Book Review and chance to win: My Daddy Cooks by Nick Coffer

I’ve been genuinely excited about the release of Nick ‘My Daddy Cooks’ Coffer’s blog-titled recipe book.

I stumbled upon Nick’s blog when I first started out as a blogger myself last year, and was instantly won over by the hilarious videos of Nick attempting to cook meals with his toddler Archie. It was the immediate recognition that someone else was going through the same crazy kitchen antics and still managing to produce great family food that really inspired me.

Nick’s a really warm guy and I was lucky enough to be invited to be a guest on his weekend cookery show on Three Counties Radio. He can talk for Britain and has so much energy and enthusiasm for food, it’s like he can’t be anything but a success really.

So onto the book….

Who is it for?

Anyone who wants to whip up a delicious home-cooked meal for their family – with an emphasis on simplicity. Nick calls it “Tuesday evening cooking,” that doesn’t phase someone who’s knackered and quite possibly got little people snapping at their feet.

Fans of Nick’s blog will also be loving the cute pictures of Archie and warm chatty prose from his dad that feature heavily throughout the book.

Recipe count:

Easy to follow?
It’s billed as foolproof and toddlerproof so you’d hope so. The section headings are down to earth with titles like Throw It All In (Literally) and (Almost) No Cooking Required, clearly signalling that this book is a welcoming kitchen companion rather than a snooty foodie tome.

The recipes are clearly laid out, with the method in short numbered instructions which I personally prefer to wading through great paragraphs of text which are all too easy to get lost in when you’re under pressure to get dinner ready.

Nick is generous with his guidance if you’re a nervous cook and really holds your hand throughout the recipes. He’s quick to fill you in on little tips like how to remove bones from chicken legs and not to worry if you’ve not got exactly the right amount of ingredients and indeed suggestions of other things to use if you haven’t got them at all.

Family friendly?
Being a parent/foodie blogger, Nick knows his audience so he’s gone for crowd-pleasing classics along with some more adventurous recipes, but none of the ideas are lofty or require culinary skill. He doesn’t sanitise food and feels it important that children should try different tastes and textures – no hidden vegetable sauces here!

You might get the impression from the cover that this is a ‘show your kids how to cook’ type book. It’s not – it’s a book of great family recipes that you can choose to get your kids involved with and Nick makes that very clear from the get-go.

He also makes helpful suggestions of how to adapt the recipes for younger and older tastes, like holding the spices back in a curry or making two versions of the same brownie – rich and a double-indulgent rich.

Most likely to cook
Chinese lettuce wraps – kind of like tacos but with lettuce – sound surprisingly good and would make a fun weekend light lunch.

Bready scrolls look like a great alternative to sarnies for a picnic and there are endless possibilities for fillings.

Feta, mint and pea sauce – One of my favourite flavour combinations in the world – Nick clearly speaks my language!

Oven-baked risotto – I love these kind of unfussy recipes that cut many corners but still leave you with a winning result.

Least likely to cook
Baked cinnamon apples – they have always been unappealing to me – they look like baked spuds gone wrong. Sorry Nick but that’s just a bit too old-school!

Would you buy it for a friend?
I would definitely buy it for someone who had run out of kitchen inspiration in the daily quest for the perfect family meal. There are so many recipes to get through. It kind of reminds me of Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food, full of a mix of classics and adventurous ideas but above all approachable and keen to get you cooking from scratch.

Rating out of 10

My Daddy Cooks is published on 26 May 2011, Hodder & Stoughton Hardback, £16.99
An enhanced eBook will be available on publication.


Nick has kindly agreed to give me TWO copies of his book to giveaway to my readers…

1. For a chance to win please comment on this post telling me what’s your fave fool-proof family meal?

2. For a second chance to win please tweet this post Win family cook book: My Daddy Cooks by Nick Coffer @cookingkt and comment HERE telling me you have done so along with your twitter username

3. For a third chance to win please follow me @cookingkt on Twitter and comment HERE to tell me you have done so.

This giveaway is open to all readers with a UK mailing address. The winner will be chosen using an online randomiser and announced in a subsequent post. As I am allowing multiple entries the randomiser may choose the same person twice, in this case I shall pick another winner until there are two separate winners.
When commenting please leave your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win.

I am running this competition on behalf of Hodder & Stoughton
who will be responsible for sending the prizes to the winners. Their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

There is one main way to enter and several ways to get bonus entries. You must leave a separate comment for each bonus entry otherwise they will not be counted.

Closing date: 10pm Thursday, 9th June 2011

Good Luck!

Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for my review copy of My Daddy Cooks


About Katie Bryson

Katie Bryson is a freelance food writer and blogger. She left a career in online news at the BBC to immerse herself in the culinary world, taking in courses at Leiths School of Food and Wine and an internship at Waitrose along the way. Her family food blog is bursting with recipes and tips for feeding hungry families that’ll help inspire all those frazzled parents out there wondering what on earth to cook for tea!
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98 Responses to Book Review and chance to win: My Daddy Cooks by Nick Coffer

  1. Jane Willis says:

    “Caribbean chicken” – not authentically Caribbean but everybody loves it. Chicken, banana and pineapple in a very slightly curried tomato sauce.

  2. Erica says:

    Spag Bol can’t be beat.

  3. Erica says:

    Tweeted @ericahughes

  4. Erica says:

    Following you on twitter.

  5. Sally says:

    It’s really hard not to like Nick and this whole concept of cooking with his small son. Your review and others I have read all seem to agree that there are some excellent no nonsense recipes here (however high falutin your ambitions, we all need these most of the time) and a really nice bloke. It sounds like the perfect book for my teens to cook from.
    If you do pick my comment I can provide a UK address.

    • Sally says:

      Whoops – forgot to add my favourite family proof meal. Keema – spicy enough to please husband, soothing enough for teens (plus it contains peas) and a one-pot meal so I’m happy when time and energy is flagging.

  6. Hazel Rea says:

    Favourite foolproof family meal – turkey casserole (made with fresh turkey pieces, not left over turkey). It can be stretched by adding extra mushrooms etc. if necessary.

  7. Hazel Rea says:

    I have tweeted as @beachrambler.

  8. Hazel Rea says:

    I already follow you on Twitter.

  9. Lorraine Gaw says:

    Pork casserole with cider & wholegrain mustard. So easy as you can pop all the ingredients into the slow cooker (or oven if you prefer) Use whatever veg you like – we tend to use shallots, carrot & swede. Serve with a nice jacket potato – easy peasy. (Plus the pork casserole freezes well – perfect for an ’emergency’ meal!)

  10. Lorraine Gaw says:

    Have tweeted your comp @littlemissnau41

  11. Lorraine Gaw says:

    Already follow you on twitter : )

  12. Dorothee Archambault says:

    My fave fool-proof family meal is a home made quiche. It could be either Lorraine or salmon quiche.

  13. Dorothee Archambault says:

    I have tweeted the comp

  14. Dorothee Archambault says:

    I already follow you on Twitter @Dorothee77 – that’s how I heard about the comp!

  15. HELEN JESSUP says:

    favourite family meal in our house is Roast Chicken dinner – loved by everyone except me, I don’t like roast dinners so I have my chicken on a salad, everyone else eats every scrap.
    I would love to win Nick’s book

  16. HELEN JESSUP says:

    I’ve tweeted the comp

  17. HELEN JESSUP says:

    Already following on Twitter

  18. Our favourite foolproof family dinner is fish pie! The kids just wolf it down, but I suppose you can’t beat fish in cheese sauce and mashed potato (with a bit of brocolli sneaked in!) They love it and so do we.

    Have tweeted @MultipleMummy

  19. Have tweeted at @MultipleMummy!

  20. Following you on twitter. x

  21. Nina C says:

    Has to be cheese and bacon pasta (with home made cheese sauce of course). If no-one can agree on dinner, it’s the alternative everyone enjoys!

  22. Nina C says:

    Have tweeted (@nc099)

  23. Nina C says:

    Am following on twitter (@nc099)

  24. Sam Cantwell says:

    My mix-up mince; basically a mince, onion and tomato combo with any vegetable that you have leftover. This can then be served with pasta, rice or even fresh bread if you add a bit more liquid for the sauce.

  25. ali.b. says:

    Ooh thank you for the chance to win – I am always looking for inspiration in the kitchen especially for meals that we will all eat. It seems as the kids get older they are becoming more & more fussy!! Whats all that about??? Anyhoo, my family favourite meal is: Chicken dinner .. p.s. how are your york. puds coming on??

  26. Tacos are for sure our go-to meal! So easy and delicious…

  27. LouLou says:

    My favourite dinner is Roast Beef & Yorkshire Pudding(home made of course)

  28. LouLou says:

    Have tweeted you as well @ivan47

  29. LouLou says:

    I am following you on Twitter

  30. Rachael G says:

    Macaroni cheese is our foolproof recipe!

  31. Rachael G says:

    Have tweeted the tweet in step 2. (@rachiegr)

  32. Rachael G says:

    …And I now follow you on Twitter (@rachiegr)

  33. Cheryll H says:

    Toad in the Hole… nom nom 🙂

  34. Cheryll H says:

    Have tweeted @pipersky1 🙂

  35. Cheryll H says:

    Following you on Twitter @pipersky1

  36. James Spicer says:

    Tweeted @therealspizer

  37. Andy p says:

    Nice and simple but well loved by the kids…. Pasta Bake with Chicken

  38. Ashleigh says:

    probably spag bol or cottage pie!

  39. Ashleigh says:

    i have tweeted as @ashlallan

  40. Ashleigh says:

    i am following @cookingkt on twitter too as @ashlallan

  41. lucy Robinson says:

    It’s got to be spag Bol.

  42. Donna says:

    My Favourite foolproof family meal is Chilli Con Carne with Rice.

  43. Pamela Gossage says:

    Spag Bog is our family favourite

  44. Pamela Gossage says:

    I am following on Twitter

  45. Alice Hindley says:

    Favourite foolproof family meal is Sausage,Beans and Mash

  46. Alice Hindley says:

    I have Tweeted the comp on Twitter

    Tweet me @aesop57

  47. Alice Hindley says:

    I am following @cookingkt on Twitter @aesop57

  48. kim says:

    we are all a fan of chilli con carne with boiled rice and tortilla chips goes down a treat and if made more than needed gets frozen for another week all the family love it including the lil ones and simple & easy to make

  49. Solange says:

    Spag Bol

  50. Isabelle Smith says:

    following on twitter 🙂

  51. @littleboo_21 says:

    Lasagne, my family can’t get enough of it

  52. @littleboo_21 says:

    Following you on Twitter


  53. Kelly Koya says:

    Our fav is tex – mex bean lasagne. It’s made with layers of black beans and salsa, alternatived with a mixture of ricotta and mozarella – can be made in minutes and tastes delicious!

  54. Julie says:

    Vegetarian spag bol

  55. Sophie says:

    My ‘go-to’ meal is probably chilli – either veg or meat. Can make loads at once, it’ll be happy cooking for longer if people are running late, can freeze leftovers, serve it with rice/potatoes, add different things if people are being fussy about certain ingredients… in short, something for everyone!

  56. Sophie says:

    Oh, and am already following you on twitter

  57. Claire Butler says:

    My favourite fool proof family meal is cottage pie

  58. Claire Butler says:

    Im following on twitter @BBDIVA1977

  59. Claire Butler says:

    I have retweeted @BBDIVA1977


    cheesy pasta is always a quick dinner winner in our house

  61. Pearl says:

    Shepherds pie – nice and easy and yummy every time!

  62. Pearl says:

    I’m following on twitter and have retweeted! @TPAJJA

  63. Heather Shaw says:

    Our standby recipe is quorn chilli. So easy to make yet healthy and filling! @kiki_725 on twitter

  64. Heather Shaw says:

    Tweeted message above @kiki_725

  65. Heather Shaw says:

    I follow you on twitter @kiki_725

  66. Fiona M says:

    Favourite family meal is a big meaty lasagne!

  67. Fiona M says:

    I follow you on Twitter

  68. Fiona M says:

    Oh, and I retweeted you!

  69. JoJo says:

    Mince & pasta topped with cheese, simple to make & the kids love it!!

  70. JoJo says:

    Have Retweeted @MrsD_Winchester

  71. JoJo says:

    Already a follower of you on Twitter 🙂


  72. annette hanley says:

    My favourite fool proof family meal is Baked potatos can be thrown in oven and forgotton about for an hour or zapped in the microwave and filled with what ever you have in the fridge/cupboard.

  73. My family proof meal is definitely a chilli con carne- vegetarian of course then it appeals to everyone especially if you make it mild. If a huge amount of people turn up it can be expanded upon by serving with nacho’s and guacamole etc..perfect.


  74. I have tweeted your giveaway xx


  75. I have tweeted xx


  76. Katherine Coldicott says:

    My family love curry. As long as you’ve got the basics in the cupboard you can make a quick curry really easily.

  77. Lina says:

    Spaghetti cheese with spinach in the sauce.

  78. Stacey Gahan says:

    My family love garlic and chicken pasta bake, never fails.
    Followed and retweeted @pinkxxlaydee

  79. Liz Burton says:

    My favourite fool-proof meal is pasta with cheese sauce and salmon.

    Can knock it up in minutes, bung in some spinach too for a nod to the five-a-dayers – perfect!

  80. Liz Burton says:

    Tweeted @missielizzieb

  81. Liz Burton says:

    Following you on Twitter x @missielizzieb

  82. Hazel rush says:

    My favourite family meal is lasagne! Everyone always loves it!

  83. judithsbooks says:

    Casserol – cooked slowly then its full of flavour.

  84. judithsbooks says:

    Tweeted – @judithsbooks

  85. lindsey bluff says:

    tweeted this post @mashandsoph

  86. lindsey bluff says:

    our favourite family meal is homemade pizzas on a scone base with salad, yummy and simple

  87. lindsey bluff says:

    following you on twitter @mashandsoph

  88. Paul Witney says:

    We all love roast dinner.

  89. Paul Witney says:

    Have tweeted – @pepicola3

  90. Carolina J. says:

    My fave fool-proof family meal is chicken stew.

  91. Carolina J. says:

    Tweeted! (@pandcands)

    3. For a third chance to win please follow me @cookingkt on Twitter and comment HERE to tell me you have done so.

  92. Carolina J. says:

    I follow you @cookingkt on Twitter (@pandcands)

  93. Angela sandhu says:

    Good old pasta bolognese! Can’t go wrong xx

  94. Angela sandhu says:

    Tweeted comp @angiesandhu

  95. Angela sandhu says:

    Followed cookingkt on twitter @angiesandhu

  96. Sarah Ballantyne says:

    Our favourite family meals is fish pie with peas – easy to make, freezes well and everyone loves it.

  97. Sarah Ballantyne says:

    I am following you on twitter @rugbylovingmum

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