Barefoot Contessa

If you have read my blog for very long you may have realized I am a huge fan of Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa!

She’s probably my favorite cookbook writer. I also love her show. I record them and I watch them while I fold clothes or I watch them to unwind. I love to get lost in Ina’s world, she lives in a beautiful house in the Hamptons, visits fabulous markets and makes food that I want to eat.

My sister-in-law Jen introduced me to the Barefoot about 8 years ago. I borrowed her cookbook and after a month or so she decided to just give it to me for my birthday. I was thrilled! The photography in all the cookbooks is phenomenal. They aren’t so overwhelming because they aren’t super long. I have most of her books and Greg surprised me this week with her latest book called Barefoot Contessa Foolproof!

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I have glanced through it and these are some of the recipes that I am dying to try:

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These are the recipes on my blog so far that are from the Barefoot Contessa or originated from one of her recipes:

Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart
Herb Roasted Turkey
Vegetarian Lasagna
Roasted Asparagus
Caramelized Butternut Squash
Gourmet Mac and Cheese
Roasted Potatoes
Coconut Macaroons

Check back often and I will let you know how the recipes from Foolproof turn out!

Posted by Andrea

Roasted Potatoes

Roasted potatoes are one of my favorite side dishes. The Barefoot Contessa has a few variations of this recipe and I’ve tried them all. You may have noticed by now that I love the Barefoot Contessa. I have almost all of her cookbooks and she never leads me astray. Plus the photography in her cookbooks is off the charts. Anyways, back to roasted potatoes.

My kids love this recipe. In the beginning I had to sell it as a type of healthier french fry. They were adamantly opposed to eating potatoes so I called them mom’s french fries once and they loved them. We actually still call them that today! When Will and Max were little, besides edamame, this was they only other vegetable they would eat.

When I took Max to his yearly appointment, the doctor asked what vegetables he liked and we told her edamame. Then I suddenly panicked and felt the need to add more vegetables to the list so my pediatrician would think I was a good mom. I suddenly remembered that my kids loved garlic roasted potatoes. I went to say my kids also love roasted potatoes but instead I said, “my kids also really like mom’s french fries.”

The doctor sat silently for a moment and then said “well you know french fries aren’t really a healthy vegetable.” For a split second I had an internal battle, do I save my reputation with the doctor and let he know that mom’s french fries are really roasted potatoes and risk spilling the beans to Max that he is in fact eating and loving potatoes? Or do I disregard what my pediatrician might think of me in this moment and spare myself the repercussions of Max finding out that he does in fact really like potatoes and most certainly never eat them again? In the end it was an easy decision, Max still loves his mom’s french fries!

Anyway, on to the recipe. I hope you, and your kids, will enjoy it as much as we do.

Garlic Roasted Potatoes

Barefoot Contessa

  • 3 pounds small red or white potatoes
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the potatoes in half or quarters and place in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic; toss until the potatoes are well coated. Transfer the potatoes to a sheet pan and spread out into 1 layer. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until browned and crisp. Flip twice with a spatula during cooking in order to ensure even browning.

Remove the potatoes from the oven, toss with parsley, season to taste, and serve hot.

Posted by Andrea

Gourmet Mac and Cheese

I decided when I got married I really wanted to get into cooking. I remember thinking I was never going to be good at it. I made homemade mac and cheese and I doubled the noodles on accident. It turned out to be noodles with a hint of cheese! In the last eleven years I have learned a lot and find so much joy and therapy in cooking!

If I have been super busy all I can think of is sitting down to a delicious meal. Lately I find myself waking up thinking of what I am going to eat that day, I guess that means I have been pretty busy as of late. So as an Ode to my cooking failure I will share with you the best homemade mac and cheese recipe ever!

The Barefoot Contessa suggests using elbow or cavatapi noodles, but I used cappelletti pasta because I think they are cute. Any pasta will do, but the ones with hollow areas that can trap the cheese are the best.

While making this mac and cheese it was my first time making homemade bread crumbs. Take slices of bread and cut off the crusts. Put them in your cuisinart and pulse until it is as fine as you would like them.

This is what is looks like going into the oven.

This is what you are getting coming out of the oven. So yummy! I did tomatoes on only half of the pan to appeal to the eaters of all ages in our home.

Mac and Cheese, Barefoot Contessa Family Style

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni or cavatappi
  • 1 quart milk
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 12 ounces Gruyere, grated (4 cups)
  • 8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (2 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 pound fresh tomatoes (4 small)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs (5 slices, crusts removed)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large (4-quart) pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish.

Slice the tomatoes and arrange on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the fresh bread crumbs, and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

Posted by Andrea