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Barefoot Contessa TV "Specials"

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I guess this is what we'll be getting from now on if we want to see new BC shows.  Better than nothing but still...

 

Today's LA special exhausted me.  Too many visits, too much talking fast and over each other.  The best parts were cooking with Jennifer Garner and Neil Patrick Harris & his husband.  Why waste such a short time with the great Wolfgang Puck?  Why bother with the bartender teaching Ina a new cocktail?  Cooking with the Wilson sisters could have been so much fun...barely got to see them (and we didn't get to see them enjoy the food they prepared either).  

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I really, really enjoyed today's Barefoot in LA. I will admit that I much prefer Ina in East Hampton, but it was fun to see her having so much fun in Cali.

Jennifer Garner was, by far, the highlight for me. It was a relaxed segment and showed some of her home and garden, prepping and cooking, dining on the pretty porch, cute kidding around with each other, and a few snippets from Jennifer about her girls. She is lovely and genuine; Ina seemed to really enjoy their time together. (Ben A. is a fool)

I agree about the Wolfgang Puck segment -- could've been amazing, but so rushed!

The bartender was fun to watch -- shows how easy it is to make a cool drink. I liked her.

The Wilson sisters barely registered for me.

NPH and David Burtka were great. Loved everything about it. The shopping, the warm humor, and the steak salad looked soooo good!

Edited by MerBearHou

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I sort of had the opposite feeling when it came to Jennifer Garner.  Something was off about her; like disingenuous or phony.  Then again, we now know what she was going through with Ben, so maybe in trying to disguise her inner-sadness and put on a happy face, she came off odd and a little OTT.

 

That said, they definitely did cram too many people in, most of the time going to NPH and David (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them!) and Jennifer.  Carnie and Wendy were but nano-seconds, and I would have liked to see more, especially since Carnie really didn't do anything, and she's the one who's known for her cooking and baking.

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Ina seems so much more comfortable and in her element at home with her gay male friends. The first half of the show in L.A. didn't do much for me, but I enjoyed NPH and DB. That seems just like a regular episode of "Barefoot Contessa."

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Carnie Wilson is just as short and as round as Ina, LOL (hard to believe that tall, lanky Wendy is her real sister except that there is an obvious family resemblance.) The special was OK, but I wouldn't go out of my way to watch it again, the food was unremarkable, 

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Carnie Wilson is just as short and as round as Ina, LOL (hard to believe that tall, lanky Wendy is her real sister except that there is an obvious family resemblance.) The special was OK, but I wouldn't go out of my way to watch it again, the food was unremarkable, 

I remember she had a gastric bypass many years ago, and then she gained the weight back so she had a lap band just a few years ago, and looked great.  It looks like she gained back a lot of the weight again. :(

Edited by cherry slushie

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I wish everyone would stop trying to make Carnie Wilson happen as a FN personality. She's a spastic fool, 90% of the time. It's bad enough to see her on the competition shows, but really, foisting her on Ina is just ridiculous. I don't mind Jennifer Garner as an actress, but she just always comes across as so desperate as a person, all the time, I just can't with her. Neil and David shined. I could see David getting a FN show. The only thing I didn't like was David kept saying "MY" kids while Neil was standing right there. Nope, those would be "OUR" kids and I kinda felt bad for Neil. 

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The only thing I didn't like was David kept saying "MY" kids while Neil was standing right there. Nope, those would be "OUR" kids and I kinda felt bad for Neil. 

That really was awkward!  The first time he said "my kids" was a little odd, but then he kept repeating it which turned it into something else IMO.  Later on NPH mentioned "my" house (which may be nothing but by that point I was like a dog with its ears pointed forward!!)   Anyhoooo...the best segment of the entire show for me was when NPH, Ina and David were almost overcome by the ground spices being applied to the steaks.  That was hilarious.  And I keep thinking about how wonderful that steak looked once grilled. 

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I think the part that really bothered me was the repeated use of it. It also doesn't help that when the twins were first born, it was said they didn't know who the bio father was, it could be either, but then it turned into so many spectating it was David, and then finally David saying there was 2 eggs, one fertilized by each of them. David has since said he's leaning towards Harper being his and Gideon being Neil's. The whole thing made me like David less. 

 

Ina being choked by the spices was funny. It's stuff like that that makes her seem so much more relatable than her perfect Hampton's life and her perfect Paris apartment. 

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I finally saw the show, and I agree it felt rushed. I wish they had done a mini-series like they did the last time they were in California. I also thought some of the camera work was too jerky. I guess that's considered "edgy"  but I find it jarring. Other than that, I liked it. It was good to see a new episode.

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I also felt it was rushed. It had potential, but could have been so much better. (Said the Monday morning quarterback!) It just seemed like she was with Wolfgang Puck for like a minute ... then on to the next ... and the next. I would have preferred longer segments with each person. YMMV.

Edited by Westiepeach

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I keep missing the LA special.  Is there a way to watch it online?  Anyone know?

It's airing tomorrow at 6 pm and Thursday at 4 pm.

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It was nice to see Jennifer Garner's house and lovely vegetable garden, I hadn't pegged her for a green thumb.  But yes, this was especially strange to watch knowing what was to come, I think it might have tainted that segment for me, because it's like I was looking for some sign of her unhappiness or sadness.  

 

There is never enough Wolfgang Puck for me.  Love the accent, love his cheery personality, love his beautiful food.  I felt like we didn't even really get a sense of what that dish tasted like from Ina, it was so short.  Just lots of moaning, not anything that descriptive.  

 

Is anyone going to try Ina's quinoa salad?  I swear it sounded like something she's made before.

 

I found NPH and his husband to be a little over the top hammy, but I still enjoyed the segment.  And Ina seemed to really like that cocktail!  I love the idea of making lots of porcini rub at once.  

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Finally, I managed to catch this.

 

I see what you guys meant when you said that the whole thing felt rushed.  This probably should have been two separate episodes.  Carnie and Wendy Wilson were a blur -- was their segment even four minutes?  The cocktail segment was so ridiculously stupid.  First of all, I'm pretty sure Ina has made a Manhattan before, and then the woman was "teaching" her how to stir.  What?  The whole thing was odd.

 

The show made such a big deal out of this being taped on Jennifer Garner's birthday.  If memory serves, twitter was alight because Ben had been spotted in remote Canada with another woman on his wife's birthday.  I think some of Jen's exclamations about this being her ideal birthday and the best day sounded a little forced but considering what was going on...

 

Jen tries so hard to make things ideal, she kinda reminds me of a more friendly version of Martha Stewart.  The garden being so new made me wonder if she didn't have it planted specifically for the show.  Also, I think the kitchen/dining area that we were shown was the subterranean guest house where (the tabloids report) Ben is actually living now.  I don't blame her for not wanting her real kitchen on the show, though.  You could tell that she and Ina had just met for the show and are not friends in real life.   There was a forced, weird vibe at times.

 

I like it when Ina has guests over to cook at her home in the Hamptons so the last segment was my favorite.  Having a couple of gays out to her house to shop, dine and drink feels much more organic to me.  NPH and DB were so over-the-top hammy, it was pretty perfect for the general tone of this show.  They fit right into her little world.  I need a gif of NPH giving Ina the Heimlich, ASAP. 

 

For whatever reason I'd love for Ina to have Bravo's Jeff Lewis over to cook a meal.  Can you imagine?

Edited by LilaFowler

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I don't know why the LA show was so off. When she went to Napa, it was okay. Maybe it was the guests more than it was her? I hope she does more shows but they need to work either on the editing or format or guests or location. Something is off when she leaves the Hamptons.

I think there were too many segments, too many interesting people and you could feel the hurried (almost frantic) pace.  I felt badly for Jennifer Garner, someone who so wanted to cook with Ina and when it finally happened, it was during a miserable time in her life.  Really couldn't stand the OTT hamminess of NPH and & DB;  I just didn't like their segment until they were in the kitchen, cooking with Ina.

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Jennifer seemed like she wanted Ina to sit on the couch and sob with her.

 

I love Jennifer Garner and think she's so down to earth and lovely.  It is sad that this was taped during what was probably a sad time for her.

 

I did have to laugh when Ina passed Jennifer the plate of typically Ina-sized cookies (as big as Jennifer's head), and as soon as Jennifer took one she acted like she was going to break off just a piece to taste but then stopped herself.  I don't imagine you stay as in-shape as JG by eating too many cookies of that size, much as you might want to.

 

Overall I enjoyed the show, mostly because it's good to see anything new from Ina on the boring old Food Network.

Edited by anneofcleves

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If shows were rated by physical reactions, I'd give the L.A. show a shrug.  Truthfully, I really didn't enjoy it all that much.  As people before me have said, the show was rushed.  I also felt that there was no real star power, considering that Ina went all the way to L.A. to cook with the stars.  I give points to David for his humor and for lightening up the show a bit.  His and NPH's segment was the only thing that saved the show, IMHO, specifically David's humor. 

 

It has been widely written that Jennifer has been bugging Ina to let her come to East Hampton to cook with her.  Ina has been steadfast in her refusal, saying that if she had one star on, she'd have to have them all.  I felt that this was Ina's way of appeasing Jennifer.  I am not a JG fan because she always strikes me as being "put on."  The segment just didn't click for me.

 

I think that Ina is most relaxed and happiest at home or in Paris with friends.  There is something edgy about her when she's on the road.  I think of her as being shy -- not aloof -- when surrounded by people she doesn't know well.  I don't fault her, but I think her specials would be much more special if she stuck with what she loves.

Edited by Lura
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It has been widely written that Jennifer has been bugging Ina to let her come to East Hampton to cook with her.  Ina has been steadfast in her refusal, saying that if she had one star on, she'd have to have them all.  I felt that this was Ina's way of appeasing Jennifer.  I am not a JG fan because she always strikes me as being "put on."  The segment just didn't click for me.

 

 

 

I don't have the impression that Jennifer Garner has been bugging Ina to be on her show. Back in 2009, she did ask a mutual acquaintance of theirs to try to arrange for her to be on the show and was turned down as Ina then was only cooking with "real friends". I thought Jennifer handled that rejection gracefully and humorously by joking, "But Ina, I thought we were real friends. I know everything about you!" I'm glad she did get the chance to do the show even though that segment was not so comfortable. Jennifer seems like a nice, down to earth person as far as Hollywood celebrities go so I hope she enjoyed the experience at least a little.

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Jennifer quote:

 

"I tried to get on Ina's show over and over ... but eventually she just said, 'I'm sorry, I only use my real friends on the show.''  Jennifer went on to fume,  "I felt like 'What are you saying?  That we're not friends?    I know everything about you!" 

 

When contacted, Ms.Garten expressed surprise but refused to comment.

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I'm looking forward to this special.  I like Bobby.  My personal feelings about him took a dip during his divorce battle, but I think he's an outstanding chef, excellent on camera, and tries to be entertaining.  I wonder whether he consulted his best friend, Michael Symon, to see whether Michael enjoyed his visit with Ina.  From comments Bobby has made from time to time, I think he has a good deal of respect for Ina.

 

If Bobby barbecues ribs, for which he's so famous on "Iron Chef," I'm going to be drooling.  His recipe for pork shoulder and barbecue sauce (available at the FN) produces some of the best BBQ'd pork I've ever tasted.  It's a favorite at our house.

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I really, really enjoyed the Thanksgiving special with Ina and Bobby Flay.  I wish he would come to my house to smoke a turkey, which is one of the best flavors ever in my opinion.  Our smoker no longer works, but the few times we did it it was totally worth the effort.

 

The entire menu looked fabulous to me.  It seems like they really put an effort into coming up with a meal that was a nice assortment of tastes and textures, sweet and savory.  I know Ina has done savory bread pudding before, but this one looked so delicious with the Gruyere, sherry, pancetta, and apple.

 

I also really want to try the lemon ginger molasses cake - if someone tries it first please post a review.  It looks so simple, too.  That cake may be a bit of a risk for Ina to make, given that molasses just isn't as popular as it was back in the day, but I love the flavor.  I may sneak that into Christmas dinner.

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Aw, crap; I knew there was something I was supposed to record this morning, but I was too tired when I got home last night to figure out what it was.  It's on again next Saturday at some unholy hour, and then a couple of afternoons during Thanksgiving week.

 

I looked up the recipes, and Bobby's kale salad sounds really good.  I don't eat much rice, but wild rice is among the varieties I like, and I like everything else in it, too.

 

Ina's Brussels Sprouts sound fine, as I could eat Brussels sprouts daily and not get sick of them, but I'd rather save the shredding for raw dishes and eat them whole/halved them for a warm dish.  The cranberry sauce is nothing new, but tasty.

 

There isn't anything else I'd make other than maybe that cake, but I'll still check out a rerun.  Bobby Flay seems rather hit and miss as a person, but I generally enjoy watching him cook.

Edited by Bastet

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According to Foodnetworkgossip.com, Barefoot Contessa will have new, regular episodes coming.

 

-New daytime episodes of Valerie’s Home Cooking, Giada’s Holiday Handbook, Barefoot Contessa,  Brunch @ Bobby’s, Farmhouse Rules, Guy’s Big Bite, The Kitchen, Patricia Heaton Parties and Southern at Heart.

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I know Matt said that in his post, but if you read the entire FN press release, there is no mention of a BC season, whereas all those other shows have each episode of their new season outlined (unless I missed it).

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I know Matt said that in his post, but if you read the entire FN press release, there is no mention of a BC season, whereas all those other shows have each episode of their new season outlined (unless I missed it).

I understand :) I stumbled upon it...i'd love to see new episodes though!

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Bobby's turkey looked incredible and I liked seeing how he carved it, but the repartee between them turned me off. At times they were blowing more smoke up each other's asses than the turkey's, and at other times they were passively aggressively arguing over which of them knew more about cooking.

I didn't care for the menu so much, but that's just me, of course. I prefer to have the traditional dishes and compliment those with more unique sides I want to try like the shredded Brussels sprouts and vinegar. Happy Thanksgiving, hope there's something here you'd Ike to eat!

And what pronunciation of "gratin" were they using? Even in French gratin sounds close to "graw-tin." Struck me as pretentious rather than educated. And thank God Bobby was there to correct Ina that you could definitely taste the cream even though she seemed to like that the cream didn't overwhelm the dish.

Please show again me how to use $3 in canola oil to deep fry 4 sage leaves for 30 seconds. (But not too many sage leaves because they're one of the most aromatic herbs out there, you know, Ina. But don't forget oregano, Bobby. We're not using oregano in this dish but it's also very aromatic.)

Honest question: if you were presented a dish with whole leaves on top, would you eat the leaves? I would think they were there to add color to an otherwise brown potato dish. If they were meant to add to the flavor, the herb should've been baked into it, I would think.

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Honest question: if you were presented a dish with whole leaves on top, would you eat the leaves? I would think they were there to add color to an otherwise brown potato dish. If they were meant to add to the flavor, the herb should've been baked into it, I would think.

Yes absolutely.  They're delicious.  Fried basil leaves are also a delicious garnish. 

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I've had fried sage leaves and yes, they are really good. I guess that's the "it" garnish for this year's holiday season, as Giada also included them on her Thanksgiving show this morning.

 

To tell the truth, I've seen random FN host pairings with more chemistry than Ina and Bobby. They were OK together. Those two just come from very different approaches as far as cooking and entertaining go and it seemed like they were really having to stretch to find common ground. I liked Michael Symon best with Ina. 

 

I don't have any complaints about the food. Everything looked good and I'm definitely going to try the carrots.

 

I didn't care that much for Ina's table setting. It was kind of bland.

 

I thought it was weird that Ina was doing a complete test run for the big day, but throughout the show, she kept emphasizing the need to prepare as much as possible in advance. Surely, she doesn't do that IRL???? (It seemed kind of like a huge disconnect.)

 

Otherwise.... not repeat viewing for me.

Edited by grisgris

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Well, here's where mileage varies. I thought all of the food looked good, and that Ina and Bobby had good chemistry together. And I plan on watching it again.

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I thought the cake looked amazing, May need to try it next week. We're doing petite desserts this year so no one has to have a massive piece of pie if they just want a small bite.

Brussels were nothing new, carrots looked tasty. Bobby's salad looked delicious.

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I happened to catch a rerun of the 11/15 special today.  I'd go for the turkey, the potato gratin and the carrots but nothing else.  Bobby and Ina were ok together but nothing and I mean nothing compares with Ina and Michael Symon.  That guy needs to come back and cook with Ina again!

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The show was OK. Don't understand why they were doing a dry run so early before the holiday. Seems so wasteful.

 

I think the memo from FN corporate to all show hosts was was that all shows must have a "make ahead" theme.  It's kind of like BBQ or chocolate weeks, only slightly less annoying.

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With a few rather unimportant exceptions, I really enjoyed this show and plan on watching the recording again.  Bobby definitely seemed nervous at the beginning, but he loosened up as the show went on.  If Ina was nervous, it didn't show.  I DO agree that there were too many gratuitous exchanges of overblown raves.

 

The turkey looked spectacular and made me want to smoke one.  Everything else but the kale enticed me, and I definitely will try her cake.  Some gingerbread cakes are too strong for me, so I'm interested in knowing how the balance was in Ina's.

 

 

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"A Barefoot Holiday" airs tomorrow at 12 central/1 pm eastern. Ina and Jeffery kick off the holiday season with a festive getaway in the Berkshires with friends. How fun is that?!

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"A Barefoot Holiday" airs tomorrow at 12 central/1 pm eastern. Ina and Jeffery kick off the holiday season with a festive getaway in the Berkshires with friends. How fun is that?!

LOL! I see what you did there!

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Well, I didn't know about it but found it at 1:25 PM.  I'll have to watch for reruns.  Whose big "cottage" in the Berkshires were they using?  Who were the kids...Barbara's grandchildren?  I liked the food that I saw being prepared--especially the mushrooms and pasta.  I always wish Ina's specials were longer--Michael was just a blur setting the table (it was just ok which is strange considering Michael was doing it).  At the end, when they were discussing doing the same thing next year, they said Jeffrey could select the ice creams again (but he didn't...Ina selected all three!)  Has anyone made cookies with crystallized ginger?

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I'm halfway into watching and am bored to tears. I can make pea soup and hot chocolate and I've already seen a holiday special earlier this week where Ina made pasta with truffle butter for the 20-something food blogger. I was looking forward to watching Jeffrey make pasta from scratch -- with the flour well and eggs. LOL! I think I would have liked it better if the other couple would have been some of Ina's gay friends. I don't like Bobby and Barbara. They are just a bit too pretentious for my taste.

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I would make that pasta for sure.  And I'd make the pork if I knew enough people who actually eat pork.  (It made me laugh to see four Jews chowing down on ham for Christmas.  What's wrong with that picture?)  The rest of it was pretty much a waste of time.  I think I've finally had enough of Jeffrey as a dim-witted but adorable boob who can't be trusted to spoon his own yogurt out of the container.  And I found myself hoping that the real-life conversations Ina and Jeffrey have with their friends are more scintillating than the filmed-for-TV ones.

 

I also had a fantasy while I was watching the cocoa-at-the-cabin segment that the Libermans own progressively smaller and smaller dwellings in the Berkshire woods, and they and the Gartens have to have a meal in each one, until all four friends are huddled in a doghouse around the world's tiniest table.  But with an amazing centerpiece, of course.

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Awww.....I worked with a wonderful elderly Jewish man and helped him with his travel clients since I was a travel agent. He ate pork. Was devote, and also loved Christmas trees - his former agent that assisted sent him a little desk top one for years and years.

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The pretense of Bobby and Ina cooking together to test recipes for Thanksgiving was a good one I thought. And a good instruction for people learning to cook. Someone hosting a big dinner, unless they're very confident, should test their recipes in advance, for timing , potential glitches and taste. It was certainly a better pretense than the ridiculous sleepover st Bobbys!

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I love Ina, really really do, but found her Holiday special just meh. I wasn't inspired to cook anything. Nice to see how the rich and famous live I guess. I looked up Ina's Mercedes and was surprised it's only like a $55k model! I have seen Ina make a cheese platter umpteen times. The pasta looked like a mushy, heavy mess to me. Stirring hot cocoa with a candy cane? Huh? Oh, those were special candy canes from the quaint downtown Berkshires candy store, must taste different than mine from Walmart. She bought $100 in candy and cookies for 2 kids and adults who probably eat none? The pork roast didn't look good to me, looked very fatty. 3sticks of butter yielded only 20 cookies??!!?? I will always tune in for Ina, even just to watch her shop for candy and cookies. Thought it was funny watching the girl in the store "teach " Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa fame to make just plain regular French toast. Ina I do still love you!

Edited by CalicoskiesNC
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Has anyone made cookies with crystallized ginger?

 

 

If you mean Ina's recipe for Ultimate Ginger Cookies, yes, I made them. They are so overwhelmingly spicy and ginger-flavored, I couldn't eat them. I like a good ginger cookie as much as the next person, but these were just too hot! I ended up throwing them away. The people who gave them good reviews mentioned liking to snack on actual pieces of candied ginger, so if you like that, you might be able to eat these.

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