How Easy Was That? Pretty Easy!

No one will ever mistake me for a real cook.
I do use the kitchen, and sometimes some delicious dinners show up on our table, like my chili or spaghetti sauce, and a few choice dessert items.
  
And although cooking is not usually on the top of my FUN list, going to parties always is, and I heard Lynn at Happier Than a Pig in Mud was having one which I did not want to miss!  

So I pulled out my Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics cookbook to see what temptations Ina had for me.


The subtitle of this collection is
“Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients”
but I’m not sure how accurate that is.
This is what I used to make three recipes in the book to be served at a fireside cocktail hour with friends.
Fabulous flavor, yes, but simple ingredients? Maybe, but that depends on your definition of “simple.”  I think of fresh veggies and pantry basics.  These recipes required puff pastry, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, pomegranate juice, montrachet cheese–delicious, wholesome, but a bit pricey!

Recipes for all the dishes I prepared are on Ina’s page on TheFoodNetwork website.  Click on the title of each to take you there.  Sometimes there is a video to help out with the more difficult parts.



Super easy–the hardest part is peeling and deveining the shrimp, but if you aren’t a typical frugal Connecticut Yankee like me you can save yourself the time and trouble and buy it ready to go!

Toss the shrimp, olive oil, salt and pepper together right on the baking sheet, cook 8 min. @ 400 (don’t know where the little degree thingy is on the computer keyboard so just pretend…) 


then remove, cool, and eat!!  

HOW EASY WAS THAT?
The shrimp was tender and perfectly cooked.  Next time, though, NO SALT!!  It would also be good with cayenne powder, garlic or red pepper flakes.

The sauce was a little different than my usual, with the addition of chili sauce to the ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, worcestershire and tabasco.  Good, too!




There is nothing difficult or mysterious about working with prepared puff pastry. I do it all the time!  These DELICIOUS tidbits used puff pastry, pesto, montrachet cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts.  (That’s what caught my attention.  I fall for them every time.)



Toast the pine nuts.








Roll out the dough to size and top with the pesto, montrachet, tomatoes and 
pine nuts.





Roll up the dough and refrigerate until very cold–longer than the 45 minutes suggested.
When the dough is very cold, slice into 1/2″ pieces, put onto a parchment lined baking sheet, and cook for about 15 minutes at 400.


I am not a big fan of montrachet and considered using feta instead, but I am so glad I used the goat cheese.  It was perfect for a slight tang contrasted with the sweetness of the tomatoes and the pine nuts.
These were DELICIOUS and super easy.  I made them at 10 pm while yakking on the phone to an old friend (that’s why there’s no photo of the slices on the sheet before baking–oops).  
You should definitely make these!!!!



The salty/hot shrimp and tangy palmiers need something with a cool sweetness to wash them down, so I tried these cosmopolitans.  Vodka, cointreau, and cranberry, pomegranate and lime juices–super easy, yes, but with the alcohol/juice ratio at 3/2, they were too strong, even extreme.  I would definitely make them again, using half the recommended vodka and cointreau.  
They are very pretty!



The recipes were so easy that I had plenty of time to set the coffee table for serving.



Ina has been known to go Barefoot in Paris,
so I used these eiffel tower glasses for serving the cosmopolitans.

How fun is that?
Large martini glasses hold the shrimp and palmiers.



Have a seat by the fire.  
Yes, there are snow flurries again today!!


But we’ll be warm.  If the fire doesn’t do it, the cosmopolitans will!

Thank you, Lynn, for this party!
I really did have FUN preparing for it!




I’m also joining, for the first time,
Delectable Tuesday
at Home Sweet Farm



and Foodie Friday
at Designs by Gollum

Linda 🙂

26 thoughts on “How Easy Was That? Pretty Easy!

  1. Linda what a great party! Everything looks beautiful and how nice to serve it by the fire! You did exactly as I asked, make the truffles or something else by Ina, I have to try to make palmiers one day! Thank you so much for linking up:@)

  2. These all look delicious. I will be making those palmiers for sure. and I love the idea of the shrimp in the oven. Can’t be any easier than that. Anything with pomegranite has my vote! Great presentation.

  3. Hello Linda,
    thank you for your visit and the nice comment. Wiski is doing fine, he gets more activ now in spring.
    Your party looks great. The food seems tempting and the Eiffel-glasses are amazing. Would have loved to join your party.
    Greetings, Johanna

  4. That was a great way to do the party up right. I’ll definitely try the shrimp and something similar for the palmiers. Loved how pretty your cocktail glasses were too. Everything looked so classy.

  5. Hey Linda, Thx for stopping by my pink & green Saturday. I hope you find a blond planter doll soon. I do love dolls and planters. I enjoyed your great recipes too. I actually do love to cook & entertain. Lucky for me my husband does the laundry, so I do have more fun. I’ll be following you to see what you’re up to next.
    Have a pink & green week.

  6. This is a wonderful post! I love the idea of cookng the shrimp in the oven, I have never done that! Now I will!

    And those palmiers! I could eat the whole bunch of them. They are a must try!

    YOur table is set so adorably! I LOVE those Eiffel Tower glasses! Talk about french!
    This stop was as good as reading a cookbook!
    What fun!
    Yvonne

  7. This all looks wonderful, but the part I really MUST try is the savory palmiers. They look like the kind of thing I would eat one after the other after the other after…

  8. This looks like sucha fantastic party! Not only does the food look wonderful, the color of your setting is amazing.

    Thanks for being a part of Seasonal Sundays.

    – The Tablescaper

  9. I have to stop looking at these food posts late at night!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Your food looks incredible. By coincidence, I dug up one of Ina’s cookbooks yesterday. Her food is always good, but kind of pricey.

  10. You and Ina have been super busy! Everything looks lovely…I am lucky, I have shrimp in the freezer!

    Thank you for visiting my blog today. I enjoyed touring yours!

  11. I can’t think of anything better than enjoying your food & beverage by a cozy fire. I’ve made her palmiers & roasted shrimp and they’re so so good! Your food looks delish & I LOVE your Eiffel Towel Cosmo glasses!

  12. Linda, your shrimp look absolutely perfect! I’m a huuuge fan. I have never made palmiers before but I know they must taste wonderful. You used such yummy ingredients. Add a fire and a cosmo and you have the perfect party! I wish I could have been there! Thank you for sharing your recipes and beautiful photos!

  13. Wish I had been at your fireside cocktail hour ~ you and your friends must have really enjoyed these delicious tidbits! They all look wonderful 🙂

    Kindly, Lorraine

  14. How did I miss this delicious post? I have this cookbook and have seen those palmiers. I don’t know why I’ve never made them because they look absolutely fantastic. I have just GOT to put them at the top of my “To Try” list. Loved how you displayed all the food in martini glasses! How cute is that! And I had never seen the Eiffel Tower glasses before! They are wonderful! This coffee table sure sees a lot of great food!

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