I love a hearty salad.
The perfect one plate meal.
Here are 5 that are at the top of my list.
It’s no surprise that most come from my all time favorite cookbooks.
The Barefoot Contessa does it again!
This recipe, featured in her Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics Cookbook is
a great winter time meal, accompanied by a nice bowl of soup and crunchy bread.
Time Saver: I buy squash that has already been peeled and cut so all I have to do is throw it on a pan.
This recipe comes from the Zuni Cafe Cookbook and is a great Spring time salad especially with the season’s first crop of asparagus.
Judy Rodgers is a genius.Zuni Cafe is one of my all time favorite restaurants and the cookbook is a gem.
Time Saver: Trader Joe’s sells Mache pre-washed in bags. I also buy my shelled pistachios there.
This recipe comes from Diane Rossen Worthington’s: Seriously Simple Holidays.
I make this over and over and over.
I crave it.
Time Saver: Buy a rotisserie chicken!
This gorgeous salad is from Suzanne Goin’s Sunday Suppers at Lucques.
It’s another great winter salad. Persimmons are at their peak.
Always worth waiting for, especially in this salad.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of a Sunday Supper at Goin’s consistently awesome LA restaurant Lucques, you can recreate some of her menus at home.
This is a must own cookbook.
Nothing wrong with a wedge. Decadent and delicious. Crunchy Goodness.
The recipe for this Blue Cheese Dressing is my hands down favorite.
This recipes comes from The Gourmet Cookbook by Ruth Reichl.
It’s a well-worn and loved cook book in my kitchen.
When I serve this at a dinner party there are no leftovers on the plates.
Sometimes when I am home alone (which is very seldom) I make this recipe, pour a glass of wine and sit down and savor the delights of this salad.
It is a bit naughty, especially when I crumble a piece of well cooked bacon on top so I don’t do it often, but when I do it’s worth the extra workout.
So what are your favorite salads?
I’d love to hear. It’s always great to get a new one into rotation.
I love fall.
It has always been my favorite season.
Pumpkins, Gords, Cider, Ghosts and Ghouls.
Our neighborhood goes crazy on Halloween. Neighbors set up a huge Bouncy House, show Horror Movies in the Driveway, there’s an outside bar for parents where they can grab a roadie while the trick or treat with the kids. I have a ton of people over, swing open the front door, order a ton of pizza and stock the bar and everyone uses our house as home base.
Last year we went through 18 pounds of a candy.
This year I jumped the gun a bit on the decorating and had the house done by October 1st.
Perhaps I was rebelling against the heat wave outside hoping that the thermometer would dip below 70.
I hit the bank busting Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch and the galley of paparazzi waiting to catch a celeb buying a pumpkin.
It’s a bit over the top.
But Caroline loves it and so do I.
And yes, I bought a $50 pumpkin.
I also love baking with Pumpkin this time of year.
I love pumpkin bread and muffins.
Pumpkin Filled Ravioli with Fried Sage Butter.
Put a little Creme Fraiche and Caramelized Pepitas on top and it is delicious.
I also love the Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie recipe from the Seriously Simple Holidays Cookboook.
You can find Pumpkin Ice Cream seasonally and as soon as it has hit the freezer I create a reason to make this pie.
It is so easy and so simple.
Just like a lazy fall day.
How do you celebrate the season?
Though it is going to be in the high 80′s today, I am thinking about Fall. Fall foods in particular. To me Fall means Soup and I can’t wait to start making them. Such an easy way to feed the family. Some are meals in themselves, others you just need some crusty bread and a salad and dinner is served.
I always try to make extra and eat it through the week or freeze it for a day when I need something on the fly to feed the troupes. I also love to hand out soup as gifts. Never heard a complaint about that.
I find all soups to be comforting, nourishing both body and soul.
Here are my top five favorite soups, in no particular order.
What are your favorite soup recipes?
Top Photo: www.abhisphotos.com
I love my visits to the midwest, especially during the summer.
Last night we went out to my favorite haunt when I am visiting my sister.
It’s called Heritage Prairie Farm and we went for Mike’s Wood Burning Oven Pizza night. The ingredients are all plucked from the farm and local food artisans. The pizza oven is set up outside in back of the little farm stand. You sit on picnic tables mere feet from an adorable Burrow, Goats and Corn. Once you place your order you head on into the farm stand for beverages. That night the signature drink was fresh honey, mint, lemonade and vodka, served in Mason Jars (of course). We loved the pizza so much that were eating off our children’s plates, when the tears started we realized it was in our best interest to order another pizza. We ordered a simple margarita for the kids (the mozzarella made just a few miles away), 4 cheese pizza with homemade bacon, fresh spinach with a white garlic sauce and pepperoni, and a sausage/bacon/wild mushroom pizza.
We ate so fast I forgot to snap a shot of the pizzas when they arrived at the table.
Luckily, I got this before the plate was empty.
If you don’t want to sit at a picnic table to enjoy pizza and cocktails, you can cozy up to this spot.
Perfect for wine drinking and sunset watching.
The kids ran around and danced to The Stones, played with the animals and picked apples off the tree. While they were working off their steam I ventured(cocktail in hand) into the market for a little damage. I love their home-grown products and I love to support the farm. Win-Win. I gathered bags of freshly milled whole grain wheat, buckwheat and organic popcorn. Jars of homemade pickles and pickled beets. And a ton of honey….Rosemary, Lavender, Cocoa and Plain. I bought flights of honey for hostess gifts.
The lovely Ladies of Heritage Prairie Farm
Despite the drought that has devastated the midwest, they had fresh corn for sale along with a variety of other organically grown vegetables.
Mozzarella that was used for our pizza and for sale in the shop
The Farm also offers the venue up for weddings and events. They have cooking classes, a Saturday Farmer’s Market, and year round Farm Dinners that are based on seasonal crops. Next time, I am scheduling my trip around a Farm Dinner!
Sun setting and stomaches full, we headed on home.
Thanks Heritage Prairie Farms for another great experience!
I bought a large bag of fresh shelled organic lima beans at the Farmer’s Market.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them, but decided since they were in season I’d buy them and figure it out later.
It was as delicious as it was easy.
I also suggest that if you don’t have this cookbook, you should.
Buy it here: www.amazon.com
I consult it on a regular basic for inspiration when I don’t know what to do with a particular item of food.
I love summer entertaining.
Eating outdoors, long evenings, no school, and the laid back attitude that accompanies summer entertaining totally suits me.
Summer cooking is my favorite and I always look forward to the bounty of produce that shows up this time of year.
Cocktails and cool drinks infused with fresh herbs or seasonal fruits. I love the cute patterned cupcake liner turned upside down with a hole punched in it for the straw….figures it is a Martha Stewart idea.
Rose and Whites.
I have some go to recipes that have been in my summertime rotation for years.
This first recipe always make people question my sanity.
The dish is called Indiana Blueberry Pork. Blueberries, onions, tomato and pork. Huh?
I swear it’s delicious and I have only heard raves about the dish.
I got it from an old issue of Midwest Living and I love that the recipe was taken from the Marshall, Indiana Blueberry Festival.
I loved Amanda Hesser’s, “Cooking for Mr. Latte”. I was dating and falling in love with Adam around the time the book came out so I related to many of the stories. One recipe from the book that I go back to over and over is her Green Bean Succotash Recipe.
For summer desserts I am a Strawberry Shortcake gal. I love it when it is made with a scone like biscuit and globs of fresh whipped cream and berries.
I like to send people off with a little gift when I entertain. An idea I’ve used on a number of occasions is to give each guest a little flower-pot with their name on a place card stuck into the pot with a flower card holder (you can get at your local floral supply company or florist) or plant marker. An all-purpose item…place card/table decor/and parting gift. And it’s green too.
And if you are a guest at a dinner party, here’s a great hostess gift. I am stealing this for sure!
Outdoor lantern, cocktail fixings, adorable straw & napkins.
What are your summer entertaining ideas? Please share!
Top Photo: Peter Dunham/Hollywood At Home
I love the recipes in Sunset Magazine.
Tonight I finally got around to trying out some recipes from the June issue. I decided on the
It did not disappoint. I dove right in and devoured my meal before I could shoot a photo.
Quick, Easy, Delicious.
I had all the items on hand with the exception of the Portobello Mushrooms, a quick dash to Whole Foods and I was good to go.
This dish is a perfect midweek meal, yet still appropriate for a casual dinner party.
Per Adam’s request, I have put it in the summer dinner rotation.
Get the recipe here: www.myrecipes.com
Try it out and let me know what you think.
Way back when I was single, had roommates, and worked as a talent agent I decided to start a cooking club with my friend Cornelia. I remember we were sitting in a now defunct restaurant in Hollywood drinking wine, out much later than we should have been on a work night. Besides having the prerequisite single girls conversation; fashion, boys and work, we found we both had a yearning to become better cooks and entertainers. We already entertained quite a bit but we wanted to learn more, to master things we were afraid of (for me it was bread dough) and to also create an opportunity to carve out some quality time with good girl friends who were of like mind and wanted to learn some things in the kitchen. And so the Cooking Club was born.
I hosted the first cooking club in my tiny apartment kitchen that I shared with my dear friend Interior Designer Mary Luby and Yoga Booty Ballet Creator Gillian Martloth. I prepared cornish game hens and a wild rice dish. It was all about quick, simple, sure to wow recipes. We drank too much and though the food was delicious, the evening was more like me conducting a cooking lesson on the Foodnetwork. We have learned a lot in the 10 years the Cooking Club has been in existence and now our get togethers are collborative and themed based.
Sally’s Spread for Spanish Cooking Club
(she had the items sent from Spain)
Alix working on her Biscotti for Italian Night
Stacy and Vanessa cooking up Garlic Flavored Oil for Broccolini
Toppings and Fresh Pizza Dough for our Pizza Night
Jessica and Clarke Sporting Bindi’s for Indian Night
Indian Night Table @ Alix’s House
Celebrating Lulu’s Book “Lulu Powers, Food to Flowers” with a Table Scape Using Some of her Tips
Our group now consists of some professionals in the food biz which has put the cooking on a much higher level. We “tease” when someone hasn’t put much time into a dish or if they make the same thing numerous times, but we are all quite serious about our cooking. Most of us have had a big flop (except the fabulous Caterer Lulu Powers) and great successess. We have bumped it up even more now by taking special care in our tablescapes.
Lulu’s Summer Table
Clarke’s Favorite Things Dinner
Malibu Beach Food @ Sally’s
The members have changed through the years, but we now have a core group that has been going strong for years. There are some ladies I only see when we get together, others that I see more often, but I adore each and every member and learn so much (not just in cooking but in life). There have been weddings, babies, divorces, job losses, and career changes. We have lost parents and pets. Members have moved away. We have even been in national magazines and on television. But the desire to learn, cook, to be wonderful hosts and entertainers is still what drives us all.
Some of the other Cooking Club members have blogs you should check out!
Sally Horchow “Very Good Looking”
Lulu Powers ”Living La Lulu”
Heather Fogarty “The Foodinista”
I am hosting tonight, so off to go do a little prep.
Happy Cooking Everyone!
Here is my favorite cocktail of late.
My Official Summer 2012 Drink
I get my Basil Limeade from good friend Chef Kate Paul(FoodInk Catering) and her new Gourmet To Go Cafe on La Brea. It’s an awesome place and you do not have to fight the crowds, or have to circle around and around to find parking like you do at Joan’s On Third. I load up weekly on a couple freshly made bottles. She’s my dealer.
Gourmet To Go packages the Limeade in gorgeous french lemonade bottles with a cute ribbon, it can go from store to table. The cost is $15.00. If you bring the bottle back you can get a re-fill for $8 or if you are in the green mode, bring your own quart size container and get it filled for $12.
Kate also suggests using the Limeade for a quick and delicious Margarita or add some Ginger Ale for a Virgin Cooler. And while you are at home enjoying your drinks, you can add some Limeade into a shallow dish or tray and put into the freezer, fork every hour and viola you will have a refreshing Granita to enjoy.
If you are hosting cocktails or just having a nice evening at home I suggest you pick up a fabulous cheese platter and some of her to die for parmesan crackers. I also love her prosciutto, dolce di latte, fig crostini and tomato tart tatin, goat cheese and baby basil. You’ll be set for cocktail hour in one stop and little effort.
I could go on an on about all her delicious stuff….desserts galore, shrimp coconut curry soup, truffle mac n cheese ready to heat, salads, sandwiches, and perfect foodie hostess gifts too! This place is da bomb and don’t even get me started on her catering…..
And the best part is that if you mention Pearle and Pierce Home, you’ll receive 15% off your order.
Head over today, you won’t be disappointed!
Gourmet 2 Go
La Brea Blvd.
Open Tuesday to Sunday
323 934 9401