Nigella Christmas: Food Family Friends Festivities

Overview

Christmas is a time for family and friends, for tradition and treats. But, let's face it, when the pressure to feed and entertain builds up, the festive season can start to lose its sparkle . . . That's where Nigella comes in. With her no-nonsense approach, her inspirational ideas, and her empathy for the practical realities of the season—combined here with reliable, easy-to-follow recipes and reassuring advice about planning and cooking ahead—Nigella Christmas is guaranteed to bring comfort and joy and make sure...

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Overview

Christmas is a time for family and friends, for tradition and treats. But, let's face it, when the pressure to feed and entertain builds up, the festive season can start to lose its sparkle . . . That's where Nigella comes in. With her no-nonsense approach, her inspirational ideas, and her empathy for the practical realities of the season—combined here with reliable, easy-to-follow recipes and reassuring advice about planning and cooking ahead—Nigella Christmas is guaranteed to bring comfort and joy and make sure the season of good will stays that way. Here is everything you could wish for to make your life and your Christmas easy and enjoyable: from party canaps, cocktails, and manageable mass catering, to scrumptious Christmas cakes and puddings; from no-fuss brunches to quick-and-easy homemade presents (chutneys, preserves, and other delectable standbys) and edible tree decorations. There are mouth-watering recipes with a seasonal twist, and simple menus for feeding friends and family over the extended holiday season with minimum stress and maximum enjoyment. And, of course, exciting and inspiring variations for the Main Event itself—from her traditional super-juicy turkey with all the trimmings, to festive ginger-glazed ham and the Ultimate Christmas Pudding; from goose, rib of beef, and stuffed rolled pork, all the way to a special vegetarian Christmas feast, a chocolate pudding, a French Yule Log, an Australian Christmas Pudding, and The Boozy British Trifle. Nigella's cakes, as always, gladden the heart—and, like many of the recipes here, are at home all year round—but her At-a-Glance Christmas Lunch Countdown, together with make-ahead and freeze-ahead tips throughout, can help take the stress and strain out of the season. With its glorious illustrations, Nigella Christmas will surely be a perennial favorite—the book we will all reach for, for inspiration and reassurance, when Christmas comes around each year.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
English TV food show star Nigella Lawson doesn't want to be called a celebrity chef or even a cook or an expert on food. Relying on hard work, talented associates, and savvy experimentation, she has managed, however, to cook up a medley of tempting recipes and successful cookbooks. Nigella Christmas is a well-planned gathering of year-end recipes worth caroling about. Ms. Lawson's Yuletide feasts feature all the trimmings: main courses, including both meat and vegetarian alternatives; Christmas cookies, cakes, and puddings; even party food and drinks. A suave and sexy holiday entrée.
From the Publisher
"Nigella covers just about all the quick bases in Express . . . this is a recipe collection that could get you through the holidays."—The Washington Post

"The recipes are a mix of dishes that are quick to prepare and cook—so you can have your dinner out of the grocery bag and on to the table in half an hour or so—and dishes that are easy to prepare early in the day and then are simply left to simmer slowly."—Good Housekeeping

"Nigella Lawson has conjured up a voluptuous volume of what she called 'fast food for those who love eating.' . . . it's a Nigella-style feast . . . A perfect choice for cooks who would rather sip wine than labor over a hot stove, Nigella Express is, as the British say, brilliant."—People

"A fast feast may seem like a concept at odds with itself, but the goddess of easy extravagance, Nigella Lawson, has figured out how to put together a lavish party menu in ultrashort order . . . That's what her latest cookbook, Nigella Express, is all about—time savers that don't compromise on flavor but are so effective you'll feel you got away with something."—O at Home

Good Housekeeping
"The recipes are a mix of dishes that are quick to prepare and cook--so you can have your dinner out of the grocery bag and on to the table in half an hour or so--and dishes that are easy to prepare early in the day and then are simply left to simmer slowly."
People
"Nigella Lawson has conjured up a voluptuous volume of what she called 'fast food for those who love eating.' . . . it's a Nigella-style feast . . . A perfect choice for cooks who would rather sip wine than labor over a hot stove, Nigella Express is, as the British say, brilliant."
The Washington Post
"Nigella covers just about all the quick bases in Express . . . this is a recipe collection that could get you through the holidays."
O at Home
"A fast feast may seem like a concept at odds with itself, but the goddess of easy extravagance, Nigella Lawson, has figured out how to put together a lavish party menu in ultrashort order . . . That's what her latest cookbook, Nigella Express, is all about--time savers that don't compromise on flavor but are so effective you'll feel you got away with something."
Publishers Weekly
U.K. celebrity chef Lawson (How to Eat, Nigella Bites, etc.) tackles Christmas in this warm, welcoming collection. Lawson's roundup of updated classics should provide a solid foundation for constructing an elaborate dinner menu or a simple cocktail party; alternately, readers can use one of Nigella's menus, centered around roast turkey, goose, pork or beef-as well as a vegetarian lineup featuring roasted pumpkin stuffed with a ginger and tomato sauce-that come complete with a Martha Stewart-worthy timeline and tips for handling leftovers. Daytime entertainers will appreciate Lawson's ideas for brunch, including an Espresso Martini and Pumpkin Pancakes with Sticky Maple Pecans, as well as recommendations for mulled wine, hot chocolate spiked with peppermint schnapps, and her Poinsettia cocktail, a combination of sparkling wine, Cointreau and cranberry juice. Though bakers may be weary of committing to a fruitcake or the intimidating Buche De Noel cake, Sticky Gingerbread and Lawson's chocolate cake-laced with cinnamon, cloves, and a Cointreau cream frosting-offer toothsome, worry-free alternatives. Gifts are also covered, including Vanilla Sugar, Dried Cherries in Cherry Brandy, infused vodkas and peanut brittle. Lawson's fans and those who've been looking for a solid Christmas cookbook will find this a valuable addition to the bookshelf, but anyone with a reliable Christmastime canon may find it redundant.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401323363
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 10/27/2009
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 722,645
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 10.60 (h) x 1.10 (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, Feast, and Nigella Express. She is the star of Nigella Express on the Food Network. She has been profiled in the New York Times Magazine, Gourmet, and many other publications. She lives in London with her husband and 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:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Essential Christmas Reading - All Year Round

    After reading through this book there is absolutely no doubt that Nigella Lawson completely adores Christmas and every aspect of the season. As someone who invariably enjoys the Day more in retrospect (read collapsed in a heap on the couch cradling some fortifying alcohol beverage after the family has gone on their merry way) even I was carried away convinced I am so wrong & in urgent need of attitude modification -there is no down sides to the hectic festive season.
    The recipes are set out logically and true to her hallmark, are easy to prepare. They are as delicious as they appear in the glorious photos, themselves instant portals to Christmas Day and that giddy & ridiculous euphoria I felt as a little girl counting down the days on my Advent Calendar.
    Nigella's strategic planning comprehensively caters for the lead up to, Christmas Day itself and the Yuletide aftermath elevating leftovers as first choices such as Turkey & Glass Noodle Salad. Nothing is left to chance. Home made preserves and sweets are easy to make and guests are very touched you took time to make something for them.
    The middle of the book contains Nigella's blueprint for her traditional Christmas meal including her amazing roast potatoes which are life changing.Her clear instructions including her timing for the countdown to the main meal, is instructive in an encouraging way.
    This book removes the cardiac and blood pressure risks usually attendant to this time of year. I want to race home to cook up Panforte and Mince pies with Star tops and I know that I can crack that Rolled Stuffed Loin of Pork without a melt down.The Butternut Orzotto is a worthy substitute for more traditional Christmas offerings. Instead of searching out sixpences in the plum pudding, the reader finds new gems like the GirdleBuster Pie, the Tia Maria Layer Cake.
    Best of all from my perspective, when our northern cousins enjoy a truly white Christmas whilst we in the southern hemisphere are sweating out 34 degrees C heat, there are still recipes that I made and were fabulous absent snow and minus zero temps.
    Even if you don't cook a single thing, this book is a visual feast of traditional and not so traditional Christmas fare from a lovely English Lady who through her culinary writing, urges us all to stop and smell the roses at least once a year.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2009

    Disappointing

    I have almost all of Ms. Lawson's other books and really enjoy them and find them useful. This book was a big disappointment to me as many of the recipes are included in her other books and some of the recipes just are not very appealing. I also felt that it seemed a bit unorganized and the book itself is too large and heavy, making it difficult for practical use. Quite frankly, I didn't find any inspiration for my Christmas holiday.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 17, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    A MUST-HAVE CHRISTMAS TITLE!

    Need something to put you in the mood...for Christmas? This should help. Lets face it: the thought of braving the crowds and get to shopping, wrapping, card-writing, cooking, and entertaining can be the makings of a daunting December. With these easy to follow recipes (many with make-ahead or freeze-ahead tips) you should have a few less worries this holiday season. Nigella's signature heart-to-heart style writing preceeds every recipe and lets you know what your getting yourself into: maximum results with ease of effort. Put on Ella Fitzgerald's "Ella Wishes You A Swinging Christmas" CD and relax knowing that you have it all under control. A Merry Christmas indeed.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 19, 2009

    Nigella's Christmas book has happily taken a retired teacher (who never cooked) into the satisfying world of cooking.

    I am using this beautifully writen Christmas book for the entire holiday season. It was the perfect (early) gift from my husband (who is a chef in his own right). I totally took over "his" kitchen. My Thanksgiving included Nigella's Spiced and Superjuicy Roast Turkey (brined turkey-fabulous), her Panettone and Italian stuffing, Yule Log (this took me two tries, but I'm new at this). For the yearly Christmas neighborhood party, I served the Seasonal Breeze punch for those who don't drink alcohol. They went back for more and more. I also made the Spruced Up Vanilla Cake with Mixed Berry Compote (yes, I did buy the tree bunt pan bacause I'll make this every year), and I made the (drop-dead delicious) Christmas Spiced Chocolate Cake (I had to learn how to unlock a spring form pan for this-tricky). At that party, the Drunken Devils and Cranberry and Soy Sausages virtually disappeared as did the Cranberry and White Chocolate cookies. Neighbors who know me so well asked how? why? So I just carried the Christmas book around to show them. Nigella's on a first name basis here. Even my Christmas gifts are make from recipes from this book: Rich Fruit Chutney and Christmas-Spiced Salt (I plan to do two each year)to which I just added a cute Christmas tea towel. My friends were surprised and delighted with their gifts. Next will be the "Big Event" taken from this book with Nigella's Ham, Apple Onion Gravy, Maple Cheesecake, and Star Cookies. New Year's Day will be celebrated with her Rolled Pork Loin, Italian Roast Potatoes, Rubied Gravy, and (I'm trying out)The Boozy British Trifle. I appreciate her Suppliers Section) especially for the home-made gifts), her make-ahead notes, and the lovely pictures which I tried to faithfully reproduce (I covet her Crown Devon Christmas dishes!). She seems to have thought of everything here.
    As you can see, I'm delighted to start this new phase of my life: cooking with confidence (Nigella's introductions and recipes are enjoyable and easy reads) and cooking with enjoyment (So far, I've loved it).
    Looking forward to this time in my life, I had already bought all of Nigella's other books over the years (saw them first in England when my son studied there) except The Feast. I'm hoping Santa brings that one. My goal is to happily cook from all of them often. Thanks Nigella and Merry Christmas to you.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2010

    Disappointing

    This looks and feels much more like a "bargain book" than what I would expect in a new Nigella Lawson book. There's something cheap about it, both in the design and the production values, that surprised me. I was planning to give it as a gift this Christmas, but didn't.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2010

    Best Recipe Book Ever

    Love, love , love this book. couldn't wait to buy it and am very pleased.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2010

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    Lovely Holiday Book

    Nothing quick or even necessarily healthful here, but that's not why I buy a Christmas Book. It is lovely, upbeat, has good receipes and is just plain fun to look at. I may not ever crack the first egg, but i enjoy the book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 21, 2009

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    Hope it helps?

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