Saturday, March 17, 2012

Book Review: Home Made Winter by Yvette van Boven

It is almost spring, but I was happy that it was finally my turn at the library to collect the book before it was spring. Next to vegetarian and vegan cookbooks I also love seasonal cookbooks and I was very curious about this book. However because it is not a vegetarian cookbook, I didn't want to buy it before I could try it.

Title: Home Made Winter
Author: Yvette van Boven
Subject: Winter cooking, home made cooking
Publisher: Fontaine uitgevers BV.
Release date: 2011
Length: 252 pages

Home made winter is a book full of comfort food and the follow up of Home Made. Home Made Winter is the first of a series. Home Made Summer will appear later to make it all complete. This book is inspired by Irish recipes, but also French ones. Yvette gives an easy recipes for dishes that people think are hard to make. It is full of recipes that will warm you up.

Personal opinion:
While this book isn't a vegetarian cookbook, it does have plenty of vegetarian recipes. Also I love the fact that the author states in the beginning of the book that she uses free range eggs and organic meat. This book is very nice to use in combination with my organic vegetable bag in the winter because it is full of seasonal recipes. Most are easy and original. I tried three recipes from the book so far and they all came out good to great. The book is styled in a creative way with lots of gorgeous pictures. However in this case it does make the book a bit less practical to use. The recipes are not in a set format. Some are handwritten, some are printed and others are written over the pictures. For me this makes a book harder to use. It also has recipes related to the Dutch holidays in winter. Unfortunately these aren't in the right order so, that makes it a bit illogical. A last note is that plenty of recipes require more expensive ingredients, so it is not a budget cookbook. I am not saying it is a bad book, because it isn't and it will be great for a lot of people. But it isn't a book that I would buy personally even though I do like it, it is not practical enough for me. I will however check out her other books, because the recipes are great.

Purchase links:
Challenges: Foodies Reading Challenge

As always a recipe, my favorite from the book. I was looking for a way to finish my green cabbage and this sounded like an interesting recipe, and I just love mashed sweet potatoes! Here is my adjusted recipe.

Sweet Potato and Green Cabbage Mashpot: (serves 4)
- 1/2 a green cabbage, in small shreds
- 1.5 kg sweet potatoes, peeled and in chunks from about the same size
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme
- 100 gr rich butter
- some milk
- salt and pepper

Cook the cabbage for about 15 minutes in some salted water. Cook the sweet potato in water in another pan until done. Drain both pans. Make a creamy mash from the sweet potatoes using a handheld mixer with the butter and some milk. Add the thyme and some salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the shreds of cabbage.

A note on the cabbage: it is always best to remove those thick outsides leaves of a green cabbage because they have a really chewy texture. Use the leaves that are more on the inside of the cabbage for this recipe. I always feed the outside leaves to our rabbits, they love it!

This post is part of Weekend Cooking. Please make sure you check out the other participants as well :)


  1. The recipe sounds yummy. But as cute as a cookbook is with hand lettering and so on, it can make the book difficult to read. And I don't like the idea there is no logical order to the recipes. On the other hand, sound like one I'd like to check out of the library.

  2. I love both sweet potatoes and cabbage, but never thought of combining them. I wouldn't purchase this either, as I am also a vegetarian, but I might like to read through it.

  3. This sounds good, it reminded me of Bubble and Squeek, which is nothing like it, except for the cabbage. But I love sweet potatoes best of all potatoes and also love cabbage, so this is a definite 'will try.'

  4. Sounds as if it has nice recipes, but I don't like cook books to be too fancy and less practical.

  5. That is a hard cover to read. The recipe sounds delicious!

  6. I think a cookbook should have an easy-to-read format.

  7. Not sure if the sweet potato and green cabbage mashpot would go over well here, but I do love the idea of seasonal cookbooks/eating.

  8. (I like your green bento.) The cookbook looks cool - LOVE the cover!

  9. I can't say I ever though of sweet potatoes and cabbage together, but I would give it a try.

  10. Doesn't sound like a book I'd add to my collection, but one I'd like to check out. Your mashpot looks so good, I'd never think to use cabbage and sweet potatoes!

  11. The number one thing that I am looking for in a cookbook is practicality so doesn't sound like one for me!

    I don't eat a lot of cabbage or sweet potato but that looks like real comfort-style food!

  12. I love seasonal cookbooks. I'd be interested in borrowing this one from the library if it came this way.

  13. Looks nice. Thanks for posting it.

  14. Has anyone tried to make the chocolate cupcake in a "mug". The recipe was in Redbook and it didn't work.