Too Many Cooks is available now in eformat and paperback.
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Product Details (as per amazon page)
Kelly Madigan seems to have it all: a fabulous boyfriend, a supportive – if eccentric – family, and a flourishing career as a cookbook ghostwriter. But after finding a letter from her recently-deceased mother, criticising her stable but undeniably unexciting life, Kelly knows she needs to make a change. When a mysterious new writing opportunity in London presents itself, she jumps at the chance to get away from it all.
Enter Natasha Spencer – Oscar-winning actress and health nut, not to mention a total nightmare. She’s working on a new cookbook and has asked for Kelly’s help. What Kelly didn’t factor in was meeting Natasha’s dishy MP husband, Hugh Ballantine.
Away from her family, friends, and the life she knows – will this fish out of water ever get back in the swim?
I’d like to thank the publishers and the author for an arc of Too Many Cooks in return for an honest review.
This is the second book by Dana Bate that I’ve read and I must say she is becoming a favourite of mine. Firstly, due to the fact that I adore foodie fiction books. Food and books marry up so well together as we all love to eat food, but a fiction book that is funny, heartwarming, romantic and is centred around the topic food, well it spells a success to me, without added calories! Secondly, Dana creates such great characters with depth and likeability, also personas to despise. Her style of writing flows very smoothly and you are soon lost in the words and are zipping through the chapters to find out what happens next.
I did feel excited for Kelly, the main character of this novel, when she had been given this opportunity to ghostwrite a cookbook for the megastar Natasha Spencer but as the story develops all is not what it seems with the Hollywood star and her life. Natasha’s personal life soon starts spilling over and causing chaos and life soon becomes very complicated for Kelly. I did feel quite emotional to how the love story wove it’s way for Kelly but at the end I felt quite hopeful for a new brighter, lovelier future for Kelly.
Amongst all the emotional turmoil for Kelly we are given glimpses of the recipes Kelly creates and tests for the cookbook. The recipes sound delicious and at one point I felt I could smell the baking coming from the pages of the book. Dana Bate has kindly noted down recipes of a few of the dishes mentioned in the novel at the back of the book and she is pleased to allow me to give you a recipe reveal for the delicious sounding Banana Bread that Kelly made quite early on in the book. I decided that if I was to reveal this recipe that I should also try making it, here is a photo of my Banana Bread, very nice it was too 🙂
Makes 1 loaf
This isn’t the prettiest banana bread, but it might be the tastiest. I compared and tweaked many recipes until I came up with this one. It develops a lovely crunchy crust, which disappears upon storing, but the flavour only improves. Use the ripest bananas you can find – the blacker the better.
1 ½ cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup caster sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
11⁄ 3 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3–4)
1⁄ 3 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 9” × 5” loaf pan and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper long enough to drape over the sides.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugars until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the mashed banana, yogurt and vanilla and mix until combined. Pour in the dry ingredients and mix, on low speed, just until the dry ingredients disappear.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 60–70 minutes, until the top is browned and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let the loaf cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges to loosen it. Using the parchment to help you, lift the banana bread from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store for up to 3 days.
I hope you like the sound of the Banana Bread and enjoy making one yourself.
Too Many Cooks was another fabulous, foodie, fantastic fiction book from Dana, 5/5* read,
To find out more about Dana Bate and her books please visit the following links: