I can openly admit that I am completely addicted to watching celebrity chefs cooking on TV. I will watch almost anyone who can demonstrate an alternative way of preparing and presenting the types of food that we eat on a regular basis. I have been really excited with all of the Christmas menu ideas that they have shown us and have thoroughly enjoyed watching the re-runs of Delia Smith and Nigella's Christmas. I already have their cookbooks sitting on the shelf in my kitchen, but the way that they prepare and cook the recipes contained within always make it look really easy and encourage me to try something new and exciting.

Nigella gives us her Mini Christmas Puddinis and Spruced up Vanilla cake with Lycheeni Martini, while Delia gives us her Brussels sprouts with bacon and Riesling, Amaretto Chocolate Truffle Torte and Creole Christmas cake. Even Jamie Oliver gives us Boxing Day Bubble and Squeak and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall graces us with his Glazed baked ham with figs. They give us so many ideas for using the traditional Christmas ingredients. Sometimes though, I have to wonder where some of the chefs think that we can either afford or find some of the ingredients that they use.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittinstall is a prime example of how unrealistic some celebrity chefs can be. Although I normally love the way that he utilises every scrap of meat that comes from the animal or every bit of the vegetable that is grown, where does he really think that we can go and get hold of a whole deer for his Christmas menu ideas? Who among us has the means either financially or practically of shooting and acquiring a whole deer for butchering into the variety of cuts that he demonstrated in his River Cottage Christmas show.

Now my thoughts are not to belittle or embarrass these chefs as most of them are my culinary idols. I just want them to realise that when they design all of these extravagant recipes, the ingredients that they suggest we use are practical enough for all who want to try and create for themselves. Constraints such as cost and availability of ingredients are a major consideration when most people decide what to cook.

Believe it or not, some of us have to give the cost of food considerable thought when deciding what to provide for our families. Not all of us are in financial position where we can purchase items without looking at or thinking about the cost. Many of us have to justify buying certain ingredients that we deem to be a luxury item against the staple foods that will provide substantial food for our families. Some of their recipes simply use the types of ingredients that we either cannot afford or even find in our local supermarkets.

I would class myself as quite an experienced home cook who can make great tasting meals, utilising many ingredients that I have either grown or purchased from the supermarket. I can very easily recognise certain ingredients that could be substituted for other. For example, if a recipe calls for walnuts and I have only hazelnuts they will have to do. If I have no caster sugar I know that granulated sugar would suffice. If I have no cinnamon then I’ll use nutmeg instead. But what does Nigella think we could substitute in place of Limoncello for her Anglo-Italian Trifle that she suggests we make in place of the traditional Christmas pudding? How cost effective would it be if you were to go and purchase the bottle of liqueur simply for this recipe? Would the remainder of the bottle ever get used for other recipe ideas especially when you realise that once opened the contents of the bottle has to be kept refrigerated and consumed within 3-4 days? How many recipes do you know that would actually use Limoncello anyway and where can you find it to purchase?

So, celebrity chefs, I ask you to consider this. Most of us would like to confidently and comfortably peruse through your cook books planning the recipes that we want to try. We don’t want to skip past the recipes that catch our attention simply because the ingredients are beyond our reach; either financially or logistically. You want us to watch your shows, buy and read your books and use your culinary merchandise with the purpose of recreating your recipes. So take a moment to consider the thoughts of your loyal fan base at the recipe planning stage and design us recipes that we can all create.