Thursday, January 23, 2014

Book Review: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
Deb Perelman

Release Date: October 30, 2012

Deb Perelman

Book Description:
The long-awaited cookbook by Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen—home cook, mom, photographer, and celebrated food blogger.

Deb Perelman loves to cook. It’s as simple as that. She isn’t a chef or a restaurant owner—she’s never even waitressed. Cooking in her tiny Manhattan kitchen was, at least at first, for special occasions—and, too often, an unnecessarily daunting venture. Deb found herself overwhelmed by the number of recipes available to her. Have you ever searched for the perfect birthday cake on Google? You’ll get more than three million results. How do you choose? Where do you start? What if you pick a recipe that’s downright bad?

So Deb founded her award-winning blog,, on the premise that cooking should be a pleasure, and that the results of your labor can—and should be—delicious...every time. Deb is a firm believer that there are no bad cooks, just bad recipes. She has dedicated herself to finding the best of the best and adapting them for the everyday cook—the ones with little time to spare, little money to burn on unpronounceable ingredients, and little help in the kitchen. And now, with the same warmth, candor, and can-do spirit her blog is known for, Deb presents her first cookbook—more than 100 new recipes, plus a few favorites from her site, all gorgeously illustrated with hundreds of Deb’s beautiful color photographs.

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is all about approachable, uncompromised home cooking: stepped-up comfort foods, stewy dishes for windy winter afternoons, an apple cake that will answer all questions: “What should my new signature dessert be?” “What is always welcome at a potluck?” “What did Deb consume almost single-handedly a week after having a baby?” These are the recipes you bookmark and use so often they become your own; recipes you slip to a friend who wants to impress her new in-laws; and recipes with simple ingredients that yield amazing results in a minimum amount of time. Deb tells you how to host a brunch and still sleep in—plus what to make for it!—and the essential items you need for your own kitchen. From salads and slaws that make perfect side dishes (or a full meal) to savory tarts and pizzas; from Mushroom Bourguignon to Pancetta, White Bean and Swiss Chard Pot Pies; from Buttered Popcorn Cookies to Chocolate Hazelnut Layer Cake, Deb knows just the thing for a Tuesday night, or your most special occasion.

Amazon US | Goodreads

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is comfort food refined and perfected, and is on the level of its own genius. It is by far one of my favorite cookbooks and certainly one that I keep referring to all the time. And this review has been long overdue.

Let me tell you why I think everyone should check out The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by the fabulous, award-winning, food blogger Deb Perelman whose blog I’ve been following quite religiously for a few years now. Her recipes are creative, inspiring, scrumptious, and yet absolutely approachable. I simply get lost every time I open this cookbook because I keep turning the pages, unable to decide what I want to make first – everything looks and is delicious. All of Deb’s recipes both from the cookbook and her blog [which you should check out here] that made it to my family’s table turned out wonderfully, and several made a few reappearances since. Clearly I can’t help but gush about how awesome this cookbook is and my opinion might be absolutely biased [but that’s why you wanted it, right?] but trust that I’m not the only one expressing my love for this cookbook.   

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook offers a variety of recipes, and there are at least a few to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. From breakfast, to dinner, to party recipes and desserts, I promise you will have a hard time choosing just one recipe to try first. Prefacing each recipe are delightful stories, suggestions, ideas, and personal family anecdotes that not only help frame these recipes but set a wonderful tone for the whole cookbook. [Yes, it is one of those cookbooks you would also love to read!]

Aside all my accolades and love for it there are minor formatting pet peeves that I happily ignore in favor of my awe, but here they are nonetheless. Because of all the stories each recipe tends to run over several pages and while ingredients list might appear on page one, the recipe directions might not come until a few pages later.  Also, don’t expect an index sorted by a category – it is simply a list of all the recipes in alphabetical order, which I found a bit unhelpful. Still, i think it is a beautiful, functional cookbook that any cook would love to have in their kitchen. So, do yourself a favor and check it out and I guarantee that you will fall in love with it as much as I had.


  1. Replies
    1. Lots of yummy things here - I promise! Also, check out her blog! :)

  2. I love that these recipes are approachable, so often recipe books are intimidating. I love comfort food and I am always on the look out for new dishes. Thanks for sharing it Victoria.

    1. You are welcome! And it's also so pretty! Deb's photography is quite amazing. :D


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