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Share in a gorgeous, thoughtful life in the charming English countryside with The Cottage Kitchen, a cookbook of recipes and stories by Norwegian-born photographer and tastemaker Marie Forsberg.


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Share in a gorgeous, thoughtful life in the charming English countryside with The Cottage Kitchen, a cookbook of recipes and stories by Norwegian-born photographer and tastemaker Marie Forsberg.

30 review for The Cottage Kitchen: Cozy Cooking in the English Countryside: A Cookbook

  1. 4 out of 5

    Beth Bonini

    It might be premature to write a ‘review’ of a cookbook I’ve yet to cook from, but this lovely lifestyle-memoirish book also falls into one of my very favourite categories: cookbooks which read like novels. Marte Marie Forsberg is a professional photographer and her gorgeous still-lifes of food, silverware, the English countryside, her dog Mr. Whiskey, and her own stylish self make this book a visual feast. Many of the photographs are set against a black background and they have the rich detail It might be premature to write a ‘review’ of a cookbook I’ve yet to cook from, but this lovely lifestyle-memoirish book also falls into one of my very favourite categories: cookbooks which read like novels. Marte Marie Forsberg is a professional photographer and her gorgeous still-lifes of food, silverware, the English countryside, her dog Mr. Whiskey, and her own stylish self make this book a visual feast. Many of the photographs are set against a black background and they have the rich detail of an Old Dutch Master painting. Forsberg is herself Norwegian, and Norwegian flavours are the most obvious culinary influence - although many of the recipes start from a traditionally English base, and there are also recipes which are inspired by her time in Italy. The book is divided into seasons, and seasonal dishes - many of them associated with Forsberg’s childhood and her mother’s style of cooking. ‘My Mother’s Recipe For’ is the tagline for many recipes, and her mother is clearly the guiding spirit of the book. The inspiration behind the cookbook is Forsberg’s transition from being a world-travelling urban-dwelling photographer to a ‘slow living’ lifestyle in an English cottage in the countryside. It’s a potent fantasy, and one that will appeal to many readers (whether or not they are cooks). Forsberg hints at sadness and loss, and there is definitely the sense (reinforced through excerpts from letters and phone calls she exchanged with her mother) that she has come to the countryside in order to heal and perhaps to ‘find’ herself. As is often the case, ‘finding’ herself has much to do with reconnecting to the traditions of her own rural childhood. Cooking, foraging, preserving, bottling and baking are a way of connecting again to the nourishment she found in her mother’s kitchen. It’s all very beautiful and inspiring and I wanted to make at least 75% of the recipes - which is a pretty good hit-rate. I’m going to try her ‘No-Knead Country Loaf’ first.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Breanne

    I don't normally write reviews of cookbooks, but Forsberg added so much personal detail and story to her book that I read it like a novel. It's partly a recounting of how she grew up in Norway, traditions that her mother set down and that she returned to in adulthood. It's also partly a coming-of-age or at least a coming-into-adulthood story. In the beginning Forsberg purchases a cottage in the English countryside (fantasy life stuff in my opinion) and experiences the change of the seasons in he I don't normally write reviews of cookbooks, but Forsberg added so much personal detail and story to her book that I read it like a novel. It's partly a recounting of how she grew up in Norway, traditions that her mother set down and that she returned to in adulthood. It's also partly a coming-of-age or at least a coming-into-adulthood story. In the beginning Forsberg purchases a cottage in the English countryside (fantasy life stuff in my opinion) and experiences the change of the seasons in her new town as she undergoes the growth that comes with creating a life for yourself that is uniquely yours. Not without setbacks, Forsberg uses recipes from her childhood and trips abroad as an anchor as she forges ahead in her new surroundings. With recipes that are accompanied by her striking photography, the book is as pleasurable visually as it is narratively. I appreciated Forsberg's use of both Celsius and Fahrenheit, as well as ingredient listings in both metric (grams, milliliters), and US measurements (tablespoons, cups, ounces). I was also pleased to see that many of Forsberg's recipes were accessible to an inexperienced cook such as myself, often using only five or six simple ingredients, and yet with a delicious understanding of flavors and technique. Her cooking methods are a bit more rustic and traditional (you won't find any Instant Pot recipes here), which will appeal to anyone motivated by a "back to basics" style of living. Forsberg's writing is deeply sentimental which may not appeal to more practical readers, but it will be perfect for anyone who sees the romance in finding a cottage in the countryside and hunkering down in front of a fire with something warm and cheery to enjoy.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Virginia Campbell

    Noted photographer and blogger Marte Marie Forsberg was born in Norway, but she has found an idyllic way of life in a 200-year-old cottage nestled in the English country woods. With “The Cottage Kitchen: Cozy Cooking in the English Countryside”, the author shares her everyday life and treasured memories through words, photos, and recipes. Along with her beloved dog, Mr. Whiskey, Marte explores the bounty of nature surrounding her home. Her visits to the local village are always a delight—shoppin Noted photographer and blogger Marte Marie Forsberg was born in Norway, but she has found an idyllic way of life in a 200-year-old cottage nestled in the English country woods. With “The Cottage Kitchen: Cozy Cooking in the English Countryside”, the author shares her everyday life and treasured memories through words, photos, and recipes. Along with her beloved dog, Mr. Whiskey, Marte explores the bounty of nature surrounding her home. Her visits to the local village are always a delight—shopping for cheese, wine, produce, and meat inspires her to create wonderfully flavorful dishes. Her Norwegian heritage and European travels also influence her cooking, and she loves to recreate the favorite foods from her childhood. Of course, many cozy pots of tea are prepared and consumed along the way. Recipes include a variety such as: “Norwegian Yellow Pea Soup with Thyme”, “Tomato Tarte Tartin with Burrata”, “Black Pudding with Scallops and Caviar”; “Potato Soup with Smoked Salmon”; “Truffled Vegetable Toad-in-the-Hole”; “Foie Gras and Kidney Bruschetta with Parsley”; “Elderflower Fritters”; “Campian Citrus Marmalade”; “Kale and Almond Soup”; “Warm Salmon, Mint, and Potato Salad”; “Norwegian Pork Belly with Mustard Coleslaw”; “Sour Cream Porridge”; and “Troll Cream”—a favorite of her father--made with sugar, egg whites, and cranberries. Book Copy Gratis Clarkson Potter Publishers via Blogging for Books

  4. 4 out of 5

    Juli

    A beautiful book - almost as much about the setting as about the recipes, but the latter are enticing. Some of the ingredients are not available to American cooks/bakers, but I'm a sucker for a recipe that begins "Do not rinse the flowers, but gently shake off any insects" (elderflower cordial!). (I got this from the library and am adding it to my cookbook wish list ... ) A beautiful book - almost as much about the setting as about the recipes, but the latter are enticing. Some of the ingredients are not available to American cooks/bakers, but I'm a sucker for a recipe that begins "Do not rinse the flowers, but gently shake off any insects" (elderflower cordial!). (I got this from the library and am adding it to my cookbook wish list ... )

  5. 4 out of 5

    Pattie Tierney

    It probably helps that, before I read this book, I had spent a considerable amount of time in England, the countryside in particular. There is no more beautiful place on earth than the English countryside. So, I had a suspicion, before I even read this book, that I was going to like it. Naturally, I did, but I think you will too, because you don't have to bring any particular knowledge of England along with you when you read it, all you have to do is sit back and enjoy. I use the word "read" her It probably helps that, before I read this book, I had spent a considerable amount of time in England, the countryside in particular. There is no more beautiful place on earth than the English countryside. So, I had a suspicion, before I even read this book, that I was going to like it. Naturally, I did, but I think you will too, because you don't have to bring any particular knowledge of England along with you when you read it, all you have to do is sit back and enjoy. I use the word "read" here because, while this is technically a cookbook, it also reads like a wonderful tale of discovery. The Cottage Kitchen, Cozy Cooking in the English Countryside is the product of writer, photographer, and blogger extraordinaire, Marte Marie Forsberg. Fosberg, who grew up in the countryside of Norway, spent childhood and teenage summers in France and Switzerland, as well as considerable time in Italy, now finds herself planted in the English countryside, with her faithful companion, an English Pointer named Mr. Whiskey. Together they wander, forage, photograph, and cook up a delightful companionable existence, and a toothsome one, too! This charming book is a visual delight. Before I read a single word, I fell in love with it. The author is quite an accomplished photographer, and her love of England shines through in every photograph. Her stories are enchanting, her recipes delicious. The book is charmingly divided by season: Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn, and, well, Afternoon Tea, not a season in itself, of course, but well worth covering. There is an elegance to the simplicity of the recipes. Each delicious one, preceded by its own story of origin, thoughtfully presented, and completely doable. Simplicity, indeed, seems the key here, as well as fresh local ingredients and unique combinations, all of which yield comfort foods of a superior variety. On a whim (and because I had a vegetable crisper full of it), I tried the recipe for Stuet Käl (Creamy Cabbage Stew), a simple cooked cabbage in white sauce recipe that I found as tasty as it was warm and soothing. With still more cabbage remaining, I tried her recipe for Waldorf Salad, in which I found cabbage a rather surprising addition, finding it to be my new favorite version, and on my list for monthly, if not weekly consumption. I'm not a baker, particularly, but so many recipes beckoned to me here, that I may just end up changing my status in that regard, No-Knead Pecan and Fig Bread high on my list of Recipes to Try. Doughnuts with Chocolate Sauce, Almond Rice Cream Pudding, and Prosecco Scones, all had me similarly sighing. Carnivores will no doubt find themselves tempted by Steak and Cheese Pie, Partridges Baked with Figs and Olives, or Marie's Meatballs with Parsnip and Cardamom Purée. Whether a cook or diner, all will find this book a delight. Some may find themselves booking passage to the heart of England. This is a delicious, inspiring volume, a must for the home cook’s library, and sure to make a welcome gift. Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Publisher via Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    I was intrigued by the combination of English and Scandinavian cooking in this cookbook. I have English heritage, so I was intrigued to try some recipes from England. I also traveled not long ago to Sweden and fell in love with a lot of Scandinavian dishes, so I was very interested in discovering those recipes or how they combined. I was immediately struck by the variety of recipes in this book. I knew I would be able to use them not just for everyday cooking, but for special occasions as well. I I was intrigued by the combination of English and Scandinavian cooking in this cookbook. I have English heritage, so I was intrigued to try some recipes from England. I also traveled not long ago to Sweden and fell in love with a lot of Scandinavian dishes, so I was very interested in discovering those recipes or how they combined. I was immediately struck by the variety of recipes in this book. I knew I would be able to use them not just for everyday cooking, but for special occasions as well. I am always pleased when a cookbook offers recipes that work in a variety of settings. The book is organized by seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Also, Afternoon Tea. I thought this was a fun way to organize the book, but also very practical if you like to get your ingredients fresh from a farmer's market, your garden, or forged. We had family over for Thanksgiving, and we made cranberry sauce with cinnamon which not only smelled good, but tasted amazing! It was a hit with dinner. We used the leftover sauce the next morning on German Pancakes. It is a recipe I will be making again! There were a lot of recipes I want to try, but top of the list is Troll Cream, because it has troll in the title. Who cannot help but be intrigued by that? I also want to try the Steak pie, Parsnip and Cardamon Puree, Norwegian Yellow Pea Soup with Thyme, Elderflower Fritters, and Almond Rice Cream Pudding. The photographs in this book were beautiful and inspiring. They make you want to find an English cottage and spend all your time cooking delicious recipes. I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy cooking. **I received a free copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.**

  7. 5 out of 5

    C.M. Keller

    When I received this cookbook, I fell in love with the sumptuous photography. And my husband, who loves paging through cookbooks marking the foods he wants me to make, fell in love with the Steak and Cheese Pie. It is delicious. I’ve already made it twice at his request. I expect to be making it again for his birthday dinner in June. The cookbook is an interesting blend of Norwegian and European foods and includes everything from Truffled Vegetable Toad-in-the-Hole to Norwegian Apple Trifle. I als When I received this cookbook, I fell in love with the sumptuous photography. And my husband, who loves paging through cookbooks marking the foods he wants me to make, fell in love with the Steak and Cheese Pie. It is delicious. I’ve already made it twice at his request. I expect to be making it again for his birthday dinner in June. The cookbook is an interesting blend of Norwegian and European foods and includes everything from Truffled Vegetable Toad-in-the-Hole to Norwegian Apple Trifle. I also made the Leek and Cheese Gratin, and it was fantastic. I was excited to try the Potato Soup because it’s one of my favorite foods. However, it was a bit of a disaster. I was concerned looking over the recipe because the proportions of the ingredients didn’t seem correct. But I went ahead and made it. My soup didn’t even come out the same color as the soup in the photo. Though it’s possible I made an error, I suspect there are some typographical errors in the recipe. And I did find another recipe where one of the end steps, brushing the pastry with butter before popping it in the oven was left out—though the photo showed the pastry being brushed. All in all, a fun cookbook. And it’s worth the price just for the Steak and Cheese Pie recipe. I’d give it a 4 out of 5 stars. I received this cookbook from Blogging for Books in exchange for a review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    Really gorgeous photography and delicious food! Forsberg does an excellent job of bringing the reader into her pastoral world over the seasons. Highly recommended for folks who like English/Northern European cuisine, and the English countryside. Pretty much a perfect marriage in this project! I’ll briefly note that the detracted star is due to writing style. Forsberg tends to go on at length about her daily interactions/events, and it gets pretty kitschy at times. Combined with the photos of her Really gorgeous photography and delicious food! Forsberg does an excellent job of bringing the reader into her pastoral world over the seasons. Highly recommended for folks who like English/Northern European cuisine, and the English countryside. Pretty much a perfect marriage in this project! I’ll briefly note that the detracted star is due to writing style. Forsberg tends to go on at length about her daily interactions/events, and it gets pretty kitschy at times. Combined with the photos of her in stylish, immaculate clothes, it feels like she’s trying really hard to sell us the notion that her life is the essence of “cottagecore.” But it’s easy to look past the rose-colored glasses when the recipes are as lovely as hers!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Loads of beautiful recipes that mix traditional English with Norwegian in a really special sort of way. My only qualm with this book is that it didn't have as much of a story as other cooking memoirs. Perhaps this wasn't even to be a memoir at all, but I think the "specialness" of certain recipes would have came across stronger had the reader felt more for the author and the people in her life. There was constant mention of living in Tokyo, in Milan, Switzerland, and a few other places but no re Loads of beautiful recipes that mix traditional English with Norwegian in a really special sort of way. My only qualm with this book is that it didn't have as much of a story as other cooking memoirs. Perhaps this wasn't even to be a memoir at all, but I think the "specialness" of certain recipes would have came across stronger had the reader felt more for the author and the people in her life. There was constant mention of living in Tokyo, in Milan, Switzerland, and a few other places but no real life backstory to any of this, which was sorely missing. I suppose I needed to read the blog first for this info. (shrug)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    A wonderful journey with Marte I was not prepared to become totally immersed in what I thought was just a cookbook! But it is so very much more! I was drawn into her life in the kitchens and gardens of the English country side and Norway during the four seasons and I hated to leave! The recipes will make you want to get in the kitchen immediately, but putting down this book is so very hard! She shares not only her recipes but life wisdom she receives from her mother! This is a book not only about A wonderful journey with Marte I was not prepared to become totally immersed in what I thought was just a cookbook! But it is so very much more! I was drawn into her life in the kitchens and gardens of the English country side and Norway during the four seasons and I hated to leave! The recipes will make you want to get in the kitchen immediately, but putting down this book is so very hard! She shares not only her recipes but life wisdom she receives from her mother! This is a book not only about food but about searching for your true self, the person you always wanted to be, finding that peaceful place. An absolute surprise and joy! A one of a kind read!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Chrissie

    Marie Forsberg's Instagram account is one of my very favorites, so even though I rarely read through cookbooks, this one was a must for me. Her stories and photographs of life in the English countryside are dreamy, with her familiar voice and style ringing through. I enjoyed how the book chronicles the first year in her new cottage as she slowly adapts, creates a home, and cooks through the seasons, all while pulling from her Norwegian roots. The afternoon tea section was especially enticing, an Marie Forsberg's Instagram account is one of my very favorites, so even though I rarely read through cookbooks, this one was a must for me. Her stories and photographs of life in the English countryside are dreamy, with her familiar voice and style ringing through. I enjoyed how the book chronicles the first year in her new cottage as she slowly adapts, creates a home, and cooks through the seasons, all while pulling from her Norwegian roots. The afternoon tea section was especially enticing, and seeing her beloved mother and Mr. Whiskey alongside made my heart warm. Idyllic and cozy, with recipes I'm eager to try for myself.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Krista

    Forsberg, Norwegian by birth, bought a cottage in the English countryside and proceeded to cook her way through the seasons. Her recipes include Scandinavian classics (rice pudding as a Christmas treat, anyone?) as well as twists on English favorites (vegetarian toad-in-the-hole). Beautifully written, with equally gorgeous photographs.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Gooshe Net

    "This cookbook shares my story of wanderings and perhaps finding myself again after years of travel, and of all the dishes I cooked along the way. The move to the countryside, and finding the cottage, created a base, a safe haven in which to reconnect with my roots and I discovered what my heart had been yearning for." "This cookbook shares my story of wanderings and perhaps finding myself again after years of travel, and of all the dishes I cooked along the way. The move to the countryside, and finding the cottage, created a base, a safe haven in which to reconnect with my roots and I discovered what my heart had been yearning for."

  14. 5 out of 5

    Joanna

    Beautiful photography, stories and memories. Very European in ingredients. Some not available where I live (or at least very difficult to find) such as elderflower and others out of my budget. There are a few recipes I look forward to trying and disappointed in myself that I didn’t think of sooner - rhubarb lemonade! A fun book to read and a good addition to my collection.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ericka

    Interesting Combination Author is Norwegian but she's lived all over and the recipes show that influence. As I live in a very small western American town I won't have access to many ingredients, but I can dream. Interesting Combination Author is Norwegian but she's lived all over and the recipes show that influence. As I live in a very small western American town I won't have access to many ingredients, but I can dream.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Karyn

    BEAUTIFUL cookbook!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kendra

    Beautifully photographed but not terribly useful. Reminds me of the cottage my college's president lived in Beautifully photographed but not terribly useful. Reminds me of the cottage my college's president lived in

  18. 5 out of 5

    Yoursexylibrarian

    4.5 stars. Recipes are in both metric and American. Forsberg adds in recipes from her native Norway. She explains the background or reason behind each recipe and includes a photo of every dish.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jill

  20. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Baruzzini

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lorraine

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michele

  23. 5 out of 5

    Hazel

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sonja Srbova

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joie De Vivre

  26. 4 out of 5

    Farien

  27. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    The Cottage Kitchen is an excellent book, not so much for the recipes but for the stories written by Ms. Forsberg describing why she included each recipe. It's a wonderful look inside the life of a world traveler who settles in an English village. The Cottage Kitchen is an excellent book, not so much for the recipes but for the stories written by Ms. Forsberg describing why she included each recipe. It's a wonderful look inside the life of a world traveler who settles in an English village.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Carolann

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kay

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lizzy G

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