While I don't look on N.L. as a "cook's cook" and she is often very derivative (to say nothing of being a plagiarist!) I bought this on speck despite the poor reviews. I'm quite pleased with it. There are some good ideas (and some disastrous ones - who, in their right mind, cooks a ham in Coca Cola!!!! It tastes disgusting and those cooks I know who have cooked and served it, quietly put the recipe to the back of their minds never to surface again despite having raved about it - Emperor's new clothes, I suspect.)
I like the blank pages for notes. Most of my (300plus) cookery books are so covered in pencilled notes that it takes a lot of concentration to decipher the recipe under the notes! And the photos are lovely although I don't usually go for pictures of the finished dishes in cookery books as I think they must be confusing for nervous cooks when their dish doesn't match the photo.
This would be a good gift for a newly established cook who wants to eat interesting food and treat her friends to a meal.
Having recently moved to England from New York, I was having a difficult time adjusting to living in Britain. Discovering Nigella's TV show was a great relief to a thirty-something Jewish girl like me. I really appreciate her charm and intelligence and her unapolegetic love of eating. Nigella Bites is a great companion to her TV series and I highly recommend this book. I congratulate her and I'm inspired by her.
I liked the structure of the book, the "All Day Breakfast", "Temple Food" and "Slow Cook Weekend" seemed promising and made a change from other cookbooks. I was looking forward to find menu suggestions with various options but there were too few ideas and too few easily cookable things. The menu recommendations haven't got enough "welly" to feed that many guests and it wouldn't have been too difficult to add some sides, simple salads, references to elsewhere in the book or accompaniment suggestions. Having said that, I've made the Vietnamese Chicken and Mint salad to appreciative response on numerous occasions and with much searching have found a few other things I would like to try but too much I don't want to bother with.
The coconut cake went down a treat at work even the most hardened staff thought it was really good, one worker had two pieces on her plate at once. The lemon cake was yummy! and not too sickly sweet the lemon tang conteracted the icing sugar. Peanut biscuits divine, I am curious about the Cola cake and intend trying that next. It takes me forever to convert from metric to imperial (my scales are the old balance scales pounds and ounces) my brain will not cope with grams, mls etc. Well done Nigella. You are a real womens cook, cream, butter and chocolate in abundance......