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Recipes from a Normal Mum [Hardcover]

Holly Bell
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
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Book Description

17 July 2014

In Recipes from a Normal Mum, Holly Bell, The Great British Bake Off finalist, transforms the daily chore of cooking for the whole family with her collection of inventive, economical and simple recipes.

With colour photographs of every dish (in response to the feedback Holly always hears from mums!), this is the must-have book for any mum who is short of time but still wants to cook delicious food for her family. Each recipe is written in straightforward steps and made with ingredients that you can buy at the supermarket.

Split into 8 chapters including The More the Merrier, Dinner for 2 in a Flash, Switch to Baking Mode and Food for the Great British Outdoors, Holly has recipes to fit every family occasion. And no longer will you be stumped when you are left with a little-used ingredient or an excess amount of a dish as Holly has supplied ideas for using up the surplus, ensuring you waste absolutely nothing. Recipes include the Mix It Up Breakfast Muffins, Lemony Salmon Pasta with Courgettes & Peas, Tortilla Traybake and Lemon Button Biscuits.

Holly is a real mum cooking in real time and 'normal' mums of every variety regularly turn to her blog for advice and fail-safe recipes. Whether it is a speedy recipe for feeding little people, cooking for a hungry crowd, baking for children's parties, or conjuring up grown-up weeknight suppers, this is a book to which you can turn no matter what aspect of family life you're approaching that day.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Quadrille Publishing (17 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849494193
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849494199
  • Product Dimensions: 25 x 19.2 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Holly Bell was born and raised in Leicestershire. After her degree, Holly moved straight to London and spent her twenties working in advertising in the week, then baking and cooking at the weekends.

Holly gave up the advertising and London lifestyle when she met her now husband, a fellow Leicestershire boy, one Christmas. He proposed 9 days after meeting and they were married within 4 months. She didn't give up the cooking and baking though. Quite the opposite...

In 2011 Holly applied to take part in Series 2 of the BBC programme The Great British Bake Off. She finished as a finalist and life has never been the same since. She now divides her time between looking after her young sons and guest presenting on QVC shopping channel. She is also the digital face of the Sainsbury's Live Well for Less youtube videos and occasionally presents on BBC Radio Leicester.

Her blog attracts thousands of visitors every day. Her facebook page is 'Recipes from a normal Mum' and she tweets as @HollyBellMummy

A quick question and answer interview with Holly:

Hometown: Leicester, East Midlands. The place most people claim to have driven past or through but never to have stopped. We have a market, we have lots of great curry houses, we have red Leicester cheese. What more do you want? Come on down.

Family: Married with two young sons. And no, I'm not holding out for a girl. I am more than happy with my little brood of train obsessives. That doesn't mean we might try and add another little train obsessive to the clan in the future though...

Favourite colour: Green. Love it. So underrated.

Happiest moment: Our wedding day. I smiled so much my cheeks hurt for days. Kind of ruined the honeymoon actually.

Person I most admire: Hmmm... all parents because my goodness I find it hard work to do even an average job. Included in that huge group my dear husband for also having to put up with a woman who cries over macarons. Superstar.

Most treasured possession: Boring answer, but photos of family and friends. Just to jog the good times memories. (I don't count actual living, breathing loved ones as possessions.)

Thing that most makes me happy: The sound of my eldest son making my baby son laugh.

Thing that most makes me unhappy on a personal level: Lack of sleep. That is all.

Most dislike about my appearance: I feel a deep sense of injustice at still having spots in my thirties. I'm sure Just Seventeen magazine said they'd be gone by now with the careful use of witch hazel and a blackhead remover from the Body Shop. Liars.

Favourite book: Women in Love. D H Lawrence. It was pointed out to me by the mother of an ex boyfriend that liking D H Lawrence was not a very feminist thing to do. So apologies. But you can't not like what you like.

Guiltiest pleasure: Reading trashy newspapers online. The type I would never carry under my arm. What a dreadful snob. Oh and eating like a pig when alone. Gross. No audience so no grace.

Worst job: Putting the fake credit cards into purses and handbags for 8 hours a day in a windowless factory. Paid for my first trip to a festival though.

Biggest disappointment: Not having been (wo)man enough to give birth without the help of an epidural. Twice.

Best way to relax: Reading cookbooks in bed after drinking red wine.

Last supper: My Mum's roast chicken followed by caramel ice cream. Then blue, smelly cheese. Lots of it. And copious amounts of red wine.

Most embarrassing secret: After a degree in English I still can't use the apostrophe. So please don't point out my grammatical shortcomings to me. I know. I need to sort it out before the boys start school. I will.

Favourite smell: It's a toss up between the heads of my baby sons and my old pipe smoking physics teacher's lab coat. I used to forget mine accidentally on purpose to wear his. Odd, I know.

Unusual thing about me: I have delivered 10 babies. In the late nineties I started a degree in Midwifery. Now I'm just addicted to One Born Every Minute.

Other weird thing about me: I was once the most popular woman no-one wanted to go out with on the Guardian Soulmates site. What a sad accolade.

Things I most like to bake/cook: Puff pastry for the cathartic repetitive action and deeply satisfying sight of the layers rising in the oven. And melting meatballs for their nursery style softness and crowd pleasing quality. And any cake involving the creation of small animals.

Product Description


'You may remember Holly Bell from The Great British Bake Off 2011, where she reached the final with her inventive bakes. She's not just a whizz with flour and sugar, as she proves with the release of her first cookbook. Packed with recipes for every occasion, plus friendly tips on everything from baby weaning to healthy eating, this is a brilliant resource for anyone cooking for kids.' --Good To Know Recipes, 1 July 2014

'Holly Bell, Great British Bake Off finalist and food blogger, is a typical mum trying to feed her family on a budget while juggling the demands of a meat-loving husband and the ever-changing food habits of two young children. She wanted recipes that provided healthy meals and which didn't demand a lot of time. Her solutions are here in a practical collection of weeknight dishes, with a few special treats for entertaining.' --BBC Good Food, 1 September 2014

'Great British Bake Off finalist Holly Bell transforms the daily chore of cooking for a family with this collection of inventive, economical and simple recipes. She's taken feedback from other mums and thoroughly applied comments throughout, adding colour photographs of every recipe (courtesy of David Loftus), written each recipe in straightforward steps and only used ingredients you can buy in the supermarket.' --Excelle magazine (North Leeds edition), 1 July 2014

'The first book from the 2011 British Bake Off finalist Holly Bell is a user-friendly compendium of speedy meals designed to feed a large and ravening family.' --Book of the Week, Telegraph, July 2014

'Holly Bell, finalist of the Great British Bake Off, shares her delicious no-nonsense bakes and puds - busy women everywhere rejoice!' --Prima, September 2014

About the Author

Holly Bell is a family recipe writer, blogger, presenter, mum of two and a memorable finalist of The Great British Bake Off. Her popular blog, Recipes from a Normal Mum, was launched in 2010 and has had over a million hits. Holly's ethos is that cooking should be fun, simple, inventive and inexpensive.

Holly was the digital face of Sainsbury's Live Well for Less and now regularly guest-presents on QVC for products such as Wilton and Kitchen Aid. In 2012, she sold an ebook on Amazon and knocked The Hairy Bikers off the top spot of the ebook charts. Holly lives in Leicester with her husband and two sons. Another baby will be joining them in the summer.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I love this book. For a start I've actually made food from it, unlike some other recipe books which I take off my shelf every now and then to stare at the pictures. Having said that, the food photos in this are delicious looking too. I've taken a peek at Holly Bell's blog since buying it and apparently, the pictures have been taken by the same guy who does Jamie Oliver's books. I guess he knows his stuff.
As Holly was a Great British Bake-Off finalist I expected another baking spin-off book but, after seeing a Telegraph recommendation I was curious enough to give it a go. I'm really pleased that I did, it's just what I needed. Everyday family food that me and my other half can cook, even when we're feeling frazzled. The recipes are simple, easy on the budget and inspiring in little ways (lasagne with sausage and butternut squash, masala lamb chops, cauliflower macaroni cheese, rocky road florentines all went down a treat, clean plates all round). It's written with real heart and humour. Clearly some cherished memories of people and the food that they've inspired (which in turn makes you think of your own). And refreshingly, there's none of the judgment or smugness of 'mum' books. Each chapter gives ideas on the meal moments of life (see below). It's a good buy and a real help. Definitely worth it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great family cookery book 21 July 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was extremely excited for my copy of this book to arrive and it definitely does not disappoint, the recipes are straight forward, none pretentious family meals. There is a wide selection of meat, fish, veggie and kids food so a great all rounder. Even my daughter picked up this cookery book and selected a few things she would like to try and she's a very fussy eater!!! Would recommend!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super Recipes From A Normal Mum 3 Aug 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a great book. Packed with lots of delicious sounding and, as each dish is wonderfully photographed, looking recipes.

I like the way it is broken into chapters and we have tried a few of the 'Dinner for two in a flash' recipes - thumbs up for the leftover baked chicken enchiladas! Perfect for a quick dinner after putting our little one to bed.

Written in a user friendly way and using ingredients readily available at home this is sure to become a much used favourite. I can tell as it already sits at the front for easy reach on our groaning shelf of cookbooks. Hard cheese, Jamie...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm about to get fatter.... 1 Aug 2014
By MummaP
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Let me start by saying, I own A LOT of recipe books. Some I use a fair bit, some a little and some...never!
This is already one of my most used. Its faultlessly perfect. Something for everyone and lots of inspiration and easily adapted recipes if you are that way inclined.
Holly's blog is wonderful and I have long hoped for a Recipe book to accompany it and she really has pulled it out of the bag.
If you have a kindle device and don't already have her previously released ebook, thats worth having too.
Just brilliant!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect present for a new mum! 30 July 2014
By Kate
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am a brand new mum (6 weeks in) with maternity leave ahead of me, and I decided to treat myself to a little something useful as I'm not the greatest cook. I saw the author on Loose Women and thought I would give this a go. I couldnt have picked a better present to myself, and my partner and eventually my child when he starts to eat! I've already tested out a couple of recipes which have gone down a treat. The photography is really something special, lots of accessible recipes that look easy and tasty and the short anecdotes throughout make it a nice, personal read. I would highly recommend this.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 19 July 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I received my copy of Holly's new book this week and have already made a couple of the recipes and planned next week's menu from it! A very well laid out book which has obviously had alot of work put into it. Would definitely recommend to anyone with a family to feed!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PERFECTION 23 July 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Not only are the recipes inspirational, but the background to them and accompanying stories, make for a great read.

There are sections covering every aspect any cook could wish for also the photographs make you want to cook everything within this book.

The section on "Presents From the Heart" is perfect for those who wish to create their own gifts/hampers.

Do not hesitate, BUY this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book! You will not be disappointed. 26 July 2014
I have so many cookbooks and whilst i try to cook from them, I have always been in search of a cookbook that is easy to follow and uses everyday ingredients that I know a supermarket will sell. So far, I have not been disappointed with any of the recipes and my family have enjoyed mealtimes, even my two year old who's a fussy eater - no leftovers! Buy this book! You will not be disappointed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A smashing book with lovely down to earth recipes, that work.
Published 2 days ago by Val T
5.0 out of 5 stars Yum
I was so excited to buy this book. Simple and practical recipes that are yummy. Great book.
Published 7 days ago by Ladylamb
5.0 out of 5 stars A proper bedside cookbook.
A great addition to my cookbook library and the kind of book that makes a great bedside book too (I'm sure my fellow baking addicts will appreciate the value of this. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Adam Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars Holly has a great writing style as well as some really fabulous family...
I own many recipe books - They are bedtime reading as well as meal inspiration for me! But I know that this one will be very well used by how often it's been out already. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Mrs Leigh Anne Laws
4.0 out of 5 stars Fab book from the ever reliable Holly
I fell in love with Holly Bell's style, presentation and recipes during her time on the Great British Bake Off - for me she was the clear winner, she was definitely robbed! Read more
Published 16 days ago by Lou
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book that will soon become your go to cook book for all...
A stunningly brilliant cook book! I cannot recommend this highly enough. Clever, easy to follow recipes that the whole family will love. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Emma Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic book, tasty, no fuss cooking. I love the leftover chicken enchiladas. When is the next one published????
Published 20 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have book
THIS BOOK IS FANTASTIC. My kids and I adore it. I have planned a full week of meals and done it together. A well writen book, easy to follow and a fantastic read. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Minal
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for normal cooks as well
I love it. I'm fairly rubbish in the kitchen, but this was a surprisingly un-intimidating, easy-to-use and fun book with some fantastic recipes. Read more
Published 25 days ago by J. Shurin
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