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Minimum effort, maximum pleasure in both cooking and eating is what Nigella strives for in this DVD.  Whether a beginner or experienced in cooking, Nigella provides a variety of ways to, as she describes, fit cooking into your life and not your life into cooking.

The Show
One can only describe this as a culinary look into the life and kitchen of Nigella. Nigella more than makes the viewer feel welcome in her home and she more than demonstrates that cooking lies in the simplicity and comfort of food. She obviously enjoys cooking, eating spicy foods and enjoying what she has prepared. There are a variety of menus to choose from including Nigella Bites, Nigella Xmas Bites and Nigella Extra Bites as a temptation to any palette. I enjoyed the background music that I found soothing and enticed one to want to try any of the recipes presented. An Ingredients Menu, A-Z Index and subtitles are also provided.

There were a variety of camera angles, constant changing of clothes seemingly each course or dish, but one of the things I found that distracted from viewing this DVD was the continual and intentional blurring of scenes to perhaps demonstrate time has passed. I found this particularly annoying and at one point, put me off from viewing the DVD to the end. Perhaps it was meant for effect, but I honestly don’t see the point in creating a blurred vision of what is yet to come.

Nigella Bites Series 2

There are bonus recipes and one of the simplest recipes was actually done outside on a Kettle BBQ. While the weather in England was not conducive to filming, a crewmember was more than happy to hold an umbrella over Nigella so as to not get wet while cooking.

I did find Nigella’s choice of words to be interesting and very creative. A sensual aromatic fog and various other analogies were presented throughout.

Personally, I think that way too much was crammed into this one DVD. From Comfort Foods to SupperTime, and TV Dinners (yes, chefs even prepare these!) to all day breakfasts, I think Nigella presented exacted what and how she wanted people to cook. I believe she is a very talented chef, but probably the way in which some of the recipes in their quantities that were presented left a lot to be desired. I enjoy cooking tremendously and can more than appreciate cooking for 2 or 20+, some of the recipes presented I believe were simply not practical, nor economical. However, if the overall reason in making this DVD is to entice people to experiment with various foods for a variety of reasons, then it has succeeded.

The Video
Presented in 1.85:1 Widescreen 16x9 Enhanced, I found the overall picture quality good and the various colouring of the kitchen tools or area were not straining to the viewer’s eyes. Whether presenting foods indoors or outside, the video was more than fine. Colours were crisp and clear and on some occasions one could almost feel like they could smell the foods based on the presentation. I think most people who enjoy cooking shows and or DVD’s are not looking for technical flaws, but in the quality of the foods and presentation. Nigella does suggest a variety of interesting foods and presentations for those people who sometimes simply just drop by.

Nigella Bites Series 2

Audio
Presented in English Stereo 2.0, I presume one can say it is only a cooking show. But think what it might have been like, and also captured one’s attention better if you hear the whisking of the cream and or the whirling of the mixer. At times, I found the monotone presentation just that. I had to remind myself to continue to watch and once again, I enjoy cooking. I enjoyed the music that was sometime presented. This is also presented with English For the Hearing-Impaired.

Extras
As previously mentioned, this DVD was very creative in presenting recipes such as Pasta in Walnut Sauce, Rudolph Pie, Lentil and Chestnut Soup as well as other recipes. One could literally salivate and almost smell some of the aromatic smells of the kitchen while viewing. No wonder I was hungry after viewing the entire DVD! Once again, I believe too much was crammed into the DVD as Nigella promotes one of her ten cookbooks. Pasta Fagioli and her Gingerbread Muffins are always my favorite.

Included on the disc are bonus recipes which includes more creations from Nigella as well as the ingredients list and Nigella bookshelf which promotes Nigellas books, obviously.

Nigella Bites Series 2

Overall
I think it depends what one enjoys from a cooking show and or a cooking personality. While I believe that Nigella is very popular among her viewers, personally I think the DVD could have been a lot better. Temple Foods and Trashy Rainy Days recipe would appeal to all, however, I feel if one were a beginner and or did not have a lot of confidence in cooking, then this might not necessary be the DVD for them. While there are certainly more than a variety of recipes and presented in various forms, I would have liked to have seen more nutritional, easy to prepare menus as opposed to recipes that consisted of predominately onions, chilli, Haloumi cheese etc. Lastly, while I think the DVD promoted Nigella and Nigella related items, I simply would have liked to see the down to earth Nigella and not the commercially promoted Nigella.


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