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TOP 500 REVIEWERon February 3, 2014
Normally I don't blog-style cookbooks as they are too chatty and all that chat gets in the way of recipes. If you are serious, or a bit short on time, long-winded chatty cookbooks get in the way of cooking.

The book A Homemade Life is an exception.

Author Molly Wizenberg pulls off writing a blog-style cookbook with aplomb. Her writing will pull you in as you want to learn about her family: Her mother who was petite and was raised in a perfectly sized house with a flagstone sidewalk; her father who made the best French Toast or her gay Uncle Jerry who once took Molly to a knick-knack store called the the Sweet Potato. You will also learn about how her family dealt with close deaths of relatives and how food played such an important part of their lives.

In between the family history you will find recipes. Lots of good sounding recipes. Recipes family-tested and the kind you would want to serve at your family table.

Some of the recipes you will find in her cookbook include:

Burg's Potato Salad
Friesse with Ham, Eggs, and Mustard Vinaigrette
Coeur a La Creme with Raspberry Puree (thank you for this recipe as I still love white chocolate)
Hoosier Pie


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VINE VOICEon February 17, 2010
Most days, I maintain a good balance of creating, nurturing, working and cleaning. But then a book like "A Homemade Life" arrives in the mail and from the first page, all that balance goes out the window and I'm stuck on the couch, completely consumed by Molly Wizenberg's moving stories and delectable recipes.

Wizenberg relates so beautifully how food unites us as a culture through her own personal experiences: the death of her father, her decision to forego a career in academia to become a food writer and a blossoming romance with a hansome foodie. Hers is a tale of love and nurturing by way of the kitchen. With a knack for storytelling and an incredible talent for creating beautiful, homespun recipes that beg to be shared with loved ones, "A Homemade Life" (and Wizenberg's hugely successful blog, [...]), have lifted me out of my own cooking slump, a gentle reminder in increasingly complicated times that good food is worth the time to make and sharing it with friends and family is one of life's greatest pleasures. I've tried three recipes in 24 hours and it is no exaggeration to say that our little family of three feels transformed. Highly recommended.
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on March 26, 2016
Molly is a wonderful writer and her recipes do not disappoint. She lets you into her world and as I read I felt like I was listening to a good friend or beloved sister. I've had this book for a couple of years and recently purchased a copy on Amazon as a gift to one of my food science/nutrition professors. If you love food, cooking, and light, sweet reading you will love this book. I also highly recommend her other book Praise for Delancy.
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on October 26, 2009
I'm still reading this book, and enjoying it thoroughly. I bought it expecting it to be a cook book. I thought there would be a few short anecdotes, but mostly recipes. Guess what....in reality, there are lots of short stories about her life. She has a very easy to read writing style. Everything flows evenly. There are many references to times that I remember (the 80's mullet is a must read). The chapters are very short. So far, the longest was nine pages. At the end of each chapter, she includes a recipe that goes along with the story.

If you are looking for an actual cookbook, keep looking. This is not it. You will be disappointed. However, this is a fun collection of family stories with some favorite recipes thrown in.

One big improvement that I would like to see, is have the recipes listed in the table of contents. I'm writing them in as I go along.
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on May 31, 2010
Sorry. I've followed Molly Wizenberg's blog Orangette for some time and also read her columns in Bon Appetit, so I think you could call me a fan of her confessional-foodie thing. I enjoyed reading the essays fronting each recipe. But once you come out from under the haze of descriptive prose, the recipes simply don't live up to the hype. I could barely believe it myself, the reviews have been so generous. I tried several recipes because Molly makes them all sound delicious--banana bread, hoosier pie, Ed Fretwell's soup, chickpea salad, carrot salad--and they ran the gamut from mediocre to passable. The one recipe that was a standout was Brandon's recipe for chana masala. Save your money for Marcella Hazan or Mark Bittman.
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on March 31, 2013
I just finished this book for a new book group this week. It's sponsored by my food co-op and it meets at Ed's No Name bar, so those were good omens! The book was well worth the time to read, even if the book group doesn't pan out. Essays are organized around the central role that food plays in the author's life and each essay is followed by a recipe (I bookmarked many!). The writing is warm and friendly. The author seems like a person I'd love to have for a friend. She takes us through childhood, the death of her father, and meeting her husband in an inviting voice, while treating us to delicious-sounding descriptions of the food in the story of her life. Highly recommended for foodies.
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on May 22, 2014
Molly Wizenberg is a really, really good writer. She puts sentences together that are worthy of reading multiple times just for the sheer joy of savoring the imagery. She pulls you in and makes you care about her life. She composes a compelling story of her younger life in Oklahoma with her parents and family and food, and later takes you into her whirlwind young adult Seattle world of delicious food and romance. Her recipes are great, but it is her warm and compelling way with words that makes this book an intense page turner.
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on May 21, 2015
The reason for 3 stars is mainly because the book didn't hold my attention. I read a few chapters and then put it down for months. But I'm not sure it's a book that is supposed to be a "can't put it down" type book. I enjoyed reading about Molly's food adventures and plan on trying some of her recipes. I think the second half of the book was better after meeting her future husband.
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on January 30, 2018
I'm not finished but so far, I'm loving this book.
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on April 15, 2015
Very enjoyable read. I stumbled upon Molly Wizenberg's blog "Orangette" after searching for the top women's blogs of the year. I immediately bought "A Homemade Life" and "Delancey" and loved both of them. I have tried several recipes and while they were not my favorites, I was inspired to revisit my own time-tested and well loved family recipes. After all, the kitchen is where we create so many family memories and Molly has plenty to share. Patiently waiting for book No. 3.
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