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4.6 out of 5 stars
Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home
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Showing 1-10 of 16 reviews(3 star)show all reviews
405 of 428 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 6 September 2010
OK, let's start with what I love about this book: It's beautifully written, it has amazing photos of the food, it's presented immaculately and the recipes cater for most tastes.
The biggest plus point for me is the fact that the recipes seems so well tried and tested. I am a big Nigella fan and have all her books and I can honestly say that I have never, ever been let down by one of her recipes. As with all Nigella's books, the recipes in Kitchen are easy to follow, with accurate quantities, extremely helpful hints and encouraging chit-chat along the way.
Since getting the book last week I decided to try some of the recipes from it: Tarragon chicken, smoked haddock my mother's way, speedy scaloppine with rapid roastini, chocolate chip bread pudding, maple pecan bundt cake and blondies. These all turned out well (even if they didn't look as good as the pictures) and I would cook them again.
The book is 500 pages long and has 190 recipes, accompanied by some really beautiful photos. Nigella's writing style (friendly-chit-chat-by-the-stove) is one of the best things about this book, and I read it through once, before I started cooking from it. This was a hopeful start before I went back through it to earmark the recipes I wanted to try. And this is where I started to feel disappointed (and also where I duck for cover).......
I had a touch of deja vu: the layout, the type of recipes included (comfort, quick, children's, baking, cocktails) and also the type of ingredients used (chilli sauce, pasta, spices, rice, mirin). In fact I would say this book has a predominantly south east Asian and Italian bent. There's nothing wrong with this, other than it all seems very over-familiar and done several times before in her previous books. Yes, on one hand this could be a good thing because you know what you're going to get. But I was hoping for something a bit more "Wow". Dare I say it, but to me, Kitchen seems a little bland. Apart from the six recipes that I tried over the past few days (see above) there weren't many more that I really fancied trying. I went through it a few times, hoping for more inspiration and also hoping to add more post-it notes reminding me of the recipes I want to try. I found a handful at best which was very disappointing.
It's almost like some sort of "Best of Nigella". It's got a bit of all her previous books thrown in and packaged very glossily. For this reason alone I would recommend it to anyone who doesn't already own a Nigella cookbook and wants to try her style of cooking. But for me it is just a rehash. A tired format that I suppose I have just become bored with. I don't think it's her best work and I don't think I will be using it as much as her other books.
I say this very reluctantly, but for me, Kitchen is an uninspiring regurgitation that looks very pretty but is mundanely average.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 22 September 2010
I love Nigella, I have all her other books and turn to them regularly. I've always loved Feast and Domestic Goddess in particular, but the layout of this book reminds me of Express - what with the confusing chapter titles that bundle recipes in very vague groups. It can be hard to find what you're looking for without the index - I think chapters should be more logical than this.

Having tested four of the recipes right away, I have to say the results aren't as good as I expected from Nigella. The pasta with marmite was okay, but didn't really warrant such a fuss, in my opinion. The Blondies were a total disaster for me and I really didn't get the point of the recipe at all. Also, I was under the impression that in US cooking at least, there is already such a thing as a Blondie, but this recipe in no way resembled that - it's supposed to be a brownie with no chocolate. The red velvet cupcakes were a success - I would make them again as they were very moist and stayed so for an entire week. However, the direction to add vinegar or lemon to the frosting I would query, because adding vinegar to mine just made it taste of vinegar, as you would expect! Lastly, the chicken with 40 cloves of garlic recipe was good, but I think the steps were way too fiddly and could have been done much easier, with the same amount of washing up involved, in a frying pan and casserole dish rather than a bowl and casserole dish. Also, there's a slight error in the ingredients list which makes it look like you add a lot more wine than you're supposed to - it's easy to spot as a mistake, but is a bit confusing at first!

When you cook four recipes at random from a cook book and two are disappointments, one has an error in the ingredients list, and one gives a strange result, it's rather worrying. I hope I just picked the worst recipes, but I'm reluctant to cook anything else out of this without a recommendation from someone who has cooked it and found it to be any good!

Sorry Nigella. But I still love you.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 11 October 2010
The reason why I have given this book three stars is because if you like me have Nigella's other cookbooks then you wouldn't necessary need to own this one, unless of course you are a MEGA fan of her's.

That aside, I would recommend this book to anyone who does not own any of Nigella's previous cookbooks as the recipes and photography in 'Kitchen' are delicious. I therefore, have given my copy to my sister who wants inspiration and confidence in the kitchen to cook different things.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 2011
I am a huge Nigella fan and I have all her books. I pre ordered this book and couldn't wait for it to arrive. Maybe I anticipated too much, as I felt a little let down with this one. Nothing much has jumped out at me. However, it has the usual Nigella stamp of easy going cooking, great conversational chit chat between recipes and lovely photos, perhaps I need to give it another look through to be fair.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 January 2011
I love watching Nigella on TV as she is so relaxed and everything she does seems so easy and appears tasty. I was disappointed with this book as it has few recipes I can use,I should have chosen a different book with the sort of food I like cooking. Have tried some of her receipes off the interent with excellent results - her scones are the best!!
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 27 September 2010
I own every single Nigella book and this is my least favourite. It seems excessively long, and not very user friendly (two indexes at the back, why?!). A lot of the recipes are insulting in their simplicity, while others are over complicated and clearly not made with items you can find in your local Tesco. Disappointing.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 28 September 2010
If I'm honest, I'm a bit disappointed in this latest cookery book from Nigella. As always, the book is beautifully presented and illustrated with a witty commentary but I don't feel that it contains many new ideas & can't imagine me using it very often.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 January 2014
There are some good recipes in this book and a great deal of variety. I like the narrative, Nigella writes about food in an entertaining way but still treating it with the respect it deserves! Colour photographs are good.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 11 October 2010
Love watching Nigella on her programmes but not a lot of things I would actually make myself in this book. Prefere her other books if I'm honest.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 January 2011
Gorgeous pictures and the food looks fab but I'm not keen on the layout. I realise that its split into sections depending on what type of meal it, e.g light bites etc, but I just didn't find it very easy to read. Would be much easier if it was split up based on meat dishes, vegetable dishes, puddings, etc.
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