Newlywed Kitchen.jpg
"The Newlywed Kitchen" is no match for "The Blackheart's Grimoire."
If I were going to write a cookbook, it would pretty much be exactly the


Cookbook Wars! The Newlywed Kitchen v. The Blackheart's Grimoire

Newlywed Kitchen.jpg
"The Newlywed Kitchen" is no match for "The Blackheart's Grimoire."
If I were going to write a cookbook, it would pretty much be exactly the opposite of Lorna Yee's The Newlywed Kitchen. My cookbook, The Blackheart's Grimoire, will be bound in human skin and written in blood. The Newlywed Kitchen has lots of colorful photos and cute graphics; The Blackheart's Grimoire will have ancient woodcuts and mysterious sigils. The Newlywed Kitchen has flavorful yet easy to prepare meals for two; the recipes in The Blackheart's Grimoire will be scaled to feed a Satanic horde and will take literally thousands of years to execute.

Needless to say, my cookbook won't be very popular.

Sasquatch Books sent me a copy of The Newlywed Kitchen to review so I figured I'd give a couple of the recipes a whirl. For the most part, they were pretty easy. Henry's Famous Spicy Wings (p.5) are fucking killer: sweet and spicy with THREE KINDS of hot sauce. The Curried Chickpea and Goat Cheese Salad (p.26) is creamy as fuck, with a quarter pound of goat cheese in the dressing--but it's lightened up considerably by lemon juice and plenty of parsley. It's a riot of red, yellow, and green: roasted red bell peppers and capers and curry powder make this salad look like an Eastern European flag. And Lorna's Award-Winning Four- Cheese Mac-and-Cheese (p.79) has the double distinction of being both the most hyphenated recipe name ever, and also the cheesiest mac-and-cheese I've ever tasted. With a WHOLE POUND of cheese (Reggiano, Gruyere, Stilton, and mozzarella), this fucking thing is cheesier than a frat boy's pickup lines.

While the recipes are easy to prepare, this book is clearly aimed at a certain type of newlywed. It's written for 30-something couples living in big cities, and not for starry-eyed kids who just got hitched in Arkansas. The biggest grocery store near my parents' house in Louisiana, for instance, still doesn't stock mozzarella in brine. And you can forget the fucking sambal paste you need for Henry's Famous Spicy Wings. If you ask for sambal oelek in the South, a Sarah Palin supporter will probably declare you a traitor and try to make a citizen's arrest. Also, the ingredients, while simple, can sometimes be pretty pricey: the cheese alone in the award winning et cetera recipe cost me $30. And Whole Foods isn't exactly giving away the 10-lb. bone-in rib roast you need in order to make the Holiday Rib Roast with Thyme Gravy (p.139). I'd have to pimp your mom out for a long time to pay for that one.

The photographs, while cheerful and colorful, are sometimes creepy: on page 69 there's a photo of blogger Jay Friedman and his delightful lady friend Akiko, which is cropped so that the top halves of their heads are cut off. Why not just leave their eyes in it so we don't have to look at their disembodied cadaver's grins? I haven't been so disturbed since the time I saw a marionette that looked just like me.

The Newlywed Kitchen is as cute as a mouse riding a turtle, as charming as a Cheshire Cat in a smoking jacket, and as easy as your mom. There's only one cookbook that could possibly restore the balance of evil recipes in the universe: my Satanic magnum opus, The Blackheart's Grimoire. Look for it at your local bookstore, or wherever maleficent instruments of evil are sold.

Rating: 7.5 tomes out of 10

The Newlywed Kitchen can be purchased here on

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