Sunday, June 21, 2009

10 Reasons Why I Love Ina

Barefoot Contessa with Ina Garten

Say Cheese

Roasted Pears with Blue Cheese

Savory Coeur a la Crème

Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts

Baked Brie

I’ve said before that I think of Ina as a kind of sister/mother/friend. This cheese episode is full of examples of what is so fabulous about Ina and why I love her.

10) Her unabashed use of 12 ounces of cream cheese in a little quelque chose for Jeffrey (and her) to enjoy as a quick snack. So what if the recipe feeds 10 to 12? SOMEONE’S got to do the hard work of testing recipes, which is her ruse for making all of this in the first place. Wink, wink, you KNOW she’d have made it anyway.

9) Ina’s Goat Cheese Tart. As she was assembling it, I thought it looked like a whole lot of stuff on one little piece of puff pastry. Then she takes it out of the oven and it looks exactly like it came from any neighborhood charcuterie, (although theirs would have had homemade puff pastry).

8) As Ina pours (gobs of) mango chutney over the completed savory Coeur a la Crème, she says you don’t want to cover the whole thing. Why, Contessa, because that extra chutney COULD add possibly another 25 calories? (I think she actually covered MORE than the whole thing!)

7) Ina ALWAYS says, “I REALLY hope Jeffrey likes this.” Jeffrey hasn’t disliked a single crumb of ANYTHING that’s come out of her kitchen in all the decades they’ve been together. Even if she’s hoping for constructive criticism, she’s got to settle for unadulterated praise.

6) “I’m just going to put a little bit” of the stuffing into the pears. Meanwhile the dish can barely contain all the stuffing that's falling out.

5) To go with the pears, she’s serving enough salad for a table of eight…and this is after they’ve eaten their way through several other cheese dishes.

4) How easy it THAT?”

3) She never fails to smile at Jeffrey when he walks into the room. Remember Oprah’s advice (by way of Maya Angelou) to make sure your eyes light up when you see your kids. That’s just what Ina does. I’m not suggesting she treats him like a child. Far from it. From the little we see, it seems as if they’re two peas in a pod. And in Ina’s kitchen, that would be a small mountain of peapods.

2) There's something so comfortable about Ina. After watching her, I always feel contented (even on an empty stomach).

And the Number 1 reason I love Ina:

Her white KitchenAid matches her white blouse.


KAMILLE said...

Yes I love her too!

Shays’ Rebel said...

I’m jealous of everything Ina – her house, her kitchen, her friends, her cooking, her parties, her porch, her whole demeanor. When she and Jeffrey eat breakfast out on the porch, I can almost taste the scrambled eggs as Ina pours me, I mean Jeffrey, a cup of hot coffee. I’ll bet they never raise their voices in anger. (By contrast, after watching two minutes of Paula’s Bawdy House of Bump and Grind, I’m one big ball of jangling, angry nerves.)

And I have a white KitchenAid! I bought it three years ago because I was mad at my sister (she never even noticed it) and I’ve only used it three times, but I have one! Now I want a cheese tart.

Emily said...

Hahaha! I LOVED this post. I like how you wrote this. I demand more!

I'm in the mood for a good Sandra Lee post.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sue:

I LOVE Ina!!! She was fabulous last night on the next food network star.


Lynn said...

I went out to buy the ingredients for the tomato goat cheese tart as soon as I saw Ina make it on Saturday. I made the tarts for Father's day and they came out great.

I didn't cut them into circles, rather I cut four squares out of one sheet. I didn't want to waste the pricey puff pastry.

This recipe was easy, looked so professional and tasted great. You can vary the ingredients. It will be part of my repertoire.

Tom said...

I've got another one, although not in the cheese episode -- her gay friends on the show. Barefoot Contessa has the largest cast of gay men on TV apart from the so-called gay channels. They're successful businesspeople and nice guys too. Great role models, and a little hotness from TR. What could be bad?

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

I agree, she is great, now that I have Tivo in my life again, I need to record some of her shows. Cheese is AWESOME!

DebCarol said...

Always love an Ina post and this one was fabulous! Ina truly is the fantasy hostess .... nothing is ever too good for her guests. How bad can that be??!!

Cynthia said...

Ina is my girl too :)

I came in search of your post on last night's episode of the Next Food Network Star.

While I totally agree that Eddie needs/needed to go, I was more disgusted by Teddy's behaviour. I abhor dishonest people and to come with the crocodile tears and apology. Save the time, just don't be a (($^&^$()!

You can delete the latter part of this if you like.

bc said...

I came in search for TNFNS recap goodness too... and also to defend Teddy; I didn't think he was being terribly dishonest last night--just had trouble saying what he should have said: "Really, both the dessert and the meatloaf were collaborative efforts, and I put a lot more work into the meatloaf than I did the dessert, which was a mistake."

Instead, he hilariously blurted out, "The meatloaf was mine!"

Sue said...

She really is the greatest!

Are you jealous OR admiring of Ina? Oh, what the hay, it's the same difference...You're so funny about imagining being IN the scene with her.

I get what you mean about Paula, but if you were having a bad day, she might cheer you up a bit along with a heavily spiked cocktail.

That's hilarious about your sister. Have you thought of Christmas cards with the KitchenAid in the foreground?

Thank you! I have to psych myself up to write about Sandra Lee, maybe with a good stiff Cucumber Sake Shot or a Banana's Foster Cocktail. Ugh!

Hi Sam,
Ina really is any setting.

I absolutely LOVE that idea of cutting the puff pastry into squares and I will totally do that too!

I'm with you! Remember when she had her buddies over to play bridge (or was it poker?) and the drinks and food were flowing like...well, like being at Ina's house.

Enjoy Tivo and some great cheese never hurts!

It makes me smile just to think about Ina saying that.

Cyn and BC,
Close to 3000 words takes a LONG time to write! I hope you checked it out when I finally posted it.

Cyn, I agree that Eddie AND Teddy were 2 of the more unlikable contestants we've seen lately. I have to say I probably cringed more with Eddie's inane mutterings than with Teddy, although Teddy definitely scores highly on the Jerk Meter.

Teddy definitely blew it when he said that, BUT it was the truth. Even Debbie immediately acknowledged that the meat loaf was his and the sauce was hers. Of course, when she saw how the wind was blowing and everyone was lining up against Teddy, she had to throw in all that stuff about how they collaborated on it. I don't trust HER any more than Teddy.

Shays’ Rebel said...

Actually, I’m jealous of ALL chefs, but Ina is my favorite. Well, I don’t know if she’s a chef chef, but she’s terrific.