Posted by: Stephlechef | December 15, 2011

Review – Lorraine Pascale – Home Cooking Made Easy

I am ashamed at my lack of bloggage over the last week or so, I have been a very lazy girl. I think I just needed a break- but the trouble is I haven’t had a break from cooking, so I now have a backlog. Argh. Anyway, here’s a cookbook review for you all today!


Lorraine Pascale – Home Cooking Made Easy

I don’t really approve of buying cookbooks, as I can’t afford it (well, I’d rather spend money on nice ingredients and make the trip to the library for the books :)) but actually I would probably buy this one. It’s full of lovely colourful pictures, which to me is really important in a cookbook, I hate it when there’s something listed, you have no idea what it should look like when it’s finished, and that’s always the one they decide not to give you a photo to work from!

I haven’t tried many of the recipes from it yet, apart from the triple chocolate cheesecake, here (which is fabulously easy and has proven to be my most popular post so far, thanks Lorraine!)  and the pain d’epi, which worked well for me the first time and not the second, which means the failure is probably down to my incompetence! There’s lots of lovely ideas for canapes, crowd-pleasing desserts etc, but what makes the book something worth buying in my opinion, particularly for someone who doesn’t own a lot of cookbooks already, is that she also provides recipes for “proper food”. It’s all very well being able to make winter-spiced lemon curd (which by the way I reeally need to make), but when it comes down to what to have for dinner she gives a pretty good selection there too- it’s mostly based around comfort food and autumnal recipes (I suspect another one will come along in the spring), so lots of stews, casseroles, that kind of thing, but as far as I can see every recipe lives up to the title of the book- the recipes are for basic home cooking, and they are pretty easy.

However, one thing they are not, is cheap. She has a recipe for lamb shanks which calls for good quality balsamic vinegar, half a bottle of rioja and chorizo among its extensive list of ingredients, and a risotto with truffle oil drizzled over the top. Now I know not everything has to be budgets and bargains, but a book which seems to be aimed at family cooking and hearty food might do well to suggest a cheaper alternative, even if it’s just in a note at the bottom. Either that, or readers will have to do a quick bit of recipe re-jiggling sometimes to make things come in on budget.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable book to flick through and ooh and aah at the lovely pictures, but also one that makes enough normal food that it’s worth having on the shelf- you will go back to it again and again.

Rating – 8/10


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