I’ve always liked Barefoot Contessa recipes and this cookbook was one that missed my radar. After looking through the recipes, reading some of the articles and recipes, I’m glad that I picked it up from the library. It was interesting to read how Ina got into cooking and to know that this is her 10th cookbook. I don’t think I have read all of them yet so I’ll need to check into that next. I liked her comment, “It doesn’t really matter what the occasion is – big or small – but it’s the connections that we have with people we love that nourish our souls. Entertaining isn’t just about making dinner parties. It’s about celebrating those connections and I think that’s what makes life worth living.”
In essence, I feel this cookbook is not for me. It recipes felt too fancy and/or the ingredients just didn’t hit my tastes. I found only a few recipes that I would actually make. The rest seemed to elaborate or had ingredients that I don’t care for. Dishes like Vanilla Rum Panna Cotta, Vanilla Cream Cheese Pound Cake, Lamb Stew with Spring Vegetables, Perfect Poached Lobster & Corn or Kasha Varnishkes with Wild Mushrooms are just a few of the recipes that were included in this book, that I realize I would never make. I will say though, that the pictures in the book look very appetizing. If I didn’t see and read the recipes, that are located on the opposite page of these pictures, I might be tempted just to try a sample of that dish.
This cookbook consists of 6 different categories: cocktails, soups, salads & lunch, dinner, vegetables & sides, bread & cheese, and finally dessert. The book begins with a thank you and an intro and wraps up with two different indexes, a list of Jeffrey’s all time favorite dinners (which could come from outside sources) and a resource page. All of her recipes have a picture attached to them and how many the recipe will serve. There is a short paragraph about the recipe before the ingredient list and the instructions are listed out in paragraph form. Ida does include some little suggestions and ideas on the margins of the recipes. There is no nutritional information provided.
I liked the layout of this book and the text fonts that were used. The book image inside and out is crisp and sharp and it doesn’t look cluttered. I wished there would have been more recipes that I liked though. 4 stars