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Sep 19, 2010 06:42 AM

October 2010 Cookbook of the Month: BAREFOOT CONTESSA COOKBOOK

The winner of the October 2010 Cookbook of the Month is the BAREFOOT CONTESSA COOKBOOK by Ina Garten and Martha Stewart.

From the Nominations to the Primary, there were many opinions but not much consensus. The assumption was that this primary would be a close call, but the voting was clear and we have avoided a second voting round.

This has been an exciting month. Of particular note is how many new people have participated in the process. Welcome to the fold!

This thread will be a place to discuss ingredients, techniques and the book in general. On October 1st, the recipe threads for the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook will be posted, along with one thread for Barefoot Contessa Other so we can assemble recipe reviews of her other cookbooks in one convenient location. These other cookbooks will not technically be part of the COTM, but are "companions." Please wait to post your reviews until those threads are up so that we have them nicely organized going forward.

When I receive this book from my library, I will begin to research which of the recipes are online. If you already have the book in hand, please feel free to start posting URL's with titles.

For our new members, reviewing a recipe is easy. Locate the best thread for your dish, post the name of the recipe and page number, and then review away!

Some of the questions you might answer include: Did it come out well? Did you modify the ingredients? Was the seasoning good or did you need less/more? How did your family like it? Would you make it again? Is this a quick weekday or a company is coming recipe? Did your kid(s) like it? And bonus points for photos.


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  1. Please post any URL's along with the Recipe Title under this post.

    1. Thank you SMT...!! I just ordered the book from my library system. This time around I want to take a peek before I buy. Sometimes, in the afternoon, I catch a re-run of her TV show and although her food looks pretty good, as do her surroundings, I need to read the recipes to determine if I'll like what I'll be cooking. Food Network cooks try very hard to Sell their food to the viewing audience. I want to see for myself.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Gio

        Very prudent. I have just finished a large cookbook buying spree, my own version of a stimulus package. I too have ordered from the library. In general, I start this way most months since not every book "sings" to me.

        As I mentioned on the Primary thread, I have made a number of her recipes from the Food Network site and they have all been very good. However, they use copious quantities of butter and/or cream, so are simply not in the general rotation.

        Of particular note is her Chicken Stew with Biscuits. I make this for friends who are undergoing medical treatments regularly. It freezes well, it packs a ton of calories into every bite, and for those that are unable to consume much at one sitting, is easy to control portion size. All the same reasons, I don't serve it to myself often. :-)

        1. re: Gio

          I've ordered this from the library too. I just have two of her books, Parties and Paris, and haven't cooked much from either. But I am intrigued to know why her books are so hugely popular.

          My kids are very happy that next month will be regular food. It doesn't sound like my so-called diet is going to get much support from these recipes though.

          1. re: JaneEYB

            I use her recipes when I can't take a chance and am cooking for or with a group or for a special occasion. They are always a hit and the directions are clear and not very complicated. When chopping onions with volunteers it helps to know how many pounds or cups you need as opposed to "3 onions". I've made the lentil soup for 80 and the chicken salad (she roasts the chicken breasts) for 20 with great success and no worries. I hope this book has a beef braise- hers are always show stoppers. Luckily my library system has a number of copies on hand.

          2. re: Gio

            I'm not going to be able to get it from my library, in all probability (the great website which searched the whole of London's library system no longer exists, unfortunately). So I'm probably going to have to sit this month out. I do have the Paris book, however, so it will be a good opportunity to explore a book I've hardly ever used.

            1. re: greedygirl

              GG--you can post to the adjunct thread. I've got her "Back to Basics" and will be reporting there. (I'm pretty sure I'll be able to get the COTM book out of the library, though.

              Also, if you're willing to do online recipes, there are many. (Amyzan gave us a great start with links below).


              1. re: greedygirl

                Two things I've liked a lot from the Paris book, if memory serves me correctly are the couscous with roasted veg and the Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. I'll have to give it a look over to see if there is more I have tried and can recommend.

                1. re: LulusMom

                  Ah, shoot, that recipe doesn't seem to be in B2B or BCC. Oh, but it's here on the Food Network.


              2. re: Gio

                This thread and this strategy (order it from the library in order to "try before you buy") is Librarian Approved. By this librarian.

                [wad of chewing gum imprinted with a seal here]

              3. smtucker, thanks for all your effort w this COTM, you're a saint!! I

                i'm thrilled to be taking a deeper dive into the BC cookbook and love that we're doing the companion thread. You can definitely count on my enthusiastic participation. I just discovered Chowhound over a month ago and have thoroughly enjoyed myself here thus far. It was the notion of the COTM (once I figured out what the acronym meant!) that really piqued my interest and I was delighted to start cooking along w others once my copy of Arabesque arrived.

                I know some folks have concern over Ina's love of butter/cream and the like and I hope they'll be delighted to find the many other recipes that are much more mainstream in terms of ingredients. I have all of Ina's books with the exception of the new one that's not available in Canada as yet, and my experience has been that her books are balanced with something for everyone. Two recipes that have been longtime favourites of my friends and family just happen to be online as well so I'll happily post the links below:

                Roasted-tomato basil soup


                Turkey meat loaf


                1 Reply
                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                  Agreed--her recipes are foolproof. I'll go somewhere--Italy or a farmer's mkt in Afton, VA and have something amazing--say an orange cranberry scone or ribolitta. I'll come home and search all over for the recipe, and low and behold, the best version will be Ina's.

                  1. I have my Barefoot Contessa books on the top shelf and just took the COTM down. For some reason, it feels very thin to me, and also very summery. I am going to try to cook from it though, especially once my DH is away on business trips in October. I am interested to try the turkey meatloaf, for example, and he would absolutely turn his nose up at it. I guess this is the reason I have been buying BC books whenever they appear at Costco!