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on 6 October 2010
If I could give this book ten stars I would! With 500 pages of recipes the only problem I have is what to cook first! I have all of Nigella's books and Kitchen is Nigella at her best. The two sections are great, It's almost like two books for one! The quandaries section is full of quick meals for all the family, while the comforts section is full of weekend beauties! I love the natural style of Nigella's narratives, just reading this book gives me a warm, cosy feeling inside. Each recipe comes with a lovely background introduction, some longer than the recipe itself!! which for me is what makes Nigella's books stand out from the usual run of the mill cook books. Nigella's love of food and ingredients is obvious on each page. Her dislike of waste is more present than ever, with great ideas on how to use up leftovers, some of which make you want to cook the original to have leftovers to play with the next day, so many ways to use up chicken, there is more to life than a stirfry on a Monday! and I love the banana cheesecake and muffins as I always have bananas browning in the bowl. The braised chicken with lentils is gorgeous and my niece and nephew loved the turkey meatballs, which turned out perfect! This is the best Nigella book for baking since How To Be a Domestic Goddess, I made the rice krispies brownies and Devil's food cake for my sisters birthday and both went down a treat, the brownies taste very much like a Lion bar except better! I can't wait to try the blondies, gingerbread, choc chip cookies, treacle slice...... I could go on and on, I love this book and I couldn't recommend it enough!!
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on 25 March 2016
I have had this heavy book now for some time and it is one of my most used cookery books - and I have a lot of books! Its getting rather tatty from its constant use!

So far we have tried about 30 of the dishes and loved them all - they are straight forward, little fuss and great for during the week. It provides endless inspiration! There is a great mix of weekday and weekend treats and eats, both sweet and savoury.

The crustless pizza is regularly made, so is the frittata, we adore the marmalade cake, oh and the cherry and coconut loaf is one of my most popular bakes. The mixed meat pilaf is excellent for clearing the fridge, pasta alla Genovese is a perfect summer evenings meal.

One of my favourite Nigella books!
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on 24 April 2012
I do like Nigella cookbooks; her food is hearty and homey and mostly easy to prepare. The first thing I will say about this book though, is that to those who have a few of her previous cookbooks although the recipes may be slightly modified, there are some familiar dishes and you do kind of get the feeling that old offerings are being re hashed to create a new collection for a new book!

That said, I have tried quite a few of the recipes and have had particular success with the Spanish chicken with chorizo and potatoes, Homestyle jerk chicken (HOT not for the faint hearted!), the everyday brownies, Lemon polenta cake, Flourless chocolate lime cake (gluten free and delicious!) and finally (don't knock it until you try it) the Spaghetti with Marmite which is so yummy and fast to make.

A disappointing turn out with the Chocolate peanut butter cheesecake which sounds fabulously indulgent but just didn't quite work; perhaps it was my fault for trying to use low fat options, anyway I wouldn't try it again, but apart from that, a really nice varied cookbook with lots for everyone.
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on 3 June 2013
Firstly; let me get one thing straight. I love Nigella. I adore the way she writes about food and have always had great success with her recipes which are always easy to follow and provide brilliant results. I don't however love this book.

It's not all bad- plus points to this book are easy to follow and uncomplicated recipes, her wonderful descriptive prose, handy suggestions for 'leftovers meals' to use up leftover meat and nice layout and pictures.

Overall however I feel that Nigella has become lazy with this book. Upon arrival I went through and stuck post-its on the recipes that I immediately wanted to try. This book (and it's the biggest recipe book I own) had just 3 results. The recipes generally are just a bit......uninspiring and it think it's partly to do with the fact that it's focused on 'family' meals. Generally I don't feel the need to follow a recipe for 'family' or informal meals such as meatballs or chilli con carne yet this book provides them. When I buy a cookbook it's because I want to learn how to put together flavours that I wouldn't have thought of and create something really different. The dessert recipes are very similar to those from her brilliant 'How To Be A Domestic Goddess' and Kitchen doesn't really provide any originality whatsoever.

Disappointing as it's put me off buying other Nigella books in the future.
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on 13 November 2010
I have been watching the series on TV and didnt know how much i would like this book because I feel that Nigella is becoming a bit more eccentric with her recipes. I love Domestic Goddess and How to Eat but I was unsure if there would be enough in this book that I would like. I dont mind a splash of creativity but sometimes i can't help but think she puts weird combinations in dishes just for the sake of just trying to be different.
Having said that, when this book arrived I needn't have worried because although there were some unusual things in here that dont appeal to me, there is plenty that does. There are some really mouth watering recipes. As well as ideas for meals (which i think the tv show concentrates on alot), there are some good solid baking recipes as well; like Apple and Cinnamon muffins. Lots for meat eaters and also for vegetarians like myself. There is even a blackberry vodka! So there is something for everyone and lots of enthusiastic, intelligent writing from Nigella and some great photos that make you want to try the dishes.
A great addition for any cook and Nigella fans wont be disappointed.
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on 1 November 2010
I've got a fairly impressive collection of cookbooks - but I'd happily cook from Kitchen, and Kitchen alone. I've used it every day since I got it - and it really comes into its own for week night dinners when I'm tired and pushed for time. The recipes I've cooked have been delicious, fuss-free to make, and take around 30 minutes from start to finish. Having watched Jamie's 30 Minute Dinners and flicked through his book, I'd say Nigella beats him hands down without even explicitly trying. His recipes seem rushed and fussy to me, where Nigella seems to really understand what it takes to get a tasty, nutritious meal on the table quickly - or at least communicates it in a way that I find much more simple and practical. I've reserved the weekends for her cook ahead suggestions - the praised chicken and beef shin stew were fantastic, and to quote Cheryl Cole, Nigella's marmalade pudding cake is, "Right up my street".

Apart from the puddings (which, let's face it, shouldn't have to be healthy - just enjoyed moderately!), I'm happily surprised by how wholesome the meals are, too. Far from being laden with fat and sugar, they're a great mix of good quality protein & grains with plenty of vege. The section-by-section photo index is terrific too - on my nights to cook, I flick through them over my breakfast coffee to see what looks good - then pick from there. It's taken over from Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries as the book I've cooked the most from - and I've only had it about 3 weeks now. She's nailed it with this one.
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on 15 October 2010
'How to Eat' is my favourite cookbook. It is therefore no surprise that I love the recipes in this book. It is true that there is not much that is groundbreakingly 'new' in here, and there are more than a few recipes that rake over ground previously covered by Nigella, but, as always with her recipes they 'work'. More than with any other cook, Nigella's recipes actually turn out as delicious as she promises. I have read criticisms that suggest there is little for vegetarians and I think that's true but for the meat eater there is plenty of variety to keep you going, plus good tips on what to do with leftovers and how long they will keep etc.

The other reason I love her books is her writing. She manages to combine an obsessive love of food with the literary style of a true journalist and the result is a pleasure to read. I could read these for fun without cooking a single thing.

The only thing that lets this book down for me is the way it looks. The photographs (absent from How to Eat) seem more akin to some 70's family cookbook and the font too is not sumptuous enough to match Nigella's way with words.

If you're cookbooks get splattered with food and your just after quick and realistic ways to keep your family from getting bored this is great. If you care passionately about how things look or have already done every other Nigella recipe you'll be slightly less impressed but still glad you bothered to buy it.
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on 2 November 2010
I am a great Nigella fan and brought this book on other reviewers recommendations and was not disappointed. This is again written in her relaxed and friendly style, in fact you can almost hear her voice as you read it. It gives a lovely insight into her life and family and why she is so passionate about what she does. I love the way she writes as she is not 'cheffy' and appreciates that we all have busy lives and that we all need to cheat sometimes, and this book is written with that in mind. For example she is completely unapologetic in using squeezy lime juice instead of fresh limes! The recipes are also great and very easy to follow and accomplish. None of them are fussy and can easily be made for a supper or for a meal with friends. I have never had a failure with a Nigella recipe and the ones from 'Kitchen' are no exception. Within a week of receiving the book I had made her 'Sweet and sour chicken', 'Tarragon Chicken', 'Grasshopper Pie' (absolutely yummy) and her 'Buttermilk Scones'. The scones were a revelation as I have never managed a successful scone until now!!! The book is well laid out and easy to follow and the index is great as it is done using ingredients as main headings. There is even an express index for recipes that take 30 minutes or less from first move to plate. Great idea if you are in a hurry. Hope this review helps you make up your mind, but while you are I am off to make 'Ed's Mother's Meatloaf" Happy cooking!!
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on 31 October 2010
I have cooked with Nigella since "How to Eat" and share her philosophy that the kitchen is the heart and soul of the home. I have been inspired by her recipes over the years and it would be impossible for me not to buy her latest book. However, I have to confess that I was not immediately captivated by "Kitchen", thinking that it seemed too gimmicky and simplistic although now,I would not want to be without it!
I love the fact that Nigella is not afraid to seem less than perfect. Her "Kitchen Gadget Hall of Shame" will resonate with most people. I also found her admission that she buys tea towels on holiday quite endearing!
There is an abundance of new recipes, many of them express style and there is some genuine innovation. Many of us will be rushing to buy a 6 cavity dessert shell tin to make the appealing Chocolate Brownie Bowls.
I tried her Tarragon Chicken which is an express version of the classic dish and it was yummy! I made more than 70 of her Pigs in Blankets with Mustard Dipping Sauce, for a family party and should have made double the amount, so fast did they disappear! I felt that Strawberry and Almond Crumble had slightly too much vanilla but maybe this is my personal taste.
Next on my list to try are the two traybakes, Raspberry Bakewell Slice and Treacle Slice. I am won over by the thought of not having to make a traditional pastry base and think these definitely look like recipes which could work for me.
A book that is definitely becoming essential!
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on 30 October 2011
This is a gorgeous book. Loads of recipes, lots of yummy looking pictures, lots of variety, lots of inspiration. Have so far very much enjoyed the recipes - just made the 'blondies' and forgot to put the egg in (IDIOT!) but they still turned out yummy. I notice that a lot of reviewers criticise the overlap between this and other Nigella books; well, I own 'How To Eat', 'Domestic Goddess', 'Nigella Christmas' and now 'Kitchen' - and I haven't noticed any substantial degree of repetition. The overlap must be more with books like 'Feast'.

I've only given the book four stars because I have two little gripes. First, the way the book is organised seems thoroughly haphazard to me. If the index fell out, this book would be impossible to navigate, since nothing is categorised logically. Second, many of the recipes are designed for entertaining, and so specify quantities for 8-10 people. Well, I don't entertain 8-10 people nearly as often as I have to feed 3 extremely crotchety and hungry people, two of them aged under 10, at high speed- so quite frankly, I'd rather the quantities were specified for four people and then I'd double them on the bi-annual occasions when I have to entertain!

But still, I really like this book and feel it's money well spent. Quite apart from anything, if you're the type of person (like me) who just loves to read cookbooks, the prose and pictures are a comforting delight!
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