A Barefoot Weekend

January 18, 2009

I know what you are thinking....Barefoot?? With temps below zero the last thing you should be doing is walking around barefoot!! Trust me, I am not....I have been walking around all weekend in heavy snocks and my favorite LL Bean wool lined clogs!!

With these record low temps, I have no desire to leave the comforts of our home!! Friday night we had planned to go to a friends house for a dinner party, but the plans fell through because she got sick. Since we were no longer going out for dinner, I had to figure out what we were going to do....

After a little thought, I turned to one of my favorite gals for help.....this is where the barefoot comes in........

Any guesses???? Here's a hint....


All of you food netw@rk junkies probably knew the answer before you even looked at the picture.....The Barefoot Contessa. I have a couple of her cookbooks and I am forever printing her recipes from the internet. I was flipping through page after page when I remembered an episode that I had seen long ago, where she made Chicken Pot Pie....not only had I seen it on tv, but recently one of my favorite bloggers had tried this recipe out for herself and gave it rave reviews. I figured it would be the perfect thing to serve on a cold wintery night!!

For some reason and I am not sure why, but when the weather gets like this, I LOVE to cook......so this started my food/cooking obsession for the weekend.....

After I made her Chicken Pot Pie on Friday night....and it did not disappoint, it was fantastic!! I made some more of her recipes on Saturday......Roasted Red Pepper and Eggplant Dip, The Perfect Roast Turkey(I made this recipe on thanksgiving, but we had a frozen turkey that needed to be cooked, so I made it again) and last but not least, with a little help from my assistant, we made a Chocolate cake with Peanut Butter Icing for Nick's bday tomorrow.


This is the roasted red pepper and eggplant dip....I know some of you might not be eggplant lovers, but you can't even taste it with all the other ingredients!!

I served it with crackers and baked pita bread. I usually buy whole wheat pita, slice it and rub it with a little olive oil, sprinkle some salt, pepper, and oregano or italian seasoning....then bake it for 8 minutes on each side. They are perfect for dipping.

Another great idea is to use this as a spread on sandwiches.....I put it on a nice piece of bread(ciabatta is the best) with provolone and then put it in the panini press. Sarah loved it....she ate it for lunch today:)

Nick's bday cake!!

Thank goodness for the extra refrigerator in the basement....I had to hide the cake so no one would eat it before Monday!! The recipe was for cupcakes, but we turned it into a cake. I love to cook, but I am not a baker by any stretch of the imagination...... I tried to fancy it up a bit for Nick.....it is not perfect....let's just say that I was going for a rustic look...LOL!!

Nick is thrilled to have off from school tomorrow. I have a few appointments in the morning for work and my Mom will be here with both the kids....She and my Dad are taking them out for a special birthday lunch.

When I get back from work, I will be getting things ready for the special birthday dinner we have planned.......

When I asked Nick what he wanted for his special dinner, he asked if we could do a fondue night......so that is what we are doing. Cheese fondue with lots of fun stuff to dip and then chocolate peanut butter cake for dessert!!

Can I just say...I will be running the other way when I see a scale of any kind after this weekends food fest!

Oh and one last thing to wrap up our Barefoot themed weekend.....we invited my Mom to dinner Friday night because my Dad was away.....My Mom is one of those that can never show up empty handed, even when told...DON'T BRING ANYTHING...so what did she walk in carrying......A bottle of Barefoot brand wine.....how appropriate!!

I hope to do a Bday post for Nick tomorrow night.....and I will let you know if the cake was a winner!

Have a great week!!

A quick note: Last time I posted about food, a couple of you asked me about the recipes...I always link them in the post. Click on any of the bold highlighted words and they will link you directly to the recipe:)


Anonymous said...

Cute pictures!

I love Ina and I love Nick's cake :-)

OH MY #6 said...

Wow, you talented thing you! Love that cake! Great photos too!

Enjoy the B-day!


Gail said...

Will you come over to my house and cook for us? Also love Ina and you surely ARE a baker!

Beautiful pics as always Lisa. Happy Birthday Nick and have a great day!

Shari said...

I thought I was good because I made brownies from a mix today - my daughter would be in HEAVEN living in your house!

Missy said...

Darling pics!!! I am so impressed with your skills in the kitchen. I say let's forego dinner on Friday night and you can cook for us : )

I hope Nick has a great bday! The cake is perfect!

Anonymous said...

Darling chef. She may beat out my favorite Barefoot Contessa :)!

Kim said...

Love the photos..
Sounds like a great weekend..
Sorry it is sooo cold.. we actually got to leave our windows open last night and looks like again tonight..
Love the cake.. you did a wonderful job..
Have a great day tomorrow..

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

Forget all the other stuff... where is the delicious Chicken Pot Pie??? Love those... Love LL Bean, I get the catalog and love it... makes me wish I lived up north to wear all the stuff...

Sue said...

Wow, I'm impressed. Your cake looks wonderful.
Your assistant is too cute for words!

Sue : )

Shell in your Pocket said...

What a fun weekend. I love Barefoot Contessa...I watch her all the time. However, I have never made anything from her. I love her voice and her "ease" in the kitchen.

That cake is just amazing ..beautiful!

Have a wonderful week, Miss Long Road To China!
-sandy toe

3 Peanuts said...


Yummy! I love the Barefoot Contessa Books too. Sounds like a cozy weekend. Nick's cake looks delicious! Happy Birthday to him!


Becky said...

Love Nick's cake and I bet it tasted as good as it looked!

I have one question -- where did you get your cookbook holder? DH looked for one to get me for Christmas but came up empty handed!

Have a great week!


Kate said...

Well...yes...the tenperature...AFTER Jim got done making complete fun of the wool socks his New Hampshire brother bought him for Christmas...he put them on...and now I have had to hear SEVERAL times today how "they rock" and "they're the best socks ever". I could not even make that up, right???

You know I love Ina...your recipes sound yummy!!! I am very much like you...every time it rains...Lia says it's time to make cookies!!! And I love a pot of soup simmering on a cold day...sadly it was mini tacos and carrot sticks for us tonight...but I did score a sweet ride this weekend...and my consturction project is looking good...so all things in good time I guess!!!

Love the pictures!!!

Heather said...

Oh I think a barefoot weekend was perfect this weekend:)

I love to cook when it gets cold, then I spend the spring trying to get back to a size (insert whatever you think:) I have been trying out new recipes left and right these days.

The dip sounds decadent - I LOVE eggplant and the roasted red peppers are just icing on the cake...speaking of cake - it looks so yummy! Nick will be thrilled.

Enjoy a wonderful celebration. Happy Birthday Nick, what a handsome young man and from what your mom says, pretty spectacular in every way.

Have a great week.

Jodee said...

A "Barefoot" weekend in January sounds perfect to me! We also like to eat more during the winter time! Bring on the warm comfort food!

I think Nick's cake turned out fabulous! Your assistant looks adorable, as always!

I hope you have a great time celebrating Nick's birthday tomorrow! He is such a handsome guy!

Jodee said...

P.S. If I lived in your house, I would not own a scale!

Chasing Dreams Photography said...

The cake looks awesome!!! I knew exactly what you were getting at...I am a food network junkie!!!!
Will you be sporting your sexy PJ's at the birthday party?

Jennifer said...

Oh my goodness! Everything looks delicious! Too bad we don't live closer-we'd brave the weather for all of those delicious dishes!

Have a great day with Nick tomorrow!

"Hello... It's Me Again..." said...

Nick's cake looks so yummy! The way you decorated it looks amazing too! You alwayd do a great job!

Can you post a "how to" on how to do a link with a word? Like you said you link a recipe to the bold word. Can you do a how to for that?

I look forward to seeing your Nick post! Tell him Happy Birthday from one of your followers!!!

Melanie said...

The eggplant dip looks like heaven! Look forward to trying that one!

Kam said...

Love those pics! She is just about the cutest kitchen helper ever! And the cake looks divine! Can't wait to see pics from Nick's birthday!

Have a great Monday!

Special K said...

Man... now I'm hungry! LOL!

I went to a fondue restaurant just before Christmas. I can honestly say it was one of the most fun dinners I've had in a long time. And the food was exceptional. Nick made a great choice.

Patricia said...

mmmmm....looks delish!!
I'm coming over to your house for dinner the next really cold night! ;)

The cake looks FABULOUS - almost like a crown! And you can't go wrong in the kitchen with an assistant as cute as yours! ;)

Colleen said...

You are pretty amazing! And that is one cute assistant you have! The cake looks delicious!
Have a fabulous day tomorrow celebrating!

Kayce said...

YUM!! That cake looks amazing! Sounds like your barefoot weekend was great and filling! I'm gonna try a few of those recipes for sure.

Happy Birthday Nick!!! Have a great day off tomorrow and most of all have a wonderful year!

Christy said...

How fun! I love just sitting around and getting to cook cool meals. It sounds like I need to go get the same cookbook. Im right with you on the scale thing right now-- I want nothng to do with that after the last month or so. Starting to think I need to get back on the wagon--maybe next week- maybe not??


Lisa and Tate said...

Ina is a favorite of mine also! What a fun post.. I will remember next time I am in charge of the appetizers I will do the dip and pita.

What an amazing house you have!!! Love the kitchen and your kitchen helper!

Dennis and Leslie said...

She is adorable, I love her little apron!! And what a beautiful cake!

Empress' Mom said...

Your photography is simply AMAZING and you're a chef too! WOW!! How lucky is your family?

Happy Birthday Nick!! What an AWESOME cake!!

June & Lilli

De Lucchi Family Treasures said...

Wow, what a cake and the cooking looks very posh :-)
Being indoors in the freezing cold sounds lovely to me.
Happy Birthday to Nick
Love Jules

Jeni said...

What a cute cute little chef you have.

That cake is beautiful!!! Love that color too.

Amy said...

If Sarah runs out of things to do in your kitchen...call me.;)

Your dinner and cake look delicious!
Now I'm hungry!

Note to self: Don't read Lisa's posts until AFTER my morning bowl of oatmeal.;)

Have a blessed day!

Briana's Mom said...

Seriously, I wish I lived closer to you just so you could cook delicious food for me. ;) I haven't had breakfast yet, and now I am really starving!

The cake looks so pretty! Happy Birthday to Nick!

Lisa said...

Yummy!!! Everything looks so delicious!!! Nick's b-day cake was beautiful! Great job Lisa and Happy Birthday Nick! : )

Keisha said...

I KNEW the minute I read the headline!!
Okay, I'm feeling better now & you're making me Hungry!! :)
It all looks delish! I bet you are an AWESOME Hostess!! You just have that "Ruth" spirit! Sweet & willing to serve!
So, when can I come? LOL!

Sherri said...

I love Ina. I like to pretend I'm her when I'm in the kitchen. When I say "How easy is that" the fam knows I'm pretending. I know...weird.

Happy Birthday to Nick! I would love a piece of that cake...yum...

Jboo said...

Love Ina too and she always looks so relaxed when she's cooking on TV! Will have to try those recipes -- i LOVE chicken pot pie!

You amaze me with all you get done and make it look so easy and beautiful -- Nick's cake, for example. Do tell your secrets!!

Your little helper is so sweet - love her cute apron.

Have a good week!


M,R,J1,J2 said...

Happy Birthday Nick! Enjoy your special day!
Best wishes,

4D said...

Drooling at my desk...

Have a great Birthday Nick!

Keep smilin!

fleur de lis cottage said...

What a good weekend to hibernate at home. Love Sarah's apron and girl, you should open a catering business.

fleur de lis cottage said...

P.S. Happy Birthday to Nick :)

Laura said...

Ooooohh! I LOVE the Barefoot Contessa - I have all of her cookbooks and love trying new things from her. Looks like it all turned out fabulous and you had a great weekend.

Marla said...

How fun! Wish I lived closer, I'd be happy to be a taste-tester whenever you need one. :)

The cake is gorgeous and I'm sure will be delish. I love Ina Garten too, she always looks like she's having such a good time in addition to making some great looking food.

Have a good week and Happy Birthday Nick!!

Shelly and Family said...

Oh...so when are we coming for supper? LOL! Everything looks amazing!!!! Hope we can get together this coming weekend!!! Call me later....

Strobist Girl said...

OMG - You are a COOK! Everything looks AWESOME! I wish we were eating at your house :D

From one b-day house to another - Happy Birthday :D

Ladybug hugs,

elliotts said...

Great pictures from a GREAT, warm and cozy weekend!! Isn't it funny how the colder it gets outside...the more we cook?! That was my weekend too!

Have a great week!


Julia said...

I was channel surfing yesterday and for the first time ever I caught the Barefoot Contessa show and it was fabulous! She was making lobster and corn chowder and I really wanted smellavision, it looked delicious! That's for the points, I'm going to check out her recipes myself. I've recently discovered a love of cooking and can't wait to try out some of her recipes. :-)

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

Yum Yum!! You had a great weekend! I am with you, I just love to cook when the weather gets cold. I don't know if it's all the comfort food that I love, or just the smells that come from the oven? That roast turkey has me in the mood...I have a roast chicken in the freezer and tonight might be the night. Thanks Lisa!! :) And Happy Birthday to Nick! (Who are you kidding with that cake? It looks fabulous!!)

Femin Susan said...

your Chicken Pot Pie was very tasty... My tongue filled with water..... it was fantastic!!

Julie said...

Your blog is making me hungry.

Julie :o)

p.s. I love eggplant!

carolinagirl said...

Wow! Thanks so much for the links!!! Your photos are great! Happy Birthday to Nick!!!
P.S. I left something for you on my blog!!!

Laura said...

Love all the pictures. Sarah is growing leaps and bounds.


Casey said...

Um. I can already tell that cake is a winner!! YUM!! It is beautiful... and I bet it tastes divine. You're not helping my diet :)

What a cute little helper you had too... such a sweetie!

Have a wonderful birthday party... can't wait to see Nick's post!!

Leslie said...

O'so good, and O' so sinful Lisa.
Nick's cake looks delish, and just so beautiful. Everything you touch is so amazing Lisa.

Happy Birthday Nick~

Dita said...

My goodness, girl...is there ANYTHING you can't do?? I just love Sarah in the kitchen with one of my favorite gadgets of all time...the coveted Kitchen Aid mixer!

That cake is just gorgeous. I hope Nick had a perfect birthday (complete with a day off from school!)...congratulations on 11 wonderful years with your little prince.

Jennifer said...

I am HUNGRY :) All of the recipes look yummy...Nick's cake really loooks good. Happy Birthday Nick, enjoy your fondue night!

Thanks for sharing, Lisa!


Kim said...

Hi Lisa! I am Jodee's real life bloggy firend, Kim! She talks about you a lot so I had to check out your blog. I loved the story of Sarah and look forward to reading the story of Nick.

Best of Luck with your adoption plans, I will look forward to reading more.


Sylvia said...

The food looks so delicious! I too love Barefoot Contessa. I could spend an afternoon just reading through her cookbooks.

The cake looks great! Hope Nick has a wonderful birthday.

paige said...

you simply MUST send that picture to ina....what a great shot & the colors look so wonderful

Michelle R Photography said...

Sarah looks so cute in her little paisley apron. She looks right at home in the kitchen. She takes after her mommy. I commented on the cake in your most recent post before I even read that you made this. I thought for sure that a high-end bakery made it. You have some pretty amazing skills in the kitchen, Lisa! Please, PLEASE come help me. Sadly, cooking is not my strength.

CC said...

Can I have a cake too? Just because?

Deb said...

Oh how we love the Barefoot Contessa too! Thanks for sharing the recipes Lisa....they look and sound yummy!!

Our Complete Family said...

Now how did I miss this post the other day?!? I am the only person w/o that cookbook so I am off to purchase it this week! Boy the recipes sounds yummy! I LOVE your dip spreader. How fun is that?!?
Lisa, you did an amazing job on Nick's cake. Oh my gosh it was so pretty! Way to go girl!
xo, Les

Jennifer said...

My mouth is watering right now. All those recipes sound great! The cake looks awesome. I want to try that Chicken Pot Pie recipe but I am on this damn diet!!


Chasing Dreams Photography said...

OMG I so remember this post!!! You are making me hungry just reading this post LOL can't wait to try these...they look delicious!!!!!