By Ina Garten
I read cookbooks like they're novels. I take them to bed at night. I rediscover one in my collection, and I pore over it. When I'm on location, as I am now, I always bring Ina Garten—sure enough, the tomatoes for her roasted-tomato basil soup are in the oven downstairs. Now that I have a family, it feels right to make their dinner, but it's daunting. Most cookbooks either try too hard to be easy—"and now you're going to throw in some Cheez Whiz"—or try too hard to be healthy. But her recipes are just good. They taste like a real cook has made you dinner. The swordfish is my husband's favorite thing in the world, and I make extra sauce to put on eggs the next morning. She knows what she's doing, that lady. She doesn't patronize you. She makes a cook out of a noncook. Buy a few ingredients, make one of her recipes, and you'll feel like a stud.
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