Dinner Party for 16

Fall is finally in the air!! School and sports are in full swing, so we’re usually home on weekend for the kids’ soccer games, cross-country meets, birthday parties (you get the idea). Lucky for us most of our friends are in the same boat, so we decided to throw together a ‘little’ weekend dinner party. What started small ended up as a party for 16, complete with corn hole (it’s a bean bag toss game) and of course, some of Ina Garten’s great appetizers and side dishes!

@StoreBoughtIsFine - Container Sale

To be honest, when I received my set of Cassandra's Kitchen Clear Plastic Containers I wasn't sure how useful they’d really be. I mean, my cupboards overflowed with mismatched Tupperware that worked well enough to store my leftovers. I unpacked them and stacked them neatly next to the rest of the containers with little enthusiasm. Slowly but surely, over the next six months...

Ina Garten’s Warm Fig & Arugula Salad

I love a good green salad. In my group of friends and family, I am the salad girl. As a family, we have a big bowl of salad for dinner every night and when we go to a friend’s house for dinner, I usually bring salad. The other day at the grocery store I found some amazing, organic figs that I couldn’t pass up. Soon as I got home I went through my Barefoot Contessa cookbooks and sure enough, there it was Ina Garten's Warm Fig and Arugula Salad.

In The Kitchen - Ina's Roasted Ratatouille

During the summer months, we spend as much time outside as we possibly can and because it’s hot outside, our dinners tend to be simpler. This week, we had a few cooler days so I thought I would step out of my comfort zone and try something new that I’d never made before. I flipped through Ina Garten's latest Barefoot Contessa cookbook Cooking For Jeffrey and decided on Roasted Ratatouille with Polenta.

East Hampton Trip

We’re having a wonderful summer! So excited to tell you all about our latest East Hampton trip. As I’ve said many times before, I am so fortunate to have been raised there and have such a strong connection with East Hampton (and Ina Garten). East Hampton is beautiful and charming; with great food and nice beaches, so I am not at all surprised that it’s grown into a super popular destination. 

In The Kitchen - Ina's Flag Cake

The famous Ina Garten Flag Cake. I would bet that if you’ve lived in America for any amount of time or even happened to visit in the summer months, you’ve seen some version of the Flag Cake. This time of year, the fruity stars and stripes are all over checkout aisle magazine covers and cooking shows. It’s so festive and fun - even Taylor Swift and her famous friends are fans of Ina’s Flag Cake.

In The Kitchen - Jalapeño Margaritas

Kids are almost done with school, Father’s Day is this weekend and it’s finally starting to feel like summertime in NY. I thought it would be a good time to share one of our favorite summer drinks – courtesy of Ina Garten and my husband Brad - Jalapeño Margaritas. Brad loves spicy food. Loves it. So years ago, when I first got my hands on Ina’s Make It Ahead cookbook, I was thrilled to find her Jalapeño Margaritas recipe...

Canning Strawberry Jam - Take 1

We’ve had a really great response to our Weck Jars. They have so many awesome uses (dry goods, storing asparagus, Ina’s Herbed Goat Cheese), but I decided to try my hand at canning and use them as initially intended. So I decided to make jam. It’s strawberry season. Strawberry jam is one of my favorites. I see posts and recipes for jam all over the place. My mom used to make jam - I never helped, but how hard could it be?

Update: Cassandra's Chicken Coop

It’s been over a year since we added our chickens to the family! This year, we’ve added a few more chicks and a bunny to our growing brood. While there have been ups and downs (such is life – even the lives of chickens), I’m so happy with our current situation. I’ve learned a ton and eating fresh eggs has been amazing. The icing on the cake is that the kiddos just adore their outdoor ‘pets’ and (hopefully) I won’t have to worry about adding an inside animal for a while.

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