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Party gospel according to Garten
Ina Garten, owner of the successful, stylish, specialty food store, The Barefoot Contessa, and author of The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, has been catering parties for over 20 years. She's seen the "good, the bad and the ugly" and the advice she offers in her opulently illustrated new cookbook, Barefoot Contessa Parties!, is that good parties take planning, but they're not necessarily complicated. That, plus her luscious recipes, marvelous menus and inspirational ideas, is great news for all of us who have slaved over party prep and greeted guests feeling as though we've just run a marathon. She spells out the gospel guidelines - keep cool, keep the guest list lively, assemble rather than tremble. Garten provides the recipes for 16 parties, four parties per season: a spring Sunday breakfast featuring Roasted Asparagus with Scrambled Eggs; a summer Lunch in the Garden with all the lovely languor of an al fresco meal in Greece; a fall football fiesta centered on sandwiches that have more than a touch of class; and a winter Snow Day
celebration warmed by Chicken Chili and three kinds of cookies, among them. Ina's bubbly enthusiasm is infectious and her culinary confidence contagious.
Sybil Pratt has been cooking up the column for more than five years.