MALIBU, California

MALIBU, California

Sunday, August 31, 2014


This is my now famous, HRH Cream of tomato soup, originally a big favorite of H.R.H. Prince Ernst of Hanover, and the recipe is in my new  Bio-recipe book. 
On Amazon, this is in Kindle format and you can just download a kindle app to read it. hit the link below and type in THE GREAT GRANNY Diet (named after my greatest grandmother who taught me how to prepare and eat good food, with info, photos how to live your best by cooking the best).
It is just $7.50, 
For less than the price of a burger & French fries, you can live a GOOD LIFE.

Yesterday I trimmed back my Perpetual basil plants so used lots of fresh basil in my ratatouille with sweet potato and own grown peppers and Asian eggplants, tomatoes, garlic, onion, zucchini.
This is a wonderful dish and may be eaten warm or  at room temp with steamed rice or pasta.

Zucchini is at it's best right now along as are Pacific North West  blueberries, so I have made 2  cakes,  a zucchini-blueberry and the other a fresh apple-blueberry.
These are not too sweet and also inc. blue cornmeal for added texture and depth.
Great for breakfast, lunch or teatime.

Friday, August 29, 2014


here is the Basic "Bible" for GOOD LIFE Living Well, to prepare the best food for yourself and your family, at home.
Keeping all  food purchases clean and healthy and cooking properly, recipes for stocks, soups, stews and appetizers and necessary info to stay healthier.

Master this book and you will be able to create anything from my upcoming series of cookery books.
The title comes from my having been almost raised by my paternal grandmother and her sister who were marvelous cooks, and where I learned my appreciation of well prepared and cooked food, before I took on the world as an International Personal Chef.
The recipes are up to date and some are reworked world classics.

Just $4.49 on Amazon  ( worldwide) and you may  download the  Kindle app to any cell phone or laptop too without having a Kindle reader.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Roasted yam and sugar pea salad; Green lentil roasted vegetable and salad greens, banana-walnut cakes;watermelon & white nectarine fresh fruit salad; artichoke and mini bell pepper 'paella.

cooked lentils for the warm salad

Bok choy, romaine lettuce and chopped celery also for the warm salad

The "Paella"

Completed with cashew nuts

Fresh fruit salad

Roasted yams and sugar peas warm salad

Roasted vegetables for the greens and lentils

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Split pea & barley soup; Sweet potato, yellow bell pepper, carrot soup; Artichoke paella with jasmine rice; roasted vegetable salad with lentils and greens; photos of prep

Celery, sugar peas and green chili's

Min bell peppers, tomatoes

Zucchini, lettuce and bok choy, Bok choy makes the best salads..crunchy and tender all from one  cancer fighting veggie

Green split pea, veggies and barley soup
partially blended sweet potato, yellow pepper and carrot soup, finished with coconut milk

previous 2 the bell pepper and artichoke "Paella" base, which will marinate overnight, smoked paprika, tomatoes, and white wine, and be mixed with turmeric scented jasmine rice

The rice sauteed with butter and oil and then topped with boiling water and steamed slowly

The "paella" base finished with grape tomatoes and green beans

The steamed jasmine rice cooling and slightly

Tomorrow will post more photos, and thanks to all who have purchased my new book The Great Granny Diet on Amazon Kindle.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


My paternal greatest Grandmother, Annie Crook

THE GREAT GRANNY DIET   "or recipes and tips your Great Grandmother should have told you"
By John Nigel Crook

will be available from Amazon Kindle 12 noon 8/27/14  $4.49 USD  

17 thousand words, photos and loads of good solid info for better and healthier cooking at home..and you may view it online, without having a Kindle reader.
DEDICATED TO MY  ( greatest) GRANDMOTHER AND HER SISTER, both very good cooks.

just download the kindle viewer app when purchasing the ebook..and enjoy more recipes and info. for LIVING THE GOOD LIFE, WELL!
Available in over 240 territories and most of the recipes are globally adjustable.


And as usual some spelling mistakes, just bear with me; the recipes are fabulous and yes I have made them all..this is a complete recipe book covering basic methods, appetizers, soups and butters, and will be the first of a series..but this first book is the KEY to the other books in the series.

 hit the link  below then type in THE GREAT GRANNY Diet and go to the section to purchase...also available in over 240 territories


John Nigel

Monday, August 25, 2014

Buckwheat Pilau & Bok Choy Slaw Moroccan style layering the flavors and textures, the secret to creating GREAT vegetarian/vegan cuisine..Photos

Cooked Buckwheat groats, wash 1 cup toasted buckwheat,well then place in a saucepan with 2 tbsp  oil and saute for 3-5 mins so all the grains are coated..add 2 cups boiling stock or water, bring to boil then lower to simmer and tightly cover, cook until all water is absorbed approx 20-30 mins..serve immediately as a rice dish OR place on a clean cookie sheet and allow to release steam and cool to be used in pilua/pilaf

Sauteed red onions, and garlic with ground coriander, cinnamon, cumin and either  ground ginger or chopped ginger root, add baby tomatoes and continue to saute for 3-5 mins. Season with dried thyme and salt & pepper to taste. Add the cooked and dried buckwheat ( or millet, rice, quinoa &etc.) and also if you like, some cooked wholewheat couscous, roasted or raw nuts, any dried fruits, and continue to cook for 15-25 mins over low simmer so everything is well coated..serve with any stew or even over cooked chickpeas...I added cooked chickpeas, roasted nuts and dried cranberries to my pilau today, and finished with dried mint & lemon juice. Always finish it off with fresh citrus juice to cut the fat/richness of the dish.

Cooked and drying whole wheat couscous

before adding  the  couscous

The completed Pilau finished with dried mint and lemon juice

Chopped bok choy, grated carrot, chopped ginger, red onion, roasted salted peanuts, dried cranberries, chopped cucumber, chopped crisp lettuce, thyme and oregano, dried mint and will be served with a  cumin oil and thyme lemon olive oil dressing

Never add raw ground spice to any salad dressing..always either cook the spice with a little  oil or bake a jelly jar of olive oil with 3-4 tbsp of ground spice, for 30 mins at 350f in a preheated oven and allow to cool down before keeping in fridge, this kills off any bacteria or mold spores.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Moroccan Tagine with buckwheat, Chickpea and potato curry with rice, Lentil and greens soup; Asparagus soup; sock it to me oatmeal cookies, scallion poppyseed breads, photos of prep for tomorrows Vegan Vegetarian menu

own grown eggplants and peppers picked this morning

MY version of a tagine, as I don't have the tagine pot I cook onions, eggplants, garlic in vegetable stock and added sweet potatoes ( in place of dried fruit*), the added chopped tomatoes, summer squash, peppers and cooked for 1 hour very slowly and added cumin, ground coriander, oregano, bay laurel salt & pepper. * I have a client who cannot digest dried fruit nor ginger, both usual ingredients of this dish. This will be served with  a chickpea-couscous -kasha pilau

The asparagus soup simmering

Lentil soup boiling to remove scum

vegetable curry simmering

The blended asparagus soup then added more fresh asparagus and cooked slowly, finished with coconut milk

Lentil and greens soup

Chickpea  and vegetable curry to be served with steamed brown rice

These oatmeal cookies have butterscotch chips, dark chocolate shavings, raisins and salted peanuts.."sock it to me" cookies

Steamed kasha aka toasted buckwheat to be mixed with cooked onions, chickpeas, garlic and cranberries for the tagine.

Right now my scallion-poppy seed breads are in final prove and waiting to go in the oven, will post more photos tomorrow before delivery

Saturday, August 23, 2014



here are some wonderful ideas and tips for Great VEGAN al fresco dining

Marinated zucchini-summer squash

if the skins are tough, then by all means peel, otherwise, top and tail then slice 1/4 inch thick and saute in a little olive oil.
Cooking in batches approx 2 mins per side until lightly cooked.
lay in serving dish and cover with chopped fresh herbs ( of choice: rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage), minced garlic and  red wine vinegar to taste.
Cover and allow to steep at room temp for 1 hour or more before serving.

Variations use the same method for ripe bell peppers and Asian eggplants, may also add crushed black pepper and capers to the marinade. or a combination of everything sort of a ratatouille.

Roasted bell peppers Marinated with capers and olives

Roast  the whole peppers over gas or fire flame, until blackened, then place in a plastic bag and allow to steam/cool for 30 mins.
Carefully remove the skin and the stem and seeds and cut into bite sized slices.
Add chopped pitted olives, washed and drained capers, fresh parsley and thyme.
Marinate in a lemon olive oil dressing  1 part lemon juice, the zest of lemons, 1 part olive oil, 1tsp Dijon mustard, covered for 2 hours at least at room temp.

Sauces and salsas to serve with fresh cooked pasta or gnocchi

These are lively and refreshing additions to Summer menus:

Chopped whole  ripe tomatoes, minced garlic minced basil and parsley with red wine vinegar and olive oil..wonderful served with fresh mozzarella.

Boiled new potatoes, lemon zest, minced garlic, cooked green beans, chopped pitted olives, chopped washed and rained capers, minced parsley, minced mint a lemon dressing as for the roasted peppers

Sauteed eggplant & red onions,  garlic with lemon zest and dulse or kombu (sea vegetables, refresh the kombu in cold water for 20 mins before draining and chopping), olive oil, raw minced ripe bell pepper, minced celery red wine vinegar to taste. Chopped black olives or whole cured  Kalamata olives

Cooked and drained chickpeas (or any cooked bean), sauteed fresh breadcrumbs, kombu or dulse sea vegetables (see previous recipe), sliced celery or fennel bulb, cherry tomatoes, minced parsley, lemon zest. lemon juice olive oil, crushed red pepper flakes

Try any of the above combinations but heat the dressing then add to the cooked pasta and vegetables and serve immediately

Broccoli or kale ( previously blanched in boiling salted water with 1/2 tsp baking soda), rinsed and dried...sauteed with red pepper flakes and garlic, with cherry tomatoes, fresh breadcrumbs and capers, finish with balsamic vinegar

Mushrooms sauteed with harissa (Tunisian red chili paste) or red chili flakes, with lots of fresh garlic minced, add white wine or apple juice then gently add chopped red onion or scallions, chopped celery and fresh parsley leaves, serve immediately

Vegan Eggplant a la Involtini with garlic and parsley

For this you will need Italian or globe Eggplants and they should be firm like an apple.
Cut each eggplant (remove the stalk) into 1/4 inch slices, place in a colander and sprinkle with sea salt and allow to stand at room temp for 1 hour.
Rinse in fresh water and pat dry.

Make a paste of
1 cup minced parsley
1/2 cup pitted olives
1-2 tsp rinsed and drained capers
dulse or kombu (2 inches, washed and soaked kombu, 2 tbsp dulse flakes )

Spread the slices of eggplant with this paste and roll up, secure with a wooden tooth pick.

Place on a cookie sheet and drizzle with  olive oil and bake in a preheated 375f oven middle shelf for 25-30 mins until golden brown..serve immediately with crusty bread & halves of lemon..warn your guest about the toothpicks.

Roasted tomatoes with garlic and  olives

simplicity itself:
halve and remove any seeds from fresh ripe Roma or large beef steak/salad tomatoes, do not use cherry tomatoes, and put on an oiled cookie sheet, cut side up.

Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with any fresh rosemary or thyme.

Bake in preheated 400f oven for 20-25 mins until lightly golden and very juicy.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with more fresh herbs, balsamic vinegar or lemon juice and chopped pitted olives. serve immediately with more olive oil &  good breads.
Sprinkle with sea salt and crushed black pepper.

For Vegetarian..add cooked eggs and or fresh cheeses to any of these recipes

For meat eaters...really?