Wednesday, November 10, 2010

142 - Barefoot Contessa: How Easy Is That? Ina Garten














Ina Garten has always had the most eye appealing cookbooks.  In her latest book,  Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? There are 225 color photographs, and many recipes made me drool a bit just looking at them.  Some of the ones I jotted downs were an Old fashion Banana Cake, that one kind of reminds me of one that my mother made years ago; cranberry/apple cake;  a strawberry rhubarb crisp, easy Parmesan risotto, Lemon Chicken Breasts, and a wild rice salad with dried cranberries, oranges and pecans.

There were many other recipes that sounded great BUT....a description overview of the book says,  "How Easy is That? and...that you don't need special equipment, and won't need to stop at more than one grocery store to make wonderful dishes for your family and friends."

I don't know about your grocery store, but mine doesn't carry Stonewall Kitchen, Fox U-Bet,  or Barefoot Contessa products --not that I would buy them when I thought about trying a new recipe, so I would have to go to more than one store and to me --"That is not Easy".  Why McCann;'s quick oatmeal and not Quaker? The thing that I did not like about this cookbook is that Ina does too much product endorsing: LeCreuset, Williams Sonoma, and so many more.

Despite this, I did jot down a few recipes to try (not all were new but variations of ones I've seen before).  Although this book is terrific visually, I am glad that I borrowed it from the library instead of buying it.  You might want to do the same, and then decide if this is a keeper your collection.


RATING - 3.5/5 STARS
Library Book

24 comments:

  1. Maybe if you live in the Hamptons like she does you can buy those things all at one store.
    Now I will defend McCann as a superior product...but you have a point.

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  2. I don't like it when products and brands are endorsed like that in cookbooks. It's okay to suggest a high quality product, but when they get too specific it makes it too hard for everyone to find the product.

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  3. I wonder if she doesn't have a contract with various product companies. I saw this book at Costco last week but didn't buy it. Maybe I'll borrow the library book first. Thanks for a helpful review, Diane!

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  4. I also don't like a lot of name dropping in my cookbooks, and it would frustrate me to have to buy a special brand of oatmeal, when Quaker would also do the job. This book seems like it's made for a little bit of a more experienced or savvy cook, but some of those recipes do sound exciting!

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  5. Diane, I agree name dropping in a cookbook turns me off. The average person doesn't shop where Ina shops so why put that specific brand in the cookbook. I'm glad you found a few recipes you liked in the book though!

    By the way I saw your daughter's knitting book in a yarn shop on The Charlotte Yarn Crawl I was on!! I told the salesperson in the shop I had won that book from one of the authors Mom-she was very impressed!!

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  6. I love that a cookbook includes pictures, but seriously, what's the deal with that "easy" reference, but you have to go use a specific product?? Not so simple, I agree with you. Put the book on the shelf and maybe Google some of those fun recipes, and use "real people" products...!

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  7. Your review is excellent and honest, as it should be. I don't care for the name-dropping either; however, I generally ignore such and use what I feel would be a comparable product, one I can conveniently grab from the store I always shop in.

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  8. I love ina garten . . . she's the unreachable standard. But I still enjoy watching her cook. It's beautiful. I visit The Food Network online for her recipes so I probably would never buy her cook book.

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  9. I must say that I do not like cookbooks that require you to buy certain items-If I am making something I do not want to see in the recipe lemon cake mix from such and such a company. I have a book like this that I received as a wedding present and have never made anything out of it for this reason.

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  10. Oh, I love her stuff, but yeah, too much product pushing is irritating. In defense of McCann's, though, it's not just a superior product, it's manufactured differently and thus behaves differently in some recipes. It's the kind that people with celiac disease can actually eat.

    Sorry for the random sidenote, but I love trivia. LOL. I appreciate the review, and I think this is one that I'm going to borrow rather than buy.

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  11. Thanks for the tip. I was actually considering this one for the library, but not sure it would appeal to many of our patrons if ingredients and brands are difficult to obtain way out here.

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  12. I do like the cover...whipped cream, yum!

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  13. Having difficult to get ingredients sure sounds like an impediment to easy cooking! I have a lot of her cookbooks which has some wonderful recipes that are simplified versions of more time-consuming meals - those are recipes I love and use over and over again.

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  14. I was wondering how easy it would be, because when I have watched her show in the past her recipes usually don't seem to be the easiest.

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  15. thanks much for the review of this book.
    I am a huge Ina Garten fan so I would probably like it no matter what...
    About the product endorsements....they might be sponsors of her book? Or advertise on her show? The does use high quality products so that really wouldn't bother me.
    I use recipes as a road map....I usually only make a recipe exactly "as is" one time....then I change it up.
    I bet you could substitute Quaker Oats for the other oats mentioned but maybe they have slightly different consistencies? I do understand where you are coming from though and I have to agree.
    Thanks for reviewing this book, I enjoyed your review.

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  16. I do like to watch her show on the Food Network. Not so crazy about product endorsement, but I just ignore it. My very favorite to watch these days is Nigella Lawson :o)

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  17. I just want simple and easy to find ingredients. I do like her though.

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  18. Disappointing--a great easy cookbook would be wonderful. But I sure don't want to pay for an advertisement for other products.

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  19. Well, being the kind of cook I am and the place I live in - I would rather like cookbooks that use easy to find, normal ingredients. This will just be a picture book for me lol!

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  20. Yeah I don't have that stuff at my ghetto Safeway. Ina must have fancier stuff in the Hamptons. ;)

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  21. @Terri B....I LOVE Nigella too! I love how she has her late night "pig outs" too! lol

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  22. I love Ina Garten's show; it's my favorite on The Food Network. That said, I have to confess to wwatching the show but never trying any of her recipes, lol.
    The cookbooks I enjoy most tend to be heavy on the traditional, and have alot of text, as I enjoy actually reading them in addition to cooking/baking from them.

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  23. @TheBookGirl, I am kind of the same. I did make a brown rice and tomato recipe that she had a loooong time back and her almond bread pudding was to die for! I think I have only made two but they were totally worth it!

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  24. I haven't checked out this particular cookbook, but I am always thankful I can check out these types of cookbooks from the library before deciding on whether I want to purchase them or not. It sounds like a cookbook to look at for ideas more than anything? Thanks for the review! I love seeing cookbooks popping up on reviews!

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