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So simple… and so good!! I made this just as the recipe suggested.. with fresh cauliflower… That being said I think a few shortcuts to this would make it even easier .. not that its difficult at all lol! I’ll be giving it a try next time I make it…

  • Replace fresh cauliflower with frozen
  • Chop garlic into smaller pieces and just toss with cauliflower instead of pre-boiling. They may burn though… we’ll have to see…

Anyway, this was a great side dish as well as a main dish when tossed with pasta! Very easy and very filling! I made it once with the pine nuts and once without… both ways were yummy! Enjoy!   Here is the recipe from Ina’s book:

Barefoot Contessa, How Easy is That?

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole head garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed and cut into large florets
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil, divided
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

How to pull it all together:

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • Bring small pot of water to a boil and add garlic cloves. Boil for 15 seconds. Drain, peel, and cut off any brown parts. Cut the largest cloves in half lengthwise.
  • On a sheet pan, toss the cauliflower with the garlic, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Spread the mixture out in a single layer and roast for 20-25 minutes, tossing twice until cauliflower is tender and the garlic is lightly browned.
  • Scrape the cauliflower into a large bowl with the garlic and pan juices. Add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, the parsley, pine nuts, and lemon juice. Sprinkle with another 1/2 teaspoon salt, toss well and serve hot or warm.

It’s so good you will be picking the little bits off the pan and eating them while waiting for the rest of your meal to finish cooking lol! Enjoy!!

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There is a special fondness for shrimp cocktail in my family… starting from as far back as I can remember…Basically every recipe is the same .. the only difference is the  brand of cocktail sauce you used or how much ketchup you added to the chile sauce! So, when I saw Ina make this on her show one day I mentally filed it away because it amazed me how one simple step can transform such a plain jane dish!  Also, her cocktail sauce is wicked spicy on it’s own so don’t be alarmed when you taste it without the shrimp. Add the shrimp and it works together perfectly!! This picture shows the roasted shrimp cocktail and also Ina’s roasted pepper and gorgonzola bruchetta… I can’t remember if I blogged about it though… it’s awesome too….Enjoy!

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail… I’m tired so here is the link!

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Beatty's Chocolate CakeCoffee or no Coffee?…. That is the question. 

Let me say that this cake was awesome. Moist, chocolatey, firm enough to hold the icing, and just really, really, yummy!

The only thing I would probably change about it was the icing.  It wasn’t sweet enough for me… it’s not that I’m opposed to the coffee flavoring in the chocolate icing, it just needed more sugar to please my palate. However, if you’re not into super sweet icing than you should have no complaints about this.

Try it… it’s worth the extra bit of effort rather than opening the box of Betty Crocker…. (although that Betty makes some pretty good cakes too! ) Enjoy!

 Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

From Barefoot Contessa at Home, by Ina Garten

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  Chocolate Buttercream, recipe follows  

  • Butter, for greasing the pans
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • How to pull it all together:

    • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.  (I used the disposable ones, as I don’t have them for some reason! They worked out great… and I got to throw them out and not wash them!)
    • Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.
    •  In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
    •  With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.
    • With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
    • Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
    •  Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
    • Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

    Chocolate Frosting:

    • 6 ounces good semisweet chocolate (recommended: Callebaut)
    •  1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    •  1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
    • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
    • Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
    • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
    • Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes.
    • Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy.
    • Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don’t whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.  ( I didn’t have coffee powder, so I used 2 tsp of hot coffee instead. Maybe that is why it was to coffee flavored for me? I don’t know…)

    Many thanks to Mary of Passionate Perseverance for choosing this recipe! Please check us out at Barefoot Bloggers to see what we’re cooking!

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    mac and cheeseSo, if you have not been fortunate enough to visit a Cracker Barrel before, you need to put it on your list of places to go.

    I don’t remember the first one I went to… but I know it was down south as there are no Cracker Barrels that I know of on Long Island… where I am…. so sad!

    You can shop for quirky, country things… buy those penny candy sticks… find those birthday cards with the almanac of what happened and what things cost the year you were born… and get some wicked good mac & cheese! (The chicken and dumplings are awesome too… FYI).

    The results came in from my testers and  this is the best mac and cheese recipe so far!  It even beat Ina’s Grown Up Mac & Cheese! GASP! I know! I know! But my fellow Barefoot Bloggers, it’s true… it’s true…. we all liked this one better than Ina’s Grown Up Mac & Cheese! Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!

    Here is the recipe… I got it from another cookbook that my mother in law sent me… This one called More Super Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur. It’s got some great stuff in it… as you will see in posts to come. I made this as part of a football watching party…. since I don’t watch football I needed something to do… So I cooked! I made this with some honey mustard wings so keep your eyes open for the post on that one!

     

    Cracker Barrel Macaroni N’ Cheese

    From: More Super Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur

    Makes 4-6 side servings

      

    Ingredients:

    • 3/4 cup elbow macaroni
    • 3 tablespoons salted butter
    • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 2 1/4 cups whole milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
    • 2 1/2 cups shredded Colby cheese

    How to pull it all together:

    • Pre-heat broiler to Hi
    • Cook pasta in 4 cups of boiling water for 8 minutes or until tender; drain off water
    • Melt butter in 10″ skillet over medium heat. Whisk in flour and continue whisking until bubbly. Add milk, salt, and black pepper and stir until the milk begins to bubble.
    • Add cheese, and then turn off the heat. Whisk sauce until cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.
    • Stir in the macaroni, then set skillet under broker for 2-3 minutes, until several browned spots appear on the surface. Remove pan from the oven, let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Cheese will thicken as it rests.

    Note: I didn’t use a skillet as I doubled the recipe for 4 of us for a main meal. I made the sauce in a pot, then mixed the sauce and the macaroni in a baking dish. It worked out fine!

     

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    So, I really have no clue how to make this blog page interesting. However, I vow to try my darndest! I have been experimenting with some new recipes, including ones to get my daughter to eat vegetables without her knowing it (she is 2 1/2). So, I’ve made some blueberry oatmeal bars (with hidden spinach) and pancakes (with hidden apple, ricotta cheese, and beets). I’ll put pictures and the recipes up when I figure out how to do it! :o)

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