Baked Farro and Butternut Squash

Farro and Butternut Squash

baked farro and butternut squash

Make it Ahead Barefoot Contessa Recipe

In the winter I love making dishes like this baked Farro and Butternut Squash that come together in one delicious pot. In New York we are having a bit of a cold front come through and when this happens I crave hearty/filling dishes like this that are warm and tasty.

Farro is a grain with a nutty flavor that is worth trying if you have not given it a try yet. I love it! I usually find it in cold salads in the summer mixed with vegetables but it is really good warm in a bake as well. In this recipe you use butternut squash and apple smoked bacon to give the farro some big flavors.

This is a good dish to make a head for a dinner party or perhaps for your family during the week. Everything can be assembled and then placed in the oven when you are ready to bake and serve it. Baked Farro and Butternut Squash was a big hit and there wasn’t many leftovers! That’s usually a good sign.

Baked Farro and Butternut Squash

What you need:

  • 6 thick-cut slices applewood-smoked bacon
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 large)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups pearled farro
  • 3 cups good chicken stock
  • 5 cups (3/4-to-1-inch-diced) peeled butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place the bacon on a baking sheet for 20-30 minutes in the oven, until browned. (it wont be crisp) Dice the bacon and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile in a large dutch oven (a pot that can go into the oven) heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender about 6-8 minutes. Add thyme, salt and pepper cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the farro and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Place the squash on top of the farro mixture, cover, and bake for 3o minutes while the bacon is cooking. Cook until farro and squash are tender. If it seems dry add a little more chicken stock.
  4. Sprinkle the bacon and cheese on top and bake for 15-20 more minutes until the squash and farro is tender, liquid has evaporated, and cheese is melted. Serve in the same pot.
    baked farro and butternut squashIf you are making this ahead do up to step 4, add the bacon and cheese, but do not bake it until you are ready to serve (up to 2 days).


Cranberry Pecan Holiday Bars

Cranberry Pecan Bars…

cranberry pecan bars

Happy Holidays! 

Take time for yourself each day as the Holidays rapidly approach. De-Stress and Re-Energize with relaxing activities. Don’t let the holidays overwhelm you its meant to be a time with your family and friends.

Baking is an activity that relaxes me. It might not be the best thing for my body but baking has become a fun hobby for me. If you love to bake also just try and find recipes that use substitutes for unhealthy ingredients and remember everything in moderation. Give them away if you do not want to eat the whole batch! I have been wanting to make a holiday bar and received this recipe from a friend and I am very happy with the results!

These Cranberry Pecan Bars come from Jenny Craig Christmas recipes. I have not made many Jenny Craig recipes but I did enjoy this one. It is not too sweet and you get the citrus from the orange which is a nice break from sweet desserts. These cranberry pecan bars would make a nice last minute holiday gift. They literally take no time to make and the ingredients are basic, my favorite.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 cup of margarine, softened
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp finely grated orange peel
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar
    *note you could use butter or margarine just substitute 1 stick of butter. You could use a mixer or by hand.

What to do: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl beat margarine with electric mixer for 30 seconds (or by hand).
  2. Add half of the flour and half of the orange juice, brown sugar, orange peel, egg, baking powder and baking soda. Beat until thoroughly combined.
  3. Add the remaining flour and orange juice, mix well. Stir in the pecans and cranberries.
  4. Spread in a baking pan 11×7 or whatever you have available.

    cranberry pecan bars

  5. Bake for about 25 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean.
  6. Let cool in pan on a wire rack.
  7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  8. Cut into bars.
    cranberry pecan bars

Chicken Cutlet with Tomato Balsamic Salad

Crispy Chicken Cutlets with Tomato Balsamic Salad

tomato balsamic salad

To me it does not get better then this. I grew up eating and loving chicken cutlets whether it was from an Italian restaurant or my grandmas italian kitchen. I always crave chicken parmesan, but in the summer I like something a little lighter and fresher.  If you are growing tomatoes and are looking for a recipe to use them. This is it!

This recipe comes from the time I spent at my Aunts house on Long Island. I remember her crispy chicken cutlets very well. She served it with a tomato and red onion balsamic, it was almost like a sauce. I always thought it was delicious and wondered why more people did not make this fresh take on chicken parmesan – you won’t even miss the cheese.


Crispy chicken cutlets and a tomato balsamic salad is so easy to make. I made this for my mom, her husband, boyfriend, and grandma. It’s safe to say there weren’t any leftovers. It’s that good!

Crispy Chicken Cutlets with Tomato Balsamic Salad

Here’s what you will need:

  • 1.5 pounds chicken cutlet- about 7 pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups of unsalted breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • canola oil for frying
  • 1 container or 1 1/2 cups of baby heirloom tomatoes or cherry halved
  • 6 basil leaves chopped
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • about 4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar


  1. I like to simple so first I made the tomato balsamic salad by combining the halved tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil leaves, salt and pepper. Cover and put in fridge while you prepare the chicken.
  2. Spread breadcrumbs and italian seasoning in a big bowl/dish. Beat 2 eggs in another big bowl/dish. Put aside.
  3. Pat chicken dry with paper towel and salt & pepper both sides.
  4. Work 1 cutlet at a time and dip in egg mixture and then coat with breadcrumb mixture. Repeat with the rest of the chicken cutlets until covered. Add more breadcrumbs if necessary.
  5. Put aside and heat oil in a frying pan. Fry chicken cutlets 2 at a time about 4 minutes on each side or until done depending on thickness. Transfer to plate lined with paper towel and continue frying the rest of the chicken.
    chicken cutlet
  6. Once almost finished take tomatoes out of the fridge and transfer chicken to a separate serving plate. Serve chicken with tomato salad on top.
  7. Serve with big green salad.

This recipe was delicious. The chicken was crispy and not too fried and the tomatoes added a fresh and juicy sauce to the chicken.


Fresh Peach Raspberry Cobbler

Got Peaches? Make a cobbler!

Fresh Peach Raspberry Cobbler, YUMM!!

peachcobblerRecently I went peach and raspberry picking at Lewin Farm on Long Island. We got 10 pounds of peaches so you will see many peach recipes. This peach raspberry cobbler was so fresh with sweet summery goodness.

This post is in honor of my cousin, Nick. We used to bake a lot when we were younger but haven’t had the opportunity to in almost 2 years. The other day Nick, Ryan (my boyfriend) and I were hanging out and we decided to bake this cobbler. It was so fun and felt like old times.

I of course am the boss in the kitchen and they were my sous chefs. With a little team work we were able to put together a delicious cobbler that is super easy and takes very little time to prepare.

The peaches are fresh from the trees and the raspberries are from the bushes at Lewin Farm. I loved getting the fruit straight from the tree. Here’s what it looked like:



raspberry pickingYou will need:

  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of milk
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 5 peaches peeled and sliced
  • a handful of raspberries

What to do:

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees and melting 4 tablespoons of butter in the pan you will use to cook cobbler.
  2. Prepare your fruit by combining sugar, peaches, raspberries, lemon juice, lemon zest in a  sauce pan over medium heat until sugar melts and begins to cook down.
  3. While butter is melting and fruit is cooking combine flour, baking powder, salt, and a sprinkle of sugar in a bowl. Slowly add 1 cup of milk into mixture until ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Pour batter over melted butter. Do not mix. Then pour peach mixture over the batter evenly distributed. The batter will cook over the peaches and create a crust.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes and Enjoy!