“Save with Jamie” – Our Verdict

Kirstin: Maureen, you cooked many more recipes than me from this book. What did you think?

Maureen: As the teenager in the house would say, “Meh.” For the most part, I found the recipes a bit bland. They weren’t bad, exactly, but they weren’t outstanding either. Maybe this is the curse of putting out one cookbook every year. He’s just not inspiring any more.

Kirstin: Maybe I should have tried a bit harder, but I was put off by the few recipes I did try. I could see where he was going with the saving money part, but I also realise that I’m not part of that audience.

Maureen: Yes. I totally agree. He’s trying to get more people to cook more and be less wasteful, but since we already do that, we’re already ahead. I really like how he included recipes that used leftovers, particularly from Sunday lunches. Then you get two completely different dinners from one main one.

Kirstin: Save Jamie. That’s what we should be doing!

Maureen: Yes! Save Jamie from feeling compelled to do an annual cookbook! Maybe next time he’ll do something more aspirational, but I’m not holding out hope.

“Save with Jamie” 
Overall Grade (A- F): Kirstin: E. Maureen: D. I would have failed it but for the inclusion of recipes that use leftovers. If they’re all as good as the Beef Rendang, he’ll be on to something and I’ll upgrade the grade.
Best recipes: Kirstin: None. Maureen:  Beef Rendang for the WIn! We really loved that. Also, the Mussel Pasta e Fagioli was delicious, though the boys didn’t like it as much as we did.
Grade for Photography (A-F): Kirstin: C: The usual closeup shots of Jamie holding up food. Nothing interesting.
Any disasters? No.
Bookshelf or Charity Shop Donation? Kirstin: Charity Shop Donation, for sure. Maureen: I might hold on to it for a bit longer and try some of the other leftover recipes, but if they turn out to be as uninspiring as the rest of them, it’s off to the charity shop for sure (though I will photocopy the beef rendang recipe first.)

“Save with Jamie” – Our Verdict

6 thoughts on ““Save with Jamie” – Our Verdict

  1. I’m a huge fan of Jamie, since naked chef you know! Sounds like this cookbook isn’t worth the time with the grades you all gave it. I just picked up a Jamie Oliver book I wanted a few years back called America, I wanted it for Christmas one year and the funny part was, it wasn’t even being sold in the U.S. at the time, then I’m at the grocery store last week and see it in the bargain bin. It was 7.00 and I think a really pretty book. I can’t wait to try some of the recipes out.

    1. Maureen Stapleton says:

      Which early Jamie book was it? Some of his early ones are still amoung our top picks. Unfortunately, he hasn’t done a really top-notch cookbook in several years.

    1. Maureen Stapleton says:

      That one is OK, but not one of my favourites. I seem to recall the churros recipe was well received here. However, my biggest problem with that book was Jamie taking on American cooking. My indignation about that lasts to today.

  2. Kim Daltrey says:

    Have only just discovered your blog and, after watching Jamie on tv last night, was interested in your views on this particular book. While I love watching Jamie and actually find him quite inspiring (and he certainly has a lot of energy), his recipes on the whole don’t work for me (but then, neither do Delia’s, and by ‘not working’ I mean I follow the recipes and they never work out – funny, it’s just those two cooks at the moment). Anyway, I digress. What I wanted to say was that your final comments and grades didn’t seem to match with the comments you made about the various dishes you did cook. The grades seemed a bit harsh in comparison. Just saying.

    Really love the idea of the blog though, and am thoroughly enjoying myself looking back through the archives. Like the anticipation of wondering what book you are going to review next.


    1. Thank you for your kind words about our blog. I think we were just disappointed by Jamie’s newer recipes which is a shame as he comes over as particularly inspirational on the tv.

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