First let me begin this post by apologising to everyone because I know I am very, very late with my usual apology about not posting enough and the subsequent fervent and well-meant and then entirely ignored promise to post more. But for once we have a genuine excuse above and beyond I saw something shiny on the floor or we’ve been on holiday. See, and I know most of you will know this, we have welcomed our third child DINNER TIME into the world. I mean technically it’s our fourth child but the planner doesn’t count because I think Paul ate some lead during cooking it up. Actually that is very unfair, the planner remains a hidden joy!
But yes! DINNER TIME launched a couple of weeks ago – our third proper cookbook and an absolute riot of colour and taste. I’m always incredibly nervous and stressed before a book launch because you always worry that it’ll fall on its arse and reveal us for the shambling quims that we really are, but no, thankfully, it’s been well-received. It sat near the top of the Amazon charts and – somewhat inexplicably – became a number one Sunday Times Bestseller. If you’ll forgive me a moment of treacle-thick mush, and you must understand I’m doing my best to keep that to a minimum at the moment, it’s just the most validating, exciting and wonderful feeling. Being at the top of various lists is one thing, seeing the sales figures another, but nothing hits us in the feels more than seeing people proudly waving their copy around, cooking from it and letting us know they love it. So much work goes into making each book different from the last – writing the wee stories, doing the recipe testing, our team making all the photos look delicious – that you never truly know how it’ll do. We delayed the publication of DINNER TIME six months this time because we wanted to make sure it was a winner – it would be easy for us to pump out the recipe books like we’re shelling peas but then you just end up with the same old same old books.
And we didn’t want that.
So! Before we get to the various questions we get asked a lot, just a big thank you to everyone who has bought the book – we do love you all and remain incredibly grateful for everything you do for us. If you have the book, please do consider taking a moment to leave us a review, because every last one helps us out. We don’t ask for a lot! The questions then!
What recipes are in the book?
There’s 120 recipes in book three – 100 full meals and twenty side ideas. I prepared a full list which you can view by clicking here – it’ll open in a new window. Although the theme of the book is evening meals, and certainly they’re designed to fill that void of an evening when you wonder what on Earth to cook, they translate very easily to lunches and leftovers and for more than a few of them, breakfasts too.
Any complicated ingredients or difficult cooking methods?
Lordy no. Paul and I are both very lazy and very tight and as a result, there’s nothing in this cookbook (or indeed our other two) which you can’t find in Tesco or any other major supermarket. We never buy an ingredient to use just once because that’s a poor economy. Similarly, neither of us are chefs and nothing in the book is difficult to throw together. If you’re unsure of your cooking ability, you need not worry with our books.
Do you cater for vegetarians?
Yes, you can eat the pages. No we jest – we have made a special effort with this book to make sure that there’s a good mixture of vegetarian recipes – over a third of the book – and that those veggie recipes aren’t just meat recipes with Quorn stuffed in. Most of my favourites come from the vegetarian sections. We have asked fans of our facebook pages whether we managed to cater for vegetarians and it was a resounding yes. So don’t hesitate!
I am gluten / dairy free – are the recipes suitable?
We have included a very clear key as to what recipes are suitable for those with gluten or dairy allergies. For the recipes that don’t fit the bill, we encourage you to make smart swaps to make them work. Neither Paul or I have an allergy so it would be tricky for us to do a full GF/DF book but given the simplicity of the recipes, you should hopefully find something that works!
Is it suitable for Slimming World / Weight Watchers etc?
As many of you know, we moved away from Slimming World a year or so ago to go ‘low calorie’ – so the recipes do not have syn values or Weight Watchers points. They’re all under 500 calories though and will slip into a calorie controlled plan very easily. We have heard from people on both plans that the recipes translate very easily though!
Where can I pick it up?
WH Smith, Waterstones, lots of independent bookstores, Amazon (currently £10 at time of writing), supermarkets (ASDA stocking it at a tenner too!)
Is the calorie count per meal or per portion?
Per portion. We’re actually calling book four ‘TWOCHUBBYCUBS: IT’S PER PORTION’. I wish a dish that serves four would be less than 500 calories, trust me!
£10/12 is steep for me at the moment – will the price drop?
We aren’t sure – previous years Amazon have stuck us on a Prime Day deal, but we simply don’t know. However, if times are tight, please don’t rush out and buy the book – it’ll appear in libraries soon and failing that, our second book has been consistently around £8 for the last few months on Amazon. And if that is too much, don’t fret – take a gander through this website where you’ll find over 750 recipes for free. You don’t need to spend money to find good recipes! Whatever works for you. The blog recipes will resume soon when I’m not dealing with so much admin and feedback and we have some stonkers coming up.
Hope this helps! Remember the £10 price point will probably shift back to £12 soon enough, so if you’re on the fence, do pick it up. Everyone else, if you have it, please do leave a review, it would be a huge help for us!