Nigella is my original muse, she single handedly got me back into the kitchen and cooking when the days of making cookies with my grandmother passed and I had to start doing it on my own. I have all of her books and honestly they are something one can actually cook from, my shelves are bending from the amount of cookbooks they house but only half are being used to make dinners and cakes, others I look at for inspiration and for pictures but Nigella's recipes are worth every penny one spends on a cookbook. I can't express my love and gratitude for this woman; she's intelligent, cheerful, honest a magnificent food writer who actually got me into writing as well, I even got my first KitchenAid mixer because she used her so much to make all of her delectable treats. So fear not, this and other books that she penned are not only gorgeous to look at but they can help anyone put something mouth watering on the table in no time. This one has pictures on almost every page and a short little bit of how this came to be or how she eats it before each recipe, probably my favorite part of the book.
This book is broken into occasions rather than seasons or ingredients - Thanksgiving & Christmas, New Year, Meatless Feasts, Valentine's Day, Easter, Passover, Breakfast, Kitchen Feasts, Kiddiefeast, Cut-out Cookies, Chocolate Cake Hall of Fame, A Georgian Feast, Eid, Ultimate Feasts, Hallowe'en, Rosh Hashanah, A Venetian Feast, Festival of Lights, Partytime, Midnight Feast, Wedding Feast, Funeral Feast ( somber I know but the food is actually very appropriate and having herself lose her mother, sister and first husband to cancer, Nigella is still living life and making the best of what she has) so no matter what one celebrates they can find something good in this super large volume. I have to admit that I use this daily and don't wait for special occasions.
Feast is probably her biggest ( thickest) book to date, and I made some good things from it. Let me tell you, the Pumpkin Cheesecake (on page 68 ) was my first cheesecake and no only was it ridiculously easy it turned out so good I was shocked I made it myself. There was a suggestion for Butterscotch sauce on the page to pour on top, I made it as well ( gotta love the pairing suggestions) and the combination was just divine. The sauce would also go well on something like an apple and macadamia nut crumble or anything thatis sweet.
Gingerbread muffins on page 91 were so warm and cozy I make them in cold weather to keep the chill of, the trouble is stopping at one. If you want your house to smell like a home, make this!
Roast Loin of pork with caraway, lemon and garlic - spicy fragrant, nothing ordinary about this simple to make dinner, makes great leftovers as the rub on top intensifies.
Chicken Pot Pie - I guarantee that after this one no one will be shopping for it in the frozen section of their supermarket, flaky dough, creamy hot center, lost of peas, ham and chicken in sauce, the only caution is not burning the tongue as it's hard not to gobble up.
There's even Muttar Paneer - an excellent Indian dish, makes me feel silly for ever thinking it was hard to make. Now I can control the ingredients and how much salt and fat goes into it, one can make a healthy lunch out of an exotic staple after all.
This book has everything, I don't know how this woman thinks it all up, but she makes these recipes and writes about them, she feeds them to her children and friends, real people are involved into bringing this book to life and it shows.
- Kasia S.