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Ms A Phelan (London)

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The Temporary Bride: A Memoir of Love and Food in Iran
The Temporary Bride: A Memoir of Love and Food in Iran
by Jennifer Klinec
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.28

5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable young woman's tale of love and culinary adventures!, 9 Sep 2014
I loved this book and read it greedily and quickly. Then when I realised I was almost finished, nibbled my way to the end so I could make it last longer. I already knew part of Jennifer Klinec’s story because I was one of her students (‘a Knife Skills’ class, I still use the knife she gave her students) when she ran cooking classes from her home in London. In fact, even before that I had subscribed to her oh-so-interesting email newsletters that she produced, full of recipes and stories from her travels.

When Jennifer finished her cooking classes and newsletters I had hoped she would write about her food story and now she has. And a remarkable story it is. Her early explorations where she recalls her background, how she found and developed her culinary skills is interesting but it is when she starts her journey to into arabic cuisine her story becomes fascinating. Travelling alone in a part of the world perceived as hostile to women, her openness to people and opportunities brought her into family homes so she could learn about the food culture as practiced in everyday circumstances. And also introduced her to Vahid, her future love. This is when the story escalates into the tale of the title. But enough said, you need to read it and enjoy the book yourself.

What shines through all this book is Jennifer’s hunger for culinary knowledge, her independent spirit and openness. It’s a remarkable story written with a lot of honesty and full of evocative descriptions. I immediately wanted to make some of the dishes described and wished for recipes but perhaps that’s a future book and one that will come with authenticity! Highly recommended.


The Pressure Cooker Cookbook
The Pressure Cooker Cookbook
by Catherine Phipps
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.09

47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Pressure Cooking!, 25 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I remember the hissing, rattling, frightening pressure cooker we had when I was a child which was used for steamed puddings and ham on occasions so although intrigued I was wary of using pressure cookers again. Recently there's been a lot of talk about the new style modern pressure cookers and how quiet they are and how time saving they can be. I learned via Twitter that this cookbook had been published and decided to purchase a pressure cooker and it at the same time. All I can say is "life changing!". If, like me, you love to eat well, enjoy cooking in general but sometimes find the rush to cook at the end of a busy day stressful or if you're a fan of dried beans but always forget to pre-soak them in time then a pressure cooker is for you. And if you want a cookbook that helps you pull together a great tasting meal in minutes then this is the cookbook for you too.

So far I've cooked 'Quick Chicken Supper for Two', 'One-pot Lentils with Sausages', 'Basque Squid Stew', 'Caponata', followed numerous instructions on cooking chickpeas, vegs and wild rice among others. I simply cannot wait to try some of the more unusual recipes like cheesecake and chocolate pots. I found this cookbook to have really clear instructions, well-laid out pages and very easy to use. Catherine explains recipes calmly and offers tips and alternatives. It really has taken the pressure off (pardon the pun) preparing an evening meal. So, do yourself a favour, buy a pressure cooker and this cookbook. Highly recommended.


Palo Metal Stylus Pen in Black a with rubber screw tip for most Capacitive
Mobile Phone Telephone HQ Tablet Stylus Pen Apple iPhone Ipad Ipad 2 Ipad 3
Ipad Mini Ipod Touch Wifi 3G 3GS 4G 4GS 5 Nokia Samsung Galaxy HTC
Palo Metal Stylus Pen in Black a with rubber screw tip for most Capacitive Mobile Phone Telephone HQ Tablet Stylus Pen Apple iPhone Ipad Ipad 2 Ipad 3 Ipad Mini Ipod Touch Wifi 3G 3GS 4G 4GS 5 Nokia Samsung Galaxy HTC
Offered by Palo
Price: £2.75

4.0 out of 5 stars Great value, 20 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this pen as a standby replacement for a more expensive pen and was surprised at the quality. For the price it is excellent value, it seems to work well and while not as sturdy as my regular Wacom pen I don't have a fear of losing it like the Wacom. I gave two away as gifts and have only heard good reports back. Highly recommend it and will be purchasing a few as Xmas gifts!


Scandilicious Baking
Scandilicious Baking
by Signe Johansen BA Social Anthropology; MA Anthropology of Food
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.10

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book on Scandinavian baking. Lovely recipes., 3 Aug 2012
This review is from: Scandilicious Baking (Hardcover)
I already own (and use) Signe's first book "Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking" and so was eager to read her second book. Once again there is the same straightforward approach to recipes as I found in her first book but this second book seems weightier, more assured in content. I say I'm not a natural baker, I feel more confident in the more forgiving savoury cooking and (whispers it) don't really like overblown, over-sweet cakes with copious icing and please don't get me started on super iced cupcakes! But as with all things Scandinavian, the recipes here are well-conceived and balanced. Sweetness is restrained so it never becomes cloying but just enough. On receiving this book I immediately baked Signe's 'Sticky Ginger Spice Cake', a moist cake that improves everyday (that it lasts which may not be long). I already was a fan of her 'Chocolate & Orange Marmalade Loaf Cake' (recipe was on an old blog post of hers) and should say that that cake has had rave comments each time I've made it and is easy to make. Toasted Oat, Date and Hazelnut Cookies are delicious and are perfect mid-afternoon treats. Yesterday I made the Plaited Milk Loaf and although mine may not have been as perfectly formed as the one photographed in the book it didn't look bad for a first attempt, tasted delicious and was simple to make (once I remembered how to plait!).

Once again the photography is gorgeous, the layout clear and easy to use and the instructions very clear and confident. I can honestly say that, for a non-baker (although that's changing), I have seen loads of recipes I'd love to try and will. This book is a keeper. Today I realised that I haven't even tried any recipe in the Savouries section! That's the next baking session. Absolutely recommend it!


Comfort & Spice (New Voices in Food)
Comfort & Spice (New Voices in Food)
by Niamh Shields
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jam-packed with generous recipes, 27 Aug 2011
Generous! That's what comes to mind when you first flick this book. Not only is it packed with loads of recipes but they all seem to offer so much. With dishes for all occassions ranging from quick and easy (Spiced Chickpea, Spinach and Feta Salad) to gentle and slow (Overnight Shoulder of Pork) Niamh's enthusiasm for comforting, generous food shines through. This book is inspiring and encouraging, whatever level of cook you are. What's more, the writing is witty and informative. The introduction (I rarely read introductions I have to admit) is so chatty and friendly you feel Niamh is sitting beside you. These dishes are not about fussy details or clever plating but they offer flavour in handfuls! All the recipes are clearly explained and I love the way a recipe using a large joint of meat is followed by recipes that use up any leftovers. This way of cooking is something I really relate to. Indeed, there are lots and lots of tips and pointers sprinkled throughout the book.

This morning I made Niamh's Irish Soda Farls which we smothered in butter and honey. Delicious. And I'm off soon to the butchers because the Baby Back Ribs just need to be made!

I should mention the photographs which are just lovely. The page layout is also clear and unfussy. All in all, a book to recommend to buy and to keep!

Now excuse me, I've got to see a man about some pork ribs!


Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking ...: Scandilicious
Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking ...: Scandilicious
by Signe Johansen BA Social Anthropology; MA Anthropology of Food
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear instructions, beautiful results, 10 May 2011
What struck me first about this book was how lovely it was to flick through. Clean layout, decorative but not fussy and striking photographs. Very scandinavian, of course. I've followed Signe's blog for some time and admired her baking skills and her knowledgeable approach to food and cooking. So I was very interested in seeing what her first cookbook would be like and I have not been disappointed. The recipes are all clearly written and very easy to follow. I love cooking and am very happy with savoury cooking. However, I'm not an experienced or confident baker. I love good bread but have been always nervous about using fresh yeast, the kneading process and about the amount of skill I would need to produce a good result. Well, on my first attempt at Spelt & Fennel Seed Bread I was delighted with the whole process. The instructions were easy to understand, the kneading was short and easy and I ended up with some absolutely delicious bread. Excited, I made another recipe from the book, Salmon Tartare, to go with it and ended up with a delicious nordic meal before I knew it. Seriously love this book. Too often cookbooks assume more knowledge than the reader has or are too basic but this book is, like its food, simply refreshing, unfussy and... works! My next attempt will be Signe's cinnamon rolls. Can't wait to bake and I thought I'd never say that!


How I Cook
How I Cook
by Skye Gyngell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

4.0 out of 5 stars I like how she cooks!, 8 Feb 2011
This review is from: How I Cook (Hardcover)
This latest book is a gentle ramble through some of Skye's favourite recipes that she likes to cook at home. She favours seasonal cooking (which I approve of) and her approach to cooking seems to be not to mess too much with good ingredients but look for ways of letting them shine.

The design follows her previous book with restrained typography which is unfussy and clear to read, once again we get the wonderful photography of Jason Lowe printed on uncoated stock which adds a tactile quality. All that plus 3 lovely ribbon page markers which are stitched in to the spine (nice detail by the publishers Quadrille, as it lets you mark any 3 course meal you may want to do) make for an enjoyable read.

The recipes are grouped according to occasion which I did find at first disorientating. I used the index at the back quite a bit to navigate around as I tend to dip in and out of cookbooks. Perhaps that's because I'm fairly confident about cooking and choosing dishes to go with each other. But then I relaxed and settled down to read the book (as opposed to dip in and out) and that's when the book really began to shine. I found it stimulating to read her thoughts on, for example, breakfast and found myself thinking of ways to use, tweak and substitute. And that's the beauty of Skye's approach. I don't think it's a bad thing to read one of her dishes and think "Oh I've done something similar but that's an interesting slant" or "maybe if I use X instead I could make that now. I have all the other ingredients". Often recipes can seem so complex that you leave making it for another day. But I've had the book for around 10 days and I have made 3 complete dishes, I am in the middle of another and, bliss, used leftovers for some other brilliant meals. For me that's a result and a half!


Shopping Trolley - Stripes
Shopping Trolley - Stripes
Offered by Cooking Marvellous
Price: £41.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Off my trolley with delight!, 17 Jun 2010
This review is from: Shopping Trolley - Stripes
I've had one of these trolleys since Nov 2009 and love it. Sturdy, well-balanced and easy to manoeuvre. I would agree that one secure pocket to hold a purse would be a good idea however overall I have nothing but praise for the design and quality. I also bought the fold-up version which works less effectively but is great for shopping at markets on weekends away. This trolley is not only easy to use but looks smart too!


EASYi - Clear Silicone Case Cover Skin & Screen Protector Kit for Apple iPhone 3G & iPhone 3GS
EASYi - Clear Silicone Case Cover Skin & Screen Protector Kit for Apple iPhone 3G & iPhone 3GS

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Protection, 19 May 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I ordered this to replace a more expense iPhone cover. It is excellent value, grips well, looks neat and in the dark glows slightly as it diffuses the glow of the screen. What's not to love? Recommend it.


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