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Reviewed winter minestrone and garlic bruschetta

Jan 4, 2015 on

Absolutely delicious and satisfying. Made the following modifications and it still rocked: No pancetta or bacon, added two fennel bulbs and equal parts kidney and garbanzo beans rather than cannelini. No bay leaf or pesto. And I used mini shells (1 cup only). I also added one 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes, rather than chopped/whole. It was freezing...

Reviewed easy cranberry and apple cake

Jun 20, 2014 on

It's rare when Ina's recipes don't deliver, but this was one of those occasions. I found the cake almost harsh from the acidity of the cranberries.

Reviewed tuna and hummus sandwiches

Jun 20, 2014 on

I omit the cornichons when I make this and it's still great. I've used radishes, but when I used shredded radicchio it was even better--the bitterness and crunch paired nicely with the spice of the hummus and creaminess of the tuna.

Reviewed fresh fruit salad with honey vanilla yogurt

Jun 20, 2014 on

I use Greek yogurt for this and loosen it up with about a TBSP or so of heavy cream. I also add an extra dose of honey--great with berries and Ina's granola.

Reviewed beatty's chocolate cake

Jun 19, 2014 on

Over the top deliciousness. Everyone will think you're a master baker. I've served this with Ina's raspberry sauce and it was beautiful. The buttermilk makes this cake incredibly moist and flavorful. Your kitchen will be covered in chocolate but it's worth all the clean up!

Reviewed basil chicken hash

Jun 19, 2014 on

Very very good. Satisfying. I like to use Yukon gold potatoes, no peeling necessary. I also use one red and one green pepper. I know the green pepper is the red-headed step-child of the pepper family, but I like savory, slightly smoky flavor.

Reviewed roasted pears with blue cheese

Jun 18, 2014 on

I substituted small Fuji apples for the pears and Martinelli's apple juice for the basting, and it was great. I also added a tsp of mustard to the dressing to emulsify. So delicious and easy!

Reviewed pasta, pesto, and peas

Jun 18, 2014 on

The pesto/mayo sauce is outstanding. I can see adding a protein next time, like shrimp or chicken. The peas and pine nuts add great pop and texture. Next time I'll serve with warm crusty bread and a nice Sauvignon Blanc.

Reviewed celery and parmesan salad

Jun 18, 2014 on

A great way to use up celery in your vegetable bin. The celery salt adds a lot of flavor. A great palate cleanser when paired with heavy, rich food. Light and satisfying.

Reviewed lemon cake

Jun 18, 2014 on

My go-to cake--easy to make, delicious, and great for breakfast or dessert.

Reviewed Blueberry Crumb Cake

Aug 17, 2013 in Food Network Community Toolbox on

The cake portion of this recipe is moist and flavorful, especially from the lemon zest. All of the blueberries sank to the bottom and so next time I may dust them lightly in flour. I found the crumb topping to be harder than I would've preferred. Small gripes, but notable observations nonetheless. Visually, it's very appealing and excellent with c"

Reviewed Rum Raisin Rice Pudding

Aug 13, 2013 in Food Network Community Toolbox on

This rice pudding tastes delicious and is absolutely addicting. The first time I made this, it was frustrating because when I added the eggs, they cooked and the pudding was destroyed. This happened another time too. Now, I temper the eggs by scrambling them in a bowl and adding a few spoonfuls of the hot pudding before putting them in the cooking"

Reviewed Turkey Lasagna

Aug 13, 2013 in Food Network Community Toolbox on

Absolutely fantastic. The cheese filling of Parmesan, ricotta, and goat is tangy and full of flavor. I modify this recipe by adding more basil--about a cup to a cup and a half. I also add a can of tomato sauce. It's a great make ahead dish because all you have to do is pop it in the oven right before you're ready to eat. I let it set for about 20-"

Reviewed Italian Wedding Soup

Aug 13, 2013 in Food Network Community Toolbox on

This soup is very good. It's attractive too--the bright green spinach and dill, carrots and meatballs make this a very visually appealing soup. You can't wait to dig in. For the pasta, I used orzo and it worked great. I modified this recipe by making my meatballs a bit larger. Baking the meatballs made them crusty on the outside and moist on the "

Reviewed Salmon with Lentils

Aug 12, 2013 in Food Network Community Toolbox on

These lentils are delicious. Actually, it surprised me how good they were. I alter the recipe by adding 3 TBSP of tomato paste. Often, I omit the salmon and just make the lentils. The vinegar adds a nice sharpness. It's an earthy dish perfect for fall when it's beginning to get cold. "

Reviewed Barbecued Chicken

Aug 10, 2013 in Food Network Community Toolbox on

This BBQ sauce is absolutely delicious and so easy to make. And it lasts forever in the fridge. It can be added to baked beans as well. The flavor combinations are so appealing and go together perfectly. It's everything you want in a BBQ sauce--rich, sweet, tangy, spicy. Slather it on anything and you'll be in heaven."

Reviewed Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

Aug 10, 2013 in Food Network Community Toolbox on

I've attempted this three times. The last time I had to throw it out right before dinner. I follow the recipe exactly and use very good cheese, but every time it's a disappointment. Unremarkable and somewhat tasteless. I love Ina, have all of her books, and have had incredible success with most of her recipes, but this is not a winner."

Reviewed Lemon Yogurt Cake

Aug 10, 2013 in Food Network Community Toolbox on

ALWAYS a winner. I've made this more than any other Barefoot Contessa recipe. It's a great go-to recipe when you need something delicious and easy to make. It's great on its own or with macerated berries (berries marinated in sugar and lemon juice/zest). It's also terrific for breakfast with milk. Rather than spoon lemon syrup over the cakes, I ta"

Reviewed Raisin Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

Aug 9, 2013 in Food Network Community Toolbox on

This is a great go-to recipe when you need a quick dessert. The texture of the cookies is great. I find myself eating the batter shamelessly. I modify by using currants instead of raisins. Currants give that sweet, raisin-like flavor without the commitment of large, chewy raisins that I find annoying after a few bites. When I serve these on a larg"

Reviewed Portobello Mushroom Lasagna

Aug 9, 2013 in Food Network Community Toolbox on

This lasagna is absolutely delicious. Even better the next day. My boyfriend said he could smell it walking up to the door from outside. This made me happy! The nutmeg gives it that extra something special. I used meaty Portobellos and Creminis. I modified by sauteing them purely in olive oil. Next time, I will saute the mushrooms first and make t"

Reviewed Curried Chicken Salad

Jul 27, 2013 in Food Network Community Toolbox on

OMG--is this good! It's spicy and creamy and utterly delicious. So many interesting textures all at once. I like it with the tortillas but it's also great by itself. Never lasts long when I make it!"

Reviewed French Toast Bread Pudding

Jul 27, 2013 in Food Network Community Toolbox on

I made this for Christmas brunch last year and knocked it out of the park! It's that fabulous French toast flavor in one easy-to-assemble dish. The challah bread plumped beautifully and the maple syrup and butter put it over the top. I served it with thick cut bacon. Next time, some apple sausage might do the trick. "

Reviewed Panna Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries

Jul 27, 2013 in Food Network Community Toolbox on

This recipe is so easy and absolutely delicious. Your family/guests will be licking their ramekins/plates! I've made it with balsamic berries and it's great, but I've also macerated strawberries with lemon juice and sugar and it's terrific. Let the macerated strawberries sit overnight and they'll be perfect. Of course, this panna cotta is also jus"

Reviewed Lemon Bars

Jul 27, 2013 in Food Network Community Toolbox on

These bars are heavenly for those of us who love lemony tartness. They're a cinch to make. I alter the recipe by adding the zest of both the lemons I use for the juice (usually two), which is probably close to 1/4 cup. Keep your eye on the oven and check 5 minutes before you're supposed to. Once you start seeing small bubbles on the surface think "

Reviewed Chicken Chili

Jul 27, 2013 in Food Network Community Toolbox on

This chili is delicious--homey and satisfying. I alter the recipe by adding a TBSP each of chili powder and cumin for greater depth and spiciness. It's especially great with a dollop of sour cream and scallions on top. You can also give it a squeeze of lime. I omit the cheese and chips garnishes to make it more healthful. This is a great meal if y"

Reviewed Outrageous Brownies

Jul 27, 2013 in Food Network Community Toolbox on

These brownies live up to their OUTRAGEOUS name. Easy to make and absolutely delicious. It's a great last minute dessert because it takes no time at all to put everything together and pop in the oven. And your family/guests will think you're a master. I alter the recipe by not adding the extra chocolate chips you're supposed to fold in at the end....

Reviewed Roasted Shrimp and Orzo

Jul 26, 2013 in Food Network Community Toolbox on

A very easy and tasty dish, especially on a hot summer night. The roasted shrimp added sustenance and the herbs made all the ingredients pop. Next time, I'll add more vinaigrette right before serving. I made this a day in advance and noticed it lacked a lemony sharpness. After a day in the fridge, I noticed the cucumbers became a bit slimy. The h"

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