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I’ve always loved baking but I’ve never been adventurous with it. I love making birthday cakes for my family (they're usually pretty basic), and I’ve always wanted to elevate my decorating game. I see all these beautiful cakes that look simple to create, and they never turn out the way I want. Through Instagram, I found that my hairdresser George dabbled in baking and cake decorating - I saw his Sprinkle Cake and immediately wanted to try it! Last week George came over to Cassandra’s Kitchen to bake and decorate with me. It was a game changer. So easy and so much fun! Now I'm super excited to try new things with my baking and decorating!
In 2017 I made a little deal with myself, I wanted to make all of my family’s birthday cakes (thanks, Ina Garten and Barefoot Contessa for the inspiration). I enjoy baking with my kids and thought that letting them help with their own cakes would create some great memories and foster their love for cooking and baking. The birthday cakes weren’t perfect works of art, but they were prepared with love - so they tasted even better!
Does anything warm the soul quite like soup? With all of the crazy cold and snowy weather we’ve been having, I can’t think of another meal more comforting than tomato soup and grilled cheese. Simple and satisfying. Ina Garten’s Easy Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Croutons puts a special twist on the classic with a bit of cream in the soup and grilled Gruyère cheese for the croutons. I know I say this about a lot of Ina’s dishes but THIS could be my most favorite. I highly recommend committing this recipe to memory and making it often!
Sneaking in one more post with Trent from @StoreBoughtIsFine before the end of the year. He's got a lot of friends and a lot of great gift ideas. After reading this blog, you'll wish you were on his 'nice' list. Happy Holidays and Happy Gifting..
No one can set a table for entertaining quite like Ina Garten. She’s a master at making the table both elegant and comfortable. Sophisticated, yet welcoming you to sit, eat, and stay a while. With some of our favorite food-centered holiday celebrations coming up, we thought it was time for a quick ‘Get The Look’ with an autumn table setting.
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!
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.
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.
Since leaving for college, I’ve moved a lot. And along the way, I’m lucky to have collected a ton of recipes from friends and family, neighbors, and acquaintances. Looking through those recipes brings back memories and I always find something delicious that I had forgotten about. The problem? My recipes are a disorganized, cluttered, messy mess and when I want to find something specific, I can’t! Sound familiar to anyone else?
We're highlighting our favorite New Year's resolution on the blog. Pantry Organization. It's a game changer. Photo: Amanda Hesser, Food52