This is the second Barefoot Contessa cookbook I picked up and I thought this one looked a bit better than Barefoot Contessa at Home. I noticed that this cookbook didn’t have as much fluff as the “at Home’ cookbook did and I was hoping that the Family Style would provide me more realistic dishes to prepare.
In the Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook, I found that the “everyday recipes you’ll make over and over again” were not everyday recipes for me. Her everyday recipes were too fancy for me. My question when I opened up this cookbook was, are Ina’s “easy ideas and recipes that make everyone feel like family” actual recipes and ideas that we will use and like? Are they family-time meal recipes or will they fancy meal recipes that we’ll make for company? (These quotes were taken from the front of the cookbooks)
This cookbook has a bit of everything in it. There is the simple dishes for individuals like me who like chicken stew with biscuits, oven-fried chicken, real meatballs & spaghetti, deep dish apple pie, string beans & shallots, and parmesan chicken just to name a few. Yet, there is also garlic sauteed spinach, tiramisu, run raisin rice pudding, arugula with parmesan, lobster cobb salad, Sunday rib roast, saffron risotto with butternut squash and linguine with shrimp scampi for those who like something different.
This cookbook has lots of different sections: Welcome Home, Planning the Meal, Starters, Salad for Lunch, Dinners, Vegetables, Desserts, Breakfast, Kids, Nine Ingredients, Ten Kitchen Tools, Menus, Credits, Index and Recipe Index. Ina includes some personal information in the Welcome Home section and each of the recipe sections contains around 10-12 recipes. In the Nine Ingredients section, Ina lists nine ingredients that are her favorite. In Ten Kitchen Tools, Ina lists ten pieces of kitchen equipment that she feels individuals will use over and over again on a regular basis. Ina puts together some of the recipes in this cookbook and creates menus for different occasions under the Menu section. From a Winter Breakfast, to a Summer Brunch, to a Spring Lunch, Ina puts the dishes together for you. There are 2 indexes which I like in cookbooks. One is the general index and one is the recipe index. Another big plus for me in this cookbook.
For each of the recipes you will find, how many the dish will serve, a small paragraph describing the dish, a list of ingredients and step-by-step directions. There is a picture to accompany each recipe which to me is a big plus. Sometimes she adds additional information to the recipe at the end, like additional cooking information, what to serve with the recipe, additional ingredients, etc. You will not find any nutritional information nor how much the serving size is or many total cups the whole recipe yields. I really wish cookbooks would include either the total cups or the serving size per person as that really helps me when I am cooking. Sometimes I can tell by looking at the list of ingredients but sometimes, it’s hard to tell. The pictures make the recipes look delicious! I liked that this cookbook has more recipes and these recipes looked appealing. There were a few that looked out of my range but a majority of them were something I would try. 4 stars