One: Simple One-Pan Wonders by Jamie Oliver

3.5 stars Cookbook

This is one terrific looking cookbook.  The pictures of the recipes look fantastic, almost too pretty to eat.  The recipes look like masterpieces that took hours to create but if you read the directions, most of them took under an hour to prepare.   Jamie wants to make cooking easy, practical,  and tasty. 

Let’s talk about why this cookbook is amazing.  I’m going to start with the layout of this book.  It fits many 2-page spread cookbook layouts with a recipe the left side of the page and a picture of that recipe on the right but I think this cookbook steps it up a notch.  On each of the two-page spreads, you will also find the nutritional value information in chart-like format, at the bottom of the page.  Along the side of the recipe, you’ll find pictures of the ingredients that you’ll need for the recipe.  So, you need some garlic, you’ll see a picture of garlic.  Need rosemary, there’s a picture of rosemary.  If you have 8 ingredients listed for your recipe, you will see 8 small pictures on the side.  I liked this little addition to an otherwise empty space.  The pictures of the recipes take center stage on the right side of this 2-page spread.  Nothing unnecessary competes with this space but the completed dish. Like I mentioned before, these pictures looked amazing.

There are a lot of interesting recipes in this cookbook. I’m not a fish eater but there were plenty of fish recipes in here and the pictures made me think that I could eat it.  The Upside Down Fish Pie, Teriyaki Shrimp, and the Shrimp Fried Rice, wow….they looked delicious! Jamie Oliver sure has presentation down perfectly!  The one issue that I found with this cookbook is that although the pictures of the dishes look fantastic, I only found a few of them that I would actually prepare.  Sure, there were a couple recipes that I might create but there were only a few that I knew that I would definitely try.  The Smoked Pancetta & Bean Pasta and Honey Roast Chicken looked like something that I would definitely eat. 

Jamie does make each recipe easy to prepare with detailed instructions and I found that the ingredient list is not complicated, he tries to use items that most individuals can find at their local grocery store.  Jamie doesn’t include anything personal, nor does he include any additional tips or ideas on these two pages, you just get the recipe and your picture. If you’re looking for something personal, you’re going to have to look at some of the other pages in the book where Oliver talks about each of the different sections in this book, his own personal journey and why this cookbook is so special.

If you like to try new dishes or want some easy recipes that’ll make you look as if you’re an award-winning chef – you need to check this book out.   3.5 stars.