Tag Archives: Barefoot Contessa

recipe goodness :: honey-vanilla pound cake with red bud flowers

honey vanilla pound cake with red bud flowers

After my foraging tour with Leda Meredith, I came back with a handful of edible pink red bud flowers just asking to be made into a sweet dessert. With a little inspiration from Ina Garten’s Back to Basics, her honey vanilla pound cake sounded like the perfect vehicle for my foraged find. This is one of the best pound cakes I’ve ever had — I’ll credit the honey for that. Add this one to the rotation.

Honey Vanilla Pound Cake with Red Bud Flowers
Makes one 8-inch loaf | Slightly adapted from Barefoot Contessa’s Back to Basics

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 cups sifted cake flower
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup fresh edible flowers {optional}

  1. Allow butter to sit at room temperature for about 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease the bottom of an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes, until light.
  4. Meanwhile, put the eggs, honey, vanilla, and lemon zest in a glass measuring cup but do not combine.
  5. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the egg mixture, one egg at a time, scraping down the bowl and allowing each egg to become incorporated before adding the next egg.
  6. Sift together the flower, salt and baking powder. With the mixer on low speed, add it slowly to the batter until just combined.
  7. Finish mixing the batter with a rubber spatula and fold in flowers {if adding}. Pour into the prepared pan. Smooth the top.
  8. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool for 15 minutes, turn out onto a baking rack and cool completely.
  10. Top with fresh flowers {optional}.

Getting Wild in the Kitchen:
Violet-Radish Spring Salad with Secret Lemon-Garlic Dressing
Wild pokeweed {or Aspargus} and field garlic breakfast tart

Homemade Spicy Carrot Kimchi! & Apple Chutney!


Filed under @home {recipes to love}

recipe goodness :: italian campari orange spritzer

Campari Orange Spritzer

Campari Orange Spritzer

You can thank my friend Sarah for turning me into a Campari sympathizer from a Campari hater. I used to adamantly decline any Campari drink — the bitterness of any such cocktail made me scrunch my nose up and shake my head like I’d just taken a bite of sour lemon. Until recently.

As we were lounging rooftop, cocktail hour became an appealing pastime and Sarah was in the mood for a Tuscan highball. She begged and pleaded for me to try this concoction. I surrendered. Enter Campari Orange Spritzer, my newfound afternoon sipper of choice. The sweetness of the FRESH squeezed orange juice {buy the real stuff if you can} goes to war on the bitter Campari and turns this combo into a refresher that goes down all too easily. The best part about it is you can make it in 30 seconds flat and the only thing you really need to think ahead to buy is the fresh OJ {providing you have a bottle of Campari and a sodastream for sparkling water on hand}.

Campari Orange Spritzer

For each drink | courtesy of Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

Highball glass {that will fit 2 1/4 cups liquid + ice}
6 ice cubes {or whatever}
1/4 cup Campari
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 1/2 cups sparkling water {San Pellegrino or Sodastream}
Orange slice or strawberry for garnish

  1. Place ice cubes in a highball glass.
  2. Add Campari, Orange Juice and top with Sparkling water.
  3. Garnish with a strawberry or orange slice.

Other Cocktail O’Clock Recipes:
Alton Brown’s Bourbon Mint Julep
Bottle of Baron {Refreshing “Island Cocktail” a la Tippling Bros.}

Fresh Lime-Margarita Marinated Watermelon
Kickin’ Ancho Chili Fresh Citrus Margarita
Pink Fizzy Lemonade Cocktails Beat the Heat
Smokey Margarita {a la Tippling Bros.}

Stand-Out Spanish Sangria
Summer Strawberry Chilled Chamomile Tea {non-alcoholic}
Spritzy Sunday Morning Citrus Cocktail {non-alcoholic}


Filed under @home {recipes to love}

Giveaway! Win the New Barefoot Contessa Cookbook How Easy Is That?

Ina Garten’s new cookbook Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? has hit shelves and I’ve got an autographed copy to share with you! The focus of her new cookbook is creating simpler yet delicious meals with few ingredients that save time and stress in the kitchen — every now and then we all need a little help don’t we?

How To Win:

  1. Leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite Ina Garten recipe is and why.
  2. For two additional entries: a) follow 8.ate@eight on twitter and b) tweet about the contest with a link to this post {be sure to reference @8ateATeight in your tweet and make note in your comment on my blog if your twitter name is different, so I can give you credit}
  3. For two more additional entries: a) follow 8.ate@eight on Facebook and b) post a link to this contest on FB

This contest will start November 1st, 2010 and end on November 5th, 2010 at 6pm EST. Winners will be chosen at random using Randomizer.org and will be announced the next day, only people in the United States  are eligible. Winners will be emailed and will have 48 hours to respond with their mailing address or an alternate winner will be chosen.

How Easy Is That?!

Good Luck,


Filed under Do This!, Giveaway!

recipe goodness :: flaky cheese straws, as easy as being barefoot

Inspired by her planned trip to Paris, my roommate purchased the Barefoot Contessa’s cookbook, Barefoot in Paris. And eager for the departure, we sat down one evening to plan a meal to bring a little taste of French cuisine to the comforts of our NYC apartment. The Barefoot Contessa’s recipe for cheese straws is simple, but outstanding! I would encourage everyone to keep a box of puff pastry in the freezer at all times for an impromptu addition to your next dinner party or to simply add a little flavor flare to a mid-week meal. And you could really substitute a number or herbs and cheese to take these straws in your own direction (rosemary and parmesan, chili powder and aged gouda, or cinnamon and sugar for a breakfast/dessert straw)

Barefoot Contessa’s Cheese Straws

Prep Time: 5-10 mins | Cook Time: 10-15 mins
Makes 22-24 Straws

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2 sheets (1 box) frozen puff pastry, defrosted in the fridge
1 extra-large egg (large is fine)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup finely grated Gruyere cheese
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Roll out each sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured board or counter until it’s 10×12 inches. Beat the egg with 1 TBS of water and brush the surface of the pastry. Sprinkle each sheet evenly with 1/4 cup of Parmesan, 1/2 cup of Gruyere, 1/2 tsp of the thyme, 1/2 tsp of the salt and some pepper.

Step 1. Roll flavorings into puff pastry

With the rolling pin, lightly press the flavorings into the puff pastry. Cut each sheet crosswise with a floured knife or pizza wheel into 11-12 strips. Twist each strip and lay on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Step 2. Twist each strip and lay on baking sheets

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned and puffed. Turn each straw and bake for another 2 minutes. Don’t overbake or the cheese will burn. Cook and serve at room temperature.

Step 3. Bake, cool and enjoy!

What Else To Put on the Plate:
Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken
Spinach, Strawberry & Halloumi Salad
Gourmet Grilled White Truffle Corn


Filed under @home {recipes to love}