Tuesday 26 June 2012

Book review: Nigella Lawson - Nigella Bites

Book title  Nigella Bites
Author Nigella Lawson
Publisher Chatto and Windus
Price/RRP £20 when first published - currently available from Amazon for £14 (hardback)

Where did I get it? I've had this so long, I can't remember! It came out in 2001, though I didn't get it until a few years later - in 2001 I was at university living in catered halls, and my entire kitchen consisted of one of these, shared between four people.

The blurb on the back With the success of her two bestselling cookery books 'How to Eat' and 'How to be a Domestic Goddess', and her first television series, Nigella has become a household name, symbolising all that is best, most pleasurable and least fussy about the place of good food - both making it and eating it - in our lives.
Now she's back with this ravishing new book to accompany her brand new Channel Four television series, 'Nigella Bites'. Full of mouthwatering recipes, including all those featured in her new television series, 'Nigella Bites' offers some recipes which are exciting twists on old favourites, others which are new and different, and all of them characteristic of Nigella and the ethos of her TV series- uncomplicated, original, fresh and perfect for the way we live today. They're easy to produce after a busy day at the office, fun to linger over at weekends or to make with the kids, delectable to read about, dreamy to look at and delicious to eat.

Overview of book Nigella is the star of this book - it's full of pictures of her cooking and eating food. It would be great for anyone who is a fan of her television work but also of her writing style - each recipe begins with an anecdote or explanation of where she got it or why she loves to cook this particular dish. Nigella's voice really comes through and you feel as if she is there in the kitchen with you.
The book is divided into chapters reflecting different types of food - all day breakfast, comfort food, TV dinners, party girl, rainy days, trashy, legacy, suppertime, slow-cook weekend and templefood (referring to treating your body like a temple). There are a few blank pages for notes at the end of every chapter, which is a good idea.

First recipe in the book Orange breakfast muffins

Last recipe in the book Peaches and blueberries - not so much a recipe as more a description of how to assemble them and why Nigella loves them

Random recipe from the middle of the book Italian sausages with lentils

Quality/number of photographs Every single recipe has a photograph, many of them fullpage, and with the lengthy description this means some recipes take up three whole pages. A lot of the photos show Nigella looking glamorous while she cooks and looking glamorous while she eats.

Number of pages 244, though there are not as many recipes as other books this length, as many of them take up a few pages each. And at £20 it seems perhaps a little expensive for what it is - but as t's Nigella, and we all love her, so that makes it all OK!

Have I made anything from this book? Yes, loads - partly because this was one of the first recipe books I got so I didn't have many others to choose from (and it was before I had regular internet access!) - but also because I love this book, I've kept returning to it. Recipes I've made include Welsh rarebit muffins, Asian spiced kedgeree, pasta with meatballs, ham in Coca Cola (which really is lovely) and the easy sticky toffee pudding, which I've made several times as it's so good (and easy!).

Overall impression in three words comforting, glamorous, uncomplicated

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