Housewife Meets Contessa

I posted a while ago about my great debt to Ina Garten.  I know my family secretly gets down on their knees and prays that nothing happens to my Barefoot Contessa cookbooks.  I’m not a cook, but with Garten’s help, I can fix a meal.  Triumph.

Garten has a new cookbook out and she’s been getting a good little bit of publicity.  House Beautiful recently featured her “barn” which she built to entertain and to film the show.

As if I weren’t already besotted, I spied the Ted Muehling candlesticks on the mantle.  Pea soup green with envy.  (By the way, I can’t say these are Creative Candles for sure, but that is what Muehling recommends.  Couldn’t pass up the KC connection.)

Garten’s Paris flat appears in Town and Country this month as well.

I have admired all her homes for their serene, subtle interiors.  

They are the sort of back drop I always like and think I want, then I end up with walls the colors of M&Ms.

Lucky me, Garten is in Kansas City this week and Mr. Blandings and I are sneaking away in the middle of the day on Thursday to see her.  11 o’clock, Unity Temple on the Plaza.  A very few tickets are still available through Rainy Day Books.
Photographs by Simon Upton courtesy of House Beautiful, November 2008.
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26 thoughts on “Housewife Meets Contessa

  1. Lucky you! The roasted butternut squash salad from the new book is outstanding. I plan to make it on Thanksgiving. Lecia

  2. Lecia – I don’t have the book yet but am picking it up before the event. I have seen a couple of the shows on the Food Network that feature the new recipes (and dreamy T.R.) and they look great!

  3. I HAVE made it (it’s in the new HB) and it is wonderful! Mrs. B — I’m coming up as well — she is my culinary hero and I can’t wait! Perhaps we can finally meet!


  4. i am even less of a cook than you, mrs b, but every time i see ina on television, i sure think i wanna give it a try…

    love her!

  5. Oh, pinch yourself now! I can’t decide who will be more excited to meet her, you or Mr.Blandings! I make a better omelette all because of Ina.
    I also adore her interiors. They do look very mid-western modern. I would be barefoot in that kitchen or in that bath any day!
    Please post all about your thursday.

  6. Ina’s recipes are the best…easy to prepare and always yummy. I also like her relaxed way of serving those delish recipes to her guests.

  7. When her last book came out my husband graciously waited in line with me for over 2hours! He secretly adores her recipes. I did see her once in Easthampton having lunch with one of her friends from the show. My heart be still I was so excited. I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of her book today.
    Another great book is the one published by Society for Memorial Sloan Kettering: Park Avenue Potluck great photos and good recipes.

  8. We are all waiting with bated breath for your review of the event. I checked her schedule and no visits in my neighborhood. But her new cookbook is 40% off at Borders so I’m on my way.

    And I want that desk with the glorious photo above it. Imagine paying the bills while sitting there!

  9. Love Ina. She’s like taking valium. Something about her mellows me out.

    I’m loving that barn house of hers, but don’t you think that lighting choice is a bit weird?

  10. You are so lucky!! I love Ina. Everytime I attempt to cook one of her recipes, it always seems to turn out well. And that is a feat in and of itself!

  11. Who wouldn’t love Ina…she is fantastic!! I’m upset though because everyone seems to have her new book already and when I called “The Good Cook” book club they tell me it hasn’t been released from the publisher yet?? Thanks for posting the great pictures of her barn…I love it!

  12. How superbly lucky Kansas City is this week – my wish is to someday meet Ina – her recipes never fail and I always “sail” into them with such confidence because they will be delicious! The House Beautiful spread of her Paris apartment was sublime. Let us know what fun is was to meet her.

  13. I am so excited-she is coming to LA on November 14th to a Williams Sonoma store-I am thinking of driving up there to meet her and get her new book, love the new barn and have been watching the new episodes, i already own 5 of her books!!

  14. Oh, you can get a picture with her and start a collection for your kitchen wall!
    I was on a house tour and one kitchen had autographed menus and pictures of the home owners with famous chefs- it was darling.

    My Father in Law lives in East Hampton and I’m always on the look out for Ina-love her- she’s so relaxing to watch.

  15. So sorry, I’ve been away all day.

    Martha – Yes! I hope we do meet – finally!

    Darling M – this is the place to start. Her recipes are easy, not 27 ingredients, no trip to a specialty store – and yummy. If I can do it, you can!

    Patricia – it’s Mr. B by a nose. 🙂

    Courtney et al – no pics this time – it makes me feel too silly.

    anon –

    Megan – I hadn’t noticed it before, but, yes, I agree. Off.

    Linda – that is a charming idea. We have been to the Hamptons a few times and I am always on the look out. I had a brush with Ina about a year ago – I met dreamy TR at a restaurant. He’s absolutely delightful. And gorgeous.

  16. If you have ever had that horrible California Onion Dip, try Ina’s Caramelized Onion Dip and you will never eat that swill again. You could just SWIM in it. Very simple. It’s on the net, maybe Food Network. Take it from me and double it. She’s a genius….Remember she uses kosher salt. If you make it with regular salt, it will be overpowering (any of her recipes) I’d kill for that tub!

  17. I’m jealous. I hope it was all you hoped for. Aren’t these pictures gorgeous??!! I tore them out of House Beautiful for my inspiration binder…

  18. I found your blog while looking for info on antiquing in Paris and other parts of Europe. I stopped in my tracks when I saw the name Mrs Blandings. My local salesman at the paint, paper and decor shop has been calling me Mrs Blandings for years. The name caught on with other friends and family. I saw the movie many years ago and when I bought my house 12 years ago, I began to live the story. I cried at the closing where my father convinced me to buy the oldest, most run down house in a premier neighborhood. I now have an 18 room victorian mansion on the ocean in one of the finest areas of Cape Cod. I am now waiting for the workmen to finish the garages so I can work on my antiques. It has been a difficult but amazingly satifying project. I’m quite excited about my trip to Europe this winter. I am going to Italy, England and Paris France on an antiquing trip run by Check out thier website. Good luck with your project. I’ll check your blog occasionally. Felicia

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