Monday, June 21, 2010

Fresh reviews - Anyone can Cook

I'm already a huge fan of Annabel Langbein's and own a number of her recipe books, so I was intrigued to see whether I would get any value out of her recent endeavour, Anyone can Cook. I'm pleased to say that I have.

What I liked about it

Anyone can cook from this book. Annabel has taken the time to explain everything she's included, from boiling potatoes to choosing and storing avocados.

Recipe crossovers. Annabel has given a series of basic 'building block' recipes that can be used in several meals. For example, if you make up a batch of her Simple Thai sauce, you can then use it to flavour her recipes for Pad Thai, Spicy glazed chicken, Hamburgers, Thai-style pork sticks, Coconut chilli mussel bowl, One-pot green chicken curry, and so on. One batch of Simple Thai sauce lasts in the fridge for several weeks and will cover a number of meals. What a great way to simplify meal preparation!

Presentation. One recipe per page, a photo of every recipe (bonus points for that!), and a side-bar key that shows how long each recipe will take to prepare and cook.

Range of recipes. A good selection of recipes that will appeal to all cooks and eaters.

Simple sides. If you've ever wanted to know how to cook perfect broccoli or wilted spinach, this is the section for you.

Menu planning. At the back Annabel has laid out a number of meal plans based on recipes within the book. This section includes ideas for mains, sides and desserts that will go well together; a shopping list; as well as guides for what you can prepare ahead of time, on the day and at the last minute.

Sweet endings section. Even though Annabel has also recently published Anyone can Bake, she hasn't neglected a sweet section in this cookbook. This allows you to create a whole meal plan from the one book.

Quote from Anyone can Cook. 'Home cooking does not require a lot of money or any fancy equipment, it's not tricky to do and everyone will love you for your efforts. It's all about nourishing ourselves and those around us and having some fun along the way.' I just love that. Annabel uses simple explanations that make it easy to follow her recipes. I credit her with teaching me to cook, which is amazing considering we've never met.

What I didn't like about it

A couple of the recipes I tried I will modify in future to better suit our taste-buds.

Other than that, I can't think of anything wrong with it. It's a well-thought out, well-executed recipe book.

Where you can find it

You'll get the best deal for this book on Annabel's website, although it's also available at good New Zealand bookstores if you want to check it out first.

Disclosure: Annabel Langbein provided me with a copy of Anyone can Cook for review purposes. I was not compensated in any other way. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

1 comment:

  1. What I liked about the book was the marvelous wife who cooked me dinners out of it. I would definitely recommend them both.


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