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“Back to Basics”

This week has been a scorcher here in the DC region, so it’s nice to stay inside this evening and enjoy the AC while working on this post. I actually decided to make Ina Garten’s gazpacho along with some grilled shrimp to keep cool with as I write this – it’s not a recipe from this book, I just saw it on her show a while back and thought it would be good for the summer. As I mentioned in my last post, my first challenge will be to cook my way through Ina Garten’s 2008 cookbook, Back to Basics with 92 recipes in total. When I first decided to start a cooking blog, I knew that I wanted to challenge myself to cook things that I had never made before including new ingredients and techniques. I figured for the first challenge, why not start with the “basics”. I put the word in quotations because for anyone who has read any Ina Garten cookbook or watched her shows, most of her recipes are anything but basic. As she explains in her prologue of the book, what Ina really means by “getting back to basics” is rather bringing out the best in a dish versus simplified recipes using canned ingredients. She believes in using really “good” ingredients – we will get into this more in depth in a future post – to make her food taste amazing. Ina also believes in certain techniques to make food taste better. A good example is roasting shrimp instead of boiling it. In her book, she explains that roasting actually concentrates the flavor whereas boiling essentially draws the flavor out of food and into the water. Well, I’m pretty excited to start this journey so let’s get to it! I’ve decided to select one recipe to make from the book to kick things off for the week and I the Sunrise Smoothie was the winner because just like starting the day out right, I wanted to start the blog out right (and honestly with something easy). All you do is throw all the ingredients into the blender and mix it up until smooth. Don’t worry if it doesn’t seem like there is enough orange juice as the fruit you throw in has juice in it. For this recipe – it is good to use fresh fruit. No canned peaches here. Feel free to swap out the fruit as well. Blueberries or raspberries would be good. Or you could totally cut up a banana, freeze it in a Ziploc bag, and use that in place of the sorbet. The banana won’t freeze completely and it will give the smoothie its lush creaminess.

Enjoy your week!

  • Z

B2B #1: Sunrise Smoothie

From Back to Basics by Ina Garten: pg. 224

Serves 2


1 cup chopped strawberries (about 5ish)

1 cup chopped seeded watermelon

1 cup chopped fresh peach

1 cup raspberry sorbet

¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Watermelon spears/strawberries/orange slices, for garnish

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. If you would like the smoothie to be less thick, add more orange juice. Serve in glasses with a garnish of your choice.



  1. Courtney Roberts

    July 31, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Yum! Looks very easy to make even on those crazy mornings! Excited to read more of your blog!

  2. Sounds and looks delicious. Can’t wait to try it. Your write-up makes me believe I cannot mess it up. 🙂
    Looking forward to your next post!

  3. That looks refreshing and Delilah. I would like some please and maybe some vodka too, oh wait, maybe not, yet…

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