A Bundt Cake with a Wonderful Flavor – Barefoot Contessa 57

As a way to make good on my promise to include more Ina Garten recipes this year, I made a Bundt cake with a classy flavor combination. At least I think it’s a classy one–for me it invokes upper crust and “adult flavors.” What is this flavor you ask? Chocolate and orange. Like all of Ina’s recipes, this cake was very easy to bake and tasted so yummy. I also got to use the new photography backgrounds I purchased a few weeks ago. I think the photos came out great.

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A Return to the Ina Project

Earlier this week, I found myself on Ina Garten’s website. I can’t recall exactly why I was there but nevertheless, I was lost in the Ina’s World tab for a little while. I noticed the link to the cookbook index and wondered if it was finally updated to include the recipes from Ina’s most recent book, Go-To Dinners.

Sure enough, it was!

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Top Thanksgiving Dessert Options

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Can you believe it? Seems strange to me. It’s almost like it snuck up on us, right? This year, we are doing a much smaller Thanksgiving celebration and, officially, it’s on Saturday, not Thursday. But, I’m still tasked with making dessert and currently in the process of narrowing down what I should make.

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A Pound Cake with an Ina Twist – Barefoot Contessa 55

Ina Garten’s new book, Go-to Dinners came out towards the end of October. Being the Ina fan that I am, I was able to get my hands on a copy a couple days after its release (Thanks, bf!), but because of…life… I haven’t had the chance to really look through it, let alone bake anything from the book.

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Barefoot Contessa 54 – Chocolate White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I can’t believe it’s been over six months since I last made an Ina recipe! Wow, time sure does fly!! This is also a quick post because things have been quite busy for me the last couple of weeks. But I did get a chance to get some baking in. I needed something quick and easy and thanks to streaming services I found the perfect recipe!

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First Bake of 2022!

Now that the whirlwind of the holidays has ended, I am able to focus on blogging and baking once again. As the first bake of the new year, I decided to make something out of an Ina Garten cookbook. After looking over her recipe index, I decided that a fall/winter fruit dessert would be the perfect choice. So, Pear, Apple, and Cranberry Crisp!

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Barefoot Contessa 53 – Crinkled Chocolate Chip Cookies

Well look at this! A Barefoot Contessa recipe! The first since sometime in May…I think?

I was in the mood to bake, but didn’t really want to have to go out and purchase any additional ingredients. Which basically means that I had the necessary items to whip up chocolate chip cookies. Then came the decision to make this version from Ina.

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Barefoot Contessa Recipe 52

This recipe comes from Parties! page 236.

The second baking recipe I made over the weekend comes from the early days of Ina. Her second cookbook, Barefoot Contessa Parties! takes on a menu-based theme. Recipes are organized not by type, but by party theme.

The recipe I chose to make from this book is one of three variations on the same base recipe. Combined, all three would make wonderful treats for friends or family. But the star recipe of the bake on Sunday was the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk cookies.

There were surprisingly so simple to make. At first I was hesitant because there isn’t a lot of peanut butter in the recipe and it makes a lot of cookies…like over three dozen! At least that’s how many I got out of it. However, upon biting into one, they tasted like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup! I was in heaven!

In the recipe, Ina states that these cookies should bake for 17 minutes. I did that for the first tray of 8 cookies. But when I removed them from the oven, I found them to be too browned and overdone. When tasted, they were much drier and didn’t really have a lot of flavor. They were overdone.

So, I adjusted for the remainder of the batch. I baked them for only 16 minutes and they were perfect! What a difference 60 seconds could make, huh? Who would have thought so much could happen in such a short amount of time?

These cookies are super simple but packed with flavor. Everyone loved them. I think they belong on the Favorites list!

Barefoot Contessa Recipe 51

This recipe can be found in Back to Basics, page 214.

This past weekend was filled with baking and cooking! After a long hiatus, I finally got the BC bug and dived head first back into the project. Over the course of three days I made a total of five Barefoot Contessa recipes. You can see the full list here, but the different review posts will be dropping over the next couple of weeks.

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Barefoot Contessa Recipe 50

This recipe can be found in At Home, page 37

Well I finally made one — a sandwich!

I had been anxiously waiting to start the sandwich category for a little while, but it just never came to be. Until this past weekend. It had been a while since I made my last BC recipe — especially a savory one. But this weekend was a little busy for me and I didn’t want to spend a lot of time standing over the stove, in line at the grocery store, or baking something in the oven.

The solution? A sandwich. After glancing through the list of 28 sandwiches, a few jumped out at me. Such as the Croque Monsieur, Lobster BLTs, and Soft-Shell Crab Sandwiches. While these all sounded very tasty, and my mouth did start to water when reading about them in the cookbooks, I quickly realized that all these choices would involve at least one of the things I didn’t want to be doing that day.

So, I skipped them and settled on something that seemed easy enough. And I had just about everything on hand already. It was a win-win!

This chicken salad was pretty easy. But, I did make some modifications to it. First, I didn’t roast the chicken in the oven. I cooked the two breasts on the stove (I didn’t want to turn my oven on that day…too warm!). I also only made enough for two sandwiches, not the four that the recipe yields, so I made the adjustments to ingredients accordingly.

It doesn’t look like a lot of chicken, and to be honest, it wasn’t. But, it was the perfect amount to make my two sandwiches.

I added the tarragon, salt, pepper, celery, and mayonnaise just like Ina said. I also decided to include some red grapes that we had left in the fridge. There was only a large handful left and only a few that were still “edible.” So, I just used them up.

However, after combining everything, things looked a little loose. So, I popped it in the fridge for about a half hour before making the sandwich, just to firm things up and allow the flavors to marry. When I was ready to make the sandwich, I toasted some bread, slathered a thin layer of mayo on one slice, and piled about half of the chicken salad on top.

When I bit into it, I was pleasantly surprised. The addition of tarragon adds a hint of licorice-like flavor that I wasn’t really expecting. But, I did like it. Tarragon and poultry go well together, it seems. Many chefs (including Ina) use it when making roast chickens or turkeys. It’s definitely an herb I’ll have to keep in mind.

This chicken salad is a great quick meal that can be made in no time any night of the week. It also seems like it can be scaled up easily to serve a large group of people. While it didn’t blow me away, it did hit the spot, and it taught me to add tarragon to my chicken salad to liven things up a bit!