Let’s start today with something big… Big for me. Something you don’t know about me? I am absolutely, unconditionally, with all my heart, the most loyal number one fan of the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. Just after working as a nuclear policy analyst for the White House, Mme. Garten opened a gourmet food shop in the Hamptons and since then has been a cookbook author (nine books), television host, contributor to House Beautiful and her own personal interior designer. I have every single one of her cookbooks and I think I’ve watched every single one of her shows.
So, knowing how much I adore Ina Garten, imagine my surprise today when I opened up my email and saw a letter from her! I literally felt my jaw crack open and my eyes widened. I almost couldn’t believe it. I have my friend Rex to thank for introducing my blog to her (thank you, Rex). Mme. Garten thanked me for including her roasted chicken recipe in my blog a few weeks ago and wished me well with my blog. To me, as I told Rex, this was better than getting a letter from the President of the United States thanking me for my humanitarianism. (That didn’t happen.) Equally as good as seeing Princess Caroline of Monaco a few weeks ago. (That did happen.)
I was so excited I could barely get the words out to tell my husband. My husband has watched every single episode of her cooking show that I have through osmosis because I am the boss of the house and if Ellie wants to watch a Barefoot Contessa marathon all day, we will. Here is what I love about Mme. Garten, the Barefoot Contessa…
She’s not afraid to use butter. She worships her husband, Jeffrey, and he worships her. Her cooking is straightforward, her ingredients are fresh, and she clearly loves to cook and to share her recipes. She loves Paris and the open-air markets. She loves flowers. She is a great decorator. She’s not a b*tch. She eats bread. She is self-made, intelligent, and lives her life with enthusiasm and finds happiness in the small things like vinaigrette. And, she’s jolly. Not fake jolly, real jolly.
All of her cookbooks are absolutely brilliant. My favorite is her very first cookbook, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. The coconut cupcakes are to die for. My other favorite book of hers is obviously, Barefoot in Paris. There are great French recipes and great recommendations for your trip to Paris. Good news, she has a new cookbook coming out in October! This one is titled, Make It Ahead. You can preorder an autographed copy through her website HERE.
You can find the entire Barefoot Contessa cookbook collection HERE.
I encourage all of you to check out her website. Whether you are an experienced cook or a beginner, there is a lot of useful information on her website. My favorite are her tips and her “good ingredients.” This is where she shares her sources for her favorite microplane rasp, French bread baskets, olive oil, cooking twine, platters, baking flour, baking chocolate… everything! Everything you need for your pantry.
I can’t even tell you how much I love her East Hampton house. I have a hard time concentrating on watching her recipes on her TV show because I am busy looking at the background of her kitchen.
You can find more pictures of Mme. Gartner’s East Hampton house HERE.
It gets better… She has an apartment in Paris. She even managed to haul a La Cornue stove up five flights of a windy Parisian staircase. She should receive an award for that alone. There is a great article in Town and Country about her apartment and life in Paris HERE.
As you know, I get wicked panic attacks where I think I’m going to die within the next eight seconds. All my husband has to do is turn on an episode of the Barefoot Contessa and as soon as that theme song comes on I start to relax. By the end of the show, I am good to go again. The Barefoot Contessa is like my own little Xanax. :-)
*Something else you don’t know about me? When my husband does
something to totally annoy me, I secretly give his cashmere sweaters to my
daughter. One sweater per annoyance.