Cookbook Review: A Homemade Life, by Molly Wizenberg

I adore Molly Wizenberg, and I adore her new book. It just makes me smile.


I had kicked around the idea of starting a food blog for awhile, but Orangette was the blog that tipped the scales. When I found Molly’s blog, I spent an entire weekend reading it from start to finish. Every month, I find myself enjoying her column in Bon Appetit, even before I know that it’s hers.

She’s a talented writer, with a passion for food. And I hope, someday, I can grow up to be just like her.

In the meantime, I have her latest book to enjoy.

Through a series of essays, anecdotes, and vignettes, Molly reminices about her life, love,  and family. The stories are funny, touching, even heart-warming at times. And each one is punctuated by a fabulous recipe. So far I’ve made a version of her Banana Bread, and her dad’s take on French Toast (coming soon!). But I find myself wanting to bookmark or dogear nearly every recipe–even the ones that I wouldn’t normally consider (Hello, Cider-Glazed Salmon).

I’ve found myself moved to tears by Molly’s writing, and inspired to get into the kitchen nearly every time I pick up the book.

I’d recommend the book to nearly anybody who likes what they see here, though I don’t dare compare my writing to hers. Molly’s better at this food writing thing than I could ever hope to be. There are enough recipes to say that it qualifies as a cookbook, but to be honest, it reads more like fiction.

The book is broken into 45 small chapters, each one followed by a recipe.

The following is a list of recipes found in A Homemade Life:

  1. Burg’s Potato Salad
  2. Blueberry-Raspberry Pound Cake
  3. Banana Bread with Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger
  4. Coeur a La Creme with Raspberry Puree
  5. Burg’s French Toast
  6. Chocolate Cupcakes with Bittersweet Glaze
  7. Stewed Prunes with Citrus and Cinnamon
  8. Hoosier Pie
  9. Bread and Chocolate
  10. Buckwheat Pancakes
  11. Fresh Ginger Cake with Caramelized Pears
  12. Fruit-Nut Balls
  13. Espresso-Walnut Toffee
  14. Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Cake with Glazed Oranges and Creme Fraiche
  15. Coconut Macaroons with Chocolate Ganache
  16. Bouchons Au Thon
  17. Tarte Tatin
  18. Bread Salad with Cherries, Arugula, and Goat Cheese
  19. Roasted Eggplant Ratatouille
  20. Dutch Baby Pancakes with Lemon & Sugar
  21. Jimmy’s Pink Cookies
  22. Italian Grotto Eggs
  23. Dried Fruit Pie
  24. Rum Cream Pie with Graham Cracker Crust
  25. Ed Fretwell Soup
  26. Doron’s Meatballs with Pine Nuts, Cilantro, and Golden Raisins
  27. Scottish Scones with Lemon & Ginger
  28. Cider-Glazed Salmon or Saumon Gelee a La Louis XIV
  29. Cream-Braised Green Cabbage
  30. Slow-Roasted Tomatoes with Coriander
  31. Slow-Roasted Tomato Pesto
  32. French-Style Yogurt Cake with Lemon
  33. Cranberry Chutney with Crystallized Ginger and Dried Cherries
  34. Radishes and Butter with Fleur De Sel
  35. Red Cabbage Salad with Lemon and Black Pepper
  36. Butternut Soup with Pear, Cider, and Vanilla Bean
  37. Chana Masala
  38. Fennel Salad with Asian Pear and Parmesan
  39. Sliced Spring Salad with Avocado and Feta
  40. Custard Filled Corn Bread
  41. Tomato Soup with Two Fennels
  42. Frisee wth Ham, Eggs, and Mustard Vinegarette
  43. Caramelized Cauliflower with Salsa Verde
  44. Zucchini Noodles with Pesto
  45. Pistachio Cake with Honeyed Apricots
  46. Vanilla-Black Pepper Ice Cream
  47. Spicy Pickled Carrots with Garlic and Thyme
  48. Pickled Grapes with Cinnamon and Black Pepper
  49. Arugula Salad with Pistachios and Chocolate
  50. Little Corn Cakes with Bacon, Tomato, and Avocado
  51. The Winning Hearts and Minds Cake (Or, Our Wedding Cake)

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2 Responses to “Cookbook Review: A Homemade Life, by Molly Wizenberg”

  1. Burg’s French Toast | Make a Whisk

    […] I wrote about Molly Wizenberg’s new book, A Homemade Life, I mentioned that reading the book inspired […]

  2. diana nally

    would you share the arugula salad with pistachios and chocolate with me. I am in need of a recipe for an all chocolate dinner menu…like this week. thanks diana

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