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Barefoot Contessa Parties! Ideas and Recipes for Easy Parties That Are Really Fun Hardcover – March 27, 2001


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"A good party is not about the food," says Ina Garten, "it's about the people." That may be true, but her Barefoot Contessa Parties! will ensure that your next party is a fabulous one, regardless of your guest list. Garten, author of The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and a monthly column in Martha Stewart Living, has been catering since 1978. So who better to put together a collection of entertaining theme parties? She's included everything from drinks and hors d'oeuvres to dessert and coffee, as well as notes about what "surprises," atmospheres, venues, and table decorations lend themselves to each. Because she likes to attend her own parties (and who doesn't?), almost every recipe is make-ahead and remarkably uncomplicated.

From casual get-togethers, such as the Pizza Party--which includes recipes for Caesar Salad with Pancetta, California Pizzas that your guests can assemble themselves, and Ice-Cream Sodas--to the elegant Academy Awards dinner--where your guests will enjoy Raspberry Vodka, Rori's Potato Chips with Caviar Dip, Smoked Salmon with Mesclun, Filet of Beef with Gorgonzola Sauce, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Garlic Roasted Potatoes, and Chocolate Ganache Cake--Garten's parties are well thought out and well organized. Divided by season, you'll look forward to Summer's Outdoor Grill, which starts with Real Margaritas, followed by Endive and Avocado Salad, Grilled Herb Shrimp with Mango Salsa, Spaghettoni al Pesto, Tomato Fennel Salad, and Peach Raspberry Shortcakes for dessert. Autumn brings beautiful menus like the one where you cook with your guests and end up with a feast of Potato Pancakes with Caviar, Salad with Warm Goat Cheese, Rack of Lamb, Orzo with Roasted Vegetables, and Apple Crostata. Winter's menus bring soul-warming food, such as Seafood Chowder, Butternut Squash and Apple Soup, and a recipe for possibly the world's best Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Spring offers menus such as the Sunday Breakfast, with a main course of Roasted Asparagus with Scrambled Eggs, and the Jewish Holiday Party, with Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls.

Filled with funny party anecdotes, a bit of Ina Garten history, and clever hints and tips to help guarantee the success of these recipes, this collection, subtitled "Ideas and Recipes for Easy Parties That Are Really Fun," delivers on every count. --Leora Y. Bloom

From Publishers Weekly

Building on the success of The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, Garten presents 16 simple menus, yielding readers four fun and distinctive parties per season. True to her theory that the easiest parties are usually the best, Garten offers sound advice (e.g., prepare dishes in advance when possible so you can be a guest at your own party, and use strategy when building a guest list) and fare within the reach of any cook. Moreover, by suggesting many dishes that can be served at room temperature, she helps hosts minimize any last-minute frenzies. Brisket with Carrots and Onions requires very little supervision, and Chocolate Ganache Cake can be baked a week ahead and glazed the day it's served. Garten pumps up the flavor with such recipes as Potato Pancakes with Caviar and an irresistible vinaigrette-tossed salad topped by sliced onions baked with balsamic vinegar and then by crumbled Maytag blue cheese. Potables are as innocent as Tropical Smoothies and as potent as Raspberry Vodka and Real Margaritas. (Apr.)Forecast: Having already catapulted herself from her eponymous gourmet shop in East Hampton, N.Y., to the national stage, Garten is sure to secure the success of her second book with the added exposure of her own cooking show on the Food Network, regular appearances on Martha Stewart Living and her high-profile Web site (www.barefootcontessa.com).

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1 edition (March 27, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609606441
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609606445
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.8 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

103 of 105 people found the following review helpful By Julia K Smith on May 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Ina Garten has brought sanity and great food to entertaining at home.
The great thing about this book is the style everything is served and prepared in, though it uses a bit more fat than I would cook with for everyday meals. She is a friend of Martha Stewart but her recipes are very un-Martha like in preparation. Ina does not have a staff of hundreds to make everything just perfect for that dinner party for the magazine. This lady runs a business on her culinary skill - she does what works with a minimum amount of fuss - it tastes wonderful AND looks great.
I have received rave reviews for the Sour Cream Coffee Cake, the Happy Birthday! meal, and the Chocolate Ganache Cake. The Chocolate Cake went over big. It was so easy to make, it was an afterthought while putting together a meal for six at the very last minute.
You will not be disappointed with this cookbook.
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62 of 63 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had planned to try a few more recipes before writing a review. But after making and eating 2 of the Chocolate Chunk Cookies that are photographed on the back cover of "Barefoot Contessa Parties" it's apparent that anyone who is thinking of buying this book should quickly do so. The cookies are great, they remind me of the kind that were made by a company 'David's Cookies'. Only Ina's are better.Yummm. Or as my 6 year old son Alex has just said,"They are extremely super." Last night I made the Brisket recipe but had to exchange water plus ketshup for tomatoe juice - no time to get back to the store. The results were a major success. Alex who has always refused my previous brisket attempts devoured slice after slice. As did my husband and our 10 year old. Tonight will be the vegetable pie recipe. Ina has written an introduction that clearly states the best parties are the ones you can easily prepare for and then happily join your guests. There are four Chapters:Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Fall. Each chapter has 4 menu planners with a brief introduction story ( filled with tips and personal info.for each menu). Each of the various menu's have easy to prepare recipes that are up to Ina's superior standards. I plan on testing them all. Hope she writes the next one within a year. Personally I enjoy her positive attitude that is clear in each of her many and varied recipes.
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72 of 76 people found the following review helpful By J. Zazczyk on June 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I love to cook and bake but I run screaming from complicated recipes. This cookbook contains simple recipes for really great-tasting food. It is uncomplicated and the adjoining photographs are simple and elegant. Never have I found a cookbook where page after page I have found recipes that I actually want to try.
I made the ceasar salad the first day I bought the book, the sour cream coffee cake the second. Both turned out fantastic! Tomorrow I shall conquer the delicious-looking rugelach.
The book is touted for parties but don't let that fool you. These are great recipes for simple family dinners as well as large parties. The book is also sprinkled with Ina Garten's advice and past experiences.
I thank Ina Garten for this wonderful new cookbook - but moreover, my husband thanks her!
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Lara E. Steffen on May 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Ina Garten has it down to a science - but a very relaxed science, at that. She teaches you how to throw a dinner party, garden party, even a child's birthday party with maximum style and class, and minimum stress. I love this book. I love the recipes and ideas and have used many of them on different occasions - often mixing and matching from different sections. The book is divided into four seasons, which makes perfect sense when planning a party - because it makes life so much easier when you use what is seasonally available for recipes as well as planning seasonally appropriate venues and activities for the party - indoor vs. outdoor, what type of drinks to enjoy, etc. I can't say enough good things about this book - you need it in your cookbook collection. I loaned it to someone and missed it dearly for the several weeks it was gone. I even considered purchasing a second one - just in case.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover
It doesn't top her first book, but boy, it's close! My only complaint about the book is that it's a little hard to find the recipes by category (looking for an entree? you'll have to search under poultry, seafood, etc... in the index) so I give it 4 stars, not 5. However, there is no complaint about the recipes themselves! Just like in her first book, everything I've made from this has turned out beautifully. AND, as a bonus, that beautiful looking lemon cake pictured in the dessert trays from the first book, but sadly not listed as a recipe, is included in this book. Ina Garten is my hero! I only wish the Barefoot Contessa store wasn't on the other side of the country.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By rodboomboom HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I just love to read the intros to great cookbooks. They tell the story of the rest of the work. Here, what I never knew before about this great cook: how she came to the Barefoot Contessa: She loved to throw great parties!

Arranged around the four seasons, she provides four menus for events like Sunday breakfast, Canoe trip, Birthday, Christmas, Snow Day, Fireside Dinner.

Great solid recipes that are not too complicated or overpowering on the exotic ingredients nor techniques, just great party offerings such as: Perfect Poached Fruit;Carmel Chocolate Nut Ice Cream; Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Apples (this is soooo good!!); Fennel Soup Gratin; Vegetaple PotPie.

Couple this with lavish Clarkston Potter superb layout, writing and color photos, and advice on scheduling, decorating, invites, etc. and this is great work for you who like Ina enjoy feeding and entertaining others. Love your advice: Never seem like you're not cool about what's happening, even though it seems disastrous.
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