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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-written, well laid out and packed with tempting recipes.
On first flicking through Do-ahead Dinners there were loads of recipes I wanted to try. Not only did they look tasty, they were also different and seemed impressive. And after all who throws a dinner party if not to show-off just a little bit.

Now that I've had a chance to try a few of recipes, I'm still very keen - what was once a good-looking cookbook is now...
Published 7 months ago by TM

versus
2 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointed
I was very disappointed when I received this book. Totally unoriginal recipes and very difficult to follow.I passed it on to my daughter who is a professional cook and she was not impressed either.
Published 5 months ago by Mrs E M Turner


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-written, well laid out and packed with tempting recipes., 29 Aug 2013
This review is from: Do-ahead Dinners: how to feed friends and family without the frenzy (Hardcover)
On first flicking through Do-ahead Dinners there were loads of recipes I wanted to try. Not only did they look tasty, they were also different and seemed impressive. And after all who throws a dinner party if not to show-off just a little bit.

Now that I've had a chance to try a few of recipes, I'm still very keen - what was once a good-looking cookbook is now a good-looking cookbook covered in grease spots and gravy. The results were great and this has rather less to do with my cooking abilities than it does with this excellent book.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for the host who wants to serve delicious food AND to relax, 15 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Do-ahead Dinners: how to feed friends and family without the frenzy (Hardcover)
This is a smashing book. It is perfect for anyone who wants to entertain friends with delicious food but WITHOUT any of the attendant stress that often goes with cooking.

The emphasis is - and the title might be a bit of a giveaway here - on food you can prepare mostly ahead of time. Meaning that you can neck a couple of cocktails with your guests and, dare I say it, enjoy your friends' company, rather than sweat over a pan on your own in the kitchen.

To help with the "Do-Ahead" aim, recipes are formatted a little differently. Instead of a sequential list of "do this, then do that, then move on to..." the author breaks each recipes up into "between 1 and 2 days beforehand; 2 hours beforehand; immediately before serving". For the novice cook this is a godsend that makes things super-easy and confidence inspiring; for the experienced cook it is just another bonus that makes life simpler.

The recipes in the book aren't about complicated cookery. They are more a question of taking ingredients (often robust ones, and economical cuts), treating them well and putting them with other ingredients to make them taste even better. I'd call it honest, delicious cooking. The recipes read as if the author has a knack for combining flavours really well. And my take is that this is pretty easy cookery; it requires a little work and planning (well d'uh, if you are going to do something ahead of time that's going to be the case, isn't it?), but nothing looks particularly difficult, tedious or onerous.

Sure, there are other prepare-ahead dinner party cookbooks out there - but this one has food that I'd actually want to eat. The lamb shoulder stuffed with cockles looks EPIC and the mackerel stuffed with chilli, garlic and herbs has just jumped up my list of recipes to cook soon. My copy only arrived yesterday so I haven't cooked from it yet but the grub looks superb: lots of big flavours, interesting ingredient combinations (not avant garde - just really tasty-sounding stuff like salmon cured with fennel, orange and juniper, for example) and dishes that look current instead of dated. I reckon I'll leave the other prepare-ahead books I've seen for when I'm hosting an 80s themed party.

What else? Beautiful photographs; very clearly written recipes; a handy selection of menu planning suggestions; a good, short section with cocktail recipes; and some interesting looking easy bread recipes. I think this book will be getting a LOT of use. And I think I'll probably be using it on a day-to-day basis too - this food looks too good to save for parties only.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Properly useful and lovely book, 11 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Do-ahead Dinners: how to feed friends and family without the frenzy (Hardcover)
Really enjoyed this read - James has a really 'likeable' tone and the recipes are inspiring and gorgeous. The idea of cook ahead is ace and has already helped me pull of one supper for ten!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two words; Life Saving, 26 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Do-ahead Dinners: how to feed friends and family without the frenzy (Hardcover)
Have eaten at James's supper club a few times so couldn't wait to get my hands on his book. The secret to an amazing dinner party is a stressfree host, delicious delicious delicious grub and this book is the bible to achieving this, plus i love anything slowroasted. Great pics, great recipes! Loved it.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will make you hungry, 8 Aug 2013
By 
Victoria Glass (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Do-ahead Dinners: how to feed friends and family without the frenzy (Hardcover)
Gorgeous recipes and gorgeous photography, this book is fun to read as well as to cook from. Taking the frazzled panic out of cooking, Do-Ahead Dinners is a must for anyone who plans to feed the masses. The dishes are modern and fresh, but comforting and there's a very appealing section of boozy cocktails at the back to get your shaker out for. This will certainly remain a very constant fixture in my kitchen.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nom nom nom, 8 Aug 2013
This review is from: Do-ahead Dinners: how to feed friends and family without the frenzy (Hardcover)
I've eaten at James' Supper Club and this book is just like that - welcoming, beautifully presented and full
of wonderful food. In a world of pretentious, know-it-all chefs who seem to want to show off with obscure ingredients and abstruse techniques, this is really refreshingly straightforward - and he's not too didactic about ingredients, which makes the whole cooking experience a lot less of a faff!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality., 15 April 2014
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I was hesitant to buy this initially for my Kindle Fire HD because I thought that the sale price was still a bit too pricy (Times are hard for most at the moment). However, it was worth the approximate 12 that I paid. The book reads well and 90% of the recipes had accompanying pictures-which is very important to me.

I have rated the book 4 Stars because I feel that other alternatives to meat should have been suggested. I don' t eat pork, so recipes with pig ears for example renders useless to me. It would have been great to be told of a substitute. In addition, some of the recipes contain alcohol where again a substitute would have been great.

All in all though, it is a wonderful read and it has inspired me to dust off my apron.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 3 Mar 2014
By 
Andrew Muscat (San Gwann, na Malta) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Do-ahead Dinners: how to feed friends and family without the frenzy (Hardcover)
Original recipes, easy to execute. made the kahlua, hazelnut and fennel seed ice cream last night....what a great and unexpected idea.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fab fab fab, 27 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Do-ahead Dinners: how to feed friends and family without the frenzy (Hardcover)
you all need one of these. Best christmas present for all family and friends. inspiring and delicious....fab fab fab fab
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YUMMY, CLASSIC AND EASY-TO-FOLLOW. ADORE THIS BOOK.., 11 Nov 2013
This review is from: Do-ahead Dinners: how to feed friends and family without the frenzy (Hardcover)
I have shelves groaning with cookbooks - can't get enough of them - but have to say that not all of them find their way into the kitchen for use. This isn't one of those. Of all my recent additions, this is easily the most used. There are lots of classics and also lots of lovely original twists. It's robust food, which I like, and it is eminently suitable for entertaining. I've found it just as useful for creating family meals - indeed this is where my most need of 'do-ahead' food comes in. It's nice to find out just how long you can keep things for and also surprising what you can make so far in advance. The kids adore the jambalaya and I love the butternut squash with labneh. I'm also particularly fond of the chorizo twists - simple, but they go down a storm when you have friends for drinks. Love it.
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