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Recipes for Disaster: A Memoir Hardcover – October 30, 2012
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Between her book’s title and several statements in the introduction like Cookbooks should have a whole chapter on dealing with disappointment, Rafferty may trick readers into thinking she’s a comedy writer (TV’s The Soup) first and foremost before she reveals she’s equally talented in the kitchen. In this part entertaining manual, part memoir of the entertainment industry that will please entertainment junkies and foodies alike, Rafferty touches on the L.A. stand-up scene, her early exploration of which drew her attention to cooking out of pure necessity. She includes basic tips that no one ever tells you—choose one soda option for guests, don’t attempt a new recipe when you have a crowd to impress and a canon of tried and true favorites—and advice that seasoned entertainers will find useful. Recipes, from braised short ribs over polenta to apple pie (because store bought is for people who don’t love their boyfriends), come with conversational, detailed descriptions. Rafferty, who herself can’t have fruit or many vegetables, also includes tips for accommodating food allergies. --Annie Bostrom
“There is so much I could relate to in Tess's funny, touching and wise book, …except the parts about struggling to make it in Hollywood, having to cook for myself and actually paying for things (oh, by the way, thanks for the free book.)” ―Joel McHale
“This book combines two of my favorite things: food and parties that end with people crying.” ―Whitney Cummings, comedienne and star of NBC's "Whitney"
“Tess Rafferty doesn't take any of it too seriously--the food, or the failures. I like that about her.” ―Giulia Melucci, author of I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti
“This delectable book is a culinary memoir for those of us who love food but don't always know exactly when the turkey is safe to eat. Not since the disastrous dinner parties of the classic Mary Tyler Moore show has a sultry brunette more adorably fumbled her way through the kitchen. If you love Laurie Colwin or Nora Ephron, there's a new witty cook in town you must read: Tess Rafferty. Bon Appetit!” ―Cathryn Michon, author of The Grrl Genius Guide to Life
“Reading RECIPES FOR DISASTER is like being at a terrific dinner party, chock full of comfort foods and lots (and lots) of wine. Tess Rafferty serves up delicious Hollywood stories that are sometimes heartwarming and always hilarious.” ―Adena Halpern, author of 29, and Pinch Me
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Top Customer Reviews
I opened this book expecting to find fun recipes and cute anecdotes. I expected to laugh, because on stage, on the small screen and in real life, Tess has always made me laugh. What I didn't expect was the intricate weave of philosophy, unspeakable loss, family dysfunction, friends and friendships of all iterations explored amid a backdrop of food. What I should have, but didn't expect, was to be so captivated by foods I always knew existed and a person I thought I knew really well.
I mean, who knew that Tess couldn't eat fruit?
This book is truly delightful and will make you want to laugh and cry but you'll wait to do both because you'll want to run into the kitchen and cook something and then call five friends to share it with.
My late husband loved meat loaf, which I didn't make often enough. Of course, even if I'd served it three meals a day for our all-too-short time together it wouldn't have been enough. Of all of the people who came in and out of my life, only one of them understood my meat loaf regret. In fact, she told me that it changed her life. That person, of course, was Tess Rafferty.
Speaking about creating a meal and sharing it with friends, Tess reminds us to keep it light by cautioning: "You're not taking a tumor out of a child's brain." And yet, after reading this book, you'll believe that Tess could probably manage to do that. And more importantly, reading this book will make you feel like you can too.
What it comes down to is this - if you love food, and you love laughing, and especially if you love wine, you will love this book. Promise.
The title of the recipe made me laugh, and the recipe itself looked amazing. I had to stop reading and run to the grocery store immediately. I had to make this chili mine. You'll have to buy the book, but I'll give you this teaser: the secret ingredient is fried pepperoni. Holy cow! It wasn't long before I was standing over a simmering pot full of the best chili I've ever made, reading the rest of this hilarious memoir/cookbook between mouthfuls.
Great book! Great recipes!