Guest Review: Invisible Boys- Holden Shepperd

Invisible Boys

Holden Sheppard

Fremantle Press

ISBN: 9781925815566

Rachel’s View:

A gritty, authentic and emotional story of three teenage boys grappling with their identities in a country town. With heart-wrenching honesty, a dash of humour and all-to-real descriptions of rural life that are both beautiful and devastating, Invisible Boys is the kind of book you can get lost in. Holden’s multi-award winning YA novel has been called a “once in a generation” debut, exploring the crushing feeling of being made to feel like an outsider in the place that should be your home. It’s raw, angst-ridden and at times will have you cringing at the situations the characters find themselves in, but ultimately the undeniably relatable sense of aching is tempered with hope. #invisibleboys

Guest Review: Stalking Claremont – Bret Christian

Stalking Claremont
Inside the Hunt for a Serial Killer  
Bret Christian
ABC Books
Harper Collins Publishers Australia

Rachel’s Review:

An incredibly gripping, insightful and compelling look behind the scenes of Australia’s longest-running homicide investigation.

I was absolutely hooked by this fascinating exploration of the horrific crimes and subsequent decades of investigations to catch the murderer that terrorised Claremont.

This meticulous probe into the high-stakes police work, bumbling mistakes, and relentless focus on innocent suspects was riveting. With broad strokes reporter Bret Christian paints a vivid picture of Claremont in the late 1990s, a world that in many ways feels so familiar and yet, in others, so far removed from my own experiences as a young woman in Perth just a decade later – testament to how much we were changed as a town when three women’s lives were cut short. Piecing together what we remember from the last 20 plus years of media coverage with all the things the public never knew, including how the case was eventually cracked, this is a considered, detailed and well-researched ode to three Perth women whose names will never be forgotten – Sarah Spiers, Jane Rimmer and Ciara Glennon.

Tempeh Red Curry : Doctor’s Kitchen 3-2-1 – Dr Rupy Aujla

Doctors Kitchen 3-2-1

Dr Rupy Aujla

Harper Collins Australia

ISBN: 9780008395414

RRP $34.99

Tempeh Red Curry

PREP 10 MINUTES/COOK 20 MINUTES

2 tbsp coconut oil

200g tempeh (or firm tofu), broken into 2cm pieces

160g red onion (about 1 medium), thinly sliced

1 tbsp red curry paste (or any curry paste)

50g piece of root ginger (about 5cm), grated

160g mangetout or sugar snap peas

160g asparagus spears, roughly chopped

2 tbsp peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)

400g tin coconut milk

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

TO SERVE

juice of 1 lime

20g fresh coriander, chopped

30g unsalted peanuts, chopped

1 Melt half the coconut oil in a large casserole dish over a medium heat, add the tempeh and fry for 3–4 minutes until browned all over.

2 Remove and set aside, then add the onions to the same dish with the rest of the oil and sauté for 3–4 minutes.

3 Add the curry paste and ginger and fry, stirring, for 2 minutes until coloured.

4 Add the mangetout, asparagus, peanut butter and coconut milk, season with salt and pepper and simmer for 7–8 minutes.

5 Return the cooked tempeh to the dish for the last 2 minutes of cooking.

6 Serve with the lime juice and garnish with the chopped coriander and peanuts.

Malaysian-style Kari – Doctor’s Kitchen 3-2-1 – Dr Rupy Aujla

Doctor’s Kitchen 3-2-1

Dr Rupy Aujla

Imprint: HarperCollins

ISBN: 9780008395414

RRP: $34.99

“There is one lentil dish I find myself craving more than any other, and it’s this one. The umami blend of soy and fish sauces ripples through the sharp ginger and aromatics of cinnamon and star anise. This is a pleasure to cook and addictive to eat.”

Malaysian-style Kari

PREP 10 MINUTES/COOK 45–50 MINUTES

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp brown mustard seeds

1 cinnamon stick

1 star anise

120g shallots (about 2), finely chopped

8–10 curry leaves (optional)

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

25g piece of root ginger (about 3cm), grated

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp fish sauce

160g aubergine (about 1 large), cut into 1.5cm chunks

200g ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped

200g dried split yellow lentils, rinsed

400ml boiling water

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

10g fresh coriander leaves, to serve

1 Melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the mustard seeds, cinnamon, star anise, shallots, curry leaves (if using), garlic and ginger and stir for 2–3 minutes until the oil and spices are fragrant.

2 Add the turmeric, soy sauce, fish sauce, aubergine and tomatoes, season and cook for a further 5 minutes before adding the lentils and stirring for another minute.

3 Add the boiling water and simmer for 35–40 minutes until the lentils are soft. Remove from the heat and either stick-blend or mash the mixture with a potato masher to create a lovely, thick dhal.

4 Serve the dhal scattered with the coriander leaves.

Cook’s tips You can use cooked lentils from a tin – reduce the amount of boiling water by two-thirds and the cooking time (once the lentils are added to the aubergine, etc.) to 10 minutes.

Tempeh is a fermented soybean product packed with protein, dietary fibre and vitamins. It originates from Indonesia and has a dense and chewy texture, as opposed to tofu’s silky, smooth texture. I know tempeh isn’t everyone’s favourite ingredient but trust me, it’s because you haven’t experienced it at its best. The flavours in this dish are phenomenal and the texture of tempeh suits this method of cooking.

Chicken Gumbo: Doctor’s Kitchen 3-2-1 – Dr Rupy Aujla

Doctors Kitchen – 3-2-1

3 fruit and veg, 2 servings, 1 pan

Dr Rupy Aujla

Thorsons

Harper Collins Australia

ISBN: 9780008395414

RRP $34.99

Description:

In his new book, bestselling author and medical doctor Dr Rupy Aujla introduces his simple 3-2-1 formula, making it possible to easily cook healthy meals every day. Following on from his two best selling cook books, he builds on his message that the most important health intervention anyone can make is what you put on your plate.

Containing over 100 recipes that offer a streamlined cooking process whilst ensuring health benefits to optimise wellbeing, 3-2-1 is an easy-to-follow health prescription. This daily dose of fresh ingredients, quality fats, whole grains and plenty of fibre lowers the risk of disease. Guided by scientific evidence, Dr Rupy’s core principles of healthy eating remain the same – keep plant focused, eat lots of fibre, plenty of colourful vegetables and whole foods.

As a busy doctor, Dr Rupy knows that one of the main reasons people choose not to cook at home is lack of time as well as the effort to cook it. Each recipe is cleverly formulated to require only one pan, minimising the cooking process and using as little equipment as possible – the majority only require a knife, chopping board and a cooking dish.

Dr Rupy’s practical and easy-to-use book promises delicious, flavourful dishes that consistently look after our bodies, helping to beat illness by optimising our food choices. This is a prescription to fill yourself, one plate at a time.

The holy trinity of celery, pepper and onion is the hallmark of Southern American cooking and this blend of vegetables with oregano and paprika is the epitome of comfort food. I adore this dish, with its hit of spice and indulgent chicken flavour.” p 202

Chicken Gumbo

PREP 15–20 MINUTES/COOK 25 MINUTES

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

300–350g boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 4), diced into 3cm chunks

160g celery (3–4 stalks), finely diced (reserve the leaves to garnish)

160g deseeded green pepper (about 1 large), finely diced

160g onion (about 1 medium), finely diced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

½ tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp dried oregano

generous pinch of cayenne pepper

1 tbsp tomato purée

1½ tbsp corn flour

1 vegetable stock cube

450ml boiling water

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

15g fresh dill, chopped, to serve

1. Heat half the oil in a casserole dish over a high heat, add the chicken and cook for 4–5 minutes until brown all over. Remove and set aside on a plate.

2. Reduce to a medium heat and add the rest of the oil to the same casserole dish along with the celery, pepper, onions and garlic and fry for 5 minutes.

3. Add the paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper and tomato purée and season. Cook for 1 minute, then return the chicken to the dish.

4. Stir in the corn flour, crumble in the stock cube and add the water to the dish. Cover and simmer for 10–15 minutes until thickened.

5. Remove from the heat and serve the gumbo scattered with the dill.

***Variation If you want to make this veggie, swap the chicken for a tin of kidney beans and some chopped okra.

Roast Nut and Goji Berry Chocolate Bark -The 16:8 Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle Plan by Jamie Rose Chambers

Just in time for Easter is this fabulously easy chocolate recipe. Your welcome 🙂


The 16:8 Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle Plan by Jamie Rose Chambers,

Published by Macmillan Australia, RRP $34.99,

Photography by Rob Palmer

 

When you have visitors, this is a sweet treat that can be rustled together from pantry items. It takes
no time and can be setting in the fridge waiting to be devoured within a few minutes. I keep a big jar
of nuts and goji berries at home for snacks, so if I have chocolate on hand, it’s a super-quick
sweet solution.” p189

 

 

Makes 16 pieces

200 g good-quality dark chocolate (I like Lindt chocolate)

1½–2 cups roasted mixed nuts, coconut flakes and goji berries

1. Line a baking tray or chopping board with baking paper. Break the chocolate up into a microwave-safe
bowl and melt in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until completely melted.

2. Add the nuts, coconut flakes and goji berry mix to the melted chocolate ½ cup at a time and stir until the
mix is completely covered in chocolate. You can make it as chunky as you like. You can keep adding
the nut mix until it’s jam packed or you can keep it lighter – I make mine super chunky with nuts so I
keep adding them until there’s only just enough chocolate to cover everything before laying out to set.

3. Spoon the chocolate mixture onto the lined tray or board, then use the back of a knife, spoon or spatula
to spread it out in an even layer. At this point, I like to sprinkle a couple more handfuls of nut and berry mix
over the top of the chocolate bark for decoration.

4. Place in the fridge for at least an hour to set, then break or cut into pieces and dive in! If there is any
left over, keep it in an airtight container in the fridge

 

Review- What Do You Call Your Grandma? Ashleigh Barton & Martina Heiduczek

What Do You Call Your Grandma?

Ashleigh Barton

Illustrated by Martina Heiduczek

ABC Books

Harper Collins Publishers Australia

ISBN: 9780733340840

RRP $19.99

 

Description:

An inclusive picture book for grandparents everywhere.

 

In every country around the world are grandmas short and tall.

 

Though they go by different names, we love them one and all.

 

From talented duo Ashleigh Barton and Martina Heiduczek, comes a charming and heart-warming book that celebrates the many different ways we say grandma.

 

What Do You Call Your Grandma? is a love letter to grandmothers and families from every corner of the globe.

 

 

My View:

Another great read to share with your pre-schooler. A great follow up to What Do You Call Your Grandpa. A book that fosters inclusivity, language development and cultural understanding. A great addition to any preschool’s library.

 

 

 

 

#MeatFreeMonday : Healthier Cauliflower Cheese – The 16:8 Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle Plan – Jamie Rose Chambers

 

The 16:8 Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle Plan by Jamie Rose Chambers, Published by Macmillan Australia, RRP $34.99, Photography by Rob Palmer

 

 

“Who doesn’t love caulifower cheese? It’s usually put in the ‘sometimes food’/‘special treat’ category because it’s notorious for being rich and high in calories. My cauli cheese with a healthier twist uses a few easy ingredient swaps to make a delicious alternative, but is still the perfect comforting dinner for when you want something warm and cheesy to snuggle up with.” p 165

 

Serves 4 as a side dish, 2 as a main
1 head of cauliflower
3 eggs
½ cup (130 g) plain Greek-style yoghurt
1 heaped teaspoon dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup (50 g) coarsely grated tasty cheddar


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Remove the core of the cauliflower but be careful not to cut too deeply – you
want the head to stay together.

2. Place a steamer tray on top of a large saucepan filled with water and bring to the boil over high heat. Once
boiling, place the cauliflower, stalk side down, in the steamer, and cover with a lid. Allow to steam for
about 5 minutes or until it begins to soften. Turn off the heat, remove the lid to release the steam and
leave the cauliflower to dry off for a few minutes.


3. Place the cauliflower in a small baking dish so it sits quite snugly. In a large bowl or jug, whisk together
the eggs, yoghurt, mustard and nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Stir through the grated cheese,
then pour this mixture all over the cauliflower and bake for 20–25 minutes, or until golden.


4. This can be enjoyed as a light vegetarian meal but we love having it at home as a side dish with some fish
or a schnitzel (see page 166)

 

 

Review: The Shadow Man – Helen Sarah Fields

The Shadow Man

Helen Sarah Fields

Avon

Harper Collins Aust

ISBN: 9780008394073

Description:

The brand new crime thriller from the bestselling author of the Perfect series – Helen Fields is back with her first stand-alone novel!

 

He collects his victims. But he doesn’t keep them safe.

 

Elspeth, Meggy and Xavier are locked in a flat. They don’t know where they are, and they don’t know why they’re there. They only know that the shadow man has taken them, and he won’t let them go.

 

Desperate to escape, the three of them must find a way out of their living hell, even if it means uncovering a very dark truth.

 

Because the shadow man isn’t a nightmare. He’s all too real.

 

And he’s watching.

 

Helen Fields is back with a heart-pounding new book, perfect for fans of Cara Hunter and Stuart MacBride.

 

 

My View:

 

Without a doubt one of the scariest, creepiest books I have read. Fabulous!!!

 

Enough said- if you crime fiction is your thing – READ THIS.

Review: Tipping – Anna George

Tipping

Anna George

Viking

Penguin Books

ISBN: 9781760897789

Description:

An Instagram scandal at a grammar school sparks outrage in an exclusive bayside suburb and upends the lives of the families involved. However, it might also prove to be the tipping point required to change the school, and the wider community, for the better.

 

Liv Winsome, working mother of three sons, wife to decent if distracted Duncan, is overwhelmed. And losing her hair. Her doctor has told her she needs to slow down, do less. Focus on what’s important.

 

After Jai, one of her fourteen-year-old twins, is involved in a sexting scandal, Liv realises things need to change, and fast. Inspired by the pop-psychology books she devours, she writes a nine-page list of everything she does to keep the family afloat, and she delegates. She lets her boys’ conservative school know it has some work to do, too – partly, Liv suspects, because its leadership has a ‘woman problem’ (or, rather, a too-many-men problem).

 

Jai’s girlfriend, Grace, is at the heart of the sexting scandal and her mum, Jess Charters, up in arms as well, goes to the media. The women’s combined focus forces Carmichael Grammar to take action. To everyone’s surprise, and Liv’s delight, things actually start to improve.

 

Inspired by his wife’s efforts, Duncan rethinks the way he lives and works, too, despite the workaholic culture of his law firm and its scary managing partner, who’s also Duncan’s older brother. In unexpected ways, Liv and Duncan’s marriage and family life undergo their own transformations. Some new developments, though, aren’t entirely welcome.

 

Light-hearted and optimistic, Tipping is a novel for our times. It’s a story of domestic activism. Mum and dad activism. Because real change is possible. Sometimes all it takes is a tweak. And the will. And a bit of fun.

 

My View:

I did so want to love this. I have mixed feelings about this read. The premise is interesting but…I did not connect with any of the characters, I actually didn’t like most of them. I liked the ideas on how to make academic learning inclusive, on how to remove gender bias, on how to “fix” the broken school but it all seemed a little too simple to me, a little unrealistic in its execution. I did get some great ideas here that made me wonder if our local schools use any of these techniques?

 

However the read felt a little like a parable…a lesson being given wrapped up in contemporary narrative.

 

I think you will find this a great read for the train or the beach.