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The Abel & Cole Cookbook - Keith Abel

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Author: Keith Abel / Publisher: Collins / Pages: 224

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      25.01.2012 11:08
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      A cookbook packed full of unusual recipes which take account of seasonal fruit and vegetables

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      Who is Abel & Cole?
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      Abel & Cole is an organic food delivery service to your door which can be found on the website: https://www.abelandcole.co.uk/

      Abel & Cole get their seasonal fruit and vegetables from many parts of the UK, where they think it is best! Their website also supplies many other items such as meats, fish, tinned foods, cereals, break, milk, eggs, cheese and so on. You could do your entire weekly shop from the website if you wished to.

      A recent review was written which tempted me to make my first purchase from them!

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      The Price of The Abel & Cole Cookbook
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      The Abel & Cole cookbook I received free of charge with my first Abel & Cole delivery. It is quite a weighty cookbook to receive free of charge. It usually retails for £12.99 so it is worth doing a one off order with Abel & Cole to receive this free as opposed to paying for it as you can on Amazon or off the Abel & Cole website. The Abel & Cole cookbook is by Keith Abel which also states on the front cover below the name 'Easy, seasonal, organic.' This really sums up the cookbook, and Country Living have quoted it 'A kitchen essential.' I really am very impressed with the cookbook myself. Although it is a paperback edition it does not feel like it needs to have a hard cover. This book was previously published as Cooking Outside the Box by Collins in 2006 in case that jogs anybody's memories (it does not mine). The front cover of the cookbook has now been updated from the photograph you can see from Dooyoo. It has a dark grey background with vegetables coming from all angles such as asparagus and potatoes. Although it is a dark covered cookbook it is very eye catching.

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      How the Cookbook is Split Up
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      The book is very cleverly split up into four very practical sections: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter (which I will expand on later on). After the contents is the introduction which includes many sections such as, The Abel & Cole story which is very interesting, light hearted and humorous. It explains how Abel & Cole started and progressed into the fully fledged business it is today. There is also guideline a bit further on about seasonal food and how it seems that supermarkets no longer have seasonal fruit and vegetables, rather they have everything all year around. However, it is reminding us that if we did eat fruit and vegetables seasonally we would of course get much better flavours from them which Abel & Cole as a company of course promote in their weekly deliveries. Another section in the introduction explains the families of fruit and vegetables there are and puts very simply categories if certain fruit and vegetables have not been heard of and what different substitutes could be used if you did not have the exact one in the household. For example, that similar vegetables include: kale, cabbages, pac choi, chard etc. There is also a cooking temperature guide with conversion for different ovens as well as suggestions for where to keep different foods.

      The pictures throughout the book are beautiful showing nature at its best. I love having a flick through this book just for the pictures.

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      Spring
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      At the beginning of each book section for example Spring it gives a brief list of the fruit and vegetables which are in season. Some examples of recipes for Spring are lemon chicken soup with purple sprouting broccoli, rhubard bread and butter pudding, asparagus eggs Benedict and hummus in a hurry. I have just picked a couple there to show the range of recipes which are shown, there are some really fascinating concoctions of vegetables which I had never thought to make a recipe out of. There are some great ideas for vegetarians who often get forgotten about! But the some of the recipes do include meats as well!

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      Summer
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      There really are a range of recipes from one of the easiest in the summer section of fruit kebabs and smoothies to some slightly but only slightly trickier recipes like rack of lamb with wilted greens and tomato-mint dressing. The recipes are very easy to follow with a brief introduction to each recipe with how many the recipe with serve, the very important part of the ingredients! And of course the actual step by step recipe.

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      Autumn
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      For Autumn examples of recipes include: pumpkin and apple soup with toasted seeds which is a really lovely taste of autumn! Abel & Cole really push the soups throughout the recipe book and when you make an order via Abel & Cole their starter pack includes a booklet which includes how making soups and smoothies is a great way to use up fruit and vegetables which may not usually get used up by the end of the week. Or it is a great way to use up vegetables that you received in your seasonal vegetable box from Abel & Cole which you may not know what to cook with. It is cheap as well because soups can be frozen which is great for an evening you realise you have no food in the house! Other Autumn recipes include roast monkfish with beetroot and goats' cheese salad, and venison sausages with colcannon and wild mushroom sauce... which sounds delicious! That may be next for me to make!

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      Winter
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      Lastly some of the winter recipes include bang-in-the-oven balsamic roasted winter vegetables which sounds delicious and simple! As well as apple, pear and brandy crumble! This recipe really sums up this beautiful cook book, it gives simple yet quite quirky recipes, it adds bits and pieces which you have never tried before at home, but which sound like they will absolutely work! There are a complete mix of starters, snacks, mains, desserts and drinks in this book. But I love how they are not under the traditional markers of what they are: starters, mains etc. But under the season! It is a very easy way of making seasonal dishes.

      At the end of the book is acknowledgements and an index.

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      What is the verdict?
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      As you have heard this is a fab cookbook and it definitely up there with Nigella and Jamie Oliver on my cookbook shelf! I am really looking forward to making different dishes with my seasonal vegetables which I will be receiving in the future from Abel & Cole. I have already used vegetables like kale which I would never normally purchase in a supermarket and it is very tasty indeed! I have tried out a soup, smoothie, swede chips and chicken breasts with blood orange sauce from the recipe book so far... which all tasted great! They were all very easy to make as well, I would especially recommend the swede chips, a healthy alternative to regular chips!

      Order your first, organic, seasonal delivery from Abel & Cole to receive your free cookbook, I am thrilled with it!

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