Our cookbook for August 2016 was Jamie Oliver’s Jamie at Home. (Buy it here!)
What Lisa Had to Say:
My overall thoughts on Jamie at Home is avoid it if you are a “noob” to cooking, but if you are more experienced and like experimenting like my co-blogger Cindy, then definitely hit up this book. As I’m still learning to be an intuitive cook, I found myself struggling with the recipes. How much is a bunch or a glug? Should I take out the bones from the thrice sliced chicken thighs so that they are all uniform and your friends and family don’t have to eat their way around surprise bones? How long does it take ribs to become caramelized on a medium-high heat bbq? How hot is medium-high heat bbq? These things had me vexed and texting Cindy and googling a LOT to find out some general guidelines with only a modicum of success. And I hate to admit it, but it made me less excited to cook from the book, because it simply felt stressful.
Despite my rather significant beef (pun unintended) with this book, I must say, everything I made tasted pretty darn fantastic. Plus, eventually I found some level of comfort within the discomfort of not having precise recipes and it forced me to simply try and see what happens…be it too much oregano or burning the bejesus out of some of the ribs. I relied on taste and my slowly improving intuition for probably the first time in my cooking of unfamiliar things and that feels pretty awesome.
It’s weird to not give Jamie Oliver a resounding approval as I’ve loved him for so long. I hope that Cindy and I can cook another of this books, perhaps one targeted for the developing at home chef and see if that is any more helpful.
What Cindy Had to Say:
This was an interesting and enjoyable cookbook to me because it felt more like general guidelines, than cooking from a recipe. The book has tons of variety… even though I made so many salads – salads I didn’t even blog about!
While the bulk of Jamie’s instructions were indeed very relaxed – a glug, a splash – as someone who loves to be free of shackles in the kitchen, I really enjoyed that. (My co-blogger will get to that point one day soon – I know it!)
I did tend to find that the serving portions were much, much larger when cooked than what was outlined in the cookbook. But that was okay because everything tasted so delicious and leftovers were a treat!
I am definitely looking forward to trying another one of Jamie’s cookbooks – be it for our blog or on my own time.
Recipes We Cooked: Warm strawberries with Pimm’s and vanilla ice cream, Strawberry salad with speck and halloumi, Crispy and sticky chicken thighs with squashed new potatoes and tomatoes, Beautiful zucchini (courgette) carbonara, Best barbecued meat and homemade sauce, Grilled peach salad with bresaola and a creamy dressing
Final Cookbook Verdict: Recommended*
(*for those who are comfortable in the kitchen)
Cindy & Lisa