How I Learned to Stop Spending and Love the Stove
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A New York City food blogger chronicles her time as a culinary shut-in.

Erway had her epiphany while eating a greasy hamburger. Like many New Yorkers, she rarely cooked at home, instead indulging in the countless restaurants her adopted hometown offered. However, while New York is arguably the epicurean capital of the world, many of the eateries serve little more than expensive greasy hamburgers. Erway decided that both her stomach—and her wallet—needed a break. Her solution was to go on a complete restaurant fast and document the process—the discoveries, the recipes and the restrictions—on her blog, During the course of her two-year experiment, she cooked her way through three apartments, one relationship and an attempt at dating. She also spawned several award-winning dishes, immersed herself in New York’s foodie underground and managed to cook tripe. Most remarkable, however, is not the fact that she made it that long without eating out—she often took premade food with her in case of emergencies. Rather, it’s how appealing and simple the author makes it seem. She makes whipping up a batch of homemade basil ice cream seem as easy as microwave pizza. She turns foraging in New York parks into an adventure. And she makes every success, including her prize-winning no-knead bread recipe, into readers’ victory as well, including recipes for her favorite dishes at the end of each chapter. All of this is presented in a light, girl-next-door manner; the author gleefully mixes and sautés through life, making you want to grab a spoon and help.

Like a great dinner party, Erway’s memoir is full of fabulous food and engaging conversation.

Pub Date: Feb. 18th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-592-40525-1
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Gotham Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2009