Barefoot Bloggers: Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

This installment of the Barefoot Bloggers comes courtesy of Sabrina and Alexander of Cooking with the Kids, who have chose Ina’s Jalepeño Cheddar Cornbread, which is featured in the Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook. I was really excited to make this, as it came from a cookbook I already own, and cornbread sounded so good, even though it wasn’t fall and I wasn’t serving it with chili! This is only the second cornbread recipe I have made (the first was made last fall and came from Cook’s Illustrated), but I have to say, this was phenomenal. It produced a light and tender crumb, a slightly crisp crust, and the inclusion of the green onions gave it a nice zip, and really, you seriously can’t go wrong with adding cheddar to anything!

More talk about the cornbread, the recipe, and maybe another picture or two after the break.

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Barefoot Bloggers: Parmesan Chicken

Another Thursday installment of the Barefoot Bloggers, and this Thursday features Ina Garten’s Parmesan Chicken, a wonderful selection from Megan of My Baking Adventures. Chicken pounded thin, coated in a traditional breading of flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs/Parmesan, and then sauteed in a combination of olive oil and butter – this is a classic dish that Ina has managed to perfect. Served over a bed of greens, this is a wonderfully satisfying meal.

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Barefoot Bloggers: Pesto Pasta & Chicken

What a fabulous meal! This was my first time making homemade pesto and the smell of it brought me back to my childhood and images of my grandfather tending to his garden. This was a great break from our usual dinners and something that I will definitely make more often. Thank you to Barefoot Blogger Elizabeth of Ugg Smell Food for choosing this recipe!

I adapted this recipe a bit to suit what I could find in the store, my allergies, and the inability for us to eat a meatless meal. First things first, my allergies. I am allergic to all nuts, so I had to venture out and make my own pesto sans the nuts. Quite easy, actually, and Nick said that it tasted no different than the traditional pesto he has eaten. Next, I couldn’t find much basil at our store and knew I wouldn’t have enough, so I supplemented what I had with baby spinach. I thought it added a great dimension of flavor! However, since I did this I eliminated the frozen chopped spinach (as well as the mayo and lemon juice). And since we like to incorporate protein in the form of meat in most of our dinners, I added some sauteed chicken breast to the dish. So in the end you get a bow tie pasta dish with chicken and a spinach-basil pesto. Honestly, it was fabulous and I really enjoyed it!

See how the other Barefoot Bloggers liked this dish here.

The original recipe as well as my spinach-basil (no nut!) pesto after the break…

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Barefoot Bloggers: Herbed-Baked Eggs

Yes, yes, I have joined yet another baking group. This one, Barefoot Bloggers, was started by Tara of Smells Like Home, and is devoted to cooking/baking Ina Garten recipes twice a month. I was drawn to this group for a few reasons:

#1 – I could stand to focus on cooking for a change instead of always baking – variety is the spice of life, no?
#2 – I love Ina Garten.
#3 – My sister bought me Ina’s Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook for Christmas and it has been neglected.

Definitely good reasons. Now on to the food!

Our first recipe was Herbed-Baked Eggs, which I had actually watched Ina make on an episode of Barefoot Contessa. They looked fabulous, and I was looking forward to trying them. Some butter and cream is heated to bubbling under a broiler, and then three eggs are slipped into the gratin dish, covered with a mixture of herbs and Parmesan cheese. What a wonderful dish, and something so quick yet fancy enough to serve to breakfast guests. The eggs need a bit longer than the 5-6 minutes Ina estimates under the broiler, but the taste is just fabulous.

Our next Barefoot Blogger recipe will be Pasta, Pesto, and Peas. Be on the lookout for it in a couple of weeks!

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