• 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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    BRC: A Week with the Barefoot Contessa

    I realize this BRC has been a long-time coming but I think you will be pleased.  Let me explain…

    In August 2008, I challenged myself to cook and post one Ina recipe everyday for a week.  I think I came pretty close to achieving my goal of posting everyday and wanted to repeat this idea this past summer by opening up the invitation to the BB group to join me.  Somehow the summer slipped away though and here we are in the second week of October…not that I really mind though because this season usually yields some of my favorite types of food so choosing these recipes wasn’t all that difficult.

    I’d love for you to join me in this challenge!  Please keep reading for the instructions and recipes…

    1. Choose any or all of the recipes listed below and post about them during the week of November 2 – 6.  You don’t have the make all of the recipes during that week, just post about them. (HINT: schedule your posts early if you are unable to write a post everyday).

    2. There is no set posting day for any of the recipes. The idea is to post one recipe each day (if you plan to make all 5 recipes) but feel free to post multiple recipes on one day if you want to.

    3. I want to do a round-up post here on the blog so after you’ve posted, please send me one photo from each of the recipes you’ve chosen to post about.  In this email, please include your first name, blog address, and the recipes for which you are sending me photos.

    4. If you’re not a member of Barefoot Bloggers but have been hanging around here debating whether or not you want to join, I encourage you to join us for this challenge as well!  I think this will give you a decent idea about what the group is like and will also give you the opportunity to participate in the Musings posts that will go along with each recipe. Consider it a “trial run.” 🙂


    A Week with the Barefoot Contessa Recipes

    Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars – Barefoot Contessa at Home, page 170

    Chicken Chili – Barefoot Contessa Parties!, page 232

    Caramelized Butternut Squash – The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, page 151

    French String Beans – Barefoot in Paris, page 160

    Roasted Potato Leek Soup – Back to Basics, page 63


    A Trip Down Memory Lane – Year 1 Round-up

    23 monthly recipes


    12 bonus recipes


    1 budget recipe


    a heck of a lot of recipes to choose from!

    It sure has been quite a year!! Below, you will see a collection of favorites from a handful of the BB members from over the past year.  Choosing certainly was not easy because for me as it seemed like every recipe was just so good…each better than the last!  Enjoy your fellow members’ picks below and if you didn’t submit yours, leave a comment and let us know what it was!



    Kate of Warm Olives and Cool Cocktails says, “My favorite BB challenge to date was the Butternut Squash Risotto, hands down.  I finally “got it” — why so many people love it and why a Seinfeld episode revolved around the orgasmic sounds we make when eating it.  This dish was delicious!”  Yet another example of Seinfeld imitating life.



    Carole of Hey Mom, What’s for Dinner? also thought that choosing just one was tough but thought that the Chicken Piccata was one of her favorites. Dontcha just want to dig in?



    Brandie (BMK) of Reservations Not Required listed off 4 recipes she needed to choose from but ended up going with the Herb-Baked Eggs as her favorite because this is the dish she has made over and over again.  Great choice!



    Aggie over at Aggie’s Kitchen had no problem choosing – the Panzanella was her instant favorite! Perfect for those too-hot-to-cook nights that are coming soon!



    Todd at A Cooking Dad was worried that his wife going to go for the Asian flavors of the Chinese Chicken Salad but good ol’ Ina proved him wrong; she went back for seconds!  Sounds like a winner to me too!



    Kanella of I Pray to Feta thinks that the Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart recipe is her tip top favorite Ina recipe. Ever.  It’s tough to argue against that!



    Deb from Kahakai Kitchen still craves crunchy bread topping from the Pappa al Pomidoro; the soup that helped get her recoup from being sick this past Christmas. She says this is “The kind of soup that warms you up, fills your tummy and your soul…”



    Melissa of Made by Mel already has plans to keep the Chinese Chicken Salad in her dinner rotation! Send some this way Mel!



    The Chicken Piccata was Jenny’s (of Peanut Butter & Jenny) first – and favorite! – BB recipe.  Sans breadcrumbs but definitely not lacking in any flavor!



    Veronica over at Supermarket Serenade says that after eating the Banana Sour Cream Pancakes, “It came as no surprise to me that Ina could improve upon something as tasty and simple as pancakes – her version did not disappoint.” Ditto that!!



    Another vote for the Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts!  This actually was Anne’s pick (of Anne Strawberry) for her April recipe and boy oh boy did she pick a winner! She changed it a up a bit, using bell peppers in place of tomatoes but that sounds like delicious substitute to me!



    Yudith of Blissfully Delicious and her husband have shared many, many banana pancake breakfasts but Ina’s Sour Cream Banana Pancakes have taken her “little old pancake recipe to a completely different height.”  Sounds like the banana pancake connoisseur approves!



    Ezra Pound Cake’s Rebecca has a new BFF.  And it’s name is Butternut Squash Risotto.  It was love at first bite which prompted her to fill a bowl the size of her head with the risotto. I don’t Rebecca was the only one of us who fell in love with this risotto!



    Personally, I had a serious issue choosing just one recipe.  Would it be the Risotto, the Tomato and Goat [Feta] Cheese Tarts, or the California Grilled Pizza?  In the end, I had to defer to the hungry, hungry hubby to help me choose.  And so we mutually concluded that the Croque Monsieur was our favorite recipe.  An easy weeknight meal with salty ham and ooey gooey tangy cheese sauce.  If it’s this good, I certainly don’t mind having to eat a sandwich with a fork!