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.
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.
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.
WIN WIN WIN!
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 http://wp.me/pU5T8-Jv 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
Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for my review copy of My Daddy Cooks