I heard about Nigella from English relatives last summer. Then I caught her show on the Style Network. She's a great cook, beautiful, and she truly does flirt all the way through. It's all done with a bit of kitsch, so it's OK in my book. I ordered my copy of this book from Amazon.co.uk, so the version I have has English measurements and ingredients, so be warned that that's the version I'm reviewing.
Nigella is first and foremost a brilliant writer. Even if you aren't planning on cooking anything at all from this book, it's enjoyable to have, as the prose is a pleasure to read, and the photography is beautiful.
Here in the US, we have this view of English cookery as being bland, boring, and not worth our time. Nigella will quickly put those views to rest. She is, like me, an avid cookbook junky, and she always cites her sources, so you're getting recipes filtered through Nigella from sources all over the place.
I have this book on my coffee table, and my husband and I are both always leafing through it. The Nigella recipes I've tried have always worked out, and I've been able to choose with confidence, since each recipe is described in painstaking detail. You know what to expect. And you often have a photo to check out, too.
Most recipes are intended to be easier than the resulting dish would have eaters believe. So, less work, more praise. Hell, maybe she is overcompensating for something else in her cooking, but more power to her. We're the better for it. She does it knowingly with beautiful irony, especially in the title.
Love Nigella. She's going to take on the world.