So utterly bizarre with a foreword by Mario Batali that I can t resist reviewing this I expect this to profoundly shape my opinions of both Paltrow and Batali and possibly scores of others Ok So it s a little pretentious Duh.
I loved this book I love almost everything about it.
Shocker 1 Gwyneth apparently likes lots of the same foods I do Miso, cilantro in everything , panzanella, po boys What a strange and wonderful mix of healthy and delicious foods.
Shocker 2 It sort of almost kind of made me cry in several places I enjoyed her writing about food and family It s sentimental in a sweet way I loved this The connection between healthy enjoyable meals together and family is something I want to give my children.
Shocker 3 My best friends are getting this for Christmas.
The foreword by Mario Batali basically reinforces these ideas He says the most important thing to take from My Father s Daughter is the true pleasure we can derive from the thinking about, then the making of, and finally the enjoyment of eating good food together with people we care about I m still suspicious about the foreword, but whatever.
I m also baffled about why the non veggie Paella has no saffron Someone please explain.
I do not believe that Gwyneth hoovers entire casseroles of Paella and platters of anchovies However, it s nice that she admits that we all fall off the health wagon on occasion Her realization that she snacked on oreos as a child and that she wants her kids to be healthier is relatable I think lots of moms wake up and realize that oh my goodness, I need to feed this person and well for the next 18 years.
Initially upon seeing the cover of this, I questioned Paltrow s motivation in putting this together Now that I ve read it, I really, really, appreciate where she s coming from, vegetarian lectures from Leonardo DiCaprio and all If you re a health nut, a mom, or someone who loves food, there s a good chance you ll enjoy this book Lastly, I just tried Blythe s blueberry muffin recipe It s one of the best I ve ever had I ate three Groan For real.
Okay, okay, Gwyneth Paltrow is insufferable She just can t see why everyone can t buy organic kamut flour and have their own wood fired ovens But, you know, this is a great book She s got some awesome recipes and, while out of touch with a middle income majority, at the very heart and soul of this book is a well intentioned woman and a great message eat with your family Involve your kids in the process the picking out of vegetables, the cooking Sit down to dinner And it IS important If your kids feel like they re a part of the process they will be likely to eat well, which has long reaching positive consequences for their upbringing Families who eat together are stronger and the kids are better adjusted Whether you use vegenaise Paltrow s favourite alternative or mayo, this is a good book of surprisingly easy, down to earth, and delicious recipes Highly recommended.
My husband gave me this for Christmas I never asked for it, or gave any thought to reading it before I received it I m glad he gifted me with this cookbook, because I actually enjoyed it very much I m not sure that I will cook many of the recipes, but I loved hearing her stories To me, this is less of a cookbook and of a love letter to her father My heart actually ached for her when she said that she chose a macrobiotic, vegan, gluten free, local, all organic diet as a way to vicariously cure her father s throat cancer There was such a child like innocent in that statement Throughout the book, she tells stories of her childhood that center on food and togetherness The pages are also peppered with little gems of advice from her daughter Apple.
I can honestly say that this was the most emotional response I have ever had to a cookbook.
I looked at this book for ages before buying it finding it for a bargain price at TK Maxx finally encouraged me to close the deal And I don t regret it, because this book has a lot of simple, healthy recipes that I can make for dinner as long as my oldest daughter is not dining with us There are a few recipes that I would quibble with only because they are SO basic Come on, do we need someone to tell us to add some parmesan cheese and butter to spaghetti BUT I came away from this book being convinced of Gwyneth s foodie credentials Despite her extreme thinness, I DO believe that she eats blue cheese I loved her line about her love for blue cheese being known and feared within her family I made her chicken stir fry and brown rice and kale not so long ago and it was really, really good Memorably good I will definitely be making it again Do be warned, though, that GP loves fish, anchovies, olives and bitter greens If you aren t fond of these things, this may not be the best book for you.
So, I secretly like Gwyneth Paltrow I know it s not popular to like her, but I do I think she s a better actress than people give her credit for Shakespeare in Love is a particular favorite , and while she s clearly lived a life of privilege and isn t 100% in touch with the everyday person s lifestyle, does that really surprise anyone Her website gives you a peek into the rarified world of the international elite, and I totally love checking it out So what if I can t spend 100 on a t shirt It s a little outrageous, but I can t judge the companies that make them or the people who buy them too much Different strokes for different folks, as they say.
I regularly enjoyed the recipes on her website, which seemed much accessible than a 100 t shirt I splurged and got this cookbook at BN with a gift card and I ve really enjoyed it I ve made about 10 recipes so far and they ve all come out really well My favorites are the Kale Fried Rice I ve made it several times and added peas and asparagus to make it even veggie packed and stuffed Turkey Burgers I appreciate that her recipes are light and on the healthier side, and the book focuses on vegetarian fare with occasional inclusions of white meat turkey, chicken and fish No red meat recipes, here Also, she doesn t shove the macrobiotic, organic, detox thing down your throat too much, anyway Check it out from the library first if you re on the fence I was pleasantly surprised at how good this cookbook was
This is than just a cookbook Certainly, it is a cookbook, with many simple healthy recipes designed for creation in the context of family meals Gwyneth Paltrow suggests opportunities for children, even very small children, to help with food preparation, and she is refreshing when she shares I m a real person anecdotes like having to tackle the issue of her kids wanting french fries all the time I m impressed that her solution involves providing healthy alternatives like sweet potato fries but sometimes just lightening up and giving them french fries if that s what they want I don t have kids, but I hear enough from my friends with kids to gather that this book should be very helpful for a parent wanting to build healthy habits for his her children.
This is than just a cookbook, though If it were just a cookbook, then it would be a little disappointing Gwyneth keeps a philosophy of simple healthy foods, mostly plants and never red meat As a life strategy, this sounds pretty good As a basis for hundreds of pages of recipes, though, it s a bit underwhelming Good advice, especially for a beginning cook, but not the stuff dreams are made of Plus, a publishing error means that my copy is missing pages 98 129, so I lose almost all of the Burger and Sandwich chapter and I get the impression that this is not just a problem with my copy And, really, with as little as I cook, I don t need a lot of recipes like Bitter Greens Salad p 75 I will quote the entirety of the instructions Put the escarole in a large salad bowl and dress with the vinaigretteBut this is than just a cookbook It s a carefully constructed look at the life of Gwyneth Paltrow There are dozens of gorgeous photographs, sometimes of rustic and mouthwatering food, sometimes of Gwyneth offering her angelic children a tray of muffins while she wears a spotless white dress There are anecdotes about food that brings up memories of her childhood and food that she hopes will establish comforting memories for her little ones There is a shockingly self aware explanation of her macrobiotic phase with a perfect balance of chuckling, Man, that seemed like a good idea at the time, but I guess it was really wacky when you think about it and sobering, My dad had just been diagnosed with cancer and I was willing to do ANYTHING to try to cure him Still want to make fun of me, jerkGwyneth opens her heart and creates potent intimate moments with the reader These are beautiful moments.
Mostly, though, there is a truly delightful snobbishness throughout the book It s my favorite thing about the public construction of Gwyneth Paltrow she thinks she s better than everyone else because she actually is better than everyone else I love Cylons, I love Lannisters and Targaryens and Lyla Garrity, basically anyone who can be perfect without needing to make someone else imperfect There is no reason for me not to be madly in love with Here is how we dine on Olympus Gwyneth Her ingredient lists include, Your best, highest quality olive oil, for serving p 61, among many She introduces a pizza recipe with, We ve got a wood burning pizza oven in the garden a luxury, I know, but it s one of the best investments I ve ever made p 174 She describes a soup with, Version two is the homage to Campbell, whoever he was sic p 57 , and she s only half joking at most She doesn t eat red meat because Leonardo CiCaprio once told her not to in her defense, he had a very good explanation, and on the other hand, it is an explanation negated by the availability of local grass fed humanely raised beef There is no malice at all in this book Gwyneth is not a mean girl who would invite you to a party to mock you, she just wouldn t have any concept that anyone in the world existed beyond the guests she did invite to the party You re not her enemy she just doesn t have a framework to describe you Explaining the daily life of most of her readers would be like explaining dry to a fish Which is what takes this book, for me, from a 4 star illustrated culinary memoir to a 5 star Did she really say that thrill ride Normal people will never get such an unguarded look deep into contemporary A list celebrity culture Even if the weird snob comments are joking or a mask, Gwyneth still chose to present this version of herself to the world, and I love her whether or not it s an authentic version This must be how perfect people view the world they usually just don t show us I had a big grin the whole time I read the book.
As a cookbook, this is simple and easy to skip As a memoir, it is deeply emotional and worth reading for anyone who has ever had a parent with a serious illness As a deliriously entertaining look at one version of perfection, though, it is a fascinating spectacle that no one should miss.
The most important thing I learned while reviewing this book for my site, katecooksthebooks.
com, was that people hate Gwyneth Paltrow Way out of proportion, if you ask me They find it to be highly insulting that someone from a priveledged background, who, they believe, has led a completely charmed life, would have the audacity to say anything about cooking.
All of that somehow made me determined to find out if her recipes worked and her book was worth buying or at least checking out of the library.
And in my estimation, it is Some of her dishes are merely servicable Playwright s Melt, for instance, is just cheese melted on an english muffin with olives If you think that s a recipe let me introduce you to the Potato Chip Sandwich but some are wonderful veggie burgers, turkey sausage, white bean soup, Lalo s Famous Cookies She has her nutty food biases and unsubstatiated dogmas beef and pork are always inhumane but duck and chicken are treated with dignity and respect at all times but for the most part she s not trying to proselytize.