39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on 30 August 2005
I felt I had to write a review of this book purely because of others opinions; from many reviews I got the feeling that people thought the book contained too many pictures of Nigella, I wasn't put off by these comments, although I kept them in mind and decided to purchase the book anyway. And I am so glad that I followed my instincts and other fair reviews of the book. There are a minimal amount of photos of Nigella, and besides why not? it is after all her book! On the actual recipe content; I find Nigella's recipes interesting and easy to follow. Obviously some are not everyday foods and is exactly why they are included in themes within the book; 'Comfort food' 'Trashy' 'Rainy days' which I find makes the book even more endearing. A good buy with some fantastic puddings (although I am partial to like these recipes more than the others in the book!) unless you're overly picky!
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 8 May 2001
Nigella has again produced the sort of book (I hesitate to call it a cook book) which gladdens the eye,heart & stomach. A gorgeously produced work which will inspire anyone the least bit interested in food or cooking to go create. Not so much recipes as guidelines which will allow the more adventurous amongst us to produce good food. I for one wanted to rush out and prepare Sunday lunch for 12 people; even though there are only two in our household. If you want a book to cheer, inspire,or just to read this is the book for you. While not as weighty a tome as "How to Eat" the evocative and mouthwatering photographic illustrations make this a book to treasure whether you wish to produce dinner for twelve,"trashy fun food", or elegant dinner party dishes, you need these recipess, written as always in Nigellas' inimitable style. A must in any household that is the least bit interested in eating well!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 18 May 2001
There are about 76 pages of actual written content in this book, padded out with endless photography, empty space, and some ludicrously large fonts.
Compared with How to Eat (an instant classic) this is a lazy and cynical exercise in cashing in. I blame the publisher rather than the divine Nigella.
That said, even a poor (by her standards) Nigella book is better than most cook books ... but if I had paid full price for this I would feel very badly ripped off.
There's about enough content in this book to fill one of those supplements they give away free with Sainsbury's Magazine.
44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on 11 June 2001
I love this book, it fits in so well with the recipes I am used to cooking from; old family recipes measured in bizzarely unique units of '2 mugfuls of flour - use blue mug with broken handle'.
It's like having someone there cooking with you, which makes the whole process of choosing what to cook and actually preparing it a much more relaxed affair, as you can be confident that you're not in for any nasty surprises. If you still think you might be a bit nervous cooking, for instance, 'ham in coca-cola' for the first time, just mix up a jugful of Nigella's Bloody Mary and it wont seem half as bad!
Nigella, if you're reading this (as you claim to be a late-night Amazon addict) then I just want to say a big THANKYOU - especially for the choc fudge cake.... and the orange muffins.... and the chicken soup.... oooooh, and the salt and pepper squid - amazing!
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Just one word to describe the book - nice pictures, nice recipes and nice results. After reading some of the reviews on this book, I wanted to reserve my opinion until I have tried at least a dozen recipes. Having done that, I can honestly say that I have no real cause for complaints.
The recipes in this book worked for me. The mouth-watering pictures, Nigella's sultry good looks and her pompous middle class narrative (which I personally found rather amusing) can be a little distracting. But, if you put your mind to it, you might find, like I did, that her recipes are actually rather good.
I completely ignored Nigella's instructions to use Maldon salt (any sea salt or normal table salt will do) and Vialone Nano rissoto rice (I used a good nameless arborio rice) to make her Lemon Risotto. Us normal folk will just have to improvise with what we've got but we can still get good results.
The Suppertime chapter has several good ideas for cooking for larger numbers without the hassle of slaving in the kitchen. I have tried all of them for entertaining and have no complaints whatsoever.
It is hard to find a cookery book that will appeal to everybody and although we will not admit it, we are in one way or another influenced by the reputation of the author. I find that no matter who the author is, none of them are perfect. We must apply commonsense and be flexible in the kitchen. Unfortunately some people are gifted this way and some need years of cooking expereince. Sadly, this leaves the novice individual with runny rissoto, mushy muffins and a seething temper.
Just one word of warning - please be careful when beating the hell out of the pomegranates!
72 of 78 people found the following review helpful
on 28 August 2001
I loved 'How to Eat' and 'Domestic Goddess' so much that I ordered this book sight unseen. Stupid me. Living in the Netherlands, I hadn't had a chance to flick through it in a bookshop. If I had, I'd have seen what little substance there is to it. Unfortunately it was only once it had been delivered that I realised what a disappointment it was. There are very few recipes in the book and far too few in each chapter to provide a decent selection from which to choose. If you're looking for something to cook for a party, for dinner, whatever, you're going to need a book with a bit more content than this. Worse still, several of the recipes are rehashed from Nigella's previous books, so if you're a Nigella fan, you'll already have them. True, there are lots of lovely photos of Nigella looking lovely. Which is nice if you want to make a Nigella calendar, but I didn't. Photos of preparation techniques or finished recipes can be useful in a cookery book, sure, but do we really need 5 photos of the same cake? And which publishing bod came up with the trick of adding two blank pages at the end of each chapter for "Notes"? What a clever way of filling the space between the covers with a little bit more nothing.
I had been so looking forward to receiving this book but, even with a 50% discount, I just feel I've been ripped off.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 16 July 2001
I loved How to Eat (it sits by my bed and I read it when I'm feeling grumpy, but I do cook things from it too!). How to be a Domestic Goddess was brilliant too, because I love baking. But this book is kind of a cop-out. It looks nice, but it's pretty lightweight compared to the more rigorous and extensive How to Eat. I'm probably a biased reviewer because I like cookery books for the writing not for the photography, but I know a lot of people feel differently. If you like photo-heavy books, you'll probably like this one, but if you like the more verbal approach go for How to Eat.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 26 July 2004
As the owner of over 100 cookery books, I usually have an odd one or two recipes I use from each book, but I cook a lot of Nigella's recipes, again and again.
I like the way the food is just thrown together almost effortlessly, not 'frilly' food like Gordon Ramsey's recipes.
There is a section called 'comfort food' but I actually think that most recipes in this book come under this heading.
Most recipes are family friendly (please fussy children) but my particular favourites are:
Warm shredded lamb salad with mint and pomegranate
Double potato and halloumi bake
Pasta with meatballs
South beach black bean soup
I have other two other cookery books of Nigella's, but this is my favourite.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 14 October 2002
First of all let me just say that I adore Nigella Lawson and would pretty much like to marry her book "How to be a domestic goddess" so it's not about wanting to bash her. She does a great show and has made some really great recipes but with this particular book I can only advise you to stay away....stay far away.
It is supposed to be 260 pages long but if you take out all the blank space, the "note pages", the empty (except for a few words in oversized print) pages which start off each chapter, and the sometimes 4(!) pages of pictures which accompany a single recipe then you're left with more like 70-80 pages of actual recipes. These are divided into chapters which follow the tv-series and this actually works quite well but there are just too few things to choose from within each segment. Some of the recipes are really, really good - like the "Orange breakfast muffins", the "Chocolate Cloud Cake", or the "Ham in Coca-Cola" - but all in all you're left with the impression that this book is nothing but a quick cash-in. Compared to "How to eat" and "How to be a domestic goddess" this book shows no soul and no heart and it seems that very little effort has gone into making it. It is such a shame when you know how wonderful she can be when she puts her mind to it.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 28 August 2006
This is the first of Ms Lawson's books that I encountered and I absolutely loved her style of writing. Its all so realistic..."you can make this dish by doing this, this and this but if its all too much trouble just pop the lot in a blender and blitz." Her pancakes are a regular feature at breakfast in our house as are most of the cakes and biscuits. I think one of the most enjoyable aspects of this book is that you can sit down and read it at any time, not just when you are looking for inspiration!