If you're a fan of home-cooking, Rachel Allen or indeed organisation then 'Rachel's Diary 2009' should be on your wish list come December.

Filled with an assortment of seasonally-sorted recipes, notes on what foods are freshest each month and charming illustrations, 'Rachel's Diary' first and foremost is what it says on the tin. This small hardback book serves as a diary/calendar, with note space provided, but also offers useful cooking tips and introductions to the seasons as it journeys through the year.

From Torta Caprese to Pork & Egg Picnic Pie, Allen's recipes are uncomplicated and easy-to-follow, even for a novice chef. They make the most of seasonal produce and even offer concise advice on treating and storing so as to maximise the availability and shelf-life of certain foods which are not widely available all year round.

There is plenty of variety here, with treats like Chocolate Fudge Pudding on offer, as well as handy meal ideas, like Smoked Salmon, Leek & Potato Gratin. The diary also includes measurement guides and serving suggestions so that you can't make too many mistakes if you're experimenting in the kitchen.

'Rachel's Diary 2009' is cute present idea for any budding chefs or food enthusiasts, but you are likely to get hungry every time you open up the diary to make a note!

Linda McGee