We often bake together as a family, but we don't cook together as much. That all changed with this cookbook book report they were assigned at school. They had to choose a cookbook, read through it and choose some dishes to make. Have I mentioned HOW AMAZING their school is?!
My daughter had to choose 3 dishes while my son, who is older, had to make 3 balanced meals. It was an amazing experience for them and they loved being in charge of the menu. And the best part- they tried everything!!
They chose Barefoot Contessa cookbooks to work from. Ina Garten's cookbooks offer beautiful photos, clear directions and is approachable, even for the under 10 set! This was fitting, as Barefoot Contessa was truly the first show my son really watched. He wanted to be a chef at 3 1/2 and even dressed as Mario Batali for Halloween that year, orange crocs and all. And yes, people knew who he was!
My daughter used her newer book, Barefoot Contessa: How Easy is That? My daughter loves to try new things, so she loved the creative items in the book.
She choose couscous salad, which she liked, but we'll make next time with fewer onions.
Wild rice salad: which has oranges and grapes and pecans in it. Isn't it pretty?
BUT HER FAVORITE was the smoked salmon deviled eggs with caviar. Yes. This was her choice to make and her favorite, by far! But that's not the most impressive part...
Just look at the photo she composed with my husband of her favorite dish. Looks like something you would see in a magazine, no? SO impressive. You can tell from the other bland pics that I took those. Ah well, food styling is not in my future…
My son used her Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, which I think is the first one. He wanted to make breakfast, lunch and dinner, which sounded great to me!
His dinner he made first and it was a doozy! Homemade applesauce, fingerling potatoes, roasted carrots and meatloaf! It was all delicious!
For his lunch, he made roasted tomato basil soup and it was completely restaurant worthy! Gotta love a boy who can work a food mill right?
His breakfast was granola and though it was not technically difficult at all, he never eats dried fruits or nuts, so I let him have at it. And he ate it! It wasn't his favorite, but he ate it. Not to worry, we found someone else who enjoyed it very much, so it was all eaten!
I LOVED this project and so did they and I know we are going to keep it going. Just yesterday, after all this was complete, my daughter wanted to make cupcakes, so we did. Ina's red velvet cupcakes, although, we had to sub purple food coloring, so they were purple velvet. And we made them dairy free, but they were still delicious though!
Thank you Ina Garten, for all the fabulous food memories! If you ever need some helpers for your show, we are close by (and we have some friends in common, which is kind of fun!)