• Rolling Up Our Sleeves with Barefoot Contessa

    We're an [extra]ordinary group of cookers and bakers with a love of all things Ina. We'll be blogging through the recipes in How Easy Is That? as a group posting about them on each Thursday of every month.
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    Musings: East Hampton Clam Chowder

    We’ll be posting Ina’s East Hampton Clam Chowder on Thursday, Oct. 14.

    Have you made chowder before? How did this one stack up?

    Making any substitutions?

    Let’s talk chowda!

    October Recipes + a Giveaway!!

    In between a month’s hiatus from recipes and the start-up for blogging through How Easy Is That?, we’re going Ina-old school with recipes this month from Family Style and Parties!

    Oh and did I mention that we’re also doing a GIVEAWAY?! Yep, the folks at Random House have sent me a boxed set of three classic Contessa books: The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, Barefoot Contessa Parties!, and Barefoot Contessa Family Style and ALL readers of Barefoot Bloggers are eligible to enter (so spread the word!). Here are the guidelines if you’d like to enter to win this boxed set:

    1.Connect with us via Twitter.  Come back here and post your Twitter name (@_____) in the comment section of this post.

    2. Do this by Sunday October 10th at 9pm Eastern.

    One winner will be randomly chosen and notified on Monday October 11th.

    And now, on to the recipes!

    ~~~~~

    Laura from Family Spice

    has chosen East Hampton Clam Chowder

    which can be found in Barefoot Contessa Family Style on page 28

    and should be posted on Thursday October 14th.

    ~~~

    I’ve chosen the 2nd recipe by default again since the originally chosen 2nd recipe for September was a repeat and I couldn’t wait for another recipe before posting this.  I thought it would be a great complement to the chowda!

    Popovers

    which can be found in Barefoot Contessa Parties! on page 189

    and should be posted on October 28th.

    ~~~~~

    Musings: Oven-Fried Chicken (Post by Aug. 31)

    Fried chicken. Perfect for picnics, Sunday lunch and Wednesday supper.

    But oven-fried chicken? It’s tricky. Many have tried to come up with an oven-fried chicken as tasty as the original, but few have pulled it off. Does Ina?

    Let’s discuss Ina’s Oven-Fried Chicken!

    August Recipes

    Can you believe it’s August already??  Where has this summer gone to?!

    Even if time is zipping by, we’ve still got some great Ina recipes!  The 3rd recipe is optional but you may want to join in the fun while we start trying out new recipes from Ina Garten’s 7th (!!!) cookbook,  How Easy Is That? which is set to be released on October 26, 2010.  Ina’s cookbook publicist sent me an advanced copy of the book and has encouraged us to start trying some of the recipes – how cool is that??

    ~~~~~

    Vicki of My Fare Lady

    has chosen Oven-Fried Chicken

    which can be found in Barefoot Contessa Family Style on page 81

    and should be posted by Tuesday August 31st.

    ~~~

    Nathalie of Snowbell Jewelry

    has chosen Mixed Berry Cheesecake

    which should be posted by Tuesday August 31st.

    ~~~

    BONUS RECIPE!!

    Ultimate Grilled Cheese

    as chosen by Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake – to be posted by August 31st.

    serves 6

    12 slices thick-cut bacon, such as Nodine’s applewood smoked
    1 cup good mayonnaise
    1/4 cup Dijon mustard
    1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
    1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    1 white pullman loaf or sourdough bread, sliced 1/2 inch thick (12 slices)
    6 tbsp salted butter, at room temperature
    6 oz aged Gruyere or Comte cheese
    6 oz extra-sharp Cheddar, such as Cabot or Shelburne Farms

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Arrange the bacon on a baking rack set over a sheet pan in a single layer and roast for 20 to 30 minutes, until nicely browned.  Drain on a plate lined with paper towels and cut in 1-inch pieces.

    Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, Parmesan, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.  Lay 12 slices of bread on a board and spread each one lightly with butter.  Flip the slices and spread each one generously with the mayonnaise mixture.  Don’t neglect the corners!

    Grate the cheeses in a food processor fitted with the largest grating disk and combine.  Distribute the bacon evenly on half the slices of bread.  Pile 1/3 cup grated cheese evenly on top of the bacon and top with the remaining bread slices, sauce side down.

    Heat an electric panini press.  When the press is hot, cook the sandwiches for 3 to 5 minutes in batches until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.  Allow to cool for 2 minutes.  Cut in half and serve warm.

    ~~~~~

    Musings: Blueberry Muffin Extravaganza!

    Since Ina has published two recipes for blueberry muffins, Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffins and Blueberry Streusel Muffins, we thought it’d be fun for everyone to have their choice of trying one of these recipes or making both! Who can have too many blueberry muffins?

    Please post these by Saturday, July 31.

    And feel free to use the comments section for any baking questions or to discuss your plans for these muffins. Are you going to substitute other berries? Will you be picking your own, you lucky thing?

    What are your plans?

    July Recipe Choices

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but it is H.O.T. here in the Northeast…but that doesn’t mean I’m opposed to turning on my oven for a great recipe here and there.  I think you’ll really enjoy these recipes even if the oven is required for one of them!

    A couple of things to note:

    1. For July, August, and September, we’re going to keep the posting day as the last day of the month.

    2.  I’ve had trouble contacting people for the second recipe of the month and since it’s so late, I’ve gone ahead and chosen this one.  I hope you all don’t mind!

    ~~~~~

    Maria of Close to Home

    has chosen Blueberry Muffins (Coffee Cake or Streusel – recipe below)

    which can be found in BC Family Style pg 174 and Back to Basics pg 244, respectively,

    and should be posted by Saturday July 31st.

    Since Ina has two blueberry muffin recipes, I thought it would be fun to post both of them; you can make one or both.  If you make both, we’d love to see one comparison post that includes both recipes.  Similarly, if you’ve made one of these recipes in the past and make the other this month, please write about your experience with both recipes in your post.

    ~~~

    Tara of Smells Like Home (by default)

    has chosen Greek Panzanella

    which should be posted by Saturday July 31st.

    ~~~~~

    Blueberry Streusel Muffins

    • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    • 4 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp Kosher salt
    • 2 cups buttermilk, shaken
    • 1/4 lb (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    • 1 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
    • 2 extra-large eggs
    • 2 cups fresh blueberries (2 half-pints)

    For the Streusel Topping

    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
    • 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
    1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Line muffin tins with paper liners.
    2. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in to a large bowl and blend with your hands.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, butter, lemon zest, and eggs.  Stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture with a fork, mixing  just until blended.  Fold the blueberries into the batter.  Don’t overmix!  With a standard (2 1/4″) ice cream scoop or large spoon, scoop the batter into the prepared cups, filling them almost full.
    3. For the topping, place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse until the butter is in very small pieces.  Pour into a bowl and rub with your fingers until crumbly.  Spoon about 1 tbsp of the streusel on top of each muffin.  Bake the muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.

    Musings: Jam Thumbprint Cookies

    We’ll start posting this month’s second cookie recipe, Ina’s Jam Thumbprints, on Thursday, April 22. Ina recommends raspberry or apricot jam, but I’ve got a feeling we’ll be seeing some experimentation here. Anyone using homemade jam? How good would that be?

    Musings: Birthday Sheet Cake!

    Wow, time is flying! Almost missed this one.

    Our first recipe for September is Ina’s Birthday Sheet Cake. Did you make this one for Labor Day weekend? What did you think of it? Please post your issues with the recipe, substitutions and suggestions.

    We’ll start posting our cakes on Thursday, September 10.

    September Recipes

    A little late posting this but not without some fun recipes this month!  Oddly enough, we have two birthday girls choosing recipes this month and guess what they both chose??  CAKE!!  The two cake recipes are different recipes but I encourage you to make them both, compare them, mix up the fillings, icings, forms, etc. and if it’s too much to have so much cake at home this month, half the recipes or make the full recipes and freeze some cake, bring them to work, or send them with your spouses.  Don’t feel like skipping here is ok just because we’re making two cake recipes…and I think it would be fantastic to see some comparison posts this month.  So in addition to thanking Susy and Mary for choosing a couple of great recipes, don’t forget to wish them a Happy Birthday too!!

    ~~~~~

    Susy of Everyday Gourmet

    has chosen Birthday Sheet Cake

    which can be found in Barefoot Contessa Family Style on page 216

    and should be posted on Thursday, September 10th.

    ~~~

    Mary of Passionate Perseverance

    has chosen Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

    which can be found in Barefoot Contessa at Home on pages 165-166

    and should be posted on Thursday, September 24th.

    ~~~~~

    Musings: Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

    Now that we’ve all (hopefully) recovered from Independence Day, it’s time for the next challenge: Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes! Questions? Substitutions? What’d you think of this one? The posting day is Thursday, July 9.

    July Recipes

    Hopefully you are finding yourselves in the middle of some beautiful weather as July begins!  I know those of us here in the Northeast are hoping that there is never a repeat of June’s weather and that July will bring some happy days.  In any event, Ina’s recipes always make ME happy and I think July’s recipes will definitely make YOU happy.  Enjoy!!

    ~~~~~

    Cat of Delta Whiskey

    has chosen Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes

    which can be found in Barefoot Contessa Family Style on page 58

    and should be posted on Thursday July 9th.

    ~~~

    Aggie of Aggie’s Kitchen

    has chosen Peach & Blueberry Crumbles

    which can be found in Barefoot Contessa at Home on pages 197-198

    and should be posted on Thursday July 23rd.

    This recipe is not available on the FoodNetwork website:

    For the fruit

    • 2 lbs firm, ripe peaches (6-8 peaches)
    • 2 tsp grated lemon zest
    • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup fresh blueberries (1/2 pint)

    For the Crumble

    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
    • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
    • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 lb (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Immerse the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until their skins peel off easily.  Place them immediately in cold water.  Peel the peaches, slice them into thick wedges, and place them in a large bowl.  Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, granulated sugar, and flour.  Toss well.  Gently mix in the blueberries.  Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes.  Spoon the mixture into ramekins or custard cups.
    3. For the topping, combine the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas.  Rub the mixture with your fingertips until it’s in big crumbles, then sprinkle evenly over the fruit.  Place the ramekins on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and back for 40 to 45 minutes, until the tops are browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  If you want to make these early, store the unbaked crumbles int he refrigerator and bake before dinner.  Serves 5 to 6.

    ~~~~~

    February Recipes

    As the middle of winter is upon us, I think you’ll really enjoy this month’s choices…one will keep you warm and the other will have you looking forward to spring…

    ~~~~~

    Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake

    has chosen Real Spaghetti and Meatballs

    from Barefoot Contessa Family Style, page 103

    which should be posted on Thursday, February 12th.

    ~~~

    BMK of Reservations Not Required

    has chosen Meringues Chantilly

    from Barefoot in Paris, page 176

    which should be posted on Thursday, February 26th.

    ~~~~~

    January Recipes

    Welcome to 2009!!  As we ring in the New Year, I just want to quickly and sincerely thank all of you for all of your hard work in keeping the group going and for sometimes going outside of your comfort zone to try out new recipes.  It’s been so much fun blogging with all of you during the first 7 months of the Barefoot Bloggers group!

    I think you’ll really be happy with the first recipes of the new year…as if you’ve been disappointed with all of our other recipes!  The second recipe is not yet available on FN so it is typed out below.  Enjoy!!!

    ~~~~~

    Karen of Something Sweet by Karen

    has chosen Banana Sour Cream Pancakes

    from Barefoot Contessa Family Style, page 177

    and should be posted on Thursday, January 8th.

    ~~~

    Melissa of Made by Melissa

    has chosen Easy Sticky Buns

    from Back to Basics, page 240

    and should be posted on Thursday, January 22nd.

    Makes 12
    We used to make really delicious sticky buns at Barefoot Contessa, but they took two days to make because the yeast dough needed to rise overnight in the refrigerator. I was dying to find a way to make them easier, so I decided to try baking them with Pepperidge Farm puff pastry dough, instead. OMG are they good … and they’re really easy to make! Light, flaky dough filled with brown sugar, toasted pecans, and sweet raisins — my friends go crazy when I make these.

    12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
    1/2 cup pecans, chopped in very large pieces
    1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted for the filling
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
    3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1 cup raisins

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a 12-cup standard muffin tin on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the 12 tablespoons butter and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Place 1 rounded tablespoon of the mixture in each of the 12 muffin cups. Distribute the pecans evenly among the 12 muffin cups on top of the butter and sugar mixture.

    Lightly flour a wooden board or stone surface. Unfold one sheet of puff pastry with the folds going left to right. Brush the whole sheet with half of the melted butter. Leaving a 1-inch border on the puff pastry, sprinkle each sheet with 1/3 cup of the brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the cinnamon, and 1/2 cup of the raisins. Starting with the end nearest you, roll the pastry up snugly like a jelly roll around the filling, finishing the roll with the seam side down.

    Trim the ends of the roll about 1/2 inch and discard. Slice the roll in 6 equal pieces, each about 1 1/2 inches wide. Place each piece, spiral side up, in 6 of the muffin cups. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry to make 12 sticky buns.

    Bake for 30 minutes, until the sticky buns are golden to dark brown on top and firm to the touch. Allow to cool for 5 minutes only, invert the buns onto the parchment paper (ease the filling and pecans out onto the buns with a spoon), and cool completely.

    ~~~~~

    October Recipes

    FALL is officially here and with the change of season also comes a shift in the type of recipes we’ll be making over the next few months. The recipes for October are perfect ones to get you motivated for your cool-weather cooking. Enjoy!!!

    ~~~~

    Butternut Squash Risotto

    as chosen by Rachel of Rachel Likes to Cook

    which can be found in Barefoot Contessa Family Style on page 86

    and should be posted on Thursday October 9th.

    ~~~~

    Vegetable Pot Pie

    as chosen by Deb of Kahakai Kitchen

    which can be found in Barefoot Contessa Parties! on page 255

    and should be posted on Thursday October 23rd.

    ~~~~

    July Recipes

    In addition to being excited to announce July’s Barefoot Bloggers recipes, I’m incredibly excited to say that Barefoot Bloggers now has over 80 members! Check out the “Who’s Turn Is It?” page to see all of your co-members.

    ~~~~~

    Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

    from Barefoot Contessa at Home, page 154

    as chosen by Sabrina and Alexander of Cooking with the Kids

    to be posted on Thursday, July 10th.

    ~~~~~

    Smoked Salmon Spread

    from Barefoot Contessa Family Style, page 35

    as chosen by Ashley of The Spicy Skillet

    to be posted on Thursday, July 24th.

    ~~~~~