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4.7 out of 5 stars609
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 17 August 2012
I've never been talented enough to pull off fancy, complicated meals and so I tend to make no effort altogether and stick to standard, boring dishes. However, the recipe's in 'Fast, Fresh and Easy Food' are fairly simple and don't take up too much time which is fantastic for dinner parties or even nights in when you fancy something a little more intricate than beans on toast! I love that the book is vibrant and packed with colourful pictures of the finished dishes as it gives me something to aspire to when I'm cooking.

All of the recipes I have cooked so far were imaginative, flavoursome and looked fantastic when presented on a plate - this is a definite thumbs up for me as food presentation is always something I have struggled with! Although I am a keen meat eater, I was particularly impressed with the vegetarian dishes that Lorraine has created. I usually don't feel satisfied unless I've consumed some meat with my dinners but Lorraine's recipes have altered this feeling entirely - I would highly recommend the Butternut & Sweet Potato Lasagne!

For me this book has become something of a culinary bible and I would highly recommend it to anyone!
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on 13 August 2012
This book is a nice addition to my cook books and the pictures are beautiful. I am a lazy and want to do things with minimal cooking so I like the way Lorrainne Pascale chooses her ingredients and recipes. The majority of the recipes don't take up too much time. The onion soup is almost good as the little bistros I use to eat in France. I say almost because if you are looking for restaurant quality food this is not the book for you. But if you want simple, healthy, tasty, dishes to impress your friends at dinner parties this is the book for you. Overall I think it is a good cook book but to be completely honest I prefer the more traditional recipes of "Home Cooking Made Easy."
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on 16 August 2012
This is an excellent book, has a wide range of recipes (vegetarian, meat, fish, desserts, breads & sweets). Has accessible ingredients which you can buy in most supermarkets, lovely photos of the recipes an easy to read and understand. This is a must buy book, loved her other books too but this is my favourite so far!
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on 5 October 2012
We love Lorraine Pascale in our house, her programmes are interesting and up to date and not too complicated like some chefs and the book is just the same. Everything is set out and explained really well and not too fancy or fussy, you could quite easily and happily cook everything in the book, it doesn't contain any overly fancy things, once again like some chefs who cook things that the average person wouldn't dream of or be able to cook,with ingredients that you'd never find only in specialist shops, usually you have to leaf through these books and find just a few things you could do, but Lorraine's recipes aren't like that at all. She makes everything look so simple and actually seems to really enjoy all that she cooks and uses ingredients that are easy to obtain, sometimes making welcome short cuts. We have all her books and find them all as interesting, my husband is the main cook in our house and he's cooked loads of her recipes and reckons she's the best cook book writer of them all. So this book has made a welcome addition to her others that we have and I'd have no hesitation in recommending it to all, whether you're an experienced cook or a reluctant one (like me) or just starting out. And the price is reasonable too, and makes a lovely present for someone or to treat yourself. As usual the quick delivery from Amazonn at the best price.
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Just what I need - another cookery book. I have, like, gazillions. But having been completely won over by Ms Pascale on her tv shows, I decided it was time to actually invest in one of her cookbooks.

First of all, let me say that it is a lovely book, beautifully produced on glossy, heavyweight paper (unfortunately, some of the pages in my copy are creased but no matter).

Secondly, I would like to praise the exemplary way in which the recipes are laid out: clear, concise, excellent typography. Other cookbook publishers please take note and also, please see my review of Tessa Kiros's Greek cookbook which has the worst recipe typography I think I have ever seen. Food From Many Greek Kitchens

Thirdly, many of the recipes appeal to me and I think will appeal to lots of people. Plenty of modern stuff, several with chicken and fish, as well as some traditional dishes with a twist - something I particularly like to see.

So far, so good.

However, I do have a few buts about this book.

But #1: The photography is decidedly average with none of the verve and "make-me appeal" of the tv programme. Ms Pascale is ill-served by her publishers here; check out the Waitrose monthly food mag, Lorraine - that's the kind of "must-make-this" quality of photography you need - and deserve!

But #2: I haven't actually made any of the dishes yet - the book only arrived today! But looking at the length of time that is given to prepare some of these dishes, I would say the timings are unrealistic; it would take me the said 30 mins, or whatever, just to find all the various ingredients in the cupboard! NOW UPDATED, PLEASE SEE BELOW.

But #3: Where's the street food? This is a key segment of the tv programme and some of the dishes offered by the featured street chefs look absolutely fabulous - why oh why aren't they included?

So all in all, a good cookbook and one that I'll surely use. But not a great one.


Have now made some dishes from this cookbook with varying degrees of success. Thai Red Beef Curry (could have been simplified a little but the grapes were a nice, unusual touch), Chicken Tikka Masala (needed more liquid), Sweet & Sour Pork Balls (overwhelmed by the balsamic vinegar, perhaps soy sauce would be a better substitute?) and my daughter made the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Zebra Cake which was quite successful though the pattern was not quite as clearly delineated as in the book's photograph.

I hope that this review has been helpful to you but if it hasn't, I would be grateful if you would kindly add a comment as to why not to enable me to write more helpful reviews in the future. Thank you.
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on 31 May 2013
This book is fresh like the tv show! The book is very well made and have great images inside. Highly recommended.
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on 14 September 2012
I bought Lorraine Pascale's book after making the let them eat cake cake (malteser cake)for my husbands birthday. It worked out brilliantly and wasn't that difficult. So much so my daughter in law thought I'd bought it from a shop!! I have made quite a few of the recipes to date and can recommend the limoncello jellies and the chicken tikka curry. The illustrations in the book are excellent and the instructions clear and easy to follow. I would recommend the book to anyone, and you don't need to be a cordon bleu cook to produce delicious meals.
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on 13 August 2012
Lorraine Pascal has made a name for herself presenting recipes that are tasty, attractive on the plate and accessible. This is not some three star chef preparing lobster terrine in ways that make the average home chef pull their hair out in exasperation. Her cooking is appealing because it is within the reach of people who won't be producing intricate food that requires the dedication of a surgeon to get right.

That's why I like this book. The recipes I've tried so far work perfectly and they don't either cost the earth or take vast amounts of time. Her presentation tips are another appealing factor - she makes it very easy to put gorgeous looking plates together. The desserts in particular are well thought out - not surprising for someone who first made her culinary name in that area.

All told this is an attractive and useful book. I would strongly advise the enthusiastic home cook to look at it.

The best surprise I've had from Amazon recently was an impulse buy - the hilarious Sherlock Holmes and the Flying Zombie Death Monkeys. An unexpected delight - very funny.
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on 8 September 2013
The recipes are easy enough to follow but I have only cooked two of them. I think i bought it for the net bread recipe which was good but not sure I would make it again. I have also made the crackle top bread but it was heavy and too doughy so I threw it in the bin. It was probably just me.
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on 20 May 2013
I was a bit slow on the uptake with Lorraine Pascal, this is the first book of hers that I've bought and I'm so glad I did as I love it! I'm working my way through pretty much every receipe and I think I've cooked more from it than any other book I've got, and I've got a few! for me this book reminds me of about 15 years ago when Jamie Oliver started out and he made cooking easy and accessible to everyone. Lorraine's book is full of really tasty, easy recipes which are quick but tasty enough for dinner parties. She uses all the ingredients that we love, spicy flavours and lots of herbs and many of the receipes have similar ingredients so if you don't use a whole tin of coconut milk you can use the rest in another receipe. I cooked 4 things out of this book this weekend which were all fab so I thought I'd best write a review. Thanks Lorraine!!!!
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