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on 17 March 2010
..I did feel slightly conned by the book. An enormous amount of space was devoted to pictures - pages of them of Tanya and Gordon and yes, of course, some of the dishes. But you can't cook pictures and given the money I spent (well, not an enormous amount I admit) I would rather have had the space devoted to more recipes - because they are good and very cookable. A bit of a misjudgement on the publisher's part I thought.

But if you can get it cheaply - do buy it for the recipes.
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on 10 September 2007
...bringing folks back together to eat.

'Tana's trademark simple and delicious recipes make it easy to cook fabulous food every day whether you want to rustle up dinner in a flash, impress the in-laws over a big family lunch or linger over brunch in your pyjamas'.

'Real family food is not just about sharing uncomplicated, heart-warming food, it's about slowing down for a few precious minutes, cracking up over silly stories, bickering about things that don't matter and remembering why, though thick and thin, nothing beats being together....'

Opening with a charming dedication to her husband, 'For Gordon. Thank you for being you', this book carries on from her first:-

Tana Ramsay's Family Kitchen.

263 high quality matt pages, split over 10 chapters:-

Breakfasts and Brunches
Light Lunches
Picnics and Treats
Food in a Flash
Try Something Different
Laid-back Suppers
Vegetable Temptations
Big Family Lunches
Baking Adventures
Devilish Desserts

sandwiched between an introduction and a full index.

'When you think about it, ultimately we only need to eat to refuel ......Even so, I believe that food can play another, almost more important, part of our lives. It can bring us together, slow us down and let us catch up with each other as we rush through the week. Some of the happiest moments of my life have been around the table sharing good food, and the times I treasure most with my family are when we are all together doing just that. This must be why I associate certain foods and dishes with different people and places...........'

Each chapter opens with applicable text from Tana, followed by a 'title page' for the dishes featured.
The majority of the recipes open with a personal note, followed by a clear list of ingredients, the numbered method, how long it takes to prepare and make and the number of servings.
Most finish with a helpful 'tip', or two.

Full colour photography throughout, although much of it is family and 'on-location', rather than of the finished dishes, so this might prove a little negative for those of us who like to see what we are aiming for on the plate!

A small taste of the recipes contained within:-

Bacon and Egg Muffins
Croque Madame
Homemade Bagels
Hearty Winter Soup
Red Onion Tarte Tatin
Lamb Samosas
Honey and Mustard Sticky Chicken
Mini Party Cakes
Fresh Raspberry Ice Lollies
Grandma's Bones
Calamari Fritti
Sweet and Sour Pork
Minced Lamb Curry
Toad-In-the Hole with Roasted Shallots
Baked Sea Bass
Stuffed Marrow
Pumpkin Soup
Spelt Bread
Chelsea Buns
Bakewell Slice
Jam Tarts
Cheats' Summer Pudding
Children's Chocolate Mousse
Profiterole Mountain
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on 8 September 2015
I saw the 1 star reviews and thought I've got to leave a review for this book!

Tana Ramsay's Real Family Food is one of my kitchen bibles (the other is Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food). I love this book. When I first received it as a present, a few years ago now, I thought, oh great another recipe book.

However, a couple of recipes in this book I make regularly now - I don't even need get the book out to get the recipe, and my kids (especially the less fussy one) loves them.

Of all the recipe books I own, I've made the most recipes out of this book!

Yes, some of the recipes are simple, but that's the whole idea. A busy mum trying to feed a family - healthily. The recipes are with kids in mind too... because they can be your biggest critiques as a mum.
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on 26 September 2007
what's so great about it is that the recipes are dead easy to follow and taste great. I've just made the orange chicken bake and it went down a treat. If you want a cookbook that you'll actually use buy this one!
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on 19 September 2010
Love some of Tana's ideas but wish there had been more photos of the finished recipes rather than family photos. I find it useful to have the food photos for illustration alongside a recipe but there was only about 1 photo out of every 3 recipes. Perhaps OK for others, but the family photos were a little out of place in a recipe book for me.
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on 23 April 2010
I'd already decided to write a review and then I read the previous review left. I wish I'd read that first. My mistake! I too thought it was full of pictures of her and the kids and oh don't forget 'him' (58 yes very sad I counted them0!!!. I wanted a cookbook not a photo albumn. What a waste of space. It's going back! Sorry I was a bit harsh but the recipes that were in the book looked quite nice.
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on 6 December 2011
I did not like this book- have a lot of cooking books because I really like trying out new recipes but this one didn`t do it for me! There are a few in there which I quite liked but not enough to be worth it when it comes to buying it! So will NOT be used... :-(
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on 15 May 2010
This book is superb. The recipes are genuinely quick and easy to cook and the results are lovely. I have made some of these recipes for friends and family and everyone has been very happy with their meal! Tana's comments are also very helpful - she accurately describes how long you will need to prepare the ingredients, how long each part of the recipe will take to cook, and what your result should look and taste like - which was very important to a kitchen amateur like me.

The book is divided into useful, logical chapters - all of which are worthwhile. My favourite is "food in a flash", which provides several very quick from-scratch dinner ideas which I enjoyed cooking and eating (I am told the best recipe in this section is Veal Parmesan).

I also particularly rated the "Vegetable temptations" chapter, which has lots of brilliant ideas for tasty vegetable sides, e.g. sauteed zuccini, green beans in lemon and almond dressing, garden peas with pancetta and roasted garlic...

It is true that there are several pictures of Tana and her children (and one of Gordon). But this does not detract from the fact that the recipes, write-ups, and food illustrations are excellent.

In any case, a lot of chefs end up putting in photos of themselves / their pets / their homes to give their book a sense of personality and marketability. Why should Tana do any different? Her message is to get every member of your family at the table eating home-cooked food, and while I'd rather find this out by cooking the recipes, the pictures do not stray from this point and are in no way offensive or conceited.

Honestly, this won't be one of those cook books that gets put on the shelf and left untouched. I'm a city worker living alone and working long hours, but I have felt inspired enough (and helped out enough) by this book to invite people over a make the meals she's created... And that should count as a big reccomendation!
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on 25 September 2007
I just tried the Bang Bang Chicken recipe , which has also featured in the latest edition of Closer magazine.
It makes such a delicious meal-I cant wait to try some other recipes from Tana's cookbook. I definitely recommend it.
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on 12 September 2007
As with her other books I absolutely love the style and recipes in Tana Ramsay's books. This is no exception and the recipies are simple, fun and quite different in places. However, what has spolied it for me is that in two recipies that I tried cooking, either the ingredients have been missed out of the recipe or missed out of both entirely.
e.g page 153 Garden Peas with Pancetta and Roasted Garlic - in the recipe there is no mention of garlic either in the ingredient list or the instructions.
Page 7 Oat and Blueberry Muffins - in the ingredient list it says to use 1 beaten egg but in the instructions there is no mention of the egg and when to use it.
I found this extremely disappointing and would like to warn others to e careful when choosing a recipe to cook as the results might not be whatyou expect.
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