WHEN YOU HAVE A FRIDGE FULL OF TURKEY and a house full of guests, the best way to handle both is a big casserole of turkey pot pie, just like this one. It’s a new riff on the Barefoot Contessa’s chicken pot pie recipe we made over once (and still the number one recipe of all time on Foodlets), but it’s simpler, almost healthier and of course you could make it with chicken too. [Read more...]
WE’VE DONE SOMETHING LIKE THIS BEFORE. Last summer a friend appeared on our door, bag in hand overflowing with juicy purple plums. We combined them with a few berries for a family-style dessert at a friend’s summer rental. This time we got our own plums and this time they were yellow. And this time, I decided to take Ina Garten’s delicious but decadent recipe even further…we made individual crisps in ramekins with less sugar, less butter but all the flavor.
I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING. What kids eat salad? For dinner? If serving a fresh potato salad isn’t in the cards for your crew, consider using the same ingredients to create a plate that works for everyone, without a lot of extra effort on your part. (Also, French kids eat salad. Really!)
I MAKE THESE EVERY TIME I HAVE A PARTY. Everyone loves them. So, when I saw Jamie Oliver make something similar for his family, I broke out one of my favorite Barefoot Contessa recipes. Trying to make it a little healthier, this is sausage with puff pastry after all, I added protein-rich white beans that the kids love. There was only one problem with this dinner. The kids hated it. [Read more...]
IT WAS A BAREFOOT CONTESSA KIND OF WEEKEND in our kitchen. We made muffins, lots of muffins, based on a recipe from “Back to Basics”. As always, we made healthier changes. As always, they were delicious. [Read more...]
I MADE THESE POT PIES TWICE RECENTLY, once big (for the family) and once small (for each person). The second time I used leftovers from Gwyneth Paltrow’s delicious Rotisserie Style Roast Chicken. Estelle LOVED it. Phoebe was sick. Paul liked them both though he did say that more crust on the bigger version was better. I thought Phoebe would like the flowers and stars on top. What she liked that day was crackers. So… [Read more...]
WE’RE BACK TO TOAST around here. Every morning it starts around 6am. I hear murmurs from the next room, Phoebe’s ready to get out of bed and can I please make her some bekfist? On the plus side, she’s nearly two and a half and stays in her toddler bed until someone comes to help her out. This eliminates our initial worry that she’d be wandering around at night. On the down side, it’s 6am which is pretty brutal. She usually wants toast these days and this is how it must go: two pieces (whole wheat, natch) each with peanut butter and jam applied to every corner. Then we cut each piece into four sections, place on a paper towel and set it on her “high seat” tray table with a glass of milk and a side of dried cranberries. No substitutions, no changes. [Read more...]
WE WERE HEADED FOR THE BEACH and needed to bring a dessert for lunch afterward. The requirements were simple enough: must be baked ahead of time and also hold up for an hour in the car. (And if it could not involve a 30-pound Le Creuset baking pan, even better.) There would be six adults, two toddlers and two babies which meant it better be something good. [Read more...]
WE LOVED IT, PHOEBE DIDN’T. Such is life, especially when you’ve got a toddler. This lentil soup, originally inspired by the Barefoot Contessa, is a favorite for Paul and me but this time I added a couple of special ingredients: lentils that Paul got from the Salone Del Gusto food festival plus fresh turkey sausage. Lentils are such a great source of protein and fiber, plus this soup makes a perfect meal any time of year.
To top it off, we had the good fortune to slather toasted bread with fresh olive oil, picked and processed by hand from Paul’s co-worker and friend David Bowen.
None of this mattered to Phoebe. She ate two bites and moved on to a banana. Two nights in a row.
- 1 pound green lentils
- 1 pound turkey sausage (cooked)
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for serving
- 4 cups diced yellow onions (3 large)
- 4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only (2 leeks)
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 large cloves)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 cups medium diced celery (8 stalks)
- 6 cups medium diced carrots (6 to 10 carrots)
- 3 quarts chicken stock or canned broth
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons dry red wine or red wine vinegar
- Parmesan cheese grated on top
Start by pouring the lentils into a large bowl and cover with water. Allow to sit for 15 minutes then drain. While you’re waiting for the lentils, get started on the sausage.
Use a large stockpot and begin with olive oil over a medium burner. Cook the sausage until it’s done, then remove to a plate. Add a little more olive oil then saute your onions, leeks, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are translucent and tender. Be sure to turn your burner down so you don’t brown the veggies, you just want them to be soft and tender. Add celery and carrots and saute for another 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, and drained lentils, cover, and bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, reduce the heat again and simmer uncovered for about an hour. Check for salt, pepper, cumin or herbs. When the lentils are tender you’re ready to add the sausage and red wine. Serve drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with grated Parmesan.
I’VE MADE IT BEFORE BUT THIS TIME, I ADDED A LITTLE MORE OOMPH. By now you know that I love my Barefoot Contessa. But you also might be aware of her delicious yet wildly fattening food, a dilemma for someone who is already 14 pounds heavier than usual, also trying to keep a 17-month old foodie happy and healthy. This is where Ina Garten meets Missy Chase Levine.
You might know Missy as The Sneaky Chef, and if you don’t, you should. She’s such a clever resource for parents trying to pack more veggies, whole grains and other good stuff into foods kids love. Her version of tomato soup includes a puree of white beans and cauliflower, mashed up ahead of time and quietly worked into the soup without any picky tastebuds ever detecting the difference. But since Phoebe actually likes both of these things (for now), I just added them in their regular form. It worked well because soup isn’t so easy for her to eat, what with her limited mastery of spoons and all. The beans and cauliflower chunks made it easier thicker and easier to get onto the spoon and that she did, with gusto. After all, this is one of Barefoot’s best soups.