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Barefoot Contessa Parties!: Ideas and Recipes for Easy Parties That Are Really Fun [Hardcover]

Ina Garten
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 27 2001
After more than twenty years of running Barefoot Contessa, the acclaimed specialty food store, Ina Garten published her first collection of recipes. The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook was an overnight sensation, but it's the kind of success that can only be grounded in years of experience. In it, Ina shared her ideas for familiar food but with outstanding flavor and -- most important of all -- recipes that really work.

Now, with Barefoot Contessa Parties! Ina shares secrets she has gleaned from her years not only as a caterer but as a dedicated party giver. The keyword here is fun. Ina's parties are easy to prepare and fun for everyone, including the host. Forget those boring Saturday-night dinners that just won't end. With Ina's advice, you're certain to have all your friends saying, "Wasn't that fun!"

Ina has packed Barefoot Contessa Parties! with plans for pulling off parties like a pro, stories about her own parties, and tips on assembling food (rather than cooking everything) and organizing like a caterer. In the spring you can invite your friends to a party where they all make their own pizzas. Come summer, it's into the garden for a lunch with grilled lamb and pita sandwiches that guests assemble themselves. In the autumn, when it's not Thanksgiving, Ina roasts a fresh turkey, which her friends enjoy with popovers and a creamy spinach gratin. And on a snowy winter's day, everyone is invited for a lunch buffet with seafood chowder and butternut squash and apple soup.

Ever since Ina published her first book, people write, e-mail, and stop her on the street to say how much they love the food. She's reached new heights here with recipes like sour cream coffee cake--the ultimate breakfast treat. Salads? The red lettuce, balsamic onions, and blue cheese; Chinese chicken salad; and panzanella may be the best you've ever tasted. Filet of beef is easy to make for a fancy dinner with oh-so-good gorgonzola sauce, or sliced into sandwiches and served with lobster rolls for a Superbowl party. And fans of The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook will be delighted to find the recipe for the Lemon Cake they drooled over but only saw pictured, right here in this book.

With so many great ideas and recipes in these pages for you to use, your friends will start to wonder why your parties are always so much fun.

Frequently Bought Together

Barefoot Contessa Parties!: Ideas and Recipes for Easy Parties That Are Really Fun + Barefoot Contessa Family Style: Easy Ideas and Recipes That Make Everyone Feel Like Family + Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over Again
Price For All Three: CDN$ 75.24

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Product Description

From Amazon

"A good party is not about the food," says Ina Garten, "it's about the people." That may be true, but her Barefoot Contessa Parties! will ensure that your next party is a fabulous one, regardless of your guest list. Garten, author of The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and a monthly column in Martha Stewart Living, has been catering since 1978. So who better to put together a collection of entertaining theme parties? She's included everything from drinks and hors d'oeuvres to dessert and coffee, as well as notes about what "surprises," atmospheres, venues, and table decorations lend themselves to each. Because she likes to attend her own parties (and who doesn't?), almost every recipe is make-ahead and remarkably uncomplicated.

From casual get-togethers, such as the Pizza Party--which includes recipes for Caesar Salad with Pancetta, California Pizzas that your guests can assemble themselves, and Ice-Cream Sodas--to the elegant Academy Awards dinner--where your guests will enjoy Raspberry Vodka, Rori's Potato Chips with Caviar Dip, Smoked Salmon with Mesclun, Filet of Beef with Gorgonzola Sauce, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Garlic Roasted Potatoes, and Chocolate Ganache Cake--Garten's parties are well thought out and well organized. Divided by season, you'll look forward to Summer's Outdoor Grill, which starts with Real Margaritas, followed by Endive and Avocado Salad, Grilled Herb Shrimp with Mango Salsa, Spaghettoni al Pesto, Tomato Fennel Salad, and Peach Raspberry Shortcakes for dessert. Autumn brings beautiful menus like the one where you cook with your guests and end up with a feast of Potato Pancakes with Caviar, Salad with Warm Goat Cheese, Rack of Lamb, Orzo with Roasted Vegetables, and Apple Crostata. Winter's menus bring soul-warming food, such as Seafood Chowder, Butternut Squash and Apple Soup, and a recipe for possibly the world's best Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Spring offers menus such as the Sunday Breakfast, with a main course of Roasted Asparagus with Scrambled Eggs, and the Jewish Holiday Party, with Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls.

Filled with funny party anecdotes, a bit of Ina Garten history, and clever hints and tips to help guarantee the success of these recipes, this collection, subtitled "Ideas and Recipes for Easy Parties That Are Really Fun," delivers on every count. --Leora Y. Bloom

From Publishers Weekly

Building on the success of The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, Garten presents 16 simple menus, yielding readers four fun and distinctive parties per season. True to her theory that the easiest parties are usually the best, Garten offers sound advice (e.g., prepare dishes in advance when possible so you can be a guest at your own party, and use strategy when building a guest list) and fare within the reach of any cook. Moreover, by suggesting many dishes that can be served at room temperature, she helps hosts minimize any last-minute frenzies. Brisket with Carrots and Onions requires very little supervision, and Chocolate Ganache Cake can be baked a week ahead and glazed the day it's served. Garten pumps up the flavor with such recipes as Potato Pancakes with Caviar and an irresistible vinaigrette-tossed salad topped by sliced onions baked with balsamic vinegar and then by crumbled Maytag blue cheese. Potables are as innocent as Tropical Smoothies and as potent as Raspberry Vodka and Real Margaritas. (Apr.)Forecast: Having already catapulted herself from her eponymous gourmet shop in East Hampton, N.Y., to the national stage, Garten is sure to secure the success of her second book with the added exposure of her own cooking show on the Food Network, regular appearances on Martha Stewart Living and her high-profile Web site (www.barefootcontessa.com).

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This is Ina Garten's second of three cookbooks and the one most closely patterned after the flagship work of her mentor, Martha Stewart. It presents ideas and recipes organized for small scale entertaining at home. As such it is no match for Stewart's 'Entertaining' volume, to which I would direct you if you need to plan any serious parties with more than eight guests.
Garten's first book was simply recipes from her catering business. They were probably the best she had. This book adds value to a simple collection of recipes by organizing courses into party menus designed for sixteen different family and close friend occasions. The third book seems to be composed of leftovers.
The choice of events to celebrate is a bit quirky in that traditional occasions such as Christmas, Graduation, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, Mardi Gras / Carnavale, and St. Patrick's Day are not included. Rather, ten out of the sixteen are 'moveable feasts' in that the menu is appropriate to just about any occasion. Some are limited by season such as 'Outdoor Grill' and 'Canoe Trip', but many are generic indoor excuses to have a good time, such as 'Sunday Breakfast', 'Pizza Party', and 'Fireside Dinner'.
Unlike Stewart's book, there is really not much serious advice on how to organize for parties. Much of it is common sense plus clever ideas for special events, such as the idea to pack picnic portions in Chinese takeout cartons.
Garten has the advantage of claiming with full justification that her recipes are all specifically developed and test to work in a small party environment, as she has been in the catering business doing just this thing for many years.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars you shouldn't believe your own success May 10 2001
By A Customer
First off, yes, I like Ina Garten's books--and her cooking. Most of the recipes here are simple; the food, satisfying. But this book is too enamored with its own success. Most egregious are the listed recipes that are not found in the book, but are simply referenced to her first book. Savvy marketing, no doubt. It makes sure you buy both books. But irritating, nonetheless. And there's just so much rank sloppiness going on. The party for twenty? Look at the yield in the recipes--some are for 6 people, some are for 8, others, more. So what do you do if you're indeed having twenty over? Someone, I think, just slapped together a bunch of recipes and thought, well, we're already a success. Why sweat the details?
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5.0 out of 5 stars As Ina Garten would say- FABULOUS Dec 2 2003
Ina garten is one of my favorite cookbook authors. Her writing is clear and concise and I can trust her recipes will always be good. A lot of people says she name drops and uses too many recipes from other peopple. But everyone knows that you can't come up with a recipe out of thin air. They are based on something else. She's just giving credit to the people on whom she based her recipes off of. Recipes in here include: Baked Virgina Ham, Butternut Squash and Apple Soup, assorted cookies, Rugelach, Strawberry Country Cake, Ceaser Sald with Pancetta, Pesto, Peach and Raspberry Shortcakes, Fennel Soup Gratin, and many other recipes. There are many recipes in this book that I like. I made the Grilled Herb Shrimp for a party of my mom's and it was edelicious. I'm a vegetarian, so I didn't eat them, but everyone raved, and I can tell their comments were sincere. Plus somebody asked me for the recipe, a true sign that it is very good. The Lemon Cake in here is also very good, and the orange variation in the Barefoot Contessa Family Style is my father's favorite cake. I also made the Cranberry Fruit Conserve for Thanksgiving and it was perfect. I didn't put the raisins and nuts in it though, it was optional, and I thought it wouldn't be that good in traditional cranberry sauce. She also introduced my mom and I to fennel. My mom never used it before, and she is quite the cook. I never used it either. So we tried it in the Vegetable Pot Pie. It was delcious! The crust was perfect, and the variety of vegetables was great. It was the perfect vegetarian meal for me. I can't wait to try more recipes.
Also, on a side note many people from her second book say they have trouble cooking at 500 degrees. We cleaned our oven and wiped it down before making the Penne with Five Cheeses from her third book(which we thought was delicious) no smoke at all. You just have to listen to her when she says to make sure your oven is really clean before cooking at 500 degrees. There shouldn't be a problem.
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5.0 out of 5 stars She is the Martha Stewart for Everyday People June 8 2003
This is my first book of hers, and I love it. I saw her a few times on the Food TV network and fell in love with her homey, down-to-earth style of cooking and entertaining. She has easy ideas and her food is delicious. I like her comments in her margarita recipe, not to use the expensive kind, but use the inexpensive type of tequila. She is my kind of lady with comments like this.
Her book is well illustrated with pictures of the recipes that are in this book. What I really enjoy is that the recipes are quality recipes that turn out very well. Some of my favorites that I have tried from this book are the apple crostata, which is a rustic apple pie that tastes devine. California pizzas, so much better than take out with fresh mozzarella, basil, and fresh tomatoes. Her chocolate chunk cookies will have everyone asking you for more.
I can't say enough nice things about this book, but I like what lies behind this book. Good food doesn't make the party, its the good company. You should spend your time and efforts with those that you love, and not be so exhausting when you entertain you can't enjoy yourself either. All of her recipes really fit this theory as they are pretty easy to put together, but taste like they came from a fancy restaruant.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I absolutely love all of Ina's books
I absolutely love all of Ina's books. I own many already, and plan to own them all someday. Her recipes are incredible, and usually they are quite easy to follow. Read more
Published 1 month ago by FundyGrl
3.0 out of 5 stars Alright not fabulous
This book is ok but really less than i was expecting, i much prefer 50$ dinner parties which i also ordered.
Published on July 30 2011 by C. Peterson
5.0 out of 5 stars In Ina's words...FABULOUS and What's not to like?
This volume is typical Ina: easy, delicious, wonderful, and guaranteed success. Although this book is not for catering to large crowds, the recipes can be easily multiplied. Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2006 by Brendan Tait
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
This cookbook is great to have in the kitchen. I've cooked several of the recipes and they've always turned out successfully! Read more
Published on March 23 2005 by angie
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Basic to Have
This cookbook is great to have in your collection. I've cooked from numerous recipes and they've always turned out successfully! Read more
Published on Jan. 18 2005
3.0 out of 5 stars More of a lifestyle than a cookbook, but fun to look through
This book has gorgeous photos and is fun, but it's not really designed for a regular person's life. Garten's idea of parties, which she writes in the introduction, are mostly small... Read more
Published on June 3 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful!
All of Ina Garten's books are great. Recipes are easy to follow, ingredients readily available, and dishes always get rave reviews. I use her recipes on an almost daily basis. Read more
Published on April 12 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Barefoot Contessa Parties!
This book is GREAT! I've made a number of the recipes and they've all been a big hit! My favorite is the orzo with roasted vegitables. Read more
Published on March 1 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars INA GARTEN IS THE WINNER
Published on Feb. 26 2004 by C. HANNA
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good boook!
What a terrific book, Barefoot Contessa! Like her, I throw many parties in my small Brooklyn apartment and have read this book. Read more
Published on Nov. 4 2003 by Maximilian Sancho
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