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The Art of Eating In: How I Learned to Stop Spending and Love the Stove Hardcover – February 18, 2010

3.8 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Though it covers the same time frame as Erway's Not Eating in New York blog, this isn't a repurposing of her posts—rather, it's a memoir with recipes, a rapidly growing genre. The premise is simple: adding up the money's she spent on repeatedly eating out for lunch and ordering takeout for dinner, the 20-something Brooklynite decides she'll start preparing all her meals at home, and sticks with it for two years. (All that saved money comes in handy when her boyfriend breaks up with her and she has to find her own apartment, but then there's a new dilemma; as her mother points out: what do you do for dates when you can't go out for dinner?) Erway is up for just about any food-related adventure, whether it's making inroads into New York's underground supper club scene, pulling discarded food out of trash bags, or testing the power of menudo (a Mexican stew) to cure hangovers. And the recipes—ranging from a simple asparagus salad to chipotle cornbread stuffing and a soy-sesame filet mignon with wasabi mashed potatoes—will have readers racing to their stoves. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Best Cookbooks of 2010" - SeriousEats.com

"Cathy is passionate about sustainable eating and living, and the fact that in writing about her renouncement of eating out in New York , she was also able to paint a vivid portrait of the many innovative movers and shakers in the food scene here, is very telling. There is much more to eating in this, the greatest restaurant city in the world, than restaurants."
-Julie Powell, author of Julie and Julia

The Art of Eating In (hardcover) inspired the Huffington Post's "Week Of Eating In" and earned author Cathy Erway a "Ladies We Love" distinction from Ladies Home Journal

"The Top 10 Eccentric Brooklyn Food Personalities of 2010"

"Deserves a toast."
-USA Today

"Another good book born from a blog [...] It is, as food critic Robert Sietsema writes in his introduction, a 'Portrait of the Artist as a Young Cook,' an insight into Brooklyn's youth culture. And it looks -- breakups, tiny kitchens and all -- like fun."
-Los Angeles Times

"Those who loved Food, Inc. will delight in Brooklyn blogger Cathy Erway's new book The Art of Eating In-a yearlong account of getting familiar with her stove."
-Daily Candy

"Erway's journey is one of a young artist finding herself, as a cook, as a member of several interesting communities, as a family member, and as a writer."

"Erway is up for just about any food-related adventure [...] And the recipes will have readers racing to their stoves."
-Publishers Weekly

"Most remarkable is not the fact that she made it that long without eating out [...] Rather, it's how appealing and simple the author makes it seem. [...] the author gleefully mixes and sautTs through life, making you want to grab a spoon and help. Like a great dinner party, Erway's memoir is full of fabulous food and engaging conversation."

"Follow along on Cathy Erway's culinary adventure; not to the latest celebrated restaurant, but to her own kitchen where she finds something even more important than just better food-she finds herself."
-Giulia Melucci, author of I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti

"Cathy offers practical yet creative advice for living a frugal, healthier and smarter lifestyle with her tales from the kitchen. She also shares entertaining stories about the characters she has encountered through her culinary adventures - I'll never look at the weeds in my yard the same way again."
-Heather Lauer, author of Bacon: A Love Story

"Cathy Erway is my blog Yoda, and spiritual sister in the pursuit of home cooking. For a whole generation of folks raised on take out, here's your essential new guide on HOW and WHY to rock your mealtime, old school."
-Lucinda Scala Quinn, author of Mad Hungry: Feed Men & Boys and Executive Food Director, Martha Stewart Omnimedia

"The ESPN of indie cook-offs is Ms. Erway's blog, Not Eating Out in New York. It provides listings and recaps of local events, and a thoughtful take on the alternative food scene."
-The New York Times

"In total, this book is really one woman's coming of age novel, with recipes, a sort of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Cook."
-Robert Sietsema, The Village Voice


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham; First Edition edition (February 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781592405251
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592405251
  • ASIN: 1592405258
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,239,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in New York and raised in New Jersey in a multicultural household, Cathy Erway is a lover of food of all kinds. An avid amateur cook, she decided to purge her diet from restaurant or take-out food and began blogging about it on Not Eating Out In New York. In between posting recipes for the busy-but-thrifty, she explored the underbelly of the city's home-cooking culture, visiting urban farms, foraging, trash-diving and hosting cook-offs and supper club dinners. In the end, she came away with a greater conscience about where food comes from, what it takes to produce it, and most importantly, how to have a great time cooking it with others. Her memoir, The Art of Eating In, recounts those discoveries with recipes along the way. It spans three Brooklyn apartments, several job changes, breakups, family tragedy, and some unconventional "dates" outside restaurant walls. Is eating in an art in New York City? If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.

Cathy writes about food, sustainable farming and green living at The Huffington Post, Saveur.com and Edible Brooklyn, and has written for Brooklyn Based and The L Magazine. She hosts the weekly radio show, Let's Eat In, on Heritage Radio Network on Mondays. She has organized or participated in several fundraisers for Just Food and Slow Food NYC, and co-founded the Hapa Kitchen supper club, which creates local and seasonal food inspired by its members' half-Asian heritage.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I read about Erway's book in a magazine article that included a recipe for corn and cranberry pancakes (delish!) and I figured I should get her memoir with recipes included. The book encompasses Erway's decision to eat in followed by various things she learns in the process.
I appreciate that the book is not full of whining entries regarding how hard it was but rather examined how much life changes when you choose to eat in. I have not read the blog so I cannot comment on the differences in writing style but the book flows well and has an easy to manage format.
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Format: Hardcover
"The Art of Eating In" chronicles the two-year hiatus that self-titled "foodie" Cathy Erway took from New York's restaurants and eateries. She started a blog to keep friends and a growing fanbase apprised of her culinary journey, and condensed its highlights into a book.

Eating out is so customary in the Big Apple that some apartments don't even have kitchens installed. But for Erway, struggling to support herself as an underpaid executive assistant, this tradition was draining her wallet at a dangerous speed. She decided to stick to home-cooked meals, taking the first step on an odyssey that introduced her to cook-offs, supper clubs, freeganism, and the edible plant life in Brooklyn's Prospect Park.

Although Erway originally stopped eating out for financial reasons, this is not a self-help book for cost-conscious diners. She focuses on the way her life changed after swearing off restaurant food, making "The Art of Eating In" a memoir with a little social studies thrown in for added flavor. Each chapter includes delicious recipes, but the focus is really on the people she met and the anti-restaurant activities she took part in along the way.

Not every blogger successfully migrates their online content into print. Erway is one of the exceptions. "The Art of Eating In" is an enjoyable read, with lots of food for thought as well as the grocery list.
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Format: Hardcover
This book chronicles a growing relationship between the author and food. Cathy Erway, a writer and confirmed urbanist, realized one day that there was nothing special about the food she was eating every day as she dined out in New York. She decided to try to buck the trend amongst her neighbors and friends, and try eating food she had cooked herself, not just once in a while, but every day. She set a goal of not eating out--no bakery breakfasts, lunch truck lunches, or restaurant dinners at any time while she was home in New York (she made exceptions to her dining at home rule when visiting other locales). As she adjusted to her new habits and schedule and learned how to cook, she kept a blog, detailing her experiences along with some favorite recipes. In this book, she presents the full story of her 2 year experiment in not eating out, describing her challenges and the effects her new relationship with food was having on her (and her relationships). This is very much a story of personal growth, from a new cook who has no idea where to find yeast in the supermarket, to an in-demand amateur chef, capable of whipping up a barbecue for 400 paying guests. Although this book is not a recipe book, Erway does include a couple recipes at the end of each chapter.

I found this book hard to put down once I started reading it. I always found myself wanting to know more about where Erway's next meal was going to come from. Sometimes she strays a little far from her area of expertise, especially in the chapter on urban foraging, where she groups arugula with the bitter greens (yes, arugula is spicy, but bitter?) and burdock root as similar in texture to a potato (it's crunchy and chewy, hardly potato-ish), and plantain as similar in appearance to nightshade (well, they're both green, but nightshade is a vine, while plantain is a whorl of basal leaves). The last few chapters are a little dense on details, but overall, the book is an interesting, thought-provoking read.
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Format: Hardcover
I'd compare this book to eating at an inexpensive Middle Eastern restaurant. The food is satisfying and good, but not amazing. It isn't bad for you, but it's not really that great for you either.

This book can be an interesting read at times, but it didn't inspire any original thought. I also wish it would have shared more of the trails that come along with cooking at home. Each time the author begins a description of a new cooking adventure it seems to foreshadow disaster, but instead she just pops her baked good perfectly out of the oven, or removes the lid to find a shockingly delicious dish. This frustrated me throughout the book, and it almost felt condescending towards the end.

There's also a lot of name dropping, which may be interesting if you're immersed in the Brooklyn food blog world. Not really something I'm concerned with.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a great resource for the person who loves to cook and cares about issues like sustainability and the gastronomic health of this country. The prose is clear and engaging, the anecdotes delightfully funny and poignant, the message important and the recipes practical and delicious. I've read her blog for years, so it was no surprise that it was such an entertaining read. Interesting segments on dumpster diving, foraging, supper clubs and more. Loved everything about it.
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By E on April 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I had read the blog before the book, and when I saw this book at the library I thought I'd give it a try. I didn't have high expectations going in, but this book fell even farther below the mark than I expected. First of all the writing is very poor. The author veers between trying to be a pal, talking about "food in our tummy" to trying to sound like a college professor when she expounds on food culture(usually while paraphrasing a better or more famous writer or book on her chosen topic). It's painful to read the way she uses her words.

Secondly her memoir memorializes a barely lived and lightly described life. Her breakup with her live-in boyfriend is barely touched upon, certainly not with any real depth of feeling that might make you care. She hints that they had issues over her eating challenge, over his attraction to someone else, but at the end of the day, the book reads as a simple statement of fact, not as an exploration of her feelings.

At the same time that it seems to be totally devoid of real sentiment and real life, the book manages to be excruciatingly tedious. An incident with a cat under a couch seems to take years and miles of pages to describe, earning more emphasis in the narrative than the entirety of her break-up. It's a hard truth, but nothing she does is that interesting, and any interest that could have been added with emotional depth or descriptive writing is avoided.

I'm sort of amazed this book got published. There have got to be more deserving "Lena Dunhams" of food blogging out there who would have done better with the same ground.
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