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4.2 out of 5 stars104
4.2 out of 5 stars
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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.

There are only 99 recipes in this book and the rest are variations of the ones on the page.

The recipes:

Snacks and Light Bites:

1. Minestrone Soup
2. Summer Vegetable Soup
3. Chicken Noodle Soup
4. Croque Monsieur
5. Homemade Sausage Rolls
6. Goats Cheese Omelettes
7. BLT Sandwich
8. Chicken Dippers with Salsa
9. Caesar Salad
10. Hot Thai Beef Salad
11. Mushrooms on Toast
12. Baked Tortillas with Hummus
13. Chips
14. Spinach Avocado and Bacon Salad
15. Drop Scones
16. Cauliflower Cheese
17. Herbed Soda Breads
18. Green Bean Sambal

Pasta Rice and Noodles:

19. Tuna and Pasta Bake
20. Quick Pasta Carbonara
21. Individual Macaroni Cheeses
22. Seafood Spagetti
23. Linguine with Vegetables
24. Spicy Meditteranean Pasta
25. Pepperoni and Wilted Spinach Risotto
26. Parma Ham and Sweet Potato Risotto
27. Chinese Fried Rice
28. Prawns and Coconut Rice
29. Nasi Goreng
30. Vietnamese Beef Pho
31. Ginger Rice Noodles
32. Chicken Teriyaki
33. Chicken with Black Bean Sauce

One Pot:

34. Sausage and Bean Casserole
35. Pesto Pea and Broccoli Soup
36. Thai Chicken Curry
37. Haddock and Spinach Chowder
38. Chicken Biryani
39. Mediterranean Lamb Stew
40. Navarin of Spring Vegetables
41. Boston Baked Beans
42. Chicken and Lemon Paella
43. Vegetable Curry

Meaty Treats:

44. Rolled Stuffed Chicken Breasts
45. Kashmiri Lamb Chops
46. Spicy Beef Burgers
47. Sausages with Mustard Mash
48. Chargrilled Chicken with Salsa
49. Lamb Fillet with Beetroot Salad
50. Beef Steaks with Mozzarella
51. Roast Pork with Fennel
52. Cashew Nut Chicken
53. Kheema Aloo
54. Beef Stroganoff
55. Sweet and Sour Pork
56. Chicken with Chilli Jam
57. Tangerine Beef
58. Chorizo and Chickpea Stew
59. Fillet Steak with Roquefort
60. Pork with Apples and Mustard Mash

Fish and Seafood:

61. Spicy Tuna Fishcakes
62. Salmon with Courgettes
63. Blackened Cod with Salsa
64. Grilled Spiced Cod
65. Fish Casserole
66. Prawns in Chillied Tomato Soup
67. Griddled Tuna Salad
68. Five Spice Salmon
69. Trout with Pesto
70. Cod and Olive Risotto
71. Swordfish with Sage Pangritata
72. Tuna with Sun Dried Tomatoes
73. Monkfish Kebabs
74. Sesame Steamed Prawns
75. Seabass with Spicy Salsa

Vegetables:

76. Vegetable Bolognese
77. Mushroom Toad in the Hole
78. Couscous with Grilled Vegetables
79. Vegetable Biryani
80. Artichoke and Mozzarella Pizza
81. Curried Toft Burgers
82. Braised Lentils with Gremolata
83. Squash with Red Bean Sauce
84. Falafel Cakes

Sweet Treats:

85. Scones with Whipped Cream
86. Banoffi Pie
87. Cranberry Sponge Puddings
88. Chocolate Biscuit Cake
89. Apricots with Mascarpone
90. Quick Tiramisu
91. Instant Apple Crumbles
92. Chocolate Millefeuilles
93. Victoria Sponge
94. Pears with Chocolate Crumble
95. Chocolate Chip Cookies
96. Quick Hazelnut Melts
97. Pineapple Panettone Sandwich
98. Chocolate Puddle Pudding
99. Sabayon
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Hamlyn 200 recipe books are an obvious competitor with the BBC GoodFood 101 range. Both ranges are small, both have a one recipe one photo format and both have similar covers.

I have found with some of the Hamlyn Range that the recipes are a bit much for everyday cooking. One book in particular was, in my opinion downright unappetising and detached from the needs of an everyday cook.

However, the Fast Family Favourites is pretty good and has a lot more recipes that are attainable, tempting and have easy to source ingredients. The recipes (and indeed photographs) for the following dishes are particularly tempting: Chocolate Puddle Pudding, Beef Stroganoff, Spicy Beefburgers, Tuna and Pasta Bake, and Falafel Cakes. Out of the whole book, I would probably try over half of the recipes.

However, my main bugbear is that, as with other books in this range, there are not strictly 200 recipes. Variations are often included at the end of a recipe and these can come across as clumsily squeezed in on the bottom of a page. It's a concise way of having 200 recipes on a shelf but it's stretching things a bit to call it a 200 recipe book. Some "variations" are practically brand new recipes in just three or four sentences crammed into one paragraph with no illustration.

The other thing that irritated me is that although I believe in feeding my young children a wide and varied home cooked diet, I would love to meet the person that could get them eating Squash with Red Bean Sauce, Swordfish with Sage Pangritata, or Braised Lentils with Gremolata. Not really fast, not really for a young family, and not really a favourite. 3 out of 5 Hamlyn.
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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 'One pot' section is a great idea for keeping things simple and this book will be coming with me on self-catering holidays where you often have limited facilities.
+ There are plenty of tried & tested recipes that would be well received by kids.
+ The introduction has a well-thought out set of suggestions of how to encourage your family to eat well and by focussing on dishes that will go down well with the whole family, you should be able to eat together.

Cons
- Some recipes could be too adventurous for kids with narrow tastes. For example, 'Vietnamese Beef Pho' and 'Spinach, Avocado and Bacon salad'. Good luck with those!
- Some aren't truly fast. The Chicken & Lemon Paella preparation and cooking time adds up to at least 50 min and maybe longer depending on how you like it cooked.

Overall this is a well considered and highly practical book that could find a place in any family home.
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VINE VOICEon 13 April 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Another invaluable addition to my Hamlyn all colour cookbook collection. These really are great little books, containing scrummy but mainly simple recipes & mouthwatering photographs illustrating the finished dishes. This one has seven sections: snacks & light bites; pasta, rice & noodles; one pot; meaty treats; fish & seafood; vegetables; sweet treats. Grilled spiced cod was the first recipe I cooked. It has ten ingredients, plus salt & pepper, & is really easy to do. It tasted delicious with the quinoa & steamed broccoli that accompanied it. Definitely one to do again....& again!!The one pot dish I cooked was the Boston baked beans. Another easy recipe & a total triumph. I had half one night, & the other half the next night following a hard twelve hour shift. It re-heated beautifully, & tasted even better as the flavours had been given time to develop. All I needed with it was a thick slice of home-made bread & a hunk of cheese. A few days after that, my cake tin was full of delicious chocolate chip cookies. A couple of days later, the tin was empty!!!! Of the recipes I've tried, my most favourite has to be mushroom toad in the hole. I'd never have thought of replacing the traditional sausages with large open mushrooms (I used portobello), but it made a stunning meal, especially with the beautiful onion gravy poured over & the mustard mash I made. I can't praise these Hamlyn books enough. I will probably continue to add to my collection until I have them all!! They are all marvellous books, & this is no exception.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Hamlyn 200... series of books is comprehensive in the range and variety of recipes covered. With several titles in the series, some are meal oriented yet others relate to a specific dish or style of cooking. There may be some minor overlap of recipes between the numerous volumes, but that should not detract from the possibility of buying several of the titles.

This volume, Family Favourites comprises a mixture of snacks, soups, main courses including several stews and curries, and desserts. The range of recipes is extensive and include many that truly are favourites. None of the recipes are of the 'blow your socks off' standard or sufficiently complex to be off-putting. The recipes each have their own photograph of the finished dish which, at the price, is quite surprising.

Most of the recipes here are intended to serve 4 people and a few to serve lesser or greater numbers. The size of the books means that they would not be out of place on a kitchen shelf where they may be of frequent use, or on a bookshelf for more random or occasional use. It should be borne in mind that these are recipe books and not 'how to cook' books. Techniques and how-to's are most noticeable by their absence, but that should not unduly detract from their purchase. A certain amount of basic cooking skills are assumed, which is not unduly unreasonable.

Overall excellent value, a varied content, not overly complex and of convenient size they are a must have for the cook who wants to extend his or her range of dishes.

Since writing the preceding paragraphs, I have only subsequently realised that the recipe count includes variations that exist for most recipes. As all the books in the series have approximately 240 pages and every recipe has a full-page accompanying illustration, there are insufficient remaining pages to support 200 individual and complete recipes; with the variations, it is achieved.
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VINE VOICEon 3 June 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Another 200 recipes from Hamlyn. To be honest I think this series is getting a little tired, and they are finding it difficult to come up with original and tasty ideas.

They are a few recipes that I would consider trying, but nothing overly new or special. Also a lot of the recipes are not particularly 'fast' either.

After reading two of the Hamlyn series, I can't say that I would bother ordering anymore, they just don't appeal to my tastes.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )|Verified Purchase
I have more than a few of these Hamlyn cook books now. Some (like this) I've been given free to review. Other's I've parted with my own hard earned cash to buy.

I'm happy to pay for these books because they're great. They're brilliant value for money and inside they're clear and easy to follow which is perfect for the novice cook, like me.

Each spread consist of a lovely colour pic of the dish on the right hand page and on the left, a breakdown of the recipe and cooking instructions.

In clear, easy to follow language you find the recipe section (number or people it serves, ingredients, weight of each ingredients and prep time) and then the section on how to combine and cook those ingredients.

Things are keep wonderfully simple which is why I love these books. Because other (non Hamlyn) recipe books I own, being a terrible cook, I find extremely hard to follow. These dishes - and the Hamlyn style - make everything easy.

Here's a (ahem) 'flavour' of some of the dishes you'll find in this book (I've chosen these by just opening the pages at random):

Boston baked beans, Stuffed aubergines, Cashew nut chicken, Quick pasta carbonara, Home made sausage rolls, Sea bass with spicy salsa, Chicken noodle soup, Chicken dippers with salsa, monkfish kebabs, Thai chicken curry, Cauliflower cheese, Croque Monsieur. Pepperoni and wilted spinach risotto, prawn and coconut rice, una and pasta bake, Chicken teriyaki, Sausage and bean casserole, Hot thai beef salad, Chicken biryani, Sausage with mustard mash, Chicken and lemon paella.

So, from that lot you can see that there is a wide variety of recipes and meals on offer; you'll find 200 recipes under the theme of family favourites. Some (like cauliflower cheese) I feel fit this theme, others I think we'll have to exercise a bit of poetic licence as say that they'll "become" family favourites.

It doesn't matter though. There are meals to suit every taste in this wonderful, compact book, which is another winner in from the Hamyln range - you should check them out! They're great for the price and all sport nice, easy wipe covers too. They've literally thought of everything!
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Hamlyn cookbook '200 Fast Family Favourites' is a handy-sized cookbook that is clearly aimed at being more practical than being a particularly decorative addition to your collection. Indeed, measuring just 5.5" x 6.5", this small soft-backed book is more at home slotted between condiments than it is sitting on a shelf 'on show' as it were. The book is part of a set that is designed to cover '200 particular style of dishes' such a curries, budget meals, pasta dishes, wok recipes etc. Together the set would form quite a handy library of cookbooks. The recipes for these '200 Fast Family Favourites' were produced by Sara Lewis (can't say either my wife or I had heard of her before).

The 240 page book is broken down into the following sections:
Introduction - 10 pages
Snacks & Light Bites -38 pages (18 recipes)
Pasta, Rice & Noodles - 32 pages (15 recipes)
One Pot - 22 pages (10 recipes)
Meaty Treats - 36 pages (17 recipes)
Fish & Seafood - 32 pages (15 recipes)
Vegetables - 26 pages (12 recipes)
Sweet Treats - 34 pages (16 recipes)
Index - 5 pages

As you'll see from the above, only 103 actual 'full recipes' are included in the book. However, the book gets around this by detailing that (if desired) you can add a few additional ingredients into many of the recipes, or make other such small alterations and then count this as a whole other recipe (i.e. for the 'Boston Baked Beans' there's a small additional paragraph at the end that tells you that you can add bacon & cheese into it to make it 'Baked Beans with Bacon & Grilled Cheese'). Hence two recipes on one page! Hmmmmmm...

Like with all the books in this series, each recipe is set over two facing pages. The first page contains the ingredients, how many people it serves, preparation time, cooking time, and easy-to-follow instructions for how to create the dish. The adjacent page provides a full colour photograph of the finished meal. This format is consistent throughout the entirety of the book, making it easy to skim it for potential dishes you may want to make depending on time, ingredients or how many it needs to serve (usually between 4-6 people).

The book includes some great advice at the beginning in the 'Introduction' section. Simple but handy tips such as grating cheddar & parmesan cheese to purposefully freeze into individual portions so that they're ready to go in to sauces whenever you want them. Keeping ginger and chillies in the fridge to keep their flavour and intensity. Also some good little tips on how to get kids to try new foods, such as putting food into serving bowls and then encouraging them to help themselves. Again, simple advice, but there might well be something in there that you hadn't thought of!

The book includes some slightly odd recipes ('Croque Monsieur' - i.e. Cheese & ham toasties). Do we really need a 'recipe' for these?! The good ole British classic, the BLT Sandwich is another highly unnecessary firm favourite that's been included in the book! Without looking at the recipe, try to guess the three main ingredients to go between your two slices of toast...

After perusing the book, both my wife and I ended up scratching our heads at the book's brief. 'Fast Family Favourites'. Hmmmm...I can't say that 'Swordfish with Sage Pangritata' is such a regular in our household. But then again, there are a lot of 'classics', even down to a recipe for making your own chips. 'Vegetable Bolognaise', 'Pork with Apples & Mustard Mash', 'Beef Stroganoff' - there are indeed quite a good number of family favourites. Although I'm not entirely sure all the claims of 10 mins cooking time and the like are all that reliable.

The dessert selection is pretty darn good and varied. Once again, some firm favourites make their way into the book alongside some slight variations on other classic puddings. But it's all good.

The index is designed to be as user-friendly as possible, with the dishes are split up into their main themed ingredients (such as bacon, cheese, noodles, salads etc).

All in all, we're pretty happy with the recipes in the book. For a quick flick through to inspire a speedy family meal, the book is a handy little go-to guide. Yeah, it's not for everyone. Those that perhaps have more time (or willpower) to create masterpieces in the kitchen day-after-day will find little in here to warrant them purchasing the book. Also, if you're already pretty darn nifty with a large variety of classic meals, then this may not be that much help to you. However, if you want a few additional ideas, or just a speedy reference guide for a few firm favourites, then this book might just be one for you. However, like with the other books in this serious, calling it '200 Fast Family Favourites' is a bit cheeky considering that there's only really 103 recipes, bulking it up to 200 with an extra 97 suggested variations on the theme. Not the most honest of cookbook names!
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VINE VOICEon 12 April 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'm not a food connoisseur, but I do try to make a decent meal every now and then.
I'm more a fan of stir-fry food - anything I can throw into a pan together and cook quickly and easily, while being healthy.
My partner on the other hand is more than happy to cook more time-consuming meals and make cakes - not so healthy,

Anyway, we picked up this book for a mere fiver to give ourself things to try. Surely it can't go wrong.
Like any meal, you need to have the ingredients to hand to cook with, so it's pretty obvious to read the meals you want to try before you just jump in.
(I know that sounds obvious, but I'm sure I'm not the first person to start a meal and fine they don't have half the ingredients!)
To date, I've had the book for 2 weeks, and we've made 5 of the meals. All have been good, pretty tasty. Not totally sure I will get round to doing them all, but it's better than not doing any.

The physical book is well presented. Each 2-page spread is 1 recipe... the ingredients and step-by-step guide on the left side, and a decent photo on the right.
It's not a huge book - about 12cm x 12cm - which makes it easy to handle, but you won't lose it easily either.

I was going to call it a stocking filler, but at the time writing this review, it's only April.
Still, I'm sure it'd be a nice present for anybody.

So, for a few quid, this is a good book with a number of recipes to try. You might not like them all, but at least you can say you tried!
Would recommend to anyone who likes to try new dishes.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The first thing I love about the Hamlyn series of books is that they are compact, easy to read, easy to carry around and contains recepies with no 'faff' - they ar all simple to make with orinary ingredients. I have several in this series and not one has disappointed me. This book like the others in the series is once again a great little book to dip into and I think - one of my favourites.

The dishes in here are well known, but thats doesnt mean you know how to cook it. One of my personal favourites is chicken with 'chilli jam'. Its the chilli part that does it for me. Its is absolutely delicious! If I made this commercially as a sauce I'd have a winner :)

Some favourites are felafel cakes (always wanted to know how to make felafel), beef strogonoff (again, eaten it before but not a scoobie how to make it. Then there's chicken biriani, stuffed aubergines, Swordfish with sage pangritata (not as scary as it sounds). And some really yummy deserts: pears with chocolate crumble, chocolate puddle pudding -OMG! choccie heaven; and my absolute favourite desert ever 'tirimasu' (this is to die for!!! - make it!! ..your friends will be asking you to make it for them for ever more).

Most of the recipies in this can be made very quickly with normal food that you would be buying anyway - making it very easy to work with.
I really like this book and have already cooked many of these several times with great success.

A great big 5 on the YUM factor-ometer.

Definitly worth buying.
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