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

( 20 )

Overview

Nigella Lawson's How to Be a Domestic Goddess is about not only baking, but the enjoyment of being in the kitchen, taking sensuous pleasure in the entire process, and relishing the outcome. Nigella's deliciously reassuring and mouthwatering cookbook demonstrates that it's not terribly difficult to bake a batch of muffins or a layer cake, but the appreciation and satisfaction they bring are disproportionately high. At last, a book that understands our anxieties, feeds our fantasies, and puts cakes, pies, pastries,...

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Overview

Nigella Lawson's How to Be a Domestic Goddess is about not only baking, but the enjoyment of being in the kitchen, taking sensuous pleasure in the entire process, and relishing the outcome. Nigella's deliciously reassuring and mouthwatering cookbook demonstrates that it's not terribly difficult to bake a batch of muffins or a layer cake, but the appreciation and satisfaction they bring are disproportionately high. At last, a book that understands our anxieties, feeds our fantasies, and puts cakes, pies, pastries, breads, and biscuits back into our own kitchens.

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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
"In Nigellaworld, the kitchen is not a science lab with rigid rules and formulas to follow. It's a place to play, sometimes with your friends and kids."
The New York Times
"You can watch a cake being made and become hungry at the sight of it, but Ms. Lawson finds a way for you to taste it in your mind and feel empowered to dig out the pan."
People
"Vivid and fresh . . . We would drive on the left side of the road to get her molten-chocolate baby cakes."
From the Publisher
"In Nigellaworld, the kitchen is not a science lab with rigid rules and formulas to follow. It's a place to play, sometimes with your friends and kids."—Gourmet

"You can watch a cake being made and become hungry at the sight of it, but Ms. Lawson finds a way for you to taste it in your mind and feel empowered to dig out the pan."—The New York Times

"Vivid and fresh . . . We would drive on the left side of the road to get her molten-chocolate baby cakes."—People

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: 9780786886814
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 9/1/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 178,196
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.75 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson is the author of How to Eat, How to Be a Domestic Goddess (for which she won the British Author of the Year Award), Nigella Bites, Forever Summer, and Feast. She has been profiled in the New York Times Magazine, Gourmet, and many other publications. She lives in London with her two children.

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:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 20 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2002

    Simple but Delicious

    This is a wonderful baking book that incorporates new recipes and older, classic recipes with twists that make you want to spend hours on end in the kitchen.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2011

    First Nigella Lawson Book~Adored!

    Have been entranced by Miss.Lawson since her first food show. Such a laid back atsmosphere in Her Kitchen and Pantry.Easy recipes, grilling in the rain and lots of Family&Love abounding.Her late husband and sister resonated in this book.Enjoyed the "no problem w/company feel".I have purchased Every cookery Book by Miss.Lawson since they became available.Some from the United Kingdom.Prefer those for the accuracy of the Metric System in cooking&baking.As Americans, we really Have Lost Out. We use this method Always.Best Results. Miss.Lawson has been called by others "the Queen of Peas".Bruno, her son had basically disliked green vegetables as a child. Tho. in a disquise, He ate them! A great "starter book for those interested in a former "foodie writer", whose Father happened to Be the Exchequer of Britain."A posh Deal".Yet, she never sat on Her Laurels. Admired greatly for that alone...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2007

    A reviewer

    This is a wonderful cookbook whose recipes I've enjoyed immensely.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2007

    Her best book to date

    I've had a lot of Nigella's recipes from other books turn out dry, overly sweet or overcooked even after following the directions exactly. But with this book she seems to have gotten it down. The Pain Au Chocolate Pudding is especially good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2006

    Delicious!

    I love the way Nigella Lawson writes. Her passion for food and cooking is contagious. Everything I've tried has been great! I especially recommend the banana bread and the cream cheese brownies.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2003

    Move over, Martha

    How to be a Domestic Goddess has to be one of the best cookbooks that I have ever used. Nigella makes cooking a fun event that doesn't have to be a chemistry class. I also recommend Nigella Bites and How To Eat.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2002

    Great recipes!

    I just received this cookbook for a Christmas present and I love it! The pictures are beautiful and the recipes make your mouth water just reading them. My favorite section is the one for kids. The recipes look tasty and fun for children. This is definitely a keeper!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2002

    A MUST HAVE....

    for anyone who loves to read cookbooks like you read a novel! I actually keep this one on my book-shelf in the den rather than in the kitchen! Truly delightful and many delicious recipes await you. It's fun and simply written with beautiful pictures that make you want to try every recipe! Enjoy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2002

    A Winner from the UK

    What a great book, both to read and to cook from. The author's voice is warm and funny and reassuring. Just who you would like in the kitchen with you. And the recipes are easy and enticing. I love it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2002

    SUPERB BOOK

    This is a delightful, well-written and deliciously presented book. I've used this book so much in my small NYC apartment, the pages have stains on them of flour, sugar, cinammon and nutmeg--a little fruit juice as well. Nijinsky, my dog, has enjoyed spending time with me in the kitchen and trying out the many treats I have been creating from my new-found hobby, cooking. My friends from my company have enjoyed several of the baked goods. The photos are beautiful. This book has made me a true Domestic God! Thanks!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2001

    Stunning

    Fantastic book, beautifully written and presented. Essential for anybody who enjoys baking, cooking and indeed eating!!! The book is simply a pleasure to own

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