Profile for An ordinary mum > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by An ordinary mum
Top Reviewer Ranking: 39,110
Helpful Votes: 272

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
An ordinary mum (Aberdeen, Scotland)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2
pixel
The Book of New Israeli Food
The Book of New Israeli Food
by Janna Gur
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 22.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I want to eat everything in this book!, 8 Jan 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Okay, I'll admit I'm biased - I love Israeli food. But I'd be willing to bet that any lover of mediterranean or middle-eastern food of any denomination will absolutely adore this book. A feast for the eyes and the stomach, it's beautifully illustrated and contains lots of additional information - about, say, the Israeli cheesemaking tradition, or how festivals are celebrated. But the food's the star. Authentic, straightforward, healthy and uncomplicated - what's not to love? The tahini sauce is dreamy, the shakshuka will transport you straight to the back streets of Jaffa, and the lamb kebabs with 'everything' salad were a big hit.

Seriously, if you like to eat, buy this book!


Food From Many Greek Kitchens
Food From Many Greek Kitchens
by Tessa Kiros
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.50

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Appetising food, appalling typography!, 8 Jan 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Tessa Kiros' latest book is a real tonic on a cold, snowy day. A love-letter to Greece, her people and food, it's jam-packed with gorgeous images of turquoise seas, colourful interiors and interesting faces. And let's not forget the food - grilled meat, baked veg, mezzes and mains, breads and cakes...the recipes are eminently do-able, yet don't seem to be dumbed down faux-Greek.

However...I have a serious problem with the type-face. It's pale turquoise, which I can see fine, but may not be okay for everyone. Far worse, though, is the ridiculous, over-ornate font that's been used for the introductions, and the italicisation of the method. I have to really concentrate on reading each word individually, rather than gobble up her writing.

It's a real shame, as Kiros is a delightful author, with interesting things to say. But in this case, the design hinders, rather than helps, the reader.


Design-It-Yourself Clothes
Design-It-Yourself Clothes
by Cal Patch
Edition: Paperback
Price: 14.10

81 of 81 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good starting point, 25 Nov 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a good book to get you started designing your own clothing patterns. The book takes a few basic shapes - a-line skirt, tshirt, trousers and blouse - and, as well as showing how to make them, gives variations on these basics. So, the blouse becomes a jacket, the skirt takes on a yoke and ruffle and so on. The typography is lovely and clear and the diagrams are helpful.

Her writing style is really easy to read and she explains things like grading for different sizes, cut 'n' spread pattern altering and measuring really well. There's also a chapter on how to draft patterns from your favourite pieces of clothing. I especially liked the design process information.

I do have a small criticism, though, and that is that there is little concession made for larger busts - the blouse has no darts or shaping at all! Neither does the jacket or tshirt, and the dress is also not awfully boob-friendly. If you're a more experienced sewer, chances are you'll be able to put in the necessary darts and tucks yourself, but I would really have liked this information integrated into the book with explanations of how it works and how best to shape clothing for curves.


Venezia: Food and Dreams
Venezia: Food and Dreams
by Tessa Kiros
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.50

45 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars beautiful, but impractical, 29 Oct 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As with Tessa Kiros' previous books, this one is absolutely gorgeous. Gold-edged pages and many, many shots of Venice and its people, especially around Carnival time make it a delight to leaf through.

So far, so good, and if you know someone who loves Venice or has had a special time there, this would be a good gift. But I doubt how much actual cooking I'll be doing from this book...octopus, anchovies, special Italian sausage and prosecco feature highly on the ingredients list, none of which I find particularly appealing or easy to lay my hands on.

It's certainly not the family-friendly fare of Falling Cloudberries or Apples for Jam. Nice to read but I think I'll stick to her earlier works for cooking.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 16, 2009 11:39 AM BST


Davina - The Box Set : The Power Of 3 / My Three 30 Minute Workouts [2005] [DVD]
Davina - The Box Set : The Power Of 3 / My Three 30 Minute Workouts [2005] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Davina McCall
Price: 16.81

3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Spoiled by Davina's endless complaining, 20 Aug 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
First of all, the positive - the instructors on these videos are great. They're encouraging and enthusiastic, and the routines are fun and challenging.

In fact, it'd be a five-star review if it weren't for Davina's dreadful behaviour. She's like an attention-seeking child, running around, complaining, gurning, pulling faces, showing off...it's all rather demotivating.

I'd expect her to cheer the viewer on, instead she's looking for affirmation herself. This is enjoyable for hard-core Davina fans only.


Unicorn School: First Class Friends
Unicorn School: First Class Friends
by Linda Chapman
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.59

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Kind of a dodgy underlying message..., 15 Jan 2008
The main problem I had with this book was the underlying message - that it's okay to go somewhere you know is expressly forbidden with someone you don't trust, and that you shouldn't tell your friends or an adult this is what you're doing. This isn't the kind of behaviour I'm comfortable with my daughter being shown, and told that it's what friends do.

Otherwise, the book is no better than average with quite a lot of annoying whinnying and suchlike, poor character development and little content.


A Paradiso Year: Autumn and Winter Cooking
A Paradiso Year: Autumn and Winter Cooking
by Denis Cotter
Edition: Paperback
Price: 17.33

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars yummy yummy, 7 Nov 2007
Wonderful vegetarian cooking, where the vegetable is the star. Not just another mixed veg plus sauce cookbook, these are more like restaurant fare, and more suitable for dinner parties than dinner for the kids at six. One word of warning: don't buy with Paradiso: Seasons. This is just Seasons excerpted.


Simple Chinese Cooking
Simple Chinese Cooking
by Kylie Kwong
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a book to cook from!, 17 Oct 2007
This review is from: Simple Chinese Cooking (Hardcover)
This is a beautiful book with so many recipes I felt I wanted to cook. So far, deep fried tofu with black bean and chili sauce was absolutely yummy, and the honey soy chicken was really tasty too. There is a little bit of repetition - pork in black bean, chicken in black bean, beef in black bean, fish in black bean - but so many other great recipes you don't feel hard done by. Individual tastes, too, not just stir-fried whatever. A great, accessible introduction to chinese cookery.


Nigella Express
Nigella Express
by Nigella Lawson
Edition: Hardcover

32 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay, 11 Sep 2007
This review is from: Nigella Express (Hardcover)
The book is beautifully written as usual, and luscious photographs accompany every recipe. But I was a bit disappointed by the actual recipes - there seem to be quite a few that involve adding together a couple of packaged ingredients then serving, which to me isn't really cooking. I guess if you're not a big fan of cooking, you'll love this book. Or if you don't mind using a whole load of shop-bought, ready prepared ingredients. But if you baulk at pre-cooked noodles and do actually know what to do with green curry paste without being told, this might not be for you. Try Nigel Slater's 'Real Fast Food' instead!


Page: 1 | 2