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Panzanella & Summer Garden Pasta



The season is rolling along and we have our favorite summer recipes on repeat. Ina Garten’s Summer Garden Pasta is a summer staple – when you have fresh, local tomatoes at your disposal you look for every tomato recipe available! And this year, I finally made Ina’s Panzanella. This recipe gets rave reviews but I never made it myself. Now that I’ve made it, I may never stop.

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Cassandra's Year Of Birthday Cakes

Cassandra's Year Of Birthday Cakes

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!

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Cozy Chicken Soup

Cozy Chicken Soup

It looks like the first major snow storm of the winter is going to hit the east coast over the next few days. In preparation for a cozy weekend inside, I’ve decided to cook (and share) my Cure-all Chicken Soup. I make this soup all winter long…at the slightest cough...

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Ina's Coconut Macaroons

Ina's Coconut Macaroons

I wanted to make a sweet treat this week and my mom suggested Ina’s Coconut Macaroons (Family Style). They’re easy and delicious – especially if you are a coconut lover like me.

I made a batch and put together a few bags to give out to friends – I even gave one to our super appreciative delivery guy. Lucky for him, he arrived just as I was bagging them up!

Here are a couple of my tips: 

I used the 1.6" stainless steel scoop to the get the macaroons just right on the baking sheet. I tried not to let too much of the coconut mixture spread outside of the scoop, so they stayed in mounds without a lot of excess spreading on the baking sheet.

Use an oven thermometer to get the correct oven temperature. Don’t rely on your oven sensors - ovens can run 25-50 degrees off. (I have two ovens and neither of them keep the temperature I set. One reads 350, but rarely ever gets there and my other is usually 50 degrees cooler than the oven reading.) Baking at the correct temperature will allow the macaroons to brown without burning. 

Here’s the recipe:

14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Combine the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until they make medium-firm peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.

Drop the batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper using either a 1 3/4-inch diameter ice cream scoop, or two teaspoons. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and serve (or place in glassine bags for your friends!).

Sweetened coconut is sometimes called "flaked coconut."

These cookies will stay fresh for a few days if they are wrapped and left at room temperature.

- Cassandra

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Container Sale - 20% Off, September 25th-28th

Autumn is here which means cold-weather meals and holiday cooking are just around the corner…it also means it’s time for the Annual Container Sale.

Our Clear Plastic Containers are Ina’s favorite for storing and freezing her delicious chicken stock (featured in Family Style). They are dishwasher/microwave safe and BPA free. Simple and sturdy, I use them for everything from storing leftovers and baking ingredients (and candy!) to organizing my office supplies.

Next up…Plan B Aluminum Containers. These containers live up to their name as they have saved me, and my dinner table, on multiple occasions. For the most part, I use these for make-ahead dinners, but I’ve also had the opportunity to share meals with friends – these are great for transporting, the lids stay put and I don’t have to worry about tracking down my bakeware afterward! For the winter, I’m going to take inspiration from Make It Ahead and stock my freezer with deliciousness.

And of course, the Chinese Takeout Containers. They make even leftovers special (Thanksgiving anyone?). I love to use these for kids’ treats and desserts - cookies and brownies work well. They’d also be fun containers for an easy fall picnic in the park.

All three of our containers are featured on Ina’s Easy Tips and with 20% Off, you don’t want to miss out on these kitchen staples. Use code CONTAINER20.

 - Cassandra

 

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