• 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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    December 2010 Recipes

    I hope the beginning of the holiday season finds you all well!  I think the HEIT recipes for December will fit nicely into those crazy December weeknight menus and may provide you with some ideas to bring to your holiday parties.  Enjoy!

    ~~~~~

    Lemon Chicken Breast, page 120 (post on 12.2.10)

    Roasted Summer Vegetables, page 169 (post on 12.9.10)

    Easy Cranberry & Apple Cake, page 205 (post on 12.16.10)

    Roasted Figs & Prosciutto, page 28 (post on 12.30.10)

    ~~~~~

    Musings: Mixed Berry Cheesecake (Post by Aug. 31)

    Doesn’t Mixed Berry Cheesecake sound like the perfect summer-to-fall transitional dessert? Maybe after we make it, the weather will take a hint.

    Will you be making any substitutions or using a homemade jelly or berries you picked yourself? Go ahead, make the rest of us jealous.

    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: Peach & Blueberry Crumbles

    We’ll be posting this classic summer dessert on Thursday, July 23. Does anyone have plans to change the fruit or make any other substitutions? Have you made this recipe before? Post your questions, substitutions and suggestions here!

    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.

    ~~~~~

    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!!

    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.

    ~~~~~

    September BRC Winner!

    Congrats to Anne of Anne Strawberry for being this month’s Bonus Recipe Challenge Winner!! Anne’s blog has been pumping in the referrals in the past month…and as a reflection upon Anne’s and everyone else’s referrals, we’ve added almost 15 new members to the group over the course of the last 3 weeks! Anne has been a devoted BB member – you must go over and check out what she’s been cookin’ up!

    For her Bonus Recipe, Anne has chosen (with MUCH thought going into the choice)

    Apple Turnovers

    which should be posted on Thursday, September 18th.

    I think most of us agree that its time to bring on the fall foods!!