Tuesday, 6 March 2012

200 Healthy Feasts Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook - Octopus Books Review

One of my guilty secrets is the number of recipe books I own, considering how infrequently I actually seem to use them.  Amongst them is a Hamlyn All-Colour cookbook dating back to the mid 80's that I "liberated" from my mum's house when I first left home, featuring such interesting gems as "Liver and Watercress", not a combination I'd've ever thought of, and a Sausage Plait that may or may not be the one made famous more recently by TOWIE's Nanny Pat.  I was quite chuffed then, when Octopus Books chose me to review the new 200 Healthy Feasts Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook, not least because I might be able to give my mum her book back after all these years!

On first sight, I was surprised how small the book was, particularly for 200 illustrated recipes.  My old one is HUGE, and I was anticipating something similar.  However, this book appears to have been designed with my kitchen in mind - I don't have the space for an A4 sized book, open, on my worksurface, and so the pocket size of this book is much more practical.

(Nails, OPI Gone Gonzo)
Each page has the recipe on the left, and a picture of the finished dish on the right, the simplicity and consistency of the design really appeal to me, I like to know where I'm looking!  The recipes are divided into easy to follow sections for Breakfast & Brunch, Starters, Soups & Stews, Fish, Meat, Vegetarian and desserts.

As you can see, I decided to make a bean chilli.  Unfortunately, we enjoyed it so much it got eaten before I took a comparison photo, and I'm just not organised enough for avocado salsa.

Old meets new

The recipes are easy to follow, with clear instructions, and a great range of classics and modern recipes from around the world, and the pictures are colourful and inspiring.

I wonder, when Squeaky looks back at this book, 20-odd years from now, which recipes she'll be freaked out by?  Will it be the feta-stuffed plaice? The pesto and lemon soup? The chicken and pickled walnut pilaf?  One thing I know, it won't be liver & watercress, that didn't make the cut this time around!

200 Health Feasts Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook is available  from Amazon.co.uk for £3.69.  (Amazingly, the 1986 book, pictured above, has a cover price of £6.99.  And they talk about inflation?)

Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of this book free of charge for the purpose of this review.  I was not told what to write, and all opinions are my own.  Links are provided for your convenience only, I am not a member of any affiliate scheme & will not receive reward for their use.

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