Back at the start of June, I read a really exciting post while perusing through the various blogs that I follow. The post in question was announcing the rather exciting secret project that Sasha Wilkins of Liberty London Girl had been hinting at for several weeks. It was her cookbook, Friends Food Family. Being a bit of a massive foodie, and having realised I had kindred spirit in Sasha, I had to buy this book even though I had to wait over five months for it. So when 25 September eventually came and the book arrived, I was so happy that I even instagrammed it (here)! And to thank Sasha for putting together such a fantastic book I thought I would do a little review to encourage you all to get a copy while stocks last.
Firstly I want to state that this is not just a cookbook for following recipes. But that does not mean that you can’t cook from it. My sister and I have already been eyeing up some of our favourite recipes to test out. Steff has even requested that I bring it when I visit her at university in order to make the sweetcorn fritter burgers. And I think I agree with her as those burgers look darn good. And, along with the mushroom and halloumi burgers, I feel far more prepared for when I have vegetarian friends at a barbecue. No more frozen veggie burgers! Other recipes that I’m planning to test cook in the near future include:
- Buttermilk pancakes (p.12)
- Full-of-good-things, no-raisins granola (p.16)
- Baked french toast (p.18)
- Cauliflower and quinoa burger (GF) (p.33)
- Mushroom lasagne (p.70)
- Squash stuffed with creamy mushrooms (p.77)
- Cauliflower puree (p.98)
- Shredded sauteed brussels sprouts with almonds (p.98)
- Shake-it-up-salads in jars (p.114)
- Jewelled jellies in jars (p.119)
- Warm apple and hazelnut streusel cake (p.134)
- Triple-layer lemon cake with fresh blackberry jam and blackberry swiss meringue buttercream (pp.144-6)
Okay, I admit that is a lot of recipes to try out but you have to only see the pictures (all of which Sasha claims to have taken herself within moments of finishing the dishes) and read the recipes. It makes my mouth water to look at them, but there is an argument that it isn’t really such a challenge. And for those of you who are intrigued, I am planning on sharing my tests of some of these recipes on the blog. Don’t worry, this isn’t me backtracking after a month of being sugar free. I will still be testing out different alternatives to dairy, sugar and wheat in the bakery department. Having a mother who is wheat intolerant makes it so much easier.
However, as I mentioned above, Friends Food Family is not just a recipe book. Throughout the book, Sasha has scattered hints and tips that she has picked up during her globe-trotting life. From making me want to visit French brocantes (p.14) to persuading me that a wide-necked Thermos flask would be a good investment (p.118), Sasha provides us with ideas for the humble traveller, tourist and picnicker. There are even recipes for cocktails in jugs (p.165) and her guide to The Cocktails and Pie Party (p.173) she holds for her birthday each year.
To conclude, all I can say is that this book is fantastic. I have read a lot of cookbooks in my time and, for me, the Liberty London Girl contribution is on a par with other family favourites (Hugh’s Three Good Things and The Skinny French Kitchen). My recommendation is still grab a copy while you can!
As Sasha said to me, happy cooking!