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Content by Rachel Lucas
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Reviews Written by
Rachel Lucas (Aylesbury, UK)

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Mediterranean Cooking for Diabetics: Delicious Dishes to Control or Avoid Diabetes
Mediterranean Cooking for Diabetics: Delicious Dishes to Control or Avoid Diabetes
by Robin Ellis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.90

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delight...and definitely NOT just for diabetics!, 3 Mar. 2016
I was lucky enough to receive a preview copy of the book, hence my prompt review! I have followed Robin's food blog for a few years, and enjoyed his first two books ...and then, last Autumn, my husband and I attended one of his cookery courses in the gorgeous Tarn region of South-West France where Robin and his wife, Meredith now live. We loved the atmosphere and feel of the informal course, together with the fresh, light and delicious meals we learned to prepare...and that feeling is very much reflected within the pages of this beautiful book. Neither of us are diabetics, and you really don't need to have any health issues to find a wonderful, healthy way of eating using Robin's philosophy of plenty of good,fresh ingredients simply cooked and prepared. The book is laid out so that it flows naturally through chapters on Soups, Light Meals and Salads through many useful and tasty Vegetable and Vegetarian dishes to more substantial meals featuring Fish & Seafood, Meat, Grains and Pulses. The book ends with some suggestions for ending your meals on a sweet note - although, as a book that's suitable for those with diabetes, naturally Desserts are not high on Robin's priority list. None of the recipes are long or complicated...most fit on one page. They are perfect for weekday suppers and easy lunches as well as entertaining. There are no difficult ingredients or methods...just well-thought out and balanced dishes that sound so appetising you can't wait to try them out. I found the chapter on One-Pot dishes and Gratins particularly useful for mid-week inspiration...the White Bean Gratin (which was one of the dishes learned on the course, too) is something we eat often...as is the Chicken Tagine. I am so looking forward to working my way through the recipes and have marked many pages already with sticky notes! Special mention must also go to the design and beautiful photography that turn this book from a useful and interesting cookbook into a visual delight. Although it's a paperback, it's substantial and feels good to the touch. The photos are absolutely gorgeous....they were taken by Robin's wife, Meredith, and I think the special relationship that she shares with the author and his writing really shines from the pages. You can see the love for her subjects...Robin, his beautiful dishes, their beloved home (and cats!) and the truly magical area of France that they have made their home...in every part of the book and this really enhances the text and makes it something that I will be giving as a gift as well as treasuring my own copy. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to anyone, at any level of expertise in the kitchen. I think it contains something to delight everyone....


Solange Azagury-Partridge Hotlips Lacquered Sterling Silver Black Cherry Ring
Solange Azagury-Partridge Hotlips Lacquered Sterling Silver Black Cherry Ring
Price: £69.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!, 26 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Just received my ring this evening...it's on my finger and it will be hard to take it off! Beautiful, distinctive and a great price for superb quality. I may indulge in some other colours when I save up! I bought the medium...have quite small fingers and it fits perfectly on the 4th finger on my right hand. Advise sizing up if you are worried as it's fairly snug, but I like that as it ensures the beautiful lips stay put! Just gorgeous!


Food for Thought: Changing the world one bite at a time. Foreword by Sheila Dillon.
Food for Thought: Changing the world one bite at a time. Foreword by Sheila Dillon.
by Vanessa Kimbell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.58

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book with a big heart..., 25 Oct. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This second book by Vanessa Kimbell is already turning out to be one of my favourites...although I've only owned it for a few days! She has definitely managed to achieve her stated aim, I believe...to make the reader really think about the origins of the food on their plate. The style is informal...never 'preachy'...but Vanessa does help you to make informed choices when deciding what to eat. Based on her extensive knowledge - gained from her travel experiences and encounters with food producers in many different parts of the world - she knows her stuff. If you want to cook and eat delicious food (there are chapters on cooking for children, unexpected guests and long, leisurely weekends) the tools are all here! I made the 'Don't Destroy the Rainforests Digestives' yesterday - and they were declared better that you-know-who's! It's also a very attractive book...gorgeous photos throughout, beautiful paper and fonts...I think it would make a fabulous present for someone who loves to cook and wants to make ethical and sustainable choices that will (eventually) make the world a better place...as Vanessa says...'one bite at a time'. Recommended!


The Fairy Tale Girl
The Fairy Tale Girl
by Susan Branch
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.50

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dream of a Book, 16 Oct. 2015
This review is from: The Fairy Tale Girl (Hardcover)
This is different to much of Susan's earlier work and follows on from the wonderful 'A Fine Romance'...although it's actually the first of two prequels to that book! I'm so thrilled that Susan's writing has taken this turn (although I have loved everything she's done) The beautiful, chunky size and the little details (the silky ribbon page marker etc) mean that this is a real treat and would also be perfect as a gift. The story is autobiographical and fills in the story of Susan's early life in California and the emotionally traumatic events that led to her completely uprooting from all she knew and moving to Martha's Vineyard, thousands of miles away from her family and friends. But it's not dark by any means...the story is peppered with brilliantly observed details of time and place, and there is much humour here too! It's ultimately a very warm story of a happy childhood in a more innocent time, of growing up and discovering that the world isn't all moonlight and roses, and of a brave young woman who decided to take control and change her life instead of sitting and bemoaning her lot. I loved every minute (I forgot to tell you about the always fabulous hand-painted illustrations and the evocative family photos that enliven each page, too!) and heartily recommend it.


I Let You Go
I Let You Go
by Clare Mackintosh
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't want to let it go!, 14 Jun. 2015
This review is from: I Let You Go (Paperback)
Nothing that I can really add to the other five star reviews here...especially as we are all desperate to avoid spoilers, which in this case would be a terrible thing to do to a prospective reader! I loved the writing, the unpredictability of the plot, the brilliantly observed characters....my father died only 3 weeks ago, and this book has helped me through a couple of sleepless nights. For that, and for a brilliant story, I thank Clare very much. Can't wait for her next book!


The Violet Bakery Cookbook
The Violet Bakery Cookbook
by Claire Ptak
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.60

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and beautiful..., 17 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm a professional baker and buy a LOT of baking books...for inspiration, for information, to keep up to date with what's current...but this is the first for a long time that I am using to actually cook from. It looks beautiful, the writing is great and the recipes are exciting...plus, they actually WORK! Claire has a great baking pedigree and it shows on every page. I would recommend this to all but the complete novice. It will certainly be at the front of my shelf for a long time to come.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 6, 2015 7:22 PM BST


Autumn from the Heart of the Home
Autumn from the Heart of the Home
by Susan Branch
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.61

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Joyful Celebration of a Special Season, 7 Oct. 2014
Autumn is my favourite season...and this beautiful book encompasses everything that I love about it! The illustrations are exquisite...Susan finds the best quotes and weaves them through the pages so that there's always something new to delight. The recipes make your mouth water...I can personally recommend the Pumpkin Cheesecake, the Chowder and the Lamb Shanks amongst many others...the cheesecake gets so many comments every time I make it! Susan Branch is simply an amazing author and illustrator...I have all her books and will buy this again (I have an original 2004 copy) if it becomes more widely available on Amazon UK...PLEASE stock it properly, Amazon!! I would love to buy several for presents too...here's hoping!


Susan Branch 2015 Calendar: Heart of the Home
Susan Branch 2015 Calendar: Heart of the Home
by TF Publishing
Edition: Calendar
Price: £7.63

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant way to enjoy Susan Branch all year round!, 7 Oct. 2014
Everything that Susan Branch writes, draws & paints is absolutely magic to my mind...and her calendars are no exception. I have collected them for many years...they make great gifts and the pages are beautiful enough to frame afterwards. Plenty of space to write in your important dates too. I try really hard to NOT turn the pages until the month actually arrives, so that I have a treat every time. But it's difficult not to peek! Highly recommended...her blog is amazing too, if you haven't already visited!


LOVE MY CASE / YELLOW ZIP MP3 Player Case, cover, shell - Clamshell Style with Zip Enclosure, designed Inner Pocket, Durable Exterior Apple iPod Shuffle 2nd / 3rd / 4th Generation with Love my Case Cleaning cloth
LOVE MY CASE / YELLOW ZIP MP3 Player Case, cover, shell - Clamshell Style with Zip Enclosure, designed Inner Pocket, Durable Exterior Apple iPod Shuffle 2nd / 3rd / 4th Generation with Love my Case Cleaning cloth

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice looking & practical case, 11 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very pleased with this purchase...a good price, nicely made & looks good too. Perfect for keeping my IPod shuffle, earbuds & silicon covers safe and all together. Recommended.


A Fine Romance: Falling in Love with the English Countryside
A Fine Romance: Falling in Love with the English Countryside
by Susan Branch
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.97

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Susan's brilliant tribute to England..., 16 Aug. 2013
Susan Branch isn't too well known over here...hopefully that will change with the publication of this wonderful new book. I first bought one of her exquisitely hand-written and watercoloured recipe books over 20 years ago and have been in love with her ever since! I consider this book to be her best to date. It is essentially a diary of the trip that she and her beloved Joe took to England last summer. But it's SO much more than that! There are gorgeous vignettes of our countryside that make you look at the landscape in a different way. Chapters on Beatrix Potter, the National Trust, gardens like Sissinghurst, houses like Charleston and Jane Austen's home at Chawton...all woven through with inspirational quotes, fabulous photos and enchanting watercolour illustrations...plus recipes, ideas for films to watch, books to enjoy, places to visit. It made me long to jump in the car and visit everywhere immediately! An absolute joy.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 29, 2013 6:02 PM BST


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