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Modern Comfort Food: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

Modern Comfort Food: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook - Ina Garten
I used to watch Ina on cable and she was such a joy to watch. She had this calmness about her and the way that she moved through the kitchen, putting her recipes together, it all seemed so easy. I've tried a few of her recipes and they've been great, so I thought I would love this cookbook. I also love cookbooks. I have quite a few cookbooks (my husband thinks I have too many) and I also subscribe to some cooking magazines, but I like to read and try different things (within reason). When I saw "Modern Comfort", I thought who doesn't love comfort food? You know how some people definitions are different? I think this is one of them.

I love many things about this cookbook but the recipes themselves, they just don't do much for me. I'll get to that in a minute but let's talk about what's great about this cookbook. The cookbook is very attractive and pleasing to look at. It's definitely a heavy one too, with 256 pages. I liked the smooth, glossy pages and the page count includes the two recipe indexes yes, I said two! She has included one A - Z index and one index that breaks the dishes into their specific categories. These categories include breakfast, lunch, dinner, cocktails, vegetables & sides, and desserts. The author also made a reference to these categories at the bottom of each page, down by the page number, so you know where you’re at when you’re looking inside the cookbook. I like these little extra touches. Each recipe gets a 2-page spread with the recipe on one side and a picture on the other. Detailed, step-by-step directions are easy to follow and each recipe includes a small paragraph about the recipe too. The recipe includes how many it will serve but not the individual serving size. It might say, "Serves 6" but it doesn't say how big each serving size is.

The book itself is set up by categories, the ones I mentioned earlier. The first section is Cocktails. Listed on one page, it has all the recipes for that section. I thought it would have been nice, had she also listed the page number for each cocktail on this page. I know that the recipes go in sequence according to this list, and I know that I can go back to the indexes but having it here would be helpful.

I found there were only about 5-6 dishes inside this cookbook that I found comforting. When I was thinking “comforting”, I was thinking pasta, meat, potatoes, salads, soup and “modern” to me meant, making these foods healthy and/or easier to prepare. This is where I was confused. I found inside this cookbook Brussels Sprouts Pizza Carbonara, Roasted Shishito Peppers with Easy Hollandaise, Maine Lobster Stew, English Lemon Posset, and Pomegranate Gimlets. These didn’t sound comforting to me. These seemed rather fancy to my everyday life. It’s a beauty of a cookbook but it’s just not one that would get much use at my house. 3.5 rounding up to 4 stars