Related to: 'The Complete Aga Cookbook'

December Book of the Month

Nikki and Damien continue in Take Me

I awake to an empty bed and the smell of frying bacon. I roll over to find my phone on the bedside table, then glance at the time. Not yet six. I groan and fall back among the pillows, but I don't really want to go back to sleep. What I want is Damien. I slide out of bed, then grab the tank top and yoga pants I'd left draped across a nearby armchair. I head barefoot out of the bedroom and move the short distance down the hall to the third-floor kitchen. We're standing in Damien's Malibu house, and the wall of windows that faces the ocean is wide open, the glass panels having been thrust aside to let in the breeze. The smell of the ocean mingles with the scent of breakfast and I breathe deep, realizing that I am content. Whatever demons had poked at me during the night, Damien effectively banished them. I glance toward the windows and out at the darkened Pacific. Waves glow white in the fading moonlight as they break upon the shore. There is beauty there, and part of me wants to walk to the balcony and stare out at the roiling, frothing water. But the siren call of the ocean is nothing compared to my desire to see Damien, and so I turn away from the windows and head straight to the kitchen. It is larger than the one in the condo I used to share with my best friend, Jamie, and it is not even the primary kitchen for this house. That is on the first floor, and could easily service a one-hundred-table restaurant. But this - the "small" kitchen - was installed as an adjunct to the open area that serves as a venue for entertaining, and since it is just down the hall from our bedroom, Damien and I have gotten into the habit of cooking our meals and eating in this cozier, more informal area. Usually we're joined by Lady Meow-Meow, the fluffy white cat I took custody over when Jamie moved out. I know Lady M misses Jamie, but she's also enjoying having the run of this huge house, and Gregory - the valet, butler, and all around house-running guy - spoils her rotten. Now I lean against the half wall that marks the break from hallway to kitchen. Damien is standing at the stove cooking an omelette as if he were nothing more than an ordinary guy. Except there is nothing ordinary about Damien Stark. He is grace and power, beauty and heat. He is exceptional, and he has captured me completely. At the moment, he is shirtless, and I cannot help the way my breath stutters as my eyes skim over the defined muscles of his back and his taut, strong arms. Damien's first fortune came not form business, but from his original career as a champion tennis player. Even now, years later, he has both the look and the power of an elite athlete. I let my gaze drift down appreciatively. He is wearing simple gray sweatpants that sit low on his narrow hips and cling to the curves of his perfectly toned ass. Like me, he is barefoot. He looks young and sexy and completely delicious. Yet despite his casual appearance, I can still see the executive. The powerful businessman who harnessed the world, who shifted it to his own liking and made a fortune in the process. He is strength and control. And I am humbled by the knowledge that I am what he values most of all, and that I will spend the rest of my life at his side. "You're staring," he says, his eyes still on the stove. I grin happily, like a child. "I enjoy looking at pretty things." He turns now, and his eyes rake over me, starting at my toes. "So do I," he says when his gaze reaches my face, and there is so much heat in his voice that my legs go weak and my body quivers with want. His mouth curves into a slow, sexy smile, and I am absolutely certain in that moment that I am going to melt. "You spoiled my surprise," he says, then nods toward the breakfast table where a tray sits with a glass bud vase displaying a single, red rose. "Breakfast in bed."

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Fast Cakes

Mary Berry
Authors:
Mary Berry

Fast Cakes is the unmissable and definitive baking book from Mary Berry. Mary has incorporated her 'all-in-one' method of preparation into as many recipes as possible, so her recipes are faster to make than ever. Nearly 100 of the bakes take only 10 minutes to make and Mary has included small bake variations for fruit cakes, which traditionally take a long time in the oven, so you can make one even when you are pushed for time.There are scones, buns and biscuits that you can whip up for tea, traybakes and fruit loaves perfect for a school or village fete and of course foolproof cakes for every occasion from everyday recipes such as a Honey and Almond Cake to Mary's First-Rate Chocolate Cake. Not forgetting recipes you can make with your kids from Happy Face Biscuits to Traffic Lights and Jammy Buns.If you miss Mary's wisdom and inspiration in The Great British Bake Off, or want a brand-new companion to Mary Berry's Baking Bible, this is the cookbook for you, with over 150 easy recipes to make with confidence.Straightforward recipes you can trust, Fast Cakes is a must-have for all busy bakers.Note: Fast Cakes was first published by Piatkus in 1981 and was an instant hit with classic recipes that could be made in minutes. A bestseller of its time, many families are still baking with it now, but 37 years on, Mary Berry has completely revised and updated this much-loved book. Collected together with recipes from Mary's follow-up book, More Fast Cakes, published in 1988, this is a beautifully photographed hardback edition for a new generation of bakers.

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Cook Now, Eat Later

Mary Berry
Authors:
Mary Berry

In our time-strapped lives, it isn't always easy to eat healthy home-cooked food every day of the week. You need never go hungry again with these delicious, straightforward recipes for cooking and preparing ahead. Whether you want to make a three-course meal on Friday night for guests or have a few yummy family suppers ready in advance, with more than 100 recipes to choose from, Cook Now Eat Later is perfect for the busy home cook. As you would expect from Mary, the recipes are foolproof and easy-to-follow, and they include clear instructions on how to get one (or two or three!) steps ahead. With some dishes you'll be able to cook everything in advance, while others can be prepared ahead and assembled and then just cooked on the day. Find out when you can freeze to get ahead and when it's best to keep it fresh. Simple directions show you what to do to take all the stress out of cooking. Let Mary give you the confidence to plan ahead. With Cook Now Eat Later you can have the ideal dish for every occasion ready in no time.

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Adrian Slywotzky With Karl Web, Er
Authors:
Adrian Slywotzky With Karl Web, Er
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Mary Berry's Family Sunday Lunches

Mary Berry
Authors:
Mary Berry
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Real Food - Fast

Mary Berry
Authors:
Mary Berry

We all love to eat well and enjoy the freshest, lightest ingredients, but who wants to spend hours on complicated recipes? Mary Berry - who tests every dish until it is foolproof - uses clever ideas and smart shortcuts to put your favourite flavours on the table in the shortest time. Why make pastry, pit olives or labour over onion chutney when first-class products are available. Concentrate instead on fresh vegetables, top-quality fish and meat, and the little extras - a parcel of young shoots or some chocolate flakes - that give the finished dish a lift.Mary's easy-to-follow recipes and tips give you mouthwatering meals that won't take hours.

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Mary Berry's New Aga Cookbook

Mary Berry
Authors:
Mary Berry

Mary Berry, queen of cooking on the range, has written the first cookbook to bring Aga cookery up to date. Aga cuisine need no longer be confined to stews and casseroles. Mary Berry shows how to cook contemporary and delicious food such as grilled vegetables, Baked Thai Curry, and Filo Parcels with Ricotta and Spinach. The recipes are complemented with detailed introductory material that shows you how to get the very best from your Aga - whether a new convert or an established devotee - and with this book it can become the warming heart of your family kitchen.

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Mary Berry's Christmas Collection

Mary Berry
Authors:
Mary Berry

Known for her practical and unfussy approach to cooking, Mary Berry has finally taken on the trickiest of culinary periods. In Mary Berry's Christmas Collection Mary combines all her favourite winter recipes with a selection of new mouthwatering dishes to give us not only the time-honoured traditional roast turkey and classic Victorian Christmas cake, but also a variety of new and exciting food ideas for the festive period. Her Gammon with a Mango Salsa and a crunchy Caramalised Onion Salad or yummy Stilton and Pear Crostini or Quail's Eggs in Pastry Cases take the pressure off entertaining whether it's the Boxing Day crowd or a family New Year gathering.With clues on leftovers, buffets, a Christmas day countdown and a trouble-shooting section, Mary will help you solve all your holiday cooking problems. A wonderful seasonal cookery book from the queen of Aga cooking.

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Mary Berry's Stress-free Kitchen

Mary Berry
Authors:
Mary Berry

For everyone who loves to welcome people into their home but never knows what to feed them. And for everyone who wants to enjoy cooking more and worry about it less, Mary Berry's STRESS-FREE KITCHEN is a must. From big buffet feasts, to impressive dinner party dishes, tea-time treats and comforting kitchen suppers, Mary has thought of everything. With clear step-by-step instructions and prepare-ahead tips, each recipe is simple to follow and delicious. Well known for her reliability and skill with traditional dishes, Mary also embraces exotic influences, so you'll find a recipe for Nasi Goreng alongside a Classic Crème Caramel. And with dishes like Little Smoked Haddock Fishcakes with Quails' Eggs among the 120 included, there are plenty of recipes to impress as well as many of her old favourites. With Mary Berry's STRESS-FREE KITCHEN, you can have the pleasure of entertaining family and friends without the worry.

Alysa Levene

Alysa Levene is a social history at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford (and enthusiastic amateur baker). She has researched and published articles and books on a variety of topics which connect with this book: the history of childhood, health, the family, and food.

Beth Ciotta

Beth Ciotta is an award-winning author who specialises in romantic comedy with a twist. Her work includes contemporary, historical, and paranormal romantic fiction. As Beth says, "I can't think of anything more fulfilling than writing stories where everyone (except the villain, of course) gets a happy ending!"Beth lives in New Jersey with her husband, two zany dogs and a crazy cat. A retired professional performer, Beth now pours her artistic passion into her writing. To learn more about her colorful life, visit her website at www.bethciotta.com, follow her on Twitter @BethCiotta and find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BethCiottaBooks.

Bill Collison

Bill Collison is arguably the most successful retail greengrocer in the UK, winning accolades from everyone who shops and eats at Bill's Produce Stores (currently in Lewes and Brighton). From humble beginnings over 20 years ago, selling fruit and vegetables from what amounted to a shed, he has slowly grown his business. His is the story of the humble greengrocer who fought - the onslaught of supermarkets, the financial and seasonal fluctuations of supplies, the rising costs of everything - and won. Now, with new business partners, Caprice Holdings, on board, Bill's Produce Stores will be rolling out across the UK, into major cities, bringing Bill's and the food to a broader audience.Bill's success is about clever growth - observing trends and challenges and adapting to them quickly. It's also about sheer hard work, getting into the store at 4am to dress it for the day and make it the visual treat that people come from miles away to experience. But it's mostly about the food - it's delicious, it's different, it's packed with flavours and colours and textures and for all that, it isn't expensive. From the simplest scrambled eggs on toast to the award winning vegetarian breakfast, the mezze plates and cakes that customers gawp at as they're set down before them, it's all presented with a flourish and a keen eye for detail - a unique celebration of eating.Bill's background is in growing and greengrocery. His passion for food comes from a different source to his peers, literally from the roots up. He knows about produce, how it's grown and supplied, the peculiarities of sustainably growing different fruits and vegetables, the effects of the weather and the shifting requirements of customers.

Emma Hannigan

Emma Hannigan is the No. 1 bestselling author of twelve novels including Letters to my Daughters, The Wedding Promise and The Perfect Gift. Her bestselling memoir, Talk to the Headscarf, was updated and revised as All To Live For: Fighting Cancer. Finding Hope. and was also a top ten bestseller.

Henry Herbert

Last year Henry, 24, left his role as Head Chef of the award winning Coach and Horses in Clerkenwell to face a new challenge, buying the traditional butchers next door to his brother Tom`s bakery. Now the two work and cook side by side, professionally and domestically, creating every element of a meal; from the bun to the burgers and even the homemade pickles that top them off.

Ian Buxton

Ian Buxton worked in the drinks industry for more than 30 years as a writer, commentator and consultant, Marketing Director of a world-leading single malt, and accidental owner of a derelict distillery. His distinctive style and deep industry knowledge offer unique insights into the world of whisky, recognised by the award of Keeper of the Quaich (1991, the highest accolade in Scotch) and as one of the few writers inducted into London's ancient fraternity, the Worshipful Company of Distillers. Ian's whisky books have been translated into eight languages.

Itamar Srulovich

Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer are a husband-and-wife team who together run Honey & Co in London's Fitzrovia. They first met twelve years ago in a restaurant kitchen in Israel and arrived in London dreaming of high gastronomy and Michelin stars. Their tiny restaurant has ten tables and brings the magic of homely Middle Eastern soul food to a hungry crowd. They have since opened Honey & Spice and Honey & Smoke and published two cookbooks. Follow on Twitter: @Honeyandco

Ivor Peters

Ivor Peters has spent the past two decades working in the media industry, publishing, PR, advertising, latterly as the Creative Director for a film/video production company. However, his zealous 5-9 career is spent running his pop up restaurant, Cash 'n' Curry, raising funds for projects helping India's street children, and populating his blog www.urbanrajah.com with recipes and stories about food, travel, life and style finds.

Joanne Fluke

Joanne Fluke is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels. Like her much-loved series character, Hannah Swensen, Joanne was born and raised in a small town in rural Minnesota, but now lives in sunny Southern California. She is currently at work on her next Hannah Swensen mystery and loves to hear from her readers. You can contact Joanne at Gr8Clues@aol.com, or by visiting her website at www.joannefluke.com.

John Torode

John Torode is one of the UK's best-loved chefs and judge of BBC One's MasterChef, Celebrity MasterChef and Junior MasterChef. John's food and travel series, Australia, Malaysian Adventures, Korean Food Tour and John Torode's Asia have aired on the Good Food Channel.

Lucy Young

Lucy has worked in the wonderful business of cooking for nearly 30 years. She is Cordon Bleu trained and for the last 27 years has worked as assistant to Mary Berry, who describes Lucy as "a truly exceptional cook". Lucy is an author of 8 books and also co-writes some books with Mary. Her expertise is both in AGA cooking, and in creating no-hassle recipes for family and friends.

Mary Berry

Mary Berry is the nation's favourite baker and home cook. The much-loved judge of The Great British Bake Off, Mary is the author of more than 70 cookbooks. Mary is loved for her practical and unfussy approach to cooking, but when she is at home, she loves to be with her family and tending her garden - her other great passion.