I can’t be alone in falling for the recipe book trap, surely? Lured by the promise of family meals that take a mere 15 minutes... but 50 minutes later, you find yourself sweating over a hot stove, a mound of dirty pans smirking at you on your kitchen top, hungry children clinging to your leg. It’s not a pretty sight.
I continue to be disappointed at my attempts to recreate the visual delights that I see in books and magazines, and yet I continue to pop them in my shopping basket at any given opportunity. Hope springs eternal!
But could Olive be the magazine to turn things around? The magazine to put an end to my run of dismal attempts?
When July’s edition dropped through my letterbox, two sublime-looking recipes immediately caught my eye: baked tortellini with spinach and chilli, and a sumptuous chocolate and peanut torte.
The baked tortellini with spinach and chilli fell under Olive’s ‘cook everyday’ section, meals that promise to be ‘fresh, imaginative midweek suppers including plenty of quick, healthy and great-value options’. Now, doesn’t that sound perfect for a busy family of four?
The recipe, classified as ‘easy’, promised the finished result in 40 minutes and the picture showed a perfectly baked pasta dish with mozzarella oozing over tomato-drenched tortellini. Yum!
And my efforts?
Well, it actually took a little bit less than the time specified and, more surprisingly, despite me not really thinking about the presentation of the dish, it turned out remarkably similar to the picture. And it tasted great too. Top marks for Olive!
Then I moved on to the chocolate and peanut tart. My. Oh. My. Again, the recipe was classified as ‘easy’, providing you with chocolaty delight in just one hour plus cooling time. It didn’t mention anything about sampling the chocolate as you go along... but I deemed it necessary for quality control.
I’ll be honest, while I do bake quite a lot, I was under no illusion that I could ever recreate something so lip-smackingly decadent. I mean, how amazing does is look in this picture?!
Take a look at this. And know that I had a two-year-old ‘helping’ me too.
Not too shabby, right?
I can’t believe how easy the recipe was to follow and how absolutely divine the chocolate tart tasted. Worth the price of the magazine alone.
So, Olive magazine, you are now my new cooking bible. I can’t wait for August’s edition!
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