The Instagram feed @StoreBoughtIsFine has been one of our favorite social media accounts for a while now. Three years ago we reached out to Trent, the genius creator of the account, and connected over our mutual love and respect for Ina Garten and her recipes. He's cooking through ALL of Ina's recipes! It’s been incredibly fun and exciting to watch his @storeboughtisfine cooking project take off. Trent is a wonderful cook, he has a great eye for food styling, and he is a ton of fun in the kitchen – we know, because finally we were able to cook together! It was long overdue, but we all had the BEST day talking and cooking together in Cassandra’s (actual) Kitchen.
We’d been looking forward to hanging and cooking with Trent for a while. I met up with him and his friend Stephanie a few years ago in East Hampton, but we all knew that the best way to really know someone is to spend a day cooking with them! Still can’t figure out why it took us so long to make it happen. We decided on our lunch menu together. Trent hadn’t yet made Beef Filet with Mushrooms & Blue Cheese (Cook Like A Pro) or Pumpkin Mousse Parfait (Barefoot Contessa At Home), so we paired them with a simple green salad and the Green Herb Dip (Barefoot Contessa At Home) and Fruit and Cheese Platter (Barefoot Contessa Cookbook) for appetizers.
Cindy came down for the day too, she made the Green Herb Dip ahead of time in the plastic containers, and we put together the Fruit and Cheese Platter early in the day so that we had something to munch on as we cooked - I'm pretty sure Ina would approve! We just got a new Barn Platter so we decided to use that as our fruit and cheese platter. It worked out beautifully!!
Trent and I got started on the Pumpkin Mousse Parfait in the morning (since it needs to chill ahead of time). I concentrated on the whipped cream but once that was complete, I left the parfait prep to Trent. I’ve spent a lot of time cooking and baking - everything usually tastes good but I have a hard time making things look good. Trent is so talented – he patiently and skillfully added each layer in the Antoine Glassware - each parfait looked better than the last. Almost too good to eat, almost.
The Filet of Beef with Mushrooms and Blue Cheese was a great choice for a late lunch because once we got the filet in the oven, we were able to prepare the mushrooms and get the table set. We used the Instant Read Thermometer to make sure it was cooked to our liking – we went with medium rare. While we were preparing the filet, Trent’s amazing friend Stephanie washed and sliced all the mushrooms. (Side note: Everyone needs a Stephanie. She is a rockstar – she jumped in whenever we needed anything and is the sweetest guest.) Initially, it looks like a lot of mushrooms in the skillet, but they cook up quite nicely with the shallots, port, butter and crème fraiche. It’s not the most beautiful sauce but it is delicious. We decided to serve it in a Hotel Silver Footed Bowl which made it extra special.
Like I mentioned earlier, I’m no food stylist and I’m not the most confident when it comes to preparing food to be photographed. Honestly, I think it is particularly difficult to make any type of meat look ‘pretty’. I was so impressed with how lovely this filet turned out! I know this is strange to say, but after Trent sliced and prepared the filet on the platter, it looked beautiful! And when I saw how great the photos turned out, I was completely in awe.
As for the table, we were able to use some of our new Farmhouse Pottery linens, which looked great with the white dinnerware and serving pieces. Simple and classic. We added in a few fall flowers and some pumpkins for some seasonal flair. Since we were making so much for lunch, we didn’t want to overdo it with a cocktail, so we opted for some nice wine in the French La Rochere glassware. The sunlight from the skylights hit the table perfectly – we had a beautiful sparkly toast and sat down for an amazing lunch.
Trent, thank you so much for visiting with us. We are so proud of how much you’ve accomplished, and we are honored to be a part of your journey. You are a true gem. We can’t wait to do it again!
Check out more of our day on Trent’s Blog StoreBoughtIsFine and be on the lookout for Part 2 of this post where we’ll have more photos and additional recipe tips.