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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 (59 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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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
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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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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3.0 out of 5 stars Alright not fabulous July 30 2011
This book is ok but really less than i was expecting, i much prefer 50$ dinner parties which i also ordered.
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5.0 out of 5 stars In Ina's words...FABULOUS and What's not to like? Feb. 22 2006
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. Her themed menus help anybody who is planning an event, yet doesn't know exactly want to serve. On the other hand, you can mix and match, and still be guaranteed success. This book is a must have for any Ina fan, as well as the beginner, intermediate, and experienced cook, as well as anybody who caters. There is something for everybody in this book, even the picky.
One of the biggest draws of this book is that Ina preaches that just because you are the host or hostess of the party, that doesn't mean you have to spend all the time in the kitchen. Most recipes are easily made ahead of time, and just prepped when guests arive or at serving time. This book allows you to throw a hugely successful party, while allowing you to be a "guest" at your own party.
Fabulous...what's not to like?
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5.0 out of 5 stars great book March 23 2005
By angie
This cookbook is great to have in the kitchen. I've cooked several of the recipes and they've always turned out successfully! Most of the recipes are easy to follow and taste great.In the same category of book I book Simple and Simply Delicious by Sylvie Rocher. Both of those book are great
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Basic to Have Jan. 18 2005
By A Customer
This cookbook is great to have in your collection. I've cooked from numerous recipes and they've always turned out successfully! The recipes are easy to follow and you are guaranteed results each time!
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By A Customer
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 gatherings. This means that the book isn't very helpful for larger groups.
There are some tips on organizing the party, but not as much I would have liked, such as a timeline of how when to prepare things. Of course, when you are only doing a small party this isn't as important, but even for the tea for 25 she doesn't tell you how you should store things or what you should make first and last.
My major complaint would probably be the cost of the recipes. Wow. This book is about how we might like to entertain our closest and dearest friends if we had a vacation house in the Hamptons and a BMW (oh wait...). So, really the book is about an ideal lifestyle most of us just wish we had.
It's a fun read and has some interesting recipe ideas, but is not all that practical.
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5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful! April 12 2004
By A Customer
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. Many great ideas for enteretaining also. All 3 books are must haves.
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