This is a great introductory cookbook for students. It’s the kind of book I would have like to have when I was at university. I left university only 4 years ago so remember my student days quiet well. I never had a student cookbook or any cookbook for that matter. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t live on take aways and pot noodles! I think I ate quiet well for a student (I dread to think what my boyfriend lived off!) but I didn’t cook anything which required a recipe either. My mum taught me the basics of how to cook meat and 2 veg before I left home. In addition to this I ate pasta with sauces from jars, frozen pizzas and the occasional ready meal (yes I’m a shamed to say I even ate the frozen Sunday roast ready meals!).
I received my review copy of this cookbook one morning last week and had a quick flick through the book before heading off to work. First impressions were good, lots of bright, colourful pictures and the food all looked delicious. I did initially think some of the recipes were very basic (boiled egg and soldiers, boiling pasta and baking jacket potatoes) but then I remembered my flatmate who set a jacket potato on fire in the microwave! or my boyfriend who admits that his parents tried to teach him to cook before going off to uni but he just wasn’t interested in learning.
Since those initial first impressions I have had time to sit down and have a good read through the book and also my boyfriend tested a couple of recipes. This is a really good book for students or anyone moving out of home for the first time and having to learn to cook for themselves. As well as the real basics there is a good variety of recipes. From risottos to curries, smoothies to vodka watermellon and even a birthday cake. All meals are covered breakfasts, packed lunches, quick suppers, meals for friends and baking. There is even an introduction to basic kitchen equipment, store cupboard ingredients and basic hygiene. The format of the book is very unique with easy to follow comic strip style recipes with photos of every step of the process. Great for anyone completely new to the kitchen.
At the weekend my boyfriend tested out the chilli con carne recipe and followed the instructions in the book for cooking rice (something he had not cooked before). The chilli recipe serves 8 so is great for cooking for a group of friends or in our case freezing in to portions of 2 for when time is short. The result was delicious and his feed back was that the recipes were very clear and easy to understand.I would not hesitate to recommend this book to some one heading off to university this autumn. It’s easy to follow, assumes no prior cooking skills (yet doesn’t sound patronising or preachy) and is packed full of delicious recipes for every eventuality.