• 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: French Toast Bread Pudding

    What did you think of Ina’s French Toast Bread Pudding? Have you made it, or are you saving this recipe for a decadent breakfast later in the month?

    We’ll start posting this recipe on Thursday, Nov. 4!

    November 2010 Recipes

    Welcome to blogging through How Easy is That? !!!!

    We’re starting at the beginning of the book and working our way through with 4 recipes each month.  You’ll need the book because the recipes will not be posted here (though some may be available on FoodNetwork.com)…so hurry!!

    ~~~

    Here are November 2010 recipes:

    French Toast Bread Pudding, page 18 (post on 11.4.10)

    Watermelon Mojitos, page 26 (post on 11.11.10)

    Onion and Fennel Soup Gratin, page 57 (post on 11.18.10)

    Roasted Vegetable Frittata, page 90 (post on 11.25.10)

    ~~~

    Post your recipes on the above posting dates or by the end of the month.  You’ll see Musings posts here for questions or comments AND posts for each recipe so that you can link your post as a comment.

    ~~~

    Housekeeping: If you’ve requested to be added to the blogroll, hang in there.  I’m adding names as I have time.  As long as you sent an email, consider yourself a Barefoot Blogger.

    ~~~~~

    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: Sour Cream Coffee Cake

    Since we’re honoring the lazy days of summer, you have all month to make and post Ina’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake.

    Will you be making it for a special occasion, like Father’s Day breakfast? Are you going to try to lighten up the recipe or change the flavor?

    Spill!

    June Recipe Choices + Some Small Changes

    My apologies for posting June’s recipes so incredibly late!  I realize this is the day before the 2nd Thursday of the month but I’ve decided to relax the posting requirements for the summer months (through September).  I’ve also decided to close membership to new members (as of today) for the summer months (also through September).  I’d like to get the blogroll back in order and I’m going to need some time to do this…time, which seems to be escaping me these days.  If you have any questions, please let me know.

    ~~~~~

    Gwenn of Cooking in Pajamas

    has chosen Sour Cream Coffee Cake

    which can be found in Barefoot Contessa Parties! on page 37

    and should be posted by Wednesday June 30th.

    ~~~

    Josie of Pink Parsley Catering

    has chosen Scalloped Tomatoes

    which should be posted by Wednesday June 30th.

    ~~~~~

    June BRC

    As we all know, June begins a new cooking season for most of us.  We bust open the grill.  We revive the coolers for weekend BBQs, picnics, and road trips. We scour the local farmers markets for fresh fruits and veggies. And best of all, we inundate our blogs with drool-worthy posts filled with fruit-filled posts.

    So it should make you all happy to hear that Em of The Repressed Pastry Chef has chosen Ina’s Cranberry Orange Scones (from Barefoot Contessa at Home, page 214) as her June BRC recipe! It’s a light and fruity scone recipe that’s perfect for the late spring/early summer palette.  Please take a moment and congratulate Em on earning this month’s honor! And don’t forget to post your scones on Thursday, June 18th!

    May BRC

    Congrats go out this month to McKenzie of Kenzie’s Kitchen!  McKenzie has chosen Ina’s Lemon Cake which can be found in Barefoot Contessa Parties! on pages 104-105.  Please post your Lemon Cake post on Thursday May 21st. Talk about the perfect spring recipe!!

    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 BRC Winner!

    Let’s have a round of applause for Val of More Than Burnt Toast for taking October’s BRC by referring the most people to the BB blog! If you remember correctly, Val was recently our 100th member (now #79 due to a number of people leaving the group) and since she joined in August, she has managed to send a large number of people our way. If you didn’t have a chance to check out Val’s blog last month, you should definitely hop over there today.

    For her October BRC recipe, Val has chosen Ina’s Easy Cheese Danish. This recipe is not actually listed on the FoodNetwork website (for whatever reason) but comes from Barefoot Contessa at Home, page 218.  Please post this recipe on Thursday October 16th.

    For those of you who do not own the book, the recipe is posted below. And since this is the perfect recipe for it, I’m going to encourage (not required of course) add-ins – fruit, nuts, etc. Have fun with this one!

    Easy Cheese Danish

    • 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 2 extra large egg yolks, at room temperature
    • 2 T ricotta cheese
    • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
    • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
    • 1/2 – 1 T grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
    • 2 sheets (1 box) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
    • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
    2. Place the cream cheese & sugar in bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment and cream together on low speed until smooth. With the mixer still on low, add the egg yolks, ricotta, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest and mix until just combined. Don’t whip!
    3. Unfold one sheet of pastry onto a lightly floured board and roll it slightly with a floured rolling pin until it’s a 10×10 inch square. Cut the sheet into quarters. Place a heaping tablespoon of cheese filling into the middle of each of the 4 squares. Brush the border of each pastry with egg wash and fold two opposite corners to the center, brushing and overlapping the corners of each pastry so they firmly stick together. Brush the top of the pastries with egg wash. Place the pastries on the prepared sheet pan. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry and refrigerate the filled Danish for 15 minutes.
    4. Bake the puff pastries for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking, until puffed and brown. Serve warm.
    Makes 8 Danish

    Barefoot Bloggers: Week 1

    To get the ball rolling, I’m going to start a little out of the week order. Premiering as the first Barefoot Blogger recipe (drumroll please)…

    Herbed-Baked Eggs

    found in Barefoot in Paris pages 64-65

    Because it is almost the end of the month, please post your Herbed-Baked Eggs recipe in your blogs on Friday, May 30th. We’ll begin the regular schedule starting in June. Addendum: P.S. – click on the link above for the recipe on foodnetwork.com. P.P.S. – Because this is the first week and also happens to be a holiday weekend, we’re going to make this recipe a trial recipe. If you are able to make the baked eggs and post about them on Thursday, great. If not, don’t worry about it – no need to let me know or ask for one of the “PASS”es.

    June’s recipes will be chosen by:

    1. Elizabeth of Ugg Smell Food – to be posted in your blogs on June 12th
    2. Megan of My Baking Adventures – to be posted in your blogs on June 26th

    Elizabeth and Megan, please don’t forget to email me your choices by midnight ET on Friday, May 30th.