When leaving my place of work for university they handed me two student cook books as a leaving gift, on top of that, a family member gave me another student cook book to take with me. With three student cook books I was confident I could be a good cook whilst a university. Thanks to these books, I was. Here’s my review of the three that I found useful.
Cooking for Beginners / Written by Emma Crowhurst
Rating out of ten? Seven
This is one isn’t as such a ‘student’ cook book but it’s cooking for beginnings so I believe it can apply for students because the majority of students are going to university being able to cook, just not to the extent of our mothers and fathers. This book was useful and insightful. It had over ninty pages of helpful guides and recipes. It’s layout was simple and some what easy to follow. I say easy to follow due to the step-by-step instructions, although at times the steps were just bulked together, which made it more complicated instead of breaking them down. Here’s an example of a recipe:
Red Onion Omlette / Prepartion time: 15 minutes / Cooking time: 30 minutes / Serves 4 / Level of difficulty: 1/ Drink suggestion: Cotes-du-Rhone
These is like the ’round up’ of the recipe. I enjoyed how this book gave you the prepartion and cooking times so you know how long you were looking at making a meal for and the kind of time you’d need. Also, you knew how big the portions were going to be and a little ‘fancy’ twist is the drink suggestion which I found humrous but actually useful. The level of difficult is a bit of a joke, I don’t know what scale they are measuring this off. Therefore, they didn’t help much. It gives the usual summary of the receipe and the ingredients, pictures and what not but you can definitely tell that it wasn’t an official ‘student cook book’, it just lacked simpler instructions at times. Overall, Cooking for Beginners was useful and well worth a go at some of the recipes.
Side note: the book has it’s own little stand which is handy in the kitchen! It’s also like a ring binder so holds pages down and what not.
Quick Cook Student / hamlyn
Rating out of ten? Nine
As it’s the highest rated, you know this one is my favourite student cook book and this one is for students. It says it right there in the title. This book was fantastic and I’ll tell you why. It not only has over 270 pages of useful hints, tips and recipes but it gives every recipe three ways. What do I mean by that? I mean it gives you three different ways of making it for three different times. Either 30 minutes, 20 minutes or 10 minutes depending on how much of a rush you are in. My favourite part was the contents because it splits up the recipes into sections for example: Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch / Brain Food Meals / Chilled-Out TV Dinners/ Supper For Friends/ Sweet Fix. Can you get much more student than that? You’ve got the basics, stuff to help your brain, recipes for dinner and even recipes you can make for our friends and of course, the sweet tooth lover has a section all to their selves.
I would give an example from this book as with previous but it’d be hard to pick something and that’s where I believe the ONE downfall is with this book. With the other it gave you a break down with step by step instructions on how to prepare and cook the meal. This book is block chunks of writing and they can be confusing. However, they are detailed and fantastic. They provide all the information you could need when it comes to preparing and cooking a meal – just not in a student friendly way to read. They were so close to getting this book perfect – just that fact let’s it down.
The Hungry Student Cookbook / Charlotte Pike
Rating out of ten? Eight
And last but not least, this little gem. This one comes in close second to the previous book. If this book and the previous one combined, they’d be perfect. Over 200 pages of recipes and helpful hints and tips with full page pictures (from which you can compare your disaster too) and simple to follow step by step instructions.
The break down in this book is a little more ‘fuller’: Pasta, Stir-Fries, Noodles and Rice, Soups, Stews and Curries, Jacket Potatoes and Toppings, Easy Dinners, Feeding Friends, Salads, Veggies and Sides, In bread and on toast, The Morning After and Sweets.
This time you have more of a selection and more of a break down so you can specify more of the meal you are looking for for a specific time of day. This book takes on board what I like about the first book but does it better. Step by step instructions but more of them and easier to follow. However these pages are very simple. They give you a summary, ingredients and what to do and that’s that. Nothing more, nothing less. I think it could use some of the quirks from the first book and some more detail from the second but it’s still a good book and threw out some good recipes when I’ve needed them!
All in all they are fantastic books and will help you out when you are in difficult spot. I’d suggest buying a student cook book, even if it isn’t one of these ones but it is definitely worth it. You’ll always gain ideas and they can be swapped and shared with other house mates and you’ll all take away at least one recipe from it that you’ll make your own, mine? The best. SPAG BOL.
Find below the titles of the books and Amazon links: