Friday, 3 February 2012

Home Cooking Made Easy by Lorraine Pascale

This one is the second cookbook offering from Lorraine PascaleHome Cooking Made Easy published by Harper Collins in 2011. A follow up to her Baking Made Easy, which I loved. It’s a tie in book for her four part Home Cooking Made Easy TV series also from 2011. There are a lot more recipes in the book than were featured on the series though.

I’m never sure if having a great first book is a help or hindrance. On the one hand you are likely to get the second one if the first one has been good; but then the second one has a lot to live up to.

Home Cooking Made Easy is a nice book, done in the same style as the first one. Plenty of pictures, glossy clean pages, colourful chapter heading pages and easy recipes. Chapters are * Starters, Soups Canapes & Snacks* Breads* Mains* Vegetables & Vegetarian* Desserts* Cakes & Cookies* and *Sweets, Jams and Other Good Stuff*. It has a bit of a cold weather food vibe going on with it, offering up mostly warming and comforting dishes.

There are many savoury recipes to tempt with classics like chilli con carne and lasagne, plus others with a little spin like Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Chilli & Ginger, Twenty-first Century Ham, Cheese & Chive Bread, Pad Thai, Oven Roast Salmon with a Mustard & Parsley Crust, Paprika Baked Fish with Chorizo, Quick Brown Sugar & Spring Onion Chicken Teriyaki, Lemon and Thyme and Not-so-slow Roast Leg of Lamb with Thyme and Plum Gravy.

Where Lorraine really shines for me though is still with her sweet desserts and baking recipes, she definitely has a great touch with these. She makes them easy and a little bit different too. Some of the sweet recipes I’ve marked to try are: Shameless, Flourless, Moist and Sticky Chocolate Cake, Extra Gooey Pecan Pie with Brown Sugar Pastry, Steamed Chocolate Pudding with warm Mars Bar Sauce, Peanut Butter Truffles, Peppermint Creams Sugar Rush and the beautiful Graffiti Cake. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if I do a second helping post from this book.

For this book and more inspiration do have a look at Waterstones cookbook selection here. Now to my first makes:

‘Oat Couture’ Granola Bars

These were good. They are a flapjack type bar with pumpkin seeds, raisins, pecans and maple syrup. I loved the deep almost smokiness that the maple syrup brought here.

Creamy Pancetta Pasta with Mushrooms and Parmesan

On TV Lorraine made it with a home-made cracked black pepper pasta rather than plain pasta. It did say you could use normal pasta, but we thought it was a bit blah like that. I’d like to give it a go with the flavoured pasta though, as I think it would make all the difference. The recipe is here.

Chocolate Digestive Cheesecake with White Icing

Boy oh boy this was a rich cheesecake! If you like your chocolate very rich and creamy this one is for you. It was a bit too rich for us and the base turned out crumbly too. I did start out doing the feathered design that Lorraine did on TV and in the picture in the book, but my hand was so shakey that night I had to resort to something a lot more abstract! If you fancy it the recipe is here.

Chocolate Marshmallow Brown Sugar Fudge

I’ve saved the best till last, we as a family loved this fudge. I love to cook and bake, but there is something about making home-made confectionary that really appeals to me. This was a really lovely chocolate fudge, you couldn’t eat too much of it (a good thing!) it really hit the spot. I played about with sweet making quite a bit when I was a teenager and have tried a number of chocolate fudge recipes in the past; and this is the only chocolate one I would make again… and I do so need to make it again! The recipe is here.

Next Up: Tea and Cake


Coby said...

I've seen this book about but not yet picked it up to browse Kelly-Jane, I've never heard of the autor. Maybe she's not on our screens here in Aus yet, or perhaps only on pay tv (which I don't have). You are always so clever at showing me the right book at the right time. I love the titles of these recipes, they make you want to look further. I've cut back heaps on my baking, but even so, the regular meals sound tempting to me. Thanks for the info - your dishes look wonderful - I love abstract;)

Maria♥ said...

Kelly, I have this book and love it. One of my favourite recipes from the book is the creamy pasta with mushroom and pancetta!

Must try that cheesecake and fudge, they both look yummy!


Brownieville Girl said...

I have seen this book reduced in our local bookshop - must go and look at it properly, it sounds excellent.

Thanks Kelly-Jane

missflash said...

I like this book but prefer her baking made easy. Have got her creamy pasta with mushrooms and pancetta on my to cook list week beginning 20th. Her chicken teryaki from this book is delicious x

Maggie said...

I like Lorraine Pascale she just gets on with everything in a methodical way. Everything looks delicious.

Kelly-Jane said...

Thanks for your comments, Miss Flash, I'll have a look at the chicken teriyaki :)

jo_taylor_x said...

I wish I knew the calories for the recipes. I've made the pumpkin seed flapjack but no idea how many calories are in it... any ideas?