This is about as cozy a cookbook as I've ever read. And this IS a cookbook you read, because it meanders around in a charming way, sharing Colwin's stories of entertaining friends and cooking for family, while sprinkling in a recipe here and there. The recipes are basic and homey (as the title suggests), and those I've tried have been yummy (I especially enjoyed her beef stew recipe). But the real charm of this book is Colwin herself, who was also an award-winning fiction author. (Sadly she died at age 48.) She published short story collections and also wrote articles for Gourmet magazine, Mademoiselle, Allure, and Playboy.