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Reading Lawson

I have a habit of buying cookbooks. Not the sort that have well-modelled pictures above straight-forward recipes but more like those with rambling stories, recipes and then well-modelled photos on glossy pages. Going through these books is like reading fairy tales. They always have a happy ending but kind of somehow leave you high and dry after that, unless of course, you decide to preheat that dormant oven and follow a recipe confidently. If it turns out well, it's good, otherwise you'd have the satisfaction of having tried it at the very least. Sometimes, these cookbooks even read like chick-lits. (My all-time favourite chick lit, although some may argue that it's just really a bloke-lit, is Date Expectations, written by a man, Paul Reizin.) By now I own quite a few of em, cookbooks, and I'm not ashamed to admit that it had initially kicked off with Nigella Lawson's How To Be A Domestic Goddess!

Mich and I used to look through this book (and other Lawson and non-Lawson books) and pretty much salivate over most of what we saw. After a while, she usually got inspired and baked. This was great for me because a batch of every recipe had always ended up at my place in a container after a baking session. Sometimes, I found a random Daisy-fur (Daisy is an adorable Golden Retriever who probably thinks of itself as the lady of the house) when I snapped a cookie into two but Mich had always insisted that they were organic and cooked, therefore it was O.K if I ate them.  Ahemmm. And I can't even unknowingly swallow my own hair. 

Nevertheless, the baked goods were always comforting especially during that time when I was dealing with Housemate From Hell (HFH). I tell ya, HFH was from the most notorious part of hell. I haven't seen that biatch in the city for some years now. Maybe she's planted herself somewhere in the middle-east, F*&@ing some oil tycoon for his bank account. Yes, I'm serious. No, I don't hate her anymore. Well, that's another story there.


Soon I too had started baking some of the nasty Lawson muffins and had even confidently agreed to bake for a charity sale that year. Settled on the amazing Snickers and Peanut-Butter Muffins. This thing is truly amazing even for someone who has peanut allergy like myself. I risk getting sick each time I have this simply because you have these half-melted Snickers bit and rich, crunchy peanuts in all its baked glory when you bite into a muffin. If you're baking like Nigella, generosity is key, never mind the recipe so much. So I baked a few batches for the sale with that attitude. Coming onto the third batch, Clumsy Baker had suddenly realised that she'd forgotten to add sugar into the last two! Freshly baked trays of it without sugar. Did I panic ? Initially, yes. But didn't bother much after tasting it because I'd been quite generous with the Snickers and peanut butter! 

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Comments

  1. Nigella is a serious talent, that's undeniable Jaya, here's hoping you can replicate her cooking as well, trying new recipes is always fun!

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    1. she makes food sound sexy, Matthew. i'm very clumsy in the kitchen...has always been, but i dont mind cooking as long as there are people to eat what i've cooked.
      :p

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  2. Yummy!! It's late night out here I sooo wanna hv Snickers like right now!! :D

    Actually I've turned into this new cooking show addict n find myself glued to Travel n Living's cookery n food shows of late n I'm seriously thinkin of startin to learn cookin n stuff :)

    Maybe I will soon...

    Yummy post Jaya.. real yummy :)

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    1. good luck, Raj ! you should...some find it very relaxing and it's an asset really. men in my family all cook.
      dont have snickers late at night!
      ")

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  3. Those muffins would be so sweet and probably give me diabetes! LOL

    I may have to read Date Expectations. I love chick-lit.

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    1. the ones without the sugar...i sold it to diabetic customers that day :)
      yeah. you have to read this one. it's funny and focused. i generally cant stand most chick lits.

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    2. @Sarcastically Bitter - Great blog name... now I may have to read your posts ;)

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  4. Your muffins sound delicious – too delicious – which is one of the reasons I’m not fond of baking…I tend to eat more than my share of the results. (Chef’s prerogative & failing…)

    I’ve probably given away more cookbooks than you own. ;)

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    1. they do, right. i dont have more than half of a muffin usually. the peanuts would probably kill me! hahaha.
      yes, you may have, Beth :)

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  5. my cousin collects cookbooks...but never cooks.
    Whenever she's asked about it she just says she likes the pictures...

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    1. i hardly ever do too :) it's nice to read and look at the pictures. i

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  6. Good luck with all the recipes, the kitchen and I don't mix well, plus picky eating tends to mess with that too..haha

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    1. picky eating ? you must be cooking a lot more if you are picky, no ?
      i'm mostly lazy :p

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    2. I understand Pat. I've got a great kitchen, but I don't really know how to use it. We're not the best of friends. Except for the fridge, of course. My fridge is so big, I had to demolish part of a wall to get it inside hahaha. I'm very picky, so I might have had a plan when I decided to move near at least five restaurants and, what, 10 take-out places. Hungry yet? :)

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  7. As much as I love to cook, and love poring over possible recipes to try (and to alter), I cannot get into baking. I have enjoyed a little bread-baking, because of kneading dough, but I just don't enjoy any other sort of baking. But I'd like to check out the Reizin book.

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    1. i started baking when i was 12. it's just something i did for fun but i as i got older, i much prefer just baking cakes. easier. cookies and muffins require longer hours.
      but yeah, some just prefer cooking, which is great.

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  8. You mean Nigella is famous in Malaysia? I am shocked and saddened that this frigid Englishwoman has usurped your native TV chefs. You do have native TV chefs, don't you?

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    1. why not, GB ? you say it like we still live on trees :)
      i wouldnt say that she is a craze here and in fact, i don't watch her shows. i mostly read her stuff.
      we have some great local chefs with huge following. food is good and big in this part of the world too.

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  9. the only books I read are cookbooks!

    hoping to have my own baking cookbook out soon...

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    1. welcome here, Laura!
      i might just buy it when it's out :)

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  10. I used to sit for hours looking through cookbooks..the recipes, the pictures...now I just go straight to the internet....kind of loses some of the romance....
    pretty wild you didn't need the sugar!! i try to alter many recipes....with mixed results..sometimes it tastes ok sometimes not!

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    1. yeah. i didnt need the sugar really :) its easier to go on the internet and i do that too, but i still like glossy cookbooks :)
      experiments are like that. i tried this prawn vindaloo recipe i found online a few months back...it was almost disastrous as i went Nigella with the apple cider vinegar! we learn.

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  11. Omg the cover to that book looks like heaven! :))
    And I like baking too. Usually, it's more appealing & even easier than cooking food. :\

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    1. welcome here!
      how can we not judge a book by its cover, right ??? i love the cover and the title :)
      i should start baking again :)

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  12. I've always been a huge fan of Nigella's Muffin's and I believe that her cooking's pretty good too! She is the queen of peanut smuggling by the way!! :)

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    1. it's hard not to like her muffins i would think :) but you know, too much of her muffins can make you fat or even lead to some pain in the arse !
      xxx

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  13. Good morning, Jaya J. Well, I have to be honest on this one: I can't cook. I'm a lousy, lazy non-cook. And the sad part is, there must be about 50 or so cook books in our house. When Angie was in India for a couple of weeks in January, all I ate was lettuce and bread or take away.... That doesn't mean I would say no to a few lessons from Ms Lawson. I mean, I'm a gentleman.... :D

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    1. anyone who says NO to a few lessons from Ms Lawson must be a dimwit, RC. i know you are not :) so that's great.
      lettuce and bread, really ? if you know how to turn on the stove, you could have made yourself some eggs, you know :p

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    2. Angie would have been proud of you. Is she also a vegetarian ? and eggs. what's the deal with eggs since you are a vegetarian ? i dont get it. some vegetarians eat them.

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    3. Well, Lucky Me is allergic to two things: two-faced people (whom we won't discuss today) and eggs. Yes, it's true. And I'm veggie not because of my animal-friendly convictions but because I don't like the taste of cooked, baked, roasted or raw animals. It's depressing. No discussions about those poor animals or why do you wear leather shoes.... I just don't like the taste. It must be a psychological thing. I'm the only one in my family, so go figure. Angie is the best cook I've ever met, so my inability to cook a proper meal is a bit disappointing, yeah, but I'm good at building closets and having dinner for two in restaurants, so I like to think I've permanently redeemed myself. What do you think?

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  14. Nigella certainly seems to be popular with middle aged men, judging by reviews i read of her show. That peanut cake looks nice, i wonder what a pea has a nut though?. Or does a nut have a p..no i wont go there. This is a vegetarian recipe after all.
    I have had a few housemates from Hell too, well i think even the devil would be afraid to collect them, that is how bad they are. I now have a landlord from hell, hell must be booked up these days, their doing early releases lol.

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    1. hehe. let's not go there ! i'm not feeling too intelligent for that kind of conversation right now.
      yeah. this woman was a total witch. i'm not being a moral police here but it's mostly got to do with the way she treated people around her and handled trust. i dont blame Mich for wanting to break her face.
      yeah. hell must be booked up these day!

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  15. I thought if you had a peanut allergy you couldn't have even a tiny bit? I once had to hand over a packet of nuts I was eating on a plane because there was a child aboard with an allergy. the cabin crew were worried minuscule fragments might get into the recycled air and affect the little boy.

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    1. mine is probably mild. i can eat about less than 10 peanuts maybe ? 4 or 5 nuts, thats it and i am still okay. anything more, i get sick and throw up or have slight swelling in the throat. i have to be careful but sometimes i just eat knowing what i'm getting myself into.

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  16. I used to have a girl crush on Nigella Lawson. She does everything so stylishly!

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    1. yeah me too :) i was just telling a friend the other day that i'd let her do me. hmm. he was really excited :p

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