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The Hungry Girls’ Cookbook!

by Jenny Butler
Monday 16th January 2012

Today we welcome Rachel, Leah and Katherine, the talented ladies behind The Hungry Girls’ Cookbooks! Having just released their 3rd Hungry Girls’ Cookbook, Lucy and I are so excited to have them Guest Blogging with us all week- sharing their food stories, some of their favorite recipes as well as wonderful illustrations by Katherine. – Jenny x

Five years ago, we three friends got together over breakfast to chat about making a cookbook – just a wee one with 12 recipes, a handsome gift to give to friends and family for Christmas.

Leah, Katherine and Rachel

It was exciting to have a project to bring us together, and we were each keen to explore the potential of our separate fields, with Leah Holscher taking photos, Katherine Bird doing the design and illustration, and me (Rachel Pitts) writing the recipes.

We started scouring op shops for interesting old plates, bowls and cutlery, and set dates for a few photo shoots. Our shoots are relaxed affairs without expensive lighting or boxes of props being couriered in. They happen at our houses among renovations and kids, and they’re pure fun! We make the most of natural sunlight, setting up under a tree in the backyard, or on a front step, or on the kitchen floor. I cook, then the three of us style the food and props, always trying to come up with something mouth-watering and original.

We had our book printed locally on Australian recycled paper, and Katherine with her crafty talents came up with the simple cover concept – unlined cardboard with a fabric spine and a hand-stamped title. She named it The Hungry Girls’ Cookbook, and we all thought that was a winner.

Now we’ve just produced Volume 3. Our books are stocked around Australia and a few stores internationally (and online at our website). Even though our quantities have increased dramatically, the books are still printed locally and hand-bound by us – sometimes with help from our friends who love a get-together involving food, wine and bookmaking. At busy times our houses are transformed into production lines. There’s cover-folding happening in one corner of the room, fabric-ripping and ironing in another, gluing, trimming and spine-holing taking place on a trestle table in the middle, and scattered all around are people with books on their laps sewing them together!

This week we’re going to bring you a recipe from each of our three books, and one from our blog. Our recipes are eclectic, inspired by cuisines from around the world, and are always rooted in cooking with seasonal produce. Hopefully they inspire you to get creative in the kitchen!

- Rachel, Leah and Katherine x


by Jenny Butler
Monday 16th January 2012

137 comments

  • Lorta 3 years ago

    Oh my goodness! These cookbooks are too cute! and the recipes look delish! xo

  • Shaun Elizabeth 3 years ago

    These books are so cute! Love the handmade quality as well as the delicious looking recipes!

  • Bec 3 years ago

    What an amazing group of women. Very inspiring.

  • Nicole 3 years ago

    so pretty, fingers double crossed and so excited

  • Felicity 3 years ago

    Scrumalicious!

    These fab books would be a wonderful gift to be share with my fledgling teen girl cooks….oh and all the tummies in our home too!

    Happy day!

  • Amanda 3 years ago

    wow! these cook books look amazing! love seeing illustrators and cooks working together :)

  • Jill 3 years ago

    Yum! Just looking at the pics makes me hungry. I want to use them to teach my teenagers to cook!

  • Angela 3 years ago

    Hang on, are girls allowed to be hungry? Amen!
    Came across these at Paper Lane and was immediately seduced.
    Thanks for the lovliness.

  • Annie 3 years ago

    That is super Yum girls!!! Can’ wait to read it!

  • Justine 3 years ago

    The perfect books for me…I always seem to be hungry.

  • Clementine 3 years ago

    This is going to be the yummiest week!

  • annabel 3 years ago

    yum yum yum

  • Sarah 3 years ago

    Those pictures are mouth-watering!

  • bek 3 years ago

    adore those fabric bound books – what a beautiful idea!

  • Sarah 3 years ago

    Gorgeous books…and put together by hand as well!

  • Dee 3 years ago

    LOVE the concept and the TLC that goes into the making of these cookbooks girls! Can’t wait to get my bake on and sample some of the wonderfully delightful recipes :)

  • Alex 3 years ago

    I need to find a couple of friends to create a great project like this. The assembly workshop looks like such fun. I’m sure you drank lots of cups of tea.

  • ruth hickson 3 years ago

    Just lovely and that just the books! The food looks great too!

  • Rosie 3 years ago

    for a girl like me who only dreams of being able to cook well but has an appreciation for all foods, these cookbooks are ideal! so very happy to see strong women behind the scenes of successful businesses such as this. best of luck!

  • Naomi 3 years ago

    Such clever ladies, love the tactile hands on production!

  • Catherine 3 years ago

    These are gorgeous – beautiful photos, great books and all hand made!

  • Chiara 3 years ago

    Beautifully presented cookbooks! You an see that a lot of passion and love have gone into producing these. Wishing you all the best!

  • Mel 3 years ago

    These cookbooks are beautiful! How have I not know about them sooner!!!

  • kat white 3 years ago

    Love the design of these books girls!

  • Emma 3 years ago

    Beautiful cookbooks! The photos are making me feel hungry already (and it’s not been long since breakfast…).

  • Cheryl 3 years ago

    I love recipe books and these look fantastic, please let it be me.

  • Alex 3 years ago

    How beautiful & tantalizing! Would love to win!

  • Benjamin 3 years ago

    Goodness me! These books are just too gorgeous..!

  • Lauren 3 years ago

    SO so pretty!! Now I’m hungry!!
    Congrats on the awesome work. Looking forward to the blog this week. :-)

  • Natalie Townsend 3 years ago

    I love these books! Bought the first one a while ago and I think I have cooked nearly every recipe! Love the hand bound books too! beautiful!

  • Philippa 3 years ago

    Ohhh soooo delicious…. In every way!

  • Angela 3 years ago

    What a wonderful collaboration! Delish food and style!

  • pet 3 years ago

    Wonderful idea. They are just lovely!

  • jo 3 years ago

    So inspiring! Everything looks delicious! I love the intimacy and character these little books have. Very sweet.

  • Karina 3 years ago

    I’m always a hungry girl looking for amazing recipes – and how much fun would it be to cook out of these absolutely gorgeous books?!?

  • carmen 3 years ago

    Gorgeous books. I’m so glad I’ve found out about them.

  • It is so inspiring to hear about how it all started. I can’t wait what you have line up for us this week!

  • Paulina 3 years ago

    These are truly amazing! The detail in the preparation of each of the dishes and books is just stunning! And the food looks absolutely delectable!! Beautiful work ladies! I wish you every success is this and your future ventures! The world needs more of these!

  • Natalie 3 years ago

    These books just look gorgeous, and the hand made quality is so rare these days. Will be definitely getting some books for pressies for some of my foodie friends :)

  • Kate 3 years ago

    Would be a fabulous addition to my recipe collection!! The beautiful books will make a welcome change to my messy hand written recipes and magazine tear outs contained in a random flipfile. Can’t wait to try the recipes- the look delish!

  • katie 3 years ago

    these books are so sweet – attention to details look amazing. good luck with the books ladies. i am hungry.

  • Lizzy 3 years ago

    two really great posts today! craft vic videos (so inspiring) and news the the hungry girls are writing on the guest blog this week! this makes me one very happy girl. i love my 2 hungry girl cookbooks and now excited for a third AND a week of foodie posts :D thanks ladies! x

  • Mel 3 years ago

    I want to just go home and cook now…

  • Lisette 3 years ago

    I am so hungry! PICK ME TO WIN!!

  • Deb 3 years ago

    the books themselves look good enough to eat too! The binding is just beautiful.

  • Catherine H 3 years ago

    very inspirational. How lovely it would be to own something which has been so lovingly handmade!! And that upside down cake (?) with plums (?) looks AMAZEBALLS!

  • narelle 3 years ago

    great work girls! beautiful handmade pieces of artwork and scrumptious food! x

  • Jen C 3 years ago

    Absolutely gorgeous! Well done on such a fabulous project… xx

  • Ingvill 3 years ago

    Yum Yum can’t wait!

  • Robyn 3 years ago

    This concept is at the other end from ‘production line’ and I love it. Reminds me a little of the ‘Dorrigo Dairy Farmers Wife’s cookbook from 1959 that I still thumb through…

  • Michelle 3 years ago

    ooh la la, my kitchen (and me) is waiting

  • Penny (Oh My Green) 3 years ago

    I love the cookbooks, and I’m so pumped you’ve just released #3! Hooray!

  • Gill Wong 3 years ago

    I love this concept. These books looks stunning. Congratulations on your enterprise!

  • Lou 3 years ago

    What gorgeous creations, what a fantastic job you’ve done !

  • Claire 3 years ago

    All the recipes look DELISH! And they’re making me VERY hungry!
    I would love to win this lovely set. Also appreciate all the time & hard work that goes in to hand crafted goodies! xx C

  • eat my shorts 3 years ago

    Fabulous food photos! What a wonderful idea as well – such cute design on those cookbooks! :)

  • redshoes 3 years ago

    ohhhh makes me hungry just thinking about it.

    YUM!!

  • Judy 3 years ago

    Congratulations on your wonderful concept. It is a winner. How have I not come across your books til now. I’m going shopping to see your books first hand. But would love to win. Imagine having a cook book you have bound with your own little hands in your own little home.

  • Judy 3 years ago

    And another thing I missed before – taking the photos with what you have yourself. Amazing. Go Girls!!!!

  • Sonya 3 years ago

    Full of love from the cover to the crumbs – that’s what cooking is all about!

  • kelly 3 years ago

    i’m salivating just looking at those images!

  • Klaudija 3 years ago

    the food looks really tasty… yum…

  • Erin 3 years ago

    I love stories like this. The book looks beautiful!

  • Jelena 3 years ago

    That cake looks absolutely delicious! Can’t wait for the recipes this week!

  • clea 3 years ago

    such lovely idea and great job making it real! would love the 3 books in my kitchen!

  • Colleen 3 years ago

    Books that are a work of art, pleasing to the touch and have recipes to inspire.
    ps. I love figs!

  • Anna 3 years ago

    yum yum super hungry!

  • Jane 3 years ago

    Congratulations to the creative trio on seeing their ‘vision’ through to such a delightful end product!

  • Anna 3 years ago

    What beautiful books! looks like a very fun collaboration!
    Inspiring – I love it – this is what work should be like!!

  • Lanie 3 years ago

    It is really inspiring to see such a wonderful concept that brings three different people of different talents collaborate together to produce this wonderful cookbook. I have two dear friends and we always come up with different ideas that we hope to one day act upon. Thanks for the motivation and congratulations on the great work! Melbourne is lucky to have you!

  • Jane 3 years ago

    I love that this idea started life simply as a gift for family and friends. So enjoyable in every way, photography, illustration, handmade, and with a lovely peaceful feel… You have made my day.

  • Mark 3 years ago

    Looks delicious. Think my girfriend would love one (or all 3!) of those!

  • Bridie 3 years ago

    I love that your books are printed in Australia and hand bound – what a precious gift to give someone – they are super adorable to boot too!

  • Allison Taylor 3 years ago

    Just had a flashback to first days of school when you see all your exercise books all shiny and new, stacked and ready to be distributed. Dejavu moment! The patterns on the spine of these books is far more exciting ..

  • Flora 3 years ago

    the books and the recipes look yummy just the inspiration i need to spice up my flagging cooking skills

  • Emma 3 years ago

    WoW. Love the photography. Love the typographic styling. Love the colour. LOVE. THIS. SO. MUCH!

  • Louise 3 years ago

    Beautiful photographs and yummy recipes, i would love to win these cookbooks! :) Thank you. xo

  • Camilla Cathro 3 years ago

    What gorgeous looking books- inspiring!

  • Anneke 3 years ago

    Just been perusing your blog on your website and love the photo’s and recipes. I’m sure the books are equally amazing + love the fact that they’re put together by hand.

  • Tahnee 3 years ago

    i love love the binding of these beautiful little books filled with yummy things. couldn’t think of a better combination myself! x

  • Melanie 3 years ago

    I am a girl and always hungry! this would suit me to a tea (pun intended!)! i love supporting new businesses… so pick me! pick me!

  • Erin 3 years ago

    How wonderful that your project/business is all between friends! Good on youse.

  • Mimi K 3 years ago

    The food looks godd, and the books look gorgeous.

  • Kate 3 years ago

    I am a hungry girl! :) these look amazing, and I particularly loved seeing photos of the girls assembling the books themselves!
    Thanks :) x

  • Emily Werner 3 years ago

    Wow! I am a hungry girl and these look delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  • Lisa 3 years ago

    Congrats on your beautiful cookbook collection! Recipes are such a wonderful thing to be able to pass on to friends and family and your books seem like the perfect heirloom. xxx

  • Nola 3 years ago

    I’m not much of a foodie, but I do love the name of your cookbooks, in fact it’s what got me to check out the guest blog (I don’t usually check the guest blog much either). The Hungry Girls’ Cookbook looks beautiful, and if you happen to include any gluten free recipes then make sure to let me know.

  • renee 3 years ago

    Awesome! Another blog to add to my ‘foodie blog’ favourites :)

  • Kelly 3 years ago

    Such beautiful cookbooks. Absolutley inspirational to see such a lovely project come together. The teatowels on your website are also to die for – I know what everyone will be getting as birthday presents this year!

  • bj 3 years ago

    Go the independents!

  • Satisha 3 years ago

    Girls of my own heart…friendship…food…travels..photography…crafting..and sharing…LOVE it!

  • Kate Russell 3 years ago

    That apricot and almond cake looks amazing and you’ve also given me a great excuse to fight the possums for the figs for quark and fig strudel. Beautiful design and collaboration.

    Thanks ladies.

  • Cathg1g2 3 years ago

    Absolutely gorgeous, love the way Hungry Girls started off and that it’s all handmade

  • di 3 years ago

    you have my full attention…YUM…

  • Emiko 3 years ago

    I’ve just moved to Melbourne from Florence, leaving behind my food blogger friends who I’d get together, cook, shoot (photos that is, not our food!) and eat with – this really resonates with me and I’ve been admiring your books for a while now! I love anything that involves handmade books and cooking.

  • Tamara 3 years ago

    YUM! I love to cook and these are gorgeous!

  • pixelhazard 3 years ago

    How beautiful! I moved out of home and my mum & sister wouldn’t let me take my recipes with me, lol. I need more

    Bright Green Laces

  • Sam 3 years ago

    how gorgeous, thanks so much!

  • Sammy 3 years ago

    Great to read about how mutual passion and friendship can translate into real success!

  • Paige 3 years ago

    So inspiring and lovely to read about a publication/business doing so well and being sold overseas… But still being hand bound. I’ve flipped through the first Hungry Girls’ cookbook at a friend’s house, and I have to say that it made me a very hungry gal indeed!

  • Robyn 3 years ago

    So excited to see a third volume – and I can’t believe they still bind them all by hand!

  • sandra 3 years ago

    Do i really need any more cookbooks? Oh yes i do!

  • Donna Quirke 3 years ago

    Wow you guys are so clever, love seeing inspiring women who create exciting products – definitely added to my wishlist of things to buy ASAP!!

  • Hazel 3 years ago

    One hungry girl who would really love a set of your cookbooks!

  • Nic 3 years ago

    You are all a true inspiration to me and to my many girlfriends who get together for what we call ‘an early dinner’ with the kids. If I win, these recipes will have the delight of being eaten in a happy, cosy home full of happy, messy kids. Xx

  • elle 3 years ago

    awesome books guys, keep up the good work ;)

  • Joula 3 years ago

    Mmmmm hungry just reading about it!

  • Hayley 3 years ago

    Totally gorgeous ladies!

  • Amanda 3 years ago

    Thanks girls. Love the books, and the fact that they are handmade (having made a few books myself).
    I have all 3, so guess I don’t want to win them, Just wanted to let you know I enjoy them.

  • Bella Foxtrot 3 years ago

    Could there be, a girl hungrier than me, for a book with a polka dot spine? Probably not!

  • Marjie Russell 3 years ago

    All of the above comments ring true from me too! It’s a wonderful concept and warms the heart( and tummy) to have something so creative and sustainable developed right here in Australia. Congrats girls!

  • Monique Willis 3 years ago

    Lovely books to browse…
    i love hand stamping, cooking, delish photos and the fact that there are only 12 recipes in each book.
    What a little treat.
    Congratulations on your growing business!

  • Jesse G 3 years ago

    YUMMO!!

  • Katrina 3 years ago

    oh how divine!

  • elissa c 3 years ago

    I’ve seen these books in a few stores around town and they always make me think of a hungry girl friend of mine. I will pick one up next time!

  • Helen 3 years ago

    im a girl and im hungry quite a lot! these books would look so cute on my kitchen shelf. great job.

  • Rebecca 3 years ago

    Wow these pics looks amazing and I bet the food tastes just as good! The book binding is super cute too, great work ladies, hope im a winner!x

  • mindy 3 years ago

    I never win anything but I’d love to win these darling books!

  • Grace 3 years ago

    the food looks fabulous, the books look wonderful. I’d love to win one and try the recipes!

  • Katrina 3 years ago

    Wow, such a beautifully refreshing change to the run of the mill cook nooks choking the book shops these days. So, so pretty. Who wouldn’t want one, two or three to display and use in their kitchen everyday!!

  • Nic Wes 3 years ago

    Oohh these look great. Currently away on a beach holiday – without my cookbooks! – consequently meals quite simple but not very interesting. These books look perfect for popping in your bag to take away -

  • Lyn 3 years ago

    There goes my New Years resolution of no more cook books!

  • Eden 3 years ago

    LOVE the super cute hand stitched binding, and as a perpetually hungry girl I like the idea of a cookbook that doesn’t just focus on small serves of salad without much real substance! Yum, real food!

  • Sarah Austin 3 years ago

    im so in love with the idea of a group of friends sitting around a kitchen binding these books

  • Julie 3 years ago

    Beautiful food, beautiful images – congratulations on turning your passion into a great success!

  • Susie 3 years ago

    They had me at handmade binding. LOVE.

  • Mandi 3 years ago

    So beautiful, so inspiring – definitely something this hungry girl needs!

  • Jo 3 years ago

    This post is making me hungry!!! Off to make some lunch I think!

  • Jess 3 years ago

    Such an inspiring story!

  • lindsey clare 3 years ago

    I love that they are still hand-bound even though they are enjoying more and more success! Just lovely.

  • Mel 3 years ago

    Girls, you have inspired me. I read about your cookbooks yesterday & saw your Fish recipe today, which sounded delicious. My excuses have been good, I don’t know what type of fish to buy, I don’t know where to buy good quality fish, and I certainly don’t know how to cook it. Well, you will be proud, I went out today and bought all my ingredients for the Cherry Tomato, Herb & Chilli Fish, and I am actually excited about cooking dinner tonight (something I am usually not). Thank you for your inspiration, looking forward to more shopping & cooking this week.

  • Katherine 3 years ago

    I think ‘pure fun’ pretty much sums up these books. Beautiful job – look forward to trying out some of these recipes.

  • Nicole 3 years ago

    These books are so beautiful – obviously made with lots of love & excellent recipes to boot!

  • lisa 3 years ago

    beautiful book, lovely ladies, delicious food!

  • Lucy 3 years ago

    i’m so hungry!!

  • christine 3 years ago

    These books look too gorgeous to keep in my bookcase-will keep them open on my kitchen table for endless inspiration

  • http://www.apret.eu 1 year ago

    Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article.
    I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information.

    Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.

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