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Customer Review

134 of 164 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Smart cookie, smart cookbook - but..., 24 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: Lorraine Pascale's Fast, Fresh and Easy Food (Hardcover)
Just what I need - another cookery book. I have, like, gazillions. But having been completely won over by Ms Pascale on her tv shows, I decided it was time to actually invest in one of her cookbooks.

First of all, let me say that it is a lovely book, beautifully produced on glossy, heavyweight paper (unfortunately, some of the pages in my copy are creased but no matter).

Secondly, I would like to praise the exemplary way in which the recipes are laid out: clear, concise, excellent typography. Other cookbook publishers please take note and also, please see my review of Tessa Kiros's Greek cookbook which has the worst recipe typography I think I have ever seen. Food From Many Greek Kitchens

Thirdly, many of the recipes appeal to me and I think will appeal to lots of people. Plenty of modern stuff, several with chicken and fish, as well as some traditional dishes with a twist - something I particularly like to see.

So far, so good.

However, I do have a few buts about this book.

But #1: The photography is decidedly average with none of the verve and "make-me appeal" of the tv programme. Ms Pascale is ill-served by her publishers here; check out the Waitrose monthly food mag, Lorraine - that's the kind of "must-make-this" quality of photography you need - and deserve!

But #2: I haven't actually made any of the dishes yet - the book only arrived today! But looking at the length of time that is given to prepare some of these dishes, I would say the timings are unrealistic; it would take me the said 30 mins, or whatever, just to find all the various ingredients in the cupboard! NOW UPDATED, PLEASE SEE BELOW.

But #3: Where's the street food? This is a key segment of the tv programme and some of the dishes offered by the featured street chefs look absolutely fabulous - why oh why aren't they included?

So all in all, a good cookbook and one that I'll surely use. But not a great one.

UPDATE:

Have now made some dishes from this cookbook with varying degrees of success. Thai Red Beef Curry (could have been simplified a little but the grapes were a nice, unusual touch), Chicken Tikka Masala (needed more liquid), Sweet & Sour Pork Balls (overwhelmed by the balsamic vinegar, perhaps soy sauce would be a better substitute?) and my daughter made the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Zebra Cake which was quite successful though the pattern was not quite as clearly delineated as in the book's photograph.

I hope that this review has been helpful to you but if it hasn't, I would be grateful if you would kindly add a comment as to why not to enable me to write more helpful reviews in the future. Thank you.
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Sep 2012 10:31:00 BDT
Claire says:
You have reviewed a cookery book you haven't even used yet? How very odd.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Sep 2012 10:46:16 BDT
Last edited by the author on 29 Sep 2012 10:52:57 BDT
Not really.

Many people buy cookbooks to read and for inspiration. I did make it clear in the review that the book had only just arrived - one can form an opinion about a cookbook without actually having made a recipe from it.

And reviews can be edited; I have every intention of updating this one when I have made more dishes from the book. At the moment, though, I have only made two. And that says it all really.

Posted on 8 Oct 2012 10:24:35 BDT
jacklass says:
Yes, it was helpful. A lot of these cookery books , you see the best bits only, just to buy it, and then find the book is quite boring or plain. The last thing I want to do is spend good money on a cookery book, just to find it was a waste of money. Take note. This reviewer has been very helpful, and well done Amazon for allowing people like me to comment on books like Lorraine Pascal's Fast,fresh,and easy food

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Oct 2012 13:46:24 BDT
Thank you, Jacklass. Much appreciated :o)

Posted on 30 Oct 2012 22:31:50 GMT
I agree this has been helpful. I haven't thought much of Lorraine's recipes in her other two books and don't think I'll bother with this one, even from the library.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Oct 2012 23:42:05 GMT
Last edited by the author on 30 Oct 2012 23:47:04 GMT
Thank you for commenting, I'm glad to hear it was helpful, Vivian.

Funnily enough, I just made another one of the recipes - the lemon & lime poppy seed drizzle cake. It was ok but I have to say not quite as nice as a good old traditional lemon drizzle cake!

Posted on 23 Mar 2013 10:20:07 GMT
Ridiculous review considering the book hadn't been tried. I haven't used the book as yet, but my daughter tells me this cookbook is better than Jamie's 15 minute suppers, and I am a huge fan of Jamie's!

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Mar 2013 09:24:09 GMT
Last edited by the author on 25 Mar 2013 09:27:50 GMT
Thank you for taking the time to comment Mrs Stephenson. Did you see that I had, in fact, updated the review after trying some of the recipes? It is now some months since I wrote the review and to be honest, it's not a book I use very often. I hope you have better luck with it than I did!

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Mar 2014 16:11:46 GMT
My friend mad the Sri Lankan chicken curry when I was ill. She followed the recipe to a tee. I was impressed as it was tasty and it was my friend's first attempt. She goes by taste and adds coconut milk if she feels that there is less liquid

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Mar 2014 18:35:33 GMT
Good tip! :)
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