Taupō food lover Vanya Insull releases new cook book ‘Everyday Favourites’

Vanya Insull signed her new cookbook Everyday Favorites at a launch at Paper Plus Taupō on July 12, 2022. Photo / Supplied

Non-cookbook owners are buying Vanya Insull’s new recipe book, Everyday Favorites.

The Taupō home cook, mother, social media influencer and employer has turned her hand to writing a book. Vanya at handle @VJCooks has 148,000 followers on Facebook and 63,000 followers on Instagram. Everyday Favorites was launched on July 12 and book sales went straight to number one for New Zealand authors and number two on the Top 10 list for all books sold (British fiction author Lesley Pearse was first with Deception). The book maintained its number one position for New Zealand authors for two weeks, and last week was number two.

“It’s going gangbusters. I’ve had people message me saying they’ve never bought a cookbook before and now they’ve bought my book,” Vanya says.

Responding to comments takes time, and each and every person who messages her about the book gets some kind of response from Vanya.

About 30 people turned up to the book launch on July 12 at Paper Plus Taupō, where the staff served baking they made at home using Vanya’s recipes. Most of the attendees follow Vanya on social media and said they came along because they wanted to meet her after cooking her recipes for years.

All the action happens in Vanya’s Waipahihi kitchen, where she prepares, videos, and photographs her dishes. There’s a fair bit of eating going on in the kitchen as well, with Vanya and husband Mike frequently hosting dinner parties for family, friends, and recipe testers.

Vanya Insull photographing some home baking for her online followers.  Photo / Krystle Rakatau
Vanya Insull photographing some home baking for her online followers. Photo / Krystle Rakatau

Photographs of their two children, Archie, 8, and Henry, 6, are also in the new recipe book and Vanya says they get really excited when they go to shops selling Everyday Favourites.

“We go to The Warehouse and they say ‘look Mum, your cookbook’s at number two’.”

Vanya Insull's new cookbook Everyday Favorites contains affordable family dishes enjoyed by her social media audience @VJCooks.  Image / Allen & Unwin
Vanya Insull’s new cookbook Everyday Favorites contains affordable family dishes enjoyed by her social media audience @VJCooks. Image / Allen & Unwin

She does most of the cooking when the boys are at school as she has to concentrate while photographing the tasty treats.

A new and bigger kitchen table has been ordered, to comfortably fit 10 people and as a backdrop for photographing each dish.

“We want a kitchen table that will last for 50 years,” Mike says.

Smoked_Fish_Dip
Smoked_Fish_Dip

It’s taken a year to make the cookbook, with the publisher Allen & Unwin insisting the book contains brand new recipes as well as her classic recipes that have been well received online.

Everyday Favorites is the go-to recipe book for home cooks on the hunt for fuss-free dinners, baking and desserts.

“I firmly believe that cooking for a family doesn’t have to be hard or intimidating. My goal is to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.”

Simple to navigate, the book is broken into five chapters for all your cooking needs. The Light Meals section contains breezy, flavorful lunches or dinners for when you need something quick and not too heavy.

The Everyday Dinners chapter is midweek “go-to” recipes when you’re feeding a hungry family. Slow-cooked meats and heart-warming stews are in the Winter Warmers section. The Home Baking chapter is full of scrumptious cakes, loaves and breads for morning or afternoon tea, and finally, the Sweet Treats chapter has some of Vanya’s most popular slices and cookies.

The Details

Newly released cookbook Everyday Favorites by Taupō woman Vanya Insull, $31.99 published by Allen & Unwin.

Purchase online, or in Taupō from Whitcoulls, Paper Plus, or The Warehouse.

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