Antoni in the Kitchen by Antoni Porowski review

Hi everyone! Due to health and family reasons I took a week off, so apologies if anyone has sent me a message or email! I promise I will respond asap. To cheer myself up, I picked up Antoni in the Kitchen which I kindly received from the publisher via Netgalley. I’m also a fan of Queer Eye, having been known to binge it, so was really intrigued when I heard Porowski had a cookery book coming out.

One of the things I really liked about the book was the stories behind each recipe. Porowski would talk about his family life and growing up, and how those influenced his love of food. It gave the book a nice personal touch, as well as also being educational. I know very little about Polish cuisine (or indeed Porowski himself) so it was interesting to learn more about it.

Antoni in the Kitchen is also really nicely presented. There are many colourful images accompanying the recipes, step by step instructions, and different sections depending on your taste or needs (such as ‘Veg’, ‘Animals’, Bakes’). I do think this book will work with novice cooks more than those with some experience in the kitchen. Whilst a lot of the recipes I would eat and look delicious, for example the roast butternut squash soup, a lot of them are straightforward. There isn’t anything really challenging or groundbreaking in terms of techniques or food combinations which makes it suitable for beginners, but may be of less interest to those who aren’t.

If you’re a fan of Queer Eye or are interested in getting into cooking, then I would recommend Antoni in the Kitchen. The instructions are easy to follow, plus the beautiful photographs help to show how to present the dishes. Some recipes might be too simple, but nonetheless there are plenty of quick, healthy recipes to sink your teeth into.

Antoni in the Kitchen is published by Bluebird and you can find more information here.

The 28-Day Vegan Plan by Kim-Julie Hansen review

Hi everyone! So last week Bluebird sent an email with a sample of blogger Kim-Julie Hansen’s latest book, The 28-Day Vegan Plan. Now, I’m not vegan myself but one of my New Years’ Resolutions was to be healthier (let’s see how long I can keep that one up!) and so I decided to see if there were any veggie recipes I could incorporate into my diet.

However when reading The 28-Day Vegan Plan I was pleasantly surprised to find it wasn’t just recipes. Hansen goes into her background and explains why she became vegan and her complicated relationship with food. This resonated with me, and will probably with lots of other people, as sadly disordered eating seems quite commonplace yet not really discussed. There are also tips on meditation and self-care. It was interesting to read –  there aren’t many cookbooks with self-worth passages – and highlighted Hansen’s idea that this isn’t a diet nor a quick-fix scheme for underlying issues. It was really nice to see someone address those topics and potentially provide pointers.

This is very much a beginner’s cookbook. Every week has a shopping list at the front so you know exactly what to buy and what you’ll be using for the seven days which is handy in terms of planning ahead. Hansen also provides instructions how to cook and store food which, while some tips I found helpful, a lot seemed to boil down (no pun intended) to common sense, such as storing food in air-tight containers. In terms of the recipes themselves, there’s a really nice variety of meals from baked potatoes to pastas to tacos so there is something for everyone to enjoy; I’m personally heading towards pancakes. Some of the recipes are a little simplistic, for example the smoothies and the peanut butter and blueberry toast. They just seemed really basic in contrast to other recipes and I felt their inclusion was a little unnecessary.

cherry pancakes
Being healthy = cherry pancakes. Photograph (c) publisher

I think The 28-Day Vegan Plan is a great starter into cooking, whether vegan or not. As I said previously, some recipes and prep instructions make this a really good book for beginners but I feel people with more experience might find these a bit milquetoast. I don’t know if there are any more challenging recipes further in, so there might be something for them to enjoy. Overall, I did like The 28-Day Vegan Plan for Hansen’s honesty regarding her past, the easy layout of the recipes, and for including a wide range of meals at an affordable cost.

Quick question before I sign off: would people like me to review more cookbooks? I like reading and cooking from them but don’t know if anyone would like any recommendations? Let me know in a comment below!

The 28-Day Vegan Plan is published by Bluebird and you can find more information here.