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The Comfort Table
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I honestly tried hard to dislike this book. It had all the usual red flags for me: overly glamourous, perky, pseudo-celebrity fawning for the camera - more sex than substance. However, once I got past the pre-requisite Giada DeLaurentis comparison, I was pleasantly surprised to find some real recipes in this book.

Before I go further, I do want to categorize the cookbook as **not** for experienced chefs. The recipes are quite basic. That being the case, however, it was the perfect cookbook for me: simple, straight-forward food that I don't have to buy a lot of specialty items to make. I also like that there are photos for each recipe. What is it with other cookbooks these days and the no picture thing? Yes, there are a few too many snaps of "Katie buying cheese" and "Katie putting on her kitten heels". But the target audience for this cookbook is **not** a harried mother of 3, or someone with a lot of expensive culinary gadgets who needs a special recipe for the visiting Premier. I like the recipes because they are the kind of thing I would make when the family comes to visit: casseroles, stew, mixed drinks. And the kinds of foods that I eat several times a week: homemade soup, salads. Nothing in here that's hard, but it's not like just putting any old thing on the table either.

The book's description clearly indicates the simplicity, purpose, and outline of the cookbook. The only thing I disagree with is that the cover also states that it is "unpretentious". Sorry, Katie. Showing us a peak at your oh-so-glam bath with its marble decor is pretentious. But I like your cookbook.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have to snicker at all the foodies who trashed this cookbook. Yes, the food is basic, so if you want gourmet keep on looking. I have many cookbooks by world-renowned chefs, however, I keep grabbing this one to use several times a week. Someone mentioned in their review that Katie is like a younger Ina Garten. I would agree, that opinion is probably influenced by the photography in the book. It is almost identical to the photos in Ina's cookbooks. There are many must have recipes in the book. My family's favorites are the refrigerator rolls. They are heaven; sweet, fluffy, melt in your mouth, I could go on and on. The chili recipe is a keeper. The spaghetti is definately a WV recipe (WV resident too), very yummy. Apricot braised pork chops are a quick weeknight meal that my family enjoys. I could go on and on. Bottom line is that I haven't tried anything I wouldn't make again. Give this one a try if you are looking for some truly comforting, easy recipes.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I was excited about this book, but found it to be a bit of a disappointment. While the recipes are simple (a plus), they're also not very interesting--there are a lot for things that one doesn't really need a recipe for (such as plain sweetened ice tea). I thought I was prepared for the fact that there would be lots of photos of the author, but I found them more annoying than I'd expected, mostly because so many had nothing to do with the food (e.g., the many superfluous pictures of the author putting her shoes on, walking down the street, modeling various dresses, etc.). I also found her commentary on the recipes kind of vapid as it didn't really provide a lot of insight about the recipes, but mostly consisted of self-congratulation. (In this respect, I found it very different from other books like Giada Dilaurentis's, which are also attractive but are focused on the food.)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This cookbook is fantastic for the working lady/wife/mom (or the non-working... it's just fabulous!). The recipes are interesting but not too complicated. The ingredient list on most of them is pretty short, which is perfect for quick assembly. I've made more than a dozen of the things in the book since Christmas and each one has been a HUGE hit w/ my husband (and me!), our friends and family. The pork is so, so delish. A great staple in my cookbook collection w/ simple steps and tasty food...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I was a little dubious about this cookbook when I saw it, but I took a chance on it. I'm glad I did. These recipes are excellent. Some of them are twists on Southern classics and they are good! The recipe for fried green tomatoes will now be one of my staples. This book was a pleasant surprise and I can't recommend it highly enough.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I recently picked up this book and I just love it. It's remarkably simple, which is what I like about it. I noticed there were some negative reviews about how amateurish it is, but you know what, why does a cookbook have to be rocket science in order to be considered well executed? Sometimes some nice, very basic and easy recipes are what people want and need when they come home and are exhausted. I like that these recipes call for few ingredients and most of them are already in your pantry. I picked this up particularly for the flatpie and the chicken pot pie recipes. Holy moly, talk about delicious! If you know anyone who is new to cooking, or just wants some very easy meals to prepare any day of the week, this book is perfect. I only knocked one star off because of the excessive amount of pictures of the author. She's a doll, but it's a little overly staged and just kind of obnoxious in general. But overall the book is great. Really delicious and simple food!

Update: Just made the meatloaf and mashed potatoes this past weekend. YUUUUMMMM!!!!
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
Finally a cookbook with real food everyone wants to eat, and the recipes work beautifully! I never take the time to write book reviews, but this book and its author truly warrant all the praise I can lavish on them. I had a dinner party last night with an eclectic guest list. People ranging in age from 8 to 93, from all different backgrounds and with equally diverse pallets. I didn't know what to serve. I wanted to please everyone, quite a daunting task with this cast of characters. I was thumbing through Gourmet magazine looking for inspiration when all of a sudden I realized the best thing to do was to keep the menu simple, but delicious.

I had ordered "The Comfort Table" after seeing Katie Lee Joel on Oprah, she was so warm and seemed so down to earth, and when Oprah raved about her Meatloaf I knew I had to get the book. I decided to do a test run of a few of Katie's recipes before the day of the party. This was also a wonderful excuse to stray from my rigid diet! I made the Italian Sausage and Provolone Flat Pie, and it was amazing!!! I decided to make my entire menu for the dinner party using Katie's recipes. Everything turned out absolutely perfectly!!! it is so rare that recipes are this accurate. All of my guests were in Heaven! I have never had a more enjoyable dinner party, everyone delighted in each and every dish that was served. This book is fantastic! I am going to give it to everyone I know! It will prove to be a classic!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is my most used, and definitely my favorite cookbook. I will say, the majority of the recipes are simple, but that's what I like about it. I don't need to go to three different stores to track down weird, hard to find ingredients. Though most od the recipes are simple, a lot of them have some kind of twist (like the grilled cheese recipe). Every recipe I've tried has turned out great. I make the Nutty Banana Bread all the time, and the Lentil and Sausage Stew is my favorite soup to make in the winter. I also don't mind the pictures of her in the cookbook - true, there are a lot of them, but at least she's pretty! I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this, and her other cookbook is just as amazing. A tip - she has a column in Cosmopolitan every month with a few recipes. If you're on the fence about this book, check it out - that's where I first discovered Katie Lee and her delicious recipes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book has great recipes that are easy and stress-free. It's the right book if you're just starting out or looking for casual comfort recipes. I love how this book has wonderful pictures for almost every recipe, I find that very helpful when cooking. The book includes wide range of comfort dishes from fiesta wontons, gorgonzola and fig crostini, meat loaf, dijon-pistachio crusted rack of lamb, tarragon-citrus mahi-mahi, baked beans, buttermilk pancakes with caramelized bananas, quiche with broccoli, peppers and goat cheese...and much more. I made the fiesta wontons and gorgonzola and fig crostini for movie night and they were a hit.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I'm a cookbook junkie. I first learned of Katie Lee on the Oprah Show a few years back. She was newly married to Billy Joel at the time. I figured she's married to a celebrity, wrote a cookbook, and now she's out promoting. Little did I know she's the real deal.

In my search for a new cookbook I kept coming across her book and the recipes looked easy and delicious. Guess what?! They are! The first thing I made was her Roasted Tomato Soup. My goodness! It's delicious and even better the next day.

I can't wait to try some of her other recipes!
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