Never associating Melinda Messenger with cooking but always felt she is far more intelligent than her image sometimes gives credit for and has a very nice down to earth attitude, I was curious to purchase this book. I was not disappointed at all, in fact it's one of the most straight forward, sensible and non-pretentious cookery books I have found. Good old family cooking, heart warming meals using achievable, sensible and straight forward ingredients, it doesn't try to be clever, it shows it comes from a real Mum who knows how to cook for a family.
I purchased Melinda Messenger's Family Cookbook (even though I live on my own) because of a recipe I saw in a magazine whilst at the hairdressers, I started to write the recipe down, then my brain got into gear and I just took the book title and searched on amazon. Brilliant idea. I have only prepeared two of the dishes from this book but was more than pleasantly surprised with the results. The Campfire Chilli had all the vegetables in which I dont normally like when cooked on their own and I was also apprehensive about adding pesto. The cheese and sour cream topping made It a fantastic tasting chilli. I also tried the Cod roasted in lemon and thyme, again the combination of tastes made a very enjoyable meal. All in all a very worth while trip to the hairdressers.
I am a busy mum to 3 young children and have found this cookbook to be a straightforward, informative, down-to-earth book which has quickly become a firm favourite in my house. It has lots of delicious family recipes with clear instructions and helpful tips. Each recipe tells you how long it will take to prepare and how long it takes to cook, so I can use this to help me decide what to make depending on how much time I have. My children love looking through the baking chapter and choosing a cake or dessert for us to make together.
I would say that I have now made well over half of the recipes in this book and myself and my family have enjoyed all of them. There is a wide variety of recipes from simple omlettes to more unusual ideas such as beetroot chocolate cake (my kids loved both making and eating this one). My favourite chapter is the outdoor eating section, and the Campfire Chilli is delicious.
The only very small negative I have is that I like cookbooks to have a picture of every recipe, so I can see what the end result should look like. And I also find that I am much more inclined to make the recipes that do have a photograph of it. Having said that the book does have lots of lovely photographs throughout it.
Would love to see another cookbook similar to this style from Melinda, perhaps with more vegatarian recipes, more outdoor eating suggestions and maybe kids lunchbox ideas.
Overall I would highly recommend this cookbook for everyone in particular families with young children.
I had to write a review for this cook book!, am an amazon cookbook veteran (much to my husbands annoyance) and I think in terms of family cookbooks this rates as one of the best. Within three days of receiving the book, I had cooked three recipes. Fun, family orientated and accessible recipes. I have to say "well done Melinda" and thanks for creating such a fab cookbook.