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on October 18, 2002
Please let me say first off that I adore Nigella. She is like the cool sister you never had. She offers up recipes for just about anything you would ever want to cook, as well as her opinions in a certain way that makes me look to her a bit like one would a mentor. It's because she knows a lot about food, and has a great deal of life experience, from travelling and working as a restaurant reviewer, to share. For example, she's firm in her belief that a salad should be green or red. Choose. Either make it with lettuces or make a beautiful tomato salad -- better yet, set the ripe tomatoes in the center of the table with a knife, and let your guest have at it. It's something I'd never thought about before, and now that I have, I agree.
I consult this book for inspiration, comfort, advice, and sometimes just to fantasize about a proper British Sunday meal or some other menu. The book is interesting and fun to read, and does inspire confidence. My latest success related to this book came after consulting it for my four-year-old's birthday party. The crowning jewel was a brilliant-green Jurassic cake laden with miniature plastic toy dinosaurs and a palm tree -- it was a huge hit. (Cheese biscuit "W"s too.) I appreciate how Nigella stresses that her recipes and suggestions are meant to serve as guidelines, not rules written in stone. In fact, some of the recipes I would change and have, tweaking and improving upon them for my tastes. It's more about the approach to food and eating. Nigella is smart, smart, smart, and truly a breath of fresh air.
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on October 31, 2002
Before i cooked anything from this cookbook, i was fascinated that it reads more like a lifestyle manual than a typical cookbook. Reading it i could almost hear Nigella saying the words in my head.
The recipies are fun and well thought of, her Macaronie and Cheese is fabulous, and soo easy! I enjoy laying around the house, sipping tea and reading between the recipies, because that girl has a talent for words. I love this book, she did a great job, as usual.
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on September 24, 2002
An excellent cookbook - but to use the word "cookbook" to describe it is almost an injustice because it is so much more. This is an exploration of food and the pleasures of both preparing food and eating it. This is more a novel with intricate plot twists than a boring cookbook with stodgy lists of recipes and ingredients. Indeed, the best thing about this book is the way you can pick it up and just read it - just like your favorite novel. The author is cheeky and delightful and my favorite part is her treatise on low fat cooking - how it is (at least for many people, me included) a reflection of vanity. The recipes are simple to follow and the writing that accompanies the recipes inspires confidence and joy as well as the compelling urge to prepare what she is writing about right then and there, no matter what time it is. The desserts are killer - the sticky chocolate pudding cake is easy to prepare and the results are fantastic - both gooey and rich and I am ashamed to say that I ate enough of it for at least three people. But in all honesty, I think that the author would approve of my gluttony. I tried the golden vegetable root stew and although apprehensive when first preparing it, I served it to my friends and it was a hit, it tasted exotic and complex. However, I was perplexed as to why she added zucchini to the recipe since the zucchini had turned to an urecognizable sickly yellow mush by the time the other vegetables were tender. But it did give the stew a nice (although unintended) thickness. The chocolate raspberry cake was also quite good although not nearly sweet enough for my tastes (but then again, I love cavity-inducing sweetness). An excellent book and I recommend it for anyone who loves to eat and also for people who don't because you will learn to love to eat once you are done reading it.
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on October 29, 2009
I like Nigella Lawson and love her TV show but if you need pictures to see the results of the recipes, please choose another cookbook of hers because this one has none! Her writting style his fun, but this book is more like a novel including recipes.
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on October 14, 2002
How to Eat is what a cookbook should be, just like Nigella Lawson's cooking show redefines all cooking shows. The recipes are divine and organized cleverly into useful chapters like "Quick and Easy Dinners After Work." The "Cooking for Children" section is also really useful. I've made several dozen meals from her cookbook and so far, all are winners. Her Basic Roast Chicken is divine--the best I've ever eaten, much less made. She is passionate about food, but in a down-to-earth, healthy way. She's also not afraid of fat!
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on May 26, 2002
I just made the lamb shoulder (425 degrees for 30 mins per pound??) Needless to say, my kitchen was smoke filled after 15 mins and dinner was ruined. I live in the US, and wonder if there was a mistake in the metric translation. Browsing the other recipes, I discovered most of the oven temps seemed awfully high - especially for braising (400 degrees F)!
Please use common sense and don't make the same mistake I did.
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on July 23, 2002
Nigella Lawson is addictive, which is a good thing. This is a book that is long needed because I think (especially Americans) that most people have forgotten what cooking and eating is all about. Anyone who has seen her cook knows that she understands the sensual and alas spiritual aspects of cooking and eating food. This isn't about sex, but the art of food itself. And in an era of junk food and eat and run she is a refreshing bit of culinary sunshine.
In fact I would suggest that this is a book that is as much about psychology and philosophy as it is about food and its preparation and enjoyment. And anyone who has seen her show on cable knows that she isn't afraid of food. She doesn't have that love hate relationship or a false mode that I think many television goddess types have. She is one cook-author whom I am assured doesn't purge after each taping and consuming of the food she has made.
And her recipes work! They are as doable as they are good and nice to look at. I also like the fact that she has a variety of recipes and ideas and not just a certain genre. Quick ones. Make ahead ones. Ones for parties and gatherings of a few to many. One thing I hope people get from this and all her books is her sense of enjoyment. Be it the shopping, or preparing. I wish everyone could also see her television show which we watch on the Style channel because she does shows that deal with the contents of her freezer-refrigerator-pantry and while she certainly covers these subjects in this and her other books there is something visually and audibly tactile about her showing what's good to have on hand.
I look forward to each new book she brings me since I learn so much. She also gives the term-title domestic goddess the respect it deserves...........
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on June 5, 2002
Okay. So I had heard of Nigella Lawson and had been meaning to buy a cookbook or two of hers, especially Domestic Goddess. I finally got around to it, and decided to get this one as well, because I thought, frankly , that the price was right (it's cheaper on UK site, if you don't mind making the conversions from grams to ounces - not brain surgery)and it might have a couple of good recipes.
Well, I was surprised at how much I really love this cookbook. It is like a cooking bible. I have over 100 cookbooks, so I do not say this in jest. I love the way that the book is organized and sectioned off, from dishes for solo or duo diners, to dishes that are lowfat and food that can be cooked with children. It is really cleverly designed. The recipes range from elaborate dishes, to the roast asparagus that I prepared the day that I got the book. She writes in a very chatty style which is like having a mom or sister or friend in the kitchen with you, sharing her secrets. This cookbook is awesome. You have to get it!!!
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on June 9, 2001
I have a special shelf for cookbooks in my living room...right next to the kitchen, as should be. For some reason, "How to eat" by Nigella Lawson, has been lying around the floor in my bedroom, or on the sofa in the living room, or wherever else apart from the kitchen, for the last couple of years since I bought it. What I'm trying to say is that this book is not just a simple cookbook, but more a description of the pleasure of good eating, & of preparing good food for yourself & for people you love.
On the other hand, the actual recipes (at least the ones I've tried so far, which are quite a few) seem to work, even from the first time you try them. I mention this because I've heard & read all sorts of comments about whether N.Lawson's recipes work or not. Maybe this is because Nigella Lawson has become a celebrity in England--imagine: she writes well, cooks well, & to top all that, she's beautiful too! How can you beat that? This is why 2 camps seem to have emerged--a "pro-Nigella" camp & an "anti-Nigella" camp!! This is all ridiculous, of course. The point is that Nigella Lawson has written, at least in my opinion, one of the best cookbooks of recent years. Down to earth, with good & long-winded explanations, written in a direct, friendly style, with such love for good food that even reading the book makes you want to rush to the kitchen & start creating a feast. "How to eat" is about comfort-eating at its best, & for me at least, it serves as comfort-reading too...
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on November 18, 2001
In direct contrast to books that make you feel like there's only one way to cook, this one puts you at ease with the concept of cooking, and converses you through the recipes. The tone is warm and accessible, as the author assumes the results of your efforts will be enjoyed in the company of friends, loved ones, small children and good conversation.
I'm already very comfortable in the kitchen and with improvisational recipes, but the book is so engaging and well-written, with just enough of a hip, British tone, that it makes the simple seem adventurous and the adventurous seem simple. It made me want to try every recipe.
With great sections on basics (like stock, roast chicken, sweet pastry dough, vinaigrette, etc.), making ahead and feeding kids, the book has tons of recipes and organizational "tips" that help seamlessly integrate the life-affirming and theraputic act of cooking good food with the essential role of mealtime as part of a good life well-lived.
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