I was so excited to be the proud owner of a brand-new copy of Ina Garten's latest cookbook, "Barefoot In Paris." As soon as I brought it home, I cracked it open and started gathering the ingredients for her brioche loaves. I was SO disappointed when I realized that after she claims that she was "surprised to find out that [brioche] was quite easy," the receipe is just instructions to use an electric mixer w/ a paddle, and then a dough hook. Not everyone can afford these fancy gadgets, and a receipe seems kind of soulless when most of the instructions are about what speed the mixer is on and for how many minutes. I ended up just kneading the bread and guessing how much and how long, and it still came out fantastic, but I am a little miffed. Is this a common and accepted practice, or is it evidence that Ina Garten's cookbooks are all about the pretty pictures?
I have another gripe: throughout the book, there are little notes like "I prefer Heinz ketchup," "I use Hershey's chocolate chips," and a whole section devoted to singing the praises of french restaurant supply store Dehillerin. Does she make money from all these endorsements? If not, why does she spend all this time sucking up? It's hard to take oneself seriously while making croque monsieur if you're being told "I use pepperidge farm white bread," and it certainly seems very un-french.