Sometimes, You Just NEED to Have a Brownie – Barefoot Contessa Recipe 59

Hello, readers! It’s been quite a while since I posted a recipe-related post, hasn’t it? Well, I’m back this week with an Ina Garten dessert recipe that is sure to knock your socks off! I couldn’t believe how tasty and flavorful these brownies were. The Barefoot Contessa is known for combining simple ingredients and flavors to make something even stellar and this recipe is no exception.

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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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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 56

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 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 47 Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Shortbread

This recipe can be found in Modern Comfort Food.

In addition to the Herb-Marinated Pork that I made last week, I was in the mood to bake. But I wanted a simple recipe that wouldn’t have me spending hours in the kitchen measuring, mixing, baking, and cleaning. After a few minutes of flipping through the Barefoot Contessa Index, I stumbled upon the Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Shortbread recipe from Comfort Food.

This seemed to be a somewhat straight-forward shortbread recipe. But it was the first time I made short bread before. In the head notes to this recipe, Ina said that these cookies taste just like Milanos. I mean, anything that tastes or resembles a Milano cookie has to be good, right?

While this recipe is easy and doesn’t cause an over abundance of dishes (which seems to be common with many baking recipes), this recipe does require you to get a little messy. But as Gesine Prado says, “…you have to get messy to get delicious.” After combining the dough, you need to shape pieces of the dough into logs.

I got about halfway through the shaping process when I realized that my logs probably had too much dough and would puff up a bit more than they should have during baking. It also meant I would get less cookies, but I think that was actually better for my family since it would help with controlling the amount we eat.

After baking, my prediction came true. The cookies ended up being a bit fatter than the ones in the photo. But since it wouldn’t impact the taste, I didn’t mind so much. I used a cookie scoop to ensure even sized cookies. I just used the wrong one. I should have used the smaller one, not the medium one. Oh, well. Now I know for next time!

The cookies looked and smelled so good after removing them from the oven that I had to try one even before I was able to dip them in chocolate! But as you can see in the picture above, some of the cookies lost their shape as well. Again, I think this has to do with the amount of dough used or how tightly I shaped them. Some may have been shaped a little more loosely than others, causing them to spread out more.

Once the cookies were cooled, I melted the chocolate and mixed in the melted butter. The addition of melted butter seemed odd to be at first but I did it anyway! It caused the chocolate to become a little thicker and helped it not to spread out too much.

After dipping them all in the chocolate, as directed in the recipe: only the top of the front of the cookies, I let them sit for about 45 minutes before eating one. I opted not to add the chopped nuts as called for in the original BC recipe.

Far from perfect, but still fancy-looking and definitely yummy!

These cookies actually taste better cool! At least for me. Allowing the cookie to cool gives all the flavors time to marry together and taste better. There is a LOT of sugar in these cookies, so if you eat one while still warm you won’t get the right effect since the sugar is still hot from baking.

While the cookies I made came out looking far from perfect, everyone liked them. In fact, some people recommended that they be made around the holiday season. And I think with them dipped in white chocolate and then decorated with chopped up peppermint pieces, they would look festive and taste great!

Barefoot Contessa Recipe 44: Roasted Parsnips & Carrots

This recipe can be found in Back to Basics, page 179.

I was tasked with making the vegetable dish for Easter Sunday dinner. Naturally, I turned to Ina. I wanted something easy and that could be cooked on the grill. The oven was over-taken by the ham.

By needing the grill, I was left with finding recipes for roasted vegetables. Thanks to a cast iron pan we have, I was able to roast the vegetables in a similar manner as if I had been using the oven.

So, I settled on carrots and parsnips, these were a big hit with the family when I braised them a few weeks ago.

Since I cooked them on the grill and in cast iron, the vegetables cooked much quicker than they would have in the oven. To be honest, they were a little OVERDONE, but they still tasted fine.

February 2021 Cooking Roundup

Look at me! March is almost half over and I realized I never posted the February Cooking Roundup! Well, better late than never, right?!

February was not as prolific for me as January was, but I was still able to make a few recipes. I am slowly but surely chipping away at that 1,056 recipe total! In February, I made a total of five Ina Garten recipes and two originals!

After taking the first week of February off from cooking, I made a wonderful vegetable soup that was my own original recipe! You can see how it turned out here. If you make this recipe, let me know how it turned out for you!

Next, I made another original recipe. This is also a recipe that I’m still working on perfecting. But for now, my Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe is on the blog for all who care to enjoy.

The first Barefoot Contessa recipe of February came around halfway through the month. It still amazes me that I was able to get five recipes down in only two weeks’ time. This was Recipe Number 31: Perfect Roast Chicken. I still can’t get over the fact that it took me this long to make Ina’s signature dish!

Next, I tackled my first fish dish of Ina’s. The salmon was so tasty and will definitely become a staple recipe in my house! To go along with the salmon, I needed a side dish. After all, salmon on a plate is a little bland and unappealing. I wanted something vibrant and yummy to help enrich the plating of the salmon. Thus, I made Recipe Number 33: French String Beans. While the string beans are the pain attraction in this side dish, the peppers and onion help to bring the flavors together.

I rounded off the month with some comfort food! Banana Rum Trifle, which I’m still dreaming about. And finally, another Barefoot Contessa classic: Macaroni and Cheese.

I can’t wait to see what March brings!