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Sally Prosser "My Custard Pie" (U.A.E.)
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Get Started in Food Writing: Teach Yourself
Get Started in Food Writing: Teach Yourself
by Kerstin Rodgers
Edition: Paperback

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical, credible, useful and really entertaining resource, 30 July 2015
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There are very few good books about food writing and even fewer with an emphasis on the UK. This book fills this gap in so many ways. Well-researched and thorough it covers a wide range of topics around getting into food writing both online and offline from blogging about food, social media, print media and getting a book deal. The format is very easy to read and follows the 'Teach yourself' format of highlighting key ideas and exercises. As a food blogger and writer for a few publications I was familiar with a lot of the information already, however there is more than enough additional advice to make this a worthwhile purchase. Firstly it's bang up to date and gives a very realistic view (based on fact) of the future of food writing and how to approach this; Kerstin's writing style is a joy and she brings her own slightly anarchic angle to many of the topics - however, this doesn't mean her advice is any the less professional and her own life experiences show how much talent, dedication and hard work is required. The real life examples of other food writers and bloggers , where they are often quoted verbatim, is from a diverse range of authors and backgrounds and is very specific. This is tremendously useful (unlike the vague motivational advice given in many online guides).
There is a page about words and phrases that should never be used which I would like to copy and circulate very widely!!
I can't think of anyone better qualified to write this book as Kerstin who has hands-on experience in all topics covered in the book, from appearing on radio and TV, to high end food photography and publishing three other books. It's a practical, credible, useful and really entertaining resource.


The Fresh Vegan Kitchen: Delicious Recipes for the Vegan and Raw Kitchen
The Fresh Vegan Kitchen: Delicious Recipes for the Vegan and Raw Kitchen
by David Bailey
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.54

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not too much veganising!, 12 April 2015
Trying to cater for my recently vegan daughter, I'm looking for appetising vegan options that the whole family will like. In addition I don't want to have to go out and buy lots of unusual ingredients which many vegan books seem to demand. Instead of ‘veganising’ recipes, with the odd exception such as beer battered tofu and chips, David and Charlotte have drawn from vegan recipes from other lands, or adapted nearly vegan dishes to suit. The raw element, as stated in the byline, is a big part of the book - something that means it won't be on my kitchen table quite as much. I like this book a lot but I am still looking for some other vegan books to supplement my ideas. The instructions are a bit sparse and I thought it could do with a glossary of ingredients - I had no idea what tamari was.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 1, 2015 2:57 PM BST


Gennaro: Slow Cook Italian
Gennaro: Slow Cook Italian
by Gennaro Contaldo
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.59

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is simple Italian food at it's best. Everything I've made has been absolutely delicious - ..., 12 April 2015
While this isn't a slow cooker book per se, I've found loads I can make in the crock pot. The dishes look simple but Gennaro knows his flavours so well. This is simple Italian food at it's best. Everything I've made has been absolutely delicious - just the kind of comfort food I like to eat. There are chapters on bread, preserves and some delicious desserts too. Really useful book - highly recommended.


Do-Ahead Christmas: Stress-Free Cooking for the Festive Season
Do-Ahead Christmas: Stress-Free Cooking for the Festive Season
by James Ramsden
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.88

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gentle practical advice, crowd-pleasing recipes, 20 Nov. 2014
This is a good looking book with hand-blocked Christmas wrapping and old-fashioned ornaments which made me wistful for Christmas of yesteryear when presents weren't ostentatious and many homemade which is perhaps surprising as the author is a trend-setting supper club host at least a couple of decades younger than me.
The advice about not getting yourself in a lather over the festive period is unfussy and practical delivered in a gentle, unassuming way. The recipes (as mentioned in previous comments) are structured in a way that tells you how much you can do ahead (and when) and what is left for last minute. The author acknowledges that the feast among the pages may not be the same as yours - everyone has their own traditions - and if you are expecting chipolatas, bacon rolls or parsnips... they are missing (yes no parsnips!). Sprouts, turkey, stuffing is in. As are Eccles cakes for eating with cheese (really?), dips and nuts appear with a luxurious slant to them. Coffee-roasted beetroot, gravlax on homemade crispbread,mini hassleback potatoes as a nibble for parties, cute little Christmas koftas (with creamy dip and festive red pomegranate seeds with green coriander leaves), venison Wellington, and chocolate orange and hazelnut tart is currently vying for place with the Yule log recipe as an alternative pudding. There is a lovely chapter on edible gifts and one on leftovers. I bought Do-ahead Dinners and have tested many of the recipes - the flavours are crowd-pleasing and the advice keeps the cook calm. Can't wait to road test the recipes from this book.


The Jewelled Kitchen: A Stunning Collection of Lebanese, Moroccan and Persian Recipes
The Jewelled Kitchen: A Stunning Collection of Lebanese, Moroccan and Persian Recipes
by Bethany Kehdy
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.59

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Traditional Middle Eastern recipes with modern flair, 18 July 2013
I've relied on some favourite Middle Eastern cookbooks by authors such as Claudia RodenA New Book of Middle Eastern Food (Cookery Library) and Anissa HelouModern Mezze for many years. New books often seem to be written from an outsider's point of view without an in-depth knowledge of the cooking processes that are used and why they are used to create certain textures and flavours. The Jewelled Kitchen is different - with some beautiful photography and well considered layout it combines a contemporary feel with tradition ...indicative of the recipes inside.
The recipes are from Lebanon, Iraq and the wider Middle East. Some are lengthy, some very simple, but even when there is a modern twist added they remain authentic to the culture they originated from. The instructions are extremely thorough. It's the first cookbook to open the door into Middle Eastern kitchens for a long time.


Pomegranates and Roses: My Persian Family Recipes
Pomegranates and Roses: My Persian Family Recipes
by Ariana Bundy
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £22.84

49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and useful, 16 April 2012
Pomegranates and Roses is an exceptionally beautiful book. It is superficially similar in design to several that are in the market now but the attention to detail with the finish, the backgrounds, delicate and intricate illustrations by Alice Chadwick, the props in the photography (shot by Lisa Linder), Farsi calligraphy and the overall layout means that it manages to stand out and would be worth the money just to decorate your coffee table. However, it is not just highly decorative - as a very precise guide to Persian cooking it is excellent. Ariana Bundy has used her chef's training to translate 'a bit of this and a bit of that' family recipes into ones that are easy to follow and work really well. Also all of the methods are manageable - she's retained authenticity with an eye towards today's modern families and kitchens.

Most ingredients are easily obtainable and I would recommend the effort of getting barbarries by mail order just to make Zereshk Polo - a classic subtley, saffron-scented chicken dish - which is beautiful served with Mast o Khiar - a combination of yoghurt, cucumber, raisins, walnuts, mint and spring onions.

I had never understood the unani principle of serving hot and cold foods - not temperature but humours or categories - until I read this book. It also puts Iranian food in context of it's influences and influencers in the region as well as being a family memoir.
One of the most interesting and useful books on another cuisine that I have bought in a long, long time.


Who Do You Think You Are? Encyclopedia of Genealogy: The definitive reference guide to tracing your family history
Who Do You Think You Are? Encyclopedia of Genealogy: The definitive reference guide to tracing your family history
by Nick Barratt
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great starting place if you are commencing research into your family history., 20 Sept. 2009
I bought this book from Amazon when I was in the UK and starting my family tree. I did quite a lot of chatting to family and dug up some documents and photos. I started a family tree using Family Historian Family Historian 4 Deluxe Genealogy Software (PC CD) (also from Amazon - an brilliant software package that I would wholeheartedly recommend). When I returned overseas where I live I really started reading this book and wish I had done so before. The information is so thorough and sound. I sort of scanned through the basics impatient to get to the source of information when in the UK but now wish I had taken more heed. I should have looked at every document I could get my hands on and talked to more people. I have so many other questions! I have made great progress via the internet and I couldn't have done without the book for this - it saved me wasting a lot of time. The case histories from the TV series really bring the text to life too.
The book is very focussed on UK ancestry and gives quite little guidance about tracing your family if they came from other countries - however the internet gateway sites it details opens many doors too. Researching my family tree has become a mild obsession the book acts as a great guide to putting all the little jigsaw pieces in place.


A New Book of Middle Eastern Food (Cookery Library)
A New Book of Middle Eastern Food (Cookery Library)
by Claudia Roden
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.99

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Middle Eastern food bible, 16 April 2009
My Mother bought this book for me when I moved to Saudi Arabia in 1995 - it has been the only Middle Eastern cookbook I have ever needed. The meatballs in tomato sauce is a wonderful recipe that I have made countless time. Lentil soup is simply delicious. There are too many fabulous recipes to list. Claudia Roden is a food historian and the food we now think of as Middle Eastern is actually Lebanese which although delicious is not the only cuisine. This book gives many alternatives per recipe so you can try all the regional variations. There are no pictures but her instructions are explicit and the anecdotes define a byegone age.


Oz the Magical Adventure: Interactive Storybook
Oz the Magical Adventure: Interactive Storybook

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oz - The Magical Adventure, 28 April 2001
After an introduction to the story, you journey through Oz collecting jewels in order to rescue Dorothy. The graphics are stunning and there are many choices of route so that you are constantly dicovering new things to do and see. The challenges to collect the jewels are really imaginative - my children love to do them over and over again. The principles of the journey and the games are simple enough for children to grasp but executed so wonderfully that they are not repetitive or slow. One example is helping a lady to get back her memory by making a special fruit cocktail drink for her. First you have to catch the fruit, then measure out the correct combination and then mix it together. After drinking 3 drafts of this enlightening potion she then reveals where the jewel is. Those people expecting the game to be true to the original story will be disappointed - there is no yellow-brick road - but this new triumph of originality will not disappoint. I would recommend, whole- heartedly, this cd rom - it is one of the very best that we own (other popular titles that my children aged 4 and 2 play over and over again include 101 Dalmations Storybook and Pocahontas Storybook).


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