Kirstin: I loved this book.
Maureen: We’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one, I think.
Maureen: What did you like about it?
Kirstin: I liked everything I made from this book. There was not a single bad recipe.
Maureen: I didn’t like anything about this book. There was not a single recipe in there that inspired me. It took me three times to go through the book to find something I even wanted to try, and even then it was just macaroni and cheese, stir fry and tomato soup. The thing that frustrates me is that Gwenyth clearly is trying to peddle her lifestyle, and I just feel like that shouldn’t be in a cookbook.
Kirstin; Sure. I get that.
Maureen: You like it so much more than I do. Why is that?
Kirstin: It’s all the food I like. It’s Asian stuff. It’s Italian stuff. It ticks all my boxes. You know, I was looking through it and I don’t think there’s as many pictures of Gwyneth in there that you think there is. It’s about as many as there was in the previous book, which we did like. It’s still not as good as her previous book, but nothing will be as good as her previous book.
Maureen: Maybe. But I don’t need to see pictures of the author in a cookbook. I just want to see the food.
Kirstin: But they do it for Nigella and Jamie, and it doesn’t bother you. You’re having different standards for different people.
Maureen: No. It bothers me there too. It just doesn’t seem as obvious.
Kirstin: I like that she’s eating carbs now.
Maureen: Is she though? I sort of doubt it. I’ll bet her co-author wrote and ate that recipe. When I made the macaroni and cheese, it used a pound and a half of cheese, I think. There’s no way that Gwyneth is going to eat anything with that much cheese in it. Not to mention the pasta. I guess the whole point of this blog is given the hundreds of cookbooks that are out there, can you really recommend this one? Is there anything really special about it?
Kirstin: I can recommend it. I would buy this just for the Zuni chicken recipe alone. And I made Tom a Vietnamese salad last week and he’s already asked me when I’ll make it again. I enjoyed it. This is the kind of book you can take on holiday. It wasn’t fancy. It was easy. Would I recommend this? I would. To the right person. Not to you, obviously. But it’s not as good as the previous book, which was a masterpiece.
Maureen: Like I said, we’re going to have to agree to disagree.
Kirstin: I think it’s good that we’re disagreeing. We can’t always agree on everything.
Maureen: And we can’t like every book that we do, but I’m glad at least one of us liked this one.
“It’s All Easy”
Overall Grade (A- F): A (Kirstin) F (Maureen)
Best recipes: Kirstin: Zuni Chicken and the Bo Bun Salad. Maureen: None. I did make the macaroni cheese, the stir fry and the tomato soup, but none of them reinvented the wheel so I didn’t post them.
Grade for Photography (A-F): A (Ditte Isager, Kirstin’s favourite photographer.)
Any disasters? Kirstin: No. Maureen: No disasters, but nothing that inspired either.
Bookshelf or Charity Shop Donation? Kirstin: Bookshelf Maureen: It’s already flown the coop to the charity shop. Would you give this to a friend? Kirstin: It would have to be the right friend. Maureen: Absolutely not.