Thursday, 21 April 2011

Ina's Garden

I am a huge fan of Ian Garten, aka the Barefoot Contessa. I love her recipes and the relaxed and welcoming entertaining lifestyle she promotes, as well as the sheer joie de vivre she exudes. So, I’ve joined up with a group of like-minded bloggers to form the newest blog hop group on the web, Ina’s Garden. Together we will be celebrating all things Ina by cooking and discussing her recipes and sharing our experiences.

It will work like this:

On the first Thursday of every month we will all make the same recipe together. You don’t have to participate every month, just join in when you can. Recipes will be announced in advance and on the day, you will be able to join with the co-hosts and link up your posts about them. All you have to do is copy your permalink (please link to your actual post, and not just to your blog homepage). Then click on where it says “Add your link” in the linky below this post. You will then be able to add a link to your own post and even choose a picture for the thumbnail. By linking to any one of the host sites, your post will be visible on all six of our sites, so as well as having fun and making new blogging friends, your posts will get maximum exposure too. 

We do ask that as a courtesy, you link back in your post to whichever host site you have linked to. It’s good blog hop etiquette and it allows others to find one of the main Ina’s Garden posts and join in the fun. A simple, ‘Shared with Ina’s Garden at (insert the name of whichever blog you have linked to, along with a link to their Ina’s Garden post here)’ is absolutely fine.

On the third Thursday of every month you can choose any recipe from Ina’s collection from within a theme chosen by one of the co-hosts.  Again the theme will be announced in advance and you can join in whenever you like. There is no obligation to participate every time. Once again, you will then be able join with the co-hosts and link up your posts about whatever recipe you have chosen in the same way, and your post will be visible on all six of our sites, whichever host site you link to.

Allow me to introduce my fellow co-hosts:

Chaya of Comfy Cook's Kosher Kitchen and Bizzy B Bakes
Louanne of Louanne’s Kitchen 
Mia of Bright Morning Star
Peggy of Pantry Revisited

We would also like to thank the lovely Faith of An Edible Mosaic for designing our button.

For this, our introductory first post, my co-hosts and I have all baked Ina Garten’s Orange Poundcake and we will be linking up our posts below. Mia has posted the recipe on her blog and you can find it by clicking on the link. We’d love for you to bake the poundcake and join in with our linky, which will be open until May 3rd . But if this is too short notice, or you are too busy to make the Orange Poundcake right now, just this once we’d like you to feel free to link up any of your Ina posts, whether is is a recipe, book review or other post about the Barefoot Contessa.

The next time we all meet up will be on May 5th and the recipe we are making for that day is Ina’s Peanut Butter and Jelly Squares, which is posted on Yummy Chunklet’s blog. So please click on the link above and try to make this recipe in time to link up with us on May 5th. Again the link will be open for several days to allow you lots of time to do so. And just to give you a heads up, the theme for our third meeting, on May 19th is Pasta with Pizzaz. So start dust off your Ina Garten cookbooks and choose your favourite pasta recipe from them. Or you can search online for Ina’s recipes at Food Network, The Barefoot Contessa or on The Good Food Channel among other sites. We can’t wait to see what you cook up!

And now, for my experience with Ina’s yummy, scrummy, super delicious Orange Poundcake.

As you can tell from that previous sentence, my family and I thoroughly enjoyed this cake. The recipe makes two loaves so my husband took one of them in to work and I had very positive reactions from his colleagues as well. It’s one of the moistest cakes I have ever made and yet it still retains its firm texture. The only thing I would say is that I did not use all of the syrup as Ina recommends. I used just a third of it on each cake, so I did have some left over. I love that this recipe is made with fresh oranges - the flavour just leaps out and grabs you, and although I’m normally very disciplined about only having one slice of a cake, it was very hard for me to stick to my resolve this time. It is positively addictive and it keeps very well. We ate the first cake ‘naked’ just dressed with the syrup. It doesn’t look quite as fancy,

but it sure tastes good! I would use the optional glaze again though as it adds something extra special to this loaf. It’s really easy, just combine 1 cup confectioners' sugar with 1½ tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Then just pour over the cake and allow the glaze to dry.

My verdict? I will definitely make Ina’s Orange Poundcake again. It’s easy, and very, very delicious. It can’t help but think how beautiful it would taste with a little dollop of cream and some strawberries...the perfect dessert for this time of year.

Please join me and my fellow co-hosts below as we link up our Orange Poundcake posts. Try this delicious recipe and share your experience! Or just this once, link up any post related to Ina Garten. Welcome to Ina’s Garden, and thank you so much for visiting!

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email me, and please be sure to come back and join us again on May 5th for Ina’s Peanut Butter and Jelly Squares. We would love it if you would bake along with us!


  1. Hi April, Thank you for your lovely words over at my blog! Ina's Garden is a great idea! Will definitely try to join in whenever I can. This will give me the chance to try out more of Ina's recipes instead of just reading about it! I like this cake, so this is a great start.

    Thank you too for following my blog, I'm following you too. Have a lovely day!

  2. Thank you! Hope you have a lovely day too!


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