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4.9 out of 5 stars33
4.9 out of 5 stars
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on 13 July 2008
I own loads of cookery books and only cook two or three recipes from each. Many of the recipes in these books can appear daunting if you're not an accomplished, brilliant cook. I really enjoy cooking for the family but they aren't really into pheasant in a redcurrant sauce type of meal so I have to keep it a bit simpler. This book is ideal, it gives traditional recipes a new twist and they are bursting with flavour. Family favourites so far are lamb and butterbean casserole, turkey and apricot pie not forgetting sausages and red onions with port. I have only had the book a couple of weeks and there are loads of recipes I am keen to try. This is one book that won't be gathering dust in a cupboard. There are plenty of recipes for the adventurous cook but also for those of us still aspiring to become accomplished.
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on 21 November 2008
The recipes I have used really work. The format is easy to use although the publisher obviously cutting cost by putting pictures together and not opposite the right page. Never mind! The content was at just the right level for those who can't cook, those who can but have given up on over-fussy food and those who don't have much time. Not a frozen potatoe in sight!
Shame its not more visible on the High Street. It's a good all round book.
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on 6 July 2009
I was given this last year for christmas and there is barely a day when I don't refer to it for one thing or another even if its just inspiration. Most cook books I just use for one or two recipes or if I want to do something in particular. This one you can cook with every day with things out of your cupboards. It tells you really useful things like how long to roast meat and how to make yorkshire puddings (two things my mother tried very hard to teach me and I always forgot - it wasn't relevant to me at 16!). It's not afraid to 'cheat' either with curry pastes etc. Unlike most cook books that insist on everything from scratch when you just don't have the time or the ingredients, this book lets you use ready made pastes and sauces which is just fantastic but the good thing is the food doesn't taste artificial or sub-standard in anyway. I've not made a bad meal yet from this book. I would absolutely recommend this as a staple for anyone's kitchen but I think its especially handy for those starting out but are interested in 'real' cookery (maybe after uni - it's more than boiled eggs and beans on toast).
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on 21 August 2009
This book is great! I am a novice, but highly enthusiastic cook, and constantly buy cooking magazines / books but this one is really good for those without an education in cooking. It explains many different techniques and so explains some of the cooking jargon that other books assume you know already. Each of the recipes calls for straighforward ingredients and if you want to be more adventurous (eg making your own mayonnaises / pestos etc) they have a guide at the back for this. There is plenty of variety, instructions on which recipes can be frozen or not (and at which stage to freeze and then how to cook from frozen) and within the section at the beginning a guide on which herbs can be substituted for others if you are out of one. There are not many pictures in this book so if you are looking for recipes where you can see the end result, this may not be for you, but the recipes are so clear that you really do not need a finished picture to produce the great end results.
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on 16 October 2008
This has got to the best cookery book in the world and I have a shelf full of them. Actually this one has never even made it onto the shelf as it is in constant use. It has delicious reciepes that make use of relatively unobscure ingredients that are quick and easy to make. The Chicken, Lime and Lemon Tagine, Sausage and Lentil Casoulet and Lamb Shanks braised in red wine are recipes I probably wouldn't have tackled in any other book but are now firm favourites. Thank you Thank you Thank you! Would make a fantastic birthday or Christmas present.
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on 5 April 2010
I wasn't quite sure what to expect of this book as I have many cookery books at home (my last count was 492) and they all profess to be the "one". I have to say, I haven't been able to put this book down. The recipes cover a vast range of areas. They are modern, easy to prepare and of course with anything Leiths, creative. The best thing I like about it is its simplicity. I have done 2 dinner parties, all from this book which have been very successful. I have also cooked recipes for our weekly evening meals, also with success. I don't believe this is a true beginners' book, but if you are interested in cookery at a higher level and want to gain a greater repertoire of recipes, then this is the book for you. This book is not full of colourful pictures, it gives you the creativity to experiment.
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on 8 February 2009
I've more cook books than I care to mention, however this is one of the few in constant use. Every recipe I've tried so far has worked fantastically. If you like good food that can be cooked around a hectic lifestyle, this is for you.
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on 8 December 2009
As a novice but interested cook having borrowed a vast array of cookery books from my incredibly well-stocked local library, I was struck with this book as soon as I opened it, and borrowed it ... to be immediately lost to my much more expert cook wife! Such a good book, forget the rest - they're just not in this league ... totally accessible for the likes of me yet inspiring for the experts amongst us! Don't be put off by the title ... whilst it does 'simple' very well, it takes you way beyond that. So good, my wife insisted I buy it for Xmas, and I didn't argue. Simply the best either of us has ever seen.
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VINE VOICEon 18 November 2008
It's difficult to know where to start, when wanting to say something good about a book, without sounding trite or patronising. So let me relate a short story, which might tell you a little bit about Leiths Simple Cookery.

My fourteen-year-old daughter is doing cooking in school. They don't call it that of course. It now comes under Design & Technology as we are talking Food Technology these days! What was wrong with good old plain cooking lessons? Anyway enough of that, her most recent project was to find and cook a vegetarian dish and naturally she thought she could take a short cut by asking me what she should cook!

After I explained that it was her project I suggested that she did some research using the cooking books in the house (there are quite a few to choose from). She struggled. When I stopped to think about it the reason she was struggling was her lack of experience and the need to find something that did not require too many ingredients and would not take too long to cook and prepare.

So with so many books in the house the task should have been easy! Not so. Look at most recipe books and you find that most recipes call for a lot of ingredients and many are far from simple to do. What was needed was something a bit more focused towards someone learning to cook . . . and then I remembered I had just received my copy of Leiths Simple Cookery.

An enjoyable hour later she had found her recipe, which was both interesting and easy to prepare . . . it also led to me making my own tapenade for the first time! Far superior to what I had been buying in the supermarket - something I had just never thought to make.

Leiths Simple Cookery is a reference book for those wanting to learn to cook as well as being a book experienced cooks can use to refer to and find recipes - there are over 700 recipes which are both easy to follow and reliable. Ask my daughter whose Tomato and Mozzarella Tarts looked very good and tasted even better. (I must make the recipe for Smoked Salmon and Pea Tart, which appears on the same page and sounds delicious.)

This book will provide recipes for your every need from simple starters through mains to delicious puddings and beyond. The all-important basic recipes are also included ensuring everything you need to know to prepare great meals is in one simple book!

This is no pompous book speaking down to the less experienced but a good old fashioned cookery book, like everyone's mother used to have back in the days when people cooked real family meals and all sat around the table to eat them.

Put together with a thoroughness that is rare these days it is a must for the kitchen library. It is well illustrated and explains all those different things you need to know. A great present for anyone who wants to learn to cook but also for those who want to improve their cooking and expand their experience. It is also ideal for those of us who are more experienced as it provides a reference book for forgotten techniques (or ones we failed to learn and are now too embarrassed to ask about) as well as an excellent source of recipes.

Highly recommended - a must have for any kitchen.
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on 7 March 2010
This was bought as a present, because we are convinced that it does just what it says on the cover. We use the book frequently and its recipes have all, so far, proved to be foolproof and good eating. It would be a good choice for a person wanting to extend themselves into slightly more adventurous cooking.
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