Home Made Christmas by Yvette van Boven Review

Reviewed by Cris Jackman

An inspiring Christmas/Winter cookbook that will help plan and create more adventurous feasts.

Home Made Christmas is a classy, medium format cookbook which uses high-quality photography, lovely design, and a light-hearted friendly approach to good effect.

With nearly 800 pages the book offers Christmas/winter recipes for, not only mains and desserts but also breakfast, snacks, small plates, soups and drinks (I particularly liked the Champagne Bowl with Cranberries pomegranate and clementine).

Vegetarians are well catered for, although gluten-free and children less so, but with a Christmas theme and effervescent style, a hint of fun is sprinkled throughout the book which made for comfortable reading, with a well laid out and relaxed approach.

Yvette’s preface to the book suggests she wanted to give readers a way to plan and create dinner parties without panicking and particularly when there are more than four guests, as well as provide exciting new ideas, and she doesn’t disappoint.

A rigorous planning section offers advice on advance preparation, broken down in a common sense and handy long-range plan, all the way from a month, through the weeks and days before the party, and then in more macro detail on the day itself. It’s is a neat idea and advice on buying and preparing ingredients, including to-do lists, as well as the recipes themselves, will give huge confidence to experienced and novice home chefs alike.

The recipes themselves offer an extensive range of ideas, with both exciting twists on favourites, like Brussel sprouts a la Carbonara which will suit the niche Christmas sprout supporters and a crayfish cocktail which will please many who want a comfort starter. However, there are also many inspiring ideas such as rum-cured & smoked wild salmon, rabbit rillettes and smoked beets to mention just a few. The book also offers full menu suggestions for a range of tastes, including vegetarian, romantic, small plate and Christmas meals.

In Summary, this is an excellent book for both planning dinner parties and inspiring for creating something for a special for a night in, and I suspect it will find its way under many a Christmas tree this year!

Rating: 5/5

RRP: £26.99 (Hardback)

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