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Book and Giveaway: Barefoot Contessa: How Easy Is That?

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Posted by : nanglin, Tue, Nov 16 2010

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The Stats
Title: Barefoot Contessa: How Easy Is That?
Price: $40 CND
Availability: Major bookstores retailers

The Book
What can you say about Ina Garten that hasn't already been said? The woman is an institution; the stateswoman of food in many of our hearts and minds. How many cookbooks does our beloved Barefoot Contessa have to her name? Seven, including this her latest, Barefoot Contessa: How Easy is That? The title will make anyone familiar with her Food Network shows laugh a quiet chuckle as she's well-known to pepper her speech with the phrase (almost as much as she likes to instruct us to use the "good vanilla"). And really, who could imagine Ina putting out a cookbook that wasn't easy, or at the least, one that made it all appear so?

Not a trained chef by trade, Ina is still a highly experienced at-home cook deeply rooted in the classic French tradition (I have Barefoot in Paris at home and have made recipes from it in the past-I adore it). Her philosophy will always be easy recipes paired with simple techniques. Two years ago she came out with Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics (2008) and before that, Barefoot Contessa at Home (2006). A more cynical reviewer would say, her books are all the same, but I beg to differ with this viewpoint. You don't buy her books to see how she's reinvented herself because she never will. Instead, think of it as buying another installment of a series; the latest addition to a grandiose "Anthology de Ina" you're building one tome at a time (Encyclopedia Britannica should get on this gravy train!).

This book is all about saving you time and avoiding stress and is broken down into Cocktails, Starters, Lunch, Dinner, Vegetables and Desserts. Recipes I instantly added to my "make later" file included the Rum Raisin Tiramisu, the Easy Provencal Lamb and the Easy Cranberry and Apple Cake. The Roasted Pear and Apple Sauce really caught my eye for its versatility (Ina suggests serving it with savoury chicken or turkey for dinner, or warmed up and topped with ice cream for dessert-that's the kind of recipe I like to have in my arsenal).

Food Porn

Every recipe includes an image, but I find the photography in her previous book, Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics, just a little more enticing.

Final Analysis

You may like it if…

  • You're an Ina Garten fan of course!
  • You are a beginner cook or you're looking for simple recipe ideas
  • You don't want to wear your reading glasses to cook (the font size is bigger than a lot of the cookbooks coming across my desk lately)

You may not like it if…

  • You're more of an experimental cook
  • You prefer more advanced recipes

GIVEAWAY: I have a copy of Barefoot Contessa: How Easy is That? to giveaway. To be the lucky recipient, email blogATfoodnetworkDOTca the correct answer to the following question: Which recipe Barefoot Contessa cookbook do I have at home? Please see contest rulesThis contest is now closed. Congrats Kathy C. 

Booksappear Tuesdays.

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Posted: Tue, Nov 16 2010 by nanglin
Filed under: Books, Ina Garten

Get to know:Nadine Anglin

Howdy foodie friends!

Nadine Sharon Anglin here, Foodnetwork.ca Content Producer. I can't wait to finally meet all of you in our new digital home.

I'm familiar with a some of you from our blogs and social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Foodbuzz, but am looking forward to meeting many more! Hope to continue with all the great conversations and sharing of photos, videos and more :-D

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