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Cook in Boots
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 21 June 2009
Cook in Boots is just as fun and silly as the cover suggests - it's a good read and would sit happily on any coffee table for occasional browsing. But it certainly stands up to use in the kitchen too, delivering excellent recipes and big flavours.

Good things? Well, the writing style is fun and easy to follow. Unlike many cookbooks, this one doesn't take itself too seriously - making it a pleasure to read or use. The recipes have a 'home made' style that's appealing and easy to relate to. Also, I love the mixture of styles of food - a totally global, urban collection of delicious flavours from Indian to British, Vietnamese, Turkish, Lebanese, French, Italian... all easy to make and really reflects the varied types of food that people in the UK love to eat.

Bad things? I'm not sure about the 'ladies only' ethos of the book, it's a bit off-putting. I don't really warm to gender-specific cookbook publishing as I fail to see the point. My husband would love the recipes in this book but I doubt he would have bought it after flipping through and seeing chapter titles like 'PMT: For the times when only chocolate will do' or 'Hard-up food: For when you've spent all your lolly on Louboutins'. Honestly, I probably wouldn't have bought this book myself if I'd seen that - or the rather condescending blurb on the inside of the front cover ('Whether you're a fashionista, career girl, wife, slob, home bunny, disaster zone, or Queen...')

So, it's four stars from me, because I really did like the big flavours and fun style of Cook in Boots - despite the off-putting 'ladies only' marketing exercise that comes with it. I thought it was a great book, jam-packed with excellent, easy recipes. It sometimes put easiness over inspired cooking, but altogether a wonderful cookbook that I'm sure I'll use a lot.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 10 September 2010
"Cook in Boots" by Ravinder Bhogal appealed to me straight away as aside from cookery I am also a collector of shoes! Mind you my shoe collection currently stands at maybe 100 pairs approximately (hope my husband doesn't read this) whereas my cook book collection is probably around 5 times that! Overall the book contains a lot of recipes that I would make or use as inspiration. They are relatively easy on the whole and the ingredients are also readily available with maybe a few exceptions on the spices front. However many supermarkets are now stocking the more "exotic" spices and spice mixes and most large towns have ethnic stores or websites such as Seasoned Pioneers will have everything she mentions. There are several Indian recipes, quite a few Oriental themed dishes as well as Mediterranean and Middle Eastern representations. Ravinder's writing style is fun and flirty, easy to read and there are plenty of colour photographs to whet your appetite. This is her first cook book and I shall certainly keep an eye out for any further books by her.

Chapters are divided into:-

Bread, Pasta, Potatoes: and includes some interesting salads too such as Sweet potato salad with lime, coriander and sweet chilli dressing.

Working It 9-5: with a small selection of soups and some salads that are easy to make and transport to work e.g. Couscous and roasted vegetable salad with pomegranate molasses and Peanut butter, noodle and chicken salad.

Comfort Food: for those days when you feel like a "hug on a plate" which includes a recipe for Cauliflower and broccoli cheese with tomato sauce and Parmesan breadcrumbs. The Carrot-spiced pudding also sounded interesting although personally I am not a lover of rice puddings I have family that are and the idea of using carrots and gentle spicing into the mix sounds intriguing enough to maybe give that one a go sometime too.

PMT: a chapter dedicated to things chocolate-y and which includes a recipe for a "Chocolatini" which sounds absolutely divine - chocolate liqueur and vodka based cocktail - mmm. The Raspberry and bitter chocolate lollies also sound like a novel idea.

TV, Remote Control and a Meal for One: this section is all about spoiling yourself when home alone to stop you resorting to a microwave meal.

Social Grazing: finger food chapter for those pre-dinner canapes or maybe evenings when you feel like having a "carpet picnic" as we call them in our household - lots of tasty nibbles washed down with quantities of good red wine whilst lounging on the floor with lots of cushions, candle light and a good film to watch.

Hangover Food: recipes for the morning after the night before ....

Hard-Up Food: budget recipes which don't sacrifice flavour or use up leftovers e.g. Zesty angel hair pasta with garlic, chilli, lemon and olive oil and Nasi Goreng.

Skinny Food: presumably for the week after you carb'ed yourself out testing the recipes in the first chapter?!

Food Rehab: this chapter includes some superfood recipes - the pomegranate glazed pork has caught my eye and would mean that the pomegranate molasses I bought to cook Couscous salad mentioned in the "Working It" section above would have a second outing at least!

Fork me, Spoon me: the double entendres here are perfectly intentional I feel as the author has put recipes into this section which she describes as "the food of love and rude food" - the sexy rack of ras-el-hanout lamb with potato and saffron rice and the scallops with champagne butter sauce sound worth a twirl one evening.

Meet the Parents: this chapter focuses on recipes for entertaining and includes some vegetarian recipes as well e.g. Dill crepes with green vegetables, feta and bechamel sauce and Wild mushroom arancini.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 3 June 2009
This book is seriously good. From a woman who loves her food and knows a thing or two about shoes I am telling all my foodie and fashionista sisters (and brothers!) out there to go and get it. It's definitely one of those books that will make you look cool for owning it (sparkling production quality and stunning pictures) but it won't just sit on the shelf. If you are looking for inspiration this does the trick. There are recipes for all occasions and moods which have been well laid out and are easy to follow. This book has heart and soul and bucket loads of sass, so if you fancy owning a book that is deliciously funny, flirty and a good read to boot make sure you invest in a copy. It will make you want to dig out the sexiest heels you own (the ones you could walk in in your 20s but can only look at occasionally in your 30s) and totter around the kitchen all day (cooking optional but advisable if cooking from this book)!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2010
This is a great cook book and perfect for me. I got this as an early Christmas present. I've not tried everything yet but have tried quite a few things and love her generous use of chilli and spices. Everything seems to be fairly simple to do and come out tasting great. Having grown up in Asia I'm not one for bland food! I love the way this cook book is laid out too - it's not the place to look for using leftover things but it is a book for when you're feeling a certain way and don't know what to cook. It's a true mood food recipe book and something I've never seen before.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2010
The book is fun to read, I like the variety of recipes from Asian/Fusion to cheese and Branston pasties (which are really very yummy). The book is written from a "girly" cooks perspective, lots of photos of shoes(I would have preferred more photos of the food) and female references. I've made a few of the dishes so far, the recipes were easy to follow and everything turned out OK.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
It isn't often that you get a cookbook which is the perfect mixture of pick-up-able and coffee table gorgeous, as well as useful and easy to follow. I usually settle for two out of these four - but I'm delighted that I didn't have to compromise on any of them with this fabulous new addition to my cookery library! It's just as beautiful as Claudia Roden's ARABESQUE, just as addictive as Nigella's HOW TO BE A DOMESTIC GODDESS, and as passionate as Nigel Slater's REAL FOOD. And there is NO beating Ravinder's wasabi mayonnaise ! I'm looking forward to hundreds of delicious meals and a good many years of hard usage from this book - I've already made a good start. When is Ravinder's next book out?!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 26 May 2009
With over 160 recipes you get infinitely more bang for you buck than with other cookery books. Meat, fish, potato, pasta, chocolate and alcohol - all the staples of a modern diet are covered here and in abundance! The receipes are clearly laid out, easy to follow and the results... well eat for yourself. Soy and ginger salmon, lady and the clam spaghetti, oreo cookie cheesecake - from the sublime to the delicous. Can't recommend highly enough!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 August 2009
My friend and I for years have been hunting down the recipe for the perfect hot chocolate and I finally found it. Buy this book for this recipe alone. The other (very tasty) recipes in the book are a mere bonus in my opinion...and ignore the servings on the hot chocolate recipe, this serves one...anytime.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 28 May 2009
Goodness me! What more could a gay about town want from a cookbook? Louboutins, chocolate and a lot of wit and charm from the newest celebrity IT Girl/Chef to burst beautifully onto our screens.
Rav has captured the absolute zeitgeist of cookery with this inspired and insightful look at the foibles that surround our food consumption and confronts us with the little lies that we tell ourselves about comfort food and lets us all know that we don't need to justify it, just to enjoy it!
That said, I make it sound more like a psychology book than the fabulous little kitchen staple that it is!
Buy it, its FABULOUS and it helps that the author is beautiful as well as talented...we should hate her, but the photos and descriptions of the dishes make your mouth water SO much that all you can think about is cooking...then eating...then seeing what's for dessert, then eating leftovers (then burning the washing up).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2009
...and the punch is flavour. I've only had this book a few days, and have cooked the Thai aubergine salad, the sweet potato salad with lime, coriander and sweet chilli, and the peanut butter, noodle and chicken salad (needs a bit more 'juice' next time). I love her sassy style and delicious food!
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