- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Knopf; 1 edition (30 October 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 030759565X
- ISBN-13: 978-0307595652
- Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 2.8 x 23.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,02,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook: Recipes and Wisdom from an Obsessive Home Cook Hardcover – 30 Oct 2012
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Praise for Deb Perelman and The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
“[Deb’s recipes] deliver in a big showstopping way, which is why she’s my go-to for holiday entertaining.”
—Jenny Rosenstrach, author of Dinner: A Love Story
“The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is nothing short of stunning. Deb's photos are breathtaking, and her collection of recipes—a marvelous combination of familiar/reassuring and urban/daring—is just glorious. I had no idea how Deb could possibly outdo what she already does so beautifully on her website, but she has. The bar for cookbooks has officially been set.”
—Ree Drummond, author of The Pioneer Woman Cooks
“Deb Perelman is the no-nonsense girlfriend who tells you what's what in the kitchen. The one who always knows exactly what you're in the mood for, how to make the best version of it, and, most important, how to save you from screwing it up. Perelman is a little bossy, and a lot opinionated. But you adore her for it. She will do right by you when you need that potluck dish, that birthday cupcake. You'll soak up every word of her confident, amusing writing, you'll be beguiled by her gorgeous food photography—you'll be smitten, indeed.”
—Amanda Hesser, co-founder of Food52.com and author of The Essential New York Times Cookbook
“A joy to read. . . . Prepare to be seduced.” —Los Angeles Times
"[Perelman] is innovative, creative, and effortlessly funny." —Cooking Light
“This is the book that every cook needs in their kitchen. Deb's obsession with getting it right, and her practical cooking tips garnered from cooking in a modest kitchen, ensure that anyone will have the same success that her millions of followers, including me, have come to expect. I want to cook each and every one of these recipes—right now!”
—David Lebovitz, author of The Sweet Life in Paris
“I’ve been waiting for this book for a long time. It is a 320-page gem of well-tested, beautifully photographed, wonderfully curated recipes. Part of the brilliance here is the range of inspiration—weeknight-friendly recipes, treats sure to win hearts and smiles, and plenty of family-style inspiration for potlucks and get-togethers.”
—Heidi Swanson, author of Super Natural Every Day (and 101cookbooks.com)
"Perelman's no-fuss yet inspiring recipes appeal to people with modest kitchens, little counter space and an affinity for a no-nonsense approach to good eats. Sound like anyone you know?" —USA Today
“Good news, everyone! The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook has arrived just in time. . . . Given how difficult it was to find a spare copy of the book, all of our mothers are about to be impressed.”
“As someone who spends way too much time online already, I’m delighted that Perelman has put her sumptuous recipes into a form that sits nicely on my kitchen counter. . . . A winner!”
—The Saturday Evening Post
“Perelman is the queen of food bloggers.”
“Deb Perelman's collection of recipes is mouth-watering. . . . [She] projects an inviting warmth and chattiness. She's funny . . . and self-deprecating enough to ease your culinary insecurities.”
—The Christian Science Monitor
“If you’re looking for some new spice in your diet or a quick, yet elegant dish to serve at a dinner party, try out The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. The results will be rewarding and impossible to resist.”
—Iowa State Daily
“Worth the wait.”
—The Boston Globe
“We've been admirers of Deb Perelman and her cooking blog Smitten Kitchen for years, and are stoked that her simple, elegant recipes and gorgeous photos have finally made their way into a cookbook. . . . With more than 300 photos taken by Perelman, chronicling everything from step-by-step how to's to beauty shots of the final dishes, the finished product looks as good as we're sure the recipes will taste.”
“It’s a lovely book to hold, to read—and to cook from.”
“[Deb] has the matter-of-factness of Mark Bittman, but the zing and eye for decadence of David Chang. Not to mention, the whole package looks as sumptuous as the dishes contained therein. . . . All the while, she writes like a good friend who just happens to be a whiz in the kitchen. Smitten is exactly what you’ll be by this book.”
One of “this fall’s best new cookbooks”
—The National Post
“A solid collection of interesting and useful recipes. . . . Includes lots of great general cooking knowledge that even veteran home cooks will appreciate.”
“This fearless home cook’s humorous anecdotes and delectable photos make for a food blog-gone-book that translates beautifully into any kitchen.’”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Two years ago I started reading (and devouring) the Smitten Kitchen blog. I have since made more than thirty of her recipes and have been waiting for her forthcoming first cookbook.”
—The Paris Review (blog)
“Perelman’s supremely helpful, visually stunning, wittily worded food blog really did deserve to be named one of 2011’s best blogs. . . . Perelman’s recipes are accessible but not Betty Crocker plain; this is fun, energized eating. Get it!”
“A blog with a wonderfully homey feel . . . [Perelman’s] creations are . . . mouthwatering.”
—Time, a Best Blog of 2011
“For four years, Deb Perelman has been blogging her cooking pursuits from her tiny New York City kitchen as a newlywed and then as a new mother. This is the result of hours spent perfecting her own recipes and interpreting those of the best food publications out there. Some of the recipes featured can be complicated, but you have Deb’s warm chatter, funny anecdotes, encyclopedic knowledge of food and cookbooks, cooking, and gorgeous photography getting you through it. She’s a farmers’ market shopper and hence her blog is completely seasonal, and archived that way as well. You'll see her tackle the impossible—a wedding cake—and the very simple, ‘How to Turn a Bucket of Cheap Tomatoes into a Perfect Pot of Sauce.’ Do we really have to wait until 2012 for the Smitten Kitchen cookbook?”
—Gwyneth Paltrow, on her blog GOOP
“Smitten Kitchen reads like a conversation with a witty friend who can recommend the perfect nosh for any occasion.”
—O, The Oprah Magazine
“Warm and encouraging, the photos are pure food porn, and the something-for-everyone recipes sound sublime.”
“Perelman’s thoughtful prose and sometimes humorous posts read like an e-mail from your best friend—only with better photos.”
—Better Homes and Gardens
“An enthusiastic kitchen amateur chronicles her adventures, offering a mix of easy recipes, smart and witty commentary, and beautiful photos.”
“One of our favorite cooking blogs . . . We are big fans of Deb Perelman—the founder, cook, writer, and photographer behind the whole operation—and her gorgeous food photos, simple recipes, and charming voice.”
About the Author
Deb Perelman is a self-taught home cook and photographer; and the creator of SmittenKitchen.com, an award-winning blog with a focus on stepped-up home cooking through unfussy ingredients. In previous iterations of her so-called career, she’s been a record store shift supervisor, a scrawler of “happy birthday” on bakery cakes, an art therapist, and a technology reporter. She likes her current gig—the one where she wakes up and cooks whatever she feels like that day—the best. The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is her first book. Deb lives in New York City with her husband and delicious baby son.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Here is a count of the recipes per category:
17 Breakfast items
13 Sandwiches, Tarts & Pizzas
13 Vegetarian Main Dishes
12 Seafood, Poultry & Meat dishes
8 Pies and tarts
5 Puddings and Candy
10 Party Snacks and Drinks
* Recipes are categorized very well.
* Ingredients needed are easy to find and usually inexpensive. They are also REAL ingredients, so you're pretty much making everything from scratch. Nothing with weird chemicals in the label.
* The author includes a clever/funny/witty/entertaining short story before each recipe that gives some history/insight into how she acquired the recipe or how she came up with it.
* Each recipe includes at LEAST one full-page, full-color photograph, and most also have photos of the ingredients or a few of the steps involved.
* The "stories", although enjoyable, are occasionally a bit lengthy.
* Recipe directions are in paragraph form, rather than numbered. This, of course, depends on personal preference. I like to see the steps numbered, which helps me keep track of where I am without having to waste time by re-reading the directions to find my place again.
* Pretty much all of the recipes are split between two pages. By this, I mean the recipe begins on, say, page 2 (on the right hand side), and you have to flip the page over to page 3 (on the left hand side) to see the rest of the directions. Again, this is not a HUGE deal, but it has become inconvenient for me when my hands are covered in flour or whatever and I have to flip the page back and forth. It would have been better if the recipes were each spread over two opposite-facing pages. This way, the book could just stay open the whole time I'm preparing the recipe.
Are these recipes good? Yes!
Are they easy? Yes, but maybe not for absolute beginners.
Are they quick? No, but that is part of their old-fashioned charm.
Am I glad I bought this and would I recommend it to a friend? Yes and YES! :)
The photographs are amazing, crisp and clean and not out of focus (like Pioneer Woman's). Like Deb, I have a tiny kitchen and I liked the peek into her kitchen. Deb is not a blogging juggernaut; she comes across as a good home cook who cooks so she can eat the food she likes.
I have to eat a gluten free diet for health reasons and was pleased to see many of her recipes are either gluten free naturally or can be adapted easily; for instance, her Leek Fritters only call for 1/4 cup of all purpose flour, so substituting a neutral GF flour works perfectly here. I made them the other night and was amazed at how a few simple ingredients made something so addictive. The recipe was also easy to adapt to use different vegetables; I've made them since with cooked asparagus instead of leeks and they turned out wonderfully. They were a tad salty to my taste, but this may have been a difference in salt, so I just dialed the salt down the next time I made them.
So far in the sweets section I've only made the chocolate roll-out cookies, which were easy enough (though the dough was very stiff at first) and got a thumbs-up from my kids. Looking forward to making the granola and the latkes and the lemon bars, just to name a few.
Some people have commented that the layout of the book makes it awkward for cooking. I've noticed that is true on a few recipes, where the ingredients are on a righthand page and then the directions are on the page after that...this was an editing snafu, but is no reflection on the recipes themselves. If anything it will encourage me to gather my ingredients first, as one should, and then proceed with the recipe.
UPDATED 1/11/13--- I made the Whole Lemon Bars and at first was mildly disappointed; for having a whole lemon they didn't have a lemony, puckery "punch"--I thought perhaps too much butter, which muted the lemon. They were delicious, just not quite as lemony as I thought they'd be. But when my husband and sons tasted them they gave them RAVE reviews, my husband saying they had "just the right amount of lemon" and that more would have been overwhelming. My sons agreed with them. I tend to like things very tart and sour, which most people don't, so I will not change anything when I make them again, and I will make them again--my husband said he has never liked a lemon bar before in his life, so Deb must be on to something! The recipe is so freaking easy, too--as long as you have a food processor you can do it all in that and never dirty a mixing bowl. I also adapted them to be gluten free--using an equivalent amount of King Arthur Gluten Free Flour for the crust--and they came out perfectly.
The granola was easy, and as promised, made large chunks of granola. I did not have the coconut or walnuts, so used raw sunflower seeds instead. What a revelation that granola does NOT need tons of butter or oil or sugar to be delicious! And without having to stir it every ten minutes as in most recipes it was so much easier.