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Great cookbook, i tend to find with most celebrity chef cook books they use so many ingredient I just wouldn't tend to have in my cupboards ie rice wine vinegar, Garam masala, types of oils i've never even heard of i mean come on if its not veg oil, sun flour oil or olive oil its not going to be in my cupboard. But as these recipes are made by normal everyday mums there not full of silly expensive ingredients that you would only buy from a deli. There are also a wide variety of recipes from Indian, Caribbean good old English classics so your never short of choice. Such as- Cheese pie, mince and dumplings, steak and kidney pudding, cheese nibbles , fougasse a lanchois, bastichio, cottage pie, carbonara, Portuguese fish and chips, green bean soup, pakoras, puris, chutneys, trifles, baked Alaska, chocolate mouse trio there are over 100 different recipes from simple to complex. The one down side is that its not a conventional lay out for a cook book, soups are mixed in with pies and deserts so you have to riffle though to find what you want.
I love cooking and trying new recipes and have dozens of cook books to help give me inspiration. Having watched the BBC programme; mums know best, featuring the hairy bikers Si King and Dave Myers, I was keen to get my hands on the accompanying book. The programme set out to discover Britain's lost recipes and featured women from all walks of life and their favourite family recipes. The book comes in hardback and features the hairy bikers on the front. Inside there are over 100 recipes and lots of gorgeous coloured photos to tempt you! The forward from the hairy bikers explains the cooking is a huge part of family life and that many of our best loved family recipes have been passed down through the generations. The first section of the book is entitled family favourites and features a variety of recipes including some simple ones such as the best chips ever as well as some more complicated offerings such as tandoori chicken samosas. I have tried several recipes in this section with the best so far being the recipe for a lemon drizzle cake that is to die for! The next section; show off food; is just that-food to show off your skills! The recipes in this section vary in difficulty and include a lemon soufflé, a proper prawn cocktail and coronation chicken. I haven't tried many of the recipes in this section although I have made the coronation chicken, which was both easy to make and delicious! The next section is well used and features good simple suppers. My favourite recipe in the book is found here and is for Dave's mams killer fishcakes. The recipe is so called because as a three year old Dave was sucking the key to his clockwork monkey. He was distracted by the delicious smell of the fishcakes cooking and swallowed the key, nearly choking as a result! He required surgery to remove the object. This makes for an amusing story even if it has been made up! Anyway whatever the truth, the fishcakes are lovely and easy to make! There is also an easy chicken curry and a pan haggerty The next section is for birthday treats. There is a summer berry trifle and a gorgeous chocolate mousse trio. This section also has a recipe from the Bradford curry project for muttar Paneer that is well worth the effort! Like the other sections, many of the recipes use so called cheat ingredients. The Manchester tart for example uses custard powder, although you could make your own if you preferred. The next section is for Sunday dinners. Not only will you find the traditional roast but there is a great recipe for mushroom risotto and another for Texas cornbread. This section gives recipes for making horseradish sauce and also tells you how to make the best roast potatoes. There are lots of traditional puddings such as apple and blackberry crumble and home made custard. Another of my favourite's recipes for a key lime pie is in this section. The final section is for picnic food. Here you will find a recipe for scotch eggs along side eastern dishes such as Nargis kebabs. The ideas are endless! In this section I can highly recommend the sticky date cake! It's really moreish and keeps well too. I really love this cookery book as it features a wealth of recipes from families of all races and backgrounds. It is great fro giving meal ideas and the recipes are easy to follow and certainly the ones I have tried have turned out well. You may think some of the recipes included such as cottage pie are obvious, but many have a twist to them. The photos are inspiring and help show what you are aiming for! The book also features photos of many of the women who took part in the BBC programme.This book is widely available with a list price of £20. However I bought my copy from The Bok people and paid just £4.99! This book would make a great Christmas present too!
Si King and Dave Myers have done it again! An absolutely fantastic book! Riding on the success of their television programs this book is an imaginative take recipe books in a market which is absolutely saturated with celebrity chefs. Centred around the theme "mum knows best" the boys incorporate recipe's from their own childhood and have consulted groups such as the WI and Older Peoples groups to collect recipes from mums from all cultures and background. I have a plethora of cookbooks and this is the first book in a long time which has truly excited me. Within a week I had made a gorgeous beef stew and dumplings dish and in honesty I have made three of their lemon drizzle cakes as they are absolutely scrummy. The book has an attractive design and is well laid out with the right balance of photography and text. The recipes are easy to follow and much to my delight the ingredient lists do not cost the earth. The variety of recipes is great, there are some fantastic currys and dishes that I admit I had never heard of (rum baba's).
The Hairy Bikers' Family Cookbook - Mums Know Best is the latest book by TV cooks Si King and Dave Myers. It is the accompaniment to their Mums Know Best series which was shown earlier this year on the BBC. The book itself is in hardback with a smooth cover which is matt around the spine. The pages themselves have a slight matt finish and a good quality spine which means that all the pages can lie out flat very easily. The first few pages have soem photographs of the 'mums' involved in contributing recipes to the book and some old family photographs. There is a short introduction by King and Myers which sets out the ethos of the book - that is the publishing of 'family favourites' recipes, both modern and historic, traditional British and multi-cutural. Each recipe has a short introduction giving expert tips or a reminiscence from the Hairy Bikers themselves or the member of the public who contributed the recipe. The recipes either have an accompanying photo or have further photos in double page spreads separating out through the chapters. The book contains over 100 recipes. The first chapter is called 'family favourites' and contains recipes such as; beer battered fish and 'the best chips ever', cheese pie, yellow split pea and ham soup, various types of samosas (including a special section on how to make the pastry and assemble the samosas), boiled leek and onion pudding, crumpets, lemon drizzle cakes, rocky road and scones. The next section entitled 'show-off food', and as you would expect contains less homely, more 'impressive' looking dishes eg chicken ain brandy and mustard mash, lemon soufflé, kringel (an Estonian yeast bread with raisins and chocolate sauce), whole poached salmon, a wonderful Baked Alaska, honey and marmalade roasted gammon (to serve 20!). Next up are "good simple suppers" eg meat and potato pie, piccalilli, killer fishcakes with cheddar cheese sauce, spicy roasted chicken with minty sauce, pakoras, a couple of really great chicken curries, a gorgeous pan haggerty, varieties of rice pudding, spaghetti carbonara Next we come to 'birthday treats' including summer berry trifle, cottage pie with cheesy mash, stuffed vine leaves, sausage plait, Manchester Tart, some great Welsh griddle cakes, Following this we have 'Sunday dinners' including mushroom risotto, the traditional roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, apple and blackberry crumble, lemon meringue pie, Texas and Southern cornbreads, Keylime Pie, steak and ale pie, perfect cauliflower cheese (and it is perfect trust me!),rum babas (delicious and beautifully presented) The final section is entitled picnics and includes: sticky ginger and soy chicken wings, scotch eggs (including an Indian version which I am very much looking forward to trying.), courgette fritters, a divine Victoria sandwich, Maryland chicken, treacle tart. For the relatively short amount of time I have had the book (it was released in January 2010), it has rapidly become one of my favourites in my quite extensive cookbook collection. I had never bought a book by The Hairy Bikers before, but had particularly enjoyed the series which this had accompanied. Their obvious enthusiasm for the subject matter - that is bringing back family favourites or introducing them to a new audience. The multi-cultural element is a really nice touch as it introduces a number of cuisines which are not altogether widely covered in other cookbooks, for example Greek, Estonian, traditional American, Romanian, South African, Nepalese, Caribbean, Cypriot, - some traditional dishes, others fused with other dishes. I have cooked many recipes from this book and intend to cook many more. The recipes that I have done have been really easy to follow and have turned out really well, as well as being delicious. For the most part they do not rely on expensive or hard to source ingredients. The book itself is really well presented and the photography attractive and useful - especially with dishes that you may not be immediately sure how to present them. The mix of traditional and more unusual dishes actively encourages you to experiment a bit more and I have tried things that I would not normally try. There is also a really good mix of dishes which serves as accompaniments, would be good mid-week meals and those which you can take a little bit more time over when you are not working. Currently (as of May 2010), Amazon are selling this book for £9, with an option to use their 'look inside the book' feature in order to help you further decide whether it would be appropriate for you. Therefore, I would advise anybody who likes cookbooks and cooking at home to look into this - it really is an excellent book made with passion and a solid addition to my cookbook collection.
I've always liked The Hairy Bikers programmes. Largely down to the fact that, unlike some food shows, they make the idea of cooking fun. Unfussy they make you feel that you can eat the meals in day to day life and also have normal sized portions. In years gone by when our Mum took recipes from other cook books I always felt a little short changed with the sizes. This time they have taken the recipes which were collected from various fairs held around the country and put them into one big book. The idea being that the meals which have been passed down in a family from generation to generation could be shared amongst others. Compiled in a hardback book it holds recipes which are suitable for any type of situation. A trifle, twists on your humble scotch egg or tea time treats on a Sunday are just a few of the ideas which are shown. Split into seven sections: Mums know best, Family favourites, Show-off food, Good simple suppers, Birthday treats, Sunday dinners, and Picnics they have a wide variety of dishes which fit into the categories, each one slightly different and occasionally not one you'd think would go well together. These recipes have been made and written down by the ladies themselves although they only show the first names as to who they belonged to. Some of them do get their photo shown at the beginning of the book though so that might make up for it. It also includes dishes which have been in the hairy bikers' family. So you can feast on Si Kings Mums' Rum Babas or Dave Myers's Cauliflower Cheese. After relishing in the recipes I think some of the best have to be found in either the Simple suppers or picnic section. With treats like a Sticky Date Cake, treacle tart, pan haggerty or a traditional rice pudding you can't go wrong. In a few cases they also provide little tips or suggestions to fix it to your tastes. It's peppered with snapshots of the dishes along with big spreads of the hairy bikers themselves. Usually I don't like this but the photos show them having a bit of fun so I don't mind it so much. With big and bold pictures of the meals you get a good idea about what they are supposed to look like so you can tell if you're doing it right. It's bright and very eye catching and I can't find a bad thing to say about how it's laid out. Everything is easy to read and the words are written in a way where you it would be impossible for you to not understand. The RRP is £20, as much as I love the quirky pair, no book is worth that much so it's nice of Amazon to be selling it for £8.98. A much more reasonable price. I think if you like a bit of home cooking and don't want any of that fussy nonsense which other chefs enjoy shoving at you then this might be something for you. Even the most laziest of cooks can find at least one thing quick and easy to make without doing anything complicated. A very tasty book to invest it.
Mum's birthday was fast approaching and being only a month after Christmas means it's always hard to pick a present to buy her. We'd been watching The Hairy Bikers Mums Know Best TV series and enjoyed seeing the decent, non-fussy recipes on the TV show... So when I saw the book to go with the TV series on Amazon, I knew exactly what to get Mum for her birthday! Mums Know Best: The Hairy Bikers' Family Cookbook is in hardback format and has a red & white picnic cloth-looking cover with a picture of Si King & Dave Myers (a.k.a. The Hairy Bikers!) in a circle on the front. It states there are more than 100 "mouth-watering classic recipes" inside, so there's bound to be something you'll like. If you've seen the TV series, then you'll know the kinds of recipes in there. If you haven't... The recipes in this book are "classics" have have been supplied by Dave & Si as well as by Mum's from around the country. This means that some of the recipes have been handed down through generations, from mother to daughter and so on. Each recipe has details on where it's come from (or who) and what it's about, as well as an ingredients list and details on how to prepare the dish. The book is also full of mouth-watering pictures of some of the recipes you can make. The book is split into 7 sections: Mum Knows Best, Family Favourites, Show-off Food, Good Simple Suppers, Birthday Treats, Sunday Dinners, Picnics. So some recipes may be easy to find (such as Toad In The Hole or Yorkshire Pudding), others might not be (for instance, I wouldn 't have looked for Tomato Chutney in the Good Simple Suppers section). However, don't forget that there is an Index in the back of the book if you're looking for something in particular. With more than 100 recipes in this book, you'll be sure to find at least a few recipes you'll want to make, if not a load of recipes! With having food intolerances and generally being picky, I can flick through recipe books and sometimes not really find anything I fancy. However, it is different with this book... There are many recipes that make my mouth water (some of which would need a bit of tweaking due to my food intolerances, but that's all in the name of cooking anyway!). You may think that making & cooking chips is easy, and it is, but The Hairy Bikers Family Cookbook includes a recipe for "The Best Chips Ever" - It tells us the secret of good chips (cooking them twice at two different temperatures) and even has a handwritten note on the best potatoes to use. The opposite page in the book has a recipe for Beer-battered Fish, so that's one of my favourite meals sorted and those are only the first two recipes in the book! There are recipes for soups, pies, samosas, dumplings, cakes, nibbles, mash, chutney & piccalilli, drinks, desserts, roast dinners, salads, fritters... There is plenty to choose from! Most importantly, the recipes are easy to follow. The handwritten notes really do help too, for example the note with the Crumpets recipe says "When you make the last few crumpets, you may find that the batter has thickened and the bubbles take longer to burst. If this happens, prick each one lightly with a cocktail stick." - Helpful! So, would I recommend this book? Most definitely! In fact, I already have! I borrowed it and took it to work to show a couple of colleagues, one of whom has since bought it. So if you're looking for that definitive cookbook, The Hairy Bikers Family Cookbook is the one for you. It's recommended retail price is £20, but I paid £10 for it off Amazon.