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Another Beautiful Morning

and these help.... :) very tasty .. had to share!


I try to greet my friends with a drink in my hand, a warm smile on my face, and great music in the background, because that's what gets a dinner party off to a fun start. - Ina Garten -. Find us at SIAJNAD.COM

To make Ina Garten's Summer Garden Pasta, you need cherry tomatoes and you have to let them sit in a bowl for 4 hours so they can marinate.

(lemon cake from ina garten via food network)

Bestill 52 assignment this week is a vignette with a bunting. This one took a while - had to make bunting and then incorporate it into a theme. Fun way to spend a snowy Saturday afternoon though. I have collected almost all of Ina Garten's books over the years - without the jackets the books are wonderful colors.

coconut cupcakes, from the barefoot contessa's recipe. the only mod is the type of coconut (dessicated baker's coconut, not the moist angel flake-type), and the fruit jelly/marshmallow on top.

Now here's something I haven't done for a couple months... a food photo! And the best part about this cake (other than its delicious taste) was the fact that I didn't have to bake it. My mom made it for me after I requested it instead of a traditional birthday cake.


I originally came across the recipe while watching "The Barefoot Contessa" on the Food Network. My mom altered the blueberry sauce a little bit so it would have some whole blueberries in it. The original recipe was just a syrup. We also served it with a scoop of coconut gelato - divine!


Get the RECIPE (the sauce recipe is linked at the bottom of the page)

chocolate cake from ina garten, "beatty's chocolate cake." and martha stewart's "ultimate chocolate frosting."

I made a half recipe of this chocolate cake in my 6" cake pans. I used leftover vanilla bean frosting (from the cake pops I made) between the two layers and on top, leaving the edges raw. Then I topped it with strawberries and white chocolate melted and drizzled over top.


(chocolate cake from food network, leftover quick buttercream from confections of a foodie bride)

Instead of going out to dinner, buy good food. Cooking at home shows such affection. In a bad economy, it's more important to make yourself feel good. - Ina Garten -. Find us at SIAJNAD.COM

GOD Bless the USA ~ Happy 4th of July ~ Celebrate with Coconut Cupcakes

Recipe on my blog, Baking is my Zen.


GOD Bless the USA ~ Artist-Lee Greenwood ~ Music Video by Carmen Ortiz


The French version of "French Toast".....

:~) Known and loved in many French speaking countries (and sinfully rich!)


Here is a recipe that is as close as I can find in English for a traditional "Pain Perdu"

Besides nearly asphyxiating myself, I was not harmed during this shot.

I have had my eye on this gas mask and sign for months now. I finally decided to use them. I have the best job ever.


Don't worry, color and wrapping paper are coming back. I've just had a very black and gray week. But I feel much better. I even attempted a wrapping paper shot tonight with my newly purchased Martha Stewart wrapping paper, but everything looked like utter crapola. So, out came the props!

Cheddar Corn Chowder

(Please excuse the graininess of these photos. Instead of shooting with a tripod like I normally do with food photography, I was experimenting with using a flash. The result of my experimenting leads me to believe that the ideal situation is to use a flash AND a tripod.)


Sometimes you just need a little chocolate, you know? Everyone has their vices. Some people get high, some people get drunk, but my drug of choice is chocolate. After a long, stressful week last week, I decided I needed chocolate. I also decided that I didn't need to eat a whole chocolate cake by myself, so making cupcakes and freezing some for later seemed like the logical choice.


The cupcakes are an Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) recipe (halved to make a perfect dozen). The original recipe calls for them to be topped with a rich, creamy peanut butter frosting. While the combination of peanut butter and chocolate is one of my all time favorites, my goal on this occasion was to cram as much chocolate as I could into one little cupcake. I recently got a new cookbook for my birthday, Cooking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. It has Dorie's recipe for chocolate chocolate cupcakes (which I decided not to use, for reasons I can't remember now) with a decadent chocolate glaze - just the kind of topping I was looking for.


And here are the results of my Ina Garten cupcakes and Dorie Greenspan chocolate glaze - heavenly chocolate cupcakes! Even though I didn't use good quality chocolate and I slightly over baked them, they are exactly the chocolate treat I was craving. I have a feeling I'll be making these again!


3 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 tbs confectioners’ sugar, sifted

2 tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces


Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of shimmering water. Transfer the bowl to the counter and let stand for 5 minutes.


Using a small whisk or rubber spatula, stir the confectioners’ sugar into the chocolate, followed by the pieces of cold butter. The glaze may be very thin at this point or may be perfectly spreadable. If it is too thin to spread or use as a dip (I often dip the tops of the cakes into the ganache, then give the cakes a little twirl as I pull them out, so they have a squiggle of glaze in the center), stir it over ice water for a few seconds – really less than a minute. With a small metal icing spatula, give each cupcake a crown of shiny ganache, and let the glaze set at room temperature (or in the fridge if you are in a hurry). If the ganache loses its gloss and you miss it, give the tops of the cakes a puff of hot air from a hairdryer right before serving.

Hipstamatic, Wonder Lens, Ina's 1969 Film.

Have been busy baking for a high-school fundraiser taking place today. This is Ina Garten's Orange Pound Cake recipe, drizzled with orange syrup while still warm and then covered in orange icing - yum! Let's hope they sell well, if not I'll be buying them to bring home again as I know my hungry teenage boys will devour them! :-)


~ EXPLORED ~ 6/13/10, #470...and.. As seen on FOOD GAWKER - #63737



There’s nothing better than a freshly baked muffin…just out of the oven and accompanied by a hot cup of coffee…YUM!


<a Recipe on my blog: Baking is my Zen



They are actually not as good as they look! I tried a new recipe but it is nothing on my

Favourite Lemon Bar Recipe


I have to say though the addition of the marshmallow topping is rather yummmmmmmy

When bananas become too ripe and no one will eat them I throw them in the freezer. I had accumulated about 10, so decided it was time to make banana muffins. Frozen bananas, once thawed, have the texture of baby food; you just have to squeeze out the fruit directly into the mixing bowl. The recipe from the Barefoot Contessa cookbook includes crunchy stuff that adds a lot of texture, including walnuts, coconut and granola. I made a double batch and most will go to work to be enjoyed by my colleagues. Shall I save one for you?


Several people asked for the recipe, which is online at:

barefoot contessa/ina garten recipe. if you try this, cut the baking time down to 25-30 minutes total.

(cake based on beatty's chocolate cake from food network, but veganized)


Veganizations and other recipe edits:

1. Replaced vegetable oil with coconut (for flavor).

2. Replaced eggs with flax egg; if I weren't planning to turn these into cake balls and instead wanted them to be cupcakes I would've used a tofu egg.

3. Made my own vegan buttermilk out of soy creamer and lemon juice.


Once these were formed I dipped them in vegan dark chocolate and sprinkled them with toasted, unsweetened coconut flakes.


Vegan cake has this tendency to be denser, so if I was making these again I would actually cut the oil and substitute in some apple sauce. I'd also possibly skip the frosting normally used to hold the cake balls together, but if this baked up fluffier with the other changes, I would still use less frosting. I didn't love the consistency of these rolled, although the flavor was still good.

In her newly-built Hamptons 'barn,' Ina Garten turned an alcove outside her bedroom into a small office. Walls are painted Farrow & Ball's White Tie. The antique desk is from Bloom, in Sag Harbor, and the photo of Luxembourg Gardens is by Jean-Michel Berts.


Photo by Simon Upton, House Beautiful.

(beatty's chocolate cake for the cake base and leftover chocolate frosting from brown eyed baker)


These were dipped in milk chocolate and then I sprinkled them with crushed pretzel bits. I wanted to make a crunchy-covered cake pop, but something that was nut-free for our New Year's Eve guests.

Beatty's Chocolate Cake w/ Chocolate Fudge Frosting


Recipe at:

pretend like it's the weekend...nooow.


or Brinner....we were out of everything, except bananas.


These were actually sour cream banana pancakes from Ina Garten, and they are delicious, but even more delicious with fresh peaches. You can find the recipe on food network....their really really good.

Attended a lecture at UCSB featuring Ina Garten, this was my tribute creation

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