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Madhouse Cookbook: Delicious Recipes for the Busy Family Kitchen Hardcover – 28 Feb 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Watkins Publishing LTD (28 Feb. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848990634
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848990630
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 2.3 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 220,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

'Home-cooked food that's tasty and stress-free - this is Jo's guide for busy parents' Jamie Oliver

About the Author

Jo Pratt is an acclaimed food stylist, writer and presenter. She has written for Elle, Weekend, Sainsbury's Magazine, Olive, BBC Good Food and Glamour, for which she was Food Editor, as well as the BBC Food, Good Food Channel and Good To Know websites. She regularly appears on UK TV, including Saturday Kitchen and Daily Cooks Challenge, and works with many food brands.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not bad if you want to rustle up something quick for your madhouse!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love cookery books and already have far too many, but I spotted this and couldn't resist taking a punt..... I'm so glad that I did! It truly is excellent, with some really original ideas for good family food, and, most importantly to my mind, the recipes actually are really quick to prepare using fairly staple ingredients. The Monday to Friday recipes are particularly good; our family favourites include chicken, cheese and corn quesa-d-easies and the amazingly quick and yummy Sausage, Pesto and Tomato Penne. These were devoured by my normally somewhat fussy 12 yo and 3 yo and even the baby loved them. One star off simply because I'd've have preferred more of these type of recipes - the book does go a little off track for my liking with recipes for entertaining and quite a lot of sweet options, which I don't really need. I can't fault the recipes themselves though. Throughly recommended if you're a busy parent who still believes in cooking great family meals for everyone to enjoy together.
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Format: Hardcover
I got this for Christmas and literally haven't stopped cooking from it since! We have eaten most of the recipes and they are all winners. Again, they are great for the children and all use straight forward, easy to get hold of ingredients- in fact there have been several occasions when I've been caught out or had to "rustle" up an extra meal and was able to find everything I needed in my cupboards or fridge so I think that makes it a fantastic book to have to hand. As with Fay, the instructions are short, clear and given in just a few steps. The book is arranged in sections with some ideas for quick weekday teas, weekend meals and grown up entertaining. I have used it for dinner parties and there were clear plates all round.
The absolute best bit about this book is that at the bottom of each page is another short recipe suggesting ways to transform any left overs or ingredients into something else so essentially you have two recipe books for the price of one. Some of these "extras" are really worthy of their own full page - like the chocolate truffles.... yum! Tonight I'm cooking her veg chilli but as suggested at the bottom of the page, we will be having it with tacos rather than rice. My children aren't big fans of rice but really love eating a meal when they can help themselves to different filings and toppings and generally eat more this way. Jo has encouraged me to make my own guacamole, humus and other dips which I had no idea were so simple to put together and these are becoming a key feature with our weekend lunches. They go really well with a tortilla wrap, lightly brushed with olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika, cut up in triangles, baked and then used to fob off the children that they are doritos!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Really thrilled with this book. Very inspiring. Even better than her last two books. Everything I have made so far has been a real success.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A few good recipes but nothing to write home about.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fantastic book; well thought out, good layout, measurements are clear and in different units (great for metric users like us Continental types), photography is good and the little tips at the bottom of the page are mostly really inspired.

I've tried a few recipes so far and they have been perfect - a hit with everyone in the family, from husband to toddler and 7 month old baby. She might even dethroned Fay Ripley in my "Family Food Cookbook" shelf!

Definitely buying her other books now.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great addition to our family cookbooks. Jo writes really clearly and her ideas are not complicated at all, but just greatd combinations of things, or interesting spins on recipes you know, executed well with inspiring photography too. There are also some great alternative suggestions and tips for freezing, serving leftovers etc so you feel that she appreciates the practicalities of family life in the kitchen.
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By Autamme_dot_com TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 6 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover
A book written for busy parents who often struggle to find time to cook good, wholesome and tasty food for their family but in reality this is equally suitable for anyone with a hectic lifestyle or for somebody who just wants to get started with this cooking lark.

Despite speed and simplicity being the key for recipes in this book, quality is not sacrificed and neither are the recipes a variation upon a theme, using a mass of pre-prepared and pre-packaged ingredients. Of course, some shortcuts and prepare-ahead tips are provided but they still conform to the author's core values. The book is split into three key parts - Monday to Friday Survival, The Busy Weekend and Cling On To Your Social Life - with many chapters giving great advice and recipes in a chatty, informative, light style. No long navel-gazing essays here!

Full praise is due for how the recipes are presented! Someone has been listening! Measurements in both imperial and metric, a clear guide to portion sizing and even an estimation of preparation and cooking time. An essential pre-requisite for the stressed, harassed cook. Information boxes are spread throughout giving even more hints and tips to save time, save ingredients and to save money too. Photography used within is of a high quality and engaging, it is just a shame that not every recipe gets its own photograph.

Just browsing through the recipes finds some old favourites and some rather curious new things to try as well. One-Pan Hot-smoked Salmon Biryani or Ricotta, Parma Ham, Avocado & Chilli Croissants anyone? Make no mistake, whilst these recipes are family friendly they are absolutely not just recipes for children. You could serve many of these dishes for friends at an informal gathering too.
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