WIN | Julie Goodwin’s Essential Cookbook

In collaboration with Hachette Australia we have 4 copies of Julie Goodwin’s Essential Cookbook up for grabs.


Julie Goodwin Essential Cookbook





Julie Goodwin first came to the attention of my little family (& most of the Australian public) as the winner of the hit television show MasterChef Australia way back in 2009. We had recently relocated to Perth from the mostly sleepy little town of Salamander Bay on the NSW Central-ish Coast. We were finding our feet when it came to the big smoke, especially when it came to sourcing local affordable produce.


Hubby was away at sea with work a lot and I’d gone from cooking from scratch and spending hours in the kitchen, to couldn’t be bothered the convenience factor which resulted in a lot of quick and easy uninspiring last minute meals hitting the table on repeat. We no longer had family and friends dropping in at a moment’s notice, I no longer had so much time up my sleeve and we found ourselves with access to more than one supermarket, even if the prices here in Perth, compared to NSW, were a huge slap in the face and there was no Sunday trading back then.


I remember my girls drooling over avidly watching Masterchef at the time, talking about the cooking from scratch good old days and then starting a little in-house Masterchef challenge of their own. We had a large and abundant lemonade lemon tree in that house and that’s where they started. A lemon cooking challenge. The results were amazing. Especially given, someone else was doing the cooking and most of the cleaning. Although given their youngish ages (10, 11 & 12) there was still a whole lot of supervision and taste testing involved on my part.


Given I don’t watch reality TV (or any television), my first experience with Julie Goodwin was through my girls and also her fabulous cookbooks


  • Our Family Table (2010)
  • The Heart of the Home (2011)
  • Gather – Delicious Recipes, Beautiful Gatherings (2013)
  • Julie Goodwin’s 20/20 Meals – Feed Your Family for $20 in 20 Minutes (2015)
  • Homemade Takeaway (2015)
  • Essential Cookbook (2017)


It was Julie Goodwin’s 20/20 Meals – Feed Your Family for $20 in 20 Minutes that spoke to me the most. Cooking to a time and a budget with meals that are family friendly. What time and budget conscious family wouldn’t benefit from that!




Whatever ingredients you have in the house, no matter the season or occasion, you can put together a tasty feast that will please everyone, every time!


Julie Goodwin’s Essential Cookbook, her latest creation, is possibly my next favourite. There are a few reasons why. Despite the picture perfect cover, the cookbook itself isn’t picture heavy. For a paperback, an impressive one at that, it is heavy though. It’s jam packed with over 300 everyday essential budget friendly recipes.


Julie has written this cookbook with her adult children in mind. It’s a surprisingly diverse line-up of recipes, including familiar family favourites that remind me of my Nanny Betty and when I was first introduced to cooking. So for me, a lot of the recipes felt like a trip down memory lane to a time when I was finding my feet in the kitchen for the first time.


Spending time together in the kitchen cooking and the sharing of secret and not so secret recipes and time at the table, is a family tradition in our house and I find this cookbook helps to carry on this tradition. Creating even more of those precious memories in the process. Julie clearly shares my way of thinking with this cookbook and has even included several blank pages at the end for you to make notes or include your own recipes. It’s the kind of cookbook you’ll treasure and eventually pass down to your children full of fingerprints, notes and bookmarked pages.


If you’ve only got space for one cookbook in your life and you want something that covers all the bases, basics and more… this truly is your cookbook!


The book is set out in 8 categories with an alphabetized and fairly comprehensive index.

  • Desserts
  • Baking
  • Vegetables and Preserves
  • Sauces, Soups and Dips
  • Seafood
  • Poultry
  • Meat
  • Eggs


Of course, I’ve reversed the cookbook category line-up above because our choose your own menu planning adventures tend to start with dessert before we work our way backwards in this house. Baking comes in a close second. Recipes such as Melt and Mix Cupcakes, Zucchini Slice, Anzac Biscuits and Orange Poppy Seed Cake are on high rotation thanks to being back at school, as we slowly make our way through the entire cookbook.


And it certainly is a cookbook worth working your way through. Personally, I’m really looking forward to attempting the gluten free bread and some of the less traditional, more modern recipes like Soft Shell Crab Tacos, all the while wondering what my late Nanny Betty would have made of them. For the most part though, this cookbook reminds me of her. Of all the fun times we had in the kitchen together. Sometimes her kitchen, a lot of the time the kitchen at the bistro where she worked and cooked on mass. Such great times. Such great recipes. Such fond memories.


Essentially this cookbook is for just about everyone…


This really is the perfect cookbook to give to your older (still living at home) children for Mother’s Day with a massive “HINT HINT you should be cooking more” attached but it would also make a great “it’s time to leave home” gift as well. It really is the essential cookbook to pull out when the kids look in the fridge or pantry when it is far from empty, proclaiming there is nothing to eat. Although, I must confess, I may have been guilty of doing that myself when I’m feeling uninspired at dinner time. Haven’t we all?


For me, Julie Goodwin’s Essential Cookbook is going to be sitting pride of place in the kitchen of our new home when we move later this month, inspiring us to come together over food and favourite recipes, creating more beautiful family memories, as well as children that know there way around the kitchen before they leave home, in the process.


Julie Goodwin Essential Cookbook

Julie Goodwin’s Essential Cookbook

Published by Hachette Australia in April 2017.

Paperback RRP $39.99, Ebook RRP $17.99.



Thanks to Hachette Australia we have 4 copies of Julie Goodwin’s Essential Cookbook up for grabs.

To be in the running to WIN, you just need to follow 2 easy steps…


  1. Comment below letting me know your first or favourite memory when it comes to home cooking.
  2. Click on the ENTER HERE banner, add your details and review our giveaway terms and conditions.


enter here; giveaways; win; aussie giveaways;



** We were gifted books for this giveaway **

Mystery Case
Managing Editor at Agent Mystery Case
Follow Raychael aka Mystery Case on her mystery adventures 'casing' people, products and places to bring you her worth casing favourites.
About Mystery Case 462 Articles
Follow Raychael aka Mystery Case on her mystery adventures 'casing' people, products and places to bring you her worth casing favourites.


  1. I think my first memory of home cooking was making bread pudding (not to be confused with bread and butter pudding) with my nana in her kitchen. It’s a recipe I know and love and one I often make to this day. Making, sharing and eating bread pudding always takes me back to those glory days in nana’s kitchen. I’m sure it will come as no surprise to you that if I won a copy of Julie’s book, I’d start in the baking section and work my way through her delicious recipes from there!

  2. My first memory was standing on a chair at grandmas kitchen bench making biscuits. My favourite was cherry biscuits (glacé cherries & I only liked the red ones ?) They were also my grandfather Googs favourites too & we used to fight over them. Righto, off to make a batch of cookies

  3. My Nana was the best home cook ever! I could always smell the baking and cooking aromas from the street when I got out of the car outside her home. My earliest memories are of “helping” her make ham pies and gingerbread cookies for Christmas when I was three. The best thing was that unlike at home my Nana never cared how much mess was made.

  4. Thanks for all the entries so far. Due to tightened security most of your comments will need to be approved before they appear here. Rest assured we have all your comments/entries.

  5. My favourite memory is my grandmother’s vegetable soup. She had a stroke 20 years before her death and was never able to cook again (my grandfather took over, under her instruction(. During my pregnancies her soup was my biggest craving. I’m not sure what it was that made it so special, and dearly wish that I had asked her for the recipe.
    Dani @ sand has no home

  6. My favourite home cooking memory was when I was in about year 8 and painstakingly made a carrot cake, following the same recipe I’d just learned at school. Unfortunately I hadn’t learned the different between plain and self-raising flour. My carrot cake came out as flat and heavy as a rock! My Mum still ate it though – heated up and with ice cream 😉

  7. I have Julie’s first book and I love it. I love her simple, family style philosophy. My favourite home cooking memory is being with mum as she made her chocolate cake. She’d let me do the mixing and of course my favourite part was licking the beaters and the bowl. Great memories I’ll always have of my mum, and new memories I’m making with my own girls in the kitchen too.

  8. I always loved Thursday night dinners at my Nana’s place. The most perfectly cooked roast with all the trimmings. The veggies cut to precision and cooked with love. She spent all day preparing to feed us and she looked forward to it every single week

  9. My mother was always so busy with four children, so it was a real delight to help my grandma with baking at a grandma sort of pace. I was particularly fond of making ANZAC biscuits with her, one on one… no hurry needed and no siblings to compete for licking bowls!

  10. My home cooking memory is when we were at home baking Piragi (Traditional Latvian Bacon Buns). It was a family affair. Dad was chopping the bacon. Mum was preparing the dough. I was mixing the fresh yeast and sugar. My sister was whisking the eggs getting ready to baste. Then we would all stand around folding the buns, chatting a way and having different rolls. Dad was the timer, Mum and my sister would fold the buns and I would baste the fresh bun with eggs and get in trouble for trying to eat one.
    It was a truely homely and family baking experience.

  11. The first I learnt to make from scratch was Spaghetti Bolognase, and ever since it has been a weekly favourite. I also loved pikelets, pancakes and Anzac biscuits, all mix in the bowl recipes that were easy and so delicious

  12. I remember my first taste of cooking was in Home Science and we learnt how to make scones! Then I tried it at home and they resembled little hard rocks!

  13. I’ve just revisited my favourite home cooking memory as I made some variations on ANZAC biscuits for my husband…because I think of my mum who was the ultimate home cook..every.time.I.cook. I use her old handwritten recipes and when I have begun making something where I ‘forget’ how it might come together I say ‘come on Mum, help me here’. It actually works!! Julie is doing so well here on the Central Coast as I am sure you know with her morning radio show and her cooking school.

    • What kind of variation on the ANZAC biscuits? Sounds interesting. I wish I’d been given access to Nan’s recipes after she died. I’ve tried to replicate some over the years to no avail.

      Yes Julie is doing great things. One of the rare ones that proves good things can come from reality TV and it isn’t all bad.

  14. For all the many dozens of cookbooks I have (including the same number that I gave away when we moved) I’ve never had a Julie Goodwin in my library (& a library it is)…although did flick through her homemade takeaway. Julie’s an example of everything I love about the Masterchef brand. As for cooking memory? My Mum isn’t much of a cook – & nor was her mother – but she did make (& continues to bake) an almost weekly batch of anzacs. The recipe is still the one I use. #TeamLovinLife

    • Sadly I lost my collection of cookbooks when our storage unit flooded. Since you can find a lot of recipes online and because we move a lot (our 24th this month) I’ve only reintroduced a couple of books to my collection, this being one of them.

  15. My first memory of home cooking is cooking with Mum. There was a cake recipe – a butter cake but if you added cocoa it became a chocolate cake and it made two cakes. I was allowed to add the ingredients and turn on the mix master. I learnt so much back then – how to grease and flour a cake tin, how to crack an egg and separate white from yolk, how to sift flour, setting the timer on the oven etc. I loved being given a beater to lick or sometimes even the bowl. In addition to these memories of cooking with Mum, I remember doing a cooking test to earn a badge for Girl Guides. As an adult, when I first got married, I relied heavily on my high school home economics book – ‘Day to Day Cookery’. #TeamLovinLife

  16. My favourite memories as a kid was watching mum mix dough in a HUGE tub in our kitchen and then bake up to 22 loaves of bread in the woodfired oven out the back yard. There was a lot of us to feed. I also remember a particular lady, who lived down the road, would not so surprisingly turn up on baking day saying she had no bread. The cheek! We did live in a small country town and I guess, the whole town would know baking day by the smell that would come from our backyard!

  17. September 22, 1977…Screaming out for Mum as my hair became more and more entangled in the electric mixer ( I was, at 9 years old, too panicked to consider turning the mixer off!) while i attempted to make a cake for Dad’s birthday!!!

  18. My favourite memory is that I topped year 12 in both catering and home economics in the early 1990s. I love to cook so it was an easy achievement. Having said that, it’s now become a running joke between hubby, our son and I. Every time I’m complimented or criticised for something I cooked, one of them will pipe up “that’s because mum topped grade 12 in both catering and home economics”. Yeah, whatever boys, I did.

  19. My favourite memory is coming home from school and my mum would have the whole kitchen filled with home made cakes and biscuits. Oh yeh! The jam tart made from scratch. So yummy!

  20. My favourite memory is taking my three daughters to mums on a Saturday morning and her making pancakes for us all. I loved them as a kid, and I love them to this day. Try as I may, I will never be able to perfect them as she does.

    • Pancakes are such a great treat. People have tried to re-invent them over the years but I don’t think you can beat plain and simple with a bit of lemon, melted butter and sugar. Yum.

  21. My mother had an old book, full of hand-written recipes handed to her on scraps of paper. My memories are around searching that book like treasure and then trying to decipher my great great grandmother’s way of saying things like “a bit of this” “a pinch of that” “flour to taste”

  22. My favourite memory was buying Julie’s first cookbook and working through it with my daughter, teaching her to cook by making every recipe. Our favourite recipe was the pancakes with banana and caramel sauce.

  23. My first memory of home cooking was my mum cooking up delicious dumplings in a big pot, and being excited not only by the dumplings, but also the stew the dumplings were cooked in – we would drink that up when we were kids as it was full of flavour! That’s what I love about home cooking, the hearty delicious flavours but also the simplicity such that it has little kids excited to drink up dumpling stew!

    • My late Nan use to make the most divine golden syrup dumplings. I’ve tried to replicate the recipe over the years and I’m getting so close. I’m convinced now, she had a secret ingredient. Just need to work out what it was.

  24. My favourite cooking memory was when my two eldest daughters asked me to teach them to cook. We started off with some home favourites that were passed down to me from my mother.

  25. Hasn’t Julie come along way! My early memories of cooking is at school in year one (going back a few years). We made vegetable soup. It’s a smell that takes me back to that day everytime I smell it. We’re talking 1981?!! #teamIBOT

  26. My earliest memories of home cooking are learning to cook with my nanna and this always involved first putting an apron on. I was handed down the family pastry recipe for mushrooms and I am told my my Uncle and Great Uncle that mine were much better than my Nan’s and her sister Aunty Val! That is a huge honour in our family xoxo

  27. My earliest memory is of my Mum’s scrapbooks of cut out recipes – I made my own with all the sweet treats in the cooking mags and newspapers. Loved trying them all out with her.

  28. From a young age I’ve been a foodie. For Christmas when I was about 3 years old I asked for a plastic trike and some bacon. Santa came through that year.

  29. Scones I don’t know how dad made them so yummy, sunday morning tea. Wish i knew how he made them so fluffy mine look and taste like rocks

  30. The whole family would get involved in the making of bottled tomato sauce. If you’ve seen Looking for Ali Brandi you would know what I mean. It was a lot of work but fun to do and I’ll always remember sticky tomatoes everywhere!

  31. My dear mum was never a good cook but tried to make treats for us. Money was scarce but nothing tasted as good as her apple pie made on a dinner plate!

1 Trackback / Pingback


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.