25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Ideal general cook book for uncomplicated recipes,
This review is from: Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home (Hardcover)
Bearing in mind that there are 20 other comprehensive reviews of Nigella's latest offering as I write this, I don't intend to write a missive or go over all the contents in detail as this has already been done. I will simply give my own, personal opinion to help others contemplating buying this book another view to add to the others so eloquently put before mine.
The big plus points: I totally agree with the majority of others that Nigella's friendly but well written chit chat and no-nonsense approach, and the preamble before the recipes and the chapters in general is informative and entertaining. Her section on "Kitchen caboodle" is a light hearted, amusing look at the items and equipment that she loves or can live without. This, of course, is very personal and should not have you throwing out your beloved kitchen equipment which you like even if she doesn't (you might detect a note of defence there - I love my slow cookers and disagree with her on that score ;-). Her "Kitchen confidential" section has some great hints and tips, again very well written and made me laugh aloud in places. I also like that she has given suggestions for using leftovers and included "make ahead" and "freeze" notes where applicable. The book has lots of photographs and a montage of the main recipe photos within each section at the start of each chapter to whet your appetite.
Now the slightly more critical points: I too, like a few others, found the recipes a little "tired" - there were very few, if any, that held any "wow" factor making me want to take the next week off work and lock myself in the kitchen! I made the Chocolate Orange Loaf cake at the weekend to which I added an orange and Grand Marnier liqueur buttercream frosting (at my husband's request) and I have to say that without that addition the cake, whilst light and perfectly nice in it's own right, would have been a little bit plain and dull. She perhaps could have included a serving suggestion e.g. nice with a vanilla ice-cream or crème fraīche etc to this and other recipes for those who find knowing how to ring the changes or what to serve the dish with would find helpful. There are several recipes I will probably make at some point but relatively few as a percentage of the number in the book.
My overall view is that this would make a lovely and comprehensive, easy to follow and with a diverse number of recipes from around the world, book for a relatively inexperienced cook, or at least someone who doesn't have a whole host of other, more inspiring library of cook books to browse through. It is the sort of book I would give as a gift to a newly married couple or someone setting up their first home. It has a little of everything to please many people but maybe not enough of the "Wow, I have just got to try that recipe out at the soonest opportunity" type content and hence my 4* rating rather than a 5* (time to duck for cover!)
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Initial post: 14 Sep 2010 10:12:25 BDT
Your last comment made me laugh. People take these reviews far too personally and seem to neglect the fact that you are entitled to your opinion.
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