Barefoot Contessa: Back To Basics. My version of cooking usually involves a box, water, and a microwave, but Ina Garten breaks it down in a way that even culinary Tripp Palins like myself can grasp. I know what you’re thinking, “But this is a cookbook. You don’t read a cookbook, unless you’re cooking.” Wrong. The format of nearly all of the Barefoot Contessa books includes essays on domestic necessities including entertaining, place setting, floral arranging, selecting ingredients, and the like. Garten’s writing style is breezy and effortless, with a large dose of personality, minus the Food Network douchebaggery and BAM! Nearly all of the recipes can be adapted to vegan or vegetarian diets, and the “Easiest Brownie Pudding” will have you drooling down the spine. Featuring some of the best food photography around. Loved it.