The Incompetent Cook tackles tacos with Julie Goodwin

THE Masterchef, Julie Goodwin, has a new book out that the whole family will love. It’s called 20/20 Meals, short for $20 meals in less than 20 minutes. Sounds good already doesn’t it?

Julie dropped by Booktopia HQ to teach The Incompetent Chef a thing or two from her book, in particular the fancied Beef Tacos, all made from scratch in less than 20 minutes, and for considerably less than $20.

Grab your signed copy of Julie Goodwin’s 20/20 Meals here

Grab your signed copy of Julie Goodwin’s 20/20 Meals here

julie-goodwin-s-20-20-meals-signed-copies-Julie Goodwin’s 20/20 Meals

Order your signed copy today!

Julie Goodwin is more than just a TV cook – she’s an Aussie mum.

She knows what you need to feed your family without breaking the bank or spending hours slaving over a hot stove.

20/20 Meals is a revolution in home cooking – keeping your dinners simple, wallet-friendly and delicious at the same time. Alongside beautifully illustrated recipes you’ll find Julie’s tips to keep your kitchen organised for tasty and efficient family meals, leaving you with more money to spend on yourself and more time to relax!

Grab your signed copy of Julie Goodwin’s 20/20 Meals here

Have you won a Donna Hay Hamper worth over $140?

The_New_Easy_Comp_PromoBanner_Medium


Recently we some lucky foodies the chance to win 1 of 3 Donna Hay Hampers valued at nearly $150!

All you had to do to enter was buy Donna Hay’s new book, The New Easy.

(Pssst… If you missed out, don’t worry, we still have some limited edition signed copies available!)


The lucky winners are…

J.Johnston, Gladesville, NSW
C.Orchard, Hawthorn East, VIC
R.Cary, Malvern East, VIC


the-new-easyThe New Easy

by Donna Hay

For a limited time only, order The New Easy and you will receive a signed copy.

*Offer available while stocks last.

Quick and easy tricks, tips and recipes for super easy, super delicious meals. Donna Hay is all about making life easier.

With her new book, Donna is all about giving you simple, easy and no-fuss recipes, techniques, tips and tricks to make cooking meals super easy, super delicious and super quick.

The New Easy makes cooking fast, fun, easy and enjoyable, and is the perfect companion for every busy cook.

Grab a copy of Donna Hay’s The New Easy here


Deck the halls with books this Christmas, check out our massive Christmas Gift Guide, with something for everyone!

Christmas-Assets-Main-Campaign-2014-Rotating-Homepage-Banner-770x200-v2

Win dinner for two at Quay – Australia’s most awarded restaurant!

quay_1Thanks to the folks at Murdoch Books we’re giving away a dinner for two, with wines to match, at Quay, Australia’s most awarded restaurant.

Quay is one of just two Australian restaurants on the prestigious S. Pellegrino World’s Top 50 Restaurants List!

All you need to do to enter the draw is order a copy of Organum, the gorgeous new book from Quay’s Executive Chef Peter Gilmore.

Bon Appetit!

organum-order-now-for-your-chance-to-win-Organum

by Peter Gilmore

Order Organum by December 31st and go in the draw to win a dinner for two at Peter Gilmore’s award-winning restaurant Quay, at The Rocks in Sydney, valued at $520!

The dinner includes a 4 course menu with wines to match and is valid until the end of 2015. Please note: subject to reservation availability. Flights and accommodation are not included.

While there is a layered complexity to world-renowned chef Peter Gilmore’s ethereal – yet grounded – cuisine, his philosophy of cooking is relatively simple. Just four elements are required to create perfect unison in a dish: nature, texture, intensity and purity. In his new book, Peter invites the reader to share in his private obsession with nature – when not in the kitchen at Sydney’s Quay restaurant, he is working in his experimental garden where he grows a huge array of edible plant species.

Each component of a plant, from sweet, earthy roots to bitter fronds and fragrant blossoms, is potentially destined for inclusion in one of the 40 exquisite dishes featured here. Peter also introduces us to the many influences on his cooking, and to the people who grow, catch and source key ingredients. Images include intensely beautiful food and ingredient shots, as well as producers and produce photographed on location.

Grab a copy of Peter Gilmore’s Organum here

9781743360033-3 9781743360033-2

Adam Gilchrist plays Office Cricket at Booktopia HQ!

And who got him out? Watch the video and find out!

(PS: For a limited time, order your signed copy of Gilly’s illustrated memoir here)

adam-gilchrist-signed-copies-available-Adam Gilchrist

The Man, The Cricketer, The Legend

Going in first or seventh, wearing whites or colours, Adam Gilchrist was the most exhilarating cricketer of the modern age.

This is the most complete, intimate and fascinating illustrated autobiography of ‘Gilly’, one of the most loved sportsmen of his generation.

Featuring personal photographs, stories and precious keepsakes from Gilchrist’s private life and illustrious career, this book provides unprecedented access to Gilly, on and off the field. Peppered with anecdotes, reflections and jibes from friends, family and many of the biggest names in Australian and world cricket, this is the ultimate collection for sporting enthusiasts.

Grab a copy of Adam Gilchrist: The Man, The Cricketer, The Legend here

9781922213310-4 9781922213310-3

Grab a copy of Adam Gilchrist: The Man, The Cricketer, The Legend here

40 Years On: Prince Charles roasts Molly Meldrum

The Never, Um, Ever Ending Story:
Life, Countdown and Everything in Between

By: Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum

the-never-um-ever-ending-storyMolly Meldrum’s warm, vivid, often hilarious and always compelling account of life in and out of Countdown.

More than thirty-five years in the making, this is the story of Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum and the television show that stopped the nation.

In 1974 Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum was working as a record producer and music journalist when he was offered the chance to host a new music show called Countdown. It was a show that would run for the next thirteen years and become one of the most-loved and most-watched programs on Australian television. It also turned Molly into a national institution (or ‘mental institution’ as one of his friends put it).

During that period he not only became the most influential voice in Australian music, he endeared himself to millions of viewers with a uniquely unpolished interviewing style and a tangible on-screen passion. For better or worse, whether interviewing Prince Charles or Sid Vicious, Molly was always Molly.

Along the way he talked, partied, argued, exchanged blows and became firm friends with a rollcall of the world’s greatest musical names.

Filled with outrageous anecdotes, an incredible cast of musos, deadbeats, transvestites and international superstars, The Never, Um, Ever Ending Story is Molly’s hilarious, vivid, warm and always compelling memoir of these incredible years.

Click here to grab a copy of The Never, Um, Ever Ending Story

BOOK REVIEW: What Days Are For by Robert Dessaix (Review by Caroline Baum)

what-days-are-forRobert Dessaix knows his readers better than almost any other writer in Australia. He has met many of them personally at festivals over many years after developing an intense intimacy with them as a radio broadcaster. He has groupies who find him so captivating that I have heard them say after his public appearances than they’d like to pop him in their pocket and take him home. But Robert is not a pet. He is a flesh and blood writer who tackles big themes with erudition, elegance, literary grace and sharp, sometimes arch wit. He has a European old world sensibility and does not entirely belong in this century; he is a time traveler who belongs in another, more subtle, less vulgar era.

As one of our great stylists, Dessaix has a singular, distinctive voice and manner, a light yet profound touch addressing literary wanderings together with musings on art, love, friendship. It’s a potently attractive cocktail. But that cocktail got shaken rather than stirred when Robert had not one but two close encounters with death a couple of years ago.

4023926-3x4-340x453Not surprisingly that prompted him to re-assess his life and ask what it was all for. This collection of essays is the result and I am happy to say it announces a sparkling, tender and invigorated return to form. It’s a precious reminder of what is to be cherished and what can be jettisoned when one is faced with one’s own mortality.

Sprinkled with musings on spiritual matters, Dessaix never allows himself to slip into the annoying waftiness of so much writing about the non-material realm. No: he is firmly anchored, indeed at times tethered, to his hospital bed, his home and the world around him, as he considers the Big Themes of his own life and ours with the laser-like attention of a gemologist considering a precious stone.

Before we get swept up in the end of year inane festivities of mindless consumption, over-shopping and over-eating, it’s good to refocus attention on the essentials.

In the end, as Dessaix recognises and reminds us, all you need is love.

Grab a copy of Robert Dessaix’s What Days Are For here

what-days-are-forWhat Days Are For

by Robert Dessaix

Witty, acerbic, insightful musings from Robert Dessaix, one of Australia’s finest writers.

One Sunday night in Sydney, Robert Dessaix collapses in a gutter in Darlinghurst, and is helped to his hotel by a kind young man wearing a T-shirt that says FUCK YOU. What follows are weeks in hospital, tubes and cannulae puncturing his body, as he recovers from the heart attack threatening daily to kill him.

While lying in the hospital bed, Robert chances upon Philip Larkin’s poem ‘Days’. What, he muses, have his days been for? What and who has he loved – and why?

This is vintage Robert Dessaix. His often surprisingly funny recollections range over topics as eclectic as intimacy, travel, spirituality, enchantment, language and childhood, all woven through with a heightened sense of mortality.

Grab a copy of Robert Dessaix’s What Days Are For here

BOOKTOBERFEST GUEST BLOG : Roy Higgins: Australia’s Favourite Jockey by Patrick Bartley

roy-higginsThe Melbourne Spring Carnival throws up uncertainty as quickly as the odds change in the Melbourne Cup all-in market. The favourite one day, can find himself the despised outsider. Every year we play the guessing game that is the Spring Carnival.

It’s never an exact science, and in my thirty-eight years as a racing writer, I’ve seen Caulfield Cup winners and likely Melbourne Cup victors pull out an indifferent track gallop, draw a bad barrier or rain affected track as the punters watch their hard-earned go down the drain, figuratively speaking.

In the spring of 1965, the Caulfield Cup favourite was scratched the morning of, and only one man thought she’d ever make it to the first Tuesday in November. That man of course, was arguably Australia’s greatest ever jockey – Roy Higgins. I had the pleasure of working with and relying on Higgins for information during my time as a daily paper journalist, and his account of the three incredibly crucial weeks between the two Cups was pivotal to the bond between horse and jockey that would transcend Australian racing and connect with the hearts of the general public.

After nearly falling in her final lead up to the Caulfield Cup, Light Fingers’ trainer Bart Cummings had no choice but to withdraw her from Australia’s second most important handicap. Unlike humans, you can only treat horses to a certain degree. You can’t over-medicate them because they can go off their feed. Light Fingers was a small, lightly framed mare as it was and she needed all the strength she could muster to get to the Melbourne Cup. It was a balance of easing the pain with medication, but at the same time being able to work her into fitness so that she was ready for arguably the toughest race in the Southern Hemisphere.

Ironically, she was in so much pain that she couldn’t have a jockey on her back, and instead Cummings and his team had to swim her in the Maribyrnong River, hoping that those miles of swimming would translate to miles in her legs.

0000006304

Patrick Bartley

Higgins told me that during this uncertain time, where his favourite horse, who he called ‘Mother’ because of her calming nature for the other horses in the stable, that he wasn’t sure she would make it to the Cup, but he was willing to forego rides on other fancied runners in the hope that she would make it.

“There was no shortage of outside offers once Light Fingers came out of the Caulfield Cup. Other stables had written her off, but I stood my ground. She had so much to offer, I was prepared to stay with her. I knew, unlike other trainers and owners, that Bart was working around the clock. My filly’s so good that if she gets to the post she just might win and if she does it would break my heart not to be her rider.”

As history tells us, this tiny chestnut mare, who had a heart as big as Phar Lap, not only made it to the barriers, but she wore down another of Cummings’ runners who was a big, strong colt and had had a faultless preparation, called Ziema. Higgins said that because Light Fingers had been used to calm Ziema down when he was being unruly around the stable, that when the colt felt her presence, he started to slow down and wait for her, which was when she stuck her neck out and did the unthinkable.

I remember visiting Higgs’ house many times over the years, and of all the winners he had ridden, and the great races he had won, the only framed photo was of Light Fingers.

Even though that was almost forty years ago, every spring carnival tells similar tales. From Big Philou in 1969 to the Caulfield Cup’s shortest-priced favourite in forty-one years, when Maldivian played up at the start and was withdrawn thirty seconds before the gates opened, the Spring throws up things that no trainer, punter or racing journalist can prepare for, but must quickly adapt to.

Grab a copy of Roy Higgins here


roy-higginsRoy Higgins

by Patrick Bartley

Everyone loved Roy Higgins. A warm and genuine character with a great sense of humour, the boy from the bush was known as ‘The Professor’ for his freakish ability to read the track and his easy eloquence. He became a household name not just for his work in the saddle but as one of the first jockeys to embrace the media.

Higgins’ racing record was extraordinary. He rode Bart Cummings’ first Melbourne Cup winner, Light Fingers, in 1965, and was one of a handful of jockeys to win the grand slam of racing: the Golden Slipper, Cox Plate, Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup. Over his 30-year career, Higgins clocked up 2312 wins, including 108 Group 1 races. All this, despite a never-ending battle with his weight.

Roy Higgins died in March 2014, aged 75. His televised funeral took place in the mounting yard at Flemington, a fitting tribute to the humble man who had a profound effect on horseracing for more than five decades as jockey, commentator and teacher.

This is a celebration of a great Australian, with racing royalty, friends and family sharing their stories and memories of Roy Higgins, the gentle trailblazer who touched their lives.

About the Author

Patrick Bartley is the chief racing writer at The Age. In 2013 he won his second Bert Wolfe Award, the Victoria Racing Media Association (VRMA) award for Media Excellence in Victoria. Leading up to that award, Patrick had won three consecutive VRMA awards for Best News Story. Patrick’s investigative reports with John Silvester, into Tony Mokbel’s racing interests in 2007, were recognised by many as highly influential pieces. Penguin published On the Punt, a collection of Patrick’s columns, in 2010.

Grab a copy of Roy Higgins here

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,161 other followers

%d bloggers like this: