Inspired by all the gift guides, here are some thoughts on cookbooks I purchased (or was given) in 2007.
Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten
I love Ina Garten’s TV show and especially love to imagine myself living in her shingled East Hampton beach home. (Side note: Another dream-worthy Hamptons house is the one owned by Diane Keaton’s character in Something’s Gotta Give). This book offers a few (but not enough!) voyeuristic glimpses into Garten’s house, as well as her household tips, which can seem a bit pedantic (particularly the section entitled “making a grocery list”). Strangely, though I usually like Garten’s recipes and find them foolproof, I have still not cooked one single recipe from this book. I think it’s because most of the recipes here seem like non-recipes — I mean, do I really need instructions on how to assemble a roasted pepper and goat cheese sandwich? Or, smoked salmon and egg salad tartines — isn’t that just smoked salmon, egg salad and brown bread? To be fair, some of the desserts look luscious.