Nina Nixon


I'm Nina, a photographer, film maker and forever wanderer.  Passionate about nature, the great outdoors and all of life's adventures.  This is the place where I keep all my 'field notes'

Barefoot cooking

I've been meaning to do this post for quite a while now - since the middle of April to be precise, but the eldest Boo (our budding Jamie Oliver) and I have been on a bit of a mission and it all began at the beginning of this year.

One evening back at the beginning of the year we were channel hopping trying to locate a specific programme from the states.

As it goes, we never did find that programme - unsure if it was even aired over here, but what we did discover was a wonderful, homely, all rounder of a lady that cooked 'the most' wonderful of dishes and we were hooked!

{grilled tuna rolls} - recipe here.

We Sky+d all of her programmes and watched them every evening - two at a go for the next couple of months. I was and still am truly inspired.

Even the odd pronunciation of words had us giggling - it takes a while to cotton on to the different terminology of things like arugula = rocket!

Plus with a name like Ina (pronounced I-na) put an N in front of it and I think you know where I'm coming from? Though mine is pronounced - Nee Na.

If you're reading this from America I'm sure you will know instantly who I am talking about, but for those of you that don't then that lovely lady we stumbled across back at the beginning or the year was Ina Garten 'the' Barefoot Contessa.

Now I'm not a worldly kind of person and you may be thinking 'oh yeah, we already know' - but for me she so reminded us of our lovely wholesome Nigella Lawson, but a little bit older and a lot more experienced in the culinary department.

It's taken me a while, but I now own four of her books and the things we've cooked - 'oh' the things we've cooked.

From chicken salad to apple tarts, quick sticky buns and peanut butter brownies......they didn't turn out so good as I got my conversions all wrong, but set in the middle of the table with a spoon in hand (for the four of us only that is) they still tasted really nice.

I haven't taken pictures of all the things I've made Barefoot style - so far - as that would just be lengthy and boring, but please take my word that every thing we've made has just been mmmmmmm, mmmmmmmm, mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

We even went foraging for some wild dill to make cheddar dill scones.

You do have to be prepared though and take into account that if you're planning on doing some similar baking then all recipes are in US measurements so - a cup for this or a stick of that basically.

It is easy enough to find table conversions online which I use sometimes if I'm cooking from an American cookbook, but a set of measuring cups are so easy to come across in most supermarkets these days and are well worth taking the hassle out of finding measurements.

{granola bars} - recipe here.

Having a good set of scales helps too - I have some that not only measure weight, but liquids too. Very handy indeed.

Anyhow, that's my long planned - overdue - posting and if you haven't already heard of Ina Garten then go check out some of her recipes. Most can be found online and I'm sure you will not be disappointed.

And as a final note - Ina's brownie pudding is just absolutely divine and is now one of my all time favourite puddings - ever.

Baked in a bain marie (water bath) in the oven it's melt in the mouth molten chocolate gorgeousness.

All gooey when hot and if you put it in the fridge (once cooked and cooled) it turns into a consistency I can only describe as velvety.

I've seen these brownie puddings doted around Pinterest so if I haven't already convinced you with my pictures and words then go have a look over there for yourself - drool some inspiration....most definitely!

N-I-na xXx

:: edited :: a stick of butter is 115g (4oz) which is half a cup and I use this as one of my guides when converting. Hope that helps? Nina x

ps. please don't hesitate to ask if you get stuck at all - I will try and help or point in the right direction where ever I can.