“ Genre: Food & Drink / Dieting / Hardcover / 320 Pages / Book is published 2007-09-01 by Parragon Book Service Ltd „
This recipe book does as the title suggests, include 365 dishes as a gimmick cook book relating each recipe to each day of the year (plus one for a leap year!) this is worked out sensibly ie summer dishes during the summer(salads) and warm winter meals like casseroles in the later months.
I purchased from a door to door scheme, through work where a lady use to leave a box full of various products for you to browse through then collect a week later taking any orders, hence I only paid £3 through this book compared to the £9.99 rrp marked on the back cover. An absolute bargain I thought for so many recipes.
The cover is a striking red, shimmering away on my cook book shelf, it stands out like a sore thumb compared to my black or white Delia Smith cook books, which means I often feel drawn to it when I need inspiration.
The recipes are called dishes in the title and I think this is a good description as some are very basic dishes that really don't require a lot of cooking/following of a recipe. For example warm fruit nests made with shop brought filo pastry and just berries put into cooked filo nest's isn't a complicated Gordon Ramsey recipe. However for me (not an experienced or confident cook) this book and it's dishes/recipes are perfect. Yes there are more time consuming dishes such as the time consuming lemon meringue pie which after cooking I decided it really wasn't worth all the effort to be woofed down by my family asking what shop I brought it from! I did huff for a while!
Although the book is quite heavy, at an A5 size it's had to cram so many dishes in you don't get a lot of detail on the cooking instruction and not all the dishes have a photograph which I hate, I always like to look at a picture when deciding whether I want to make it or more importantly what it's meant to turn out like. Jamie Oliver's 30 minute meal book is much better at this but I prefer so many more of these recipes. One of my favourites is chicken nuggets, home cooked, fab for mums that have kids that want nuggets but you want them to eat nutritionally good food. Check out page 16, chicken breaded morsels, my niece and nephew loved these.
Dishes range from drinks like lemonade, starters, main meals, desserts, side dishes, snacks ..... My cover is a little creased as this is one of my most used cook books. While I'm mentioning the cover I will say it's a strange cross between a paper and hard back book. Firm card board I'd call it, good enough to stay open at the page you need and can be wiped clean (unlike my Jamie book!).
Certainly worth every penny of the meagre £3 I paid, the only reason it's not got 5 stars is due to at times the lack of photos or cooking details.
This recipe book is a great one to keep on hand in the kitchen. There is a recipe for each day of the year, including an extra one for a leap year, which follow the seasonal trends. I particularly like the variety of the dishes in the book as the recipes cover sweets, savouries, side dishes and drinks. They extend to a vast number of origins with dishes like balti prawns, Mexican seafood stew, California smoothie, bouillabaisse, rhubarb crumble and mini focaccia.
The dishes follow the seasonal trends with wintery meals in December, January and February such as beef stew with herb dumplings and lone star chilli; spring recipes in March, April and May like home-made turkey burgers and peking duck salad; fresh summery meals in June, July and August including monkfish with lime and chilli sauce and nectarine crunch and warming Autumn dishes in September, October and November such as steak and potato pies and chocolate brownie roulade.
The recipes provide great ideas to adapt and modify dishes which you may already make and provides new ones to try. I have tried a great number of these dishes and find the instructions easy to follow and very simply laid out. Almost every dish has a photograph to give you an idea of the final article. As the dishes follow a calendar style it means that the ingredients will be in season and readily available, this is great for those who grow their own fruit and veg, and will allow for some great bargain meals as the food should be cheaper in season.
Overall I think this is a great book with a variety of recipes for some inspiration, catalogued for whatever time of year you are in - or feel like!