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How to Cheat at Cooking

3.5 out of 5 stars 279 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Coronet (1982)
  • ASIN: B00164N7GI
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (279 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,673,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I got this book as a gift and was a bit sceptical. I had seen an episode of the show and hadn't enjoyed it, as I wasn't very impressed by the look of the recipes. I really enjoy cooking so the idea of a cheats guide offended my sensibilities a little. Still, I gave some recipes a go and have been pleasantly surprised.

In an ideal world (which is obviously where many tv chefs and pundits appear to live given the comments I've heard on tv recently) we would all shop for organic food and spend at least an hour each day in the kitchen making our meals from scratch. But out in the real world we all know that's just not possible. The reasons for this are myriad but, I'd suggest, include:

Not enough time to cook meals from scratch.
A lack on interest in cooking.
A lack of experience in cooking.

It seems to me that Delia's book tackles these three issues with aplomb. For the inexperienced cook the recipes provide easy access to culinary competence. For the time-poor...well, most of the recipes are quick to prepare (even if a little thought is needed when shopping). And for those who lack interest, I suppose the hope of the author is that they'll try a few of these recipes and maybe ditch a takeaway or two.

There's so much sniping and snobbery surrounding this book because, I guess, cooking is such an emotive subject these days. But it's well worth giving some of these recipes a spin...I've been pretty impressed with the results.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I grew up on 'Delia' food and can see exactly now what she means in the book introduction. I've had the book for a few weeks now and started cooking the recipes - unlike it appears some of the people who have commented here - so very, very judgmental without actually getting to grips with what I think Delia is trying to do and giving it a go themselves. All it seems to me is that Delia is trying to help us mad crazy women with a family and home to run to put tea on the table night after night, week after week, month after month. We have all fallen down the ready meal/takeaway trap too often - and I know this only too well because I am one of the people who is being truly honest about what we produce for tea every night. I have always tried to do the best for my family but sometimes with a full time job, young children, elderly parents and home life I don't always succeed. Isn't it great that someone we trust so well - ie Delia - has done all this great research for us. I don't have the time to trawl the supermarket shelves to find the best tomato sauce - but Delia has done it for me- and yes I have purchased it and we all loved it. No different than reducing a tomato sauce myself - which on a a busy home night just isn't possible. The casseroles are brilliant. Food is such a snob issue nowadays - all we are looking for is a tasty home cooked dinner each evening and if we have had a spot of good quality help achieving that all the better. All my close friends agree - go for it Delia and ignore (which I am sure you do) all those 'head in the clouds' comments I've read here tonight.
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Format: Hardcover
I read the reviews and was a bit put off, so bought this as a used copy for about £2-00. I have to say I am really impressed. I normally make all our meals from scratch but this gives you some handy shortcuts. I have 2 children aged 6 and 3 and I work, not getting in until 6pm by which time they are very hungry. This book helps you save time without losing out on the quality of the food.

At the end of the day, would I recommend this to a friend?.......yes I would.
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Format: Hardcover
Deary me. Delia's latest really has upset a lot of people, hasn't it? The howls about tinned mince, the wails about frozen mashed potato, the gnashing of teeth at the thought that Delia might have 'sold out'. But the thing that no-one is mentioning is what the food is like. Check the ingredients on the items that Delia recommends and they're not full of hydrogenated fats or preservatives; they're good quality well-made versions of stuff you could make yourself *if you had time*. And the clue's in the title--this isn't a book about cooking, it's a book about /cheating/ at cooking. Would everyone have been happier if it has been titled "cooking by standing on the shoulders of giants"? She's quite clear that cooking conventionally is best, but let's be practical, people: we don't always have the time or the inclination to cook, and in those circumstances we all rely on pre-prepared food. How many of those who wrote negative reviews would think nothing of using dried pasta? Don't they know they should be making it from scratch?! And that's what all the noise is about really--much to a lot of people's annoyance, Delia has pointed out that these days there are pre-prepared ingredients out there that are at least as good as you could make yourself, and that if you cook with them you'll get perfectly acceptable results without having to slave in the kitchen for hours. That's her crime, not the food. Prove it to yourself: get the book, make the shepherd's pie with it's M&S tinned lamb mince and Aunt Bessie's frozen mash, then tell me that she's wrong.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
....'How to Cheat at Cooking', if you simply haven't got the time or maybe haven't got the experience and/or confidence.

From the introduction:

'....What is included in these pages is not going to win you any Michelin stars, but if you are afraid to cook or you're a very busy person, it will - at least some of the time - revolutionise your life. Interested? Read on.'

Durable plastic cover opens to:

256 high quality shiny pages, with 140 recipes split over 12 main chapters:

(1) who peels the potatoes?: anyone but you
(2) capers in the larder: not the naughty sort
(3) laid-back lunches: lighter stuff
(4) cool!: as in summer
(5) uncool: what mums used to make
(6) chicken on the run: real quick
(7) Asian express: Oriental gravy training
(8) lazy braising: duvet days
(9) veggie?: so now you tell me!
(10) pronto Italiano: bye bye pizza take-aways
(11) such a tart!: tricks and treats
(12) sweet cheats: ending on a high

sandwiched between an introduction, a list of all the recipes, sections entitled:

'a new way to shop'
'hidden servants'
'life from the freezer', the 'top cheats' lists, stockists (including phone numbers and website addresses) and a full alphabetical index.

Each recipe has its title and opens with some relevant text written in typical 'Delia' fashion, followed by the list of ingredients and a clearly defined method. Any notes or variations are included, along with the number of servings.
Read more ›
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