Friday, November 5, 2010

Barefoot Contessa - How Easy is That?

Truth - I love Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa. I own four of her earlier books - Back to Basics seems to be the only one I've written about - note to self to write about them soon. (See below for a taste). But I digress, and her intro to the latest book Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That? says it best...

" The book is all about saving you time and avoiding stress"

and it does it in spades, which is perfect given the holiday season is fast upon us. In fact, the first recipe I tried - my fingers stopped flipping and I ran to the kitchen, knowing I was going to be having a busy few days.
I made these Spicy Turkey Meatballs (hard to spot them covered with cheese, and not nearly as pretty as the photo in her book) the day before I needed them and the house smelled so wonderful as they baked in the oven, I was tempted to call everyone over just to get a whiff of the Heavenly aroma.

The really wonderful thing about all her cookbooks, and this one is no exception... is that all the recipes can be used as inspiration points. By that I mean, dishes like her roasted butternut squash are simple to prepare, stress free (leaving you time to do other more exacting things) and gorgeous to present to guests. The squash would be awesome with any root vegetables and some of your favorite herbs; garlic roasted cauliflower - sounds spectacular and would be delicious with broccoli or Brussels Sprouts or a combination of all three.

That said, as soon as I get myself to the liquor store, I'll be making the roasted shrimp with feta (secret ingredient - Pernod, hence the trip for booze). The photo is stunning, has me drooling and dying to try it out.

So that I could shar my latest treasure, and before I get busy cooking from it, here are a couple of recipes from earlier works to whet your appetite:

Roasted Vegetable Soup from BC Family Style
Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup from BC at Home

Bottom line: Add this book to your wish list... or better still head out to buy one today. It lives up to earlier books and then some.

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