We've discovered the ultimate way to master that newly gifted cookbook.

So, Christmas has come and gone for another year, and amongst the new pairs of socks, photo frames and countless other forgettable bits and pieces lies a brand new cookbook. Its recipes look good, its images are gleaming, the ingredient lists are reasonable. You’ll have to try something from it, you think, before eventually putting it onto a bookshelf to gather dust with the many other cookbooks you’ve accumulated over the years.

Well, stop right there, friend. We’ve got the ultimate cookbook hack to get you not only using it, but also mastering its recipes. And oddly enough, it involves none other than ABC reporter and 7.30 host, Leigh Sales.

Leigh Sales: griller of fine meats by day, griller of politicians by night. Source: Facebook.

Showing off her truly inspirational hack during an episode of When I Get A Minute (her short series show with fellow ABC journalist Annabel Crabb) Sales said, "Whenever I get a new cookbook, I read through it, it's very enjoyable, I write down on a piece of paper the page numbers of everything that I would like to cook and then I methodically work through the list, and then I write on the recipe and say how did it turn out, was it underwhelming, did it need more of something."

Not quite sure what we mean? Watch below.

Simply put, this is life-changing, cooking magic that CHANGES ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING.

Forget about post-it tabs or folding pages of books that you will absolutely never get back to, this is the secret. This is that trick that will have you knowing what the key ingredients of scones are off the top of your head. And when someone talks about sauteing, you'll be like, "yes I know what that is and how to achieve it successfully because I learned how to from a cookbook I used."


To recreate Sales' recipe for success at home all you need is a cookbook, a blank piece of paper and a pen. And assuming you've been gifted the cookbook, this makes for a pretty cheap exercise.

leigh sales cookbook hack

From there, all you need to do is note down any recipes of interest and their page number (probably into categories of snacks, salads, mains and desserts is best), slip the paper into the front sleeve of the book and when you're doing your next grocery shop be sure to add the ingredients of a new recipe to your list.

And just like that, you can go on enjoying a highly organised life filled with delicious meals. And by the time next Christmas rolls around you're sure to be a Masterchef participant in the making.