I love Ina Garten.
This post might as well be called ‘ an ode to Ina”.
I adore everything about her….even her button down shirts – that are tailored made just for her (why do I know this?) – with the popped collar – which makes me think of spring break and the cruise we took and the dancing we did, which brings be around to Grillz by Nelly…ad a whole top diamonds and da bottom row’s gold. Can we go back to those days? Days where spring break existed and you lived with your friends and weekends started on Thursdays? Did we know how good we had it? I don’t think we did…we were always wanting to get to the next stage. Little did we know the next stage was full of work and serious responsibility – mortgages are no one’s friend.
Yes, I some how just connected Ina to Nelly. That takes mad skills, people.
Did you know… she was a White House nuclear policy analyst. I don’t know what that entails. It seems pretty major. Therefore, she is not a classically trained chef. She is like us, a home cook with a bit of passion, a love for great ingredients, and a desire to make those around us happy and full. That she took a leap of faith on a gourmet food store and it became crazy successful. That she has since, hosted the famed Food Network Show – Barefoot Contessa, that she has written some 6+ cookbooks, and has been the inspiration for millions when it comes to hosting dinner parties, whipping up simple family dinners, or setting a table fit for a king or your best friends. This all from a whim. And major guts. For reals.
I am also, slightly in love with the fact that she lives in New England (and has an apartment in Paris…but who doesn’t love that?). I am a sucker for New England…the ocean, the homes, the food, the scenery, the accents…you name it – I love it. I sometimes get mad at the entire state of Pennsylvania. Downright angry. For if it wasn’t for the 311 mile wide state of Pennsylvania, lobster rolls and I would be so much closer. Sigh.
I have made many of Ina’s recipes…and not once have I been disappointed. And today is no different. These are a simple dessert, whipped up in a moments notice, and sure to please a crowd. I took these into work as a random Tuesday treat and they were gone before lunch. Well before lunch. Second shift only got crumbs. Not a raspberry fan? Use strawberry jam. Or blueberry.
Dear Ina. Thanks.
- 2 Sticks Unsalted Butter, Room temperature
- ¾ Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2+ ⅓ Cup All-Purpose Flour
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- 12 Ounces Jam, Raspberry – use high quality
- ⅔ Cup Granola, I used Bear Naked Granola (maple pecan) – make sure it is free of dried fruit
- ¼ Cup (a good handful) Sliced Almonds
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9 x 9 baking dish with parchment paper (easy removal).
- Combine butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and salt. With mixer on low, slowly add flour and salt mixture to butter mixture. Mix until the dough starts to form into a ball. It will be crumbly at first, just keep mixing.
- Press ⅔ of the dough into the bottom of the baking pan and about ¼ inch up the sides of the pan.
- Spread the jam over the crust, leaving about a ¼ inch border.
- Mix the granola with the remaining dough. Sprinkle mixture evenly over the jam. Scatter slivered almonds over crumb topping.
- Bake in preheated oven for about 45 – 50 minutes until the top begins to turn golden brown.
- Cool completely before cutting and serving.
slightly adapted from Ina Garten.
I made bacon jam.
I am also watching golf…on TV.
Today is weird.
I don’t even know me right now.
I enjoy bacon. I am a fan of jam. I figured I would love bacon jam. I was right.
I can’t play golf. I have never played one hole let alone a front nine or back nine or a full eighteen, which honestly is a little overkill. I can count the number of times I have played putt putt on my left hand (or right for that matter). My only attempt at golf was as a kid, we hit golf balls in my grandparent’s orchard…I spent more time searching for my golf balls in the bean/corn fields that flanked the sides of the orchard. A result of hooks and slices. I never grasped the ability to hit is straight. And those miniature golf pencils used for keeping score …we used those to keep score of the never-ending gin rummy game. That has to count for something. No?Read More
Dude, this is going to be quick…
It is marathon weekend! Well, a half for me and a full for others…but anyway you look at it…there are miles to cover and fun to be had!
I have a playlist to make – which, by the time I am done making it, will be more fitting for a 70 year old who needs pumped up for a few laps around the mall and not the 20 something girl that will be wearing a sparkle skirt and mouse ears Saturday morning, knocking out 13.1 miles.
I have to pack. Like, find my flip flops and contact case. Bathing suit? In mid-January? Yikes. These legs are white. Like blinding pasty white…a white that only exists on the legs of Ohioans in mid-January. Sunglasses…if not for the sun, then for the glare coming from my kneecaps. And sunscreen…large vats of the goop – see pasty whiteness above.
I have Thursday night TV to watch….Big Bang and Grey’s is new this week. I am a TV nerd without a DVR….
Important stuff people…and I have to get you this scone recipe, because seriously…you need to make these this weekend!Read More
What a whirlwind of a few days. Am I right? Holidays always leave me feeling like I just ran 20 million 100m sprints and all I can do is stand with my hands on my knees gasping for breath…when I know that if I stand with my hands behind my head, that air will come easier, but the energy to stand up straight is just too much.
And let us not forget the coughing and sputtering. I am not a pretty sight after sprints. But who is?
But I/us/we do it every year, because if I found myself well rested and 100% relaxed this time of year, something would be wrong. Like, world has ended and I am the only one left to fight the zombies, wrong….which, Dear Mayans…what a huge let down, not even a slight flash in the sky or gentle rumble under foot. Not that I wanted anything to happen…but a little something non scary or life-threatening would have been OK.
Anywhooo…The holidays are supposed to be hectic and crazy and whirlwindish. Full to the brim with parties and shopping and friends and family and baking and gift giving and hall decking and traveling…. all things that kinda sorta leave ya breathless. And immensly happy. And full. From love and one too many cookies…both of which I am not complaining about. At all. Ever. Never.Read More
I had this for dinner and seriously contemplating eating the leftovers for breakfast.
And by seriously contemplating…I mean I am dead set on it. It’ll be good at 5am, right? No? Maybe?
Wait, what?!? Gorgonzola cheese is not your cup of tea before noon? Hmm….Fine.
I understand. My stomach is weird. I can eat anything without any regard to the time of day. Breakfast for dinner is a no-brainer ( … and those of you who don’t like pancakes for dinner…I am looking at you with a sideways glance, because I don’t trust you…) But what about dinner for breakfast?
Pizza…cold. No brainer right? What is better on Saturday mornings?
Leftover pasta? Yep, this girl. Any day of the week.
Ice cream….there is a 12 year old living inside of me. And this 12 year old doesn’t have a mom hollering about how no ice cream is to be eaten before noon.
Diet Coke. Probably my favorite thing to drink when I awake. Weird I know. I have a weakness for carbonation.
Cottage cheese. With grapes. I will eat while my oatmeal is warming up. Straight from the carton. I am a monster.
Chili. Yep. I have done it and will do it again. Protein, right?
Carrots and hummus and pita. All day long. Morning to midnight, this is happening in my house.
Leftovers from any random restaurant from the night before. Pasta? Chicken sandwich? Mexican? Wings?
I don’t really have a stopping point…I had a loaded baked potato and salad at work just last week, it was 10am.
After that list…polenta with gorgonzola, walnuts, and honey actually sounds more breakfasty than say…lasagna and a diet coke. Right? But in all reality, this dish is to be enjoyed on a cool crisp fall evening. While you are wrapped in your favorite oversized sweater, yoga pants, and thick socks. With a small fire roaring and a side of red wine. A dish to be enjoyed as you recoup from the first half of the week or as you catch up on your fall TV shows and try to wrap your mind around how they killed off McSteamy from Grey’s Anatomy. Really? Seriously? McSteamy is dead? Huh…
- 2 Cups Water
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- ½ Cup Ground Cornmeal
- ¼ Cup Half and Half
- 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- ½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
- ½ Cup Walnuts
- ¼ Cup Gorgonzola Cheese, broken into chunks
- About 4 Tablespoons Honey
- Preheat oven to 350F. Place walnuts on a baking sheet and place in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Place water in medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add salt.
- Slowly, whisk in cornmeal and reduce heat to low. Cook until mixture is thick and polenta is tender (about 20 minutes), stirring frequently so it doesn’t stick/burn on to the bottom of pan.
- Once, thickened, remove from heat and whisk in butter, half and half, and pepper.
- Divide polenta into two dishes and top with gorgonzola cheese, walnuts, and a good drizzle of honey.
- Serve with a slice of crusty bread, lightly toasted and a glass of red wine.
Adapted from Joy the Baker.