Book review and chance to win: Notes From My Kitchen Table by Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow has had a lot of stick for being ‘too perfect’. It seems attractive women shouldn’t be too accomplished, and when they are they seem to get shot down in flames.

It seems bringing out a cookery book was one step too far, and there’s been quite a lot of bitchy reviews about it.

So I was really curious to see what it was actually like.

Is it all hype or a book you’d genuinely cook from?!

Another reason I was interested in checking it out was because of the vegetarians in our house and needing some inspiration for delicious but not too lardy meals.

Gwyneth Paltrow is what is sometimes called a flexitarian – or vegetarian who occasionally eats meat. I think that’s what my diet will inevitably become. Although my knee-jerk reaction to the boys’ vegetarianism is to currently order steak whenever I eat out! But I digress… back to Gwyneth’s recipe book!

Who is it for?

She says it’s recipes that all the family will love, something for every meal and every occasion. If you express your love through cooking delicious meals for your loved ones then you’ll really like this book I think.

It’s fresh and fairlynhealthy cooking, but not dull or spartan which is what I was half expecting.

It’s very reflective of her Californian upbringing so it’s bursting with colourful and tasty dishes.

Easy to follow?

Each recipe has icons to sign post suitability for making in advance, quick recipes, vegan/vegetarian, one-pot meal and dress-up meal – so you can pick out a meal to suit you at-a-glance.

I like the ‘If you don’t have… you can use…’ page – GP favours some niche products like Vegenaise that are pretty tricky to get hold of, so she lets you know the best alternatives. She’s been criticised quite heavily for her use of wacky ingredients in the book, but with a thoughtful page like this you can’t really complain.

Family friendly?

Loads of the recipes are simple and more than suited for putting in front of the entire family. GP also lends a hand by making suggestions of how to make some of the meals more suited to a younger palate.

Roasts, pastas dishes, muffins and chocolate brownies are all bound to please the little ones. This is not complex or fancy cooking.

There is also an entire section with tips on how to get kids involved in cooking. She firmly believes in letting her kids help out – to the point of giving them quite grown-up jobs with careful supervision to make them feel trusted and boost their confidence.

Most likely to cook

Slow-roasted tomatoes – it’s something to make at the beginning of the week and stash in your fridge to liven up a salad or throw in with some pasta. I’ll def be doing this with the tomatoes from the allotment once they start ripening. They pop up throughout Gwyneth’s book so are certainly worth making if you’re going to get into her recipes.

Broccoli and cheese soup, and cold pea and basil soup both sound lovely ways of getting your veg count up. The slow-roasted tomato soup sounds like a brilliant fresh alternative to the canned soup my kids are hooked on.

The salads are all amazing looking, a real Southern California vibe, the panzanella with roasted peppers, tomatoes and basil look like the perfect summer’s lunch – or BBQ side.

There’s an entire section on burgers and sandwiches to work through – with some great-sounding veggie options like portobello and slow roasted tomato burgers.

Spaghetti limone parmeggiano sounds fresh and perfect family fodder. And the enticingly golden crispy potato & garlic cake looks pretty wicked too.

Least likely to cook

Caramelized brussels sprouts – she claims it will convert sprout cynics, but I’ll pass on that thanks!

Would you buy it for a friend?

Hmmm I’m not sure! Celebrity cookbooks are a tough one to give to the right person. I’d have to sneakily find out first if they thought Gwyneth was irritating or not.

On the basis of the recipes alone though I’d certainly lend it to my friends so they could see how fab it is and to cast their prejudices aside!

Rating out of 10


I was surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this book. There are some real gems in here and I definitely think it’s a keeper.

Notes From My Kitchen Table is published by Boxtree

Thanks for my review copy! 



I have TWO copies of Gwyneth’s book to give away to my readers…

1. For a chance to win please comment on this post telling me about your favourite celebrity cookbook

2. For a second chance to win please tweet this post “Win Gwyneth Paltrow’s cook book: Notes From My Kitchen Table @cookingkt (insert URL of post here)” and comment HERE telling me you have done so along with your twitter username

3. For a third chance to win please follow me @cookingkt on Twitter and comment HERE to tell me you have done so.


This giveaway is open to all readers with a UK mailing address. The winners will be chosen using an online randomiser and announced in a subsequent post. As I am allowing multiple entries the randomiser may choose the same person twice, in this case I shall pick another winner until there are two separate winners.
When commenting please leave your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win.

I am running this competition on behalf of Pan Macmillan who will be responsible for sending the prizes to the winners. Their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

There is one main way to enter and several ways to get bonus entries. You must leave a separate comment for each bonus entry otherwise they will not be counted.

Closing date: 10pm Thursday 7th July, 2011

Good Luck!



About Katie Bryson

Katie Bryson is a freelance food writer and blogger. She left a career in online news at the BBC to immerse herself in the culinary world, taking in courses at Leiths School of Food and Wine and an internship at Waitrose along the way. Her family food blog is bursting with recipes and tips for feeding hungry families that’ll help inspire all those frazzled parents out there wondering what on earth to cook for tea!
This entry was posted in Book review, Competitions and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

141 Responses to Book review and chance to win: Notes From My Kitchen Table by Gwyneth Paltrow

  1. Jane Willis says:

    Assuming Hugh F-W counts asacelebrity, my favourite is “River Cottage Everyday” which I turn to over and over again.

  2. Jane Willis says:

    I have tweeted @janesgrapevine

  3. Jane Willis says:

    I’malready following you on Twitter @janesgrapevine

  4. Caroline Elmhirst says:

    My fav celeb cook book is Sophie Dahl because she has some lovely but simple recipes – like pea purée and scallops – delicious! Have followed and retweeted @CazzaE

  5. Aveen says:

    Does it count if they’re a celebrity chef? In which case I’d choose Nigella’s How To Be a Domestic Goddess. Least favourite would be Sophie Dahl’s book, I just found it very uninspiring and it went off to the charity shop.

    Gwyneth’s book has been getting great reviews so I had a flick through it in WH Smith and thought it looked lovely 🙂

  6. Aveen says:

    Following you on Twitter! @angeltreats (and have been for as long as I’ve been reading your blog!)

  7. Aveen says:

    And tweeted your giveaway 🙂

  8. Hi, I like the original BBC’s Delia’s Complete Cookery Course, published in 1978. Its great for all family meals, freezing and everything. It explains HOW to do stuff easily and there isnt a ‘tin’ or packet in sight!!

    I’m not sure if this is a duplicat. My computer playing up also. if it is, please ignore second entry

  9. tweeted @mummycat111

  10. following you also 🙂

  11. James says:

    I’ve shared the link and liked on Twitter (@wxcat)
    I would like to say Nigella as I really enjoy the shows, but it has to be Delia, the one I actually use day to day to do cooking in the kitchen. Sensible realistic recipes mostly.

  12. If I win please pick someone else as I was also sent a review copy.
    But how perfect for your family is it?

  13. Margaret says:

    Tweeted and following @angeldaisy2002

    I love Lorraine Pascales – Baking made easy.
    Got some great cake recipes as well as some savory dishes too.

  14. Mikki says:

    I’m not sure if celebrity chefs count as celebrity here but I love Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Everyday and Jamie Oliver’s Jamie At Home books.

  15. Ren Behan says:

    My favourite ‘celeb’ cook book is quite a old one now, Fay’s Family Food, by Cold Feet actress Fay Ripley. I maintain that it’s an excellent cook book if you have young kids/enjoy family cooking although there have been a few recent close contenders!!! I am intruiged by this book, great review and have read a few other very positive ones so I would love to win a copy 🙂

  16. carole says:

    following and tweeted, i git a few of jamie olivers books ,jamie at home so pretty good

  17. Denise Cross says:

    i actually still go back to the Delia books someone brought us when we first got married

  18. SqueakyMom says:

    I’m going to have to go for the cliched answer here, and choose my battered, stained, dogeared copy of Nigella Bites.

  19. SqueakyMom says:

    I’ve tweeted @meedja

  20. SqueakyMom says:

    And I’m already following you @meedja

  21. capsigirl says:

    I find Jamie a bit hit and miss although there are some individual great recipes in his books – the same with Nigella, I wonder if all their recipes are properly tested

    So my fave would have to be another vote for HFW – the man’s a curly haired pocket moppet 🙂

  22. capsigirl says:

    Already following you @Nixy143

  23. Amelia Kennedy says:

    Any Delia book … clearly and concisely written and so easy to follow!

  24. Amelia Kennedy says:

    Tweeted and followed!

  25. Helen says:

    My favourite cookbook is Jamie Oliver’s “30 minute meals”

  26. Helen says:

    Have tweeted as @toffeefudge1

  27. Helen says:

    Follow @cookingkt as @toffeefudge1

  28. Kasia says:

    I love River Cottage books, not sure if they count as celebrity cookbooks.

    RT and follow you @ biedooness

  29. FionaLynne Edwards says:

    I love Nigella Lawson’s “How To Be A Domestic Goddess” but my fave would have to be Linda McCartney’s “Vegetarian Cookbook”. I use it all the time – the recipes are simple, easy to follow and delish!

  30. FionaLynne Edwards says:

    I have tweeted @feefeegabor

  31. FionaLynne Edwards says:

    I am following @cookingkt on twitter @feefeegabor

  32. Caroline French says:

    Cant beat the original Delia Smith complete cookery course book passed down to me from my mum! use it again and again especially for the simple things like egg boiling times, sponge cakes and various sauces!

  33. Caroline French says:

    Following on twitter and tweeted post @french_caroline

  34. Stacy Ward says:

    I’d defintely say any Delia book, simple to use for a ‘I burn toast and baked beans’ person like me!

  35. Stacy Ward says:

    Have tweeted and followed @basehex

  36. Adele Hill says:

    i love Delia’s Complete Cookery Course .It s the book that I turn to time and time again.

  37. Adele Hill says:

    I have tweeted as@compaddicted

  38. Adele Hill says:

    I follow @cookingkt as @compaddicted

  39. ellen says:

    Rick Stein’s Spain

  40. Loving Eva longoria new cookbook, only made one thing out of it, but the rest looks good!

  41. Andrew Timms says:

    Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, I don’t agree totally with all he stands for but he does appear to have great quality of life down in Dorset something I’d like to achieve and his recipes are simple and easy to prepare yet very tasty which is great!

  42. C Noakes says:

    My favourite cookbook is Nigella Lawson’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess.

  43. Solange says:

    Baking Made Easy

  44. Miss Natalie Wallace says:

    Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days

  45. kim B says:

    i love baking and cooking my fav book if Jamie
    Olivers I have a good selection of his book & find his dishes so tasty and recipes easy to follow.

  46. kim B says:

    tweeted @baile1kim1

  47. gabrielle svensson says:

    Fay Ripley’s Fay’s Family Food

  48. Jo Young says:

    I love Nigellas books as the recipes always seem quite decadent!

  49. Jo Young says:

    I’ve Tweeted as @BoostieBoo

  50. Jo Young says:

    I follow you on Twitter – @BoostieBoo

  51. pamela gossage says:

    Nigella Lawson’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess.

  52. Ashleigh says:

    jamie olivers 30 minute meals is my favourite!

  53. Ashleigh says:

    i have tweeted as @ashlallan

  54. Ashleigh says:

    i am following as @ashlallan

  55. Renae Shaw says:

    Jamie’s 30 minute meals is great when you come home from work to get a great meal on the table that you know will be eaten and enjoyed.

  56. Renae Shaw says:

    I have tweeted as well

  57. suzzee langton says:

    My favorite celebrity cookbook HAS to be THE HAIRY BIKERS….OMG these guys are hilarious geniuses in the kitchen! love themmmmmmmmm

  58. Steph Armstrong says:

    Jamie Oliver ‘Cook your way to the Good Life’ Fab, easy to relate to & follow – just what I need.

  59. laura stewart says:

    my fav is Nigella Lawson’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess

  60. @littleboo_21 says:

    As I live in east anglian I suppose I have to say Delia Smith but I like Phil Vickers from This Morning he does wonderful desserts


  61. @littleboo_21 says:

    I have tweeted


  62. @littleboo_21 says:

    I follow you on Twitter


  63. Chris Bay says:

    The River COttage Cookbook. Great food and just the kind of stuff I enjoy cooking and eating.

  64. Sarah Cooper says:

    Nigella Bites

  65. Mazgoli says:

    Gino’s Pasta by Gino D’Acampo

  66. weasel6 says:

    For me it’s Nigella Lawson’s How To Eat. I was cooking averse before that book, I like the fact that it’s about cooking to your needs rather than showing off.

  67. weasel6 says:

    Following you on Twitter @thelastweasel

  68. Laura Pritchard says:

    I like anything by Jamie Oliver! @Isis1981uk

  69. Laura Pritchard says:

    Have re-tweeted @Isis1981uk

  70. Laura Pritchard says:

    Am following CookingKT on Twitter @Isis1981uk

  71. Emma Clarke says:

    In spite of myself I love Eva Longoria’s cookbook “Eva’s Kitchen: Cooking with Love for Family and Friends”. My Mum bought it for me for Christmas, knowing that I love to eat rich Latin inspired recipes. I was a bit dubious, but there are some lovely dishes within its pages, like home-made tortillas and Spanish rice.

  72. Emma Clarke says:

    For a second chance to win I have retweeted as @emma1111111.

  73. Emma Clarke says:

    For a third chance to win I follow you on Twitter @emma1111111

  74. comic relief – my favourite recipe

  75. Nancy Bradford says:

    I love the Hairy Bikers cookbook. Lots of interesting stories, etc. as well

  76. david cavender says:

    I like Lawrence Dallaglio’s My Italian Family Cook Book. It’s a book of his favourite Italian family receipes.

  77. Alison says:

    Rosemary shragers very basic home cooking, does she count?

  78. Jen Schofield says:

    Nigella Lawson – Feast

  79. I love Jamie Oliver`s `30 minute Meals` even though it takes me a little longer

  80. Frankie Tuck says:

    Celebrity Chef is Jamie Oliver hands down as he is so inspiring and has the most mouth watering recipies.

    Non chef would be Lawrence Dallaglio. His recent book is full of really simple, tasty recipes.

  81. Eleanor Jones says:

    My favourite celebrity cookbook has to be Jamie Olivers American Cookbook. It’s full of weird but wonderful recipes and I have discovered a new obsession with jambalaya!

  82. i love a bit of Jamie Oliver!

  83. have tweeted your competition @angiesandhu

  84. am following you on twitter @angiesandhu

  85. susan willshee says:

    My favourite celebrity cookbook is Seriously good! Gluten-free Baking by Phil Vickery. The recipes really are ‘seriously good’ and are impressive enough to serve to none Gluten Free friends.

  86. susan willshee says:

    have tweeted as @susanwillshee

  87. susan willshee says:

    already following you on twitter @susanwillshee

  88. Cathy says:

    its got to be ainley harriott

  89. Sheila says:

    Great prize count me in

  90. lorna anderson says:

    anything by Jamie Oliver

  91. Katherine Coldicott says:

    Sheryl Crow’s If It Makes You Healthy is a good read as well as a good cookbook.

  92. Katherine Coldicott says:

    Have tweeted the message.

  93. Katherine Coldicott says:

    Am following @cookingkt .

  94. Maya Russell says:

    I like Tana Ramsey’s Family Kitchen. There is, in particular, a great fish pie recipe which I use again and again.

  95. Maya Russell says:

    I have tweeted the post.

  96. Maya Russell says:

    Already following you on Twitter.

  97. katherine grieve says:

    Nigella christmas is my fave celeb cookbook

  98. Sarah Ballantyne says:

    Fay’s Family Food is my favourite book – I always have her pasta sauce in the freezer for quick meals and the chicken with thyme rice is a real family favourite. I’m not a great cook so love all the simple recipes.

  99. Sarah Ballantyne says:

    I am following @cookingkt on Twitter

  100. Delia Smith’s Christmas book – it’s just so Christmassy, a really lovely book and some great recipes that are easy to follow.

  101. Alice Beaumont says:

    The masterchef cookbook is definately the one I use the most

  102. Hazel rush says:

    My favourite celeb chef is Jamie Oliver he has inspired and taught me and my partner alot!

  103. Paula Smith says:

    Tana Ramsey’s Family Kitchen- Lots of gorgeous food, I have a small obsession with recipe books and this one is great, lovely pictures as well. Not sure if she’s classed as a celeb though 🙂

  104. Jacqueline Burton says:

    I love Jamie Oliver’s 30 minute meals!

  105. Jacqueline Burton says:

    Have tweeted @thespotmeister

  106. Jacqueline Burton says:

    Following @cookingkt on Twitter

  107. Dan Caldon says:

    Anything by Delia. Even I can follow her recipes

  108. liz martens says:

    tough one, so many to choose from, but fave celeb cook book, assuming we are talking celebs and not chefs that have become celebs, would be eva longorias cooking with love for family and friends

  109. Jaime Hyland says:

    I love Jamie Oliver’s Jamie At Home books

  110. Jaime Hyland says:

    Have tweeted – @jaimecheese

  111. Michelle Rayner says:

    I love the student handbook as the recipes are quick and inexpensive

  112. Jaime Hyland says:

    Following on twitter – @jaimecheese

  113. Kaytofu says:

    Does Sarah Kramer count as a celebrity? She wrote How It All Vegan, which is my favourite cook book. It’s so handy, versatile and easy. It’s my go to book when I want to make something special.

  114. Emma Smith says:

    My favourite celebrity book at the moment is Gordon Ramsay’s Health.

  115. Emma Smith says:

    Have tweeted link to this page

  116. Emma Smith says:

    Am following on twitter

  117. Jamie’s 30 minute meals

  118. I’ve tweeted @angiehoggett

  119. already following you @angiehoggett

  120. Kate Rampersad says:

    My fav one must be Levi Roots ‘Reggae Reggae Cookbook’ – reminds me of all the goodness from Caribbean islands. @katekat_raz

  121. Kate Rampersad says:

    I tweeted about your comp as @katekat_raz

  122. Kate Rampersad says:

    I am already following you as @katekat_raz

  123. Claire says:

    My favourite celebrity cookbook is Heston’s Fat Duck cook book simply because it’s so well presented, and the cover makes it enticing to read!

  124. Claire says:

    I have tweeted on twitter


  125. Claire says:

    I am already following you on twitter:)


  126. deborah davies says:

    my favoraite celeb cookbook is quite an old one its Ferns Family Favourites by Fern Britton iv tried doing most of the meals in it and find it very easy to follow and the meals are loved by me and the family. :o)

  127. Kelly Koya says:

    My absolute favourite is Madhur Jaffrey’s curry bible, everything I have cooked out of it is fab


    My fav book is the Hairy Bikers Mum knows best book. Has some great tasty and easy to follow recipes.

  129. Rach says:

    My favourite is Jamies Ministry of Food.

  130. Rach says:

    Have tweeted @captainsunflow

  131. Rach says:

    Am following you on twitter @captainsunflow

  132. J.Gallant says:

    I liek the BBC’s range of recipe book

  133. Kathryn Casbolt says:

    Jamie Oliver – 30 minute meals

    My challenge is to actually make one in 30 minutes – haven’t done so yet!!

  134. Kathryn Casbolt says:

    Following on twitter – @kathrynann1

  135. Kathryn Casbolt says:

    Have tweeted competition link – @kathrynann1

  136. Anything by Fanny Craddock
    I Grew up in the 60’s and was determined to become a chef, after watching her TV shows!!

  137. Have Tweeted the comp

  138. I am also following you on Twitter

  139. I have a set of books by skye gynghall. Right now they are my favs…

  140. following you on twitter @fionamaclean

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s