You can never have enough vegetarian recipe books! That is so true for this household, I love recipe books and my collection is huge. When I was contacted to see if I’d like to review a new vegetarian cook book, well of course I said yes
tibits restaurants were originally launched as a family business over 10 years ago in Switzerland by three brothers, Reto, Christian and Daniel Frei, together with Rolf and Marielle Hiltl, of Hiltl, the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world. Now, due to popular demand, tibits has brought out its first collection of recipes, enabling existing fans and those new to the concept alike, to try out the recipes at home for the first time.
These innovative recipes showcase the taste, beauty, and nutrition of produce that’s fresh all year round: the tender young asparagus of spring, the plump juicy berries of summer; the succulent courgettes and butternut squash of autumn, the comforting roots of winter.
tibits at home: stylish vegetarian cuisine is a sumptuous cookbook, split into four seasonal sections, containing 50 recipes that will delight all loyal tibits fans, as well as those who are new to the brand. 80 per cent of tibits’ menu is vegan and many of the recipes in the book are also vegan – good news for the rapidly increasing number of vegans in the UK. In addition, many recipes cater for those on gluten-free and nut-free diets.
Tibits At Home have very kindly allowed me to share a couple of their delicious recipes with you.
tabouli middle-eastern style
If you love fresh parsley and mint, this is for you!
120 g bulgur
250 ml water
2 tsp fine sea salt
150 g baby spinach leaves
50 g fresh mint
40 g fresh coriander (cilantro)
30 g broad leaf parsley
400 g tomatoes
1.5 lemons (juice)
100 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp fine sea salt
1-2 tbsp chilli oil
Freshly ground white pepper
1 Cook the bulgur in salted water for about 8 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed. Put into a bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2 Pluck the mint and parsley leaves from the stems, wash and chop finely.
3 Wash the tomatoes, remove the stem ends and chop into 1 cm dice.
4 Mix the sauce ingredients and season with pepper.
5 Break up the bulgur with a fork. Add the tomatoes, spinach and herbs and mix carefully. Add the sauce and mix again.
Tabouli is a wonderfully refreshing and nutritious summer dish. We have used bulgur (parboiled and dried durum wheat) instead of the traditional couscous.
Preparation time: 25 minutes
We absolutely loved this recipe in the Brown household and it is now a regular feature on our menu. I tend to serve the tabouli with falafel, pitta bread and sour cream for a more substantial meal and I probably use a dash more chilli oil than the recipe says but we like a little heat
Another recipe which I attempted is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth (I have a bit of a baking obsession at the moment).
Chocolate and coconut macaroons
A sweet delight for grown-ups and children alike!
160 g caster sugar
5 g vanilla sugar
100 g dark chocolate
(45 per cent cocoa content, minimum)
160 g coconut flakes
1 Preheat the oven to 150º C.
2 Mix the caster sugar, with the vanilla sugar. Finely grate the chocolate.
3 Separate the eggs. Whip the egg whites until very stiff while drizzling the sugar into the mixture.
4 Carefully fold the chocolate and coconut flakes into the whipped egg white.
5 Spoon the batter into a pastry bag with a star tip and pipe small macaroons onto a baking tray, lined with baking paper. Alternatively, make small heaps of batter with two wet teaspoons. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and leave to cool completely before removing the macaroons from the paper.
Tip: for a more intense chocolate flavour, melt the chocolate in a bain-marie (water bath). Leave to cool at room temperature, before folding into the beaten egg whites.
Makes 30-40 macaroons
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Now I had visions of creating beautifully piped little macaroons with this recipe but I had a little difficulty piping anything out of the piping bag as the mixture was too solid and so my macaroons were more splodges than anything else BUT they did taste absolutely delicious despite not being the prettiest thing I have ever created. I opted to use melted chocolate as I am a complete chocoholic. These went down a treat with the whole family and will definitely be making another appearance in my baking list.
So what did I think of the book? Well I admit when I initially flicked through the book I was a little disappointed. Some of the recipes are things I wouldn’t try (I’m not a huge fan of tofu) but once I started trying out recipes I was surprised at just how good they were. I found that a recipe that didn’t necessarily sound exciting at first glance was actually delicious and bursting with subtle flavours. I regularly use this recipe book nowadays so yes it’s passed the Brown household test
You can buy a copy of tibits at home from amazon or through tibits website
The lovely people from Simon and Schuster Children’s Books have sent us a lovely selection of their latest publications to review. My children seriously love books and so any package we receive from Simon and Schuster is eagerly opened.
Snug As A Bug – Tamsyn Murray and Judi Abbot
“Would you prefer to be snug as a bug rolled up in a rug? Like two cosy bats in thick woolly hats? as hot as three pigs in big purple wigs?…Well that’s what George has to decide for himself on a day out at the park with Mum”
I absolutely love this book and so does MissB. With the recent cold spell of weather we’ve been having it is something that we can really relate to and we have had lots of fun practising our counting together over bedtime stories.
The book is beautifully illustrated and so easy to read. I love books which have rhyming text and this book does it so well. It is everything you want in a children’s book, funny, entertaining, educational, bright and colourful and it really is one of my favourite books at the moment There is a link to it on amazon below.
Octonauts and the Undersea Adventure
“Dive into action with the Octonauts as they save some sea creatures from an undersea volcano! When a dangerous volcano threatens to erupt, the Octonauts must evacuate all the sea creatures nearby. But there is one creature that won’t budge – a slow moving, gelatinous Blobfish. Can Captain Barnacles, Kwazii and Peso get the Blobfish to safety before the volcano blows it’s top?”
Something both MissB and MasterB love is seeing books with characters that they recognise from TV. We watch Octonauts on TV most mornings before nursery and it has particular meaning for us as MasterB has to wear eye patches every day so we like Kwazii the Octonaut who also wears an eye patch. MasterB even has his own cuddly Kwazii that we got him for Christmas
This book is based around a tv episode we have already seen. I like the little fact boxes that it has as you go through the book explaining things such as volcanos and blobfish. We particular like blobfish If your children like Octonauts then these books are great little books. Watch out for other books in the Octonauts series also being published in January and February. With our current obsession for sticker books, I will definitely be keeping an eye out for Desert Island Doodle and Sticker Book . I’ve included links to all the new titles on amazon below.
Mike The Knight and The Real Sword
“Mike is desperate for Evie, his fun and free-spirited sister who is a wizard in training, to change his enchanted sword back to a real sword – as a real knight needs a real sword! But when Evie’s spell goes wrong, Mike has to learn to make the best of what he has got.”
Mike the Knight is another popular TV program in this household and so unsurprisingly this book was very well received. MissB loved pointing out all the familiar characters to me. She loves Sparkie and Squirt the two dragons As is always the way with Mike the Knight, there is a lesson to be learnt and doing it right is always the way Any Mike the Knight fan would love this book, along with a couple of other titles being release in January. I particularly like the look of Dragons on the Loose which is a hardback push and pop up book! I’ve included links to all the latest titles on amazon below
The book fairy has been to visit again, we really do get spoilt by the lovely people at Harper Collins Children’s Books. This month we have two fabulous books which would make great Christmas presents.
Diary of a Christmas Wombat – Jackie French
We are getting so excited about Christmas in the Brown household now and MissB loves anything Christmas related so she has really enjoyed reading this lovely book before bedtime. She thinks Mothball the Wombat is really funny (and I have to agree with her!).
“Christmas from a wombat’s eye view is always going to be interesting – especially when that wombat is Mothball!”
“Christmas comes but once a year and it’s just as well for Santa’s reindeer who have to fight with Mothball for the carrots left out for them by local children. And when Mothball takes an unexpected sleigh ride, it’s not just Santa who faces the prospect of getting stuck in the chimney.!
This really is a delightful little book, the story really well through the pictures and is really easy to follow for toddlers, it definitely keeps MissB entertained and chuckling along whenever we read it (and we have read it over and over and over!). Released on the 25th October, you can buy Diary of a Christmas Wombat in most book selling places including Amazon, I have included a link to it below
Hello Kitty Annual 2013
Any Hello Kitty fan is going to absolutely love this book if they find it in their stocking on Christmas Day! MissB is still a little young to really appreciate just how good annuals are but I fondly remember getting various annuals every year for Christmas as a child. This one is just as fun packed as I remember my old annuals were
“Packed full of fun, activities and games this is the official Hello Kitty Annual, This fabulous book is filled with ideas for fun things to make and do, quizzes, puzzles and lots more! It’s the perfect companion for the year ahead”
The book includes information and advice on loads of different things from growing pretty flowers, making cupcakes, how to be a fabulous friend to even making your own perfume. If you child loves Hello Kitty then they will absolutely love this book and it really needs to find it’s way under your Christmas tree this year
The hardback annual has a RRP of £7.99 and can be found in most bookselling places, I’ve included a link to it on Amazon below Even more amazing is that it’s currently selling for the bargain price of £3.86!!
When Simon and Schuster sent us one of their latest books, Princess Evie’s Ponies: Diamond the Magic Unicorn to review, they made MissB a very happy little girl. Like her mummy, MissB is already getting a little obsessed with all things pony related (I’m probably fuelling this a little as I can’t wait to get her on a pony )
“Princess Evie is crazy about her ponies. But Princess Evie’s ponies aren’t like any other ponies – oh no! Her ponies are magic ponies and, whenever Princess Evie rides them, she is whisked away on a magical adventure in a faraway land . . .
Princess Evie and Sparkles the kitten, find themselves in a magical world of cloud sprites and unicorns! Evie is invited to take part in the Unicorn Games, but will Evie and Diamond be good enough to win a prize in any of the events?”
Princess Evie’s Ponies is a series of books written by Sarah Kilbride, Diamond The Magic Unicorn is the seventh book in the series. Each book comes with a removable pop-up pony. This was a huge hit with MissB who has been carrying it around with her pretty much constantly since she got it. I did manage to persuade her that she shouldn’t really take it to bed as it would get squashed though
MissB of course loved this book, she now wants a unicorn for herself (good luck in getting one of those for her mummy!). The book is beautifully illustrated and is guaranteed to appeal to any pony mad child. My favourite part of the book is the removable pop up pony – it adds a nice interactive element to the book as MissB sat recreating the scenes with it
You can buy Diamond The Magic Unicorn or any of the other Princess Evie’s Ponies books at all the usual places, they have a RRP of £5.99. As usual I have included a link to them on Amazon below
We love Judith Kerr books, MissB’s favourite book at the moment is The Tiger Who Came To Tea which her Granny bought her recently. Harper Collins Children’s Books have just sent us her latest book The Great Granny Gang to review. Below is a short video of Judith herself telling us about her latest book
“Meet the great grannies – a fearless and talented gang! From rebuilding your chimney to baby-sitting your more unusual pets, from lion taming to road repairs, the grannies have got it covered. But how will they fare when they encounter a gang of hoodies intent on carrying out a daring bakery break-in? Can they foil the heist and save the day? It’s time to sound the granny alert…”
MissB absolutely loves The Great Granny Gang, we couldn’t help but laugh at crocodile minding and lion taming grannies, they aren’t like MissB’s granny at all The book is beautifully illustrated and the story is guaranteed to make you smile. How dare that nasty gang of hoodies try to steal the cakes! But as any toddler (and Judith Kerr) knows, Grannies are capable of ANYTHING! This book is now a firm favourite in our household
You can buy The Great Granny Gang is most bookshops and of course Amazon, I’ve included a link to it below
The book fairy has visited again This time, the extremely lovely people from Harper Collins Children’s Books have sent MissB another two lovely picture books to review
Walter & The No Need To Worry Suit – Rachel Bright
“Introducing the first fantastic tale from the Wonderful World of Walter and Winnie. We all worry, but nobody worries like Walter. As the Seriously Competitive Sports and Funday approaches, Walter’s worries start to roll out of control. What can his best friend Winnie and the other Woollybottomers do to help?”
This is a really funny book, MissB couldn’t stop giggling about Walter’s trousers flying off on the trampoline and the giant mouse. I love the idea of the no-need-to-worry-suit with its anti-giant-mouse-stamping helmet. Every toddler should have one! Of course, as with all good books there is a twist to the story, Walter realises that maybe a no-need-to-worry suit isn’t the answer to his problems…
Walter & The No Need To Worry Suit has an RRP of £6.99 and can be bought in all the usual places, I’ve included a link to it on Amazon below
This Moose Belongs To Me – Oliver Jeffers
“The story of Wilfred, a boy who owns a moose called Marcel (or at least thinks he owns a moose called Marcel) is as warm and witty and thought provoking a book as we could wish for. It explores friendship and ownership with that particular Jeffers way of looking at things that connects so immediately and deeply with the feelings of children of all ages.”
There is something really enchanting about this book, we love the rules about being a good pet. MissB decided we need to make some rules for our pets (Izzy and Indie Cat). The illustrations throughout the book are beautiful and the story is lovely although MissB did get a little concerned when Wilfred ran off home and fell over. Of course Marcel came to save the day and everybody lived happily ever after, well sort of…
The Moose Belongs To Me has a RRP of £11.99 (hardback) and can be bought in all the usual places, I’ve included a link to it on Amazon below
There is nothing MissB loves more at the moment than sticker books so when we were sent Justin’s Funny Faces, Sticker Activity Book to review, I had one very happy girl on my hands MissB instantly recognised Justin from the TV and she instantly set to work creating faces. The book basically has 50 resuable stickers with various eyes, noses etc and 14 empty faces to stick them on. It’s bright and colourful and visually appealing to pre-schoolers
The book comes with 50 reusable stickers which is always a bonus as MissB loves sticking and resticking them.They are also easy enough for her to get off the backing sheet by herself without ripping them (a bugbear I have with sticker books is when MissB can’t get the stickers out herself). Another fab feature of the book is making faces with them. It drives me up the wall when MissB sticks things in the wrong places (I have slight OCD about it) but even she can understand where she needs to put eyes, noses and mouths. Below are a few of her creations We had a few bonus creations where she decided to stick extra eyes on MasterB but I’d say 90% of the stickers ended up in the book
MissB loves her Justin Sticker Book and it has given us hours of
peace entertainment. The book has a RRP of £3.99 which I think is pretty good value, I found it on Amazon for £2.75 (see link below)
The book fairy has visited our house again, this time it’s the lovely people from Simon and Schuster Children’s books who have sent MissB a couple of lovely picture books to review
Jack’s Mega Machines: The Rocket Racing Car – Alison Ritchie & Mike Byrne
Jack’s Mega Machines is an awesome new picture book series, each title will see a thrilling adventure take place in an incredible land. Join Jack as he zooms through space in his super speedy rocket racing car in this first adventure of the series.
“Jack is a mechanic whose workshop is unlike any other, when he drives through its magic doors something special happens, and he has thrilling adventures! This time Jack zooms off to outer space in a rocket racing car. He meets all kinds of aliens when he joins an intergalactic space race. There’s spiky, slimy, spotty ones, tall pointy ones and small blobby ones, but can he help fix their cars? And who will win the race?”
This first book in the series came with a removable rocket car to play with and help to bring the story to life. (Please not when removing it, do take care as naughty Mother Brown ripped a wing off it and it’s now held together with tape ). MissB though this book was fab, she has a thing about aliens and monsters at the moment and she loved being able to zoom the real rocket car around whilst we were reading it to her. The story is simple enough for her to understand and the book is bright, colourful and beautifully illustrated which is always a major factor in keeping MissB interested in them. This one definitely gets a thumbs up from us and I will be keeping an eye out for the rest of the series being released
Jack’s Mega Machines was published on 30th August 2012 and has a RRP of £5.99. I’ve included a link to it on Amazon below
How Dinosaurs Really Work! – Alan Snow
I love this book, it is aimed for around age 4+ so MissB is a little too young to really understand it at the moment but one that I’m sure she will love when she is a little older
“From the author of the bestselling How Santa Really Works, Alan Snow comes this must have book for all dinosaur enthusiasts. Crammed full of interesting dino-facts and bursting with wonderfully detailed illustrations, How Dinosaurs Really Work cleverly covers everything you need to know about these roaring beasts.
With facts, jokes and information-filled drawings on every page, this fantastic new title is guaranteed to raise a laugh and keep children entertained for hours. The perfect choice for all dino-crazy youngsters.”
If you have a dinosaur obsessed toddler then this is definitely one to pop in their christmas stocking, I think it’s fantastic! Factual but funny and the drawings are brilliant. I reckon by next year MissB will really understand this a bit more and get the full benefit of the book!
How Dinosaurs Really Work! was published on 30th August 2012 and has a RRP of £10.99. I’ve included a link to it on Amazon below I’ve also included a link to How Santa Really Works – I’ve not seen a copy of this book yet but I’m considering getting it myself as if it’s like the Dinosaur book it will be great
The lovely people from Harper Collins Children’s Books have recently sent MissB some lovely new books to review In this household we can never have enough books!
Come To School Too, Blue Kangaroo! – Emma Chichester Clark
Apparently this is the 8th title in this series starring Lily and her loveable soft toy Blue Kangaroo, I admit I’ve not come across them before but I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for them in the future!
When Lily starts a new school she asks Blue Kangaroo to come too. Lily thinks Blue Kangaroo is worried about going, but secretly, he can’t wait to explore and try new things – but he has to spend the first day watching from the windowsill. Then – disaster! Lily leaves him behind! But perhaps now he can have a go at all the fun things children do at school…
This book would be perfect for any child starting school in September, obviously MissB is a little young for that but we’ve had similar experiences with her taking her toys to nursery and her poor Mr Zebra once had to spend the weekend there and so she could really relate to the book
The illustrations are lovely and the story is great for letting children know about school and how much fun it can be. MissB’s daddy is a teacher and so now she thinks he gets to play all day lol
Come to School Too, Blue Kangaroo! Was published on the 2nd August with a RRP of £10.99 for the hardback version and can be purchased in most bookshops, I’ve included a link to it on Amazon below.
Hello Kitty Numbers, Letters & Learning To Write Sticker Books
Now there is nothing MissB loves more at the moment than anything with stickers in it and so these books were an immediate hit with her
Hello Kitty helps children take the next step in getting ready for school in these simple-to-follow guides to starting to write and learning the alphabet and numbers!
MissB is still a little young for learning to write but we’ve been spending lots of time with her teaching numbers and letters. These books are lovely in that there are lots of fun activities to work through whilst helping them to develop early years literacy skills. Content is written by an education expert and linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Each of the three books has an RRP of £4.99 and again can be purchased in most bookshops, I’ve included links to them on Amazon below and also to the Collins My First Hello Kitty Dictionary which is aimed at 5-7 year olds (we weren’t sent this to review but I’ll be keeping an eye out for it in a couple of years!)