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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Cook Now, Eat Later

Mary Berry
Authors:
Mary Berry
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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
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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.

Anne Shooter

Anne Shooter's first book, Sesame & Spice, is shortlisted for the Guild of Food Writers' First Book Award. Anne is a food writer, recipe columist and blogger for the Daily Mail and Anne has also written for Delicious, the Jewish Chronicle, the Guardian and Women and Home and has also appeared at food festivals including Gefiltefest, the Oxford Foodie Festival and Aldeburgh.Her work also includes chairing tasting panels, hosting food events and judging awards on radio and TV as well as advising Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury's and the Red Tractor Campaign.

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 eleven novels including The Wedding Promise, The Perfect Gift, and The Summer Guest. Her bestselling memoir, Talk to the Headscarf, has now been updated and revised as All To Live For. Emma lives in Co. Wicklow, Ireland, with her husband, two children, two cats and their Labradoodle Herbie.For more about Emma, visit her website www.emmahannigan.com or follow her on Twitter @MsEmmaHannigan.

Florence Knight

Florence Knight is a Sunday Times columnist and head chef at Polpetto in Soho. She studied at London College of Fashion before deciding to follow her passion for food, studying at Leiths School of Food and Wine. She then went on to work with French master baker Richard Bertinet, as a pastry chef at the Diamond Club, where the kitchen was led by Raymond Blanc, and in 2010 joined Polpetto, the small Venetian-inspired restaurant owned by Russell Norman.

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 is a former Marketing Director of Glenmorangie and has worked in the industry for nearly 30 years. He now runs a successful consultancy business. He was elected a Keeper of the Quaich in 1991, the highest honour of the Scotch whisky industry, and is a member of the international tasting panel for the annual World Whisky Awards and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Distillers.Twitter: @101whiskies

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

Jeffrey Steingarten

Jeffrey Steingarten trained to become a food writer at Harvard College, Harvard Law School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Harvard Lampoon. He is the internationally feared and acclaimed food critic of American Vogue.

Jo Brand

Jo Brand is a stand-up comic with many TV and radio shows to her name. She is married with two children and lives in south London.

John Whaite

John Whaite is the winner of BBC 2's The Great British Bake Off, 2012. He has been a keen baker and cook since he was a tiny tot, when he would spend many hours in the kitchen with his mum.From banking to baking, John was able to give up his mundane day job as a city commercial banker, to focus on the one thing he is truly obsessed with: food. In 2013 he fulfilled one of his lifelong dreams and attend Le Cordon Bleu in London to study the nine-month patisserie diploma.

Kaushy Patel

Kaushy learned to cook as a child on her grandmother's farm in northern India, coming to live in the UK in the 1960s. The success of the deli in Bradford she ran for 22 years with her husband led to the opening of Prashad, the restaurant, serving authentic Gujarati cuisine. Award-winning Prashad has now become a destination for food-lovers and fans of vegetarian cooking. Last year saw the launch of a new venture: Bundobust, in Leeds, championing traditional Indian streetfood dishes with craft beers.Kaushy's skills both as a professional chef and as a home cook, and her wide knowledge and enthusiasm will inspire you to get into the kitchen and get out your spice jars. www.prashad.co.ukFollow Prashad on Twitter: @Prashad_veggie

Martin Dorey

Martin Dorey is a writer and surfer. He lives on the North Devon coast with his wife, Joanne, daughters Maggie and Charlie, a medium-sized dog of unknown origin called Bob and Pootle, a 28-year-old Volkswagen camper van.

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.