19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the Wait
As a long-term fan of the blog I, like so many others, have been waiting impatiently for the UK release of this book (why should it take 4 months??). Anyway, now united at long last, I love everything about it. The recipes are original and bring a new slant on how to use many run-of-the-mill ingredients. So far I've made Gooey Cinnamon Squares, Cranberry Crumb and...
Published 16 months ago by Cook Book Addict
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good recipes
A lovely bound book with some interesting ideas and recipes---it is however very American and could do with more recipes and less chat!
Published 1 month ago by winnie12
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the Wait,
As a long-term fan of the blog I, like so many others, have been waiting impatiently for the UK release of this book (why should it take 4 months??). Anyway, now united at long last, I love everything about it. The recipes are original and bring a new slant on how to use many run-of-the-mill ingredients. So far I've made Gooey Cinnamon Squares, Cranberry Crumb and Mushroom Bourguignon and all have been delicious. I can't wait to cook more from this book - great to know that after four years of following and cooking from her blog, Deb's recipes won't let you down.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great recipes, annoying UK version,
I love the Smitten Kitchen blog, and this book is the site's perfect companion - gorgeous photos, food that makes you hungry just to read about, and a winningly friendly style of writing. I love that there are a handful of recipes from the blog but the majority were created by Deb just for this book. I have already cooked and enjoyed a few of the recipes and am planning to cook many more!
Sadly, Deb has been a bit let down by her UK publisher. There's a typo in the very first recipe (that I am certain she would be appalled to see!), some of the adaptations are annoying - for example the "Marshmallow cake" recipe is clearly a S'mores cake. The whole recipe only makes sense if you explain that there is an American treat called a S'more that's a US campfire tradition involving a marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker/UK digestive biscuit. But rather than just add a note on those lines, the publishers have substituted some of the words and ingredients, but not explained why these things go together. There are other examples too like the "Wotsits" reference to cheese crackers that another review mentioned.
It's also sad to see that on some pages (normally where a UK adjustment has been made I think) the last sentence of a page will be repeated at the top of the next page, or the ingredients list runs into the next item without a space, or similar small errors. They're not dealbreakers, they don't stop this cookbook being wonderful and much-loved, but Deb is so meticulous in her presentation of her blog, it's sad the UK publisher couldn't get the book properly proofed and properly adapted.
In spite of these small annoyances, this is still a wonderful cookbook with some incredible recipes (fig, olive oil and sea salt challah bread, raspberry chocolate rugelach, mini meatloaves with tomato glaze, butternut and onion galette). There's a good balance of recipes that are savoury or sweet, meat-based or vegetarian, baking or cooking.
If you're not familiar with the Smitten Kitchen blog, the author has a very chatty and informal style. She is not a chef, nor does she pretend to be perfect. The book has notes that explain how she was distracted by her young son, desperate to cut down on the washing up involved, or not disappoint her mother. This book will inspire you to cook. Deb's notes will give you confidence that what you're cooking will be tasty and the photos will leave you bookmarking more and more pages for future meals and snacks!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deb is a legend and this book is a classic - I wish it had been published 10 years ago!,
The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is the long awaited first book from blogging superstar Deb Perelman. Deb registered the The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is the long awaited first book from blogging superstar Deb Perelman. Deb registered the Smitten Kitchen domain in 2006, since then she has amassed a loyal following of fans (we are talking millions) and a shelf full of awards for her no-nonsense recipes and sublime pictures. Deb doesn't come from a long line of chefs, or have a classical training - she is self-taught, driven by a dissatisfaction with restaurants and a fanatical drive to achieve the perfect [insert literally anything here].
Deb's style is characterised by both her compulsive search for the ultimate recipe and welcome requirement for efficiency (she cooks from a postage stamp sized kitchen in NY). As a relentless tweaker, she makes fine adjustments to each recipe and assesses the marginal benefit of each bowl, utensil and ingredient - is it worth it / does it make a difference / would I miss it. The resulting recipes are refined, achievable (even for those in a tiny kitchen, on a tight budget with no time) and most definitely worth it!
The book is organised by course, with beautiful pictures and the captivating story behind each recipe. Deb's instructions are easy-to-follow, honed after almost a decade of writing blogs and responding to comments from her followers. For the more complicated techniques there are step-by-step pictures, cooking notes and a summary of the things you can prepare ahead.
Notes and Tips is a summary of Deb's cooking conventions, with precise definitions of the terms and amounts used in her recipes. This section also contains useful tips for substituting hard to find items.
Breakfast is an indulgent chapter of pancakes, buns, cereals and frittatas (Deb is particularly fixated with these). The Muffin is textbook Deb: seven iterations of recipes led to the gloriously simple Plum Poppy Seed Muffins. Chunky Granola will see you turning your back on the shop brought stuff, and for the health conscious the addition of egg white and olive oil allows you to reduce the fat and sugar.
Salads is packed with healthy, robust salads full of flavour and colour - not a slimy tired leaf in sight. My favourite is the Courgette Ribbons in Almond Pesto: cut the courgette into delightful ribbons (you can use a peeler - mandolin not necessary) and toss the ribbons in the pesto dressing.
Sandwiches, Tarts and Pizzas contains everything form the humble, but morish, Rye-Bread Toastie with Emmental and Red Onions to full blown Pizza. The Pizza Dough section guides you through what you do (an oven that gets hot) and don't need (bread machine, dough hook, pizza stone, pizza oven...), there are two recipes to suit your schedule: rushed (done in 45 minutes) and leisurely (requiring 8 hours+ in the fridge).
The Main Dish is split into Vegetarian and Seafood, Poultry and Meat. These are hearty recipes that can be cooked in isolation or combined for a feast. Roasted Aubergine with Yogurt-Tahini Sauce and Cumin Crisped Chickpeas, is delicious and comes with a useful tip to avoid greasy veggies: rather than drowning the plant, just oil the pan first - like you would for a pancake (I'm not sure why I've never tried this before). Pistachio Masala Lamb Chops with Cucumber Mint Raita contains one of the few less common ingredients, Chaat Masala, discovered at an Indian restaurant. Lamb chops are browned and coated with masala, pistachios and spices before baking.
Sweet Things is a mesmerising collection of cookies, tarts, cakes and sweets. Buttered Popcorn Cookies are an unexpected success, Deb's recipe makes those perfect cookies: fudgy in the middle and golden on the outside. Other crowd pleasers are the Gooey Cinnamon Squares and the Blueberry Polenta Butter Cake.
Party Snacks and Drinks provides useful advice for how to host a relaxing supper party that you will enjoy as much as your guests - planning ahead, just one show-stopping dish and making sure you have time to test the Prosecco. The book finishes with a fantastic guide to equipping your kitchen - essential for those who are space and budget constrained.
Deb is a legend and this book is a classic - I wish it had been published 10 years ago!
26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great blog and recipes, weird UK translation,
First off, I love the Smitten Kitchen blog and have cooked many recipes from it. I ordered this cookbook as soon as it was announced and waited patiently for the UK version - I wondered why there was such a long delay in having it being released here. I got the book today, and I am sure the recipes are great, but as I leafed through it, I noticed somethings that just seem "off".
The book has been somehow "translated" from a US cookbook into one for the UK audience. In some cases, the translations are great - "Double Cream" vs. "Heavy Cream", "Unfiltered Apple Juice" vs. "Apple Cider" and all amounts in grams and milliliters vs. cups and pints. However, there are some changes that make it sound like it was written by a Londoner living in New York versus a real American. For example, it is written that "I spent £10 on it" - I am sure Deb never wrote that. Also, "Wotsits" can in no way ever be called a "Cheese Cracker" (I am sure the US version says "Cheez-its"). The subtitle of this book is "Recipes from a New York Kitchen" - the translations somehow rob Deb of her American voice and weaken the narrative. (Disclaimer: I am an American living in London).
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it,
Unusual, well thought out recipes with beautiful photography. I loved reading all of the back stories, Deb has such a friendly and inviting writing style you just can't wait to get stuck in.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but would've liked some of her other recipes in,
Don't get me wrong I love this book and I love Deb Perelman's recipes (only received it 2 days ago and it is already full of post-it's!) it's just I would've perhaps chosen differently to the recipes selected for this book. From the vast recipe directory on her blog I felt some of the recipes were a bit dull - I would've liked more specialist breads (her bialys are amazing) and breakfasts, probably less salads! I suppose it's personal choice though and we have to cater for the more health conscious among us but yes some of my favourite recipes from her blog were no where to be seen! Guess I'll have to wait for the next one!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only cookbook I have wanted to buy for years,
Saw an article in a Sunday supplement and ordered the book straight away.
Deb Perelman has a small galley kitchen in New York and after blogging decided to write this really clever cookbook full of interesting American recipes.
Worth every penny
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! A must have for your cookbook collection.,
I have been a fan of the Smitten Kitchen blog for some time and was eagerly anticipating the release of the book. Unfortunately, the UK release date was delayed by around 4/5 months due to the production of a specific UK edition. I agree with the other reviewer who says the 'translations' are sometimes a bit odd and that some of the charm is lost. I own the original US edition too (couldn't wait!) and tbh, I don't really see the point of many of the changes. It's pretty simple nowadays to Google any of the ingredients or terms which we don't have in the UK. However, this doesn't stop this book being completely brilliant and well worth having. The recipes ALWAYS work (due to the author's exhaustive tweaking!) and are ALWAYS gorgeous. There also isn't much cross over with the blog, which makes it good value for money too.
5.0 out of 5 stars FOR THE MORE EXPERIENCED COOK,
A beautifully written, crafted and photographed cookbook that will be in your repertoire for quite some time.
In my opinion, it is a cookbook for the more experienced cook - and also someone who has the time to spend cooking - as quite a few of the recipes are three pages long, so may scare off those with little experience or patience.
However, as an avid collector of cookbooks, it is a wonderful tome which will keep me occupied, both reading and cooking, for some time to come.
Yet another winning order from Amazon (I must hide my credit card!!).
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The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman