84 of 101 people found the following review helpful
Rubbish diet book, good cook book, some difficult ingredients,
This review is from: Skinny Weeks and Weekend Feasts (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The idea that this book is "half diet, half feast" doesn't really work. The "skinny" recipes aren't particularly low in fat/sugar/carbs, they're more like standard light meals. The "feast" recipes of fried-up pan biscuits in gravy and heart attack inducing cheesecakes will probably put you back further than where you started in the first place. The idea of half starve, half binge just feels like a shoehorned cash-in on Gizzi's earlier eat Yourself Thin status.
So ignoring the themes, and just looking at book and recipes... it's a mixed bag.
The recipes look amazing (although not all have photos), and the colourful layout with a nod to the Japanese Showa movies is fabulous.
Most of the main meals have an Asian or Mediterranean fusion element to them. The Mediterranean-esque dishes are interesting and easy (I'm looking forward to this year's courgette glut becoming Gizzi's version of Baba Ganoush), the Asian dishes require more of an investment. Possibly too much.
I cook a lot of East Asian food, and some of Gizzi's ingredients are quite expensive and difficult to get hold of, you'll need a specialist supplier - a large supermarket won't stock them. Gizzi recommends you buy from the website of the Piccadilly based specialised Japanese shop. It's the Harrod's of Japanese products in the UK. There are much cheaper options out there! But even so, using Gizzi's recipe, the small side dish Nasu Dengaku will cost you over £20. Some of the ingredients are pretty much impossible to get hold of - You'll struggle to get any genuine sashimi quality fish in the UK (especially Gizzi's sea bass) unless you're ordering trade quantities. Gizzi's suggestion that you simply ask your "local really great sushi shop" to sell you their fish as an off-menu item won't be a solution for everyone.
Away from the Asian, Gizzi has you buying huge venison and beef joints, lamb shoulders, whole ducks, quails eggs ...and veal. And cream by the bucket load.
When I first received this book, I thought it was amazing and planned to cook every single recipe. The more I read it, the more I realise the expense and the levels of preparation mean I'm rapidly losing interest.
As a stand-alone "Gizzi's favourite recipes" type book, firmly aimed at the single female city worker market, it's great if a little inaccessible. As a diet book, or everyday cookbook, it's a bit off target.
Tracked by 2 customers
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Apr 2013 20:31:57 BDT
Posted on 25 Apr 2013 17:20:02 BDT
Posted on 29 Apr 2013 10:35:35 BDT
S. Herbertson says:
I thought it was an excellent review - FAR from long-winded. Really helpful and has persuaded me to hold back on buying this. Thank you for it.
Posted on 1 May 2013 12:56:24 BDT
Great review. Flicked throught it in Waterstones and won't bother getting this one, not even from the library.
Posted on 7 Aug 2013 11:54:39 BDT
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley says:
This is exactly the sort of review I look at when considering whether to buy a recipe book. I want to hear from someone who has a) cooked from the book and b) knows their ingredients and c) can guide you through the practical side of what works and what doesn't in the book. Recipe books are not cheap, and also require an investment of time and money when you buy them if they're going to be of value to you, so I really appreciate a detailed review like this. Thank you
Posted on 15 Aug 2013 22:26:32 BDT
I don't think your review is long winded - for me it's thoughtful and very helpful
In reply to an earlier post on 18 Aug 2013 14:13:08 BDT
Littlepig Littlepig says:
Fantastic review - informative and exactly what I want from a review before I buy. I suspect the first two comments are from Gizzi's friends ;)
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