Customer Review

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful follow-up to What To Cook & How To Cook It - so happy this is becoming a series of books!, 10 April 2012
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This review is from: Fresh & Easy: What to Cook & How to Cook it (Hardcover)
I hadn't cooked anything properly in years, and having gotten married last year felt embarrassed by my lack of skill in the kitchen: particularly with a partner who can open a fridge, grab a few ingredients, and cook up restaurant-quality food without breaking a sweat. Boiling a pack of fresh ravioli and putting a bit of parmesan on top wasn't quite cutting the mustard, and so I really needed to up my game.

I ordered this book having spent the past six weeks cooking more than half of the recipes in Jane Hornby's previous book, What To Cook & How To Cook It. My problem with most cookbooks is that they can sometimes fly through the description and at most show a picture of the final dish. As an unconfident cook, I'd always be left asking "well how will this stage look when it's finished cooking?" and "chop how finely?"

The beauty of this book and the last one is that each recipe is spread out over four, image-heavy pages. Nothing is presumed, and everything is explained with care. For the questions I might have above, there's a picture of every stage. It's just perfect. It's giving me untold confidence. I've cooked six things from this book, and every single one has turned out wonderfully. Best of all, cooking is no longer a stress-filled 60 minutes with a disappointing result - it's 30 minutes, entertaining, fun and educational and my partner has been blown away by the change in my cooking. I'm loving being back in the kitchen and I have Jane to thank for it.

The main difference between this book and the last one is that there is more social food (picnics, barbecues, food for friends), that it's seasonally focussed, and that it's a fair bit healthier than the previous book. I have to say that after using three-quarters of a litre of double cream making a delicious key lime pie from the last book, me and my partner's waistlines are pleased to see a lot more healthy options this time, whilst still managing to make me coo over at least 90% of the recipes.

For some odd reason, though I pre-ordered the book and expected it late April, it arrived early April. Thanks Amazon!

The first thing I want to see with any cookbook is the recipe list - so here's the whole thing for you. Hope it helps, and trust me when I tell you to buy this book if you are anything like me in the kitchen. You won't believe what you can manage with the right cookbook.

BREAKFAST & BRUNCH

Bircher Muesli
Avocado & Chorizo Toast
Baked Eggs with Spinach & Feta
Blueberry & Cream Cheese Muffins
Breakfast Blinis with Smoked Salmon
Zingy Fruit Salad
Asparagus & Bacon Frittata

QUICK LUNCHES & SUPPERS

Grilled Halloumi with Pomegranate Tabbouleh
Creamy Zucchini, Lemon & Pea Pasta
Carrot Falafel with Sesame Sauce
Spicy Shrimp (Prawn), Fennel & Chilli Linguine
Asparagus & Poached Egg with Balsamic Butter
Chicken & Blue Cheese Waldorf Salad
Tortellini Soup
Peach & Mozzarella Platter
Chicken & Ham Parmesan
Vietnamese Herb & Noodle Salad
Chipotle Chicken Fajitas
Salmon with Dill Pickle & New Potatoes
Easy Ciabatta Pizzas

PICNICS

Pasta Salad with Tomato Pesto
Fattoush Salad with Labneh
Gazpacho
Ham, Mustard & Fava (Broad) Bean Tart
Tomato Pissaladière Tarts
Spicy Chicken with Mango Raita
Pans Bagnats
Spinach Ricotta Pastries with Sweet Bell Pepper Dip
Cobb Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing

FOOD FOR FRIENDS

Herb-crusted Lamb with Pea Puree & Tomatoes
Roast Chicken with Tarragon Sauce
Seared Tuna with Sauce Vierge
Steak & Artichoke Tagliata
Crisp Duck & Pineapple Salad
Lemon & Basil Gnudi
Scallops with Chorizo & Chickpeas
Seafood Risotto
Pulled Pork Sharing Plate
Roasted Summer Vegetable & Ricotta Lasagne
Fragrant Chicken with Quinoa Salad
Lemon-Roasted Fish & Slow-Cooked Beans
Easy Mezze

BARBECUES

Sticky BBQ Chicken & Slaw
Lamb Kofta with Tzatziki
Lemon & Herb Pork with Fennel & Mint Salad
Spicy Mackerel with Orange & Radish Salad
Shrimp (Prawn) & Asparagus Skewers
Sticky Soy Ribs with Asian Slaw
Chimichurri-Style Burgers
Goat Cheese & Polenta Stacks
Hot Dogs with Tomato, Sage & Onion Relish
Chargrilled Beef & Vegetables with Horseradish Cream

SIDES & SALADS

Tomato & Mozzarella Salad with Gremolata
Green Salad with Seeds & Croutons
Potato, Bacon & Watercress Salad
Sweetcorn with Cheesy Butter
Hasselback Sweet Potatoes
Superfood Lentil Salad
Roasted Vegetable & Feta Couscous
Spiced Carrot & Herb Salad
Fresh & Fruity Flatbreads

DESSERTS & BAKING

Summer Pudding Trifle
Plum, Ginger & Almond Tart
Strawberry Cream Cake
Lime & Blackberry Polenta Cake
Berry Crumble Ice Cream
Pistachio Yoghurt Cake with Figs & Honey
Strawberry Rhubarb Fool with Cinnamon Shortbread
Melba Sundaes
Scones with Raspberry Crush Cream
Mango & Blackcurrant Sorbet
Muscat & Honey Poached Pears
Raspberry & Passion Fruit Mallow Meringue
Chocolate Mousse with Cherries
Lemon Meringue Ice Cream
White Chocolate & Blueberry Cheesecake
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