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VINE VOICEon 28 September 2008
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It's a great idea this. Recipes based on many of the products we all have tucked in the back of our kitchen cupboards. Nutella, Marmite, Ketchup and Cornflakes are amongst the products featured.

The book is nicely presented; good design and very quirky faux 70's photography. Its a handsome enough tome and I very much enjoyed the product histories at the start of each section. Interesting nuggets of info.

In fact this has much going for it but my principal reservation would be how many of the recipes would you actually try? Going through it I only noted one or two that actually looked or sounded like something i would try and whip up in the kitchen. Some recipes just sounded awful - I'm sure they aren't but certainly were enough of a turn off to rule out trying! - and a few were somewhat lazy. (Penaut butter in Satay recipes, not groundbreaking!)

What I did note was that many of the recipes were extremely simple and it made me think that this could be a good book for younger would be chefs. The fact the book focuses on items such as Baked Beans and Ketchup would probably appeal on that front as well.

Overall, it is a book that is high on the curio front but I can't see it being a well thumbed, stained and messy cookbook in years to come - which all the best ones become!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 September 2008
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
85 recipes with colourful and sometimes nostalgic photographs. I loved it for the old photos of the products, like Cornflakes and oats. I think I counted 6 recipes I would try from this and the rest I wouldn't bother with, but I am more of a sweet tooth. But how many recipes do we actually use in other cookbooks we buy? Its always a bonus if we like more than one. I liked the shape of the book, it felt nice and looked fun & funky. The way each section is laid out with a recipe more or less on each page was really nice too. Nice big writing with nice big pictures of the recipe. Each branded product has its own section and information about that product is an added history bonus. Overall I like the way it was all set out, some of the recipes and the thought and design that went into it. I tend to not buy cookbooks for the reasons that they are too expensive for just a couple of recipes that I would make. But this one I would definately like if someone bought it for me for Christmas. But I wouldnt't buy it for me.
Kellogs Cornflakes, Quaker Oats, Nutella, Peanut Butter, Cream Cheese, Marmite, Vegemite, Tomato Soup, Colmans Mustard, Baked Beans, Lea & Perrins, Tobasco Sauce, Cola, Camp Coffee and various others,is what makes this book unique.
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VINE VOICEon 15 October 2008
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a gorgeously presented retro-style cookbook that will look fab in any kitchen. It is a bright, solid hardback with glossy pages filled with information on the backgrounds of famous brands and various recipes that enable you to use those branded products you have in the cupboards in new and interesting ways.

The book is written in a simple, chatty style and the recipes range from reasonably easy to quite complex. They also cover a huge variety of dishes, from soups to main courses to desserts and sweets. Would I make them all? No - some of them are a bit weird (Marmite Soup or Mustard Muffins anyone?). But on the other hand, a lot of them look and sound lovely (Chocolate Log with Nutella, Sate Lamb Skewers with Peanut Buuter, Chilli Prawns with Tomato Ketchup, Tabasco Spicy Potatoes, Coffee Layer Cake, etc etc!).

I'm not sure whether this book will actually save you much money on meals, as many of the recipes require a lot of other ingredients aside from the brands you may already have, and these other ingredients tend to involve reasonably expensive foods - pork loin, prawns, game, beef, even lobster. But it may help you to save a few pennies now and again.

The only real criticism I have of this book is that only about 1 in 3 recipes are accompanied by pictures of the cooked dish. The others are on pages which have patterns or pictures of the brand on, and a lot of space seems to be wasted which could have been used to show useful photographs. Personally I like to see what I'm supposed to be cooking! Other than that though, I can recommend this as a great little book.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 28 September 2008
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a neat idea - recipes that include storecupboard basics with an interesting twist on using them. In some cases the branded ingredient plays a minor role, but is there to add that extra something - particularly in the case of Lea and Perrins, tomato ketchup and Marmite.

I tried the meatroll with Marmite - a tasty, economical meal that was quick and easy to prepare. However, if you hate Marmite, the meal would be almost as equally tasty without it. There are luxury items too, such as lobster, but the majority of recipes won't break the bank or leave you slaving in the kitchen for hours.

The background to each branded product is given, and appears carefully researched.Economical as they largely are, the recipes could be made even cheaper by using own-brand ingredients, or ones more commonly available. Perhaps it's just me who has never heard of Skippy peanut butter?!

Not every recipe is pictured, but the instructions are clear enough. I have a feeling that I'll be using more of these recipes, even if I won't be using Skippy...
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on 2 October 2010
I was given this book as a present, and thought it was quite amusing, and a little bit kitsch. However, it actually has some realy good recipes in it. It takes everyday branded ingredients (philadelphia, peanut butter etc) and gives easy-to-make recipes using those ingredients. The nutella brownies in particular are superb, although I have to say that I haven't been able to bring myself to cook the baked bean and cornflake crumble......

I would never have bought this book for myself as I would have thought it too gimmicky, but I'm really pleased I was given it and would certainly consider buying it for someone else.
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VINE VOICEon 28 September 2008
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
What a little gem this cookbook is, certainly bought a lot of memories back for me, nice big quality hardback with a bright fun, retro layout packed with pictures and old adverts and delectable pictures of the food to make you excited to want to start cooking! Each brand used is started with a quick history of the product, they have chosen the brands that have the most distinctive flavour, quality and the biggest almost cult brands that people would want to use in their cooking.

The brands featured are: Kellogg's Cornflakes, Quaker Oats, Nutella, Skippy Peanut Butter, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Marmite, Vegemite, Heinz Tomato Ketchup, Colman's Mustard, Hellmans Mayonnaise, Heinz Baked Beans, Lea and Perrins, Worcestershire Sauce, Tabasco Sauce, Kikkoman Soy Sauce, Guinness, Coca-Cola and Camp Coffee - which i didnt even realise they made anymore!

I really didnt know what to cook first, they all look delicious and best of all all the recipes are simple and anyone can do them, yet the results are astounding! In whole the book is a fantastic idea, they're all things you have lying around in your cupboards and having this handy recipe book makes you look at them in a whole new light!

Some of my favourite tried and tested recipes are: the vegemite and caraway cheese swirls, very delectable, we made them with marmite and they were absolutely more-ish and certainly didnt hang around long!

the childrens broccoli macaroni melt with philadelphia - hadnt even though of encorporating soft cheese into a pasta dish, there is another recipe to use it in ravioli which we also tried.

my husbands favourite was the lamb skewers with peanut butter, which at first he thought 'how can you have peanut butter with lamb?' but it obviously works beautifully!

have tried 12 recipes so far out of 85! and all shall be made again and again, an essential cookbook for your household, and if there are other similar brands you prefer they can be easily substituted, a real winner, fun to use and best of all easy!
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VINE VOICEon 19 October 2008
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This colourful retro style book is a compendium of recipes which can be fashioned from various well known food brands such as Marmite, Kellogg's Corn Flakes, Colman's Mustard and many, many more. Each chapter begins with a short history of the product followed by two or three recipe ideas. I must admit that I liked the sound of some of the ideas, but others, well, they were a bit 'simplistic' to say the least. A good gift for any retro food lover and nicely presented, so a treat for the forthcoming festive season.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 29 September 2008
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The handiest thing about the recipies in this book are that you'll most likely already have most of the required ingredients readily available. My kids were chomping at the bit to give it ago and within minutes we'd prepared the sticky sausages...... There's nothing complicated, the book is large and directions clear to follow. A refreshing change to be able to cook something a little bit diiferent without having first to go to a supermaret armed with a list of ingreients.
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VINE VOICEon 27 September 2008
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book is certainly a fun, quirky addition to anyone's recipe book collection. Top marks for appearance - it's nice sometimes just to flick through this thing and glance at all the pictures (images of what the recipes should turn out like, old nostalgic posters of the brands, awesome pop-art like images of the brands themselves). Going through each section may give you a sudden urge to eat the brand you're reading about.

At the beginning of each section, the brand in question is given a little introduction; how it came to be, its history up to this day, a few little facts...entertaining in its own right.

Many of the recipes look really tasty (although I admit I haven't yet had the chance to try any of them!) and imaginative; who could've ever thought that Coca Cola could be used in meat recipes (I kid you not). One recipe DID seem a tad pointless - the Heinz Ketchup one for toasted hot dogs, do we REALLY need a recipe book to tell us how to make those? - but otherwise I'm really looking forward to trying the others out.

However I'd like to point out that this probably isn't the best cookbook for first year students to take with them to university; looking at some of the ingredients some recipes require, it might be difficult to buy them on a student budget and the average student kitchen might lack all the kitchen utensils necessary for the recipes.

UPDATE: I have now tried a recipe from the book, the Thai-influenced duck/lime recipe (can't remember the exact name). Really simple to make, and explosively flavoursome. 10/10!
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VINE VOICEon 23 September 2008
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A very imaginatively illustrated cookbook this, with a high nostalgia appeal for those of a certain age. Lots of large colourful pictures of past packaging for those staple products like Marmite, Kellogg's Cornflakes, Coleman's Mustard, etc that have been household names for decades. There is a variety of recipes ranging from the extremely simple like ice lollies made from Coca Cola through to somewhat more complex (for me that is) dishes such as "Marmite onion and roasted tomato tart". All have clear, straight forward instructions with nice photographs of the expected outcome. After browsing the book I was left wondering how different the American, French, German and Italian editions might be. Do they use Worcestershire sauce or Marmite in Florence?

As a concept the book is a liitle odd to me though. Many, if not all, of the branded products used could, I suspect, be replaced with alternative brands. After all there are numerous producers of cola, baked beans, mayonnaise, peanut butter, etc. Would the final dish be noticeably different? So I'm left wondering if the book is meant to be an aid in the kitchen, a promotions exercise for particular brands or a nostalgia trip through the kitchens and food products many of us grew up with. Probably all the above.
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