In her interview with House Beautiful, Ina says that this time, she challenged herself to make even easier recipes with deep, fabulous flavor. I’m happy to see that she also shares entertaining tips in the new book, which, according to Amazon, comes out October 26. The Barefoot Contessa is one of the first people (besides my Grandma!) that inspired me to cook. I love her easy-going and approachable nature and how cute she and Jeffrey (her husband) are. When I first got married, I bought every one of Ina’s cookbooks and spent hours reading them cover to cover. I also recorded and saved all her television shows until we moved and I lost them- I think I had somewhere around 60 saved! I love how she always does a dessert and often features a table setting or some other element of entertaining with her real friends. I’m nowhere near a great cook, but I’m learning and trying. In fact, this past weekend, I made several Ina dishes, and they came out pretty well. I will warn you that the photos of the food are not mine! See image credits below. Friday Night: Chicken with Herbed Goat Cheese and Basil; Mustard Roasted Potatoes; and Garlic and Herb Tomatoes. We eat a lot of roasted vegetables around here. This was a fancier version of the typical grilled chicken we normally do and so easy, just put a piece of goat cheese and basil under the skin and bake. Saturday Morning: Sour Cream Coffee Cake. I love, love, love this coffee cake. It uses sifted cake flour, which makes the batter so light and fluffy. It’s especially wonderful in the morning with a hot cup of coffee. Of course, it’s got enough calories for the entire day, so I don’t make it too often- but I try not to think about that while I’m eating it:) And by the way, as I write this, there is only one piece left! Saturday Night: Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms. The recipe calls for sweet sausage, but this time I used hot and it was really good. I also halved the recipe and it was just enough for Jimmy and me. I’ve made this at holiday dinners and everyone who likes mushrooms loves them. We ate them with the left over potatoes. Outrageous Brownies. I didn’t make these this weekend, but have made them in the past and they are delish! They are brownies with chocolate chips in them. Yum!! And an honorable mention goes to Ina’s Whipped Hot Chocolate, that I used to make nightly (from scratch, on the stove), with skim or 1% milk and minus the half and half. Do you love Ina too? Have a favorite recipe? Images: Ina Cookbook: House Beautiful Chicken: Image via “Mommy I’m Hungry” Potatoes: Beantown Baker Tomatoes: Food Network Mushrooms: Handle Heat’s Flicker Photostream Brownies: Domestifluff Hot Chocolate: Val City Girl
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