Sunday, May 13, 2012

What's for Dinner? Second Helpings - Review

What's for Dinner? Second Helpings has been written by mum of four, Romilla Arber.  It is the only cookery book in the UK where all sale proceeds go directly to charity.  The Food Education Trust is a charity, established by Romilla in 2008 to promote the benefits of a balanced home cooked diet, through the teaching of cooking skills to children and adults. One of the projects the Trust has been involved with enabled a school to build and equip a kitchen.  They now have cookery classes where members of the community go into school and help, a cookery club and also a breakfast club for the children.  The Food Education Trust is currently funded by the profits from her previous book What's for Dinner? 

Romilla Arber isn't a chef, she is a busy mum of four children and she recognises the need to cook healthy food for her family.  There are 767 pages in the book and features a recipe for every day, every week and every month of the year.  All of the photographs in the book are outstanding and there is a photograph to accompany the majority of the recipes.  This is a book for the home cook and will help with all the weekly meal plans.  The recipes are put together with a balanced diet in mind - plenty of fresh vegetables, four meat meals a week, regular amounts of fish, pulses and cereals.  Romilla has included lots of fabulous recipes for puddings, cakes and biscuits - home cooked are always best.

The book cover and the image of this raspberry and chocolate cake shows the quality of food styling and photography.  

The hope is that What's for Dinner?Second Helpings will inspire us to cook at home and to also plant the seed in our children's minds that cooking at home every day is a normal part of life and one of it's great pleasures.  As a Mum, albeit of grown up children, I know from experience children will never like all foods we give to them, but the opportunity to eat and experience home cooked food is always best. Romilla is very wise, and planting the seed to cook from scratch, so we know exactly what goes into the food we eat, is something children will take with them into adulthood and then pass on to their own children.

The recipes in the book are to serve six but can easily be adapted.  An example of recipes: Pork with Noodles, Thai Style - Baked Meatballs and Potatoes - Salmon Burgers - Fillet Steaks in Pastry with a Vegetable Medley.  Sunday is pudding and cake day - Baked Peaches and Raspberries with Lemon Mascarpone - Chocolate Gingerbread with Chocolate Icing - Sticky Toffee Pecan Pudding with Toffee Sauce - Chocolate Chip Cookies.

A small selection of easy to follow, everyday recipes, I cooked from the book:

Plum and Raspberry Cobbler

My fruit cobbler tasted delicious and the cobbler was light in texture, although the plums didn't seem to want to cook (ripen at home plums never ripen!),  I covered the cobbler with foil and the plums eventually cooked, my raspberries by now didn't resemble raspberries, but this is home cooked food, it still tasted delicious and was definitely worth the wait. To see the fruit cobbler looking stunningly beautiful I recommend you take a peak at the photograph in the book!

Cod and Leek Gratin

A very easy to make gratin - the sauce is simply creme fraiche and cheddar cheese mixed together. We really enjoyed this quick and delicious meal.

One-Pot Chicken Curry

This was a lovely and tasty mid-week meal. The curry wasn't too hot and adding potatoes made the curry more substantial, the addition of peas and tomatoes is an easy way to get more veg on the plate.

Leek and Blue Cheese Risotto

I love risotto, it's a great standby and can be made from just a few ingredients.  Providing you have arborio rice in the store cupboard, then recipes like this can easily be adapted. The risotto was really tasty and a winner.

Price:  £25.00
ISBN No. 978-0-95709-350-8
Park Family Publishing

Thank you Li.

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