Wednesday, October 20, 2010

in the kitchen ......with Ina Garten again

Ina Garten and I have been cooking together for quite some time now. So when I saw that the Barefoot Contessa has a new cookbook How Easy Is That? being released by Clarkson Potter on October 26th.............I thought the timing for holiday gift giving was just about perfect. Good for me too, whenever the Barefoot Contessa comes along with new recipes and all those yummy photographs it  always sends me on a bit of a cooking blitz, a good wind-up to the holidays ahead. In my kitchen and during most of the week I follow simple food rules, nothing boxed, nothing white, only fresh vegetables and organic whenever possible. I am less afraid of real butter than I am of food additives and chemicals so Ina and I get along fine. More than fine actually, I use her recipes more than any other cookbook author when it comes to serving up casual and delicious dinners for family and friends. In my kitchen she always delivers exactly what she promised. 

Ina Garten has her own little section in the cookbook row of my pantry and as you can see by all the tabs (yes, the post-it notes should be more designer looking) all six books are well-used. My family knows the taste and smell of Maple Oatmeal Sconces, Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp, Spinach Gratin, Pan-fried Onion Dip with Home-made Potato Chips, Apple Crostata, Popovers, Turkey Meatloaf (the best), and everyone still requests those Outrageous Brownies. I still don't know which book has which favourite recipe but I just as soon go through them each time anyways. They always make me want to cook more.

Just look away if you are vegetarian. One of her new recipes is Balsamic Roasted Beef along with some other soon-to-be favourites, an oven-baked Risotto, Herb Baked Turkey Breast, and an easy dessert made with store-bought chocolate chip cookies, something like the vintage ice-box cake recipe from what I can tell. Garten says How Easy Is That? was written to be easier and more stress-free, I always thought all the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks were easy and stress-free so how good is that?

Top and bottom photo via House Beautiful
Middle photo by Sande Chase ~ A Gift Wrapped Life


  1. Oh Sande,
    That balsamic roasted beef looks so good !!.....I think that I watch more cookery programmes lately....we have many and, we also get The Barefoot Contessa and I really enjoy her programmes. She is so likeable and feels like your best friend. I haven't got any of her cookery books but think that I will see if I can get one now. XXXX

  2. Now I am REALLY hungry Sande dear. Thanks for posting about Ina's great new book. I come from a family of foodies & I can't think one of us who would not jump for joy being gifted this gem.

    Hope you are well my friend?

    Cheers xo xo

  3. I am a fan too! I have all of her cookbooks and am eagerly awaiting Tuesday. Can't wait to see what she's come up with.

  4. I too adore her! I love her simple fresh approach and have nearly all of her cookbooks. Some of our weekly regulars come straight from her! She is also great for helping through together meal ideas - something I occasionally really appreciate!

  5. Well I have to say that you and I are both in great company in the kitchen! You with Ina & me with Sarabeth!
    I love,love,love all of her cookbooks and mine are stuffed with sticky notes too!
    Sande thanks so much for telling me about Ina's latest addition. Just in time for the holidays you betcha!
    xo Lisa

  6. I also love, love, love Ina! One can never go wrong with her recipes!! A favorite here is coq-au-vin and that wonderful dark chocolate bark in the "Back to Basics" book. I was fortunate enough to meet her at a book signing 2 years ago, and Ina is as warm and friendly in person as she is on the show. A delight!!

  7. I love to watch her show and have made several of the recipes I've seen there. I just realized that with all my cookbooks, I don't have one of hers. I may have to check out that new one!

  8. Love her! Wouldn't it be fun to hang out and cook with her? Every Ina recipe I've ever made has come out beautifully. And her new book would, indeed, make a perfect Christmas gift! xo Gigi

  9. Dearest Sande,

    Now THAT is a timely and valuable information! A gift that keeps on giving... Very well said in this blog.

    Have a great remainder of the week and sunny greetings from Georgia,


  10. Oh yum .. hey, I love the title of the book, just right for me :)

  11. Hi Sande ~

    This post reminded me that I loaned a friend my Back to Basics and it has never been returned! Well, that's a problem!

    Love Ina's recipes, and I can never get enough of the lemon risotto!


  12. This is EXACTLY what I need. I love to read the Contessa's cookbooks, but, when it comes to execution, easy is right up my alley! Little early Christmas gift for myself, I think. Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

  13. Vegetarian? Moi? Never! :-D That beef looks very good and I love cook books. I've never heard of Ina, maybe I need to "check her out".

    Thanks for your lovely comment on Joana's illustrations. I think she's very talented and really love her drawings, so it's only fair to promote that...

    Have a lovely end of week, Love from London x

  14. Sande,
    Thank you so much for recommending the novel 'Sarah's key'....I actually bought both books from 'The Red Wheelbarrow' here in Paris and have already read both of them....but Sarah's key I just couldn't put down.....even with Paris at my doorstep!
    A wonderful novel....thanks so much!
    Linda x

  15. Hello Sande, I best order those pronto, I always need help in the kitchen......I just ordered your last recommendations and am saving them for next week's reading.....can't wait, xv.

  16. Sande: You know, I've never tried any of her books or recipes...I got hooked on "Silver Palate" many years ago and they have become my "go to" source. So now I will try Ina!
    And, I just downloaded "Sarah's Key" to my Kindle for trip to San Francisco tomorrow. Thanks for that recommendation!

  17. That balsamic roasted beef looks so good we watch her show every Sunday and off to the kitchen to try her tasty recipes. Love your blog,your ideas,the atmosphere you created of total enjoyment in her.Also joined your growing list of admirers to keep up with your latest posts.

  18. Love Ina and her recipes! What a gift is coming out right on my birthday! I'll have to buy it for myself.


Your comments are such a lovely addition to my day. Thank you.


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