Review Under the Love Umbrella – Davina Bell, Allison Colpoys

Under the Love Umbrella

Davina Bell

Illustrations by Allison Colpoys

ISBN: 9781925849837

RRP $17.99



Whatever you fear, come close my dear

You’re tucked in safe for always here

And I will never not be near

Because of our love umbrella


From this award-winning creative duo comes a stunning celebration of the joy and comfort that love can bring – wherever we roam in the big, wild world.


My View:

This book remains one of my all-time children’s books favourite reads. I love the bright colours and the heartfelt emotions captured on these pages. Now available as a board book, you and your pre-schooler can share many hours of reading this stunning book together. And it makes the perfect gift- for any occasion.  I love the sentiment in this so much I have the original hard back and this new board book edition on my shelves.



My Recommendations For Best Cook Books of 2017

My recommendations for cook books to have in your kitchen library provide useful, practical, achievable recipes that the home cook can easily manage . For example, over Christmas I was wanting to make some mini carrot cakes/muffins, who did I turn to? Julie Goodwin’s Essential Cookbook – it really does cover most things that the home cook might want to bake (this would make an excellent house warming gift or engagement gift).


Poh Ling Yeow’s Poh Bakes 100 Greats took me on a trip down memory lane (and introduced me to some new exciting recipes) ;  Bienenstich(Bee Sting Cake), Digestive Biscuits, Coconut Ice, Basic Nut Praline, Brioche Buns, Brownies, Nut Bars, Coffee Eclairs, Turkish Delight… recipes that will have you racing to the kitchen to bake.

Poh Bakes_CVR


Maggie’s Recipes for Life is a book that has recently been released and will garner a lot of attention. Co written with Professor Ralph Martins this book combines health science and nutrition with Maggie’s palate pleasing recipes. Watch out for this one and add to your shelf when you can.

Maggie's Recipe For Life

And lastly a book that helps you master the elements of cooking; Salt, Fat, Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat (the how to of cooking ingredients that will give you confidence to trust your instincts in the kitchen). This book is a must have.

Post Script: The Zen Kitchen; Easy Japanese Recipes For The Home Cook – Adam Liaw

Fresh ingredients, simple recipes, naturally healthy and delicious meals – beautifully photographed. Adam Liaw provides an interesting dialogue and explains some Japanese traditional food sayings as he walks you through the recipes.


Adam Liaw

The Zen Kitchen

Hachette Australia

ISBN: 9780733634314



The new cookbook from Adam Liaw, one of Australia’s favourite foodie celebrities and former winner of Masterchef. A cookbook of easy-to-prepare Japanese recipes and philosophies for the home kitchen to guide you and your family to healthier, more enjoyable meal times.


We love Japanese food. It’s fast, healthy, easy and delicious.


There’s a reason Japan has some of the longest-lived, healthiest and most food-loving people on the planet. The secret is simple preparation of good ingredients, which makes Japanese cuisine perfect for you to cook at home.


If you thought it was just sushi, think again. In THE ZEN KITCHEN, Adam Liaw guides you through his family favourites like Salt-grilled Salmon, Teriyaki Pork and Mushroom Rolls, Sukiyaki, Sashimi Salad, and Green Tea Roll Cake. These delicious dishes, and many more, will bring new favourites into your kitchen.


With Adam’s simple and accessible style and his belief that cooking is a celebration of food, philosophy and culture, THE ZEN KITCHEN is your practical guide to cooking tasty Japanese family food at home.



My View:

Fresh ingredients, simple recipes, naturally healthy and delicious meals – beautifully photographed. Adam Liaw provides an interesting dialogue and explains some Japanese traditional food sayings as he walks you through the recipes.


I loved this fresh and modern approach to Japanese cooking. “The Japanese approach to food is one we might all admire. Simultaneously respectful, appreciative, enthusiastic and practical, it’s an approach that has produced one of the world’s greatest cuisines and one that is simple to cook, healthy, delicious and hugely varied…. In Japan, food is something used to celebrate, educate. It’s more than just a part of Japanese culture, it is totally Japanese culture presented in its most tangible form.”(Introduction p.1 Adam Liaw)


Come on a journey, be guided by this talented chief, see innovative modern approaches to traditional Japanese cuisine and enjoy some easy to prepare meals.   Adam Liaw shares the five preparation methods of Japanese cooking, provides a basic kitchen equipment list, a list of basic Japanese ingredients including the six basics seasonings  (soy sauce, mirin, sake, sugar and rice vinegar) have these in your pantry and you almost have  a meal. And then Adam Liaw introduces us to:

Pickles stocks and seasonings

Japanese breakfasts

Rice and noodles

Soup and nabemono

Japanese salads



Mainly vegetables and

Semi Sweets.


This will be a useful addition to your kitchen library or make a great Christmas gift.