Christmas in July

Some years ago, I received as a gift, a cookbook called Barefoot Contessa Parties! written by Ina Garten. It sat on my over burdened cookbook shelf for a very long time gathering dust along with numerous other books that I just hadn't found my way to yet. One day while suffering from severe boredom at work, I logged onto FoodNetwork's website and found my way to their now non-existent food forums. I logged on to several of the message boards and finally settled upon the one created for Ina Garten's cooking show, The Barefoot Contessa. I didn't really know much about Ina, her show, or her recipes but quickly became a follower. I made several virtual friendships on that board and they carried over to the Contessa's Kitchen board that was created in honor of Ina after the Foodnetwork boards went belly-up.

Ina's recipes range from dishes that you would prepare for casual or elegant entertaining to good, home-cooked comfort foods and even wonderful desserts. I became inspired by her - her easy-going personality seemed to resonate through the TV and even into her recipes. I decided it was time to dust off the forgotten copy of Barefoot Contessa Parties! and crack it open. The first recipe that I chose was the Orzo with Roasted Vegetables. It quickly became a favorite and so I plugged along to her oh-so-good Lemon Bars and the next thing you know, Ina's Spinach Gratin had became a staple on our Thanksgiving table. Soon a second book, Barefoot in Paris, joined the ranks as one of the most used book on the overburdened shelf.

Yesterday as I'm strolling along one of the many aisle of food products at the Fancy Food Show, I come upon a booth for Stonewall Kitchen. I kept walking past the booth thinking that I don't need to spend alot of time with them as they are already one of my vendors and I'm pretty familiar with their products. I'm walking on past and there she was...Ina Garten herself, sitting in a director's chair next to a display of her Barefoot Contessa line of baking mixes, preserves, and marinades. I couldn't believe it! Were my eyes deceiving me? Was it REALLY her? Yep, it surely was. There wasn't a large crowd around, so I stepped up to the table and shook her hand. I shook Ina Garten's hand!!! She was so pretty - so natural and "girl-next-door" looking. She was very pleasant and happily signed her autograph on a postcard for me. It was so totally worth the price of the entire trip to New York. It was like Christmas in July....


Gina said...

Ina's cookbooks are the fave recipes...and the ones most often requested are:

Lemon Bars
All her cookie recipes
Outrageous Brownies
her granola recipe...



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