Make it Easy Cookbook: Foolproof, Stylish and Delicious Do-Ahead Recipes by Jane Lovett
IMM Lifestyle Books
Who is it for? Busy cooks who want to serve up impressive food for friends but don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen while everyone else is having fun.
Easy to follow? Super-clear one page recipes written in a simple-to-understand and approachable manner. Jane Lovett runs regular cookery demonstrations so is a master at communicating her style of cooking.
The book has everything covered with chapters on soups and starters, weekend lunches, vegetables and salads, fish & shellfish, meat, poultry and desserts. I love the final chapters on quick nibbles & drinks (iced lemon vodka anyone?!) and bits, bobs & basics.
Each recipe has extra tips and hints for getting ahead which is what this book is all about. It’s those little tips that will take the stress out of entertaining.
Photography/Styling: Simple and elegant styling that gives you the impression that these recipes are achievable. Jane’s emphasis on using good quality ingredients is evident, as the food really sings out from the fuss-free settings. My only criticism is that i’d liked to have seen a photograph with every recipe, as I like to know what something looks like before I try cooking it – especially if it’s something i’ve never made before.
Most likely to cook… I adore simple indulgent food for making a feast for friends, and there’s plenty to choose from in Jane’s book. The fricassee of chicken and wild mushrooms which is described as ‘intense, rich, creamy and velvety’ sounds super seductive and it can be made completely in advance and frozen. Sold!
The plum frangipane tarts look elegant and are just the kind of dessert I love.
I can certainly see myself making the sticky spiced nuts to pop into jars and dotting around the house for Christmas drinks.
There’s an incredible recipe for bubble and squeak cakes with smoked haddock, fried eggs and bacon which sorts out what we’ll be having for New Year’s Day brunch.
I’m making myself very hungry so i’d better stop there.
Least likely to cook… Lamb’s liver schnitzel. Have been put off liver for life after school dinners.
Would you buy it for a friend? I think my friends would really appreciate this kind of book, so yes I would. It’s an incredibly practical collection of recipes – not the kind of over-priced hipster tome that will languish on a coffee table, but the sort that will very quickly become spattered with whatever’s bubbling on the hob because you use it so much.
Rating out of 10: I’m giving it a 9 – I can sense i’ll go back to this book again and again for inspiration when we’ve got guests coming over. Make-ahead recipes are my absolute favourite – especially with the festive season approaching!
Find out how I got on when I cooked the Tartiflette from Jane’s book – read the recipe post here