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