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Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

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For America’s bestselling cookbook author Ina Garten there is no greater pleasure than cooking for the people she loves—and particularly for her husband, Jeffrey. She has been cooking for him ever since they were married forty-eight years ago, and the comforting, delicious meals they shared became the basis for her extraordinary career in food.   Ina’s most personal cookboo For America’s bestselling cookbook author Ina Garten there is no greater pleasure than cooking for the people she loves—and particularly for her husband, Jeffrey. She has been cooking for him ever since they were married forty-eight years ago, and the comforting, delicious meals they shared became the basis for her extraordinary career in food.   Ina’s most personal cookbook yet, Cooking for Jeffrey is filled with the recipes Jeffrey and their friends request most often as well as charming stories from Ina and Jeffrey’s many years together. There are traditional dishes that she’s updated, such as Brisket with Onions and Leeks, and Tsimmes, a vegetable stew with carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and prunes, and new favorites, like Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken and Roasted Salmon Tacos. You’ll also find wonderful new salads, including Maple-Roasted Carrot Salad and Kale Salad with Pancetta and Pecorino. Desserts range from simple Apple Pie Bars to showstoppers like Vanilla Rum Panna Cotta with Salted Caramel. For the first time, Ina has included a chapter devoted to bread and cheese, with recipes and tips for creating the perfect cheese course. With options like Fig and Goat Cheese Bruschettas and Challah with Saffron, there’s something everyone will enjoy. From satisfying lunches to elegant dinners, Ina has tested these recipes over and over again, so you too can serve them with confidence to the people you love.


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For America’s bestselling cookbook author Ina Garten there is no greater pleasure than cooking for the people she loves—and particularly for her husband, Jeffrey. She has been cooking for him ever since they were married forty-eight years ago, and the comforting, delicious meals they shared became the basis for her extraordinary career in food.   Ina’s most personal cookboo For America’s bestselling cookbook author Ina Garten there is no greater pleasure than cooking for the people she loves—and particularly for her husband, Jeffrey. She has been cooking for him ever since they were married forty-eight years ago, and the comforting, delicious meals they shared became the basis for her extraordinary career in food.   Ina’s most personal cookbook yet, Cooking for Jeffrey is filled with the recipes Jeffrey and their friends request most often as well as charming stories from Ina and Jeffrey’s many years together. There are traditional dishes that she’s updated, such as Brisket with Onions and Leeks, and Tsimmes, a vegetable stew with carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and prunes, and new favorites, like Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken and Roasted Salmon Tacos. You’ll also find wonderful new salads, including Maple-Roasted Carrot Salad and Kale Salad with Pancetta and Pecorino. Desserts range from simple Apple Pie Bars to showstoppers like Vanilla Rum Panna Cotta with Salted Caramel. For the first time, Ina has included a chapter devoted to bread and cheese, with recipes and tips for creating the perfect cheese course. With options like Fig and Goat Cheese Bruschettas and Challah with Saffron, there’s something everyone will enjoy. From satisfying lunches to elegant dinners, Ina has tested these recipes over and over again, so you too can serve them with confidence to the people you love.

30 review for Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    Does she ever shut up about Jeffery?

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Kay

    Love this book. So much so, I've given as a gift several times. Plus, my girlfriend and I bought it at the same time so we could compare which recipes we've tried. Yummy recipes!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gwen

    Come for the recipes, stay for Ina and Jeffrey's immense love The recipes themselves aren't terribly innovative, but honestly, what comfort food is? The Barefoot Contessa wrote to share the things that Jeffrey loves, not what is trendy. (Namely, chicken. A decent amount of chicken.) The photos and personal stories shared are adorable and touching. "What Cooking for Jeffrey has taught me is the power of food. Cooking is one of the great gifts you can give to those you love. It says 'you're import Come for the recipes, stay for Ina and Jeffrey's immense love The recipes themselves aren't terribly innovative, but honestly, what comfort food is? The Barefoot Contessa wrote to share the things that Jeffrey loves, not what is trendy. (Namely, chicken. A decent amount of chicken.) The photos and personal stories shared are adorable and touching. "What Cooking for Jeffrey has taught me is the power of food. Cooking is one of the great gifts you can give to those you love. It says 'you're important enough for me to spend the time and effort to cook for you.' There is nothing more comforting than walking into a house that smells like there's a roast chicken and onions or a homemade apple pie in the oven. And when people show up around your table, you create a community of friends who take care of each other, which is, for me, the whole point of cooking." (16-17) Recipes I bookmarked: Butternut Squash Hummus (36) (Adapted from Ottolenghi) At 400* for 25 minutes, roast 1.25-lb butternut squash (1" diced) with 3 TBSP olive oil, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper. Let cool 15 minutes; save 1/4 C. for garnish. Add roasted squash to food processor and add in 1 can chickpeas (drained--save liquid), 1/2 C. plain whole-milk Greek yogurt, 1/4 C. tahini, 1/3 C. lemon juice, 4 cloves minced garlic, 1 tsp. sriracha, 1 TBSP salt, and 1 tsp. pepper. Pulse until processed but not pureed. Add in 1/4 C. chickpea liquid and pulse to combine. Add more liquid if needed. Garnish with reserved squash and a drizzle of maple syrup. Skillet-roasted Lemon Chicken (90) In mini-food processor, grind together 2 tsp. fresh thyme, 1 tsp. whole fennel seeds, 1 TBSP salt, and 1 tsp. pepper. Mix with 1/3 C. olive oil and set aside. Slice 1 lemon into half-moons, then layer in the bottom of a 12" cast-iron skillet. Sprinkle over 1 sliced yellow onion and 2 sliced garlic cloves. Place 1 butterflied chicken on top, skin side down, then brush with ~1/2 the oil mixture. Flip chicken over, pat dry with paper towels, and brush the rest of the oil mixture on the chicken. Roast at 450* for 30 minutes, then pour in 1/2 C. dry white wine (ex: Pinot Grigio) around the edge. Roast another 10-15 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Remove from oven, sprinkle over juice of 1 lemon, cover with foil, and rest ~15 minutes. Creamy Parmesan Polenta (140) In a large saucepan over high heat, bring 6 C. chicken broth and 3 cloves minced garlic to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, then very slowly stir in 1.5 C. stone-ground whole-grain cornmeal (Ina likes Bob's Red Mill), whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Switch to a wooden spoon, add 1.5 TBSP salt and 2 tsp. pepper, and simmer over very low heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring almost constantly, until thick. Scrap the bottom of the pan thoroughly as your stir. Off the heat, stir in 1.5 C. grated Parmesan, 6 TBSP creme fraiche, and 3 TBSP unsalted butter, diced. English Oat Crackers (189) I fell in love with oat cakes in the UK, especially with blue cheese/Stilton, and I bet Ina's are delicious. Pulse 3 C. old-fashioned oats, 1 C. flour, 1/2 C. lightly packed brown sugar, and 1 tsp. kosher salt together in a food processor ~45-60 seconds, or until oats are coarsely ground. Add 2 sticks/1 C. cold unsalted butter, cubed, and pulse ~15 times, or until butter is the size of peas. Dissolve 3/4 tsp. baking soda in 1/4 C. lukewarm water; drizzle into food processor. Pulse until mixture is evenly moistened and can stick together. Roll into balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a flour-dusted bottom of a drinking glass, press the balls down into crackers (3" diameter, 1/8" thick). Bake at 375* for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Stephens

    This month, the cookbook discussion and dinner party group that I lead met to enjoy and discuss selections we cooked from Ina Garten's 2016 cookbook, Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook (Clarkson Potter publishers). (Menu) Butternut Squash Hummus Herbed Fromage Blanc Lentil and Kielbasa Salad Asparagus and Fennel Soup Brisket with Leeks and Onions Roasted Italian Meatballs Roasted Ratatouille Creamy Parmesan Polenta Chipotle Smashed Sweet Potatoes Bourbon Honey Cake I've flipped through many a This month, the cookbook discussion and dinner party group that I lead met to enjoy and discuss selections we cooked from Ina Garten's 2016 cookbook, Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook (Clarkson Potter publishers). (Menu) Butternut Squash Hummus Herbed Fromage Blanc Lentil and Kielbasa Salad Asparagus and Fennel Soup Brisket with Leeks and Onions Roasted Italian Meatballs Roasted Ratatouille Creamy Parmesan Polenta Chipotle Smashed Sweet Potatoes Bourbon Honey Cake I've flipped through many a Barefoot Contessa cookbook in my bookstore adventuring, but I'd never found a volume to be so compelling as to demand a purchase. I decided to go out on a limb and picked up Ina's newest release to give it a fair review, thinking with this many successful cookbooks under her belt there must be something to her recipes right? No publisher is going to keep giving you book contract after contract if your recipes fall flat. I'm very glad I took the gamble; Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook provides page after page of tasty things to make in the kitchen and lovely pictures to accompany. As one of the dinner party guests mentioned, her recipes are well structured and very detailed, making them easy to follow for inexperienced cooks. She relies on ingredients that are relatively easy to source in American markets. And she has drawn from a great mix of ethnic influences for her recipes. With regard to the recipes our group cooked and sampled, my favorite was the Asparagus and Fennel Soup, as well as the Ratatouille served over the Polenta, and the Lentil and Kielbasa Salad (which I never thought I'd enjoy and which has this unique but surprisingly delicious pairing as it is served over herbed goat cheese spread on crackers). Perhaps the only criticism I can muster for Ina's latest cookbook is that most of the recipes were seemingly oversalted, especially the hummus and the meatballs. Luckily our member chefs spotted the excess of salt and scaled it back during dinner prep, but if they had followed Ina's recipes as written it would not have been a happy ending. So go forth and Garten it up, but pull back on the salt.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lorilin

    Not every recipe in here appeals to me, but there are some really good main dishes and even a couple of desserts that are awesome. I liked the autobiographical vignettes every few pages, too. The woman knows how to put together a cookbook!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    Leave it to Ina to give us another wonderful cookbook filled with delectable recipes and gorgeous photographs. She also gives us a snippet into her early life with Jeffrey (who we all love, too!) and the journey she took to get to this point in her life. Pouring over each page, I realized I will be trying some of these recipes in the very-near future. This one won't just be sitting on the shelf...it will be on my kitchen counter.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    I love this woman and I love her cookbooks. Unlike the others of hers I've bought or read though, I didn't find I lot of recipes I want to try. Some, of course, but not a lot. The charm for me was in her story and Jeffrey's. I wonder if it's been optioned for a movie yet, because it would be a darn good one. What wonderful and useful lives they've lived so far. I recommend this cookbook for the great stories; the recipes are a bonus.

  8. 5 out of 5

    N.N. Light

    If you're looking for recipes that will please even the pickiest eater, get this cookbook. A lot of the recipes are from the show. The recipes are easy to follow and have a lot of photographs. Makes a great gift, too! My Rating: 5 stars

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Gonna buy it. Love me some Ina.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Penny

    To quote Ina - (and I completely agree with her) - "Cooking is one of the great gifts you can give to those you love". Love her cookbooks and her programmes (which I can get via Satellite). I'd actually love to be her best friend or have her live next door so she could cook for me! Nothing startlingly new, and she can sometimes be a bit over lavish with the butter and cream, but these are recipes that really work. And they taste great too.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I enjoyed the personal stories and photos (I love Ina) and her recipes are always easy to follow and usually quite tasty, but overall this would not be a cookbook I feel I would need to purchase. Only a few scattered dishes I'd like to try - so I took a screenshot of them, and believe they're also online. I do think Ina and Jeffrey make an adorable couple and find their love for each other after 48 years together to be inspiring.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mabel

    I really like the little snippets of her life she puts in but there are recipes where I just thought it didn't seem entirely thought out just because the way she presents them is as though she just took the recipe from other famous cooks. I really enjoyed it and was definitely intrigued by some of the deceptively simple recipes.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    A love letter to Jeffrey ❤️

  14. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    So much love...and great recipes.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine

    This is a lovely personal letter in recipes from the author to her husband, Jeffrey. Cooking for Jeffrey by Ina Garten, a Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, is presented in a way that the reader feels she/he is having a conversation with the author. At least I felt this way. After reading this cookbook, I felt that I could try recipes that I have always felt were too difficult for me. Ms. Garten gave me that courage. That may sound a bit odd, but as this is a personal book, I felt, as I stated, as thou This is a lovely personal letter in recipes from the author to her husband, Jeffrey. Cooking for Jeffrey by Ina Garten, a Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, is presented in a way that the reader feels she/he is having a conversation with the author. At least I felt this way. After reading this cookbook, I felt that I could try recipes that I have always felt were too difficult for me. Ms. Garten gave me that courage. That may sound a bit odd, but as this is a personal book, I felt, as I stated, as though I was talking to the author. There is a bread recipe in Cooking for Jeffrey that I have always wanted to make. I think that I shall 'give it a go' now. Some grand recipes in this book which I plan to make. I hope that they come out as easily as the author says they will. Ina Garten has always made me feel so comfortable, and her Cooking for Jeffrey makes me feel comfortable and encouraged to cook!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    If I actually cooked, I would use this book!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    Actually some recipes I would make

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sydna

    As always, Ina Garten never disappoints. Every recipe looks delicious and I can't wait to get home and cook. I love the simple recipes (stock or sweetened whip cream or homemade ricotta) as much as the lamb with spring vegetables and the traditional Jewish dishes sprinkled throughout.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Libby

    What an interesting, nice woman, and marriage. I really enjoyed this book. And after not very far into it, I decided to cook all the recipes in order! I'm excited. Thank you Ina, you are inspiring.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Erin Roach

    This might be my favorite book of the year, I read it cover to cover. What a beautiful love story, punctuated by delicious recipes that I can't wait to prepare!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Wonderful text and recipes! Couldn't love Ina and Jeffrey more. Just a bit too slim!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Barnes

    We'll I just love her! I enjoyed her stories and the way she expresses her deepest joy of cooking for her husband. Great recipes, with all the added inspiration to cook for those I love.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Honor

    Alert! I have actually cooked from this book! Okay, so trust me, this is a good cookbook if you need go-to, weeknight recipes that will please everyone from your kids to guests. I have so far cooked four main dishes from this book. Rigatoni with sausage and fennel, pasta e fagioli soup, roast chicken with lemon and the lamb stew with spring vegetables. All were good and I'll make again. However, the chicken and the lamb stew are *all time best ever in their class, will work for any occasion keep Alert! I have actually cooked from this book! Okay, so trust me, this is a good cookbook if you need go-to, weeknight recipes that will please everyone from your kids to guests. I have so far cooked four main dishes from this book. Rigatoni with sausage and fennel, pasta e fagioli soup, roast chicken with lemon and the lamb stew with spring vegetables. All were good and I'll make again. However, the chicken and the lamb stew are *all time best ever in their class, will work for any occasion keepers*! If I get one of these all-time type recipes from a cookbook I deem it a success, but two out of four tries? That's something special. There are additional recipes - apple cider pork tenderloin, lentil and kielbasa salad that I must try ASAP. I think Ina's recipes hit that sweet spot of ease, flavor and sophistication (meaning, you can invite a friend over and she'll be like "wow!") But i cook every night for my family and am always looking for dishes that actually appeal to me as well as my little kids without taking too long or too many ingredients and Ina's perfect for me. There's nothing crazy, ingredient or technique wise, just good food - that's the caterer in her. The roast chicken with lemon is done in an hour and it's simple as hell and the best version of roast chicken I've ever made. I do agree with the general consensus that she over-salts. I would divide the salt by half the first time round in most recipes and go from there. I should add - this is not, to me, the kind of cookbook you buy just to read it cover to cover. It's just not that exciting unless you are a Ina Garten completist. To me, her cookbooks are for cooking out of - like less fussy versions of America's Test Kitchen. This book was a Christmas gift and I wasn't expecting much - so thank you, mom!

  24. 4 out of 5

    sheree (:

    There are few celebrities I love more than Ina Garten. Seriously. Can we just think about her, for a sec? She once worked in the White House writing papers on NUCLEAR POLICY and now she's the queen of throwing dinner parties and her whole life is just a MOOD. If I had to be trapped in an elevator with a famous person, I would pick Ina over Tom Hiddleston. And that's probably saying something. This cookbook contains my all-time favorite pasta recipe (modified because I'm broke and unsure if I like l There are few celebrities I love more than Ina Garten. Seriously. Can we just think about her, for a sec? She once worked in the White House writing papers on NUCLEAR POLICY and now she's the queen of throwing dinner parties and her whole life is just a MOOD. If I had to be trapped in an elevator with a famous person, I would pick Ina over Tom Hiddleston. And that's probably saying something. This cookbook contains my all-time favorite pasta recipe (modified because I'm broke and unsure if I like leeks) and now also contains my all-time favorite love story. Jeffrey first saw Ina when looking out the window of the Dartmouth library when it was still an all-boys school, then sent her a letter with a photo of himself, and it's been just the two of them ever since. How retro and upper class is that? Truly an aesthetic of a bygone era. And can we also talk about the fact that the cover of the book is precisely Hermes orange? Anyway, I love her, I'm going to have an emotional breakdown when she inevitably dies before me, and then I'll have to use this book as the focal point of my shrine.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Kiesow

    I’ve been planning and making meals and desserts out of this cookbook for a couple of weeks now and so far everything has been delicious! The limoncello ricotta cheesecake squares and the roast chicken with radishes were especially fabulous. This book really is like a love letter in recipe form. If you want to work with the full range of this cookbook there might be a few challenges for a starter kitchen— quite a few of the recipes call for a 7qt Dutch oven and a few pretty much require a stand m I’ve been planning and making meals and desserts out of this cookbook for a couple of weeks now and so far everything has been delicious! The limoncello ricotta cheesecake squares and the roast chicken with radishes were especially fabulous. This book really is like a love letter in recipe form. If you want to work with the full range of this cookbook there might be a few challenges for a starter kitchen— quite a few of the recipes call for a 7qt Dutch oven and a few pretty much require a stand mixer with a dough hook and I guess you could try to whip up the buttercream with an electric hand mixer, but an hour of that might strip the motor. Aside from some of the kitchen equipment challenges I have, I do love this cookbook. This week I’m onto the maple caramel pumpkin flan and the ratatouille with creamy Parmesan polenta.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Liz De Coster

    The introduction and interstitials, detailing the Gartens' relationship, might be a bit twee for many readers - but the recipes look as solid as you'd expect from a Barefoot Contessa book, representing dishes for all seasons. I appreciate the varied portion sizes, covering solo lunches to dinner parties, and her willingness to mix it up between from-scratch efforts and prepared ingredients. I wouldn't rate this a must-buy, but if you're a Barefoot Contessa fan and don't have one of her books yet The introduction and interstitials, detailing the Gartens' relationship, might be a bit twee for many readers - but the recipes look as solid as you'd expect from a Barefoot Contessa book, representing dishes for all seasons. I appreciate the varied portion sizes, covering solo lunches to dinner parties, and her willingness to mix it up between from-scratch efforts and prepared ingredients. I wouldn't rate this a must-buy, but if you're a Barefoot Contessa fan and don't have one of her books yet, I think this would do nicely.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    Ina Garten's 10th cookbook is her most personal one. She shares the recipes her husband loves the most and explains their origin or significance to Jeffrey. Stories of their lives together as well as some early photographs make this book a memoir as well as a cookbook. Resources include illustrations of Ina's pantry, Ina's starter kitchen, and Ina's professional kitchen. Gorgeous photographs of the finished dishes and the Hamptons round out this book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Gorgeous photos as always! I loved the personal stories Ina shared along with images from the "good old days." Other than drooling over the glossies in this compilation, it is highly unlikely that I will actually attempt to prepare more than a handful of these recipes, but I did copy a few to try. Ina's pantry and starter kitchen definitely helped me grow my wish list. And why doesn't my garden look like hers?

  29. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    This was the first of my Christmas books that I picked up and read. I love Ina and her recipes; she focuses on simple recipes made with quality ingredients. I also love learning more about her relationship with her husband and how they met. So charming, food I will actually prepare, and lovely stories. Plus, a great recipe for my favorite drink the French 75.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    I’m sure it’s intended to be heartfelt, but it struck me as outdated and meant for a very specific audience. Some of the ingredients and instructions seem above my skill level, but there are a few recipes I’d like to try. It’s just so bizarre that she wrote a cookbook about cooking for her husband.

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