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387 of 399 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Value
As the owner of a whole 'lotta cookbooks, I sometimes have to explain my theory of cookbooks to my husband. In the case of "Barefoot Contessa at Home", the recipe for Easy Cheese Danish is a perfect example. This recipe uses 6 ingredients plus seasonings. It can be made the night before you need it. Both of which translate into making my life easier. And it can be...
Published on October 27, 2006 by Jay K.

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346 of 373 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't live up to her other cookbooks
I really like Ina Garten, and I have a few of her other cookbooks. Unfortunately, Barefoot Contessa at Home is far from her best effort; it is, alas, entirely resistable.

The major reason behind my disappointment is that the book doesn't live up to its premise: these *aren't* everyday recipes you'll make over and over again. While I like to bake as much as...
Published on December 9, 2006 by Esther Schindler


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387 of 399 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Value, October 27, 2006
This review is from: Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over Again (Hardcover)
As the owner of a whole 'lotta cookbooks, I sometimes have to explain my theory of cookbooks to my husband. In the case of "Barefoot Contessa at Home", the recipe for Easy Cheese Danish is a perfect example. This recipe uses 6 ingredients plus seasonings. It can be made the night before you need it. Both of which translate into making my life easier. And it can be enjoyed by our family and our holiday guests for years to come. If you break down the cost of the book as to how many times we'll use just that one recipe, you'll see what a great value it really is.

And, of course, there are many more recipes included that make it even better. Most of the recipes are a creative version of standard fare, like a coleslaw that uses blue cheese or the jalapeno cheddar cornbread or the Chicken Salad Veronique. The book includes chapters entitled soup and sandwiches; salads; dinner; vegetables; dessert; breakfast; and others.

And I like it that Ms. Garten includes a recipe for "Chicken with Goat Cheese and Basil" that can be prepared in 10 minutes when, as she puts it "I'm too tired to cook." I LOVE recipes like that.

And, what about the "frozen berries with hot white chocolate"? Looking forward to trying that.

Plus, Barefoot Contessa at Home includes menu suggestions, which are helpful if you're in a hurry or need inspiration. Each recipe is partnered by a beautiful photograph so you can see what you're making and how it should look.

I like her style, I like her recipes and I like her cookbook.
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318 of 332 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ina changed my life!, October 26, 2006
By 
GreenGirl (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over Again (Hardcover)
I cook because of Ina. Before I found her first cookbook, I cooked infrequently. I knew the basics, but I didn't have simple, great tasting recipes that I enjoyed making on a regular basis. Ina changed my life with her books, and my friends and family thank her for it!

I'm one of those people that needs to have a photo of the finished product, and Ina delivers beautiful images, encouraging you to give the recipe a try. Her recipes were easy and each one was a tasty success, I have slowly devoured my way through her books.

I am thrilled with this new one, and just with the first pass through it, I've found 14 recipes I'd like to try immediately!

I am a little surprised by comments made by one of the other reviewers, (which is why I am now writing my first review for Amazon.) They had issue with Ina's liberal use of butter and salt, the cost of the book, her crediting recipes to other people, Ina's suggestions for grocery shopping, etc. How funny!

Part of Ina's charm and fabulous tasting food results from copious amounts of butter and salt. If you have an issue with it, you probably shouldn't make those recipes. (She has plenty of recipes that don't have butter in them, but they aren't as tasty!)

Why someone would complain about the cost of the cookbook baffles me. The retail cost of the books is $35, (I pre-ordered it for $20.35) It is a wonderful book with exquisite photos, and if you say it has only 80 recipes, I'll take your word for it. Would you rather sit in front of the TV, watching her show and writing down the recipes? I feel this is the type of book that because it is so beautiful, would be a lovely gift, let alone a welcome addition to anyone's kitchen.

Each chef and their cookbooks are unique, and Ina's style fits perfectly into my kitchen. I just hope that Ina keeps producing more books so I can keep expanding my list of recipes!
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158 of 166 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More cooking pleasure from Ina, April 25, 2007
By 
Toni "the bookworm" (Chicago, Illinois United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over Again (Hardcover)
So...........where do I start? The sharp, beautiful, glossy photography that entices you to make each delicious recipe? The welcoming and carefree pictures of Ina and Jeffrey's beautiful home that are the background for this book? The helpful hints and encouragement from Ina? The use of fresh veggies and fruit to make each meal so good to eat? It's hard to figure out which to place first, but regardless of where you want to begin, you'll find yourself at ease.

Ina just seems to get better and better with each volume of gastronomic delights, even when you think she has already given us the best. Her fifth venture into the publishing world is no less wonderful than her first four.

She has broken down her book into six main categories of cooking (soup and sandwich, salads, dinner, veggies, dessert, breakfast) then ties it all up with an interesting addendum of "if you're visiting the Hamptons" which is a tribute, of sorts, to all the lovely places she goes to in the Hamptons, to see and smell and taste and enjoy; much appreciated, good friend! The book flows as such:

INTRODUCTION

This is a really friendly introduction that helps you get caught up with her casual approach to planning, her path to this career change, and all the little hints and idea's that you can incorporate to make any get-together with family and friends all that more fun and memorable. She also gives you 2 quick recipes for getting guests to unwind and snack until all is ready for the main event, and they are Fresh Whiskey Sours, and Green Herb Dip. She then gives you a little help in how to plan your grocery list and the actual shopping.

SOUP AND SANDWICHES

California BLT's

Summer Borscht

Caesar Club Sandwich

Mexican Chicken Soup

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Ribollita

Smoked Salmon and Egg Salad Tartines

Garlic Croutons, Chicken Stock

Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Sandwiches

Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup (superb!!)

Tomato, Mozzarella, and Pesto Panini

Shrimp Bisque

Seafood Stock

Honey White Bread

SALADS

Planning Outdoor Parties

Heirloom Tomatoes with Blue Cheese Dressing

Chicken Salad Veronique

Grilled Tuna Salad

Bibb Salad with Basil Green Goddess Dressing

Jon Snow's Fish Salad

Roasted Shrimp and Orzo

Pesto Pea Salad

Warm Duck Salad

Tomato Feta Salad

Blue Cheese Coleslaw (a must if you're a cheesehead!)

Guacamole Salad

Old-Fashioned Potato Salad

DINNER

Making An "Important" Dinner

Blue Cheese Burgers

Cornish Hens with Cornbread Stuffing

Chicken Piccata

Lamb Kebobs with Couscous

Couscous with Pine Nuts

Roast Capon

Loin of Pork with Fennel

Stuffed Cabbage (sooo easy and such a standard!!)

Rib-eye Steaks with Cornmeal-Fried Onion Rings

Portobello Mushroom Lasagna

Chicken with Goat Cheese and Basil

Seafood Gratin

Eli's Asian Salmon

Lemon Fusilli with Arugula

Summer Garden Pasta

Seared Tuna with Mango Chutney

Easy Lobster Paella

VEGETABLES

Garlic and Herb Tomatoes

Orange-Honey Glazed Carrots

Broccolini and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Zucchini Pancakes

Herbed Basmati Rice

Green, Green Spring Vegetables

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

Stewed Lentils and Tomatoes

Paremesan-Roasted Cauliflower

Creamy Rosemary Polenta

Broccoli Rabe with Garlic

Maple Baked beans

Mustard Roasted Potatoes

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

Herb-Roasted Onions

DESSERTS (the best part of ANY meal!!)

How she thinks about,defines, and develops recipes

Frozen Berries with Hot White Chocolate

Beatty's Chocolate Cake & Frosting (the BEST chocolate cake ever!)

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Mixed Berry Pavlova, Sweetened Whipped Cream, Triple Raspberry Sauce

Coconut Cake

Pumpkin Mousse Parfait

Chocolate Sorbet

Black and White Angel Food Cake

Chocolate Cupcakes and Peanut Butter Icing

Panna Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries

Ultimate Ginger Cookies

Fruitcake Cookies

Peach and Blueberry Crumbles

Pear, Apple and Cranberry Crisp

Summer Fruit Crostata

Caramel Pecan Sundaes

BREAKFAST

Designing a kitchen

Tri-berry Muffins

Cranberry Orange Scones

Chunky Banana Bran Muffins

Easy Cheese Danish

Omelet for Two

Scrambled Eggs and Salmon

Maple-Roasted Bacon

Breakfast Fruit Crunch (this is a quick and delicious idea)

Sunday Morning Oatmeal

Blueberry Crumb Cake

Anna's Orange Marmalade

Irish Soda bread

Fresh Peach Bellini's

Spicy Bloody Mary's

"If You're Visiting The Hampton's"........

Menu's for All Ooccasions

Index

Recipe Index
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346 of 373 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't live up to her other cookbooks, December 9, 2006
This review is from: Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over Again (Hardcover)
I really like Ina Garten, and I have a few of her other cookbooks. Unfortunately, Barefoot Contessa at Home is far from her best effort; it is, alas, entirely resistable.

The major reason behind my disappointment is that the book doesn't live up to its premise: these *aren't* everyday recipes you'll make over and over again. While I like to bake as much as anybody, I don't do so on an everyday basis -- yet fully half the book is given over to dessert recipes. There are only 16 recipes for entrees (I'm not counting the side dishes in those), and several of them -- however delicious they appear to be -- are not in my everyay budget. I admit that I'm swayed by the seafood gratin and by the paella, but both of those use lobster, the paella uses 1/2 teaspoon of saffron... this is not an everyday dinner. It might be a delicious one (that gratin _does_ call to me...) but given her emphasis on simplicity I find the cost of the ingredients a bit of a downer, because one is left with few "they really *are* everyday" recipes.

Then, when a recipe does meet my criteria for "everyday" (you can get dinner on the table within 1.5 hours of getting home from work, without full-time attention in the kitchen), it's surprisingly ordinary; chicken salad? blue cheese burgers? another roast chicken? That's not to say that the book lacks some good recipes. Some of these include loin of pork with fennel; garlic & herb cherry tomatoes; herbed basmati rice which, she says, always accompanies the Indonesian Ginger Chicken from her first book (a dish which has saved my life on a few occasions, since it's dead easy, is made in a single pan, and is absolutely delicious). It's just that there's so darn few of them that the book really isn't worth acquiring.

Then, too, the book is uneven in regard to its audience. Does someone who can afford lobster and a pound of wild mushrooms need to be told how to write a shopping list? Do I really need to be instructed to use "good" mayonnaise? This isn't quite a book for the novice cook, and it doesn't have the simple-but-special recipes to satisfy those of us who read cookbooks the way that others read the daily newspaper (and as often, too).

If you're looking for a first Ina Garten cookbook, don't start with this one. If you're a big fan of her show (and honest, I am too) you'll be tempted to add this one to your collection. I'm sorry that I feel the need to suggest that you try to resist the urge.
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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ina and a cozy arm chair, November 11, 2006
This review is from: Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over Again (Hardcover)
I am going to start by saying that I have been a fan of Ina's for a few years now. What I have always loved about Ina is her easy going nature, her love of family and friends, and her uncanny ability to make even the simplest things seem elegant. Her recipes are almost always easy but delicious and it is a rare occasion when I stumble across one that wasn't sensational. She has become a trusted source for me for recipes and entertaining ideas. With all that being said, it is no surprise that I eagerly anticipated the release of her new book. It pains me to give Ina anything less than a 5 star rating, but I'm afraid this book has not quite delivered to my expectations.

My real disappointment lies in the lack of truly inspiring recipes. For a seasoned cook, many of her selections are horrible disappointments. For example, buttermilk mashed potatoes, not one but two versions of chicken salad, tomato feta salad, potato salad, blue cheese burgers, herbed basmati rice, omelet for two...if you have found your way into a kitchen from time to time, then you probably already know how to make these dishes. What's more, with such an abundance of simple recipes, this book seems oddly out of place in Ina's collection. Perhaps if this were her first it wouldn't feel so elementary, but after 4 wonderful cookbooks with many fabulous and often innovative recipes, this one just seems oddly uncharacteristic. This would be a great book for a beginner cook. Or if someone was new to Ina then I might recommend they buy this book first, but for us Ina vets, it feels like a step in the wrong direction. This is not to say that there aren't any noteworthy recipes. I, for one, am anxious to try her shrimp bisque, her ribollita, loin of pork with fennel, zucchini pancakes, seafood gratin and her coconut cake. But for the amount of recipes I will actually gain, this book sadly feels skimpy.

In Ina's defense however, she did name the book "Barefoot Contessa at Home" for a reason. If you sit down and read this book from cover to cover you will see that there is an underlying theme from which Ina never deviates...home. Right from the beginning Ina takes us on a journey of what "home" means to her, from the beginning days of her marriage when she struggled to create a comfortable home for her and her new husband, to the later years when she found herself at home in the Hamptons. In her characteristic easygoing charm, Ina is able to paint a whole different picture of the Hamptons than we are probably used to...not the stuffy, snobby Hamptons that we may think of, but a place of true community. She talks about the couple who inherited a farm and began raising the best chickens ever to grace a Sunday dinner table, and the family of fishermen that spans three generations. She describes a place steeped deeply in history and with a character all its own. Her guide to the Hamptons at the end of the book may seem odd at first, but it is, in fact, a beautiful testament to the place she calls home, and Ina is more than proud to share it with us. She also pays tribute to "home" in other areas of her book, like how to make your dinner guests feel at home or how to outfit and decorate your house to make it feel homey and comfortable...not only for you but for all the friends and family who will drop in from time to time. She even talks about how to design a kitchen so that it not only functions well but is inviting and comfortable for all who venture in it. In this context I suppose her recipes are not so far off from the true theme of her book. Home is the place we feel most comfortable of all and oftentimes the simplest of dishes are the ones that make us feel the warmest inside. If this is what Ina set out to do, then she has certainly succeeded. But if you are an Ina fan, then you should know before buying this book that you are not going to find the Ina you are used to. This is Ina at her most relaxed, curled up in a cozy armchair in her home in East Hampton. And she has invited you in to stay for a while. To quote Ina herself, "How bad is that?"
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Really like Ina, but don't think this is her best cookbook, October 31, 2006
This review is from: Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over Again (Hardcover)
If you are impressed with glossy beautiful photos and a wonderful layout from a top cookbook diva, this may be for you. However, I prefer Ina's previous cookbooks over this one. I did not find most of the recipes (BLT sandwich with avocado; chicken salad sandwich; tomato, mozzarella & pesto panini; peanut butter and jelly bars; caramel pecan sundaes; etc.) to be as inspiring as one would expect from this latest book.

Don't get me wrong, I really do enjoy Ina's previous cookbooks, her TV show (even her voice and demeaner can relax the most frustrated cook), her wonderful recipes and especially the ease in which she walks you through them. I just don't feel this is her best recipe collection.

Hopefully, Ina's next cookbook will have a few more inspiring and challenging recipes.

Overall, 5 stars for beauty; 5 stars for ease of use; but sadly only 3 stars for the recipes.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great recipes-But had to cut back on the sugar, July 19, 2007
By 
This review is from: Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over Again (Hardcover)
This is another wonderful cookbook from Ina. Great illustrations of the food and great stories of her personal life and what she thinks really makes a house a home, as well as tips on entertaining, even how to design your own kitchen. I also loved the section in the back that gives the addresses and locations in the Hamptons of all the places she shops at for food. A lot of these places are shown on her Food Network show as well.

My only problem with some of the recipes is the amount of sugar that is called for. I make the lemon yogurt cake a lot which calls for a cup of sugar. I cut it back to a little under 3/4 cups because in this recipe you have to make a sugar syrup glaze to pour over the cake while its still warm and then you still have to make the icing to go on top of that. I also used lowfat yogurt, she calls for whole milk yogurt, but I find with the lowfat yogurt and a little less sugar that it still tastes great.

Her Coconut Cake also tastes good in this book, but again, it called for 2 cups of sugar. I cut it back to 1 1/2 cups and the icing calls for a pound of confectioner's sugar, which is the size of 1 box, I cut it back to about 3/4 of the bag. The cake tasted just a good with a little less sugar but be warned this is one RICH cake! 5 eggs and 3/4 pound (3 sticks)of butter for the cake and 2 sticks of butter and 1 block of cream cheese for the icing! Forget counting your calories with this one, but it is delicious, especially if you love coconut.

The Guacamole Salad is delicious and refreshing. Perfect for the summer to serve guests or as a light meal for your family. The vinagrette, made of lime juice, minced garlic and olive oil (and salt and pepper) really make this salad delicious. It calls for cayenne pepper and two jalapenos. I didn't want mine too spicy so I omitted the cayenne pepper and just did one jalapeno. It still had great flavor.

This is a great book. Ina always puts a real personal touch in her cookbooks in the way she writes. Coupled with great recipes, she's got a great formula for a great publication.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great addition to my cookbook library!, May 17, 2007
By 
J. Jones (Bellingham, WA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over Again (Hardcover)
This was my first Barefoot Contessa cookbook and it will definitely not be my last. I admit, I'm a little skeptical of the "celebrity" chefs and their cookbooks, but Ina Garten really delivers with this collection of recipes. So far I've made the California BLT's, Mexican Chicken Soup, Pesto Pea Salad, Old Fashioned Potato Salad, Chicken Piccata, Herbed Basmati Rice, Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread, and her great Bloody Mary. All were easy to prepare and very delicious. I like that she encourages the use of fresh, good ingredients, and includes a color photo and background story with each recipe. Now if only I had her gorgeous house and amazing parties to go along with all these new recipes!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sumptuous feast for the eyes & tastebuds!, March 31, 2007
This review is from: Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over Again (Hardcover)
I have to admit that I have only recently begun watching Ina Garten on the Food Network, and I love her cooking show "The Barefoot Contessa". So, when I got this cookbook, I already knew that Ina's brand of cooking doesn't really fall into the healthy category as she uses a liberal amount of butter and salt, but as my grandma used to say, "That's what makes food taste so good!"...I do however tweak some of the recipes to make it healthier, and they are fine. I love the gorgeous pictures for the recipes, and the easy to prepare instructions...plus she has many interesting ideas for those of us who need to prepare a meal in a hurry, wish to entertain without the toil and sweat [dishes that can be prepared ahead of time], and the mouth-watering desserts are something else altogether! All in all, an excellent cookbook, with reliable recipes by a master chef!
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little disappointed, November 14, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over Again (Hardcover)
I pre-ordered this book sight unseen because I always enjoy Ina Garten's books, recipes and tv show. I am disappointed by the amount of sandwiches & salads. I found the unusal focus on summertime meals and cooking to be misplaced in a cookbook being issued in October. Some of the recipes like Summer Garden Pasta look delicious, but they really cannot be prepared until next summer. I did enjoy the notes scattered throughout the book.
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Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over Again
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