Monday. Better late than never...

So the weekend was great. And I have to start out by screaming: "I MET INA GARTEN". Here I go again...blah blah blah...Ina Garten....blah blah. But seriously, it was so great! I talked about the book signing a while back. Well thanks to my mom and two sweet little girlies....we headed up to South Coast Plaza Mall (my all time fav), had lunch at Lawry's (yum) and met Ina. Ya we go way back now. Way back to last Friday. I do have to say that I met some lovely ladies who let me sneak back in line with them. And if it wouldn't have been without their kindness, I never would have gotten in, thank you! It was a completely mixed group of "Ina lovers", young, old, people trying to look like her (you know the black or navy standard button up) sporting Ina style and a ladylike bob. When I finally made it up to her, I was so excited and nervous:
me: "Thank you so much for the beautiful recipes and inspiration, YOU really are the one who has taught me how to cook and love "good" food"

Ina: "Well thank you for coming to the signing and expressing such kind words"

me: nervous and excited..."uh...gee Ina your hand must be getting sore"

Ina: Laughing a bit.."well that's like saying there is still not a line of lovely people in line....I hope you enjoy the new book""

me: "Oh I ALREADY have!!"
{me just nervously chatting away + one sweet PATIENT niece} I completely lame or what?! "Gee Ina your hand must be sore"? It was like meeting a cooking rock star, and she seemed so kind and sweet to top it off! Love her! Now if I can just figure out how to hang out in her kitchen with her (In a non stalker way!). Something like how Gwyneth did and make homemade ricotta for brunch (which is SUPER easy by the way). Thanks to Pretty Mommy for that link!

Enough Ina gushing, and let's celebrate by having a piece of her  Old Fashioned Banana cake from her new book:  How Easy Is That?: Fabulous Recipes & Easy Tips.

Old-Fashioned Banana Cake
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • Cream cheese frosting (recipe follows)
  • Walnut halves, for decorating

PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 2-inch round cake pan. MIX bananas, granulated sugar and brown sugar in bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Add oil, eggs, sour cream. vanilla and orange zest. Mix until smooth. STIR together flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. With mixer on low, add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Stir in chopped walnuts. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, turn out onto cooling rack and cool completely. SPREAD frosting thickly on top of cake and decorate with walnut halves. Slice and serve

Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (1/2 pound)
MIX cream cheese, butter and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment on low speed until just combined. Don't whip. Add sugar and mix until smooth. Enjoy with friends! This would make a great layered cake for a children's birthday party, just double the recipe!
Hope you all had a great weekend too!!
***we will go with meal planning Monday on TUESDAY this week :)***


Torrie said...

YAY! Congratulations on meeting her!!

I can totally relate to your 'stumbling of words'... I met Giada at that same mall, and I had so much that I wanted to tell her- but you only have like 2 seconds!!

This cake looks AMAZING... seriously. :)
(If you do an Ina recipe exchange, I'm IN!)

Torrie said...

Totally want to make that ricotta! A friend from the book club made another ricotta (before she saw this) and said how easy it was. She said she was going to make this one and compare the 2.

Ana Degenaar said...

So jealous! I want to meet Ina and squeeze her hand until I transfer all her powers to my body!

Pretty Mommy said...

YUM!! The banana cake sounds incredible and so fun that you met Ina!!

Damaris @Kitchen Corners said...

This is what I want for Christmas. Actually I want Ina for Christmas but I guess her book will do.

I'm Danielle said...

I was so excited to meet her! I just wanted so much to hug her :)....Damaris-I want Ina for Christmas too!!

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