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Forking Fantastic!: Put the Party Back in Dinner Party Paperback – October 6, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham; Original edition (October 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592405053
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592405053
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 7.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,435,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Dinner hosts sick of Martha Stewarts and Barefoot Contessas will have a field day with O'Neill and Reynolds's irreverent, compulsively readable entertaining guide. Veteran hostesses of an underground New York supper club, the two chefs share dinner party secrets emphasizing good times with a minimum of stress, and an informal, refreshingly profane tone that belies the genre's staid, prescriptive standard. In short, hosts are encouraged to make the party theirs, which means cooking what's comfortable, rather than catering to the diets of guests; not getting wound up over wine; and even playing the soundtrack you like, rather than worry about ambiance. Practical, empowering tips include hiring a dishwasher (cheaper than you think, especially if guests chip in) and skipping the intensive house-cleaning. Four seasonal menus, complete with timelines and wine tips, give hosts of all experience levels a number of entry points and techniques, including a Baby Step Dinner Party and a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Cassoulet, in which cooks are discouraged from scouring the earth for a particular sausage or bean. The affable, freewheeling spirit can backfire, however, as the authors frequently pause mid-recipe to offer an aside, anecdote or even a different recipe altogether. This volume will fit in nicely next to Amy Sedaris's I Like You, but even the Contessa would be impressed with these cookbook newcomers.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

The women behind a Queens supper club offer a frank and fearless guide to throwing a panic-free dinner party, whether it's the Baby-Step Menu, the Fall Means Ham menu or the Amazing Cassoulet menu.
--New York Times Book Review

A hilarious compilation of plate-licking recipes, foolproof menus, and playful anecdotes that will help even the most inexperienced cook entertain a group. --Saveur

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 18 customer reviews
Love this cookbook, almost more fun reading than actually cooking the recipes!
Mapchick
It was fun reading about their adventures in and out of the kitchen and the book is full of a lot of easy and delicious recipes.
Jeff Mellow
The dynamic personalities of the authors shine through in the telling of their cooking adventures, recipes, and stories.
Avid Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By James F. Greer on October 7, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ok, I've only had this book for 24 hours, so the recipes are not battle-tested, with the exception of a yummy Spanish Tortilla I made with leftovers last night (think frittata, not mexican tortilla). Having said that, I love the spirit of the book. It's aimed at someone who basically never throws a dinner party because of the stress involved. The recipes, shopping tips, etc all emphasize maximum deliciousness with least effort - for instance, it recommends never peeling a vegetable. It correctly identifies the surprising tastiness of frozen peas. I could go on.

The pleasure the authors take in a wine-infused, too-many-people-in-a-small-apartment kind of a dinner party is infectious. All in all, if the use of the f-word bothers you, or you want your dinner to look great in photographs, look elsewhere. If you've been meaning to get 8 people over for dinner more often, and want some help, this is just the ticket.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Beverly Mcfarland on October 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
If you've never considered cooking for another person never mind a group, this book will at least get you fantasizing about the possibility. Even if you rarely cook for yourself, you'll find yourself thinking Hmmm, I could make that... And seasoned cooks? I'm one of those ~ boasting dozens of years of creative cookery ~ yet there were multiple "who knew?" moments for me. These women know what they're talking about and better yet, know how to say it with clarity. And when's the last time you laughed out loud reading a cookbook?

Despite the statement that their vision of vegetarianism includes a bacon exception, the authors' vegetable dishes are original and tantalizing ~ and don't actually contain bacon although the recipe for candying it might make you want to.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Erin on October 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just got this cookbook last week and am already in love with it -- I love the laid-back, no measurements approach (which is really how you're supposed to cook!), and the no-fuss approach to dining. I've already flagged a bunch of recipes to make for upcoming dinner parties.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on November 27, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just love this book! It's so much more than a cookbook. The dynamic personalities of the authors shine through in the telling of their cooking adventures, recipes, and stories. Their humor and love of entertaining have inspired me to have more dinner parties and to stress less about it. This is a great book for people at all stages of cooking experience. I've been cooking for many years and still found some great tips to help me. Read this book and be inspired to have the best dinner parties ever. I highly recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Ben-Zeev on November 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
Forking Fantastic uses cooking as a means not a goal. The goal is a better, healthier and, mainly, a more social life. This is the first cook book I ever read that truly delivers its message in a simple and fun way with no bs. The authors, Tamara and Zora experienced a real change for the better in their lives since they began throwing dinner parties and they make a very convincing argument why this could work for anyone. This book has some great recipes (from caesar's salad to fried chicken to croquembouche to lane cake) and awesome practical tips like what a great kitchen needs - turns out, not much (3 knives, a cast iron skillets, a few stainless steel bowls and a garlic press), they also support the Jamie Oliver style of not using exact measurements (thank you!). This book will give you all the confidence you need to stop eating take away watching reruns of Friends and actually get a life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B. Knauss on February 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
First, if you are offended by some three and four letter words (used somewhat often), believe having a social cocktail (or 3) before / after dinner (and wine with) is a bad thing, believe it would be faux pas to have anything but a perfect table setting and / or using anything except a table to eat off of (just wait till you get the idea of using saw horses and taking a door off its hinges) than this book is NOT for you. For the rest of us hard working and often broke people of earth who wish to still be able to entertain and enjoy life, this is the book for you! Anyone who thinks the meals are not great or tasteless must have missed the part when the authors talked about you being the cook and encouraging one to adjust (or even flat out change) the recipes to ones liking. This is anything but some dry, stiff, cook book. Lots of tips, several great meal ideas and just about the only book one would need when it comes to setting up a dinner party or supper club.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on January 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
Forking Fantastic offers home cooking geared to crowd-pleasing results, and comes from two veterans of the New York food world who twice monthly prepare a big meal in a tiny kitchen. These thus are foolproof, party-tested menus and recipes easy for beginners to access and providing accompanying tips on everything from shopping to stocking a kitchen. Any general culinary collection will welcome its lively format and presentation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Mellow on October 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
The great thing about this book is that it's more than a cookbook. It was fun reading about their adventures in and out of the kitchen and the book is full of a lot of easy and delicious recipes. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to add a little spice into their culinary life.
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