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I'd say I'm an ok cook I wanted a book with a more interesting takes on food. i love this book the receipes are complex but manageable with each page having beautiful pictures of the food. The book also offers great tips on buying and preparing the food. I didn't give it five stars because there was an awful lot of stuff that I had to get on amazon and some of them were quite expensive ex. San Marzano tomatoes 30 dollars s can, green peppercorns fifteen dollars and a lot of spices. if you've got a great pantry with the more exotic items this book is for you
I love Ina and have learned so much from her cookbooks. I preordered this one and am glad I did. I tried the roasted eggplant last night and it’s so good! I’m making the short ribs, the lamb curry, and the mustard chicken thighs this weekend as well. The pictures are gorgeous and I’m so glad she explained the salt issue LOL! As for people slamming her for her politics that’s just silly. She gets to be a whole person - that’s one of the joys of being an American. My spouse and I support different parties and still love each other. We aren’t so shallow that we let such things get in our way.
I've made three recipes from this book within the first week of having it, and they have all been delicious. The book is almost worthy of "coffee table" status just for the amazing photos. I do agree that some the recipes are very similar to others from previous "Barefoot Contessa" books. However, the directions are clear, the recipes are not difficult to make, and the end results are very satisfying. I don't have the budget for 3 pound filet of beef or lobster regularly, so it will be a while before I get around to trying some of the more "upscale" recipes, but I look forward to trying them for a special occassion.
I love Ina, and I have all o f her cookbooks. I am a cookbook collector and probably have about 1,000, but I try to only collect the very best due to space limitations. This is nice, and follows a similar format to her other books, which makes it easy to work through if you are familiar with her other works. It just seems to not be quite the quality of her other tomes. To me it was almost like an afterthought, like "Oh, let me just crank out another one while I am at it." It is, in fact almost as though someone else looked through her other books and said "Let's just make something else out of what we have." It seems to be more tips and tricks than substantive works and in-depth instruction that would go along with actually "Cooking Like a Pro." Maybe I was expecting too much. It certainly was okay, but I just didn't think it rose to Ms. Garten's usual standards and perfection.
When I first looked through this cookbook, I wasn't sure I was going to like it as much as some of Ina's other books. I made a few recipes in this book and they were excellent...as always. Ina really will never steer you wrong. I'm not as familiar with some of the ingredients used in these recipes but that's a good thing. Some of the recipes are recreated but there's nothing wrong with that if they taste excellent.
Admittedly, this is not my favorite of Ina's books. If you don't have any of her other books, I would not start with this one. But it is still worth buying. I would give it 4 1/2 stars. There are probably not as many recipes in it that I am excited to try as there are in her other books but there are still more than I would find in books by other cookbook authors. I believe the other reviewers of this book are holding Ina to a higher standard. Personally, I would buy anything that she writes. Of the many recipes of hers that I have tried, only one hasn't worked perfectly.
Thanks for the free book, Clarkson Potter! I have every book from Ina Garten and this one is another winner. The recipes are easy to follow and short yet inventive. The best part is how rarely a recipe continues to a third page, thanks for not making me flip when following a recipe! I can throw these delicious recipes together ahead of time, as noted in the book with the "make ahead" tips and they're short enough that if I have overnight guests, I can whip them up before anyone wakes up. This is great for an experienced chef who needs new recipes in their repertoire or for new cooks who want to impress/throw dinner parties in a hurry.