From diets to zombies, the perfect autumn read


OCTOBER is my favourite month of the year.

I love taking walks and watching the change in the leaves.

My favourite vegetables, butternut squash and sweetcorn, are in season and, with the chill in the air, spicy butternut squash soup is the perfect meal, with sweetcorn fritters and chilli dip.

The long winter nights are perfect for spending time indoors crafting and cooking.

It’s just a few weeks away to Hallowe’en – the perfect excuse to have a party with friends and family.

For me, the most important part of any meal is the pudding, I’d happily eat that first before the main course.

Lily Vanilli’s pocket-sized book at £6.99, A Zombie Ate My Cupcake!, provides perfect ideas for a show-stopping dessert. The book contains more than 20 recipes for devilish creations that are fun to look at and promise to be tasty to eat.

All the cupcakes are decorated with fully edible toppings and the instructions are clear, concise and suitable for beginners and experienced cooks alike.

Cupcakes have had a resurgence in the last few years and tend to be very beautiful girly creations.

These cupcakes are darker cakes with a twist. From the simple Dracula’s Bite to the out-of-this-world Beating Heart, they promise to be a tasty and spectacular end to any Hallowe’en meal.

To continue with the Hallowe’en theme, Zombie Felties: How to Raise 16 Gruesome Felt Creatures from the Undead, is a brilliant choice for crafters of all levels. Clear simple instructions that use simple materials to create little pocket-sized zombie characters.

You can make a Zombie Bride and a Zombie Surfer among the other designs and there is even a pattern for a coffin for your zombies to rest in. Please be aware that the book warns that the zombies are not suitable for young children due to the small parts.

For all you pub-quiz goers, this next question is tipped to be one that will often be asked over the coming months. Which book knocked Fifty Shades of Grey off the bestseller number one spot? The answer? The Hairy Dieters: How to love food and lose weight.

I have bought a couple of copies of this book to give to friends and family. It’s packed full of tips on how to lose weight and still eat really tasty food. The recipes are colourful, hearty and inventive, there are even pies, curries and puddings.

At the back of the book is a meal plan to ease you into changing your eating habits.

The reason why I love this book so much is that it’s realistic in its expectations of people’s busy lifestyles. You have all the information that you need to get started in the one book and the ingredients can be found in any local supermarket.

For families with vegetarian and vegan members there are plenty of recipes that can either be suitable for them straight away or with one or two substitutions can work. I’m vegan and love curries so for me I’ve found that I can simply substitute the meat in them for tofu and use soya cream and I can enjoy the same taste and reduced calorie curry as everyone else in the family.