Made a New Year's resolution to be healthier? Embarrassed by the fact that you got a Christmas card from your takeaway? Then 'No More Takeout' is the book for the new you.

This cookbook describes itself as a 'visual do-it-yourself guide to cooking' and you know what, it is just that. Sometimes the hardest thing about following cookbooks, if you're not a natural chef, is trying to decipher what exactly the instructions mean. What is a cup of flour? What is a pinch of salt? How do you separate the egg white from the yolk? What exactly does blanching mean? How do you know when your steak has cooked to a medium-rare standard? This might seem like basic stuff but, as the saying goes, it's only easy if you know the answer.

'No More Takeout' tackles all of the basics of cooking before it moves on to the tough stuff. It starts right at the beginning, always a very good place to start, with basics like boiled eggs, crispy bacon, French toast and pancakes. What makes the recipes so easy to follow is not just the clear step-by-step instructions but the fact that there are also pictures of each step, a list of all the utensils needed and clear timeframes for preparation and cooking. There are also hints on how to substitute ingredients and tips for avoiding cooking pitfalls.

The recipes included in this book are varied, ranging from chocolate truffle cake and blueberry muffins to salmon steaks with champagne butter and rustic meatloaf. As well as that there's also advice on how to kit out your kitchen for all cooking adventures. 'No More Takeout' is practical and, most importantly, it's not scary. You'll want to try cooking something out of this book and, who knows, you might even want to chuck out your takeaway menu after you've had a bit of fun cooking up some of these treats!

Linda McGee