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