Tuesday, 21 April 2015

"Seven Spoons" by Tara O'Brady | Book Review

Seven Spoons by Tara O'Brady
When I heard this book was coming out, I was excited. Really excited. To me, it's so cool to know that a fellow blogger is having a book published!

Tara O'Brady has been blogging over at sevenspoons.net for years now, providing us with delicious recipes to try, and gorgeous photography to ogle.

In Seven Spoons: My Favorite Recipes for Any and Every Day, Tara describes the culinary diversity she grew up with, and how that still expanded when she started to make a life of her own.

This book is a collection of her favourite recipes, ones that have become staples with her family and friends. There are simple recipes and more complicated ones, recipes with a handful of ingredients and ones with a long list, recipes for everyday food and ones for special occasions. Tara's aforementioned culinary diversity is very present in Seven Spoons - from Pakora (Indian Vegetable Fritters; p.131) to Vietnamese-Inspired Sausage Rolls (p.135) to Dog in a Bog (a twist on the classic British Toad in the Hole; p.157). There's something here for everyone to try!

Tara writes at the beginning of each recipe, telling stories of how each came to be and imparting cooking knowledge. The layout of the book makes it easy to plan your day's meals, as it is divided into sections: Breads & Breakfasts; Lunches; Soups, Starters & Snacks; Suppers; Vegetables & Sides; Sweets, Treats & Sips; Staples.

Chocolate Olive Oil Zucchini Muffins, pp.57-58
I've said it once and I'll say it again: the photography is absolutely beautiful. The colours, patterns, arrangements, lighting - they're all a pleasure to look at. You need only look at the front cover to know the quality of photography within!

Now - on to the recipes I tried!

The first recipe I made out of Seven Spoons was the Chocolate Olive Oil Zucchini Bread. The recipe gives the option of making muffins, so I elected to make them that way.

It started off with my mom wanting to make zucchini bread. Hoping to sway the recipe in my taste buds' favour, I said, "There's a chocolate version in Seven Spoons." I needed say no more, that was that! Chocolate always wins.

They were delicious. Fun fact: zucchini pretty much takes on the flavour of whatever you put it with, so this was like having a chocolate muffin that's good for you. My sister hates zucchini and she didn't know there was any in these until I told her - after she'd had several.

I also did a cooking day with Christine and Michelle, where we each chose a recipe we wanted to try, and then we made them together! Two out of the three recipes were pretty simple; I, as usual, managed to pick a more complicated recipe.

I've always loved the aesthetics of Salad Rolls, and so I've wanted to make them for a long time - and when I saw the recipe in Seven Spoons, I figured it was my perfect opportunity! Let's just say, I'm glad Christine was there to do the rolling, because rice paper is difficult to work with if you don't know what you're doing.

The rolls themselves were yummy - the sauces are what really make it. You have an option of two different sauces, and though they were both great, I prefer the milder sesame dressing. And you can adapt the salad rolls and put whatever you want in them, it's really a matter of what you like.

Next up: Mushrooms and Greens with Toast. So good!! Of the three things we made that day, this was definitely my favourite. You get lots of nutrients from the mushrooms and spinach, with all the comfort of that melted cheese. And it was so easy!

Last but not least, the Roasted Red Pepper, Almond, and Feta Salad. I loved this recipe too! I love the taste of roasted red peppers straight out of the oily jar, and to add feta cheese (mmm...) and almonds to that is genius to me.

I know I was in the minority that day in terms of liking the amount of lemon juice in the salad, but part of the beauty of this book is that with a lot of the recipes, you can adapt the ingredients according to your palette preferences or even just what you have on hand!

Tara's passion for food shines through in her debut cookbook, and her photography and words will make you feel that passion too. Whether you're a beginner or a pro in the kitchen, there are many delicious recipes in Seven Spoons for you to try!

To see my recap of last night's book launch, click here!

Seven Spoons is now available in hardcover (see Chapters/Indigo and Amazon) and as an eBook (see Amazon Kindle and Kobo).

*This book was sent to me by Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review.


  1. So glad we got to make some recipes together! :D What an awesome cookbook!

    1. Same and I agree, love this cookbook!