Love cooking

Eating with your eyes. The prettiest – and most delicious – cookbooks of the season.

52 weeks of cake. Could you ask for anything more? The Plain Cake Appreciation Society is home baker and photographer Tilly Pamment’s invitation to pause throughout the year, bake something delicious, and reflect on all that’s good in your world. A world made so much better with a slice of Chamomile Tea Cake, a Very Good Lemon Cake, a Cardamom, Rose and Poppy Seed Cake. Besides each of the cakes – all uncomplicated and easy to make – being a slice of joy, this is surely the prettiest book we’ll see this year … scattered with glorious blooms along with the icing. Glorious! Murdoch Books, R610 from Exclusive Books

In The South African Vegan Cookbook 2, Leozette Roode pays homage to the food that makes her happy, with 80 plant-based recipes like Aubergine and red onion sosaties, Refried bean and Avo Mayo Nachos, Mushroom Wellington, Cheese and Corn Polenta Bread. There’s a Berry Chai Pudding that looks almost too good to eat, and a Mermaid Smoothie that’ll have the youngsters begging for more. Gorgeously tempting photos of flower-scattered dishes that shouldn’t be kept strictly for vegans. Human & Rousseau, R405 from Exclusive Books

It’s all in the preparation. And Vickie de Beer does it so well. Clever Cooking shares her survival strategy for cooking and eating nutritiously when you lead a busy lifestyle. From flavour bases to cook-in sauces, soups and broths to one-pan meals, it’s all about preparing ahead of time, allowing you to quickly whip up something delicious on busy nights. Besides tasty recipes, there are loads of tips for freezing and defrosting food, batch cooking, as well as a sample seven-day meal plan to show how you can combine advance prep with dishes made from scratch on the night. Penguin, R350 from Exclusive Books


The problem with Every. Night. Of. The. Week. Veg is that it takes so long to make dinner. Not because the recipes are long or complicated. They’re not. It’s just Lucy Tweed is just so entertaining you spend far too much time reading and laughing, instead of just getting on with it. That aside, it’s brilliant! With a zero-tolerance approach to bland, it’s all Snipped Noodles in Vodka Sauce, Pizza Rice, Stacked Eggplant Parm and a glorious Cuban Arancini. There are family dinners and pre dinner-party snacks – like the fabulous Toffee Cheese and Fancy Crack, and a chapter of sugar and spice and all things nice. Murdoch Books, R525 from Exclusive Books

This book, says cook, recipe developer and content creator Teresa Ulyate, is a reflection of her cooking and eating style – a happy combination of nostalgia-inspired dishes and achievable recipes. Cupcakes and Couscous is filled with healthy treats like this Berry Burst Bowl, comfort food like the Cheesy Fish Pie. Family dinners like this Parmesan Chicken Schnitzel with Smashed Potatoes. Weekend food for a crowd like the Gourmet Boerie Board. And sweet spoils like the show stopping six layered Celebration Cake. Human & Rousseau, R465 from Exclusive Books


Compiled by: KYM ARGO