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AUTOGRAPHED COPIES OF INA GARTEN'S NEWEST COOKBOOK, MODERN COMFORT FOOD ARE NOW AVAILABLE! AUTOGRAPHED COPIES OF INA GARTEN'S NEWEST COOKBOOK, MODERN COMFORT FOOD ARE NOW AVAILABLE!

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Entertaining with @StoreBoughtIsFine

There are lots of things I love about summer in NYC: long days of sunlight, fresh peaches, playing "identify that smell" on the streets...but the thing I don't love is my inability to entertain in my apartment. I can't imagine torturing my friends by using the oven or stovetop, creating a sauna in our sixth-floor apartment. So when the weather cools, I immediately plan the meals I've been thinking about for months... 

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In The Kitchen - Jalapeño Margaritas

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...

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In The Kitchen - Tomato Basil Soup

In The Kitchen - Tomato Basil Soup

I love tomatoes. They are by far my favorite vegetable (or are they a fruit?). In the summer it’s a no brainer - the tomatoes are bursting with flavor and I can literally cut them up, drizzle some olive oil, sprinkle some salt and pepper and eat them right up. In the winter, it’s a different story. Thank you, Ina for your Roasted Tomato Basil Soup – the perfect way to enjoy tomatoes in February!

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Herbed Goat Cheese in a Weck Jar

Lately at Cassandra’s Kitchen, we spend every spare moment pouring over the recipes in Cooking for Jeffrey. The response to the book has been tremendous and we’ve done our best to stock cookware, tableware, and products that Ina uses and features in the book. This week we wanted to highlight the Weck Canning Jar that Ina uses for her Herbed Goat Cheese.

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In the Kitchen - Cooking for Jeffrey

The latest Barefoot Contessa cookbook, Cooking for Jeffrey, is available today! We are super excited and couldn’t wait to share this Arugula with Prosciutto and Burrata recipe with all of you. Jeffrey loves it and we think you will too!SaveSaveSaveSave Continue reading

In The Kitchen - Barbecue Sides

With the last few weeks of summer upon us, we couldn’t leave the season behind without a Summer Barbeque post! Cindy and her husband are masters of the grill (check out Cindy’s post here) – but I am the master of side dishes (thanks to my mom and Ina). I’ve hosted and attended quite a few family dinners and bbqs this summer so I put together a quick round up of some of my favorite side dishes.

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In The Kitchen - Weekday Hummus

This month we've decided to start a new blog series called “In The Kitchen” where Cassandra and I share recipes that we regularly make for our friends and family. Ideally, we’ll post one every week (or so), we hope you enjoy it and participate by commenting with your feedback, questions, and some favorite recipes of your own. I’m kicking it off with my Weekday Hummus Recipe.

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Ina's Skillet Brownies

Ina's Skillet Brownie in our Mini Cast Iron Skillets

Looking to add savoir-faire to your next dinner party? Or just want to make an at-home meal extra special? My tip, serve individual portions in mini cast iron skillets.

A single serving dish adds style to any meal and makes everyone feel like you went the extra mile. (Even though you didn’t, it’s just as easy as making family-size. A little more clean up, but totally worth it for the wow factor.)

Ina Garten uses them to bake her incredible Skillet Brownies (Make It Ahead). They are nothing less than amazing and will instantly elevate your status to 'dessert royalty.' Thankfully, they aren’t too complicated. I did use Ina’s trusted Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract because I wanted them to be 'Ina perfect.' Ina's recipe is below along with some photos of my own skillet brownies.

And the skillets…they’re not just for brownies. They’re a great option for breakfast frittatas or side dishes like potato cauliflower gratins. I even use them to prepare shareable appetizers and snacks like baked brie. It's a straightforward dish, but the mini skillets add an element of polish and sophistication. I serve them as appetizers with sun-dried tomatoes and chopped spinach. Always a big hit.

Cassandra-

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Ina's Skillet Brownies

Ingredients:
¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 ounces plus ½ cup Hershey’s semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1½ ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons instant coffee powder, such as Nescafe
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 pint vanilla ice cream, such as Haagen-Dazs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the butter, 4 ounces of the chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate together in a medium bowl set over simmering water just until the chocolate melts. Remove the bowl from the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee powder, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and set aside to cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, sift together ¼ cup of the flour, the baking powder, and salt and stir it into the chocolate mixture. Toss the remaining ½ cup of chocolate chips and one tablespoon of flour together in a medium bowl and add them to the chocolate mixture. Spoon the mixture into four individual cast iron skillets (the skillets I use measure 5 inches on the top, 3½ inches on the bottom) and place them on a sheet pan. Bake for 22 minutes exactly. Don’t overbake! A toothpick inserted in the center will not come out clean. Cool slightly and serve warm with a scoop of ice cream.

 

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Baked Brie with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Spinach

Ingredients: 
5 ounces brie cheese - rind removed and cut into medium-sized chunks
½ cup chopped spinach
4 sun-dried tomatoes chopped into small pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the brie in a mini cast iron skillet. Scatter spinach and sun-dried tomatoes on top of the cheese. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring once to combine. Remove from heat and serve with crackers or French bread.

 

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