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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 October 2012
I have a number of Tamsin Day-Lewis' books and it would be fair to say that this isn't the best of them but it still has some great recipes, albeit I don't think I'll be using them on a regular basis. Probably the best part is the chapter entitled 'Sweet Things' - fabulous desserts like white peaches in Moscato with zabaglione ice cream; several lovely sorbets - elderflower or passion fruit, coconut and lime; pear & blueberry tatin or lemon & coconut cream tart.

There are a couple of good menus: firstly there is a birthday menu of baby courgette salad, insalata tricolore, egg pappardelle with mushroom & marsala sauce and to follow figs in raspberry sauce with hazelnut ice cream. The other is a New Year's Eve Dinner with an Indian theme which ends with a particularly nice trifle.

Other good recipes are potato gnocchi with asparagus, olives & tomato which looks so fresh on the plate; red salad (based on Camargue red rice with chillis, tomatoes, etc); hot greek filos; maqluba, a sort of tarte tatin made from layers of tomatoes, rice, lentils and aubergine; fillet of venison/lamb with spiced aubergine charlotte (the latter is excellent on its own); primavera & prosciutto pie; a wonderful dish of red romano peppers in a cream sauce, and another dessert in the form of passion fruit posset.

The list of ingredients is sometimes very lengthy but this is not necessarily a sign of complicated recipes: preparation is generally straightforward and most ingredients easy to source.
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on 10 March 2012
This latest offering from Tamasin Day Lewis is certainly packed with yummy offerings you'd be hard pressed to resist. Her style of writing draws you in and this is a cookbook to read and enjoy as much as use as an instruction manual. For those who have not been tempted by any of her previous books then this will make an excellent introduction. Beautifully photographed, as her books always are, this is packed full of tempting dishes. "No" will be notably absent from your vocabulary! I do hope there will be a TV series to accompany this.
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on 6 March 2012
I don't know if I wouldn't say "No" to some of the food in this book but honestly that would be pretty limited as the recipes are very, very tempting indeed, especially in the dessert section (irresistible if you have a sweet tooth, in particular the chocolate recipes , OK I'm biased...) but not only...
If you enjoy cooking and trying out new flavours or being surprised by clever twists given to known recipes, this book is well worth buying even if, like me, you already have quite a selection of good cookbooks at home.
Some recipes are more involved than others but the explanations are very clear and I guess the only problem people might have at times is getting hold of some ingredients -depending on what is on offer at their local shops/supermarkets- but that is recurrent with a lot of creative cookbooks and in that respect I really appreciate the fact that Tamasin Day-Lewis does suggest alternatives in a lot of cases -too bad I will never manage get hold of decent large Sicilian lemons for the Passion Fruit Posset in the Mother's Day menu though ;-)

The book is divided into the following sections:

-Simple Special Things (OK, I do find it difficult to give an idea of this section but have a 'Look Inside' ,as Amazon suggests, to read about TDL's concept in that 'special' section).

-Beginnings: Mostly starters and soups, we loved "Pea & Prosciutto Mousse with Parmesan Cream" and "Red Onion, Squash, Tomato & Coconut Soup"

-The Big Dish: Great main courses: we tried "Summer Skirt with Chimichurri & Corn-Utopia Salsa", a very tasty version of the dish even if, in early march, I didn't have access to fresh oregano leaves - so used dried of course but will definitely try with the real McCoy when possible- and "Saffron Chicken, Leek & Prune Pie", quite an interesting combination.

-Sweet Things: A delightful selection, we tried Honey Spice cake with Ginger & Coconut (yum!) and Bitter Chocolate & Salted Brownie Cake, simple and clever.

-Feasts : Mother's Day Lunch for 6, Birthday Menu for 6 (vegetarian), New Year's Eve Dinner for 8 (Indian style menu with an amazing -British style- Decadent Triffle as a dessert), well thought-out menus indeed.

The only thing I missed in the book was an index of the recipes to complete the index of ingredients given at the end of the book, or at least a list of the recipes at the beginning of each section.

Apart from that, it is a very exciting new book by Tamasin Day-Lewis- can't wait to try more recipes...- and a beautiful one too (great pictures by Simon Wheeler), pretty hard to say No to indeed!
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on 16 April 2012
There are just five chapters in this book but they pack a lot of recipes in each one. They are entitled, 'simple special things' (such as savoury biscuits, bread rolls, salads, sides and dips, the extra's in other words ), 'beginnings' (starters, soups finger foods and the like) 'the big dish' (main courses with everything from chowders to special salads) 'sweet things' (baking, cakes, ice creams and puddings you would die for) and 'feasts' (this is a whole chapter devoted to truly special meals and the full menus are included - the new years eve indian inspired feast is a truly fabulous meal, you could cook the whole menu or just pick out recipes on their own).

Not every recipe is accompanied by a photograph, the steamed orange sponge with seville orange marmalade pudding I have made was one that was not. But the recipe descriptions are easy to follow and there is lots of additional information about foods and ingredients used in the recipes, this is interspersed amongst the recipes themselves. The photography that is in this book is really good and very appealing.

There are quire a few vegetarian meals and side dishes that would suit those that do not eat meat and fish. Some of the savoury baked recipes have a big appeal, the roquefort and walnut pie with a pepper and parmesan crust looks very good, as does the gnocchi and the pasta recipes, definitely on my list of things to try from this book.

The 'sweet things' chapter is my absolute favourite as I love to bake so much, and some of the recipes in here are so very enticing, such as the pear and blueberry tatin, lemon and coconut cream tart, Miranda's luscious lemon cake, chocolate fig and walnut log, and the ultimate 'killer black and white chocolate and raspberry cake'...when you see the photographs of this one you will know why its called 'killer'.

'Food you can't say no to' is not a book I would reach for to cook from everyday, as this is what I would think of as 'special' food. For some of the recipes you would have to source some of the ingredients well in advance, for others any cooks store cupboard supplies will do nicely, as with this pudding recipe. This is a book I would cook from if I wanted something different, something to impress family or friends or if I was making a meal that I wanted to be 'exceptional' or something we hadn't tried before. This is the type of food I would love to come home from work to, (in my dreams of course) its different, its complex, its packed with a myriad of flavours and even some traditional recipes we may be familiar with are given a new twist.
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on 2 February 2013
fantastic book, mouthwatering recipes, would definately recommend to friend, met my expectations, joy to use for cooking, very good price
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on 29 April 2012
Love Tamsin's books , heard her on the tv/radio talking
about this book and one of her receipes and knew
had to buy it.
She is so hands on!
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on 17 June 2015
Excellent book by a great writer
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on 15 August 2012
I have all Tamsin's other books and love them but this book left me dissapointed and I have already donated it to my sister. Recipes are not her usual style and not much in the book that I would actually cook. Overall a very dissapointing purchase.
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on 25 June 2012
I love cookery books and this is the first book I have bought by Tamsin Day-Lewis, I enjoyed her writing style and found the recipes very inspirational. The photography was wonderful and whilst I do not think this will be an every day cook book for me there are many things I am keen to try when I entertain.
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on 10 May 2012
I have loads of Tamasin's books, including Kitchen Bible and Tarts with Tops on. Fantastic.
This did not contain anything I felt I wanted to get my apron on..............
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