Publisher Weekly - Best Books of 2012

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Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust (2012)

Written by Ina Garten

Millions of people love Ina Garten because she writes recipes that make home cooks look great; family and friends shower them with praise and yet the dishes couldn’t be simpler to prepare using ingredients found in any grocery store. In Barefoot Contessa Foolproof, the Food Network star takes easy a step further, sharing her secrets for pulling off deeply satisfying meals that have that “wow!” factor we all crave.

Start with delicious Dukes Cosmopolitans made with freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus Jalapeño Cheddar Crackers that everyone will devour. Lunches include Hot Smoked Salmon, Lobster & Potato Salad, and Easy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons, all featuring old-fashioned flavors with the volume turned up. Elegant Slow-Roasted Filet of Beef with Basil Parmesan Mayonnaise and show-stopping Seared Scallops & Potato Celery Root Purée are just two of the many fabulous dinner recipes. And your guests will always remember the desserts, from Sticky Toffee Date Cake with Bourbon Glaze to Salted Caramel Brownies.

For Ina, “foolproof” means more than just making one dish successfully; it’s also about planning a menu, including coordinating everything so it all gets to the table at the same time. In Barefoot Contessa Foolproof, Ina shows you how to make a game plan so everything is served hot while you keep your cool. There are notes throughout detailing where a recipe can go wrong to keep you on track, plus tips for making recipes in advance. It’s as though Ina is there in the kitchen with you guiding you every step of the way.

With 150 gorgeous color photographs and Ina’s invaluable tips, Barefoot Contessa Foolproof is a stunning yet infinitely practical cookbook that home cooks will turn to again and again. (Copyright © Clarkson Potter/Random House. All rights reserved.)

Source:  Penguin Random House Company.

In 1978, Ina Garten found herself working in the White House on nuclear energy policy and thinking, "There's got to be more to life than this!" She saw an ad for a small food store for sale in a place she'd never been - East Hampton, located at the end of Long Island. She and her husband drove up to investigate and made the owner an offer on the spot. Two months later she found herself the owner of Barefoot Contessa, a 400-sq.-ft. specialty food store with employees. 

Twenty years later, Barefoot Contessa grew to a 3,000-sq.-ft. food emporium where 20 cooks and bakers prepared the food, while 25 more employees worked in the store helping thousands of customers to choose breads, salads, dinners, and baked goods to take home. In 2001, she sold the store to her employees, but she continues her association with Barefoot Contessa in a variety of ways. 

In 1999, Garten wrote her first book, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, which was one of the best selling cookbooks of the year. The book shares the recipes that made her specialty food store a success. In 2001, she followed with best-selling Barefoot Contessa Parties!, in which she invites readers into her home and shares her ideas and recipes for having parties that are fun for all -- including the host. Her follow-up cookbook, Barefoot Contessa Family Style, contains easy recipes to make everyone feel like family. In 2004, Garten published her fourth book, Barefoot in Paris, in which she reinvents the classics of French cuisine, looking to her favorite spots in Paris to inspire an all-new collection of easy-to-prepare bistro fare.

Garten’s popular TV series, Barefoot Contessa, airs regularly on the Food Network. She has also been a columnist for Martha Stewart Living Magazine and her food and entertaining are regularly featured in O, the Oprah magazine.

She lives in East Hampton, New York and Southport, Connecticut with her husband Jeffrey, who is Dean of the Yale School of Management.

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