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Cooking with My Sisters: One Hundred Years of Family Recipes, from Bari to Big Stone Gap Paperback – October 11, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition (October 11, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812974824
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812974829
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #342,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Trigiani, author of the Big Stone Gap trilogy, Queen of the Big Time and other novels, offers a scrapbook of homey recipes and reminiscences. While it'll undoubtedly please her family, friends and biggest fans, readers outside that circle may tire of endless photographs of Trigiani family parties and tales of mothers who wanted their children to eat plenty of greens and grandmothers who were loath to share recipes. There are many parallels between the author's family and her fictional characters, and the anecdotes Trigiani shares sometimes resemble incidents from her books. Handwritten notes from Trigiani's grandmother ("Congratulations on your engagement.... the Prince of Wales wouldn't be good enough for my granddaughters") and memories of Trigiani's mother's "warm, inviting, creative" kitchen are sweet, but hardly compelling or unusual. Similarly, the recipes—contributed by Trigiani and her sisters—are for well-worn (if delicious) Italian classics: Gnocchi, Basic Tomato Sauce, Meatballs, Sausage and Peppers, Braciole, Trigiani Lasagne with Meat and Cheese, and Mom's Stuffed Peppers. Authentic, yes. Interesting? It depends. Beginning cooks stand to gain the most from this collection, but those already familiar with standard Italian-American fare won't find much of interest, making this a "for fans only" cookbook. Photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

For decades, the women of the Trigiani family have expressed themselves through their cooking. The sisters of the present generation, whose heritage stretches improbably from the mountains of Italy to those of western Virginia, have set down the family's culinary tradition as they learned to love it. This is a typically simple cuisine, a basic dough recipe turning into all manner of pasta. Sauces begin with tomato puree and explore different seasonings to complement assorted pastas. Their festive oil-and-garlic sauce takes on special character from plenty of lemon juice and grated zest. Veal cutlets, braciole, and sausage and peppers compose the basic meat offerings. Northern Italian influence manifests itself in cinnamon-scented chicken and tomato sauce over polenta. A simple salad of oranges dressed in olive oil and black pepper appeals to contemporary tastes. As much family memoir as cookbook, this volume documents the nurturing relationships of grandmothers, mother, and daughters. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

There Is a nice mixture of family stories and recipes.
Mega Mom
I like Adriana's style of writing and there are so many recipes in the book I want to try.
Alice M. Lawson
Thanks to the Trigiani women for sharing some of their treasures with us!
Sandra Mitchell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Mitchell on October 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Now I understand why Adriana Trigiani has been able to write 4 best selling fiction novels, that are filled with lovable, quirky and charming characters. She comes from a family that is both lovable and charming and full of life. This is evident from the very first page of Cooking with My Sisters.

In addition to a cookbook full of delicious recipes you'll find gorgeous photographs of the food, mixed in with old family photos and anecdotes.

This is a book that you can use not only to cook up a great dish with, but curl up on the couch with and savor each and every page because it has so much more then just recipes to offer. As her sister Mary Yolanda says in the afterword, "I hope that in this complicated world, every family can find a treasure to share passionately and graciously, and to laugh over, for the dear ones here now and those who surely will follow."

Thanks to the Trigiani women for sharing some of their treasures with us!
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful By L. Visconti on November 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book because of a segment I watched on NBC's weekend morning show. The author spoke of her book and demonstrated a recipe or two. I though it would be a nice addition to my cookbook collection, however I was extremely disappointed.

This book is overloaded with stories and family photos rather than recipes and photos of the prepared dishes.

Coming from an Italian family I can tell you that the recipes in this book are a bit bland. I was disappointed to read the recipe for tomato sauce, calling for garlic powder as opposed to fresh, crushed garlic!
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Rosalie Ciardullo on October 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I am very impressed with "Cooking With My Sisters" since it is not only a beautifully composed book but one that taught even me

a thing or two. The recipes for dishes I am familiar with and many that I've cooked over the years, are still welcome since

there are, in some cases, interesting variations to my usual preparation. The pictures of the "finished products" are so life-like I reached for a fork. They smell wonderful, too!

The helpful hints throughout are great! Who among us can't use

a clue or two?

The inclusion of family photos and notes from Nonna are delightful and give this presentation a personal touch. While I enjoy cookbooks showing beautiful Italian scenery, I enjoy even more "meeting" the people who were involved in creating all of this good food. Italian families exude love through their food and "Cooking With My Sisters" is FILLED with love!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Molly Ringwald on April 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I married into an Italian-American family. This book describes the complexities and joys of being Italian-American and the little quirks are hilarious. It's a joy to read and the recipies are wonderful.....easy to follow, ingredients you usually have available and after trying a few recipes will even impress your Italian mother in law! Also, LOVED the photos and letters from 'grand-mom'.

Another winner from Adriana Trigiani!
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on October 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Bestsellling author Adriana Trigiani's latest book is, in one word, delicious! Within its pages are the entertaining, touching and oftentimes hilarious stories of life as a Trigiani sister.

COOKING WITH MY SISTERS follows the Trigiani family from Italy to America and then to the mountains of Virginia, into the bustling family's home base --- the kitchen. From page one, you become part of the Trigiani family and are welcomed into their home, their hearts and, best of all, their kitchens! Mixed in with the rich stories of family and tradition are wonderful, easy-to-follow Trigiani family recipes, each one seasoned with the wisdom passed down from the Trigiani family matriarchs, Grandmom Trigiani and Grandma Lucy. You become one of the "sisters" in learning about the importance of quality ingredients, proper techniques, and the art of making your guests feel like family.

Throughout the births, confirmations, weddings and deaths in the Trigiani family, food has been the constant that connects one generation to the next. Whether making Easter bread or wedding cookies, canning tomatoes with Grandmom Trigiani or making fresh pasta with Dad, the Trigianis really get into the meat and potatoes of this Italian-American family. This familial bond strengthened through good times, and good food is a generous gift that Trigiani shares with us throughout her book. My copy is now smudged with some of the ingredients of a few of my newfound favorites.

COOKING WITH MY SISTERS reminds us of old-fashioned values and of times well spent with family around the kitchen table. It brings into focus the importance of the family dinner, where parents and children eat together and learn from one another.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Linda L. Baughan on October 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I come from a not very close small family. I always enjoy reading about adult siblings that are still close. I have four children and now that they are in their thirties, they are getting closer and family get togethers are more fun. I enjoyed the recipes and especially the tips. I love Adrianna Trigiani and her books and now I feel a little more insightful about her writing. Makes me want to do some Italian cooking with my own brood.
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More About the Author

Bestselling author Adriana Trigiani is beloved by millions of readers around the world for her hilarious and heartwarming novels. Adriana was raised in a small coal-mining town in southwest Virginia in a big Italian family. She chose her hometown for the setting and title of her debut novel, the critically acclaimed bestseller Big Stone Gap. The heartwarming story continues in the novel's sequels Big Cherry Holler, Milk Glass Moon, and Home to Big Stone Gap. Stand-alone novels Lucia, Lucia; The Queen of the Big Time; and Rococo, all topped the bestseller lists, as did Trigiani's 2009 Very Valentine and its 2010 sequel Brava, Valentine.

Trigiani teamed up with her family for Cooking with My Sisters, a cookbook coauthored by her sister Mary, with contributions from their sisters and mother. The cookbook-memoir features recipes and stories dating back a hundred years from both sides of their Italian-American family.

Adriana's novels have been translated and sold in more than 35 countries around the world. Trigiani's latest blockbuster Brava, Valentine (Very Valentine's sequel) debuted at number seven on the New York Times bestseller list following its February 2010 debut. Valentine Roncalli juggles her long-distance romance, as she works to better the family's struggling business. A once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity takes Val from the winding streets of Greenwich Village to the sun-kissed cobblestones of Buenos Aires, where she finds a long-buried secret hidden deep within a family scandal.

Trigiani's first young adult novel, Viola in Reel Life--the first in a series--debuted in September 2009. Fans fell in love with fourteen-year-old filmmaker Viola Chesterton, who moves from Brooklyn to a South Bend, Indiana, boarding school. In Spring 2011, readers will delight in Trigiani's follow-up novel Viola in the Spotlight, as Viola and friends spend an adventure-filled summer vacation in Brooklyn.

Readers will take a peek into the lives of the women who shaped Adriana, with her November 2010 nonfiction debut: Don't Sing at the Table: Life Lessons from my Grandmothers. The book makes a lovely gift for family (or yourself!), as Trigiani shares a treasure trove of insight and guidance from her two grandmothers: time-tested common sense advice on the most important aspects of a woman's life, from childhood to old age.

Fans everywhere will soon see Adriana's work on the big and small screens! She wrote the screenplay for and will direct the big screen version of her novel Big Stone Gap. Adriana has also written the film adaptations of Lucia, Lucia and Very Valentine--which will be made into a Lifetime Original Movie in 2011!

Critics from the Washington Post to the New York Times to People have described Adriana's novels as "tiramisu for the soul," "sophisticated and wise," and "dazzling." They agree that "her characters are so lively they bounce off the page," and that "...her novels are full bodied and elegantly written."

Trigiani's novels have been chosen for the USA Today Book Club, the Target Bookmarked series, and she's now officially a regular with Barnes & Noble Book Clubs, where she has conducted three online book clubs. Adriana speaks to book clubs from her home three to four nights a week.

Her books are so popular around the world that Lucia, Lucia was selected as the best read of 2004 in England by Richard and Judy.

After graduating from Saint Mary's College in South Bend, Indiana, Adriana moved to New York City to become a playwright. She founded the all-female comedy troupe "The Outcasts," which performed on the cabaret circuit for seven years. She made her off-Broadway debut at the Manhattan Theatre Club and was produced in regional theatres of note around the country.

Among her many television credits, Adriana was a writer/producer on The Cosby Show, A Different World, and executive producer/head writer for City Kids for Jim Henson Productions. Her Lifetime television special, Growing Up Funny, garnered an Emmy Award nomination for Lily Tomlin. In 1996, she wrote and directed the documentary film Queens of the Big Time. It won the Audience Award at the Hamptons Film Festival and toured the international film festival circuit from Hong Kong to London.

Adriana then wrote a screenplay called Big Stone Gap, which became the novel that began the series. Adriana spent a year and a half waking up at three in the morning to write the novel before going into work on a television show.

Adriana is married to Tim Stephenson, the Emmy Award-winning lighting designer of The Late Show with David Letterman. They live in Greenwich Village with their daughter, Lucia.

Perhaps one popular book critic said it best: "Trigiani defies categorization. She is more than a one-hit wonder, more than a Southern writer, more than a woman's novelist. She is an amazing young talent

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