Cooking for Jeffrey – book review

If you follow blog you know that I’m a huge fan of Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa.  I have all of her books and cook from them often.  I had to get her newest book Cooking for Jeffrey as soon as it hit the bookstore.  I wanted to share my thoughts, what I have already cooked from the new book and what I plan to cook next.

Ina fans know that Ina loves to cook for everyone but her number one is her husband Jeffrey.  The book has the most adorable pictures of them when they were first married and as always, Ina shares her philosophy on cooking and her journey from her early days of trying to impress friends with complicated French dishes to her discovery of simple, well-prepared fresh and delicious meals that allow you to spend time with friends and family rather than spending all of your time in the kitchen.

I have heard many people say that when you buy a new cookbook, you’re doing well if you get a couple of good recipes out of it.  With The Barefoot Contessa, I always get way more than that and this book is proving to follow the rule.  As soon as I started flipping through, looking at the pictures and reading the recipes I wanted to get cooking!

I started with a simple but delicious appetizer – popcorn with chipotle pepper and Parmesan cheese.  As Ina would say “How easy is that?”.  Spicy and delicious too.  I used her parmesan roasted zucchini as a side dish – we love zucchini so I was happy to have a new preparation. On Sunday I tweaked Ina’s salmon pizza by using flatbread crusts instead of pizza dough (cut both the prep time and the calories).  I also made the leek and zucchini frittata.  (I’ve made frittatas using her recipes before and I love them – sort of a cross between an omelet and a quiche.

Samantha had a playoff soccer game on Monday and Keith needed to be at a paddle tennis game shortly thereafter so he needed something he could eat while watching the game.  I made a variation of the tarragon shrimp salad she features and gave it to him as a sandwich.  (Interesting because Ina had pretty much converted me to roasting shrimp but this book suggests cooking the shrimp in water.  She flavors hers with Pernod but I used lemon juice and white wine as I’m not a big fan of that anise flavoring.)  Another winner!

As for what I plan to make next – these are on my list soon:

  •  chipotle sweet potatoes (I’m actually going to combine elements of her recipe with elements of my spiced sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving.)
  • maple-roasted carrot salad (this one has goat cheese and Marcona almonds – two of my favorite salad additions)
  • Anna’s tomato tart (that will have to wait until next summer when tomatoes are back in season)
  • moroccan grilled lamb chops
  • roasted salmon tacos
  • and of course, desserts!  They all look amazing but the frozen hot chocolate is high on my wish list.  (The devil’s food cake with coffee meringue buttercream that graces the cover doesn’t look half bad either!)

If you want another cookbook with accessible recipes that use readily available ingredients that will make you and your friends feel good, make room on your shelf for Ina’s 10th book.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!  My only disappointment is that Ina is coming to Baltimore to speak at the Hippodrome and I have already been scheduled for a mandatory business trip to Texas while she is here.  😦




About emenuplan
I love to cook and love to eat. I work full time and have a family so managing good meals during the week requires organization. I'm hoping to share my weekly menu plans and recipes to make things a little easier for those who want to follow along.

One Response to Cooking for Jeffrey – book review

  1. Missy Smith says:

    fabulous review! Putting this on my list for Santa! yummmmmmm.

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