Sassy Living Below the Mason-Dixon Line


Are you a Barefoot Contessa fan?  I am, and the good news is that Ina Garten makes cooking easier than ever with her new cookbook, Make it Ahead:  A Barefoot  Contessa Cookbook (Clarkson Potter/Publishers).  ‘Tis the season to get some great tips and recipes for making a meal so you can enjoy your guests.   She even gives advice about which dishes are better when they are prepared in advance.

Ina features some of the new recipes on her blog, which will give you a taste (pun intended!) of this fabulous new book. Here are the types of food dishes you can expect: Make-Ahead Roast Turkey with Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy, Crusty Baked Potatoes with Whipped Feta, Skillet Brownies, Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes and Overnight Raspberry French Toast (my FAV).




Make it Ahead also follows Ina’s other book formats with conversational language and examples for how to prepare an actual meal in advance.  She also spotlights her food mentor Lee Bailey, who I was introduced to by my Aunt Nancy when I was in my early twenties.  While I was living the urbane lifestyle of Washington, D.C., Lee Bailey’s City Food was the blueprint for my fledgling entertaining style — how grateful I am for his advice to give guests a simple, good meal.  It’s exciting to see that Ina and I have the same food idol.

The holidays are upon us, so start them right with this book which will make entertaining easy and fun.  Thanks for my friends at Clarkson Potter for sending me this book to review.






Holiday Books — Add Panache to Your Home!

Well, dear readers, you know how I love decorating, reading and writing.  These three books combine all three.  Rejoice!

Thom Filica, who shot to fame on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, has restored a home in New York’s Finger Lakes district.  American Beauty:  Renovating and Decorating a Beloved Retreat highlights the result with over 300 photographs spotlighting luscious lake views and cozy, rustic comfort.  How to keep your own home in ship-shape?  The Butler’s Guide To Running The Home and Other Graces will help you!  Written by Stanley Ager, trusted butler of St. Michael’s Mount, off the shores of Cornwell, England.  If you are a Downton Abbey fan, you will delight in this interesting romp through proper housekeeping.

And, Christmas is about making certain every thing is perfect, right?  Ina Garten’s new cookbook, Barefoot Contessa – Foolproof, offers recipes that  guarantee the culinary success of your holiday meals.  Think lobster corn fritters and mustard-marinated flank steak.  Your guests will be impressed, and only you will know the secret.

Thanks to my pal, Carly, for sending me these fabulous books!  Christmas is coming…