Tuesday, 18 December 2012

CookBooks for Christmas

Cook Books for Christmas!
Title: Hugh’s Three Good Things…on a plate
Author: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (SIGNED COPY!)
ISBN: 978-1-4088-2858-8
Price: £25.00
Title: Celebrate (A Year of Festivities for Families and Friends)
Author: Pippa Middleton (SIGNED COPY!)
ISBN: 978-0-718-17678-5
                I have practically no skills at cooking so any kind of recipes I use must be easy to follow and I have to say this must be my first time since cookery lessons at school in Year 9 to actually use a cookbook. Nevertheless I tried my best and managed to successfully make a full English breakfast frittata from Celebrate by Kate Middleton. The Beetroot Egg Anchovy salad from Hugh’s Three Good Things was sadly less successful, I struggled cooking the beetroot. However although I think the results was due to my incompetence with cookery, rather than the actually recipe, I must admit I found ‘Celebrate’ easier to follow and a lot quicker. There was nothing in any of the recipes that confused me and my mum was certainly very impressed with my frittata which I served her for breakfast!  She also liked the book itself with its beautiful layout and bright pictures. ‘Hugh’s three good things’ looks very good for a healthy eating plan. All the recipes are based around three main ingredients, usually including vegetables and are therefore meant to be fairly simple and easy (again I think it was probably my fault the recipe didn’t work, not Hugh’s). I would definitely try again with a different salad though as they all look delicious; ‘Cauliflowers, tomatoes and capers’, ‘Cabbage avocado and lentils’ and ‘fennel tangerine and pumpkin seeds’. Some of the main meals included also appeal; ‘fish, onion, olives’ and ‘ham, squash and marmalade’.
                The two books are very different. ‘Celebrate’ is aimed at families, providing not only recipes, but activity and decoration activities for various events throughout the year such as Christmas, Easter, New Year and family events such as birthdays, barbecues and picnics. It is perfect for any mother and contains inventive ideas to inspire you to make every holiday enjoyable for the whole family. Hugh’s Three Good Things however focuses entirely on the food and can be used by men and women alike; single, young, old and with or without families. Hugh says “If ever you feel your cooking is stuck in a rut, your repertoire of recipes a little tired, then this ridiculously simple cookbook is aimed at you…I want to set you off in a creative direction, by showing you a pattern that underpins many well-loved dishes” Three really does seem to be the perfect number; not too complicated, not too bland or boring. It also a healthier way to eat, especially if can encourage home-cooking. This could be a great gift for a young couple, a student who doesn’t want to live off take-aways, or just a family or anyone in need of some new ideas.
Both books look very impressive with vivid images and attractive covers to brighten up your kitchen or your coffee table. ‘Celebrate’ is original in that it is arranged and categorized by seasons with an extensive index at the back and Hugh’s Three Good Things’ is arranged by starters, mains, deserts as you would perhaps expect. Both I think could be very useful, in very different ways. I really loved some of the decoration and activity ideas in ‘Celebrate’ for example ‘edible Christmas gifts’, ‘Guess my New Year’s resolution’ and the ‘Easter Crafts’ section. Depending on who you are buying for I would recommend either as an excellent Christmas or New Year’s gift, or treat for yourself!

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