Secrets to simple, tasty cooking

Published 5:00am 13 June 2023

Secrets to simple, tasty cooking
Words by Kylie Knight

Kim McCosker’s simple, yet delicious recipes have resonated with home cooks since she published her first 4 Ingredients cookbook in 2007.

She chats to Moreton Daily ahead of her appearances at Moreton Bay Food + Wine Festival (August 4, 5 and 6) where she will show audiences how to prepare quick and easy meals.

Tickets are on sale now. Head to the website

Kim enjoyed being part of last year's festival at Woody Point and can’t wait to return this year, saying she’s the least “qualified” of an amazing line-up of chefs.

“It shows there is a place for simplicity in a busy kitchen as well … including a cook as well as the chefs (in the event),” she says.

As a mother of three boys, Kim knows what it’s like to asked ‘what’s for dinner?’ and to have no idea what she’s going to cook.

She could not have imagined the shift her life has taken since leaving the finance industry to raise her children.

Necessity is the mother of invention and when Kim couldn’t find recipes for quick and easy meals, she took matters into her own hands.

“I wanted something (to cook) for three little boys … a bacon and egg pie or something like that. I sat down and wrote it (the cookbook) … everyone said it would be a flop,” she recalls.

She discovered she was good at marketing, social media and connecting with audiences in a relatable way – giving them tools and ideas that would work for them.

Forty-two books have followed as well as television appearances, live demonstrations and online blogs.

“I applaud Moreton Bay Food + Wine Festival for recognising there’s a time and place for all genres of cooking,” Kim says.

Secrets to simple, tasty cooking

What Kim is planning

At this year’s Moreton Bay Food + Wine Festival, she will focus on recipes using seasonal produce.

“If you can cook in-season and on-sale, it saves money in the kitchen,” Kim says.

She will showcase one-pot wonders including versatile savoury mince which can be used as a pie filling or nachos with a twist.

“I will also make a chicken dish – if you add peanut butter or a bit of red curry paste, magic happens,” Kim says.

She also plans to make a slice or cake and a “dip to dazzle”.

Kim was born in Stanthorpe but raised on a citrus farm in Mundubbera.

“Food has always been central to our lives,” she explains.

|“Everything happened in the family kitchen. Food brings a family together. The kitchen table is the most sacred place in the house. I grew up around the kitchen table.”|

Her mother, Nanna and aunts taught her how to make sponge cake, pikelets and Chantilly cream among other culinary delights.

So, what are the staples all home cooks should have on hand?

“When you cook with four or few ingredients, you have to ask what is your star ingredient and how can you inject flavour,” Kim says.

“You need good soy sauce, fresh garlic and ginger, good red curry paste or tika masala paste.”

These add flavour to casseroles, rissoles, kebabs.

Kim says other must-haves are a good basil pesto, tomato paste, peanut butter, eggs and pasta.

Secrets to simple, tasty cooking

About Moreton Bay Food + Wine Festival

Over three scrumptious days (August 4-6, 2023), more than 15,000 people are expected visit the festival precinct at Woody Point, watch live cooking demonstrations, rub shoulders with celebrity chefs, listen to live music and sample the delights of the Moreton Bay Region’s amazing food bowl.

The line-up includes Miguel Maestre, Poh Ling Yeow, Alastair McLeod, Dominique Rizzo and Kim McCosker.

The Moreton Bay Food + Wine Festival will be delivered by Moreton Bay Region Industry & Tourism, with the support of key strategic partners, Moreton Bay Regional Council and Tourism and Events Queensland.

The Moreton Bay Food + Wine Festival is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.

To find out more and to buy tickets, head to the website

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