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