Recipes from an Indian Kitchen
The Juice Bar
Christmas has come and gone and we’re all turkeyed out (well our house is at least!). 2014 has officially got under way and it brings with it new ideas and great times (we hope!). The folks over at Parragon sent me these 2 fab books as part of their book buddy scheme.
The Juice Bar has loads of ideas for those of you who have made New Year’s resolutions to get healthy, get fit and detox. There are plenty of juice making ideas to give your body the boost it needs with mouth-watering drinks.
If you’re not specifically looking for healthy options, but just some inspriration of something different or to use up fruit and veg that you have about, then this is a great place to find it.
Recipes from an Indian Kitchen is my favourite out of these 2 books. It too is filled with vibrant colours and photos that make you want to scratch the page and sniff the rich aromas of spices and ingredients.
It is jam packed with loads of hints and tips from how long the prep and cooking times are to ingredients that can be replaced if you can’t find the specified one in the recipe.
***sponsored review – I was given these books as part of a book buddy scheme***
My October Book Buddy book is an interesting one and thank you to the Parragon folk for sending it to me. As you can see it’s called ‘Make it in a Jar‘ and with the winter months coming it would make a great present for Christmas (either the book or making a jar from the recipes in said book!)
I love the insipiration it provides to turn a possibly boring recipe into something more. Take the Rainbow Cakes above – when the boys saw this recipe they couldn’t stop gushing over the bright colours (and what a lovely idea for a kiddy party!).
There are also some lovely gift ideas as in…create a jar with the basic ingredients and pop a pretty ribbon on and give it to a friend with a couple of instructions and voila! A useful (tasty) gift for when they are ready to use.
One or two of the Make in a Jar ideas are a little bit far off for my mind to get around – the salad in a jar being one of them but the concept of using a jar instead of plastic tubs for picnics might be something for the greener minded folks.
So, if you are finding that your baking ideas are the same over and would like some inspiration for something a little different or a gift with a difference that your family and friends might enjoy – I give this a thumbs up on both counts.
I recently joined the Parragon Book Buddy review club and as I have a 7 year old who appears to want to know facts and be told a lot of facts, I asked if they could send me a book aimed at older children. I am delighted to say that I was quite pleased when Dinsoaurs Encyclopedia popped through the letter box.
Our boys seem to think I lived in the age of the dinosaurs and well when they see what I survived during that period – it may make them stop and think that perhaps I am a little bit on the young side with 2013 being a few thousand years on 😉
What I like about this encyclopedia is that it’s great for the boys to learn about dinosaurs but also not too simplistic that an adult won’t mind reading with them. It’s packed with facts, diagrams and loads of images. In fact, the diagrams have lovely little details like ‘ Bones with tiny swellings, found in 2007, show that the Velocriaptor definitely had feathers!’ or locations of where species were found.
It does truly bring the prehistoric world to life and is written in a timeline which also helps to put things into context.
I also found it quite a tactile book. The photo of the Caudipteryx above has what looks like a crack or fold on the left hand page. I went to feel it and it’s part of the background. There are other pages which have a similar feel and we couldn’t help but run our fingers along them.
We like this book and give it a 2 thumbs up. You can find it on amazon Dinosaur Encyclopedia
The lovely folk over at Parragon Books were very kind in giving me a couple of recipe / cookbooks at a recent conference and here is my take on them :
Mama’s Family Cookbook – Family recipes from the Italian Kitchen
I really loved the style and ‘easy goingness’ (new word I know!) of this recipe book. I like the way the ingredients are easy to spot and you don’t have to trawl through the recipe to make sure you haven’t forgotten to add anything to your shopping list. Anyone who knows my cooking style will understand that KISS (keep it simple stupid) is my motto!
Every now and then they have thrown in a ‘Mama’s tip’ which are lovely snippets eg. A basic pizza dough recipe or reminding the cook not to scrimp on pizza toppings!
If you or your family are not really into Italian type food – then this book probably won’t be for you. That said – I reckon there is something for everyone’s palate in here. Gets a triple thumbs up from me!
Vegetarian – the perfect guide to meat free meals – Step by Step
Now if you thought I liked Mama’s Family Cookbbook a lot…well this veggie step by step guide completely blew me away. I have to be honest and confess that I don’t have ANY vegetarian specific recipe books in our house and I am so glad to say that now I do!
It does what it says on the cover and literally provides step by step illustrations/photo’s to reassure whoever is cooking that they are doing the right thing and well if they aren’t I spose.
It’s eye catching and provides great inspiration for days when you don’t feel like eating meat or alternatively (in my case) for providing a great base to add your chosen meat to. It’s also nice to see that the veggie option isn’t the ‘boring’ option.