Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

4.3 39
by Ina Garten

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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



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.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 09/22/2014
Garten offers smart solutions with over 75 recipes for make-in-advance dishes. Recipes are suited for both family weeknight fare meal planning and for special occasions. There are cocktails, from margaritas to martinis, and plenty of platters and soups for starters, including a wild mushroom and farro soup and walnut roquefort–topped warm fig and arugula salad. For lunch, ham and leek empanadas can be filled, wrapped, and kept up to three days in the fridge and three months in the freezer before baking. Garten provides lots of casseroles, hearty grain and vegetable sides, and desserts. She also guides cooks through a complete make-ahead Thanksgiving feast. Recipe sidebars show make-ahead information for packing and storage and the number of days ahead the dish can be prepared before cooking or serving. Recipes are designed both as dishes for immediate consumption or make-ahead meals. Garten provides 10 make-ahead tips for parties, and there are essays on baking, presentation, and proper freezing methods, along with sample make-ahead menus for entertaining. A secret kitchen sidekick, the Barefoot Contessa quells the last-minute fears of those who entertain. (Oct.)

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Meet the Author

INA GARTEN is the host of the Emmy Award–winning Barefoot Contessa television show on Food Network and a New York Times bestselling author. She lives in East Hampton, New York, with her husband, Jeffrey. This is her ninth book. Visit Ina at

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Make It Ahead!: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook 4.3 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 39 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As Ina Garten points out, "there is ahead of time and there is WAY ahead of time." That's why she's included recipes that cover a wide range of "make ahead" schedules. Some of them, especially soups (one example is Zucchini Basil Soup) and gravy (Make Ahead Turkey Gravy with Onions and Sage) can be completely cooked and frozen for months. Others can only be made a few hours - or perhaps a few days- ahead of time. This is a great book and cuts down on my family's dependency on eating out and  fast food.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a big fan of Ina Garten. Have all her cookbooks and watch her TV program on the Food Channel. Very disappointed in her new cook book. The recipes are not that outstanding. She starts out with a recipe for a dog biscuit. I love dogs but really Ina, a dog biscuit. Her comments are nothing unusual or informative. The cookbook is suppose to be make ahead. Putting lettuce in a bowl is "making ahead". Very disappointing. Ina, what happened.
sallyannio109 More than 1 year ago
I really wanted to love this.  I was picturing good make ahead party food.  Most of the recipes are not anything I would ever make.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Received this for Christmas from my considerate husband. We were looking for easy make ahead dinners but that is not what we found Only part of the recipe was done in advance. I don't consider roast chicken, roast turkey, strip steak, or rack of lamb a make ahead dinner. Granted the book is beautiful and the recipes must be wonderful but they are not make it ahead.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just have to say that a reviewer claims the Shrimp recipe doesn't give oven temp. It clearly says "preheat oven to 400 in the recipe."
Bettsi More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan of Ina, back to th old days with the store. I have most of her books and was planning to ask for it for Christmas. I want to make the shrimp recipe right now. One problem - it doesn't tell the temperature of the oven when the sauced shrimp goes in. This is clearly important, and I am sure it is in the book. Any suggestions?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its Ina, what can I say? I own all 9 of her cookbooks to date, and this one is phenomenal as all the others. With a Greek background, I have to say her Pastitsio beats anything I have tried from a Greek kitchen or festival, anywhere - by a long shot! I have made many Vegetable Lasagnas, but this one is off the charts. Mini Italian Frittatas, Strawberry Rhubarb Compote with Greek Yogurt, Breakfast Ricotta with Berries and Maple Syrup (I blended store bought ricotta in my blender - fabulous), Sour Cream Corn Bread (husband says its the best cornbread he's ever had), Salted Caramel Nuts, Fresh Apple Spice Cake, Salted Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Roasted Cauliflower Snowflakes, Carrot and Cauliflower Puree, Peas and Pancetta (more delicious than the sum of its parts!), Herb Roasted Fish (so easy I will make often)- all of these garner a 5 star rating! The only recipe I have made so far in this cookbook which I was not crazy about was the Slow Roasted Spiced Pork. I continue to add a recipe or two each week to my menu, and they are all phenomenal!!! Incidentally, I got to see her in person, on tour - and she is as nice "in person" as she is on her show!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love Ina. Use her recipes more than any othet celebrity chef. Recieved this book as a gift and was thrilled. We entertain a lot and these recipes make dinner parties so much easier. I especially like the soups and desserts.
Gloria18 More than 1 year ago
Ina Garten makes things so easy for you to follow. All the recipes are easy to make and ingredients are very accessible at the grocery store. She has some of the best ideas for cooking and baking and planning ahead.
Anonymous 7 months ago
This is actually a review of B&N site. I wanted to preview parts of the COOKBOOK recipes, to see what they actually were. What I got instead was the forward, Garten's thanks to those who helped, etc. That didn't help me find out if I actually would like the recipes and the book. As a result, I'm not buying the book. Very poor job of allowing customers to preview books.
chugaries 7 months ago
Fattaneh 7 months ago
Anonymous 8 months ago
Awesome read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gave this as a Christmas gift to my daughter who had requested it - she loves all/anything re in a garden
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't imagine what I did all these years before I had this cookbook. Large gatherings are so much easier and more fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gave it as a gift. The recipient loves it. Used it immediately.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Went to see her in person for the book release in Beverly Hills recently. She is the real deal what you read in her books is what she is in person. This books is another one of those must haves for my collection of Ina Treasures. The book will make a great gift for the upcoming holiday season.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is another beautifully photographed, classy cookbook from my go-to favorite chef. I just recently received the book and have marked dishes I want to make - already made the twice-baked sweet potatoes, which were delicious. I love the way Ina has carefully noted the make-ahead preparations, so that you know just how much time to allow the "day-of." I was amazed at how many dishes, and whole meals, can be prepared ahead of time to avoid the last-minute frenzy when company is coming. Keep them coming, Ina!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago