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S. Cobbold (UK)
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Leon: Fast Vegetarian
Leon: Fast Vegetarian
by Henry Dimbleby
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.00

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet another winning cookbook from Leon, 3 Mar 2014
This review is from: Leon: Fast Vegetarian (Hardcover)
If, like me, you've ever been stumped for what to cook your vegetarian friend, or just wanted to incorporate more veggies into your and your children's diet, this book is a godsend. It's full of simple, relatively quick, tasty dishes, all presented in Leon's standard stylised, accessible, home-cookbook manner.

The book's divided into two sections – one where the veggies are the stars and 'can stand on their own as a whole meal' and another where they're more the support act (i.e. side dishes). There seems to be a bit of crossover – particularly in the chapter dedicated to cooking for children – but by and large the first section is where you'll find mains and starters, the second sides (and a little chapter on fruity puddings).

The dishes are kept simple – 'Turnips, beetroot & orange', for example – but it's the combination of flavours, seasonings and dressings that give them the edge, and there are lots of combinations I wouldn't have thought of before. Plus (and probably most importantly) most of the ingredients are either the kind of thing you'd already have in your cupboards, or something that you could pick up easily. No more hunting around for obscure ingredients! I can see this becoming my go-to kitchen cookbook for many meals to come.


Great British Bake Off: Winter Kitchen
Great British Bake Off: Winter Kitchen
by Lizzie Kamenetzky
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.00

18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seasonal, simple, timeless recipes, 21 Nov 2013
This is one of those reliable cookbooks you refer to again and again. Because it's themed to winter, almost all of the recipes are seasonal, and are just want you want to be cooking (and eating!) at this time of year.

- Layout and Photography
The book is divided into 10 sections: Soups, Weeknight Comfort, Weekend Feasts, Slow cooking, Pies, Winter Veg, Puddings, Seasonal Occasions, Breads and Bakes, and Preserves and Pickles - so it's definitely not limited just to baking. There's generally one recipe per page, with an accompanying photo - and the photography is beautiful. Lots of overhead shots, dark, cosy images, rustic styling.

- Recipes
The foreword is by the 'Bake Off Team' but the recipes are created by Lizzie Kamenetzky, the food editor of delicious. All of the recipes seem very accessible, very achievable, and no long lists of obscure ingredients! Flicking through, I found at least 10 recipes I could cook that evening with ingredients I already had.

If you ever find yourself wishing you had a one-stop cookbook, this could be it - it has all the basics, from cauliflower cheese and fish pie, to treacle tart and sticky gingerbread. Or if you've got a bit more time on your hands, try the slow-roast lamb with red onions, marsala and rosemary - I made it for Sunday lunch and it was so simple, but tasted incredible - a great mix of flavours. The roast pumpkin with feta and oregano, and roasted caramelised shallots were the perfect accompaniment, followed by a slice of autumn fruit strudel, which was surprisingly easy to make and was delicious with the apple, pear and blackberry filling.

All the recipes are laid out with a helpful introduction and step-by-step instructions (Step 1, Step 2, Step 3 etc in separate paragraphs) so it feels very logical and easy to follow. And all of the recipes are 5 steps or less (apart from a few of the breads).

The seasonal chapter does have a turkey, ham, yule log, mince pie and Christmas pudding recipe but it doesn't feel overly Christmassy so it's still a great cookbook to be using into the new year and through the rest of winter.

- Summary
This is a great book for bake-off fans, less confident cooks who want to pick up some skills - and anyone who's fed up of having a shelf-full of cookbooks and just wants one catch-all, seasonal cookbook (for winter at least!)


The Paris Gourmet: Restaurants  Shops  Recipes  Tips (Flammarion Chic Lifestyle)
The Paris Gourmet: Restaurants Shops Recipes Tips (Flammarion Chic Lifestyle)
by Trish Deseine
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.00

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Covers all bases, 8 Nov 2013
This gem of a guidebook will make you want to jump on the next train/plane to Paris. The first half is effectively a listings book, with lots of cafes, bistros and food shops, but since the recommendations are all written first-person by Trish (and are each around 50-150 words), they feel much more personable. It's like having a local by your side, saying 'Follow me, I know this great little place...'

It's a bit hard to get a grasp of where the different places are, since they're grouped by category (bistros, speciality shops etc.) and there's no map, but the second half of the book works much more effectively. There's a brilliant section 'The very best...' in case you're craving onion tart, crepes or coffee and don't know where to go. There's a low-down on all the food markets and even a recipe section so you can trial a few dishes while planning your trip!

It's quite a heavy tome, so perhaps not one for carrying round as you walk around the city, but you could certainly pour over it while planning where to go each day - and come up with a long list of mouthwatering suggestions. Highly recommended.


Drinks
Drinks
by Tony Conigliaro
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Master of cocktails, 8 Nov 2013
This review is from: Drinks (Hardcover)
Tony Conigliaro is often referred to as the 'Heston Blummenthal of the drinks world' - and with this, his first book (in which Heston writes the foreword), it's not hard to see why. There's a good variety of cocktails, ranging from the simple to the much more complex 'concept' drinks. These concept drinks are where Tony's creativity shines through - each recipe is as much an insight into his mindset behind the drink as it is a step-by-step guide to recreating it at home.

Divided into 17 chapters, the book also covers techniques, recommended equipment, glassware, and how to make those finishing touches such a liqueurs, tinctures and essences. True, you probably wouldn't be able to make every cocktail in the book without buying some seriously hi-tech (and expensive) kit, but there's just the right balance of aspirational and genuinely realistic recipes to keep anyone busy (and seriously impress at your next cocktail party).

A must for any serious cocktail-lover who wants to recreate some of Tony's magic at home.


Genuine Smeg Refrigerator Fridge Freezer Compartment Door Hook Latch 763850173
Genuine Smeg Refrigerator Fridge Freezer Compartment Door Hook Latch 763850173
Offered by Electrics Warehouse
Price: £17.72

3.0 out of 5 stars Overpriced but does the job, 22 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Quite how Smeg can justify selling this little piece of plastic for £10, I don't know, but it fitted into my fridge/freezer fine and now I can shut the freezer door. So all in all, perfect, apart from the price.


Kärcher WV60 Window Vac - Window Cleaning Vacuum Kit
Kärcher WV60 Window Vac - Window Cleaning Vacuum Kit
Price: £52.99

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for me, 22 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Maybe I was unlucky or was expecting too much, but I tried using this to clean all of my windows, thinking it would save money on the window cleaner. Unfortunately I found it near impossible to use without leaving streaks, and a puddle of dirty water at the bottom of the window where the window frame stopped the vac sucking the excess water up. So even after spraying, scrubbing and vacuuming, I still had to buff the windows to clear them. It was quite heavy, and didn't make it round my little terraced house without the battery running out – in the middle of one window, which was half cleaned making a complete mess of it. Needless to say, I have now returned the Vac and will be calling in the window cleaners instead.


TeckNet® Wireless Digital Doorbell (Battery Operated)
TeckNet® Wireless Digital Doorbell (Battery Operated)
Offered by BlueByte Ltd
Price: £11.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Works perfectly, good for a giggle, 22 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This was so simple to set up and install, and works perfectly even when the main receiver is about 15 metres away from the doorbell. The only slight annoyances is that there's about a 2 second delay between someone ringing the bell and the sound going off, and the most basic tone, the 'ding dong' rings twice – there's no setting for a single 'ding dong'. Plus all the other tones sound a bit like a bad polyphonic ringtone – and some of them you can't help but smile when you hear them.


In A Time Lapse
In A Time Lapse
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, soothing music, 22 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: In A Time Lapse (MP3 Download)
Yet another peaceful album from Einaudi – I'd say it lacks the variety and depth of some of his previous albums, but there are some incredible songs on there, making it well worth buying.


Kitchen Craft Non-Stick Twelve Hole Madeleine Pan
Kitchen Craft Non-Stick Twelve Hole Madeleine Pan
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Solid, heavy duty, last-for-a-lifetime tin, 22 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having tried this out, I'd definitely recommend it. Of course the secret to getting madeleines to come out is to butter and flour the tin, but even with just a little butter, they still popped out of this tin without any trouble. The weight of the metal ensures it retains the heat and helps the madeleines turn a lovely golden brown rather than overheating and burning in the tin. The only thing to keep in mind is that it is quite wide – check it'll fit in your oven first!


Kärcher Window Vac Extension Pole
Kärcher Window Vac Extension Pole
Price: £24.95

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the tin, 22 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a very basic piece of kit – literally an extendable pole that you can attach the Window Vac to. Because there's no way of spraying the cleaner directly on the window at a height, you just have to soak the attached sponge and use that – which isn't all that efficient, and it's quite hard to put any real pressure on the window to get off any tough marks. Plus once you've got the vac attachment on the end, it's very cumbersome and hard to use properly. It's OK, but I'd say it's better suited to ground floor windows in hard-to-reach spots and conservatories than attempting to reach first floor windows.


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