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Nigella Christmas: Food Family Friends Festivities Hardcover – November 1, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 83 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

U.K. celebrity chef Lawson (How to Eat, Nigella Bites, etc.) tackles Christmas in this warm, welcoming collection. Lawson's roundup of updated classics should provide a solid foundation for constructing an elaborate dinner menu or a simple cocktail party; alternately, readers can use one of Nigella's menus, centered around roast turkey, goose, pork or beef-as well as a vegetarian lineup featuring roasted pumpkin stuffed with a ginger and tomato sauce-that come complete with a Martha Stewart-worthy timeline and tips for handling leftovers. Daytime entertainers will appreciate Lawson's ideas for brunch, including an Espresso Martini and Pumpkin Pancakes with Sticky Maple Pecans, as well as recommendations for mulled wine, hot chocolate spiked with peppermint schnapps, and her Poinsettia cocktail, a combination of sparkling wine, Cointreau and cranberry juice. Though bakers may be weary of committing to a fruitcake or the intimidating Buche De Noel cake, Sticky Gingerbread and Lawson's chocolate cake-laced with cinnamon, cloves, and a Cointreau cream frosting-offer toothsome, worry-free alternatives. Gifts are also covered, including Vanilla Sugar, Dried Cherries in Cherry Brandy, infused vodkas and peanut brittle. Lawson's fans and those who've been looking for a solid Christmas cookbook will find this a valuable addition to the bookshelf, but anyone with a reliable Christmastime canon may find it redundant.
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"Nigella covers just about all the quick bases in Express . . . this is a recipe collection that could get you through the holidays."―The Washington Post

"The recipes are a mix of dishes that are quick to prepare and cook--so you can have your dinner out of the grocery bag and on to the table in half an hour or so--and dishes that are easy to prepare early in the day and then are simply left to simmer slowly."―Good Housekeeping

"Nigella Lawson has conjured up a voluptuous volume of what she called 'fast food for those who love eating.' . . . it's a Nigella-style feast . . . A perfect choice for cooks who would rather sip wine than labor over a hot stove, Nigella Express is, as the British say, brilliant."―People

"A fast feast may seem like a concept at odds with itself, but the goddess of easy extravagance, Nigella Lawson, has figured out how to put together a lavish party menu in ultrashort order . . . That's what her latest cookbook, Nigella Express, is all about--time savers that don't compromise on flavor but are so effective you'll feel you got away with something."―O at Home

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; First Edition edition (November 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401323367
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401323363
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #336,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Esther Schindler TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I should start out by saying that I don't cook Christmas dinner. That holiday is the province of my best girlfriend, though we are invited (ha! required!) to contribute to the meal. (If we didn't show up with appetizers and dessert there would be a lot of grumbling. Perhaps banishment.) However, we do plenty of cooking around the holidays (New Year's eve is _our_ turn) -- and oh boy oh boy am I glad I have this new cookbook to inspire me. Because despite the title, Nigella could easily have called this book "Entertaining Without Losing Your Mind."

Yes, a large part of the book is given over to recipes for "the main event," i.e. Christmas dinner. You'll find all the usual suspects (at least British style, such as a trifle rather than an apple pie). Certainly, if you're looking for a holiday cookbook, you will have reason to shout with joy.

But unlike Thanksgiving, which means turkey to most people, Christmas has a lot more leeway in regard to what you serve. Ham, turkey, goose, whatever. As a result, plenty of these recipes are suitable for ANYtime you want to entertain a crowd (depending on what "crowd" means to you and the size of your dining table, that could mean as few as 6 and as many as 20). There are several all-inclusive menus, any of which I'd be pleased to put before my guests and which, given Nigella's sensible attitudes about cooking ahead and taking life easy, I might get to enjoy as the cook, too. For example, one of her Christmas dinners is rolled stuffed loin with rubied gravy (ruby being port in this case), Italian roast potatoes with garlic and thyme, Christmas sprouts, red beet orzotto, and panettone pudding. That's a great Christmas meal, sure, but it'd work equally well for Easter. Or for a birthday dinner.
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Format: Hardcover
As a devotee of all things Nigella, I'm ashamed to say it; but I nearly missed out on this wonderful book. I read an early review that said it was a rehash of all things Feast, and I took the reviewers "word" for it.

Fast forward to this week, picked it up at the discount book store to peruse (and feel smugly superior) and was heartbroken to think of all of the treats I'd missed out on for the past year.

The majority of the recipes are new,and those that are revisits are offered with several new variations on a theme. Delightful and Deliciously seductive read, and one that carries through with her unique organizational chapture structure (I like the seasonally festive gift options) A welcome addition to my Nigella collection.

Can't wait to make everything!!!
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Format: Hardcover
My mother-in-law gave me this lovely book for Christmas and it's everything I had hoped it would be. I am a huge Nigella fan -- love her writing, love the recipes, love the gorgeous photographs. I am not the one in charge of my family's Christmas meals, but it appears that the recipes would also be suitable for other holidays, entertaining, or just because they are good.
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Format: Hardcover
Nigella Lawson is a superb author, no matter what subject she is writing about. All of her books are great! However, I have always felt that she is at her best when writing about Christmas, thus, I feel that this is her finest outing. The Christmas chapters in "How to Eat", "Feast", and "Express" were great...but this book is a homerun! The recipes are perfect for the season, and make you really wnat to get in the kitchen and invite freinds and family over to celebrate.

As always, the recipes are delicious, and they all work like a charm! They are all easy to prepare, but look and taste like something really special. The other great thing about this book (as many other reviewers have pointed out) is that these recipes and menus really work for any entertaining occasion in the fall and winter. I have happily used this book for Halloween, Thanksgiving and New Year as well as Christmas! It makes entertaining for crowds a real and fun possibility, no matter what the occasion.

The recipes in here are absolutely some of my favorite. The Effortless Home Cured Pork (brined in apple juice, maple syrup and spices) is so easy, and yet the meat turns out oozing with flavor and is so tender (no small feat for grocery store pork!)The Lamb and Date Tagine is exotically spiced and the perfect thing to have when you have guests. The Bourbon glazed Ribs and Party Poussins are also completely wonderful and the perfect things for easy holiday entertaining. In fact, the whole festive supper chapter is worth the price alone. There are SO many things that have worked their way into my families traditions. We follow the Christmas day timeline for Thanksgiving and we have the Ginger Glazed Ham, Perfect Roast Potatoes, Braised Red Cabbage, and Spruced Up Vanilla Cake for Christmas night.
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Format: Hardcover
Many of the good recipes in this book are found in her other books, as has been previously mentioned.

What we found disappointing was the lack of her usual depth and precision in description of preparation methods for those recipes which were new.

My wife is a hobbyist gourmet cook and so really knows her way around a recipe and preparation methods. She reads cookbooks for entertainment and has several shelves full of books. But by following recipes in this book, we had three major (and VERY expensive) failures.

We should have known something was wrong. At several points, my wife said, "This just doesn't make sense." Later we saw her prepare one of these recipes (at which we had failed grandly) on TV and realized that what was written was sadly incomplete.

Her other books are very good, we just can't recommend this one as our failures cost us multiples of the cover price.

Wait for the next edition, perhaps some of these shortcomings will be fixed.
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