an evening with the barefoot contessa

Thanks to Ina, I discovered the joy of lentils. She also helped me get over my aversion to cooking salmon (that’s another post, but let’s just say I took a three-year hiatus, which seems so silly now). Needless to say, we’re big Barefoot Contessa fans in this household. There isn’t a dish of hers we haven’t tried to duplicate at home that didn’t meet big grins and second helpings.

And now, she’s bringing her informative style, helpful tips and approachable cooking know-how to town. Sorry, Hamptons and Jeffrey not included.

Ina will be in town on March 12 at the State Theatre. The night is billed as a conversation with Ina Garten and is hosted by our own best-selling author, and all-around good guy, Michael Ruhlman. There will even be an interactive Q&A with the duo after the show.

Want to bring Ina home to your kitchen and have the benefit of cooking and learning alongside her? Now’s your chance – sorta. While it’s not the real thing, Ina has graciously agreed to giveaway a signed copy of her new cookbook, Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes you can Trust, made out to one of you. For your chance to win, just leave a comment to this post between now and Tuesday morning sharing your favorite Ina Garten recipe (sorry, Facebook doesn’t count).

Good luck, and hope to see you Tuesday!


  1. eckybay33
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    ina’s buttermilk onion rings are the best! I always turn to her cookbooks first. her recipes are elegant yet not scary.

  2. stovewithahouse
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    I love her pasta with peas and pesto!

  3. suburbanitis
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    The Ina recipe I go to most often is her pizza dough (White Pizza With Arugula), but I find myself picking up her cookbooks more often than most. They *are* foolproof! There is a small handful of people I trust most for recipes I know will be fantastic – Ruhlman and Ina Garten are two of those most trusted ‘advisors’. :)

  4. MeMeReezy
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    I love watching Ina on Saturday mornings! How simple is that?

  5. Sharon216
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Love her chicken stew with biscuits!

  6. bonnjill
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    I’m going too. My mom bought our tickets months ago. She was a huge Julia Child fan, but Ina Garten has replaced her in Mom’s heart. I love all her cookbooks. And I especially love her roasted shrimp salad recipe with meyer lemons. It’s a must-take to Blossom in the summer. Yum!

  7. jessicamalloy
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    I use her Roasted Whole Chicken recipe quite frequently. It helped me overcome my fear of handling an entire bird.

  8. DanaeJoy
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    It’s silly, but her baked hot wings recipe is my go-to for crispy, amazing wings made at home – and it made me get over my fear of chopping up fresh chicken wings!

  9. clevelandjoe
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    My favorite recipe is her recipe for bolognese. Yum!

  10. leogurl24
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    Ina Garten basically taught me everything I know! I had some basic food knowledge,
    but her calm demeanor and encouraging voice made me excited to cook
    French food! I absolutely LOVE her chicken pot
    pie with Pernod. Oh, and THANK YOU for your pie crust recipe! I’ve tried every pie recipe out there and they never worked-until I found hers! It’s my tried and true crus recipe ;) Making the smashed Tuscan beans for friends and her pomegranate martini recipe is NO JOKE-nice and strong ;) Thank you so much for
    being so practical and helping me expand my culinary knowledge. I now have my own catering business, Personal Meals :) Thank you Ina!

  11. Posted March 7, 2013 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    So many delicious recipes!  I really like the Coconut Cupcakes and Lemon Yogurt Cake.

  12. mcheraso
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    I have loved all of the recipes by Ina that I have tried, but her Bloody Mary recipe stands out.  I would love to see her in person!

  13. TLCC
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink


  14. 6502programmer
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Her sea breeze recipe is a classic. :)

  15. live2cookathome
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Her chicken with morels looks sooo good.

  16. clevelandsaplum
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    when i think of ina (aka the barefoot contessa) i think of the 40 cloves of garlic roast chicken… mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

  17. jhadleigh
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    I love Ina Garten!  Can’t wait to see her!  I bought tickets this Fall.  My favorite recipes are the pork roast with fennel (had not tried fennel until this recipe and now I am hooked) and the loaves of lemon bread.  Really all of her recipes are delicious!!

  18. Posted March 10, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    The Barefoot Contessa’s Challah French Toast is a staple in our house. Sunday morning perfection.

  19. Ryan Balas
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    The Barefoot Contessa – Love to watch her!  She makes the whole process look achievable and fun.  You can also see and hear the love in everything she does!  And, from reading the comments on the Cleveland Foodie page – I can’t wait to try the baked hot wings recipe!!  Looking forward to Tuesday at the State Theater!

  20. Haclac
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    I always enjoy how calming Ina is. I’m a 63 yr old guy who doesn’t cook much, but enjoy watching cooking. My workmate likes cake and coconut and Ina has a coconut cake with 9 (that’s right 9) sticks of butter that I made for work. Folks were just crazy about how creamy, dense and delicious it was. Love to watch her make anything..howard

  21. jewal730
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    When I first started entertaining, I found Ina’s recipes to be very user friendly and not complicated at all….PERFECT for me. One of my favorites is Tequila Chicken and her guacamole..always a hit and always requested!!

  22. rckhopper76
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    I love her Wedding Soup recipe in the “back to Basics” book!!

  23. rckhopper76
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    I love her Wedding Soup recipe in the “back to Basics” book!!

  24. rckhopper76
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    I love her Wedding Soup recipe in the “Back to Basics” book!!

  25. Christina7
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Ina is awesome! Her Roasted Shrimp Cocktail is a staple at all of my events! (among others)!

  26. brireagan
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Ina’s best way of cooking scrambled eggs and asparagus for breakfast is the awesome! Something so simple, but when done right it is so much better!

  27. EatDrinkClev
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Moroccan Couscous is so simple and delicious – I love the little bit of sweet the currants add.

  28. pmoore2205
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    I think I would make any Ina recipe, but my go to standard is her Blue Cheese Cole Slaw!!!

  29. tfacey
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    I’ve made the Butternut Squash and Apple Soup from Ina a couple of times. Love it!

  30. pandryszak
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Growing up, my diabetic father’s birthday cakes were relegated store bought Angel Food Cakes.  You know, the gummy tasting kind with limited sugar.  Ina’s recipe not only changed my thoughts on that cake, but my dad now looks forward to getting his new Lemon Angel Food Cake and celebrating each July 25!  

  31. cdbeal
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    I love her Lemon & Garlic Roasted Chicken.  I make it at least a couple times a month.

  32. ddesantis
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Ina’s French String Beans recipe first taught me the art of sautéing fresh vegetables. She showed me that vegetables can be simple, delicious, and a highlight to a meal rather than a sad side dish (like my mother’s microwaved frozen vegetables that I forced down for years). That was just the beginning…ultimately her recipes have taught me how good food can be when you use high quality, fresh ingredients. Love her and would love more of her great, trustworthy recipes!

  33. kmktaylor
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    I love her lentil vegetable soup and sun-dried tomato dip.

  34. YOD2
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    definitely mac-n-cheese!
    or anything with vegetables in it.

  35. gearhaca
    Posted March 12, 2013 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    All of Ina’s receipes are delicious but one of my favorites is the butternut squash and apple soup!

  36. MichelleVocaireVenorsky
    Posted March 12, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Congrats to Ryan B!

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