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Jamie's Dinners: The Essential Family Cookbook

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Cooking sensation Jamie Oliver returns with a cookbook designed to delight the entire family! Bestselling cookbook author Jamie Oliver takes his signature fresh, fun cooking style into new territory by putting his focus on the family. Designed to encourage us to eat healthier meals at home and enjoy our time spent in the kitchen, Jamie's Dinners features over 100 new and s Cooking sensation Jamie Oliver returns with a cookbook designed to delight the entire family! Bestselling cookbook author Jamie Oliver takes his signature fresh, fun cooking style into new territory by putting his focus on the family. Designed to encourage us to eat healthier meals at home and enjoy our time spent in the kitchen, Jamie's Dinners features over 100 new and simple recipes for easy-to-afford, easy-to-prepare gourmet dinners that will get even the busiest of families back into the kitchen. Jamie's pared-down style and inventive use of fresh, uncomplicated ingredients will ensure that even novice chefs can cook up delicious dinners with confidence and ease using accessible, stylish recipes that the whole family will love, such as Farfalle with Carbonara and Spring Peas and Japanese-Style Saturday Night Steak.


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Cooking sensation Jamie Oliver returns with a cookbook designed to delight the entire family! Bestselling cookbook author Jamie Oliver takes his signature fresh, fun cooking style into new territory by putting his focus on the family. Designed to encourage us to eat healthier meals at home and enjoy our time spent in the kitchen, Jamie's Dinners features over 100 new and s Cooking sensation Jamie Oliver returns with a cookbook designed to delight the entire family! Bestselling cookbook author Jamie Oliver takes his signature fresh, fun cooking style into new territory by putting his focus on the family. Designed to encourage us to eat healthier meals at home and enjoy our time spent in the kitchen, Jamie's Dinners features over 100 new and simple recipes for easy-to-afford, easy-to-prepare gourmet dinners that will get even the busiest of families back into the kitchen. Jamie's pared-down style and inventive use of fresh, uncomplicated ingredients will ensure that even novice chefs can cook up delicious dinners with confidence and ease using accessible, stylish recipes that the whole family will love, such as Farfalle with Carbonara and Spring Peas and Japanese-Style Saturday Night Steak.

30 review for Jamie's Dinners: The Essential Family Cookbook

  1. 4 out of 5

    MargaretDH

    When I was in University, I had the best deal in the whole world. I did all the cooking for my roommate, and she did all our dishes. I hate dishes, and she didn’t know how to cook beyond the basics of sandwich making. To be fair, I didn’t really know how to cook either, but I was eager to learn, eager not to do dishes, and I could do slightly more than make a sandwich. I can’t remember who bought me this cookbook, but it was one of the best things that ever happened to me and my roommate. If you’ When I was in University, I had the best deal in the whole world. I did all the cooking for my roommate, and she did all our dishes. I hate dishes, and she didn’t know how to cook beyond the basics of sandwich making. To be fair, I didn’t really know how to cook either, but I was eager to learn, eager not to do dishes, and I could do slightly more than make a sandwich. I can’t remember who bought me this cookbook, but it was one of the best things that ever happened to me and my roommate. If you’re new to cooking, this book is a great place to start. It’s not that the recipes are necessarily simple, but Oliver’s instructions are fairly detailed. He’s descriptive enough that you feel like you know what you’re looking for at each step, which can be a godsend when you have no idea what it means to make a roux. The book also has a section in the front that gives you a basic recipe and then modifications or extensions for that recipe – like a basic tomato sauce with instructions for pasta, a cassoulet knock off, and some Mediterranean style baked fish, or a method for really good baked potatoes, and then a range of toppings and fillings. There are also recipes for things like a really great onion gravy, which is a nice thing to have in your back pocket. It even has an inventive sandwich chapter! Another great thing about this cookbook for novice cooks are the way he measures some things – a knob of butter, or a wine glass of wine. And he frequently tells you to “chuck it in” or “bash it together.” One of my favourite things about cooking is that most of the time you can eyeball things or tweak a recipe to make it your own. This book gave me a lot of confidence in my own ability to decide the right amount of an ingredient, and not to fret if I’m missing something. The recipes made me feel like cooking food can be something fun that you throw together casually, rather than something that needs to be done with scientific precision. (As you may have gathered, I am not a baker.) I fondly remember hosting a dinner party with recipes entirely from this book – a roasted chicken stuffed with a lemon and thyme sprigs and draped in bacon, roasted potatoes with rosemary and garnished with the crumbled bacon from the chicken, and French peas with more bacon, butter and lettuce. In retrospect, it was perhaps not the most balanced of meals in terms of flavour, but I will never forget proudly bearing that chicken to the table and hacking it apart in front of my awed guests. Now, almost ten years after someone gave me that book, I love cooking, inasmuch as something you have to do to everyday to survive can be, I consider it a hobby. I don’t need this book anymore for it’s detailed instructions (although they’re sometimes nice to have), I still return to it for the proportions for some recipes (the carbonara with bacon and peas is foolproof and creamily comforting) and for some of his more inventive dishes (there is one where chicken breasts are stuffed with banana, topped with bacon, and baked on top of white beans with leeks, cream and white wine – he calls it grotesque, and it is, but it is also delicious). That lemon stuffed chicken has become a standby for my old roommate and I (she learned to cook after all). Even if you’re not new to cooking, I certainly wouldn’t consider this book a waste of time. Perhaps you won’t appreciate his detailed instructions as much, but there are a lot of interesting and delicious recipes in the book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    I have dozens of cookbooks. While I often use the Internet to find recipes in a hurry, I find that these cookbooks are the ones I turn to just for his comments about food. His enthusiasm for food is contagious. I love that he tries to make you think about where your food is coming from and how it is prepared. And all of the recipes I've tried in this book are delicious and not too difficult.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Fenwick

    This is probably my most frequented cookbook - my husband is British, so he likes most of the recipe styles... but there are many international dishes. Tons of great recipes. I still haven't tried everything I'd like to... but there are plenty that I make over and over.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Oliver's energy and enthusiasm about food burns on the page--he tries new things, finds out new things, is constantly learning. I love the quickness to these meals--there's a whole section of gorgeous five-minute meals. Politically, I'm totally behind Oliver. I think that people need to rethink their relationship to food, and they need to learn how to cook. I don't know how you can be in control of your health or your impact on the environment if you can't control food, if you are a slave to pre Oliver's energy and enthusiasm about food burns on the page--he tries new things, finds out new things, is constantly learning. I love the quickness to these meals--there's a whole section of gorgeous five-minute meals. Politically, I'm totally behind Oliver. I think that people need to rethink their relationship to food, and they need to learn how to cook. I don't know how you can be in control of your health or your impact on the environment if you can't control food, if you are a slave to prepared food and the microwave and take-out. I love his focus on creating delicious, fresh vegetable dishes and salads. This is, actually, revolutionary. The idea that vegetables are delicious--was anyone told this as a child? He's innovative, uses herbs and spices, serves beets raw (they are fantastic), serves oranges roasted (also fantastic), and reinvents how we should consider this element of a meal. And--this idea that you can cook a fantastic meal in five minutes--another revolutionary idea. I love this move towards simple preps. Cooking doesn't have to take an hour, even though sometimes it does, and I find it very pleasurable. But for everyone who says that they don't have time to cook... (Not mentioned in the book, but related, is Oliver's incredible effort to overhaul school lunches--this takes a kind of Herculean effort, but it's essential. How do you make someone hate vegetables? Feed them canned peas in oily gray water.) I wonder if some people brush him off as some young dude racing around throwing things on the floor. He may be young, and he may be funny and dramatic and more casual than other chefs, but he's the real thing, and more brave than most food people, and trying to have a real impact on our relationship with food. And I think he's the one to do it--such love and enthusiasm and endless energy. Bravo!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Annet

    We, hubby and me, love Jamie Oliver and are trying more and more of his recipes. Have decided as a new years resolution to do more cooking of new recipes together in weekend days... This cookbook is full of elementary great recipes, pastas, chicken, beef, soups, fish, etc. etc. We are actually trying his "Ultimate onion soup" this evening. Last week we tried his rib-eye stir fry & dan dan noodles, which was an adventure in itself! I love it that he uses so much fresh herbs, learnt a lot abou We, hubby and me, love Jamie Oliver and are trying more and more of his recipes. Have decided as a new years resolution to do more cooking of new recipes together in weekend days... This cookbook is full of elementary great recipes, pastas, chicken, beef, soups, fish, etc. etc. We are actually trying his "Ultimate onion soup" this evening. Last week we tried his rib-eye stir fry & dan dan noodles, which was an adventure in itself! I love it that he uses so much fresh herbs, learnt a lot about that, and lost my fear of chillies which he uses a lot as well. Now overcome my anchovis fear. As Jamie says ... 'And Bob's your uncle'! :-)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    There isn't much I can say that hasn't already been said about this book (and Oliver himself). I'm not sure I need to reiterate how awesome it is. What I will say is that Oliver has a wonderful way of writing, and with each book of his I read (yes, I read them cover to cover), I feel like I'm getting to know him and that each book is a continuing conversation picked up from where the previous book finished. I can also confirm that the dishes in here are as delicious as they appear in print and pi There isn't much I can say that hasn't already been said about this book (and Oliver himself). I'm not sure I need to reiterate how awesome it is. What I will say is that Oliver has a wonderful way of writing, and with each book of his I read (yes, I read them cover to cover), I feel like I'm getting to know him and that each book is a continuing conversation picked up from where the previous book finished. I can also confirm that the dishes in here are as delicious as they appear in print and picture!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    GREAT recipes from this one. I made the following many many times: Roast Chicken and potatoes: http://tinaculbertson.blogspot.com/20... Chicken and Sweet Leek Pie: http://tinaculbertson.blogspot.com/20... Minestrone: http://tinaculbertson.blogspot.com/20...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Danielle Kaffka

    You can feel his passion for good food on every page. Not just a list of recipes, but why he chose every dish in the book and how he likes to eat it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sita

    I knew Jamie Oliver from his shows. In it he always makes cooking looks like so much fun. Which it could be actually. One thing I notice is that Jamie rarely cooks with utensil, most often he just uses his hand to turn stuff on his skillet! Good thing knives don't grow on his hand otherwise he probably really won't need anything beyond pots and pans. That aside, his writing style is quite chatty, he talks you through the recipe, peppering it with anecdotes here and there. I haven't actually trie I knew Jamie Oliver from his shows. In it he always makes cooking looks like so much fun. Which it could be actually. One thing I notice is that Jamie rarely cooks with utensil, most often he just uses his hand to turn stuff on his skillet! Good thing knives don't grow on his hand otherwise he probably really won't need anything beyond pots and pans. That aside, his writing style is quite chatty, he talks you through the recipe, peppering it with anecdotes here and there. I haven't actually tried anything in here but it looks really good and has some good ideas like what to pack for your kids lunchbox and how to take one recipe and create multiple dishes out of it. Good addition to the home library.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Just_me

    Another fab Jamie Oliver cookbook. A tad more basic that his newer books but I love it because my kids love looking through and straight away are attracted by the photography and I get many 'I want that one' or ' can we have this for dinner tonight'. I am always cooking with my teenagers so the imagery is also very inspiring - although our creations often aren't presented anywhere near as good as what we see, but they don't care as they made it. Recipes as always are easy to follow and understand Another fab Jamie Oliver cookbook. A tad more basic that his newer books but I love it because my kids love looking through and straight away are attracted by the photography and I get many 'I want that one' or ' can we have this for dinner tonight'. I am always cooking with my teenagers so the imagery is also very inspiring - although our creations often aren't presented anywhere near as good as what we see, but they don't care as they made it. Recipes as always are easy to follow and understand and with a decent store cupboard many of them are very affordable.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Trisha

    I checked this cookbook out from my library and I LOVED it. I personally love Jamie Oliver's cookbooks and think he is one of the best celebrity chef's around. This cookbook was great because the recipes were something I could see myself making and my family eating. The book is riddled with tons of great photos (I love photos to recipes) and lots of tips and easy instructions. I might have to actually purchase this one now because of how much I loved it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I have to confess that the absolute best "fries" I've ever made have come from this book. I know some (okay, any) people find Oliver's tone irritating, and I do as well, more often than not. But his recipes are in fact quite practical and simple for every day cooking, without resorting to pre-made junk. Well done, and pass the fries . . .

  13. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    I give 5 stars for the artistic side of this cookbook. It was so much fun to read and the picture were great. For an "essential family cookbook" I thought that William would not eat a majority of the recipes and they were too complex for me. I guess I was looking for something a little simpler. I did like the lunchbox tips and am going to try a few of the pasta recipes.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Clare

    This is probably Jamie Oliver's best, most useful and accessible book. It's a fantastic reference full of original tips and fresh ingredients. His white sauce shortcut (creme fraiche and anchovies) is ingenious.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    I love to read cookbooks (don't always cook from them, but that's a different story). I'm a Jamie Oliver fan, and I really liked the tone and messages in this cookbook. Will definitely try some of the fav recipes from this book, as well as some of the veggie recipes.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I've had this book over a year and haven't made 1 thing from it. I like the pictures and his style of writing out recipes and categorizing them, but there is nothing in it that has really grabbed me and said, "COOK ME!"

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Marie

    It's totally basic and balanced. If I had a kid, I would probably use it a lot more often for it's simplicity and overall awareness to feed your family a healthy meal. I like his other books more, but this one is still a keeper.

  18. 4 out of 5

    seri

    my fav of the jamie oliver series.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lani Trock

    my hands down all-time favorite cookbook.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Best home-made tomato soup recipe in here! Try it!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sharon McHugh

    Great recipes really love this book !! Simples too !

  22. 4 out of 5

    Katieb

    This book has gorgeous pictures and makes you really want to cook (and eat)! But, from a practicality standpoint, not the most useful cookbook on our shelves.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Emily Simmons

    I like Jamie's passion for food and his lovely and delicious recipes.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Morgiana

    wasn't full of my taste so just 3 stars...didn't find too much recipes on which I could say to me I'll definitely want to cook this! Was a little disappointment for me.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Katriona

    Everything I've made from this book turns out well. More than that, I want to make pretty much everything in it. Great simple tasty food.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Found many hopefully delicious recipes. A must own book b/c there were so many recipes I found I wanted to try.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    One of the best pull off the shelves and the kids will eat it kind of cook books

  28. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    Jamie's recipes sound fantastic, but they are less attractive when compared to Nigella Lawson's.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kate Squires

    one of my all-time favorite chefs & an amazing cookbook (best roast chicken recipe ever!!!)

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ekaiserattoe

    I love the focus on multiple approaches to a single ingredient.

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