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Cooking for Gracie: The Making of a Parent from Scratch

3.48  ·  Rating Details ·  91 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
A touching, insightful and uplifting memoir, complete with more than 40 recipes, that recounts a year in the life of a new parent learning to cook for three.

Keith Dixon’s passion was cooking. For years, he sustained himself through difficult days by dreaming about the lavish recipes he was going to attempt when he got home—Thai curries, Indian raitas, Sichuan noodles. All
ebook, 224 pages
Published May 10th 2011 by Crown (first published January 1st 2011)
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Jun 06, 2011 Dan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A cookbook, a memoir on the first year of fatherhood, and not something I'd usually find myself reading. This however was written by the talented author of The Art of Losing: A Novel, Keith Dixon so I couldn't resist.

I am not much of a chef, nor have I tried any of the recipes laid out in this book. I must say that most of them sound delicious and I plan to try a few of them in the coming weeks.

So my review is more about the memoir than the recipes. Dixon manages to tell his story in an honest
Apr 10, 2011 Patty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hey! This was really great! It was a departure for me, as I don't usually read memoirs, or foodie books, or books about parenting. It was rich and engaging and the recipes were mouth watering. It gave me a peek into a world that is totally unfamiliar to me. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I highly recommend it.
Shari Larsen
Jun 12, 2011 Shari Larsen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a memoir of the author's experiences as a first time father, who also loves to cook. But it's not just about trying to cook while adjusting to having a baby in the house, it's a heartfelt and sometimes hilarious story about fatherhood and being a husband.

The lessons one learns in the kitchen can also be applied to life elsewhere, such as being able to plan in advance, and how to deal when unexpected situations come up.

The first few months of Gracie's life mean sleep deprivation for her m
Jun 22, 2011 Theresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Keith Dixon’s Cooking For Gracie is a wonderful first year account of daughter Gracie’s life and the food they ate. Right away you know this story is going to be different Gracie is born early and later in the book you discover even more about Gracie’s birth that make’s you realize how courages her parents are. Your heart goes out to this new family as they work together as a unit. Mom stays home to take on the daily care and breast feeding and Dad takes on the responsibilty of feeding the famil ...more
May 18, 2011 Janelle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-reads
Goes faster than I expected - the chapters flow well as to feel fairly short (though I skipped over the recipes).

The prose reminds me a lot of Claire Dederer's Poser in that it employs a conceit to explore the tentative first steps of parenthood. The narrator here is much less... I suppose "hip" is the word I want to use. I found myself wanting to hang out with Dederer during the early chapters of Poser, but while Dixon is not at all aloof, neither does he charm his way into being your new imagi
Brenda Knight
May 14, 2011 Brenda Knight rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a free copy of this book as the result of winning a giveaway on This was a realistic story of a child's first year of life, with all the ups and downs. I fell in love with Gracie. I could feel her parent's fear, exhaustion, anxiousness, confusion & joy. I understood when they questioned their ability and shared their feelings of joy when overcoming hurdles. It's been almost 30 years since I was a first time parent. I was able to revisit that time and those feelings ...more
Rachel C.
Saw this while picking over the inventory of a Borders in the final death throes. Got it for a foodie / new dad friend of mine but of course I couldn't resist a quick look-see myself.

The baby minutia was - unsurprisingly - totally uninteresting to me. The author is kind of a drama queen, no?

The adaptive cooking he had to do (e.g. no time; no dairy; no noise) was interesting and appealed to the part of me that likes reality cooking shows. I picked up a few ideas and I liked his chatty instruction
Jul 08, 2011 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was kind of a random book. Cooking for Gracie couldn't quite figure out which direction it was going in. It is a really great story about paranting a young child from a father's point of view (something we see far to little of). Unfortunatly it also seemed like a soap box for the author who went on tangents from time to time and used quite a few distracting asides. It was also a cook book and while the receipes sound tasty they appear to be a bit too complicated for anyone who doesn't live ...more
Mar 29, 2012 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It took me a little while to get used to the writing style with footnotes and recipes but once I did, I could not put it down. It was so honest and funny and I could totally relate to so much of it. It is a novel about love, marriage, cooking, children and how you put them all together and make a life. It makes one realize that to cook good nourishing food for someone is a wonderful way of saying you love them, love on one of the most basic levels. This was a wonderful and fun ...more
Jun 28, 2014 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! It was filled with the honest ups and downs of becoming a parent for the first time! It took me back in time to my own experiences with my newborn. Not only could I relate completely to Keith Dixon, but when I closed my eyes to go back in time, I felt that I was him. Strange, but true!

I also really enjoyed the author's recipes and have since made a few for my family. Cooking for others is truly good for your soul!!!!
Oct 02, 2011 Maura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was such a great concept for a book, exploring the first year of parenthood through the lens of cooking, but it just didn't work for me. Parts of it were touching and relatable, but a lot of it felt like the author was stretching to write a whole book. (It started as a story in the NYT and probably should have stayed just the one story.) The end really turned me off, as it was all about the recession and not really at all about parenthood or cooking.
Dec 06, 2011 Tracy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recipes, memoir
This father of a newborn chronicles the first year and how his cooking varies depending on his daughter's development as well as the dietary contraints placed upon his wife due to his daughter's medical problem. He tells tales of her severe reflux and her crying fits which would try even the most patient parent. It was actually nerve wracking to read those portions. I grabbed a few recipes, including one for ginger scallion rice.
Dec 17, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
interesting book. I will not be making any of the receipies and really lightly skimmed them. I could really relate though to the struggles. My now 6 year old was also born 5 weeks early and spent (very little) time in the NICU, suffered from reflux and was on Zantac. The claims the author made were NOT exagerated, when it came to the crying, and the insanity said crying can (and does) bring to the parents. I liked the story, and enjoied the male voice.
May 16, 2011 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adorable story from a foodie Dad's perspective. Reminded me a lot of hungry monkey but this guy made me feel less like a culinary loser. It focused more on him and his experiences and observations meeting and raising his daughter. There's just something so endearing about reading about the man's point of view. Although I just glazed over the recipes so it was a quick read.
David Richardson
I recieved this book for free from the Goodreads first-read giveaway. A sometimes scary but mostly touching story of a couples life during their babys first year. LOTS of recipes ( I skipped over most of them because of complexity and unavailibity of ingredients in my area). Each chapter is like a short story. My favorites were "Sweet Nothings" and "American Nightmare".
Aug 29, 2012 Rebecca rated it really liked it
A new genre: autobiography/cookbook. Cookobiography? The author's daughter was born early, and this book is about how he became a father by learning how to cook for his daughter. The recipes and stories are very interwoven--I especially liked a series of recipes where he writes about how to cook quietly, so as not to wake a sleeping baby.
May 13, 2011 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sweet, well written book. It took me right back to those baby days. Some of his recipes look good, too. The chapter-long tirade about food companies didn't fit and interrupted the flow, and I've heard it all before. Overall a nice read.
Jun 19, 2011 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was probably a much better book then I am giving it credit for in my rating. I am past this part of my life as a parent and therefore this just didn't interest me as much as it would have about 14 years ago.
Jul 04, 2011 Lindsay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I heard an interview with Dixon on WNYC, and liked his storytelling. The storytelling quality is sustained in his writing. "Cooking" is about Dixon's transition to fatherhood. The book is short, vivid and leaves you wanting more. Great read.
Jul 01, 2011 Abigail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little light as a memoir but still a good read if you are a new parent.
Mostly reads like a series of whining written by a drama queen, but has some moments of beauty and wisdom.Some recipes included in the book are interesting and I intend to try them out.
May 18, 2011 Clare marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
A memoir? Cooking? Parenthood? This sounds great.
Touching and heartfelt, the author speaks of some familiar experiences, a great read.
Great recipes too!

Goodreads firstreads winner
Oct 16, 2011 Cindy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little scattered. But liked the real thoughts expressed about parenthood.
Aug 03, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very honest portrayal of life as a new parent told through the medium of the food the author prepares for his family. The story really resonated with me during my own sleepless night phase.
Jun 18, 2011 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars.
Oct 23, 2011 Sharon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars. There wasn't anything wrong with this book. It was fine. It just didn't ever become a story where I was looking forward to the next chance I'd have to pick it up.
Kate Teague
Dec 31, 2012 Kate Teague rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book, neat to see the first year of a new baby's life through a fathers eyes.
Aug 30, 2014 Bokvorm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked it. Funny, emotional, the recipes look tasty, and a unique book from this NICU nurse's standpoint :)
Ritz rated it liked it
Jan 28, 2016
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Keith Dixon is the author of three novels -- 'This Is How You Fall,' 'The Art of Losing,' and 'Ghostfires' -- and 'Cooking With Gracie,' a memoir that recounts a year in the life of a parent learning to cook for three.
More about Keith Dixon...

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