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The Art of Eating in: How I Learned to Stop Spending and Love the Stove
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The Art of Eating in: How I Learned to Stop Spending and Love the Stove

3.29 of 5 stars 3.29  ·  rating details  ·  1,250 ratings  ·  259 reviews
In the city where dining out is a sport, one daring gourmand swears off restaurants and commits to cooking at home in a manifesto for a new generation of conscientious eaters.
Named one of "Publishers Weekly"'s most exciting cookbook deals, Cathy Erway's timely memoir of quitting restaurants cold turkey speaks to a new era of conscientious eating. An underpaid, twentysome
ebook, 336 pages
Published February 18th 2010 by Gotham Books (first published 2010)
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I thought the book started out interesting enough. Being in roughly the author's age demographic, I know the excitement of trying to cook on your own while being brought up in an eating-out culture. Some things she points out- people whose parents didn't cook usually don't cook at home, the price of grocery store shopping vs. eating out, urban foraging were interesting to read. The memoir style writing of it is fine as well, but she quickly loses steam and stretches the most inane stories for wa ...more
Emma  Kaufmann
Only in America could a book be based on the premise of the author going on a fast - and guess what the fast was - it was nothing remotely difficult like living on soya beans - it was not going to restaurants for two years and cooking for herself!! WOW!! lol
Okay and even if that premise is flimsy at best a better writer might have made something of it that was astute or insightful. But all Cathy's observations were trite and obvious and read very much like a mid twenties woman with little/no exp
This is the first time I have ever given a book on Good Reads no stars; it was dreadful.

The book is a collection of anecdotes and stories from Cathy, who -for somewhat inexplicable reasons- has chosen not to eat out in New York. Cathy shares with us her revelations that home-cooking is cheaper, healthier and sometimes tastier than eating out. I fully acknowledge that I entered into the relationship in complete knowledge of Cathy's agenda, however, I do enjoy a good foodie book so was willing to
The premise of Erway's book is a simple one: she's a broke-ish twenty-something who is getting bored with the monotony of restaurant hopping around her city and figures not eating out in the capital city of eating out would make pretty good blog fodder. She's not necessarily looking for enlightenment, just a challenge and way to save a few bucks. This is all well and good, however, it also ends up being the biggest downfall of the book, a drawn out tome at 320 pages. Unlike others in the food wr ...more
Nov 11, 2010 Liza marked it as i-will-never-finish-this-book  ·  review of another edition
Sorry, this book is just far too San Francisco for me. I enjoy Erway's website because I made an amazing recipe from it, but I don't like when people come across as self-important about their dining choices. It's just completely absurd to me when most people on earth don't have enough to eat. Also, I'm reminded of my friend who lives in an area with absolutely no restaurants within a 5-mile radius. So she has no choice about eating in, and she doesn't make a big deal about it, because it would b ...more
My brilliant friend Leila is a garblogger -- I think she may have even invented the term. Go to her blog, everydaytrash, which is a trove of insightful and unusual and fascinating things about garbage, here, there, and everywhere. She is amazing!

When this book came out, they sent her a copy to review, which she kindly loaned me, saying that if I wanted, I could post a review on her site. So naturally, being a good friend, I fucking forgot all about it. Ugh. But then! I got these new bookshelves
I wish it was good. It suffered from giving too much detail and then not enough. She treated us to word for word dialogue when it wasn't needed and overly flowery prose but then didn't give us much detail about her relationship, every day cooking or any real insight.
I had such high hopes for this book. With a teenage son and a soon-to-be teenage son, plus three other kids, I'm trying to find ways to cut back on my food budget and was hoping to find ways to make eating in an easier experience (not being so fond of cooking and all). The book started out promisingly enough with a young lady in NYC looking to cut expenses and deciding to eat in and blog about it. In the course of blogging she decides to delve into different ways to cut her food budget and tries ...more
Cathy Erway loves food. Which is good, because she lives in New York City, which is paved with excellent restaurants. But after one too many lousy, expensive midtown lunches and unsatisfying, greasy late night snacks, Cathy decided to give up restaurants. This book is a chronicle of how she spent two years of her New York life trying new recipes, competing in chili cook-offs, packing picnic lunches and making do, even when her apartment has no cooking gas because the previous resident never turn ...more
There were parts of this book that were interesting, and I confess that I added Erway's blog to my feed reader after reading it (mostly for the recipes).

That said, the lower star rating is because this book is not what I thought it would be based on the title or the marketing. Erway did indeed embark on a quest to stop eating out in NYC and she learned to love the stove. I thought the book (and its tips) would be more practical. I wanted to read it and feel like I could do it. But Erway doesn't
Melissa Gans
I was disappointed by this book. I had read the author's blog once or twice, and I thought this might be a fun read with some fresh recipes thrown in. It started out okay, but then fell quickly into a strange, disjointed bunch of stories, some of which were very long-winded with no payoff. Many of the recipes she includes with caveats -- oh, I personally made it a different way, but this should work. Okay....

The author does not do herself any favors. Her false modesty grates and I can't imagine
Not what I was expecting. Not very well organized. Reading the book was a jarring, chaotic experience (not in a good way). I appreciate what the author was trying to accomplish (avoiding fast food and restaurants), but I feel like her message got lost in the book. I got a little over halfway through the book before I finally gave up on it. I am trying to stop eating out, and reading about someone's experience dumpster diving as an alternative to eating out didn't reinforce the idea that eating a ...more
I didn't finish this book either. I hadn't touched it all week, and today I'm returning it to the library.

I totally believe in the concept of this book - cooking your own meals is better for you and for your budget. Eating sustainable, seasonal food is challenging but feasible, and can also be fun (and colorful)! It is a wake-up call for everyone to think about how we eat, what we eat, and where our food comes from.

However, this book is also a lifestyle choice for a twenty something New Yorker
The author was written up in one of my favorite magazines, and when I checked out her fabulous blog
Not Eating Out in New YorkI just had to have her book. Not only is Erway a talented writer but her ideas are a real inspiration for those of us who, for financial, health, or environmental reasons are trying to prepare more of our own food ourselves rather than buying take-out or going to restaurants all the time. She is not a middle-aged homemaker (full disclosure: I am middle-aged and was a full
The Art of Eating In chronicles the two-year hiatus that self-titled “foodie” Cathy Erway took from New York’s restaurants and eateries. She started a blog to keep friends and a growing fanbase apprised of her culinary journey, and condensed its highlights into a book.

Eating out is so customary in the Big Apple that some apartments don’t even have kitchens installed. But for Erway, struggling to support herself as an underpaid executive assistant, this tradition was draining her wallet at a dan
This was one book that while based on a blog was still well-written. And while the author's lifestyle is incredibly foreign to me (several trips abroad just for fun, hipster friends, dance parties, and underground supper parties??)-- I still liked it.

For two years she avoids eating out at restaurants- of any kind. Not too easy anywhere, but especially not in New York City. Not to say she was cooking every ingredient from scratch- which would have been pretty unbelievable. But that's why I found
An interesting premise - giving up restaurant eating and cooking at home ... especially in New York City, home of awesome food. I didn't realize going in that the author had a decent amount of cooking background and history, and is comfortable eating almost anything. (Which, good for her, but if you've never cooked before or find it intimidating, this is not a guide to help you with that.)

The chapters about supper clubs (illegal but fun), freeganism (possibly also illegal, and though I believe y
An enjoyable cooking memoir/narrative nonfiction mix. The author, a 25-year-old living in NYC, decides to quit eating out at restaurants and to blog about the effort. Her blog,, is evidently quite popular. She already knows how to cook quite well, so instead of a "I learned to cook" book, it's more a discourse on the social issues & history involved in eating out at restaurants, and then an exploration of the food movements current among twenty-somethings (and older) ...more
I'm about halfway through, I think, and am not liking this too much so far. It's kind of a skimmer. Could have been a lot shorter. For instance, did the chapter about how much waste there is with takeout food have to be so long?

Also, I guess I was hoping for some more easy cooking at home tips and recipes (quick and easy kind of stuff), but the author is kind of an obsessed foodie and, at least this far in the book, is spending most of her off-work time on the project (eating all meals at home
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I chose this book as part of a desire to change some poor eating habits. I am just now taking what I eat more seriously, at age 33, but better late than never. I eat out more than I would like to, mostly due to laziness and poor planning. The author describes a brief history of how restaurants came to be and how eating out is so expected and normal in our lives. Overall, it is not positive for our health, our bank accounts, or the environment. The author researched many different eating-from-hom ...more
For the most part, the book delivered as expected with its premise that cooking at home can be as entertaining as going out. Erway writes well, coming across as a curious, interesting individual. However, after a while it was work to keep track of the cast-of-characters in this literary reality show. Talented and knowledgeable as she is, to me the author came off as slightly condescending at times - not deliberately so, as she seems rather self-absorbed (self-impressed); towards the middle she h ...more
4.5 stars

I really enjoyed this book and wasn't sure what type of format it was going to take. Part memoir, part food diary, part cookbook, this book explored a two year span of not eating out without getting boring at all. I liked the parts about the supper clubs and dinner parties with hipsters, and some of the "characters" reminded me of people from Worcester. Ultimately, I can really relate to Cathy Erway. While I haven't gone on a complete restaurant fast, I decided to start home cooking alm
I think a few of my Goodreads buddies (hi guys!) added this to their lists when I did - probably drawn by the topic, as I was. I feel like I ought to say at this point: friends, the author has a blog on this subject. Maybe just read that.
What really makes this book is that it started as an experiment in saving money by not eating out and ended as an exploration of creative self-expression. Loved her forays into freeganism and dumpster diving, urban foraging, supper clubs, and amateur cook-offs. Loved how her world expanded by leaps and bounds by her expanding her boundaries and exploring her passions. She admits she missed the whole urban ag, local food trend but it’s something she now heartily endorses and is heavily involved i ...more
Started out great but soon veered from funny stories about giving up eating out for a year to things like "exclusive" supper clubs and endless chatter about the author's friends and how much they could drink at any one time. By the time I got to the "OMG you can just eat out as a treat, not all the time!!!" revelation I was annoyed. I agree with the other reviewer who noted that by the end of the book it appeared to all be filler to get the required number of pages. The blog is enjoyable but I t ...more
Julia Flath
As a reader of Cathy's blog, I was excited to read it, but was disappointed by it. She writes about the issues in her life (breaking up with boyfriend) without referencing her experiencing any emotion. I didn't think there was enough practical talk about how to deal with only eating in. She is an experimental cook, but her dishes always seem to work out anyway, whereas someone else doing this might stick to more basics to just make sure they can accomplish feeding themselves on a daily basis. I ...more
Jun 16, 2011 Lynda rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
I haven't been to a restaurant in almost a year. Over that time I have struggled to keep from being bored by food I made for myself, so I really jumped at this book when I heard about it.

The only thing that kept me from giving it one star was the chili cookoff. I love those tales. The rest of the book was too "precious" for me.

Tamara Evans
An interesting book reflecting on the author's experiment of resisting eating out in restaurants in New York during a two year period. I liked that the book provided a good mix of food history,background on the author's life and recipes that she created during her process.
Ann Kennedy
This was a fun read & while I do not have the eating-out options that the author has living in NYC, I still found the vignettes amusing & sometimes informative. Recipes are included, tho none tempted me. Not quite Julie & Julia, but worthy of the time spent.
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