Can you name the four best-selling cookery book authors in the UK?
The top three come as no surprise: Jamie, Nigella and Delia — so familiar we’ve dropped their surnames.
Number four may be more of a revelation. It is Annabel Karmel, queen of baby purées and toddler snacks.
Karmel has written 37 books to date, selling more than four million worldwide. Her Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner has sold three million copies globally.
Karmel’s books have been the bibles for new, and experienced, mothers for more than 20 years. My own copies are well-thumbed.
Her latest tome however, Annabel’s Family Cookbook targets the whole
“Many of the original babies - including my own children - are reaching their twenties and are cooking for themselves” she says.
The new book aims to keep those children on board with a collection of meals intended to feed all the family in one sitting.
There are snacks, lunchbox ideas, light meals and dinners as well as some sweet treats.
The recipes are beautifully shot and for the most part, simple to put together.
I am sceptical of enticing my under-fives to tuck in to baked sea bass and jewelled couscous but there is plenty I would serve to more mature diners.
Annabel’s Family Cookbook, Ebury Press
Annabel Karmel's Chicken breasts roasted with sweet peppers
This is one of my favourite ways to cook chicken because it manages to keep the meat so lovely and moist, and it is all roasted in one tin to save on washing up!
Makes 4 portions
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 50 – 60 minutes
500 g baby new potatoes
1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced into large pieces
1 yellow pepper, deseeded and sliced into large pieces
1 red onion, sliced into wedges
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tbsp honey
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 part-boned chicken breasts, skin on
175 ml white wine
50 ml chicken stock
Salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Slice the potatoes in half or into quarters if they are quite large. Put the potatoes in a roasting tin along with the peppers and onion.
Drizzle over 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and half the thyme. Season. Roast for 30 minutes.
Mix the remaining oil, honey and thyme with the garlic in a small bowl.
Rub all over the chicken breasts and under the skin to make sure they are well coated.
Pour the wine and chicken stock over the vegetables then place the chicken pieces on top.
Roast for a further 25–30 minutes until the chicken is golden and cooked through, and the vegetables are tender.