Monday, 21 October 2013

DK Family Kitchen Cookbook review

DK recently sent us through a copy of their new recipe book, Family Kitchen Cookbook, to review. Now, I own a lot of cookery books but I have to say, this is one of the most complete and all-encompassing books that I've seen in a very long time. It covers everything you could possibly want from a recipe book, however your family is made up.

Just a quick glance at the contents page reveals how broad the range of recipes is. It has sections on Babies and Toddlers, Family Meals (with subsections on Fish, Poultry, Meat, Vegetables, Pasta, Gnocchi & Noodles, Rice, Eggs & Cheese), Easy Entertaining, Food To Go, Baking and Cooking With The Kids.

The book really encourages getting the kids in the kitchen for some hands-on learning, which is something I am already passionate about.

The opening section offers a few double-page spreads that they call Recipe Choosers. It's a really quick and simple way for finding meal ideas when you haven't got time to flick through the whole book.

When it came to preparing this week's menu plan, I basically didn't need to go any deeper into the book than these recipe choosers ! I will be dipping into each section in more depth next week to see what other delights they contain though.

I love the way the book goes the extra mile, for example in the toddler and baby section, providing a selection of first puree recipes for weaning. It's the first time I've seen this in a general recipe book, rather than one specialising in baby and child food.

Another thing that I love is that it caters for all levels and tastes, often putting side by side a simple classic recipe and a slightly more adventurous or complex version. Here, for example, you have Homemade Fish & Chips on one side (very tasty but not very ground-breaking) and the more original Crispy Polenta Fish Fingers with Easy Tartare Sauce on the opposite page. There is a nice mix of traditional and exotic dishes too.

When I do my meu-planning, I simultaneously write out my shopping list, noting down any ingredients that I need to buy in for the recipes that I've chosen. I was highly impressed to see that most of the recipes I'd picked this week relied on nothing but store-cupboard basics, which is quite unusual but very convenient.

The book even has a section on using up leftovers which, combined with the fact that it won't send you out to buy lots of unusual and expensive ingredients, may well help you reduce your grocery budget too.

If you keep an eye on my menu plans over the coming weeks, you'll get to see lots of the recipes in the book as I'll be working my way through, picking out those recipes that particularly leap out at me. I'll undoubtedly share a few of them with you too.

If you don't own a single cookbook (maybe you want to buy a first recipe book for a son or daughter heading off to university or maybe you're becoming parents for the first time), this book would be a great all-rounder, covering all the basics and then some ! Even if, like me, your cookbook shelf is already overflowing, you'll still find oodles of inspiration for new family meals, many of which are unbelievably simple but nevertheless quite innovative.

More good news, I have a copy of the book to give away to one Madhouse Family Reviews reader - watch this space to find out how to get your (oven) mitts on one !

star rating : 5/5

RRP : £25

Family Kitchen Cookbook, by Caroline Bretherton, published by DK, £25, 

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Dorling Kindersley (1 Oct 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 1409332888
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409332886
  • Product Dimensions: 28.5 x 23.6 x 3.8 cm

Disclosure : I received a copy of the book in order to write an honest review.

Other reviews you may be interested in :

Book review : Fun Food For Fussy Little Eaters (How To Get Your Kids To Eat Fruit & Veg)

1 comment:

  1. I like the pictures in the book. I have lots of recipe books too, but not a good 'family' one.


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