Monday, 22 December 2014

Book Reviews: Madhouse Cookbook and No-Bake Baking

I have two must-have recipe book reviews to tempt you with today! I find that having a big family + loving to have friends round = some slightly fraught moments!! In the run up to Christmas, there are lots of occasions when run to a few trusted recipe books. Today, I wanted to share two of those with you...

The first is the Madhouse Cookbook: Delicious Recipes for the Busy Family Kitchen, which fits in to where author Jo Pratt is in her life from day to day...and it shows. That's not to say that she really does live in a madhouse, but rather that she obviously understands what it means to have to produce a varied, healthy, realistically-priced meal each and every day for a family. However, very importantly, the recipes are delicious, and the quality of the ingredients is in no way compromised.

There have been other recipe books that promise to do the same but, in my opinion, I've found that none of them are as good as The Madhouse Cookbook.

The book is divided into three sections: Monday To Friday Survival, The Busy Weekend, and Cling Onto Your Social Life. Each of these is then split into sub-categories so you know exactly where to turn when the pressure is on: for example, 'Quick Prep - Leave To Cook' and 'The Need For Speed'.

The book has lots of really good, and original ideas of how to stretch the recipes further, as well as thoughts on how to use leftovers, which I LOVE!! 

Another great thing is the index, which allows you to look up recipes by their key ingredient. Perfect for those evenings when you're struggling to use up items in the fridge.

Jo Pratt has clearly been there, done that with a busy household...Madhouse Cookbook is one of best survival guides out there!

The second book I'm reviewing today is a must-have in the sometimes hectic run up to Christmas. I absolutely adore this time of year...but there can be slightly fraught moments when I realise I've got extra guests for tea and need to rustle up something fast.

That's where No-Bake Baking: Easy, Oven-Free Cakes and Treats comes in! Now, I have to say up-front, that this is not a book to get if you're on any kind of diet because it's literally jam-packed full of VERY sweet treats! BUT it's just genius at helping to whizz up a great-looking desserts when you're flagging a little at the end of a long day, and realise that you've still not made pudding for tonight's guests (been there?!).


The recipes themselves vary from the extremely easy (basically an assemblage of elements!) to the slightly tricky. Chapters are separated into: Biscuits, Cakes, Slices and bars, Cheesecakes, Pies and tarts, Sweet treats, Iced Dreams and Desserts.

As I said, probably not the best thing for your teeth but a life-saver at this busy time of year.

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