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I picked up Rachel Allen' s book by chance in a book store having not seen her on tv and was intrigued by the recipes on offer. The book itself is soft (but quite sturdy) bound with a picture of Rachel Allen on the front standing in front of a giant mixer. The pink spine and lettering give it a feminine feel, although I am sure both sexes would enjoy the contents.
The book itself if divided into thirteen well titled sections which help guide the hungry reader to the right place. These include titles such as; 'easy entertaining', an indoor picnic, chilli night, Sunday brunch, boys lunch and children's birthday party. The recipes match the mood implied by the title rather nicely, for example boys lunch includes recipes such as steak sandwich, chicken wings and chocolate sauce,
The recipes in each section are listed in the contents page, which is handy feature when you want quick inspiration rather than having to flick through the whole book to find one recipe. One of my favourite sections is called 'vegetarian food for everyone' as it appeals to my desire to make a meal that everyone can eat rather than having to do a separate dish for veggie guests.
Each section is clearly marked with a coloured page which titles the section with a little cartoon/sketch and a quote from rachael setting the scene for the section. The coloured page aids easy navigation as they can be easily spotted when flicking through.
The recipes themselves are usually laid out one per page, the title of recipe titled in pink, the number served by the recipe in bold below. The recipe opens with a brief paragraph from Rachel telling you a bit about, offering serving suggestions etc. This is followed by a list of ingredients and then the method. I have on the whole found these recipes easy to follow and pretty successful. Not every recipe is pictured instead there are selection of pictures at the end of each section. I must say that those that are pictured do look rather yummy!
I won't bore with a list of ever recipe but to highlight a few:
~breadsticks- simple but good for a bit of impressing on the homemade party snack front. Includes lots of ideas for different flavours
~homemade burgers not that unusual but a nice recipe
~oriental broth. It really is simple comfort food.
None of the recipes are ideas totally new to me, but I like this book and it's recipes. I would recommend it.
Rachel's Favourite Food by Rachel Allen
I love Rachel Allen, I have been a fan of hers since I saw her on the food channel on Sky, this was around a year ago, and I have slowly been going through and buying each of her books.
Rachel's Favourite food was the first book that I purchased, and I had purchased it online for around £10 last year. It was first published in 2004 and has 176 pages. What I like is that Rachel offers good comfort food for the whole family, that is easy to make, tastes even better and anyone can have a go at making her food, from the really basic cooks to the more advanced cooks.
I am by no means the best cook in the world, I make mistake after mistake and we all laugh after, but Rachel guides you through the recipes so easy, and uses ingredients that anyone can pick up in the supermarket or town centre, The pictures in the book also lead you into the book and into Rachel's life as a cook herself.
Rachel breaks down her book into sections
Easy Entertaining - Pasta with Spicy Sausage, Tomato and rosemary is one of our favourites. I make this also for my other half to take to work as you can as he does eat it cold - I do leave the rosemary out though as I do not like the taste of the herb. So quick and easy to make.
Summer Lunches - Using good seasonal fruits and vegetables is highlighted by Rachel and something I agree with her one - In this section my favourite recipe is Rhubarb food with shortbread biscuits, even though I do not like Rhubarb, I have good fun eating all the biscuits!
Lunch for the boys - Now this is the section I use the most on weekends, the fresh home cooked food that you have a little more time to prepare over the weekend. I make the homemade tortilla chips with tomato salsa when we are watching a film on a Saturday night and eat the leftover ones left on a Sunday supper time with sandwiches. They turn out fantastic and urge anyone to try these. I also make the home made burgers, with my own mayonnaise (and the tomato salsa)
Rachel also includes a section of Fish, and the benefits of eating fish. How to make a good chili, what is the best food for an indoor picnic, how to make really tasty noodles that are extremely good to make after a hard day at work and you cannot be bothered to cook much, really quick, tasty and filling. Comfort food, winter Sunday lunches and beautiful Sunday brunches.
The other recipes that I have tried (and have been a success!)
30 day muffins (mix does actually last 30 days - great to pre prepare)
Pancakes with syrup and bacon (so American!)
Japanese Chicken and udon noodle soup (really quick to make)
Hot lemon pudding (really refreshing and a big hit here)
I would recommend this book to all my friends and family.