If you're the kind of person you says things like "everything's so fussy nowadays" or "it used to be so much simpler..." then Ann Mulligan's 'The Irish B&B Cookbook' will be just down your street.

There are no frills here, no bells and whistles, and yet the content between the covers is so strong that it speaks for itself without needing to be dressed up with colour and gloss. In this compact book, An Bohreen B&B proprietor Ann Mulligan brings us a range of recipe ideas for breakfasts, soups, salads, side dishes, meat and poultry meals and sweet treats.

Darina Allen introduces the book by saying: "All the best ideas are the most obvious..." and it's very true of this handy reference book. Simple, practical ideas make up the bones of this cookbook.

There are some unusual dishes (Cashel Blue & Black Pudding Tart, Sautéed Lamb Kidneys with Mustard Sauce on Toast), some traditional recipes (Shortcrust Pastry, Raspberry Jam) and plenty of treats (White Chocolate Pecan Bread Pudding, Oatmeal Fudge Cake).

Ann Mulligan's approach to cooking is no non-sense and her instructions and tips are easy to follow, with serving suggestions and measurement conversions included in the notes. She shares her beliefs that using seasonal produce is always the best option and that artificial colours and flavours aren't necessary to complete a meal.

You can tell from just flicking through the book that a trip to An Bohreen B&B would be a very rewarding experience... your stomach would certainly thank you anyway!

Linda McGee