Cookbook Review: Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?

If you are a long-time reader of this blog, then you know that it used to feature, almost exclusively, Ina Garten recipes and reviews. It was basically a lifestyle blog revolving around Ina Garten.

Even though I have decided to tweak things a bit (a move that I think will be much more enjoyable for me and my readers), I still want to pay homage to Ina Garten. So, the first Cookbook Review will be of one of her books.

This is not a new feature. I had previously reviewed the first six Barefoot Contessa cookbooks earlier this year. (Hint: on the homepage, click the Category “Cookbook Reviews” to view them.)

Okay, here it goes….

Continue reading “Cookbook Review: Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?”

Site Update Annoucement

Hello Faithful Readers!

If you’re like me, you can’t wait for 2020 to come to an end.

While I know that once the calendar flips to January 1st, 2021 things won’t magically change, but I think the start of a new year will give people hope as we start seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

Much like the calendar will be turning a new page to a new year, I have decided to take this blog to the next level in 2021.

What does this mean?

While I am and always will be an Ina Garten fan, I have found the focus of only making and reviewing her recipes a little too restrictive for my tastes. So, I’ve decided to branch out the blog to focus other chefs and cookbooks authors. I feel that overall this will give me more freedom and better training-through-cookbooks than only sticking with Ina’s recipes.

This is not to say I will never make another Ina recipe.

However, the freedom this provides me may prove more interesting and inspiring…also a little less fattening and more cost-effective.

What does this mean for the Blog?

Since I will no longer solely be focused on recipes written by Ina Garten, I have decided to change to a new domain that better reflects the brand I am trying to create and the overall goal of this blog.

Thus, beginning on January 1st, 2021 the Blog will become Ryan’s Kitchen Journal and live at a new domain

Don’t worry! The current URL will “point” to the new one until August, when the old domain expires.

I am working on some great things over the next few weeks to help improve the site and make it better overall. This may even include a new site design but we shall see!

I hope you continue to follow me on this journey. As always, thanks for reading!

Christmas Recipes

I hope everyone who celebrates had a wonderful Christmas!

I did not do too much cooking over the last few days, but I did end up making a Yule Log cake and keeping with the theme of this blog, I learned a few things.

I found a recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction for the cake, but I chose to modify it a bit. For example, I did not use hazelnuts. Instead, I used peppermint extract and crushed up candy canes to give it a little peppermint flavor. Unfortunately, the cake ended up having a little too much peppermint flavor overall.

Continue reading “Christmas Recipes”

New Year’s Cooking

Now that the major holidays are behind us — at least for my family — I can focus on getting back into the swing of cooking Ina recipes each week.

Even though New Year’s is this week, my family was never really “big” on doing anything for the New Year. In normal times, we would go to my aunt and uncle’s house New Year’s Day, but that isn’t happening this year.

So, I decided I will cook something for them…but now what remains is the blog-age-old question:

What shall I make?

Christmas Recipes

Hello Readers!

I just wanted to make a quick post to tell you all that I will be making a Yule Log cake later this week for Christmas. This is something I’ve always wanted to make, but have been too intimidated by the thought of it to actually do it. However, due to the pandemic and spending more time in the kitchen, I now feel I am confident enough to do it!

I found a wonderful recipe that can actually be completed over a couple days. So, I will be making the cake and filling it on Wednesday. I will cover it with ganache and make some of the decorations on Thursday and then assemble everything for presentation Friday afternoon.

Stay tuned for pictures and updates!

Recipe #22 Challah French Toast

This recipe can be found in Family Style, page 187.

This one of the first recipes I made from the Breakfast category that I actually I ate for breakfast! I had made Chocolate Banana Crumb Cake recipe last month which came from the Breakfast section.

This recipe has so much potential, but sadly I did not execute it well. First, I used bread that was too soft and got soggy really quickly. This led to not having crispy edges on the French toast during the cooking process. However, the flavor is present and tastes amazing! I was just missing that slight crispness around the edges.

This is a recipe I’d make again with sturdier bread. It is a quick meal and I can see it impressing someone if it’s executed properly.

The taste of the orange and vanilla was really prominent which was a nice change for me. Granted, I’m accustomed to frozen French Toast, so anything would be better than the box.

I will be taking the next couple of weeks off from cooking. Yes, even with Christmas on the way. But, I will just be too busy. Plus my brother is coming home and I haven’t seen him in a while.

I do plan to make some posts over the next two weeks. First, I will be reviewing another one of Ina’s cookbooks sometime next week. I’ll also make a post about the dessert recipe I try from the new cookbook I bought over the weekend.

Now, it’s time for me to get ready for the snow!

Until next time….

Preparing for Snow

Tomorrow, my state is expected to have the largest single snow storm in about 5 years! For my area, meteorologists are predicting around 15 inches of snow! It’s been quite some time since we’ve been forced to deal with that much snow in one go.

I am not a big fan of snow, so I’m not really happy about it, but I am looking forward to the possibility of not having work Thursday. Though, I’d rather be at work than having to shovel.

The time spent inside means I can have some time for myself and possibly make something. I purchased a new cookbook over the weekend, not an Ina one obviously. But I’m still excited nonetheless.

And if you’re wondering, yes. I did make something over the weekend. I made a breakfast item! It will post tomorrow.

Until next time….

Recipe #21 – Triple Chocolate Loaf Cakes

This recipe is from Cook Like a Pro, pg. 224.

Last weekend I made another dessert recipe, the Triple Chocolate Loaf Cakes. While the recipe was very simple, this was not exactly something to write home about. It was basically a very chocolate-y cake in a loaf form. What I did like though, is that it yields 2 loaf cakes. But in reality, I feel like I could have combined the two pans into one and gotten a taller cake.

It was tasty and simple and can definitely be used if you don’t need a full cake for something, but again, I wasn’t overly impressed with it.

The recipe calls for chocolate chips to be coated in flour before adding them to the recipe. I remember Ina saying something in one of the episodes of Barefoot Contessa that this helps the chips not sink to the bottom of the pan. Well, I did coat them in flour — generously — and they still sunk. Oh well!