Oct 11

Book Review: Family Food and Weekend Feasts

Family Food & Weekend Feasts by Janelle BloomSummary (Random House website)

FAMILY FOOD & WEEKEND FEASTS has it all: quick, delicious meals you can whip up in minutes and lovely, leisurely recipes for those days when you have time to slow down and enjoy yourself in the kitchen. But whether it’s a weeknight dinner or a sumptuous Sunday evening spread, Janelle Bloom’s food is always a treat.

In this new book, the popular TV cook presents her own everyday favourites (such as sticky chicken wings, spiced beef tacos and strawberry and cream tart), as well as fabulous special occasion dishes (such as slow-cooked curry-crusted lamb, stroganoff pie, roasted plums with ricotta fritters, and profiteroles with tiramisu ice-cream and hot fudge sauce).

Janelle also serves up easy-to-follow menu plans for brunch, barbecues and picnics, cosy nights in with friends, afternoon tea with the girls, and an unforgettable Christmas dinner. And, as always, she dishes up plenty of handy tips and tricks along the way, to help you get every recipe just right, every time.


I love Janelle Bloom’s first cookbook in this series, Fast Fresh and Fabulous, and have tried out many of the recipes with great success. I have seen a copy of the second book, Fab Food for Family and Friends, but didn’t find quite as many recipes in it that appealed to me, so I was unsure what the latest book, Family Food and Weekend Feasts would be like.

With multiple recipes already tagged for use in the near future, it would seem that book three in the series is going to be just as popular in our home as book one. I’m particularly looking forward to running a taste comparison between the Frozen Cosmopolitan from book one and the Raspberryoska (a caipiroska variation) from the current book.

As with her previous books, Family Food & Weekend Feasts has quite a warm, inviting feel about it. Each recipe is briefly introduced by Bloom and there are cooking and food preparation tips scattered throughout the book. You really get the sense of sharing recipes and cooking tips with a family friend, which I quite like. There is a great mix of recipes with a nice balance of savoury and sweet to choose from.

I’m an enthusiastic although not necessarily highly skilled cook and I love the range of recipes, easy to follow directions, accessible ingredients and general approach of this cookbook. As with Fast Fresh and Fabulous, it seems likely that this latest book will quickly show signs of frequent use in the kitchen.

As a brief, unsponsored aside – I noticed Big W has book one and two on sale as a set for $29.95 at the moment. They make an excellent Christmas gift idea, so it’s worth seeing if your local store has them in stock.

Review copy details
Title: Family Food & Weekend Feasts
Author: Janelle Bloom
Publisher: Ebury Press, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-86471-123-3
Genre: Cookbook

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  1. Marg

    I might have to pick up that gift pack. I am always on the look out for tasty, yet relatively easy recipes.
    .-= Marg´s last blog ..Deweys Readathon- The Wrap-up =-.

    1. Susan

      The gift pack is definitely a bargain. I’m a reasonably lazy cook and I usually don’t have a lot of time to prepare meals or ‘bake’, even though I do enjoy cooking. I use Janelle’s books all the time.

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