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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER For the first time, trusted and beloved cookbook author Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, answers the number one question she receives from cooks: Can I make it ahead? If you’ve ever found yourself stuck in front of the stove at your own party, scrambling to get everything to the table at just the right moment, Ina is here to let you in on her s #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER For the first time, trusted and beloved cookbook author Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, answers the number one question she receives from cooks: Can I make it ahead? If you’ve ever found yourself stuck in front of the stove at your own party, scrambling to get everything to the table at just the right moment, Ina is here to let you in on her secrets! Thanks to twenty years of running a specialty food store and fifteen years writing cookbooks, she has learned exactly which dishes you can prep, assemble, or cook ahead of time. Whether you’re hosting a party or simply making dinner on a hectic weeknight, Ina gives you lots of amazing recipes that taste just as good—or even better!—when they’re made in advance. In Make It Ahead, each recipe includes clear instructions for what you can do ahead of time, and how far in advance, so you can cook with confidence and eliminate last-minute surprises. Make a pitcher of Summer Rosé Sangria filled with red berries, let it chill overnight for the flavors to develop, and you have a delicious drink to offer your friends the minute they arrive. Simmer a pot of Wild Mushroom & Farro Soup, enjoy a bowl for lunch, and freeze the rest for a chilly evening. You can prep the kale, Brussels sprouts, and lemon vinaigrette for Winter Slaw ahead of time and simply toss them together before serving. Assemble French Chicken Pot Pies filled with artichokes and fresh tarragon a day in advance and then pop them in the oven half an hour before dinner. And for dessert, everyone needs the recipe for Ina’s Decadent (gluten-free!) Chocolate Cake topped with Make-Ahead Whipped Cream. Ina also includes recipes for the biggest cooking day of the year—Thanksgiving! Her Ultimate Make-Ahead Roast Turkey and Gravy with Onions & Sage may just change your life. With beautiful photographs and hundreds of invaluable make-ahead tips, this is your new go-to guide for preparing meals that are stress-free yet filled with those fabulously satisfying flavors that you have come to expect from the Barefoot Contessa.


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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER For the first time, trusted and beloved cookbook author Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, answers the number one question she receives from cooks: Can I make it ahead? If you’ve ever found yourself stuck in front of the stove at your own party, scrambling to get everything to the table at just the right moment, Ina is here to let you in on her s #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER For the first time, trusted and beloved cookbook author Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, answers the number one question she receives from cooks: Can I make it ahead? If you’ve ever found yourself stuck in front of the stove at your own party, scrambling to get everything to the table at just the right moment, Ina is here to let you in on her secrets! Thanks to twenty years of running a specialty food store and fifteen years writing cookbooks, she has learned exactly which dishes you can prep, assemble, or cook ahead of time. Whether you’re hosting a party or simply making dinner on a hectic weeknight, Ina gives you lots of amazing recipes that taste just as good—or even better!—when they’re made in advance. In Make It Ahead, each recipe includes clear instructions for what you can do ahead of time, and how far in advance, so you can cook with confidence and eliminate last-minute surprises. Make a pitcher of Summer Rosé Sangria filled with red berries, let it chill overnight for the flavors to develop, and you have a delicious drink to offer your friends the minute they arrive. Simmer a pot of Wild Mushroom & Farro Soup, enjoy a bowl for lunch, and freeze the rest for a chilly evening. You can prep the kale, Brussels sprouts, and lemon vinaigrette for Winter Slaw ahead of time and simply toss them together before serving. Assemble French Chicken Pot Pies filled with artichokes and fresh tarragon a day in advance and then pop them in the oven half an hour before dinner. And for dessert, everyone needs the recipe for Ina’s Decadent (gluten-free!) Chocolate Cake topped with Make-Ahead Whipped Cream. Ina also includes recipes for the biggest cooking day of the year—Thanksgiving! Her Ultimate Make-Ahead Roast Turkey and Gravy with Onions & Sage may just change your life. With beautiful photographs and hundreds of invaluable make-ahead tips, this is your new go-to guide for preparing meals that are stress-free yet filled with those fabulously satisfying flavors that you have come to expect from the Barefoot Contessa.

30 review for Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Kay

    BTW, if I read a cookbook, I only count it if I've made several recipes. I made Ina's Lemon Poppyseed Cake last night - for tonight's dinner. It turned out delicious (a couple crumbs fell off, so I tasted it). I took a pic, because my BFF bought me a new bundt cake pan from Williams-Sonoma and wanted to see how the design impression turned out. BTW, if I read a cookbook, I only count it if I've made several recipes. I made Ina's Lemon Poppyseed Cake last night - for tonight's dinner. It turned out delicious (a couple crumbs fell off, so I tasted it). I took a pic, because my BFF bought me a new bundt cake pan from Williams-Sonoma and wanted to see how the design impression turned out.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Darth J

    You guys know Ina Garten is my spirit animal, right? I love everything about her; from her Hamptons home to her name that sounds suspiciously like an Iron Butterfly song. When her show is on, I can very rarely even. What can I say? This broad is classy and I want to be one of her best friends that she sends to the store to pick up wine or some salmon from Loaves and Fishes while her husband is away (again). But I'd somehow mess her order up and bring in the wrong ingredient... LOL JK, I wouldn't, I' You guys know Ina Garten is my spirit animal, right? I love everything about her; from her Hamptons home to her name that sounds suspiciously like an Iron Butterfly song. When her show is on, I can very rarely even. What can I say? This broad is classy and I want to be one of her best friends that she sends to the store to pick up wine or some salmon from Loaves and Fishes while her husband is away (again). But I'd somehow mess her order up and bring in the wrong ingredient... LOL JK, I wouldn't, I'm perf so the order would be on point. Unlike the rest of you basics... I'm a big fan of make ahead meals because I like to cook but I want to enjoy myself when I entertain instead of pulling my hair out the day of the event. There are some interesting recipes I've seen in this book that I'd like to try. But if you're not in the mood to cook, store-bought is fine...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Judith E

    Run! Preheat your oven. Whip up the Tres Leches Cake with Berries. Serve to your guests and bask in their accolades. The cake is even better the 2nd or 3rd day, if there’s any left. If you don’t have any of Ina’s cookbooks, these are some of her solid and easy recipes, all good to prepare in advance of company’s arrival.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Catharine B

    Reading through the recipes, there are so many familiarities from her other cookbooks. I'm certain the recipes are top notch, however there is little to no new ground here. Changing up bulgar wheat to quinoa tabbouleh is not a new recipe, but a small change. I could not recommend this cookbook to those who already own her other winners.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Laurie Walker

    Received this as a Christmas gift ... can't wait to try the stuffed zucchini. My kids won't like it, but who cares?

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kristie

    I read this cookbook because it was a Goodreads Choice Awards winner and I thought it was ok. There weren't too many recipes that I would make, though a few of the desserts looked delicious. I found the few meals that looked interesting to me were too fatty/heavy for me or I already had a similar recipe that I think is better. There were little make ahead tips, but I didn't think there wasn't anything special about that part either. Maybe the issue here is partly because I've been cooking for a I read this cookbook because it was a Goodreads Choice Awards winner and I thought it was ok. There weren't too many recipes that I would make, though a few of the desserts looked delicious. I found the few meals that looked interesting to me were too fatty/heavy for me or I already had a similar recipe that I think is better. There were little make ahead tips, but I didn't think there wasn't anything special about that part either. Maybe the issue here is partly because I've been cooking for a while, but I was expecting something different. Basically, I was looking for ideas for meals that I could prep on the weekend, then pop in the oven on the day we want to eat it. What I got was, you can prep this cake the day before and it will last 24 hours on your counter. That's not really helpful for me. My opinion is that it is a pretty average cookbook. Not one I would recommend, but if you love it great.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Trish Goodwin

    Don't get me wrong, I am a big Ina fan, however this book was so disappointing! There were quite a few recipes from previous BC cookbooks, just with some footnotes at the end on how to "make it ahead". Then there were some recipes (like a salad, for example) where the make it ahead notes were basically, "prep and wash the salad greens; make the dressing; refrigerate separately and toss together right before serving". Really? Anyone who cooks already knows that. There were also a few recipes that Don't get me wrong, I am a big Ina fan, however this book was so disappointing! There were quite a few recipes from previous BC cookbooks, just with some footnotes at the end on how to "make it ahead". Then there were some recipes (like a salad, for example) where the make it ahead notes were basically, "prep and wash the salad greens; make the dressing; refrigerate separately and toss together right before serving". Really? Anyone who cooks already knows that. There were also a few recipes that looked downright unappetizing. No wow factor at all. Glad I got a library copy and didn't buy it myself.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Debby

    I just read this book from cover to cover, and I'm itching to get into the kitchen and make a lot of these recipes. This book delivered more than I had hoped for. The first thing that makes me fall in-love with a cookbook are pictures. This book has them, as in a gorgeous photo of each and every recipe. The reason I'm such a fan of Ina Garten is that she makes fancy looking food, that is actually quite simple. Of course, it's not processed meals, that you microwave. She's cooking from scratch, b I just read this book from cover to cover, and I'm itching to get into the kitchen and make a lot of these recipes. This book delivered more than I had hoped for. The first thing that makes me fall in-love with a cookbook are pictures. This book has them, as in a gorgeous photo of each and every recipe. The reason I'm such a fan of Ina Garten is that she makes fancy looking food, that is actually quite simple. Of course, it's not processed meals, that you microwave. She's cooking from scratch, but I find her recipes to be user-friendly, and always successful. Sure, some of her ingredients might be on the pricey side (like a 4-5 pound beef tenderloin), but not all of her recipes are super expensive. What appeals to me about Ina's recipes is that many of them look healthy, colorful and I want to dive right into a dish of whatever the recipe photo looks like. This book gives great tips on how to prepare recipes ahead of time. We're not talking spending two days of making freezer meals. Ina's approach is how to prepare dishes just enough so that when company arrives, it's a matter of heating, baking or serving some dishes at room temperature. Some recipes taste even better, when left for a few hours (or a day) for all the flavors to marry. We enjoy entertaining, but sometimes I wear myself out (yes, I am can be a perfectionist), and I know this book will become my new best cooking/baking friend. In the cocktail section, my eyes locked onto a beautiful Greeke mezze Thyme Roasted Red Pepper plate. It's totally doable and a whole lot more impressive than chip and dip. The Summer Rose' Sangria looks like something I'd be proud to serve guests. For starters, I zeroed in on making the Caesar Salad with Blue Cheese & Bacon (a deconstructed version, if you will) The Cauliflower and Celery Root soup looks awesome. I want to make practically all of the starters, such as Spanish Tapas & Peppers, Tomatoes and Burrata, Zucchini Basil Soup. For lunch, I'll take two servings of the Ham & Leek Empenadas. They look simple to prepare and undoubtedly they are very flavorful. The dinner recipes made me so hungry and I've bookmarked many of them. The first one I'm making for a small dinner party will be the Easy Coquilles Saint Jacques, because I adore scallops. The French Chicken Pot Pies will be a perfect way to use my garden tarragon herbs. There's so much! Grilled New York Strip steaks, Herbed Pork Tenderloins with Apple Chutney, Make-Ahead Roast Turkey and Gravy, Moroccan Lamb Tagine, Pastitsio and that mouth-watering photo of the Summer Filet of Beef with Bearnaise Sauce... be still my heart. The sides dishes are awesome, and I already see a couple that will be part of my Thanksgiving feast: Carrot & Cauliflower Puree, Leek & Artichoke Bread Pudding (instead of stuffing, which I don't like), Peas & Pancetta, Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes. The Spinach & Ricotta Noodle Pudding looks fabulous. The desserts look decadent and mouth-watering, included a gluten free chocolate cake. I'll take two slices of the chocolate cake with Mocha frosting, please. For Fall, I must make the fresh Apple Spice Cake. There's Fresh Blueberry Pie, Lemon Poppy Seed cake, and whoa, a Make-Ahead Zabaglione with Amaretti. I'm so there! There's so much more, like Skillet brownies and Tri-Berry crumbles. The breakfast section didn't disappoint, either. The Mini Italian Frittatas look fabulous, and I'd love to try the Overnight Belgian Waffles. Raspberry Baked French toast... and more. Yes, I did read the whole book, and now I need to prioritize where to start. Ina Garten, you did it again. I have no doubt I'll cook and bake my way through here, and I look forward to sitting down with my dinner guests feeling as relaxed as she says her tips will help me to be. Great cookbook!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I love the kind of week I have if I spend all day Sunday cooking. It just makes everything easier for the week ahead. So it makes sense that I would want to read this cookbook. Plus it is Ina Garten and I love her. I have several of her recipes in my cooking rotation and they are crowd pleasers. And (for the most part) I did like this cookbook but there were a few recipes in it that were featured in her other cookbooks. So that was disappointing. Also, some of the "make it ahead" recipes could o I love the kind of week I have if I spend all day Sunday cooking. It just makes everything easier for the week ahead. So it makes sense that I would want to read this cookbook. Plus it is Ina Garten and I love her. I have several of her recipes in my cooking rotation and they are crowd pleasers. And (for the most part) I did like this cookbook but there were a few recipes in it that were featured in her other cookbooks. So that was disappointing. Also, some of the "make it ahead" recipes could only be made ahead by hours. The pictures, style, and layout were great as always but I do not think I will be adding this to my cookbook collection.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    The first in a series of books I'm checking out from the library in an effort to learn more about make-ahead cooking, aka "meal prep". It's a cooking philosophy that appeals to me, someone who doesn't cook much at the moment, but loves leftovers and would like to have more varied meals at home and to take to work. I have a bit more time in my schedule recently, but still need to take meals to work, sometimes even two meals per day depending on my shift. And I'm getting a little tired of the usua The first in a series of books I'm checking out from the library in an effort to learn more about make-ahead cooking, aka "meal prep". It's a cooking philosophy that appeals to me, someone who doesn't cook much at the moment, but loves leftovers and would like to have more varied meals at home and to take to work. I have a bit more time in my schedule recently, but still need to take meals to work, sometimes even two meals per day depending on my shift. And I'm getting a little tired of the usual bagel & cream cheese! This is also my first Ina Garten cookbook experience, and I mostly know her from being referenced on the TV show Gilmore Girls. I found that the book barely focused on the practices of making meals ahead, and had a minimum of tips on how to properly prep and store. As she states in the introduction, the book focuses more on meals that are better when you make them ahead. The book is formatted so the recipe reads as one you'd make day-of, with little tips in the corner for how to modify and make-ahead. I can tell she's a very expert cook, but it wasn't quite what I was looking for. Many of the recipes have ingredients I didn't even recognize by name, or wouldn't use for any other recipe. I do want to broaden my food horizons, but by keeping things relatively simple and familiar - more like my mom's wonderful home cooking I grew up with and still experience on a weekly basis on family dinner night. I did find a few recipes to copy down and keep, modify for more regular use, or even just try once because it sounded so good. Many of the dishes were appealing and something I would order in a restaurant, but not something I'd pick to make on my own and add to my list of stand-bys. I also have to admit that the majority of recipes I copied (more like took photos of with my iPad) were from the dessert section... :)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    I've made a few of the recipes and they are good, but I find Ina Garten a pretentious host, and that comes through in the writing of this cookbook. Almost every recipe calls for "good" olive oil. Thanks, Ina. I wouldn't want to make a mistake and accidentally put in the bad olive oil I keep on hand for other recipes that don't make that determination. One of her recipes is for salt and pepper biscuits. She borrowed the recipe for the biscuits from a friend and then "added a twist" by adding salt I've made a few of the recipes and they are good, but I find Ina Garten a pretentious host, and that comes through in the writing of this cookbook. Almost every recipe calls for "good" olive oil. Thanks, Ina. I wouldn't want to make a mistake and accidentally put in the bad olive oil I keep on hand for other recipes that don't make that determination. One of her recipes is for salt and pepper biscuits. She borrowed the recipe for the biscuits from a friend and then "added a twist" by adding salt and pepper to it--acting like this is the greatest idea in the world that only she, the Barefoot Contessa, could have possibly thought of. Also, several of her "make ahead" recommendations aren't really that helpful. Part of the reason why I need to make things ahead is because I don't have a lot of oven space. If almost everything can be "made ahead" but then needs to be warmed/baked in the oven before you are ready to serve it, that defeats the purpose. I would say buy it for the quality of the recipes on their own, not for the "make ahead" gimmick. The leek and artichoke bread pudding is particularly delicious.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lorraine

    Of course, I went right to the desserts' section and found some terrific chocolate ones that can be made ahead! Excellent! The author includes make ahead recipes for lunch, dinner, veggies, breakfast, and as I have already mentioned, desserts! She also offers 'make-ahead menus'. Everything anyone would need to make a meal ahead to allow the hostess time to spend with her guests! Absolutely great!!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    When I read about this book in Martha's magazine I got the impression it was just making things ahead for Thanksgiving, but it's for all seasons. I love the menu suggestions at the end, but was annoyed that some recommended were from her other cookbooks. Don't think it will be a go-to cookbook, but will help with Thanksgiving and future parties.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Starasia

    Every single recipe has a mouth-watering, full page, color photo. That is a must-have in a cookbook. I have already made one recipe, and it was delicious. I cannot wait to try the rest. She also includes awesome tips for making things ahead of time, the key to cooking for a crowd and still being able to enjoy yourself at the party!

  15. 4 out of 5

    H

    Beautiful photos but I wouldn't make any of this stuff. A lot of recipes have kale or something obscure or some weird cheese as ingredients. Also, THREE chickens to make a stock? That's a lot of chickens! Those of us with kids can't get to the grocery store every day, so we do have to use our freezers for more than stock and ice cream and something called "granita"

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

    As with the last time I read a Barefoot Contessa cookbook, I found the recipe selection shockingly ordinary. Most of Garten's contributions don't give me any special sense of excitement; they're variations on dishes any experienced cook has made a half a dozen times. I'm also surprised at how often her recipes are an attributed riff of someone else's work, never mind how pretentious the anecdotes and directions can be. That being said, the book is full of pictures, which I love. The production qu As with the last time I read a Barefoot Contessa cookbook, I found the recipe selection shockingly ordinary. Most of Garten's contributions don't give me any special sense of excitement; they're variations on dishes any experienced cook has made a half a dozen times. I'm also surprised at how often her recipes are an attributed riff of someone else's work, never mind how pretentious the anecdotes and directions can be. That being said, the book is full of pictures, which I love. The production quality, breadth of recipes and accessibility are very good. To my surprise, the vegetables section was my favorite area, which was a nice change. Lastly, if you were actually looking for recipes to make ahead, prepare to be disappointed. I was expecting things you could prepare days in advance. Many of the recipes cite mere hours. If I had the time to prepare my cake in the middle of the day, I wouldn't be worrying about this party in the first place, Ina. Overall a good middle of the road cookbook but given the branding, I expected more originality and it falls way short of the mark of its apparent intention to "Make It Ahead".

  17. 5 out of 5

    Karin Katherine

    I am a huge fan of the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks and after going through the book I have flagged MANY recipes to try, which is what you want when buying a cookbook. I like that there are great photos for every recipe and the instructions and ingredients are not overly complicated. The name is a little bit deceiving however. This is a cookbook of recipes with a tip on how you could make it ahead. About one line in the corner of recipe page. This isn't a cookbook on how to stock up your freezer or I am a huge fan of the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks and after going through the book I have flagged MANY recipes to try, which is what you want when buying a cookbook. I like that there are great photos for every recipe and the instructions and ingredients are not overly complicated. The name is a little bit deceiving however. This is a cookbook of recipes with a tip on how you could make it ahead. About one line in the corner of recipe page. This isn't a cookbook on how to stock up your freezer or fridge with meals. Some recipes can only be made ahead by 3 hours! Preparing Thanksgiving dinner has taught me how to figure out to Oreo recipes ahead of time but if you are struggling the tips would be useful to you. I found them to be obvious. The recipes look incredible though and I can't wait to get started trying them!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    Reading cookbooks and trying the recipes is one of my favorite pleasures. (I realize I am a nerd) I borrowed this from my local library, but have now added it to my "gotta have it" list. I love a cookbook with beautiful fresh, healthy ingredients, vivid photos and good instructions. This one fits the bill. A couple of recipes have already been made in my kitchen and they were a big success and will remain part of my repetoire. Many people have noted that this is a repeat of recipes from other books Reading cookbooks and trying the recipes is one of my favorite pleasures. (I realize I am a nerd) I borrowed this from my local library, but have now added it to my "gotta have it" list. I love a cookbook with beautiful fresh, healthy ingredients, vivid photos and good instructions. This one fits the bill. A couple of recipes have already been made in my kitchen and they were a big success and will remain part of my repetoire. Many people have noted that this is a repeat of recipes from other books, but since I don't own any, it isn't a factor.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    This cookbook is typical Barefoot Contessa, with reasonably simple recipes and beautiful photos. This is not a make-ahead cookbook for family casseroles, as I had anticipated. It is more for a cook who wants to entertain on a small scale (10 adults, or less), and plans to prep/cook elements of the meal beforehand. Each recipe has a handy MAKE IT AHEAD description in the margin, so you can quickly understand how it fits in planning/prep plan. That is an excellent feature of the cookbook.

  20. 4 out of 5

    marissa sammy

    I'll be honest, Ina Garten's show aggravates me no end: the never-ending mentions of the Hamptons! The fawning over Geoffrey! That self-conscious mom laugh! The whiff of new money that she's clearly embarrassed about! But hot damn, the recipes I've made of hers have always turned out beautifully, and the cookbooks are a treat to read. Not as dense and opulent as Nigella's to be sure, but then I probably wouldn't try to cook any Nigella recipes. Ina might be that aunt you always roll your eyes at I'll be honest, Ina Garten's show aggravates me no end: the never-ending mentions of the Hamptons! The fawning over Geoffrey! That self-conscious mom laugh! The whiff of new money that she's clearly embarrassed about! But hot damn, the recipes I've made of hers have always turned out beautifully, and the cookbooks are a treat to read. Not as dense and opulent as Nigella's to be sure, but then I probably wouldn't try to cook any Nigella recipes. Ina might be that aunt you always roll your eyes at because she refers to any recipe as "MY so-and-so", but her food is much more achievable.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    I've been complaining about recipes that end with "serve immediately" for years, so I love that cookbook authors are finally realizing that most cooks don't cook right up until the last minute. I love all her tips and ideas packed into this book. My only complaint is that I don't love enough of these recipes to want to try them. I would love for her to go back and update her older cookbooks (which I love) to show how they can be made and stored.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    I like Ina's sytle and cooking methods. This book along with superb recipes is infused with helpful tips that remove stress from cooking for a group and adds fun and enjoyment back into the recipe. For example, have you ever thought of serving your thanksgiving turkey pre-sliced and over a bed of hot gravy to keep the turkey warm and moist? I pinned several recipes from this book on Pinterest along with some others of Ina's.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Not my favorite Ina book. I was really looking forward to a fabulous collection of recipes that could be made in advance, but sadly, I was disappointed. The starters were things I would pick up at the deli, way too many meat dishes for my liking. Parties! is still one of my all-time favorites, but this didn't come close.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    While the book had tips on how you can make it ahead, these recipes are still a little too complicated for my style. I don’t even have time to make it ahead right now so simplicity is a must. The dessert part had a few that look yummy to try.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I love Ina Garten and her cookbooks bring her personality and her philosophy of cooking to life. Her recipes are quality cooking without the fuss. This particular cookbook I put up there with one of her best. Thanks Ina.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Rogers

    CAn't say why but none of the recipes in this book jumped out at me.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kate Harris

    A few keepers but overall not the kinds of meals I'd actually like to make ahead. Mostly the kind of meals where you think, "oh, Ina."

  28. 4 out of 5

    Yaaresse

    I'm hard on cookbooks. If I don't think I'll cook from them with reasonable regularity or don't learn something new from them, they pretty much get the two-star "It's OK." That applies here. It's OK. It's just very basic, so I didn't learn anything new, and it didn't have any recipes that made me want to get up and cook. Most of the recipes are so simple that you don't really need a recipe for them. Marinated feta cheese is delicious, but I don't need step-by-step instructions to do it. Ditto ba I'm hard on cookbooks. If I don't think I'll cook from them with reasonable regularity or don't learn something new from them, they pretty much get the two-star "It's OK." That applies here. It's OK. It's just very basic, so I didn't learn anything new, and it didn't have any recipes that made me want to get up and cook. Most of the recipes are so simple that you don't really need a recipe for them. Marinated feta cheese is delicious, but I don't need step-by-step instructions to do it. Ditto basic salads. Probably a good book for a novice cook, one who needs a lot of hand-holding, and especially one who has the means and access to upscale groceries for ingredients. Also probably will be liked by those who like "chatty" cookbooks where the author talks incessantly about their spouse or home. I burned out on the whole "all about me" style of cookbooks ages ago.

  29. 5 out of 5

    (a)lyss(a)

    This was around 3.5 stars for me. I love Ina Garten and this is a pretty standard Barefoot Contessa book. But I do appreciate that there are tips in the beginning about cooking or baking in advance and things to keep in mind when you're hosting and trying to prep things ahead of time. Though some of the tips are common sense I'll admit I hadn't thought of some. The recipes themselves look decent and seem doable and each has information on how far in advance you can prep and how you should store th This was around 3.5 stars for me. I love Ina Garten and this is a pretty standard Barefoot Contessa book. But I do appreciate that there are tips in the beginning about cooking or baking in advance and things to keep in mind when you're hosting and trying to prep things ahead of time. Though some of the tips are common sense I'll admit I hadn't thought of some. The recipes themselves look decent and seem doable and each has information on how far in advance you can prep and how you should store them to keep everything fresh.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kelley

    This cookbook has lots of colored pics so you can see the finished dish. I was hoping for more recipes or information on how to freeze dishes for later. There are some freezing tips but this is more about making dishes a day in advance and having them ready to go (which is still a good idea). I don’t have all the ingredients for the recipes I want to try in our self quarantine right now but for those I do, I think I will try them out.

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