Review of “Barefoot Contessa At Home”

Garten’s fifth cookbook begins what I call “Quintessential Ina.” This was around the time I discovered and fell in love with her cooking show. And I think her best recipes stem from the next few books. The tagline “everyday recipes you’ll make over and over again” rings true for this book since Ina had finally settled into her target audience: untrained, home cooks.

“At Home” is a cookbook designed for the home chef. The recipes are easy and approachable, but still elegant and flavorful. The photography and narratives throughout are written in a conversational, approachable style that doesn’t come off as “highbrow.” Which was a problem in some of her other books.

Looking back, the style of photos in this cookbook remind me of Ree Drummond or Joanna Gaines’ cookbooks. They are based in the “home” environment with photos of the house itself and different rooms. Ina even offers information on how to make a grocery list in this book. Something that would never be found in the early days of Ina. Another section is entitled “the important dinner” (sic) which I think everyone can relate to. We’ve all had a dinner that was designed to impress. But have no fear! Ina is here to help you through it!

Some recipe highlights:

  1. Rib-eye steaks with cornmeal-fried onion rings
  2. Blue cheese coleslaw
  3. Honey White bread (can’t wait to try this one!)
  4. Summer Borscht
  5. Chicken with goat cheese and basil
  6. Broccolini & Balsamic vinaigrette
  7. Jalapeno cheddar cornbread
  8. Beatty’s Chocolate Cake
  9. Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars (which I made already! See here)
  10. Coconut Cake
  11. Panna Cotta with Balsamic strawberries
  12. Cranberry Orange Scones

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