Sunday, 5 March 2017

Cookery Calendar Challenge: February

Back in 2014 I set myself a cookery book challenge to make at least one recipe from one of my cookery books each week for a year. There were highs and lows but overall it was a great year and really extended my repertoire. Since then though I've slipped back into my usual habits and end up making old favourites. I've had half-hearted attempts at resurrecting it and was considering having another go when I saw Gillian's post about the Cookery Calendar Challenge being organised by Penny. It seemed like perfect timing.

The idea is simple: the first week of every month, choose a cookery book from your shelf and, over the course of a month, make two recipes from it that you've never made before. Given that my own challenge involved a different book each week, this seemed very do-able. You can find out more on Penny's site, plus links to other bloggers taking part.

Here's my entry for February then. I decided to re-use the slips of paper from my old challenge to choose one at random and the first out of the hat was Delia Smith's How to Cook Book 3. Chickpea groaned loudly as Delia is definitely not one of her favourites. Even she had to agree though that we managed to find a couple of good recipes to try.

First up was Turkey Saltimbocca which is served in a Marsala sauce. I've made similar recipes before so knew this would be good. The only change I made was that I had to use dried sage rather than fresh as my local supermarket didn't have any. It didn't make any real difference and still gave a flavour hit as you ate.

The second recipe was Sea Bass with Puy Lentil Salsa. This was another really simple dish to make with just a bit of light chopping for the salsa. If you were feeling extra lazy, you could use ready-cooked lentils though I did cook them from scratch. We also enjoyed the sweet potato fries tossed in polenta which was a supermarket buy.

You can see what I made from Delia's book during my original challenge here.

And so to my pick for March.

Gino's Italian Escape was a Christmas present. I haven't made anything out of it yet so there should be plenty of choice.

If you want to see what the other participants have been making you can see the links on Penny's blog. More information about the Challenge can be seen here.

To end, a bonus image. There was a pandoro lurking in the cupboard so I made French toast with it for Valentine's. The slices made a lovely star shape, perfect for decorating with heart-shaped starberries :)

Hope you're enjoying a lovely weekend. It's absolutely chucking it down here so I'll be catching up with housework and crafting. x


  1. They both look delicious - I especially like the sound of that puy lentil salsa. I love puy lentils, I must buy some. I'm really glad Penny's challenge inspired you and I remember how much I enjoyed reading about your own cookery book challenge back in 2014. Looking forward to seeing what you eat for March! x

  2. That's a very good idea! We've got STACKS of recipe books and we should use them!!x

  3. They look lovely, should change myself to be more creative in the kitchen.
    Amanda x

  4. Thank you so much for joining me this month. Unlike your daughter, I am a big Delia fan! I have quite a few of her books, and use her Summer and Winter books regularly. Sounds like you chose two really tasty recipes which were quick to prepare (always a bonus in my opinion!). I look forward to see what you prepare next month! X

  5. The puy lentil salsa sounds a great idea, and I have polenta left over from my recipe for this month's challenge, adding it to sweet potato fries is a great idea, I'm always searching for a way to make them crispier and it has so far eluded me! x

  6. That is a great idea!! We have TONS of recipe books which we never use! I should join you in this!! Your puy lentil one sounds right up my street!

  7. Hello! Not been able to blog much this month so I am just now reading this post from you! That last photo, with the heart shaped strawberries in a star shape, so pretty! AND I must say, I know how the strawberries taste in England, so my mouth is watering!!