Pret DIY: the recipes (making my cookbooks earn their place on my shelves)


Sorry, I’m going to torture you guys with a book that is now out of print, it’s been sitting on my cookbook shelves that long and to be honest, I thought after ‘testing’ it’d be a prime candidate for the charity shop, after all do I really need a whole recipe book devoted to sandwiches? Well it turns out I do, we had a heat wave in July and it put me right off cooking, so all I could do was bring myself to make sandwiches, cheese sandwiches, over and over again. I needed to eat a little healthier and I did.

From left to right, top to bottom, if I can judge what the sandwich fillings are from the photos, I made chicken in yoghurt dressing, ham and cheese croissant, pineapple and mango yoghurt drink, humous salad, mature cheddar, chorizo, chicken wrap, compote pot and lemon drizzle cake. Pretty much all the sandwiches were delicious and just like eating at an actual Pret a Manger. I did alter the sandwiches a little sometimes, I’m not a big fan of mayo, so if the recipe called for that I substituted with either yoghurt or cream cheese. And don’t get me wrong, I like my plain cheese sandwiches (a cheese sandwich and a packet of crisps and a drink reminds me of food from home, my mum was not much of a cook) but the sandwiches I made whilst following this book tasted a hell of a lot nicer, they were more filling to. However since I stopped menu planning from this book I’ve gone back to plain cheese sandwiches again, I’m in full on school holidays mode and menu planning is even more difficult, I’m really struggling to make sure I have just the right amount of fresh produce in the house at the moment, I either have too much and don’t use it or not enough. I have made the compote pot for breakfast a lot however.

As for the lemon cake, I had to wait for the weather to cool down a bit and for a weekend when I didn’t have so much overtime, so I only made it today but it is delicious! Really satisfying to make to, in a sort of ‘good honest but pretty cake’ way. I haven’t made enough simple large round cakes recently and that lemon curd and parlsocker topping was easy yet looked so effective. And I love the poppy seeds in the cake! And it has the nice cake quality of being gorgeous but one slice is enough (due to it’s very lemonyness), so no guilt inducing eat the whole cake at once. I will so be making this again, I can imagine it’d be good coffee morning kind of cake, as for my family, Boy Lacer will of course eat anything in cake form but Girl Lacer doesn’t like lemon cake, there’s a whole long list of baked goods Girl Lacer doesn’t like.

So of course this book is not going down the charity shop! There’s a good looking section on soups to which will be good for when it’s not summer (a friend of mine was debating on Facebook today whether soup was just a winter thing or a year round thing, soup’s so a not-hot-weather thing for me ie autumn – winter – spring, whereas my friend, an Aussie to boot, thought it a year round thing and was amazed people thought different). If you’re after a copy of your own, I did notice a few second hand copies on Amazon UK, worth it, even with all the Pret a Manger advertorial in between the recipes.


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