Barefoot Contessa Parties! Ideas and Recipes for Easy Parties That Are Really Fun

Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Haven't given a party for a year or more? Once you're out of the habit, it's hard to start again, but any secret party anxiety you may have will be quickly dispelled by Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Parties!.

Garten, a celebrated caterer, who also writes the "Entertaining Is Fun" column in Martha Stewart Living magazine, is a one-woman cheerleading squad for simple, tasty food and easy parties. She doesn't want you to enter the Entertaining Olympics. She doesn't want your party-giving activities to rival the hours spent on your full-time job. She likes food that's fun to eat and made way in advance so you can get out of the kitchen and enjoy your guests. Her recipes, like those in The Barefoot Contessa Cook Book, are stylish but in no way complicated or fussy. If you don't have time to cook, no problem: She's a big proponent of buying and assembling great food.

Why, Garten asks, do most people knock themselves out to give a big Saturday night dinner party with drinks and nibbles and lots of courses, when their friends might prefer a low-key Sunday brunch? And here's her position on hors d'oeuvres: She's got some recipes, if you want them, but she actually prefers to buy and serve tasty little potato chips, cheesesticks, and oil-cured olives along with Campari and soda. Desserts? There are some great recipes here (Chocolate Ganache Cake, Peach Raspberry Shortcakes), but her favorite winter dessert requires no cooking at all: pears, green grapes, English Stilton, and English crackers, served with port.

In Barefoot Contessa Parties!, Garten dishes out guilt-reducing entertaining advice along with 16 seasonal menus, illustrated with 160 full-color photos. Her Sunday Breakfast menu features Roasted Asparagus with Scrambled Eggs, Sour Cream Coffee Cake, and Tropical Smoothies. Her Football Party menu includes Popcorn, Salted Cashews, Lobster Rolls, Filet of Beef Sandwiches, and Imported Beers, with Outrageous Brownies and Caramel Chocolate Nut Ice Cream for dessert. Her Winter Snow Party stars Chicken Chili with all the fixings, served with Green Salad Vinaigrette, plus three kinds of Chocolate Chunk Cookies and Vanilla Ice Cream, and a Hot Mulled Cider. Attractively designed, it's a good sourcebook for party menus and recipes. (Ginger Curwen)

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
The Barefoot Contessa is Garten's upscale take-out shop in East Hampton, NY, but her Barefoot Contessa Cookbook proved to have a national audience (it sold more than 100,000 copies). Here she provides menus and recipes for 16 parties and other festive gatherings, from "Lunch in the Garden" to "Not Thanksgiving" to "Valentine's Day," along with tips for stress-free entertaining. With the same attractive design (featuring dozens of full-page color close-ups of food and settings) that helped make the first book so popular, and its simple, seasonal recipes, this, too, is sure to be in demand. (Not to mention that Garten is soon to become a regular contributor to Martha Stewart Living, as well as host of a new Food Network series.) Recommended for most collections. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780609606445
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony
  • Publication date: 3/27/2001
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 73,917
  • Product dimensions: 7.75 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Ina Garten
INA GARTEN is the author of the bestselling The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and of the popular monthly column "Entertaining Is Fun" in Martha Stewart Living magazine. For more than twenty years, her Barefoot Contessa specialty food shop has been celebrated for its style as well as its delicious food. Ina lives in East Hampton, New York, and Southport, Connecticut, with her husband, Jeffrey.
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Read an Excerpt

Recipes from Barefoot Contessa Parties!

Chicken Chili
Serves 12

We had been making traditional chili at Barefoot Contessa for almost 20 years. I decided to update it with chicken to make it lighter, and it's even more popular than our regular chili.

8 cups chopped yellow onions (6 onions)
1/4 cup good olive oil, plus extra for chicken
1/4 cup minced garlic (8 cloves)
4 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
4 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for chicken
4 28-ounce cans whole peeled plum tomatoes in puree, undrained
1/2 cup minced fresh basil leaves
8 split chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
Freshly ground black pepper

For Serving
Chopped onions, corn chips, grated cheddar, sour cream

Cook the onions in the oil over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Crush the tomatoes by hand or in batches in a food processor fitted with a steel blade (pulse 6 to 8 times). Add to the pot with the basil. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, until just cooked. Let cool slightly. Separate the meat from the bones and skin and cut into 3/4-inch chunks. Add to the chili and simmer, uncovered, for another 20 minutes. Serve with the toppings, or refrigerate and reheat gently before serving.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Makes 36 to 40 cookies

This is my favorite variation of the old Barefoot Contessa chocolate chunk cookie recipe. It has the combination of flavors in a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. Yum!

1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1-1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup good smooth peanut butter
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound good semisweet chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla and peanut butter, and mix. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and add to the batter, mixing only until combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks.

Drop the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, using either a 1-3/4-inch ice cream scoop or a rounded tablespoon. Dampen your hands, flatten the dough lightly, then press the tines of a wet fork in both directions. Bake for exactly 17 minutes (the cookies will seem underdone). Do not overbake. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Hot Mulled Cider
Serves 12

Nothing tastes as good on a cold winter day as hot spiced cider. It's easy to make and really warms your insides after an afternoon of winter sports. And nothing makes a house smell as wonderful. For a party, I leave it on the stove over very low heat and everyone helps themselves.

16 cups apple cider or pure apple juice
4 2-inch cinnamon sticks
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
8 whole cloves
8 star anise

Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan and simmer over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Pour into mugs and serve.

*Commercially prepared mulling spices, which combine many of these ingredients, can be added to the apple cider to make preparation even easier.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 14
Spring
Sunday Breakfast 31
Pizza Party! 43
Jewish Holiday 55
Academy Awards 73
Summer
Canoe Trip 93
Lunch in the Garden 107
Happy Birthday! 119
Outdoor Grill 131
Autumn
Football Party 153
Autumn Dinner 165
Not Thanksgiving 179
Afternoon Tea 195
Winter
New Year's Day 215
Snow Day 229
Valentine's Dinner 241
Fireside Dinner 251
Credits 261
Index 262
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Recipe

Recipes from Barefoot Contessa Parties!

Chicken Chili
Serves 12

We had been making traditional chili at Barefoot Contessa for almost 20 years. I decided to update it with chicken to make it lighter, and it's even more popular than our regular chili.

8 cups chopped yellow onions (6 onions)
1/4 cup good olive oil, plus extra for chicken
1/4 cup minced garlic (8 cloves)
4 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
4 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for chicken
4 28-ounce cans whole peeled plum tomatoes in puree, undrained
1/2 cup minced fresh basil leaves
8 split chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
Freshly ground black pepper

For Serving
Chopped onions, corn chips, grated cheddar, sour cream

Cook the onions in the oil over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Crush the tomatoes by hand or in batches in a food processor fitted with a steel blade (pulse 6 to 8 times). Add to the pot with the basil. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, until just cooked. Let cool slightly. Separate the meat from the bones and skin and cut into 3/4-inch chunks. Add to the chili and simmer, uncovered, for another 20 minutes. Serve with the toppings, or refrigerate and reheat gently before serving.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Makes 36 to 40 cookies

This is my favorite variation of the old Barefoot Contessa chocolate chunk cookie recipe. It has the combination of flavors in a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. Yum!

1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1-1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup good smooth peanut butter
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound good semisweet chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla and peanut butter, and mix. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and add to the batter, mixing only until combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks.

Drop the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, using either a 1-3/4-inch ice cream scoop or a rounded tablespoon. Dampen your hands, flatten the dough lightly, then press the tines of a wet fork in both directions. Bake for exactly 17 minutes (the cookies will seem underdone). Do not overbake. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Hot Mulled Cider
Serves 12

Nothing tastes as good on a cold winter day as hot spiced cider. It's easy to make and really warms your insides after an afternoon of winter sports. And nothing makes a house smell as wonderful. For a party, I leave it on the stove over very low heat and everyone helps themselves.

16 cups apple cider or pure apple juice
4 2-inch cinnamon sticks
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
8 whole cloves
8 star anise

Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan and simmer over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Pour into mugs and serve.

*Commercially prepared mulling spices, which combine many of these ingredients, can be added to the apple cider to make preparation even easier.

Copyright © 2001 by Ina Garten.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2007

    The go-to cookbook in my house

    I have tons of cookbooks, but this one quickly became my favorite. The food is SO easy to make that its sometimes hard to believe how GOOD it is! Beautiful photos, mouthwatering menus, all around perfect book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2001

    If you could only have one party cookbook ...this is it.

    When I bought Ina Garten's first cookbook I dashed off a letter before I prepared the first recipe. I could tell be the number and kind of ingredients and the text, that it was a keeper. The second book is just as good. I am a professional cook but love to spend my free time doing whatelse? Cooking. And the joy of her books is that the results are risk and hassle free. No strange ingredients. No strange equipment. And no complicated preparations. I even found that her recipes and techniques are an improvement over ones I have done successfully for years. Buy one for yourself, and do the same with another copy for a friend.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Barefoot Contessa Parties!

    Great cookbook. It is well laid out and beautifully illustrated. The recipes contained within the book should be appealing to most people and there is lots of good information within each chapter. I first had a look at this book from my local library. I was so impressed with it, I decided to purchase it and add it to my recipe book collection. I would recommend any of Ina Garten's other cookbooks as well because they are of the same quality. You can't go wrong when you buy one of her cookbooks.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 26, 2008

    Smart and Easy Book on Parties

    Beautifully presented with great photographs. A down-to-earth set of menues for typical parties during the four different seasons. The author acknowledges the anxiety that often goes along with giving a party and then skillfully lets the reader know that she has also had those feelings. She then gives practical advice about how to forge ahead in spite of fears. <BR/><BR/>Ina Garten's recipes are really easy to reproduce because the directions and lists of ingredients are clear. The squash and apple soup is just one of many, many examples. She gives information on cooking techniques very well and always speaks respectfully to the reader. <BR/><BR/>I particularly liked reading about 'reasons' for parties. The author urges her reader to think about occasions other than the typical Saturday, big dinner party idea. She gives some fine examples. Here is one example: invite friends over for a 'favorite movie clips' party. Each person brings a video or DVD of his or her favorite movie. The entertainment consists of watching the clips, each person fast-forwarding the movie to that specific clip. I have already invited a small group of people who love movies and also loved this idea. We'll be eating the food from the menu that Ina G. suggests for this party.<BR/><BR/>I think that you might appreciate her suggestions for making guests feel welcome in your home. I also value her advice about NEVER letting guests know about problems and about how to deal with problems which will happen to everyone at some point. <BR/><BR/>One other thing that I noticed was that she always gave credit where credit was due. For example, she notes exactly where she has acquired a recipe, giving the source as a person or a book. Then, if she has tweaked the recipe, she says exactly how.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Ina Garten is every Chef's Hero.

    This book makes entertaining and cooking simple, chic and so much fun. You would be crazy not to consider purchasing this book if you are in need of even alittle guidance and learning about cooking and entertaining. Everything about this book makes me want to be at one of Ina's parties. Also check out her show on Foodnetwork you will be glad you did.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 4, 2009

    Constantly in use!

    This is one of my "go-to" cookbooks. There are many wonderful recipes, all easy to use, and they taste as good as they sound. There are no ingredients that are hard to find. Ina Garten recipes are easy, consistent, and delicious. All of her books are good, but this is my favorite and the one I use most. I always give this book at wedding showers...every new bride should have it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2002

    Use this book for ALL your Parties!

    Barefoot Contessa has outdone herself! I did not think this second book could be as good as the first, but I was wrong! She enables you to host a party with all the right ingredients. Meeting guests, cooking, entertaining, it's all in here! I cannot wait for a third book! This book outshines every other entertainment/cookbook published today! Ina Garten is a master!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2001

    The second is just as good as the first

    I just had to buy the second of Ina Garten's cookbooks. The recipes and ideas are so clear and straight forward. They are easy and understandable. One of the best laid out and just a pure delight to read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2010

    My kitchen visitor became an admirer

    I was given this book by a dear friend when she went to meet Ina Garten at a book signing and I was unable to attend. I love it and refer to it often when entertaining.

    My son's girlfriend paged trough it often and was an admirer; so it was a must for a Christmas gift to her.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    Good Book, Great Ideas

    NO time to write a review

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2004

    Barefoot Contessa ROCKS!

    Buy this book and you won't be disappointed. The recipes are easy and delicious. The hardest part is deciding which to make!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2003

    You can't miss with this cookbook!

    This is an awesome collection of super easy, wonderful meals. I don't just use it for parties, but also for any special meal. I have made almost every recipe in this book...how many cookbooks can you say that about? My kids love the pizza recipe and have started all their birthday parties with each child making their own pizza crust and topping.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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