Barefoot Contessa: How Easy Is That?

Last night I went to a cooking class/demo at Williams Sonoma Beverly Hills, part of their Cookbook Club. This particular class was for the debut of Ina Garten’s How Easy is That? cookbook now out in stores. Even though it was my 4 year anniversary with my hubby, my friend Allana and her mom Simone invited me (plus David was playing basketball). It was a great night! The classes are $75 and include the cookbook. They have one more class for Thanksgiving Sides and then will resume in the new year (with the Sur la Table chef they stole).

In her latest bible of cooking, she has put together a collection of some of her simplest and most elegant recipes interspersed with 68 tips to help with easy entertaining, ranging from the selection of the best equipment, to table setting, and seating plans. All 89 recipes seem to be really easy. Forget stirring risotto for 30 minutes; Easy Parmesan “Risotto” bakes in the oven, unattended, so it’s a fabulous side dish for a dinner party. Most of the recipes work double duty for weeknight dinner and entertaining.

At Williams Sonoma last night we tried the following dishes: Herbed Ricotta Bruschetta, Easy Provenceal Lamb with a Creamy Pamesean Polenta and an Easy Cranberry & Apple Cake. I would for sure make the Bruschetta and the Polenta but some of the yummiest recipes in the book seem to be: Lobster & Shells Pasta Salad, Middle Eastern Vegetable Salad, Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms and the Greek Lamp with Yogurt Mint Sauce.

This cookbook is the perfect holiday gift this season…trust me.

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