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This book is really useful for students or for anyone who wants to cook simple dishes on a budget. Advantages Lots of recipes! A variety of different dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are also some simple desert dishes and dishes that are suitable to cook for friends. The book uses cheap but healthy ingredients to ensure students get a balanced diet and often offers ideas for vegetarian alternatives if you or your friends don't eat meat! Uses measurements such as cup/pinch etc. meaning there is no need for scales or other equipment that many student kitchens would not have. Lots of dishes which are cut down to just one of two servings which is great for students who are often cooking for one. The meal plans are great! They give an example of how to maximize your weekly shop for various different dishes and I was able to modify these each week to keep to my budget. Offers information on how to do basic things like boil potatoes/vegetables etc. for those students who have no idea. Each dish is rated in difficulty so students can progress to making some of the more difficult dishes. Disadvantages This is a really great cookbook that is really thought out well. There are so many ideas that all students could make and I would go as far as saying a student wouldn't need any other book because there is so much variety. However, in some places the cook is cramped and hard to read and the design is a little outdated. I also think it would be useful to have more pictures of what to do for those who struggle with the basics. All in all this is a really great book, which could do with a little updating in the design but the content is fantastic and really is a must have for all students!
This book was published in 2006, and I bought it from Waterstones priced at £6.99 - where it is still available. There are later editions which were also printed in 2007 and 2008. The book starts with a one-page introduction, which is what I first looked at when I bought it. The introduction states why the author wrote the book, but mainly what I liked about the book was that it contained stars throughout the recipes as an indication of how easy the recipe's were. From 1-5 stars indicating which recipe would be most easy and quick and others which would require more time and ingredients. The book also states that half the recipes are vegetarian or have a vegetarian alternative. Also what I mainly liked about this book was that it was planned so that the minimum of pans, dishes and utensils are used. (Bonus! if you're not a fan of washing up :P) and no use of weighing scales! The book includes pages of general information such as "good buying ideas" which include buying in bulk and things to liven up boring food. Also a page titled "how long can I keep this before it kills me?" which is quite useful stating how long you can keep foods like cooked meat, cheese, milk, butter, vegetables. Before stating recipes, a quick guide to how to cook foods like pasta, potatoes, vegetables and rice is used. The book is then filled with a variety of recipes from basics such as omelettes and pancakes to a variety of soups, stuff with sausages, meals containing meats - such as spicy risotto, lasagne, fun foods - which include tortilla wraps, mini pizzas, nachos, dips, potato wedges. Also lots more recipe dishes for vegetarians, a section on dishes using chicken, fish and a variety of salads that can be put together. Theres also a yummy section of cakes and desserts, which are all great recipes and not difficult to make. These include trifle, fruit salad, rice krispie cakes, cookies, muffins, banana split, chocolate cake and flapjacks with a few other recipes. I give this book 5/5 stars as I found it worth the money spent, a great starter book, each page contained pictures of the final product (in colour) which were good to look at and showed you how the end product would look... it was also written in easy to understand english with basic steps. So it's a book that would come in handy whether you are a student or not - but it's definitely a good book for a person who's a beginner in cooking, or just wants some quick and easy recipes on hand.
I was given Nosh 4 Students as a present by my mum and dad 3 years ago just before I started University. I'm still not quite sure if it was meant as a joke or if they were genuinely worried that I wasn't going to be able to feed myself! Either way since then I've put the book to good use and its come in handy on more than one or two occasions In general the book is nice and clear and easy to follow. Each recipe is given its own page with a nice large picture to accompany it. There is often a line or two to describe to the meal offering more information (Such as how healthy it is) or extra tips on what to add to the meal. The ingredients are listed clearly and the instructions are numbered in a step by step process. They are clear and concise and I've never had any problems following a recipe. Each recipe also explains the number of people it can serve and gives an estimate of preparation/cooking time. A 5 star rating system also explains how difficult each recipe is to make where 1 star is the easiest and 5 star the hardest. This is a nice little system for beginners to choose the simpler meals before tackling the more difficult recipes. A vegetarian meal also has a nice clear vegetarian symbol next to it so that vegetarians can clearly identify the meals they need What makes this book stand out for students (And any other beginner cookers) is the first set of pages going over the basics. A list of utensils comes in the first few pages which is a nice touch. All the recipes have been designed so that you don't need fancy cookware. This includes the amounts of each ingredient. Very rarely do you have to do any exact weighing; it makes the whole cooking process a lot easier. A lot of the meals are also designed to last more than one meal. This is a key aspect for student cooking I have found and is good to see that the author has considered this when writing the recipes. Many times do I find myself cooking 2-3 portions at once and freezing the left overs. All the important basics and some nice little touches are included in the beginning. To a lot of people these can seem a tad obvious but this book caters for everyone so it's a clever little addition for those who are unfamiliar in the cooking world. The golden rules section covers things like time management, planning, cleanliness, health and safety and do's and don'ts. There's a section on advice when buying food. This includes tips for shopping but goes as far to provide sample shopping lists for the week. It is quite difficult to stick to a set list like this but for those really struggling it's a very useful list to have and can guide those who have no idea what to do. These tips/advice pages continue to cover sell by dates. 'How long can I keep this before it kills me?' is an incredibly useful page. I just wish I had read this page at the beginning of university! Although food never acts the same each time it's nice to have a rough set of times to refer to when handling food. The 'What do I do if???' page is another handy page with general tips and advice for certain situations In between tips/advice and the recipes is a set of basics. Again although a lot of it seems obvious now there is handy information on how to get the first stages right in cooking. These pages include cooking times for different types of vegetables, pasta, rice, sauces and how to cook the perfect jacket potato, omelette, eggs and pancakes. The book covers a wide range of foods and recipes. Included are meals for soups, sausages, meats, fun foods, chicken, vegetarian, fish, salads and cakes & desserts. Using the 5 star system it is easy to start with simple meals before moving onto more challenging meals. On the whole the food is very 'British'. There are a lot of family favourites such as spag bol, chilli con carne, Shepard's pie, lasagne, pasta bakes, hot pots and casseroles. However the book does go on to cover noodle dishes, risottos and slightly more exotic meals. It's not the most adventurous book for those who want to spice up their cooking skills; it is more intended to teach you classic dishes. In summary it is a very good book for those who are terrified of cooking. I myself was comfortable in the kitchen before reading this book. I'm not the most adventurous cook however I already knew how to do a few decent meals as a student. However using this book as given me the ability to cook some simple classic dishes that I'd never really considered doing. I've mostly profited from the dessert section as I didn't have a clue what to do for a good pudding before reading this book. My personal favourite dishes are the sausage pie, creamy chicken and the squidgy chocolate pudding
My boyfriend and I moved into our student flat in July last year so were very excited about being away from University Campus food and being able to cook our own. We got given this book by my boyfriends sister and it has to be one of the best recipe books ever for two, new to cooking, students. I myself had cooked a little before but my boyfriends cooking had never gone further than napolitana and noodles! Having a little nose through this book I could see that many of the dishes had vegetarian alternatives to the meat and those that didn't easily could. In the front few pages of the book there is an introduction that basically explains that there is a star system 1- 5 showing how hard or easy a recipe is; one star being very simple and five stars being a bit trickier. I found that I have only just read this page after having this book a year though so it probably isn't in the best place to have put it. Now the contents are in full colour which is very helpful so that you know what sort of food type will be in each section. There is a page which tells you exactly what utensils you will need to buy or borrow before you move in to your new place and also a few golden rules to help you along the way, the first being 'Cooking should be fun'! There is a great page on buying ideas which helps when shopping with advice such as buy in bulk, buy frozen rather than fresh. These now seem obvious things to me but our first real shop was daunting and these hints helped immensely. The next helpful page is the 'What to do if' page which basically tells you simple things such as; if you dont have a pastry brush use your fingers. I feel that this page was made for the creatively challenged! Also this page has information on how long you can keep a food item past its sell by date before it will 'kill you'. There are a few more pages on how to cook basic food such as pasta, rice and sauces. The first selection of recipes are on easy meals such as stuff on toast (yes I have heard of the woes of those who have never before 'cooked' toast!!!), sandwiches, and eggs. Next is soups, there are so many new and wonderful soups to try. Some have been very nice and my boyfriends speciality is the Italian soup. Next are recipes that you use sausages for, then meat recipes, fun foods, chicken, vegetarian, fish, salads and then the best part of all................. Deserts and Cakes!!! At the back of the book are weekly shopping/menu guides. These basically tell you what to buy to prepare a weeks worth of food using the recipes in the book. We have never used these but they would help many students with budgeting and keeping food waste to a minimum. Overall this is a great book and has helped us to eat healthy but fun recipes. The only annoying thing about this book is that the measurements are in cups. This is obviously to help students who cannot weigh or do not have scales.
September 2008, I packed my life into lots of boxes and headed for the capital of Scotland to begin my life as a university student. I'm being honest when I say that I felt nothing but excitement, I'm not a nervous person. I did lots of cooking for the family when I lived at home, but it's a totally different thing when you're cooking every meal for 1 person and the portions are naturally a lot smaller, so I figured some student cookbooks would be a good investment before I left. The Nosh 4 Students cookbook caught my attention straightaway because it was colourful. The RRP on the back of the book is £6.99 but Amazon sells it brand new for £5.19. There are currently 28 used and new from as little as £2.00 by private sellers. As the saying goes, you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, and as Amazon allow you to have a sneaky peak through a few pages, it give you the chance to decide if this book is for you or not. The book is extremely colourful from the outset and contains a lot of pictures so you know what your final product should look like. The contents are as follows; introduction and general information, basics, soups, sausages, meats, fun foods, chicken, vegetarian, fish, salads and cakes and desserts. The contents page is then followed by a "limited utensils" list which tells you exactly what you need to measure, prepare and cook everything in the book - how well organised is this? Following this, there is a list of Golden Rules, such as getting help from housemates, making sure your cooking and storage areas are clean and so on. There is also a section on good buying ideas, hints for saving money, making extra and freezing it and so on. The book also includes alternatives if you don't have all of the necessary utensils and food hygiene, which is brilliant for reference for anyone, especially students! There is also a list of recommended cooking times for potatoes, rice, pasta and all vegetables as guidelines in case you haven't cooked them before. Then the recipes begin! Here are a few quick dishes to whet your appetite...... Quick Shepherd's pie Mexican beef Hawaiian risotto Lemon chicken Spicy prawns Squidgy chocolate pudding Nicole's nutty brownies Each meal is rated by a starred system as to how difficult or time consuming it is; naturally, the more stars something has, the more difficult or time consuming it is. It ranges from 1 star to 5 star for when you're feeling really confident. To be honest I think even the 5 star ones are fairly easy, but I had done a lot of cooking before I left home anyway. I really like the way that it is split into sections, so if you wanted a recipe with sausages all the recipes are together, the same with chicken, soups, or if you're looking to make a quick dessert after tea then you can skip straight to the section you want. The book also has an index which is also really easy to use. Although some of the recipes contain meat, they often come with advised vegetarian alternatives which are great if you fancy a change, whether vegetarian or not. As I mentioned earlier, every single dish comes with high quality, colour photos so that you get an idea of what it should look like when you're finished, because let's face it, it doesn't always turn out how we want it to! All in all this book was a great investment and it kept me and my flatmates amused for much of the year....when we could be bothered to cook anyway, if not there was always salads and lighter options that were quicker, just keep an eye out for those wee stars at the top! Personally I'd recommend it for families as well. There are a lot less people who do home cooking and cannot resist the temptation of takeaways or ready meals, but everything in this book is so simply set out that I would recommend it to anyone. I have been back home for almost 2 months now and have cooked various things from this book for my entire family and they love it; even just basic things like the mini pizzas with homemade wedges and a fancy salad. Quick and easy after a long day at the office and happy customers all round!