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This recipe book, in my opinion, is simply wonderful with its wide range of cuisines and courses to choose from, and easy to follow instructions. From pies to pasta dishes, from curries to coconut macaroons, there is something for everybody.
My personal favourite is the spaghetti bolognese which is never watery on the plate - an old classic that is simply delicious.
As a student, I have found several of the recipes - macaroni and cheese, spaghetti bolognese and quick chicken curry, to name but a few - are tasty meals that do not leave you out of pocket. They are also easy to prepare and will teach you basic cooking skills. There are even desserts included that make a nice change from cartons of ice-cream or chocolate biscuits - such desserts include: coconut macaroons, custard tart and lemon curd roll to name a few.
I would wholly recommend this recipe book to anybody looking for old favourites and new things to try and even to people looking to enhance their cooking skills.
The only qualm I have with the book is that there are little notes on the sides of some recipes - giving little tips or different things to try - which are sometimes difficult to read because of the font used.
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With a new house on the horizon it seemed only right that my cook book collection should continue to grow and from the moment I saw the new release from The Hairy Biker's I knew this would be the book to get. It accompanies the current series being shown on BBC2 and is a follow up to the original series from last year. I'd enjoyed watching the original series and cooking from the accompanying book so for £10 I knew there was no way that we'd be going wrong buying the lads new book.
Who Are The Hairy Bikers
The Hairy Bikers are Si King and Dave Myers and perhaps the strangest thing about their current fame as chefs they have never actually been professionally trained. In fact Si is a locations manager with the likes of the Harry Potter movies and Byker Grove on his CV, whilst Dave is a trained Make Up artist. It seemed a strange connection that the two then should have their new found and incredibly successful sideline as celebrity chefs.
Of course they are quite easy to follow and unlike Gordon Ramsey and the posh celebrity chefs the pair keep things simple in the Kitchen. They have devoted their books to simple, yet tasty cooking that makes it accessible to even the most hopeless budding chef. This coupled with the pairs love of the open road and ability to explore the country and seek out these recipes make both the show and the book a joy to watch and cook from.
Mum's Still Know Best
With the original series airing and being rather successful last year it seemed only natural that a second series should have been commissioned. The book itself covers 223 pages in total and brings 100 brand new recipes with the help of the various Mum's they met along the way. This time round the book is divided into 8 sections with recipes for comfort food through to recipes for those lazy weekends. It has a very varied and wide selection of meals to suit just about everyone's capabilities, taste and perhaps more key with this project, mood.
Once again there are a very mixed bag of recipes with the opening chapter alone covering a range from home made fish finger sandwiches to a really rich Oxtail stew. Perhaps the biggest change with this book is a calling for more unusual ingredients but that just enhances the appeal of the book as it offers you a chance to make some meals you would perhaps never have considered such as Dutch Kroketten, whilst still offering up everyday favourites like Spaghetti Bolognaise.
The selection of recipes chosen by the Hairy Bikers is another success and from the moment I got the book I found myself flicking through the pages picking out dishes to try. there is an excellent selection and with an accompanying picture it makes them all the more tempting.
Is It Easy To Follow
Just like the pairs other books it is incredibly easy to follow. There are a few dishes where cooking times have been left to personal taste but other than that the cooking times, instructions and method for putting the meals together is clear, concise and very simple. It is exactly what i have come to expect from the pair and once again this book delivers.
Does It Taste Good
Just like all of their previous books the answer is a resounding yes. We've tried a few of the everyday recipes and even though I already knew how to make a good Spaghetti Bolognaise the one in the book was even nicer. Likewise the Macaroni cheese just had a nice extra flavour to it that I'd never achieved making it before. It wasn't so much using the recipes to make something new but to improve what I could already make.
My favourite recipe from the new book though was the Gerarda Minichiello's Meatballs with the basic pasta sauce. The Meatballs were delicious and tasted better than anything I think I've ever cooked in the past. The meat was just right and the taste of the pasta sauce really complimented the taste of the Meatballs really well.
Where To Get It
At the moment Mum's Still Know Best is available from Tesco for £10 and is also available from all goo book shops and supermarkets as well as online retailers, however the Tesco price is the best one I've seen so far.
This is now my 4th Hairy Bikers cookbook and I'm pleased to say that they seem to be getting better every time. The others have been good but this one has helped to improve my ability to cook simple meals. I enjoy cooking and with their straightforward and easy to follow recipes the Hairy Bikers cookbooks are a good accompaniment for any budding cook. It takes a certain ability to write the books the way they do and I think these types of books are far better than a number of cookbooks on the market.
With a simplicity that is often lacking from cookbooks the recipes are easy to follow and the end result, providing you follow the instructions, are very nice. I have enjoyed cooking from this book and like the other 3 in my collection I can envisage getting a lot of use out of this one too.
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