Cookbook Review: Martha Stewart's Dinner at Home

I have a bit of a mixed relationship to Martha Stewart and her aptly named Omnimedia empire. Sam Waksal didn't call me when ImClone was about to go belly-up, now granted I had fewer shares than Martha did, but the whole insider trading thing just sorta frosted me. This is a person who made her fortune telling ordinary folk we can all live in the extraordinary manner she does, she just forgot to mention, not legally.

Anyway, I'm a magazine subscriber from way back when each issue was LOADED with genuinely excellent instructions for everything from pate brisee to knitting a baby hat. So, I was pretty excited to find a new-ish copy of Martha Stewart's Dinner at Home: 52 Quick Meals to Cook for Family & Friends at my local thrift store for $4

I'm infatuated with this book. It's classic Martha, clearly written, obviously well tested recipes for 52 complete meals, organized by season.

We've recently instituted the habit of Sunday dinner in our family; trying to make sure we sit down for a semi-formal meal at a minimum of once a week. So far we've worked our way through most of the Summer chapter and are well into Fall. Its a pleasant, comforting ritual for all of us to trek to the market after Church and work together to gather, prep and cook these meals.

Some highlight meals of using this book so far- Coconut poached chicken, greens in garlic-chili oil, noodle cakes, and mango smoothies; Honey-glazed Chicken Skewers, Summer Squash and Olive Tart, Cantaloupe Feta salad and Espresso Cream Crunch (not recommended for kids before bed); and Strip Steak with Chimichurri, Spinach & Vidalia Onion, Pomme Frites, with a Berry Mix in Cream. Nearly everything has turned out perfectly where we've followed the directions to the letter (when I go off without paying too much attention to Martha, things have a tendency to be a little bland).

With something like 200 recipes total, at least that many beautiful photos, and the no-nonsense reliability that created Martha's culinary empire, this is rapidly becoming one of my favorite cookbooks.

My only critique- I take issue with the word 'quick', a lot of the meals need quite a bit of specialized shopping, celery root, kumquats, Sauternes etc.. although its easy enough to mix menus to what is available, likely to be eaten. The prep required for some things is not inconsiderable. These are 30-minute meals if you are Martha and have a staff of 20, not 3 under 10's.

Still and all, I really like this book and would STRONGLY recommend buying it if you happen to come across it. It's worth getting off Amazon if you don't luck out at a thrift store.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there,

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    Please let me know on

    Thank you very much!

    Kind regards,
    Linda Jacob


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