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Forking Fantastic! [Paperback]

Zora O'neill , Tamara Reynolds
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Oct. 6 2009
The innovative hosts of a hot-ticket underground supper club invite you to crank up your oven, break out the vino, and save the dinner party from extinction

Twice a month, two veterans of the New York food world prepare a big meal in a tiny kitchen, serving heaping plates of spectacular cuisine to twenty diverse people (or more). Friends old and new at their Sunday Night Dinners supper club make spirited conversation while feasting on sumptuous cooking. Never obsessed with perfect place settings or fussy details, Zora O'Neill and Tamara Reynolds instead focus on the practical joys of down-to-earth entertaining at home. In Forking Fantastic, they showcase their very best recipes for making mouthwatering dinners--and for having the time of your life.

With a healthy dose of irreverent attitude and infectious spirit, here Tamara and Zora take the pressure off and encourage us to reclaim the lost art of cooking delectable meals for the masses. Forking Fantastic! includes:

* foolproof, party-tested, delicious menus that are easy to master, each with a "Plan of Attack" for preparing multiple recipes without panic.

* practical tips on everything from shopping and stocking a kitchen to making creative vegetarian substitutions and trussing a whole lamb for spit-roasting

* hard-won advice from the trenches and an inside look at Tamara and Zora's own cooking disasters

Food-forward but always realistic, Tamara and Zora celebrate seasonal, local ingredients while also extolling cornbread mix and the frozen pea. Quirky, funny and fresh, this book arms intimidated cooks everywhere with the courage, confidence and tools they need to have people over for the sake of food and community, not for the prize of being the best hostess on the block. A manifesto for bringing back a time-honored ritual one mind-blowing feast at a time, Forking Fantastic! makes dinner parties rock.

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About the Author

Zora O'Neill runs a "NYC Survival Cooking" class and has done her time as a line cook, in such places as Prune in the East Village. She has written for eGullet.org and Gastronomica, and also writes travel guides for Lonely Planet, Moon and Rough Guides. She relates her eating adventures abroad at the long-running blog Roving Gastronome

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic fantastic! Feb. 20 2010
By Yum Yum
Truly a fabulous find. I laughed out loud at the anecdotes, explanations, and advice. A lot of fun, with delicious, easy to follow recipes. Perfect for people just starting out with cooking and entertaining, but also great for those who are more experienced. Forking Fantastic!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical. Funny. Profane. Awesome. Oct. 7 2009
By James F. Greer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ok, I've only had this book for 24 hours, so the recipes are not battle-tested, with the exception of a yummy Spanish Tortilla I made with leftovers last night (think frittata, not mexican tortilla). Having said that, I love the spirit of the book. It's aimed at someone who basically never throws a dinner party because of the stress involved. The recipes, shopping tips, etc all emphasize maximum deliciousness with least effort - for instance, it recommends never peeling a vegetable. It correctly identifies the surprising tastiness of frozen peas. I could go on.

The pleasure the authors take in a wine-infused, too-many-people-in-a-small-apartment kind of a dinner party is infectious. All in all, if the use of the f-word bothers you, or you want your dinner to look great in photographs, look elsewhere. If you've been meaning to get 8 people over for dinner more often, and want some help, this is just the ticket.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brazen over-the-top fun! Who can resist? Oct. 11 2009
By Beverly Mcfarland - Published on Amazon.com
If you've never considered cooking for another person never mind a group, this book will at least get you fantasizing about the possibility. Even if you rarely cook for yourself, you'll find yourself thinking Hmmm, I could make that... And seasoned cooks? I'm one of those ~ boasting dozens of years of creative cookery ~ yet there were multiple "who knew?" moments for me. These women know what they're talking about and better yet, know how to say it with clarity. And when's the last time you laughed out loud reading a cookbook?

Despite the statement that their vision of vegetarianism includes a bacon exception, the authors' vegetable dishes are original and tantalizing ~ and don't actually contain bacon although the recipe for candying it might make you want to.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laid Back, Delicious Food & Fun!!!! Oct. 12 2009
By Erin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I just got this cookbook last week and am already in love with it -- I love the laid-back, no measurements approach (which is really how you're supposed to cook!), and the no-fuss approach to dining. I've already flagged a bunch of recipes to make for upcoming dinner parties.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Inspiring Nov. 27 2009
By Avid Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I just love this book! It's so much more than a cookbook. The dynamic personalities of the authors shine through in the telling of their cooking adventures, recipes, and stories. Their humor and love of entertaining have inspired me to have more dinner parties and to stress less about it. This is a great book for people at all stages of cooking experience. I've been cooking for many years and still found some great tips to help me. Read this book and be inspired to have the best dinner parties ever. I highly recommend it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Fun of Cooking finally explained Nov. 1 2009
By R. Ben-Zeev - Published on Amazon.com
Forking Fantastic uses cooking as a means not a goal. The goal is a better, healthier and, mainly, a more social life. This is the first cook book I ever read that truly delivers its message in a simple and fun way with no bs. The authors, Tamara and Zora experienced a real change for the better in their lives since they began throwing dinner parties and they make a very convincing argument why this could work for anyone. This book has some great recipes (from caesar's salad to fried chicken to croquembouche to lane cake) and awesome practical tips like what a great kitchen needs - turns out, not much (3 knives, a cast iron skillets, a few stainless steel bowls and a garlic press), they also support the Jamie Oliver style of not using exact measurements (thank you!). This book will give you all the confidence you need to stop eating take away watching reruns of Friends and actually get a life.
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