21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 9 February 2009
Even though I have loads of books similar to this one, I thought I'd better get this book in case I missed out on some exciting new recipes! I was mainly looking for some new quick and easy dinners to cook from scratch after I get in from work. In general, despite my best intentions, I tend to only ever use the same few recipes from each cookbook - but even knowing this I still had to buy another cookbook!
Firstly, this book has no glossy photographs so beginners might be put off by not seeing a photo of the end result. The very good BBC Good 101 Cheap Eats Tried and tested Recipes manages to do this admirably - and at a very good price. Secondly, the text is hard to read as most recipes are written on a coloured background.
There are loads of useful little tips packed throughout the book: ie how to use leftovers, planning ahead, ideas for lunchboxes, feeding kids, storecupboard basics, how to judge quantities, cooking beans and pulses, eating seasonally, saving energy, slow cooking, stocking a freezer, toppings for jacket potatoes, make a shopping list/tips on shopping etc. Although I have read alot of these sort of tips before, it is useful to dip into and have them in one place.
Some of the recipes are really good, others not so impressive. However, other so called "cheap" recipes made me laugh: how about a roast beef and stilton salad using 1lb of rare roast beef and 5oz of stilton cheese, or a pudding consisting of a pancakes with fresh summer fruits using strawberries, raspberries and blueberries? I think most people on a budget would make a simple ham or cheddar cheese salad and simple pancakes with either jam, lemon and sugar or syrup.
Although alot of the recipes are quick, cheap and healthy, (for instance delicious carrot and lentil soup) some of the others are less healthy as they use deep frying methods: tempura vegetables, samosas, homemade fish and chips, cinnamon doughnuts. Who has the time and inclination to make those?
My children enjoyed a lot of recipes - especially stuffed pot roast chicken in cider, tandoori chicken, kashmiri chicken, tinned tuna fishcakes, Banoffi pie and chocolate refrigerator cake. They were all easy to make without having too long a list of ingredients.
All in all, a good book with some tasty recipes that I will use on a regular basis.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 May 2010
By no stretch of the imagination is this a frugal cookbook. The most egregious example, but one of many (some of which are mentioned by another reviewer), is that one of the recipes includes edible gold leaf - admittedly in the section on making home versions of restaurant or take out meals. Might very well be better, but not cheaper than my local options.
As with so many 'waste not' ideas, the suggestions would involve a good deal more and costly shopping. The pages of 'tips' sprinkled through the book are not especially innovative but could well be a useful check for potential savings overlooked.
I don't think this is a bad cookbook as such - but there are many better, and in particular many better frugal cookbooks. I would agree that the design of the book is a triumph of style over function, difficult to read and lacking in photographs (I would love to have seen those rosewater dumplings with gold leaf!)
I note that there is no author given (other than an editor in a very hidden away spot) - perhaps this is telling?
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 15 November 2010
but the most appalling layout, varying between white pages, bright blue pages and bright deep pink. Try reading this and you'll end with with acute eyestrain. A real let down.