Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Try walking in my shoes, you' ll stumble in my footsteps, if you try walking in my shoes

My mom loves Ina Garten (aka the Barefoot Contessa), her recipes, her shows, her cookbooks, only...my mom doesn't cook. She sees these things and tells me to to make them. "Yeah, yeah" I always say. So for her birthday, I made an entire dinner, appetizer to dessert, all of Ina Garten's recipes. And I didn't even change an ingredient.

It was almost like I was copying that blog, French Laundry at Home, where the lady cooked all the recipes from the French Laundry cookbook. That's how it felt. Like I was walking in Ina Garten's footsteps. Except Barefoot Contessa recipes are so much easier to follow.
One thing about Ina Garten, you can never go wrong with her recipes, they will always give you perfect results. I started off with some cheddar biscuits, which were even better the second day. Then a smoked salmon spread dip. My mom loves smoked salmon, I won't touch the stuff, but hey, it's not my birthday.Then I made a roast loin of pork. My mom doesn't necessarily love pork, but since the entire family was coming over, and they are all carnivores, it was an easy choice. I followed that with some sides, green beans with shallots, mashed potatoes, and for the first time ever, I made homemade gravy. All these years that was my mom's job, so it was weird to have to do it myself. This recipe was the best way to start, easy and flavorful.

What my mom really wanted and had asked me for before, was Ina's Baked Shrimp Scampi. This was really easy andso tasty I think it was the most popular thing on the table.Even the dessert I took right from the recipe book. It was a for a birthday sheet cake, frosted with chocolate and decorated with M&Ms. I made cupcakes instead and let the kids decorate. I'm livin' on the edge here. As suspected, the Baby asked if he could lick his hands after he placed each M&M. Hell no. Trust me there would be none of that, I watched that kid like a hawk AND I made them wash their hands TWICE before they even started. My family was more than relieved, let me tell you.

I chose all of these recipes because they could be prepped in advance. Perfect for a dinner party. While I followed the recipes to a T...this time, there are many, many things that I'd change if I made them again. I'll post the recipes eventually, but for now, I'm still digesting all the butter and sour cream I had to put in those dishes. Yikes. Being the Barefoot Contessa ain't easy on the heart or the hips. Oof.

For the recipes, go here!

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Blogger Sarah said...

I just got the Back to Basics book. I'm excited to try it out.

From the couple recipes I've made of hers, the flavors are usually very intense. Also, very good. She's one of my Food Network faves actually.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009 3:46:00 PM  
Blogger The Food Librarian said...

What a great dinner for your mom! I just got B2B from the library and love it. I DVR her show every day in hopes of seeing that guy T.R. on the show! :)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009 6:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Dawn said...

What a nice daughter you are! I'm glad *my* mom doesn't read your blog because her birthday was Saturday and I would have been put to shame. :) The photos look great; can't wait to see the recipes.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009 9:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Laura said...

Wow, everything looks so great! What is on that tray next to the m&m cupcakes?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009 5:12:00 AM  
Blogger justJENN said...

Laura, My friend made me a fantastic tray using bottle caps. It's great for parties.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009 7:33:00 AM  
Blogger La Pixie said...

I like her recipes, but Im not a big fan of her show. I hope you post the recipe for those biscuits (hint, hint)!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009 7:38:00 AM  
Blogger Lilcee said...

I love Ina, her cookbook and show. Her recipes are simple and easy. There isn't anything complicated about her.

I know your greatly appreciates her Ina inspired dinner bday party. You did a fabu job.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009 9:45:00 AM  
Blogger The Daily Randi said...

This sounds like A Dream Party for TAH. He looooooves The Barefoot Contesa. Did you cook all the food using A Very Calm Demeanor? That is his Favorite Part. Also, he likes when Jeffrey eats All The Homemade Ice Cream.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger suburban housefrau said...

I just used that birthday sheet cake recipe to make a train cake for my son. I also used her buttercream recipe. I had all these people telling me it was the best cake they had ever had. It was my 2nd time to make this train cake and I have to admit it turned out almost professional looking.

I met Ina and had her sign my book - next to Alton Brown and Michael Chiarello, she was a BIG snob. I think she barely looked at me.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009 1:43:00 PM  
Blogger diana said...

Awww...what a great daughter! :)

Thursday, March 05, 2009 9:49:00 PM  

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