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Old 04-18-2008, 01:31 PM   #1
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Barefoot Contessa

I love Ina Garten. I live in London and probably wouldn't have heard about her had it not been for cable tv. Is she popular in North America? I don't know about her recipes (they seem rather on the rich side - loads of butter and salt, it seems to me) but she's great to watch. Are her shows a regular feature on your side of the Atlantic? I have never seen one of her cookbooks. Are they reliable recipes? Would love to hear your views...

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Old 04-18-2008, 01:42 PM   #2
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I enjoy Ina's shows. Barefoot Contessa has a regular spot on Food Network here in the U.S.

I've made several of her recipes (main courses, side dishes, and desserts) and they've all turned out well. Many of them are big hits with the family and friends. I noticed that I don't tweak her (or Giada's) recipes like I do with some other shows' recipes, which is a plus in my book. I don't have any of her cookbooks so I can't speak to those. I figure I can get all the recipes for free from her show on Food Network's website.
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Old 04-18-2008, 01:47 PM   #3
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Thank you for replying. I really love the blokes (it usually is men!) who dress the tables during each show. It's so camp! Also, Ina manages to look really surprised and delighted at their work. Brilliant.
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Old 04-18-2008, 01:55 PM   #4
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Interesting you should bring up Ina Garten today. Buck and I had two of her dishes for dinner last night. Delicious and easy to make. Presented beautifully, too.

Yes, as plumies said, we see her on the Food Network here. We enjoy watching her and are often tempted by the things she prepares on the show. As a result, we can easily pop the recipes off the Internet from the Food Network site.

I have one of her cookbooks, Barefoot Contessa - Family Style. I haven't cooked anything from the book yet, but I have marked about a dozen recipes I want to try.
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Old 04-18-2008, 02:02 PM   #5
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I enjoy her show, too, although there seem to be a lot of reruns lately. Some of her recipes are rich, but some are good and healthy, too. Now, Paula Deen - I can't see myself making much of her style of food
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Old 04-18-2008, 02:06 PM   #6
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I don't know Paula. We're quite behind here, so give it a while...
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Old 04-18-2008, 02:11 PM   #7
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Some of her recipes are rich, but some are good and healthy, too.
Name two!

Everything she makes is loaded with fat, calories, and salt, and her portion sizes are outrageously huge. One of her recipes for diner for two would feed a small village in the Sudan for a week.

Just lay back some time with your eyes closed and listen to her putting a recipe together and you'll be amazed at the number of times she adds salt to whatever she is preparing. She uses more salt in one recipe than I use in an entire month.
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Old 04-18-2008, 02:21 PM   #8
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Hello, Caine:

I didn't mean to be critical about Ina Garten because she is so very entertaining to watch. But it one episode - I think it was a thanksgiving dinner for two show - she actually served one Cornish hen per person with swede and fried onions(or, you may call them turnips - I'm not sure) and broccoli. They were very generous portions! However, the point of these shows - surely - is that you take what you want from them.
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Old 04-18-2008, 02:26 PM   #9
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The "proper" name for "Swede" is rutabaga. Thankfully, turnips are something else again.

Rutabaga... the one vegetable I can happily live forever without!
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Old 04-18-2008, 02:31 PM   #10
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Sorry, ChefJune. Got mixed up with the proper name for Swede. What on Earth is a turnip, then?
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Old 04-18-2008, 02:47 PM   #11
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A turnip is also a root vegetable about half the size of a rutabaga with a a white flesh instead of orange, and it tastes sorta like parsnip if that helps. I like them in beef stew or mashed like potatoes.
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Old 04-18-2008, 07:16 PM   #12
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DW loves Barefoot Contessa and watches it whenever it is on. I think I may have caught it on a couple of occasions but was too immersed in DC to remember what was happening on the show, LOL.
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Old 04-18-2008, 07:57 PM   #13
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Yes, ilovelondon, Ina is great, and so are her recipes. Oh yeah, "in my opinion".

But, yes, she's very popular in the U.S.

Lee
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:40 PM   #14
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Name two!
Recipes : New Potato Salad : Food Network
Recipes : Caesar Club Sandwich : Food Network
Recipes : Asian Grilled Salmon : Food Network
Recipes : Barbecued Ribs : Food Network

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Everything she makes is loaded with fat, calories, and salt, and her portion sizes are outrageously huge. One of her recipes for diner for two would feed a small village in the Sudan for a week.

Just lay back some time with your eyes closed and listen to her putting a recipe together and you'll be amazed at the number of times she adds salt to whatever she is preparing. She uses more salt in one recipe than I use in an entire month.
I don't agree that all her recipes overdo the salt. Some, sure, but people are always able to tailor the recipes for their own needs. Personally, I'm a salt fanatic with low blood pressure, so it doesn't matter much to me. If you want to use less, no one's stopping you - the recipe will still be good.
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Old 04-19-2008, 01:14 AM   #15
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I love Ina too. I think she's darling. Seems like a wonderful lady and love how she cooks, usually. Yes, she's a butter monger and is heavy handed with creams etc. too.
I don't mind much though, it's entertaining tv for sure.
I've made 2 or 3 of her recipes, can't remember which ones, but do know I wasn't disappointed. Unlike other chefs/cooks who's recipes I've done that didn't turn out.
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Old 04-19-2008, 08:05 AM   #16
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i don't want to sound cranky or too negative, but her shows irritate me.

there's something about her "everything's perfect and so easy" way of living a seemingly spoiled and rich life that just gets under my skin. sort of a "martha stewart" effect, i guess. not that she seems to be a dragon lady like martha, but it's that sort of aloof snobbery that pervades.

who knows, she might be a wonderful person in real life, but i can't watch the show.
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Old 04-19-2008, 09:09 AM   #17
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Personally, I enjoy the show, not only for the cooking, but also the entertaining ideas and the beautiful flowers she uses to decorate her tables. I also enjoy the pleasant intonations of her voice.

I do find it amusing that not only Ina, but most of the other women who appear on the show talk without moving their lips because of all the botox injections they've had.
Has anyone seen the episode where she's helping a friend get ready for a party at her beach house? If you look quickly, you will see Barack Obama, who is running for president here in the States, among the guests at the party. Obviously, the show was filmed some time ago.
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Old 04-19-2008, 09:20 AM   #18
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i don't want to sound cranky or too negative, but her shows irritate me.

there's something about her "everything's perfect and so easy" way of living a seemingly spoiled and rich life that just gets under my skin. sort of a "martha stewart" effect, i guess. not that she seems to be a dragon lady like martha, but it's that sort of aloof snobbery that pervades.

who knows, she might be a wonderful person in real life, but i can't watch the show.
It still amazes me how much alike we think.

As for the turnip/rutabegga questions, a rutabegga is a cross bred veggie that came from cabbage and turnip, and so has componant flavors of both. I love rutabega, mashed, and then mixed with butter and a bit of brown sugar. It's one of my favorite parts of a Thanksgivng meal.

They also provide a wonderful flavor when added to cream-based chowders.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 04-19-2008, 10:35 AM   #19
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there's something about her "everything's perfect and so easy" way of living a seemingly spoiled and rich life that just gets under my skin. sort of a "martha stewart" effect, i guess. not that she seems to be a dragon lady like martha, but it's that sort of aloof snobbery that pervades.

who knows, she might be a wonderful person in real life, but i can't watch the show.
lol! I used to think (and still kind of do) the exact same thing about her. I'm glad she finally decided to flip down her collar. That drove me crazy. But I do really enjoy her recipes and have gotten sort of used to her mannerism. Heck, I even watch Martha occassionally and I used to never to that, that is before she was incarcerated!
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Old 04-19-2008, 11:25 AM   #20
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Hello, Caine:

I didn't mean to be critical about Ina Garten because she is so very entertaining to watch. But it one episode - I think it was a thanksgiving dinner for two show - she actually served one Cornish hen per person with swede and fried onions(or, you may call them turnips - I'm not sure) and broccoli. They were very generous portions! However, the point of these shows - surely - is that you take what you want from them.
One Cornish Game hen per person is the normal serving. I have made this several times for dinner parties and there is NEVER any leftover on the plates. I always make a couple of extra for the men who can eat 1 1/2 or two hens. They only weigh a bit over a pound or so each before cooking and that's with the bones.
Skinned and boned there is about 1/3 to 1/2 lb. of meat. Not a lot. Most people can eat a half pound burger with no problem.
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