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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your new best friend in the kitchen.
I buy cookery books a lot and at the end of every year I have a cull. The ones that don't make it are usually pristine, often bought on the basis of one recipe that the rest of the book failed to live up to. I have had Aggie's book for a week and it already has tomato sauce on it from the meatball recipe and a fine dusting of flour on the page for scones. This one will...
Published on 26 Oct 2011 by J Munro

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2.0 out of 5 stars Aggies Family Cook Book
I bought this after reading the reviews for it. I was looking forward to receiving this book but I have been disappointed the recipes wheren't as exciting as I hoped and dispite having it now for more than a month I haven't used it. The book I bought before Aggies is The Cook Book for Busy Mums by Mary Gywnn now that I would recommend.
Published 23 months ago by J. Bevan


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your new best friend in the kitchen., 26 Oct 2011
This review is from: Aggie's Family Cookbook: Save Time, Save Money (Hardcover)
I buy cookery books a lot and at the end of every year I have a cull. The ones that don't make it are usually pristine, often bought on the basis of one recipe that the rest of the book failed to live up to. I have had Aggie's book for a week and it already has tomato sauce on it from the meatball recipe and a fine dusting of flour on the page for scones. This one will definitely be a keeper. Aggie's straightforward approach is refreshing. You won't find long lists of ingredients only available in the more chi chi parts of London. Instead it is full of useful advice that will help you put good food on the table day after day without leaving you frazzled. There are shopping lists, freezing instructions and hints on how to use leftovers or adapt recipes for bigger numbers. There is a huge variety of recipes to try and even my kids have had a go at a couple of them. So if you want a bit of variety in your repertoire buy this book, you won't regret it.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars for the sheer variety, ease of prep, and wow factor for guests, 20 Nov 2011
This review is from: Aggie's Family Cookbook: Save Time, Save Money (Hardcover)
Full disclosure: I'm Aggie's sister. And one of the zillion reasons I love this book is that now all the recipes I've been filching from Ag for years (and a whole lot more I wanted but hadn't got around to nicking) are here, all in one place! I was bowled over by the book from the get-go (and I don't even eat meat). The wealth of mouthwatering recipes (that really work), the bonus 40-plus pages of tips and info at the front of the book (I never knew there was a difference between "Best before" and "Use by" labels), the photography and the design are all fantastic. It's going to solve a few Xmas gift problems this year. Just a few of the highlights for me: The restaurant-style creamy fish stew is brilliantly named--it really does look and taste like a dish you would be served with in a high-end place and pay an arm and a leg for. I've made it to eat at home, and I've carried it to friends for a potluck. Either way, there is never a trace left by the end of the evening. The best-ever pumpkin risotto is also aptly named---it's to die for. I thought I knew what a good pumpkin risotto was until I had this one. And I've been making my own spicy prawn recipe for decades, which was tasty enough, but Ag's one beats it hands down. (I used the maple syrup as I had that to hand.) In the dessert section, the sumptuous marinated peaches dessert is my idea of the perfect recipe---almost effortless, looks gorgeous, tastes divine. (And people have no idea why it tastes so amazing until they ask what's in it!) The F-word trifle is another exquisite pud that I make for special occasions. There are never leftovers, which is probably a good thing. I haven't made the coffee and pecan cream meringues myself but I've tasted Ag's and they are unbelievably scrumptious. (And the prep time before you put them in the oven is just 10 minutes!) I have dozens of cookbooks but this has become my go-to reference every time just for the sheer variety, ease of prep, and wow factor for guests.Aggie's Family Cookbook: Save Time, Save Money
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clean plates all round, 19 Jan 2012
This review is from: Aggie's Family Cookbook: Save Time, Save Money (Hardcover)
To those who know Aggie MacKenzie only as the smarter, less belligerent half of TV grime-busting duo Kim and Aggie, this cookbook may come as a surprise. Before becoming famous for cleaning up homes from Hell, however, the elegant Ms MacKenzie worked as Food Editor of Sainsbury's Magazine and head of the Good Housekeeping Institute, so she knows her way around a kitchen without a mop in her hand.
This collection comes straight from the heart and is full of the kind of wholesome, down-to-earth family recipes that every household should have to hand: a gorgeous, creamy chicken and mushroom pie; a comforting lamb and lentil curry; easy-peasy pissaladiere and meltingly good brownies, all simply and clearly explained (like a less tortuous version of Delia before she started writing entire volumes on egg recipes and ways with instant mash).
What really sets this book apart, though, is the section on planning, equipment and - yes - cleaning. There's guidance on stocking your store cupboard and sensible advice on which gadgets to buy - and those to avoid. I can't think of anyone who wouldn't find this book useful, but its refreshingly fuss-free and value-focused approach makes it especially suitable for students and those setting up home for the first time. Highly recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Solid Family Cookbook, 26 Oct 2011
This review is from: Aggie's Family Cookbook: Save Time, Save Money (Hardcover)
I got this book the day i heard Aggie MacKenzie being interviewed on BBC Radio Scotland. Since then i've made the tablet, the sage gnocchi and Ewan's chicken fried rice. In fact we had the chicken fried rice last night which is a firm favourite for the family and a mega firm favourite for me because it's both very quick and really tasty. I had tried a version of this before but Aggie's book suggests adding grated ginger, which adds a whole new flavour. I love the way it tells you at a glance how long the entire meal takes to make - and it's a true reflection, unlike another favourite cook's - which takes three times the amount stated - NEVER 30 mins! I LOVE cookery books and can honestly say this is a MUST for good allround tasty - and quick - food. A bargain - even at full price!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for the Domestically Minded who have the Inclination., 6 Dec 2011
This review is from: Aggie's Family Cookbook: Save Time, Save Money (Hardcover)
The title `Aggie's Family Cookbook: Save Time, Save Money' got me interested from the start. Like all busy Mums, I am always looking for ways to free up some precious minutes and ease the purse strings. So I was intrigued to tuck in and see if Aggie could help me feed my family good healthy food whilst not slaving in the kitchen for hours day after day.

Overall, the cookbook is bright with inviting photos of soul nourishing dishes and heart warming stews. What is immediately different is the first forty-five pages are set aside to very useful advice: how to menu plan 4 weeks ahead, handy tips on how to clean your kitchen quickly yet effectively, a basic list of essential kitchen gadgets and how to get the kids enthused about cooking. Aggie assures the reader that all the recipes have been tried and tested using ingredient quantities corresponding to supermarket pack sizes - so there is no chance of remnants going mouldy in a jar in my fridge. The more I read on, the more I'm impressed by the good common sense.

Handily, most recipes are on one page - no ruining the book by turning the page with dirty fingers mid-cooking - with a photo of what's it should to look like on the opposite side.

The chapters are broken down into occasions for picnics, weekends, special breakfasts, and puddings. My favourite chapter is `Food on the run' where Aggie claims some recipes could be on the table within 15 minutes. The `Restaurant Style Creamy Fish Stew' took a bit longer but it was undoubtedly quick, easy to make, and very filling. It reminded me of a chowder but without the potatoes, whilst the oyster sauce gave it a secret `je ne sais quoi'. I will definitely make this again.

The Weekend Dinners chapter feature recipes requiring more time. The `Yummy creamy chicken and mushroom pie' lived up to its name - it was absolutely delicious and didn't last long. The Dijon mustard and tarragon gave the chicken a gorgeous flavour, and the kitchen smelled amazing when I brought the pie out of the oven! This is one of those hearty meals of love that you cook for your man.

This cold weather demands comfort food, and I had high hopes for the `Best Ever Pumpkin Risotto'. My own version is pretty good, so I was excited at the prospect of making it even better. Overall the whole thing took nearly 90 minutes following the recipe faithfully, stirring it all about, adding the stock one ladle at a time, with more endless stirring, and I wish I hadn't. The whole thing was a bit bland. Granted, a good risotto takes time, but my plain speaking husband's verdict summed it up: `This risotto is okay.'

In a bid to get my kids cooking and away from the telly, we made some chocolate brownies. They were good, but had the potential to be sublime had I heeded Aggie's warning to take them out of the oven early. They were even better after being in the fridge for 24 hours, served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.

The next thing on my list to make with or without the children will be the pizzas, chicken casserole using up old bits of veg left in the fridge, chocolate panettone pudding, banana ice cream, and the pork, chickpea and chorizo stew. YUM!

What I like most about this book is the practical advice - if you're chopping an onion, chop another and bung it in the freezer. The same goes for mashed potato - make double and freeze the rest. I never knew you could freeze mashed potato, let alone chocolate brownies!

I think this would be a good book to give to a young foodie in the making who is about to embark on living away at university or setting up their first home. In a small way, Aggie's cookbook reminded me of my student bible `Grub on a Grant' - but hers is aimed at the more discerning cook, rather than the complete novice. I have definitely found the book useful as I'm always looking for new ideas and inspiration whilst keeping an eye on the household budget. However, I am not domestically minded enough to want to make time to indulge in jam making, or concocting my own tartare sauce. I'll carry on buying them from the shops for now, but at least I know I can always turn to Aggie should I get the urge!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aggies family cookbook, 30 Oct 2011
This review is from: Aggie's Family Cookbook: Save Time, Save Money (Hardcover)
What a lovely cook book! The photography is gorgeous. More importantly the recipes are straightforward and produce the promised results (not always the case with "celebrity cook books" in my experience.....).
I got copies of this book for both my mum and myself. So far I have concentrated on the sweet stuff (Queen of puddings and brownies esp good). Mum (who lives on her own) loves Aggies advice about shopping/organising menus and the easy to follow "modern recipes" (her words - first ever home made gnocchi at 74!). Definately recommend this book for families of all ages.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm Mum of the year!, 24 Oct 2011
This review is from: Aggie's Family Cookbook: Save Time, Save Money (Hardcover)
This book is full of great ideas and great recipes. I love the Gooey brownies recipe - I've found them quite difficult to master in the past but this recipe has turned out some super yummy brownies that I adore, and was really simple to follow! Great idea for 'feeding your kids mates' section - constantly feeding others children, and now I can do it cheaply and spectacularly. Mum of the Year Award eat your heart out!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For someone wanting to cook from scratch every day, 28 Nov 2011
This review is from: Aggie's Family Cookbook: Save Time, Save Money (Hardcover)
Aggie's Family Cookbook from the lovely Aggie Mackenzie, better known as the friendlier of the two ladies who used to invade people's houses and tell them how filthy dirty they were.

Hugely practical, this book has realistic weekly meal plans to help you save money and feed the family nutritious meals every night. My favourite chapter is "Food for the kids' mates" which includes a recipe called "Clissold Chicken" named after her local park. My other favourites are quick braised oxtail, vegetable empanadas, puff pastry pissaladiere and the entire "bits and pieces" chapter which is full of useful standard recipes everyone should memorise.

Orla Kiely style tablecloths feature throughout and incase you think you're going to get off the hook with donning rubber gloves afterwards, there's a section "How to clean your kitchen" because, well some people are filthy dirty you know. Possibly the only cookbook I've seen that includes a ticking off for allowing cats on worktops.

Beautifully laid out, reassuring and good fun.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super easy to use - a kitchen must-have, 26 Oct 2011
This review is from: Aggie's Family Cookbook: Save Time, Save Money (Hardcover)
I've got a busy schedule and often leave the cooking to my husband who is a lot more patient than me! I was really excited when i started flicking through Aggie's new book as they are all yummy simple and easy to create recipes. Also refreshing to not have super long and confusing ingredient lists which always put me off. I've already successfully created the delicious pumpkin risotto (i always thought risotto was difficult, but it's not!), tabouleh salad, the fresh pesto and the sunday roast chicken so i feel i'm well on the way to being more adventurous in the kitchen. Next stop will be the 'no hassle gnocchi' from scratch, which looks amazing and i can't wait to make!
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5.0 out of 5 stars I love it!, 1 May 2014
By 
Aletheuon (Wales UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Aggie's Family Cookbook: Save Time, Save Money (Hardcover)
I just love this cookbook! I bought it on holiday and enjoyed myself just reading the recipes, knowing that these were dishes I would really be making regularly. 'This woman cooks like me!' I thought. Of course, she cooks much better than me, but she uses the ingredients I like and her recipes are straightforward, sensible and delicious. As someone else has said, this one is a keeper and won't just stay on the shelf, unused, until I decide to send it to a charity shop. More, Aggie, more!
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Aggie's Family Cookbook: Save Time, Save Money
Aggie's Family Cookbook: Save Time, Save Money by Aggie MacKenzie (Hardcover - 3 Oct 2011)
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