog... i'm also loving the styling in her home... it's just so Cool Britannia!

here's the Cake Fairy's Blog and her compact collection of 15 books... she lives with an English student who takes up all the shelf space with 'proper' books... I think she needs to teach him a lesson or two don't you think?

here is the beautiful home of Mary from Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes... she asks me to apologise as she's going through renovation work at the moment, although it is still the tidiest home we've seen, even with all the work she has to do... and a lovely collection of books to boot!

and finally we have Nicola from 41 Feasts... a random recipes regular with a lovely collection of cookbooks beautifully and very well organised on a set of shelves in the kitchen... the perfect home for them if you ask me...

DAMN!!!... I knew a few would slip through the net... here's the lovely Helene from I Cook With Butter and her glorious collection of books... she's an RRV and I forgot to include her and now I feel dreadful... everyone must go over and say hi to her lovely blog x

... I think I must be seeing bookshelves in-front of my eyes... I'm sure things are there when they're not... another missing one and another RRV (gawd, you're gonna think i'm useless) is the beautiful Kavey from Kavey Eats... she even had a de-clutter just for me!

... what can I say other than thank-you for taking part... and if you're an RRV don't think you can get away with an easy month without it being followed by something a little less different... watch out August... i'm coming for you...

... and before I go... to celebrate the fact that we all love our cookbooks so much, the lovely Jac from Tinned Tomatoes has very kindly secured us all FREE membership to Eat Your Books the brilliant on-line cook book library... if you use this code: BLOGCOMP06 when you log in you'll get 6 months free membership and if you place their widget on your blog they'll extend your membership to lifetime... check it out here... 


  1. Excellent round up Dom, it's interesting to see how many books we all have in common and identifying new ones to try out. As an RRV this month I'm intrigued to see what next month's challenge is.

  2. Dom, you did a good job with this round-up. It was lovely reading it (yes, I found the time to do it).
    I think it's 'time' to have a closer look. I'm off then ...

  3. Fantastic round-up !!
    I shall be popping into all the kitchens, living rooms and everywhere else that people store their books for a nosey......was I the only one to keep them in the downstairs loo....oops !!

  4. WOW! I have serious bookcase and book collection envy, I think I need to set aside a day and look through all the posts (and follow some wonderful new blogs) . A big Thank you to you for taking on the mammoth task of putting together 60 posts and to Jac, for organising the Eat Your Books membership, I'll be registering this evening.
    Have a great day, Jude x

  5. Amazing round up! It must have taken an age - hope your tired and bleeding fingers are getting a rest after all the typing ;o)
    Am bookmarking this page so that whenever Mr E points complains about my cookbook collection, I can use it as evidence to prove that I'm not alone!!!!

  6. WOW some serious bookshelf envy there. I am off to snoop some more... x

  7. Wow, fantastic set of entries!

    Can you add me in?

    Btw us RRVs DO realise just how hard Random Recipes really is when you play it properly, that's why we've been so lazy until now!!!

  8. What a great idea for random recipes this was! In fact it has inspired me to reorganise my kitchen to make more space for my cookery books so they look a bit tidier!

  9. Oh that has made me feel so much better! I am obviously not as addicted as some and so feel vindicated to keep buying :D Fab round up and a really brilliant idea. Let's go and look in people's wardrobes next...I know it has nothing to do with cooking but wouldn't it be fun?

  10. Since I moved I would have to say that most of my cookbooks remain in boxes, but my favourites are available to me at a moments notice. It was fun to peak into peoples collections.

  11. O_M_G! WOW! Bloody Norah! WHAT a FAB round up and it is now apparent that I am NOT the only cookbok addict, I think that medal goes out to Susie from Fold in the Flour! LOL! GREAT challenge Dom and you don't really hate me do you Dom.....aww.....:-) Karen

  12. Such a great round up. So many entries - Amazing! some of the collections are huge. I dream of having a library room one day!

  13. Wow!!! Such a great challenge roundup Dom! I can't wait to visit all these blogs! And I plan on visiting each of them! Thank you for pulling this all together, I can't imagine how long it took! xo

  14. Wow that's a round up Dom! And thank you everybody who has so many more books than me - you are all bookmarked for the next 'discussion' with my husband...
    Thank you too Jac for the membership to Eat Your Books - I signed up a few months ago and it has already proved itself to be very useful - like a mini random recipes anytime you want!

  15. Dom you have worn me out with that round up. You did good! How great and how many books do we all have! Smashing is all I can say.

  16. Dang - I so meant to do this! Where has the month gone?

  17. I'm visiting from Ocean Breezes and boy do I feel better. I'm so relieved to know I'm not the only one addicted to cookbooks. Mine are spilling off of the bookcases in both houses and I can assure you more will join in as I never say no to a good new book.

    Thanks Don for letting us peek into other's bookcases.

  18. That is A LOT of cookbooks!! Dan Lepard seems to feature heavily in the collections or maybe the colours just stand out!! I meant to enter this month too but it seems time ran away with me...ah well there's always next month! :-)

  19. Phil, as strong as soup = WINNING! Love that cupboard so hard it hurts.
    And it seems like if there's one recommendation based purely on popularity, it's gotta be Dan Lepard that I make another couple of shelf inches for!
    Great round up Dom! Just tell me next month isn't snooping through that random kitchen drawer that everyone has full of old batteries, allen keys, indoor sparklers and dud torches...

  20. Great round up Dom! Thanks for sharing such a great idea to store our collection!

  21. WOW!! What an AMAZING collection everyone has! Such a fun round up. Years and years of collecting. Thanks for the kind words Dom as my collection is such a baby next to everyone else : )

  22. As a long time Blogger (I'm only a NEW foodie Blogger) I realise how long this must have taken you to do...WELL DONE.

    And what a brilliant selection of books we all have, I suddenly feel not quite as guilty for having so many. I AM still going to be ruthless though and complete my Challenge, they have to be good...very good... to keep their place on my shelves.

    I'm off to have a nosey at some of these wonderful Blogs now. I feel my Blog list is suddenly going to get a lot longer!!

    And many, many thanks to Jacqueline from Tinned Tomatoes for our free membership to Eat Your Books, something I definitely need for all the 'stayers'.

    Sue xx

  23. Oh my... what an amazing round-up! It's so lovely seeing everyone else's cookbooks collections. I am so envious to many of yous with the lovely cabinets/shelving units :) And Nigella is everywhere! Loving it.

  24. Wow! What an amazing round up! Was so much fun to peek into everyone's houses and look at their cookbook collections! I'm also delighted to have met a few fellow addicts....might need to start a support group ; )

    Looking forward to seeing what you have in store next month x

  25. I am in awe of this round-up. Seriously good, and I feel reassured that there are so many of us cookbook collectors out there.
    Thank you for hosting this totally original Random Recipe Challenge. You deserve an award. I have no idea how you manage your workload but always a pleasure to read :))x

  26. I'm taking that magnificent right back - that was a mean trick you played. Surely as a well brought up gentleman you should know never to give away a lady's age!

    And never mind Nigella. Nigel and Jamie the book I kept seeing was Dan's short & Sweet.

  27. Oh my I feel I no longer have a problem, my collection of around a 100 seems paltry compared to some others collections!!

    What can I say. wow. Jealousy. Green with envy!!

    Well done Dom on compiling it all!

  28. Somehow I thought that this would be a marathon round-up - you may have the gold medal for compiling it all. Personally, I'm feeling inadequate on the Nigel and Nigella front.

  29. Brilliant, just brilliant Dom! What a fabulous roundup and such a pleasure to read. Feeling warm all over :)

  30. An absolutely fabulous roundup - well done you. I now feel duty bound to buy some more books to catch up with some of those collections and also order some new bookshelves! Thank you Dom for providing me with the perfect excuse.

    Please be kind to us for next month's challenge.

  31. Wow what a great roundup! I'm glad I'm not the only book-aphile :-) I loved having a peek into other peoples lives/homes. I have a few more to look around yet but needed a cup of tea and a sit with a good book....cookbook that is! Looking forward to August RR challenge! Bring it on Dom!!!

  32. P.S. You are always welcome for a day trip. Come fly and visit!!!! Just bring a bottle of wine and an appetite and its a date! :-)

  33. Wow, so many blogs to visit. Great challenge, wish I had participated. I'm in love with the paint color you guys chose for your cupboards.

  34. I love this month's roundup, I think it's my favourite so far even though nothing was actually cooked! Perhaps because I'm nosy. Gutted that I didn't get to enter but I didn't get my (several hundred!) cookbooks unpacked in time after our move, and we are still living in a building site, but I'm going to photograph them all anyway when I get organised.

  35. Brilliant round up!! I need to set aside a few hours to visit everyone - I've way behind on my blog reading. Can't wait to see what you have in store for us in August - please be kind :)

  36. Absolutely fantastic round-up Dom, I've thoroughly enjoyed lusting over everyone's collections, thank you so much for a super challenge and putting together the round up!

  37. Wow, I think I'm quite exhausted after trawling through that lot and I haven't even had to program a blog post rounding them up!! Did you know what you were unleashing?!!

    My favourite things spotted were The Cat in the Hat on Choclette's shelf and Jacc's boy's enviable Happy Land collection!

    Thanks for hosting such a fun event!

  38. Hi Dom.,
    I've been an avid (though mostly silent) follower of your blog for a while now and love your random recipe challenges. I particularly loved last months challenge of posting photos of cookbood collections. I had a great time going through all the contributors' blogs (and finding some new blogs to follow too!).
    Anyway, I hope you don't mind that I mentioned it in my own blog with a link to Belleau Kitchen. If you mind, please drop me a line and I will remove the link.
    (p.s. I tried to email you but for some reason it just wouldn't go through)

  39. I think this has been my favourite RR so far (do I say that every month?) - but really, this is just so cool. And yes, I do want to move in with Karen BB. Can we stage a sit-in, do you think? x

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