Category: Book review

Cakes in Bloom: Peggy Porschen book review

Cakes in Bloom by Peggy Porschen Peggy Porschen - Cakes in BloomThis post has been a long time coming! I received this book ‘Cakes in Bloom Peggy Porschen‘ back in May when it was released and one thing and another (mainly a chance to take part in one of the Peggy Porschen flower master classes- which you can read about in the next post) it didn’t happen. It’s been on my to do list since then and it’s November! Where has the year gone?

About the book

So, this is a different kind of book to the others that Peggy has written. Yes, there are cake recipes – at the back (including Victoria sponge, rich dark chocolate cake and a luxury fruit cake) but it’s all about sugarpaste flowers. The flowers are so beautiful and shot so close up that when I showed my mum the book (I did get a bit over excited when I got my hands on it) she didn’t believe that the flowers weren’t real. They are the most realistic sugar flowers I have ever seen and I’ve seen these up close and in the flesh.

Peggy Porschen - Cakes in Bloom

So what’s the best thing about this book? Or rather why is it a winner in my eyes?  Well, apart from the stunning flower creations by Peggy – it has to be the photography. Georgia Glynn Smith you are a pro! The shots are sheer perfection for a complete sugar flower making beginner like myself. I’ve never really gone further in detail than with a simple rose or a rose bud and maybe a few blossoms cut out with a plunger cutter. These flowers look so complicated and like you need so much equipment but that isn’t the case. Now, I know that I have quite a lot of equipment and cutters are a big part of my collection but I found a ton of blooms I could make straight away without having to purchase anything else.

Peggy Porschen - Cakes in Bloom

I’m going to be completely honest here. I’m not much of a flower on a cake sort of a person. But I was so intrigued by the book I had to have a go and just as the book landed I had a cake request with loads of flowers on. Funny how that happens isn’t it? The first bloom I attempted from the book was a Dahlia. It looked okay. I used sugar paste instead of flower paste. Flower paste is much sturdier and can be rolled out so it’s see through and thin like paper. It makes really delicate flowers. Sugar paste still makes a good flower but no where near as realistic. Sugar paste also takes an age to dry out.

My Dahlia took me absolutely aaaages to make. I hadn’t planned this into my cake design and I was up all night because I was enjoying making the flowers so much I wanted to make three to five of them. But I loved every minute of it. Had I read the instructions before I attempted to make them for a cake I would have realised that I needed to make some parts the day before so they had time to dry out. Oh well- I knew for the next time.

So, back to the book….Cakes in bloom by Peggy Porschen


Contents include:-

Peggy Porschen - Cakes in BloomSugar flower basics

How to get started, the basic tool kit and specialist tools that are a bit new to me too. There’s also a whole section devoted to flower paste.

Peggy Porschen - Cakes in BloomFlower designs

Okay- deep breath. The flowers covered are Spring blossom, purple Pansies, Frangipani, Carnation Pomanders, Roses and Lily of the valley, Snowballs, Dahlias, Daisy wreath, tumbling hydrangeas, roses and violets, Iceland poppies, White rose and petals, Ombre petals, Sweetpea posy, English garden roses, Climbing Cosmos, Peonies, Chrysanthemum trees, white Orchids, Blush Anemones, Vintage blooms, cherry blossom, Camellia Lace and Floral cascade!!!

Peggy Porschen - Cakes in BloomBaking and icing basics

I really like the ‘planning ahead’ section on what you should do on each day. I need to adhere to this a bit more. There’s also details on baking tools, how to line a cake tin, the cake recipes including butter creams, how to layer cakes, covering cakes with marzipan and sugar paste. How to dowel a cake, ice a cake board, then there’s a whole section on royal icing.

Quantity guides

These pages show you how much ingredients you need for different cake tin sizes, how much sugar paste, marzipan, ganache etc you need for different cakes.

Sugar flower glossary

Just in case you don’t know how to do a technique Peggy explains it in full in this section. Dusting anyone?


Where to buy Peggy’s tools and equipment

The book is really beautifully laid out. Loads of space and load of amazing pictures. The step by step shots for each arrangement are really, really thorough. I’ve been sent quite a few ‘how to make flower’ books for review here on but none of them have been good enough to feature. I have to say that EVERY step is covered in this book. There’s no guess work. Anyone can make these flowers – just make sure you leave yourself enough time!

So armed with all of this information don’t you just want to have a play at flowers? I reckon this book will be a good Christmas present so if you have a list (well it is November after all) then I would pop this on it. You won’t be disapointed!

Oh and just in case you wanted to see my cake with my first attempt at Peggy Porschen flowers on it. Here it is. Not bad for a first attempt.Flower cake

EmmaMT x

Cakes in Bloom: Exquisite Sugarcraft Flowers for All Occasions by Peggy Porschen, £25 published by Quadrille

Disclaimer: The product in this post was provided by  Quadrille Publishing All thoughts and opinions and entirely my own.

Top 10 baking books, the one’s you’ll want under your tree.

TOP 10 baking book giftsYou can never have enough baking books can you? Every one has something different to taste and each one can inspire a whole meal, cake or just give you that excited feeling we get when we find something that just makes out mouth water. This list is a combination of the ones I have that I reach for all the time and the ones that I really want to get my hands on. They would all make the perfect last-minute Christmas gift so, in no particular order….

1. Lorraine Pascale:

A lighter way to bake

A Lighter Way to Bake

This is one of those books that’s at the top of my wish list. There’s something very fresh and exciting about Lorraine’s recipes. The book is broken up into Breakfast and brunch with recipes like raspberry and banana no-knead bread and Apple and apricot spiced hot cross buns then goes on with Bread -Honey and oat bread anyone? , Savoury bakes like butternut squash, basil and onion Quiche, then Puddings and desserts– I fancy the plum and almond frangipane tarts with sticky Amaretto glaze- how good do they sound?  Cakes– there are ten to choose from, Cookies and traybakes – I’m really into tray bakes at the mo. Teatime treats – these are cupcakes recipes, meringue kisses and scones. Mmmmm, Special occasions and entertaining these are recipes for parties and Christmas. The Cashew, cranberry and spice biscotti caught my eye. Pastry and basics – ooooh sweet honey shortcrust pastry. I want some!

So in other words it’s jam packed. Just a quick“click to look inside this book” on Amazon with all the beautiful pictures and I was hooked!

2. The Humming bird Bakery cookbook

The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

This is a book I had my eye on for quite a while, but as I’m not a huge fan of cupcakes I didn’t get it till really recently. I’m so glad I did. I think the reason I’m not a huge fan of cupcakes is because I’m never happy with how they turn out. This book puts an end to all that!

It’s broken up into more than just cupcake recipes. There are cupcakes – obviously, cakes, pies, brownies and bars, muffins and cookie recipes and I have to admit that it is so much better than I was expecting. I thought it would just be more of what you can get in the shop and it is – but more!

The recipes look really delicious and there are so many to choose from. You can put inches on your hips just drooling over the pages. The lemon Meringue pie looks particularly appealing as does the chocolate cheese cake (an old favourite of mine)and the nutty apple loaf.  They can keep the green tea cup cake though! I’ll stick to the pumpkin ones and black bottom cupcakes instead.

I think this is going to become another fave on my cookery book shelf. I’ll report back!

3. Delia’s Cakes

Delia’s Cakes

How do I only own one Delia book and that is the ‘How to cook’ which I picked up for 99p at a charity shop! This is a book I should have! It was first published in 1977 so it’s 35 years in print means her recipes can definitely stand the test of time! This new edition with it’s modern day makeover has been tested for gluten free recipes too which is brilliant. I’m always looking for good gluten free recipes.

Delia Smith has a way of explaining the reasons why we mix/whisk/fold a cake to get the best results. The book has loads of beautiful photography show casing her recipes. The sections are Sponge cakes, loaf cakes, family cakes, little cakes, muffins, biscuits, chocolate cakes, celebration cakes and dessert cakes.

 I NEED this book.

4. Great British Bake Off: Everyday

Great British Bake Off: Everyday: Over 100 Foolproof Bakes (The Great British Bake Off)

I have to say that I have two of the British Bake off books from the first two series The Great British Book of Baking: 120 best-loved recipes from teatime treats to pies and pasties and The Great British Bake Off: How to turn everyday bakes into showstoppers and I refer to both of them all the time. I’m not normally one to go back for more of the same type of book when it comes to baking books, but I admit that I am hooked. I have found the cakes from both these books and this latest additon to be easy to make and taste amazing, always coming out perfectly so I was really keen to get my hands on this one. They also have really good food (not cake) recipes with delicious flavouring. Something I need to learn more of.  Watch out pies. I’m coming to get you! 


5. Mary Berry’s Baking bible

Mary Berry’s Baking Bible

I love, love, love this book! It’s one of my favorite baking books ever. It really is my bible (that and The New Complete International Jewish Cookbook but I don’t want to put a Jewish cooking book here on a Christmas list!)

It’s my first point of reference whenever I want to bake something quick, easy and that I know will turn out well. It has so many recipes (over 250) that you will always find something new. I did a more thorough review on this book which you can find here, but trust me it’s worth every penny.

6. Paul Hollywood, Bread

Paul Hollywood’s Bread

Would you believe that in the Top 10 baking books on Amazon this Christmas, the Mary Berry/ Paul Hollywood/ British Bake off books total six. SIX!!! So it stands to reason that they know their stuff.

I have Paul Hollywood’s How to Bake book which I really liked (you can see the full review of that book here) I haven’t baked much bread,- compared with cakes, but after attempting a few from his book and having a lot of fun/mishaps when making brioche recently I am now more keen than ever. I love the way Paul explains everything in such easy to understand detail. I will make beautiful breads and this is the book to help me!

7.The Cake decorating bible, Juliet Sear

The Cake Decorating Bible: Simple steps to creating beautiful cupcakes, biscuits, birthday cakes and more

I reviewed this book when it first came out back in February this year and have refered to it often when making cakes. It’s great for cake decorating novices and experts alike. Full of inspiration and great hints and tips. It’s also really beautifully shot which makes it a winner in my book. With so many celebrity baking books on the shelves this is probably a more unusual Christmas gift which is why I think it’s a winner.

8. Leiths: How to cook or

Leiths Baking bible

Leiths How to Cook (Leiths School/Food & Wine)

Leiths Baking Bible

I was given the Leiths Baking bible for my birthday by the team at Woman & Home a few years ago and what isn’t in this book you just don’t need to know! It is huge and packed with tons and tons of recipes for ANYTHING you may want to bake. It’s really detailed and explains how things work and why they don’t, why you should and shouldn’t do certain things, what gluten does to the flour/eggs etc. It’s the kind of book you will pass on to your kids as it has everything in it you could possible need. So, when the How to cook book came out I wanted to get it for the same reason. It has everything in it from how to boil an egg to how to prepare fish/meat/poultry – even how to carve!  Each stage is explained – which when it comes to cooking I really need.   It has over 500 recipes in it and I’ve made loads from it. You can see my full review of the book here

9. Peggy Porschen

Boutique Baking: Delectable Cakes, Cupcakes and Teatime Treats

I love Peggy Porschen. Her attention to detail is exquisite. This book has both amazingly designed cakes and biscuits as well as her delicious recipes. Her Lemon Limoncello cake recipe is one of my biggest hitting posts. Her recipes are seriously mouth watering.

The book is packed full of beautiful ideas and the photography is lovely. Real eye candy. Here’s my detailed review

10. Mich Turner’s Cake Masterclass

Mich Turner’s Cake Masterclass: The Ultimate Guide to Cake Decorating Perfection

This is another book I refer to often, especially when I am baking a celebration cake. Mich’s books have tons of really useful information in them like the different amounts of marzipan needed to cover a cake or sugarpaste to cover a cake board. She has really easy to follow steps on how to create a beautiful cake and her designs are just beautiful. The book also has everything you need to know from lining a cake tin to the essential kit you need. There’s a good reason it’s called the ‘Cake Masterclass’.

Mich’s cake recipes (which come with the amounts of ingredients needed for different size cake tins) are really yummy. There are chocolate cakes, moist fruit cakes – my favorite one ever and the only recipe I use, cupcakes and tea cakes.  I made her chocolate and cherry cake for one of the layers in my sister-in-law’s wedding cake and it was deeeelish.

This is the perfect gift for a keen baker or cake decorator. I highly recommend it, if only for the eye candy.


So there you have it. Which one’s do you want? Which one’s do you have? Or are there some that I have missed off that you think should be there? Leave a comment and let me know. I’d love to know what’s on your list?



Cook Book review: Leiths How to Cook

Leiths 'How to Cook' book review
Every now and again I come across a cook book that is just fab. A real authority on everything cooking and baking. This is one of those books. It’s thick. I mean it’s really, really heavy. In fact to prove a point I have weighed it and it is 2.3kg. Now that is a whole lotta recipes! Over 500 to be precise. And I have to say that I really like it.

It’s not my normal kind of cookery book, because let’s face it, my normal kind is a baking book and doesn’t need to mention fish or veg or meat. Cakes, bakes and cookies are all I’m really interested in and do you want to know why? It’s because I can’t cook. Nope not at all! I have a theory that people can either bake or cook (have I said that before?) When we have people over Tim always does all the cooking and I do all the baking. We’re a good team. But this book may just change all that.

The book

When Leith’s say ‘How to cook’ they really do mean it. It’s basic Emma proof cooking. My fear when cooking is that I will under/over do something and kill someone wth food poisoning but this book explains everything in such a clear and simple and non-condescending manner that even I could do it. Cook well- not kill someone.

Leiths 'How to Cook' book review

The book is basically set out like a study course and takes you through each area subject by subject. There are loads of practical step by step photos which really help when you don’t know your roux from your bain marie. I like the way it explains how to do everything from scratch from how to clean and prepare as well as cook veg, fish, poultry and meat. It also explains how to know when your meat is cooked to perfection. (That’s my biggest cooking fear!) There’s a handy section at the back on how much to serve from a ‘catering’ point of view- 300ml for soup, 350g per person for chicken breast etc. It takes the guess work out of entertaining.

The contents

These are the areas covered in this book

  • Vegetables- everything from prep to cutting. French onion soup here I come.
  • Stocks and sauces – I reckon once you know how to do these you can make anything.
  • Eggs (did I ever mention eggs are my favorite food? The poached eggs here look page licking good)
  • Pasta, rice, pulses and grains- Oh just pile the pounds on now why don’t you? Tim won’t let me make rice. We have to buy those microwave packet ones as my rice always turns out a bit soggy, but maybe it’s time to try again.
  • Shellfish- Not stricktly kosher – well not at all kosher, but Tim tells me these look good.
  • Fish- Now they make the preparing raw fish look easy but I’ve never successfully managed to do this even though I know what to do. A sharp knife is essential I think. The recipes sound amazing. I want to make Hot smoked trout with roasted beetroot and watercress.
  • Poultry and feathered game- I love to find new recipes for Chicken and the Jerk chicken salad looks right up my street.
  • Meat- Who knew there was so much you could do with a piece of beef?
  • Pastry- Yay
  • fruit and puddings- double yay
  • Bread, biscuits and cakes- How do you know when you are at the right elasticity with your bread dough or when it has risen enough? Just look at the step shots. It’s easy. When it comes to cakes this book has all the old faithfuls – no surprises which I think is a shame, but as this book is all about learning the correct techniques I suppose this isn’t such a bad point.
  • Reference – including a glossary of cooking terms, kitchen tools and equipment, Food hygiene in the kitchen and catering quantities


The best section

So, it’s no surprise which section I turned to first. The pastry. And I think for me this is the section that really sells the book. I have my favorite pastry recipes and use them time and time again but every single time I watch ”The Great British Bake off’ I come away thinking “Oh I must try that rough puff/ shortcrust/ Pâte sucrée. Well  with the step by step photos for making each type of pastry shown so clearly now I can’t wait to start. The way they are described just makes you want to make, pie after tart after flan. I love the detailed how, what, why and where of each section but with pastry, bread and cakes it really helps to understand what is going on at each stage and why you need to take certain actions. It’s all that science of baking stuff that helps you to become a better baker.

Leiths 'How to Cook' book review

So, I give this book a double thumbs up and can’t wait to get started. Luckily you can too as the lovely publishers Quadrille have given me an extract from the book for the Lemon Tart (as seen above) which is made with pâte sucrée. It’s just a tiny part of a massive book but I bet is whet’s your appetite!


Leiths How to Cook (Quadrille, £30). Photograph: Peter Cassidy.

Available on AMAZON

Book review: Cheesecake – by Hannah Miles

CheesecakeThis Wednesday is one of Tim’s favorite Jewish festivals. It’s Shavout. Now he’s not religious. In fact he’s not even Jewish!  And  I don’t think he could tell you what Shavout is all about. But he knows which cake goes with which festival and for Shavout it’s Cheesecake. Tim loves cheescake. So, you can imagine how happy I was to receive this new book Cheesecake, by Hannah Miles, Ryland, Peters and Small publishers  in the post last week.

Buy it on Amazon here!

 Hannah Miles was a finalist on Masterchef back in 2007 and has since written loads of mouth watering books including The Gluten-free Baker: Delicious Baked Treats for the Gluten IntolerantDoughnutsPopcorn Treats and Mini Cakes to name just a few. Let’s just say she’s been pretty busy!

The latest book has ’60 classic and original recipes for heavenly desserts’. Each page has the most yummy looking cheesecake. I seriously want to try them all. There are some really clever concoctions and mixtures in here that I would never have thought of.

I decided to let Tim choose which cake I would make this year for Shavout from the book. Would it be Sticky Toffee cheesecake or Key lime pie cheesecake? Or maybe something really different like salty honeycake cheesecake? Nope! He wants a New York cheesecake – complete with added black cherries. What is it they say? You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him step away from his favorite flavour! So New York it is!

So, What’s in the book? 

Well there are tons and tons of great recipes including baked, fridge and gelatine based cakes. Most gelatines aren’t kosher so I haven’t tried any of those yet, but as I love a baked Cheesecake the most I don’t think it’s going to be a problem!



I love it when an author spells out exactly what it is she uses for her ingredients. It’s also great to have the bare basics explained – ie what the different types of cheescakes are and how they are made. This is the part of the book that teaches us the most I think. It’s what I read while enjoying my breakfast each morning. Planning my day. Escaping into a world of cream cheesey yumminess!

Classic Cheesecakes

Vanilla, Fruits of the forest, Raspberry ripple to name just a few!

Cheesecake, by Hannah Miles

Fruity cheesecakes

These flavours are not what you would expect- Champagne rhubarb cheesecake, Lemon meringue cheesecake, Caramalised banoffee cheesecake are just a few that look really moreish.

Cheesecake, by Hannah Miles

Candy bar cheesecakes

Now these will really whet your appetite – Rocky road cheesecake, Honeycomb cheesecake, Chocolate hazelhut cheesecake (that’s what I would have chosen to make first!)

Cheesecake, by Hannah Miles

Gourmet cheesecakes

These are the ones I would make for a dinner party to impress! Chocolate chilli cheesecake, Hibiscus, raspberry and pomegranate cheesecake or Crème brȗlèe cheesecake.

Cheesecake, by Hannah Miles

Party Cheesecakes

Trifle cheesecake (Oooohhh nom nom nom!), Baked Alaska cheesecakes, Cheesecake pops. These ones are something else!Cheesecake, by Hannah Miles


Around the world cheesecakes

For an interesting twist on cheesecakes these look yummy. American pumpkin cheesecake, Greek Baklava cheesecake, Polish cheesecake and Black forest cheesecake – I think Tim must have missed that one!

Cheesecake, by Hannah Miles

So, to sum up…

This book is yummy. It doesn’t have any of those odd or wacky flavours you often find in books on just one type of cakes – like the cook has run out of ideas and has had a look in her kitchen cupboards for inspiration and thought ‘I know, I’ll make tea flavoured cheesecake’ – I have a book with tea flavoured cheesecake in it! Every single cake looks amazing and is really straightforward to make. There aren’t any difficult to get ingredients and for those that are less run of the mill Hannah makes alternative suggestions.  We couldn’t get clotted cream so we just used double cream- that sort of thing.

In all I think this is going to become my dinner party favorite cook book. Whenever we have anyone over I am going to make a different cheesecake because everyone loves a cheesecake… don’t they?

Cheesecake by Hannah Miles is published by Ryland Peters & Small at £16.99 and is available from


Strawberry Tarts from ‘Cook It, step by step’

Strawberry tarts- 'Cook it'Yesterday I reviewed the kids cook book Cook It , Step by Step by Dk  and today I am thrilled to be able to share a recipe extract straight from the book with you all.  How good do these Strawberry tarts look? Kids will love to make them.


Strawberry tarts recipe

These pretty pastries taste as good as they look! You can also make them with other types of soft fruit.


• 225g (8oz) ready-made shortcrust pastry

• 150g (51/2 oz) mascarpone cheese

• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract •

2 tbsp icing sugar

• 175g (6oz) strawberries or other soft fruit

• 4 tbsp redcurrant jelly •

15ml (1 tbsp) water


Preheat the oven to 200 ̊C (400 ̊F/Gas 6). Thinly roll out the pastry, then using the fluted cutter, cut out 8 circles. Press the pastry circles into a bun tin.

Strawberry tarts- 'Cook it'

Line the cases with baking parchment and fill them with dried beans. Cook for 10 minutes, then remove the beans. Return to the oven for 3 minutes. Cool in the tin

Strawberry tarts

Transfer the cases to a cooling rack. Place the cheese and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Sift over the icing sugar, then beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.

Strawberry tarts- 'Cook it'

Place the strawberries on a chopping board. Remove the green stalks from the strawberries. Then use a knife to cut them in half or quarters if they are large.

Strawberry tarts- 'Cook it'

When the pastry cases are completely cool, use a teaspoon to fill them with the mascarpone and vanilla mixture. Arrange the strawberries over the top.

Strawberry tarts

Place the redcurrant jelly in a small pan with the water and cook over a low heat, stirring until the jelly has dissolved. Brush this over the strawberries.

Strawberry tarts



Cook it, step by step – book review

COOK IT book review



Every now and again I come across a kids cook book that is really excellent.Cook It Step by Step – Learn to cook 100 easy recipes’ by Dorling Kindersley is that kind of a book.  It’s got lots of fabulous meal ideas, uses ‘grown up’ flavours and original ideas – not the usual cheesy jacket potatoes and vegetable skewers, and it’s bursting with recipes you’ll want to try yourself let alone let the kids have a go at. It’s the perfect find for any school holiday entertainment.


So what’s in this book

Let me start by saying that this book isn’t for little kids. It’s aimed at older kids (and by that I mean 7 year olds upwards) There’s no ‘ask an adult for help’ plastered all over each cooked recipe, just a simple warning sign, so I think it’s good for young teens too. Beau, who’s 9, couldn’t put it down and has flicked through every page whilst eating her breakfast for a whole week. My sister (who is a little older than 9 !!!!!) also couldn’t put it down.

As you would expect it’s packed full of helpful advice on healthy eating, kitchen hygiene, what equipment you’ll need, and most importantly a really easy to follow ‘ways to cook’ section with everything from how to chop and peel to bake and roast. All the fundamentals for an inquisitive young mind.

Ways to cook, Dorling Kindersley

The chapters

Breakfast bites

Eggy bread, how to cook an egg( four ways), smoothie and fruit bar recipes. Not a boring cereal in sight!


Light bites

Some of the recipes in this section are the kind of ‘throw it all together and it will taste great’ variety, but as a young cook you need to learn how to do this,  so this has some great, simple dishes, picnic and tuna salads, soups and more difficult breads and pizza dough.

Cook book


Main meals

Simple dishes like hotpots and pasta feature here with every kids fave – lasagna, but a vegetable one. Jambalaya (a Cajun rice dish) looks mouth-wateringly good as do the fish cakes. I love the recipe for BBQ chicken in this chapter, but it’s the slow roasted tomatoes from the ‘Tomato and aubergine layers’ that I made first. I can’t stand aubergine – it’s a texture thing – but I love, love, love tomatoes, even when they take 2-3 hours in the oven!  (n.b. please note that when it says ‘cook tomatoes for 2-3 hours at a low temperature’ don’t rush it like I did with a high temp. You end up with very burnt – although not too bad tasting toms!)


Sweet things

Now we’re talking! Strawberry tarts, four ways with cookies, brownies and fridge cake all look delish but it’s the meringue crowns that caught my eye. Such a clever idea.

Meringue crowns

Other chapters include:-

Planning a party, a three course meal and picnic time.


What I like about the book

As well as being a great cook book for kids, it’s got a fantastic range of recipes for adding a bit of diversity to their diets- maybe even making them a little braver in their choices. I don’t know what other kids are like but if mine make or bake food they are ten times more likely to eat it. It’s also great for giving us mum’s some inspiration on what to cook at tea time. I love that!

Diversity aside – there are also all the basic recipes – roast chicken, burgers, beef pasta (or spag bol to you and me!) and chilli con carne , all of which are good for kids to learn know how to make.

The layout throughout is really clear and the tone is perfect – not at all condescending and not at all confusing. I think we’ll be using this one for a long time to come.

Cook It Step by step by Dorling Kindersley available from 



p.s. I just want to apologise for the dark grey/blueness of the photos in this post. It just goes to show you how dull the weather has been here in the UK – and that I have absolutely no idea how to work my camera! I really do need to sort that out! 



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