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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 3 June 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have a handful of books from this Hamlyn series of 200 recipes. All the books in the series share some common pros and cons:
Pros
+ picture of every recipe
+ practical size that doesn't use up the whole kitchen and could be brought with you as a shopping list.
+ layout is very clear with bold headline-instructions and ingredient list
+ very good value as there's no `celebrity endorsement' or TV series spin-off to cash in on.

Cons
- The books won't stay flat without being pinned down which can be irritating when trying to follow them in the kitchen.

This particular book has a few specific pros and cons
Pros
+ The recipes are very appealing and photos inspire me to have a go.
+ There is a good variety of dishes in each category.

Cons
- Some of these really aren't that easy. Easy suppers should require a total prep/cooking time of under an hour. However, some, for example the 'Spinach and Sweet Potato cakes' have prep time of 35 minutes and cooking of 40 with over a dozen ingredients and a separate dip. I'm sure the results would be great but it's a bit much for a book of this title.

Overall, however, my household is delighted with these and our early successes inspire us to try many more from within.
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VINE VOICEon 3 June 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
After being impressed with Hamyln's 200 Slow Cooker Recipes I was keen to try out others in the series. 200 Easy Suppers begins with a brief introduction to store cupboard essentials and planning ahead, so that easy doesn't mean boring, followed by the recipes, split into five sections: Meat, Poultry, Fish, Vegetarian and Desserts.

The dishes encorporate ingredients and influences from all over the world, meaning there really is something for everyone. There are numerous recipes, particularly in the meat and poultry sections, that I would like to make, including Malay Beef with Peanut Sauce, Sri Lankan-Style Lamb Curry, and Honey-Spiced Chicken Breasts.

The best things about this cookbook are the fact that the focus is on great flavour and variety, and the clear layout with time needed, ingredients, method and a full colour picture to make each dish simple to follow. This is definitely one of the best of the Hamlyn 200 cookbooks that I have seen and is a great bargain.
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on 5 June 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This recipe book is only about 5" square and half an inch deep, consisting of 200 recipes each taking up a double-page entry (one page for the recipe, one for a photo of the finished dish). The order of the recipes appears a little random (beyond the separation by course) but there is an excellent index at the back which lets you look for a main ingredient (eg. salmon) and see a list of recipes which are there.

The recipes are generally easy (most are about 10 minutes prep time and up to 30 minutes cooking time) and calculated for 4 people. Ingredients are fairly general although the results themselves are actually quite advanced. I'm a little unsure what to make of this book - it's not quite the book for quick family meals (another book in the series <<<<LINK >>>> provides that). Instead this is more about how to make some quite fancy meals without spending the day in the kitchen.

Perhaps the perfect target for this recipe book is the occasional chef looking to make something impressive, but not wanting the risk of making a real mess of it.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a great little book, it was the 1st one i have ever had and i have to say im very impressed by it.

Its about half the size of an A4 piece of paper, so its wider than it is taller which i actually really liked.

The format is very good, the recipes are on the left and there are big bold colour pictures on the right of each recipe page.

Me and my partner have tried out about 20 of the recipes so far and we have found them extremely easy to follow and they came out relatively like the ones on the page, well apart from the presentation issues lol

Overall i was very impressed with it and i went out and got some more.

As nobody has listed all the recipes contained within the book i have done them for you as its hard to buy a recipe book if you have no idea what is in it. However a point to note is that the book has 106 recipes and then there are variations to those recipes on some of the pages.

Meat:

1. Butter Bean and Bacon Soup
2. Pan fried Liver and Bacon Salad
3. Thai Beef Salad
4. Individual Italian Fillet Steak Parcels
5. Malay Beef with Peanut Sauce
6. Lamb Chops with Olive Couscous
7. Sri-Lankan Style Lamb Curry
8. Lamb with Rosemary Oil
9. Taverna Styled Grilled Lamb with Feta
10. Fragrant Lamb Cutlets
11. Pork Fillet with Mushrooms
12. Pork in Cider with Pappardelle
13. Crispy Parma Ham Parcels
14. Pork Chops with Lemon and Thyme
15. Pork with Aubergine and Noodles
16. Quick Beef Stroganoff
17. Pork and Peppercorn Tagliatelle
18. Pepper Crusted Loin of Venison
19. Chorizo and Smoked Paprika Penne
20. Tartiflette Style Pizza

Poultry:

21. Lime Ginger and Coriander Chicken
22. Asian Steamed Chicken Salad
23. Chicken with Spring Vegetables
24. Lemon Chilli Chicken
25. Chicken with Spiced rice
26. Chicken Ala Milanese
27. Honey Spiced Chicken Breasts
28. Crispy Duck with Ginger and Orange
29. Thai Chicken Shells with Coriander
30. Smoked Duck Salad
31. Baked Turkey Burrito
32. Roast Poussins with Oregano
33. Hot Duck and Coconut Noodles
34. Chicken with Spinach Chermoula
35. Turkey and Pumpkin Seed Salad
36. Turkey and Wild Mushroom Pasties
37. Spicy Basque Style Chicken

Fish:

38. Pan Fried Haddock Fillets
39. King Prawns with Japanese Salad
40. Butter Bean and Anchovy Pate
41. Quick Tuna Steak with Green Salsa
42. Scallops with Pancetta
43. Prawns with Sesame Noodles
44. Crunchy Swordfish with Puy Lentils
45. Blackened Cod with Citrus Salsa
46. Salmon Fillets with Sage and Quinoa
47. Cod Fillet with Tomatoes and Rocket
48. Mussel and Lemon Curry
49. Bream with New Potatoes
50. Buttery Lobster Tails with Aioli
51. Coconut and Coriander Mussels
52. Scallops with Citrus Dressing
53. Fried Miso Cod with Pak Choi
54. Teriyaki Salmon with Noodles
55. Herby Chickpea Crab Cakes
56. Squid with Lemon Mayonnaise
57. Creamy Smoked Fish Gratin

Vegetarian:

58. Spiced Pumpkin and Spinach Soup
59. Fennel and Lemon Soup
60. Broad Bean Salad
61. Papaya and Lime Salad
62. Vegetable and Cheese Wrap
63. Stuffed Sweet Potato Melt
64. Spinach and Sweet Potato Cakes
65. Mushroom and Broccoli Pie
66. Cumin Lentils with Yoghurt Dressing
67. Asparagus with Tarragon Dresssing
68. Curried Dahl with Spinach
69. Herby Chicken Fatoush
70. Tabbouleh with Fruit and Nuts
71. Haloumi with Cucumber Salad
72. Orange and Avocado Salad
73. Asparagus and Mange Tout Stir Fry
74. Pea and Leek Omelette
75. Wild Rice and Goats Cheese Salad
76. Potato Gratin with Chicory
77. Beetroot and Squash Spaghetti
78. Italian Warm Bean Linguine
79. Zesty Quinoa Salad
80. Feta and Warm Melon Salad
81. Grilled Polenta and Cheese Bake

Desserts:

82. Strawberry Jellies
83. Chocolate, Date and Almond Panini
84. Peach and Blueberry Crunch
85. Pancake Stack with Maple Syrup
86. Quick White Chocolate Mousse
87. Drunken Orange Slices
88. Chocolate Overload
89. Figs with Yoghurt and Honey
90. Nutty Cinnamon Risotto
91. Blood Orange Sorbet
92. Rhubarb and Raspberry Crumble
93. Chocolate and Raspberry Soufflé
94. Summer Fruit Crunch
95. Baked Lemon Custards
96. Hot Brioche with Chocolate Sauce
97. Upside Down Grapefruit Cakes
98. Muffin trifle with Boozy Berries
99. Chocolate Orange brownies
100. Apple and Sultana Pot
101. Croissants with Chestnut Cream
102. Pink Grapefruit Parfait
103. Sweet Chestnut Mess
104. Lemon Drizzle Cake
105. Passion Fruit Yoghurt Fool
106. Mint Choc Chip Cheesecake
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on 19 July 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Give me a book entitled `200 Easy Suppers' and you have a man who is interested. In my mind I substitute the word Easy, with the word Lazy. A bunch of Lazy suppers that I can knock out quickly to feed the family. Wait one minute, Poisson. Last time I checked buying one of those itself is not a particularly easy task, never mind cooking one. `Easy Suppers', is yet another book in the Hamlyn series that is struck by the curse of being a little too foodie for my tastes.

I imagine that if you cook/bake/flambé often enough the various recipes in `Simple Suppers' are pretty straight forward, what's 10 ingredients to a person that usually uses 30? I am not this person, when I think supper I think - beans on toast, poached egg, a bowl of dry cereal. Hamlyn have pitched their offerings to a higher calibre of person than this. Out of the 200 recipes, there were perhaps 25 that I would realistically think about tackling as a simple supper.

My incompetence as a chef should not put everyone off from this book. For a person that does cook regularly and likes the finer ingredients in life, the book will prove useful. Like with all books in the series the pictures are clear and the recipes are simple enough to follow. It is more the choice of ingredients and some of the prolonged cooking times that I take issue with.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 April 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have several of these little books - I find that they are excellent for quick after work meals. This one is no exception, albeit there are some dishes where a recipe is hardly required e.g. pan-fried haddock with mashed potatoes or pork chops with lemon & thyme.

To give you an idea here are a few of the recipes: lime, ginger & coriander chicken; tartiflette-style pizza; pepper-crusted loin of venison; crispy parma ham parcels (stuffed with cheese, walnuts & herbs); pork fillet with mushrooms; fillet steak parcels (steak & mozzarella wrapped in filo pastry); Thai chicken shells with coriander; turkey & wild mushroom pasties (using shop bought puff pastry); swordfish with puy lentils; lobster tails with aioli; creamy smoked fish gratin. There are some nice vegetarian recipes too - fennel & lemon soup, stuffed sweet potato melt, mushroom & broccoli pie, chick pea fatoush, and polenta cheese bake by way of example. There is a decent selection of quick desserts - peach & blueberry crunch, white chocolate mousse, nutty cinnamon risotto, baked lemon & custards, mint choc cheesecake.

As with the other books in the series, each page has a recipe with a picture of the finished dish on the facing page. Whilst the title refers to 200 recipes, in fact there are fewer than that - the number is increased by the addition of variations on the theme at the end of most recipes. The only downside with these books is that the small size and stiff spine mean that it can be difficult to keep the book open - I have a Perspex recipe book holder which does the job but the book holders with the weighted cords don't work. The cheap & cheerful can of beans method isn't much help either as it would obscure most of the page. However, that is a minor quibble.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Firstly there are some good recipes in here. Although I'm awful at cooking fish, my wife is much better, I still like having a go and found that I made a reasonably passable (edible) attempt at the 'Scallops with Pancetta" and "Cod Fillet with Tomato & Rocket", both recipes actually looked like the photo in the book and only took a little longer to do than stated. There are other nice recipes in this book that we tried; honey spiced chicken, bream and new potatoes and hot brioche with chocolate sauce. There are others that we liked the look of and will try over the next few months.

I suppose the intention is to open up the culinary delights of late evening cooking. But to be honest, apart from the recipes I tried, which were really fast cook ones, the rest were fiddly and time consuming and I'm not sure I'd want to be cooking that late after a day at work. Some of the recipes appear fairly healthy but others ??? Also, lack of nutritional information means that you's have to calculate all that up yourself if you're dieting, diabetic or watching your weight in general. Also I may be a bit old fashioned and possibly brought up (dragged up) wrongly but supper to me suggests a light meal; toast, cereals, etc and not something potentially heavy or heartburn inducing.

As a recipe book it's OK, there are decent, simple and tasty looking meals, but specifically for suppers? Most of these would be OK as a main course in a dinner/lunch.
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VINE VOICEon 23 March 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As with the other books in this series, this cookbook contains more than two hundred recipes set out in an easy to follow instructions and with some very nice pictures. As the name of the book suggests, the recipes presented here are surprisingly easy to cook (I am not the greatest cook in the world but even I didn't have any trouble with the two meals I made from the book). Having said this, although the recipes are easy, I did have a bit of trouble getting a hold of some ingredients but that could be because I didn't know where I could get them. Overall this was a very good book with some very nice recipes and I will definitely be using some more of the recipes in the future.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is an excellent little book. It contains 200 ideas for easy to cook suppers that have broadened my range and given me lots of good ideas.

Content: The recipes themselves are broken down into meat, poultry, fish, vegetarian and finally desserts. There are 30-40 recipes per section. The recipes cover a decent range of styles.

Layout: Each recipe is presented across two pages. Left hand page contains ingredients and instructions, right hand page a full colour photo of the dish. The type is a medium font and reasonably easy to read. The text includes prep time, cooking time, how many people served, ingredients and method.

Ease of use: I have tried a couple of recipes and found them easy to follow. I am a cook with not much more than a basic knowledge, and sound the style to be easy for the non cognoscenti to follow while not being condescending. Much better than some books I have used in the past!

Construction: The book is paperback, and very hard to open out and lay flat on a surface to read whilst cooking. The paperback construction suggests it will be easily damaged by kitchen spills. It is, however, nice and small, so easy to use in a crowded kitchen.

All in all 4 stars. It would have been five, but the fact that I couldn't lay the book on a work surface whilst cooking costs it one.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This useful little book actually has about four hundred recipes in it because there is a variation suggested at the end of each individual recipe. Some of these dishes sound quite complicated and as though they might take a while to make but in many cases the preparation time is only five or ten minutes and the cooking time might be up to forty five minutes. But putting something in the oven leaves you free to do something else while the dish itself is cooking. The good thing about many of these recipes is that they are a meal in themselves rather than just the main part of the course with vegetables needing preparation and cooking as well.

The chapter headings are:-
Meat
Poultry
Fish
Vegetarian
Desserts
While many recipes will need some forethought if the right ingredients are to be to hand there are many others which can be made from store-cupboard or freezer ingredients.

The book is well produced with a nice clear layout and a colour photograph of each finished dish on the opposite page to the recipe itself. The book cover has a wipe clean surface which is useful in the kitchen. I think my only criticism is that the book does not stay open at the right page but this could be cured by using a cook-book stand or failing that a tin or jar to keep the book open at the right page.
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