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Nigella Kitchen: Cookbook Review

The domestic goddess is back, and she's brought us a "comfort chronicle" on her love affair with the kitchen!  Although I knew it deep down and even voiced it a few times over the past couple of years, I don't think I realized the true extent of how much I craved a new book from Nigella.  Her older ones get pawed and referenced pretty regularly...I DVR old episodes to sustain and inspire me...but being able to hold her thick new labor of love in my hot little hands...stroke it...use it to plan the future...I totally needed that.  In this book, she shares the tools, ingredients, recipes, and stories that sustain her...that enrich her...that emanate from the soul-that-is-Nigella.  I think most of us who spend so much of our lives in the kitchen feel that it is our sanctuary as well as a place we associate with the people we welcome into our home.  I just love the way Nigella puts it when she says..."I need my kitchen to work, but I also want it to enchant."  Yup. Pretty sure we were separated at cosmic birth. Do I need to tell you that I adored this book...from the get-go?  Nigella and I...we just spent a solid week together in the kitchen.  We reminisced a bit and pulled out some of her old books (I'll fill you in more another day)...but mainly, we focused on Nigella Kitchen

Amongst all the little slips of paper poking from the pages, I chose a week long menu of a few things that I couldn't bear to wait any longer to try.  They are all simple selections that fit into my schedule...even in the midst of holiday madness.  There are more dinners and elaborate meals that I will be making in the more relaxed days that ring in the new year.  

I started out with a simple Tomato Curry which I served on a bed of brown rice.  Grape tomatoes and peas simmered in a curry bath made for a quick, flavorful lunch!
My absolute favorite thing I made this week...earning the title of my new favorite salad...was the Chinatown Chicken Salad!  Oh. Em. Gee.  A fabulous combination of crisp lettuce and bean sprouts with ruby strips of peppers, the brightness of cilantro, meaty shreds of chicken, and crunchy fried wontons...all tossed in a mouthwatering dressing...with a few peanuts dotting each bite.  Sounds irresistible, no!?  I'll dedicate a whole post to it soon, but until then...feast your eyes on my new favorite salad.
Next up is a steaming bowl of  soup laden with fat noodles, thinly sliced pork, veggies and an addicting broth.  I slightly adapted her Vietnamese Pork Noodle Soup to make a big bowl of The Ramen girl and Nigella-inspired goodness!
Up next, I served up the Small Pasta w/ Salami, in which ditalini and white beans are flavored with salty salami, herbs, and tomatoes.  This was a quick week night meal that pleased both the adults and the kiddos.
Probably the equivalent of pasta tossed with a simple garlic-infused olive oil and then sprinkled with a good grating of Parmesan, Spaghetti with Marmite makes for a lightning-quick, salty-yeasty-can't-put-down-your-fork type of lunch!  Plus, it was my first foray into the world of I must find other applications for this intriguing jar of brown goo!
You didn't think I could finish the week off without a bit of dessert, did you?  Of course not.  Venturing away from my favorite gingerbread (which incidentally, also happens to be a Nigella recipe)...I made a big pan of tempting Guinness Gingerbread.  It's sticky, moist, and perfectly rich.  BUT.  It's not taking the place of said go-to recipe.
So, all that said and done...I definitely recommend Nigella Kitchen.  If you love the queen of simple excess, then you'll love this book ☺.

Curious about the next dish on my Nigella itinerary from this book?  An old favorite of mine...Chicken with 40 Cloves. Aw yeah...bring on the garlicky goodness.

*I was sent an ARC of this book by the publisher for review if I wished...but the opinions stated in this post are all mine.