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How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking

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In the busy, stressful life of the modern woman, there could be more feelgood mileage from running up a tray of muffins or baking a cake than in almost any other cooking. But we're so busy making efficient, 'modern' food, that we too easily forget, what Nigella demonstrates in th is mouthwatering and deliciously reassuring cookbook, that actually it 's not hard to make a cake, that the appreciation and satisfaction it brings are out of all proportion to the little effort involved. A domestic goddess has to ...
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Overview

In the busy, stressful life of the modern woman, there could be more feelgood mileage from running up a tray of muffins or baking a cake than in almost any other cooking. But we're so busy making efficient, 'modern' food, that we too easily forget, what Nigella demonstrates in th is mouthwatering and deliciously reassuring cookbook, that actually it 's not hard to make a cake, that the appreciation and satisfaction it brings are out of all proportion to the little effort involved. A domestic goddess has to maintain her cool when faced with pastry—but with Nigella's guidance even shortcrust pastry can be pretty pain-free. Here at last is the book which understands our anxieties, feeds our fantasies and puts cakes, pies, pastries, preserves, puddings, bread and biscuits back into today's kitchen and our lives. Everything from cup cakes to certosino, from brownies to bagels, from peach cream pie to pizza, chewy amaretti to Blueberry boy-bait, from baklava to a Barbie cake, as well as children's cooking, Christmas baking and other family treats.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
"The trouble with much modern cooking is that the mood it induces in the cook is one of skin-of-the-teeth efficiency, all briskness and little pleasure. Sometimes that's the best we can manage, but at other times we don't want to feel stressed and over-stretched, but like a domestic goddess, trailing nutmeggy fumes of baking pie in our languorous wake." Nigella Lawson, the chef-host of the Food Network's Nigella Bites series, offers pleasure in the form of more than 200 delectable (and delectably illustrated) recipes.
Gourmet
England's it girl . . . She cooks, she writes, she looks like a movie star . . . Nigella Lawson has the whole country talking.
New York Daily News
Her cookbook, written in a warm, familiar style, is sure to win her many fans on this side of the Atlantic.
Publishers Weekly
Called "England's it girl" by Gourmet magazine, Lawson (How to Eat) brings to America her second cookbook, highly popular in England. Lawson, the food editor for British Vogue, suggests ways to feel like a domestic goddess (rather than undergo the necessary lifestyle changes to become one), taking cooks back to an era of less stress and more simple pleasures. The recipes, written in Lawson's characteristic lively, witty manner, encourage this theme. The Store-Cupboard Chocolate-Orange Cake will please the nose with its rich, intense aroma and indulge the taste buds with its full chocolate and orange flavor. The Coconut Macaroons seem soft and chewy with a concentrated coconut essence (though they may need to bake for slightly longer than the suggested 20 minutes). The chapters cover categories from cakes to pies and from chocolate to Christmas. One chapter includes recipes for kid foods as well as recipes that children can follow. The book is designed to instill confidence and capability, positing that if Nigella can make these delights with ease and in a relaxed manner, so can anyone else, "trailing nutmeggy fumes." The beautiful color photos set the mouth to watering. (Nov.) Forecast: Timed to launch with her television series Nigella Bites on the E! channel and Style networks this fall, this book will bask in the warm, fuzzy and competent glow of Lawson's renown. She'll be a hit in the U.S.; her book will get ample promo and fly off the shelves. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780701168889
  • Publisher: Random House of Canada, Limited
  • Publication date: 4/24/2001
  • Pages: 374
  • Product dimensions: 7.76 (w) x 9.96 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

Nigella Lawson is the food writer for Vogue and author of How to Eat. She originated the restaurant column in The Spectator and writes regularly for Sainsbury’s Magazine, the Observer and other publications. She is married to the writer and journalist John Diamond and they have two children. She currently lives in London.

Biography

Nigella Lawson is perhaps the most marketable TV chef yet: She's model-gorgeous but not skinny, reverent without being ceremonious, a mom with some personal tragedy in her past, and a woman who takes obvious pleasure in her own recipes. Men like her because she's easy on the eyes; women identify with her pragmatism and lack of pretension.

Lawson, who is the first to point out that she is not a professional chef, favors the hands-on approach to food, literally -- if there's a point where plunging one's hands in the dish will work just as well as anything else in the preparing, she's not going to get food-safetyish about it. Her tactics are not just about ease. She wants people to appreciate food's sensual and pleasure-giving qualities more than to achieve culinary greatness. Her stated motto: "To achieve maximum pleasure through minimum effort." Her carefree demeanor comes through most in her show, where she can be seen snacking and finger-licking her way through a recipe. Here's a pertinent citation from How to Be a Domestic Goddess: "Perhaps the greatest joy of pastry-making is that it's mud-pie time; you get floury, sticky, wholly involved. I don't mean by this that you shouldn't use any equipment.... But you still need to use your hands for that last crucial combining, the rolling, and draping into the pan, and the piecing together of your pie. Just do it."

And while Lawson isn't exactly topping her BBC predecessors Two Fat Ladies on butter and lard consumption, save for a single chapter in How to Eat, she does generally ignore calorie counts, low-fat substitutions, and other concessions to the fitness establishment. If this philosophy means venturing forth on ham baked in Coca-Cola, lamb shank stew, or chocolate fudge cake, then so be it. "If it's something I don't want to carry on eating once I'm full, then I don't want the recipe," the famously voluptuous Lawson said in a Guardian interview in 2000. "I'm quite ruthless. I have to feel that I want to cook the thing again, and more than once. I need to feel that I have to stop myself from cooking it all the time."

The table of contents of Nigella Bites -- named for the BBC-TV/Style Network show she films at her West London home -- shows that Lawson is more concerned with the everyday than with stunning parties and dinners. Categories in the book include "TV Dinners," "Trashy," and "Family Food." She is not administering advice that is going to keep you running to specialty stores or trapped in your kitchen. She does not turn up her nose at frozen peas or other store-bought ingredients. She also acknowledges that mistakes can be made and tells you how to fix them (even if that just means throwing the whole thing out). For those who just want to make something delicious without a lot of fuss, Lawson's kamikaze approach is refreshing and should keep her in our kitchens for quite some time.

Good To Know

Lawson is the daughter of Nigel Lawson, who served as Margaret Thatcher's chancellor of the Exchequer.

Lawson's husband, journalist John Diamond, passed away in 2001 after the couple had been married nearly ten years. They have two children, Cosima and Bruno. In 2002, Lawson became linked with Diamond's friend, advertising tycoon Charles Saatchi.

Lawson began her career writing the restaurant review column for Britain's The Spectator. She has also been food editor of British Vogue and had a makeup column for the U.K.'s Times magazine. She is also a staple on ABC's Good Morning America.

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    1. Hometown:
      London, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 6, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      London, England
    1. Education:
      Degree in Modern and Medieval Languages, Oxford University, 1979
    2. Website:

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