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21 March 2011

Barefoot In Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make At Home, Ina Garten

I love French cuisine, and Ina Garten's 'Barefoot Contessa' is one of my favorite shows on Food Network.  I came across this cookbook while browsing the food section of my local library.

Cooking is one of my hobbies.  I love to make new dishes, and at 238 pages, Barefoot In Paris seemed a manageable guide to take on French food.  The cookbook is loaded with colorful photos, showcasing everything from finished dishes in great presentations to recommended kitchen equipment.  I enjoyed the stories throughout the text explaining where the recipe originated from and how Contessa has changed them.  A section on table setting was very helpful for using flowers, carrying a theme, and creating a relaxing atmosphere. 

Many of Ina's favorite dishes are very easy to prepare and use only a few ingredients.  In my mind, French cooking always loomed ahead as the ACME of ability (that I was absolutely NOT ready for), but after working through a number of the featured recipes, my confidence has grown by bounds.  Zucchini Gratin, Tomato Rice Pilaf, and Creme Anglaise are some of the dishes I've successfully made.  I attempted Boef Bourguignon, which was good, but honestly, this Broad thought it was not better than a pot roast slow cooked in my dutch over (and which only takes 10 minutes to throw on - and an occasional stir). 

There are a number of recipes I intend to test before returning it to the library.  Moroccan Couscous, Vegetable Tian, Elephant Ears, and a French Toast dessert make the list, as do Brioche bread, sauteed scallops, and a roasted lamb dish that makes my mouth water from looking at the picture. 

Barefoot In Paris is wonderfully done, and I would recommend it as a good choice for an introduction to French food and cooking.


  1. I love Ina Garten. Thank you for this book review. I will be going out to get it very soon. I can't wait to make her Boef Bourguignon...I watched her prepare it on her show 'Barefoot COntessa' But I do love my Pot Roast slow cooked in my dutch oven also!!!!

  2. I love cooking too. I've heard great things about Ina Garten. Was the food pretty butter heavy?


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