Sunday, September 29, 2013

Green Food Party!!!!!

This is the card one of my most amazing friends, Elisa, gave
me with a lovely hostess gift for the GREEN FOOD PARTY

Did you hear me screaming from the middle of my local Farmer's Market yesterday around 10 a.m. PST?  Well, I apologize for my internal scream that may have been heard around the globe, but the new issue of Food & Wine magazine has the most glorious looking/sounding recipe in it that I built my whole dinner party around. 

Check out this link to this Food & Wine recipe (which does not do the print copy of the photo any justice, by the way) for Fava Bean and Cauliflower Risotto.  The photo in the mag is of the most brilliant gorgeous green yumminess.  I had to create a GREEN DINNER in its honor.

The evil thing that Food & Wine does not admit is that fava beans are NOT in season. I went to five markets and the Farmer's Market.  So, I had to make a "twist" on the recipe and manipulated it to work with asparagus which oddly is still brought to the Farmer's Market each week in its most stellar flavorful form by one grower.  It was delish, but I can't wait to make the Fava Bean recipe, which will, of course, be a very different beast.

So, the menu I built around the missing favas:

·         Cocktail Hour

o   Agua Fresca with Vodka  (See recipe in previous Lazy Woman post -- it is the most brilliant gorgeous refreshingly delicious GREEN!)

o   Green Hummus  (with Cucumber, Celery, Broccoli, Edamame Crackers) (I make up my hummus recipes, but seriously you can take a basic hummus recipe and add a bunch of flat parsley. I add more lemon juice than called for as well.  It's lovely green!)

o   Green Olives from the Farmer’s Market

·         Dinner

o   Pea Soup – Crème Fraiche + Chives (recipe below)

o   Green Risotto (Asparagus instead of Favas with a rough employment of the F&W recipe)

o   Zucchini Pasta (Zucchini strips made with vegetable peeler and green spinach pasta noodles with avocado oil/pistachio pesto)

o   Salad with Arugula, Green Tomato + Avocado + Artichoke Hearts

·         Dessert

o   Key Lime Tart with Chocolate Salted Ice Cream + Lime Whipped Cream

This photo is horrid...pretend you can see the pretty green hues.  It was delish:

Table decorations were, of course, green.  Again horrid pic but wanted to show that everyone had their own little dish of dried/salted green beans. Little private dishes of things make people really happy -- including me!   And, oh my god the crunch.   (Thank you Trader Joe's Gods.)  Some people (including me!) sprinkled them on their Pea Soup. 

For me the hit of the night was the pea soup.  I forgot to take a pic last night when it was BRILLIANT GREEN.  Here it is today, still pretty damned green, but last night the soup was as brilliant green as the mint.  Not kidding.  But, I made it Friday night and put it in the fridge and was delighted that when I got it out to heat it up on Saturday night it was as brilliant as it had been.  Also, due to having little time I used frozen peas and the worked just fine as far as flavor.  Ina Garten is a fricking GENIUS:

The Key Lime Tart is phenomenal recipe.  My go to place for baked goods recipes is Smitten Kitchen.

I was driving to Long Beach for a meeting yesterday and got the inspired idea to serve the tart key lime tart with deep chocolate ice cream and whipped cream infused with lime (aka lime zest).  But I got home too late to go to my local amazing "creamery" for the Salted Dark Chocolate Ice Cream.  I had to stop at TJ's for Vodka so their chocolate coconut milk ice cream would have to do.

This is when you know you have the best friends on planet earth.  One of my guests, sweeeeeet Robin, BROUGHT THE ICE CREAM that I had been dying to stop and get!!!!  Magical dinner party ensues.

And, the Seuss green eggs and ham card was finally opened at the end of the evening as the final black & white proof that I have the best friends on planet earth. Not only are they PSYCHIC but they are poets:

We love to chew green food
we do not think it's rude
(to chew green the nude)
We are wooed by your GREEN FOOD!


Sunday, September 08, 2013

Lazy Days of Summer -- Perfect Lunch for a Hot Day!

It's been really hot lately in LA.  So coming up with a refreshing menu for a luncheon that would be light yet filling was a fun challenge.  Finding the right drink to greet people with at the door was key.
I can't more highly recommend this drink.  For those who need alcohol, it would be great with Vodka added, but it is one helluva refreshing delicious Summer drink.  It is the prettiest drink I have ever made.   I forgot to snap picture of the filled glasses!  OOPS!  Trust me:  GORGEOUS and so refreshing!  You can't go wrong with these three ingredients on a hot Summer day:  cucumber, lime and  mint.
Also, I used Agave instead of Sugar.  It was perfect.
And, finally, hours after the party ended I realized I hadn't cleaned the pitcher.  It was on a side table and I had missed clearing it.  There was a littleof the drink left in the pitcher. The integrity of that bright green color definitely diminished, but this was 10 hours after I made it (I made 2 hours prior to party starting), and it wasn't refrigerated. 
It was too hot for a tablecloth!!! 



The above salad was the starter.  My favorite meal in the Summer:  avocado, fresh tomatoes, lime, course salt and hemp seeds for a little bump of nutrition and texture.  

This pic is before I added the arugula and burrata...just had to take it because, come on, those COLORS!


Since my friend, Sa, turned me onto this Daphne Oz salad early this Summer, I haven't been able to stop making it.  People love it.  Don't put the red peppers on too soon, like I did today, or they will add a wee bit too much spice.  Also, I keep using shaved Reggiano for the sake of is (I can always find shaved and don't like grated in salad), but Pecorino is ideal balance for flavors.

I made this one up inspired by Farmers' Market:  tri-colored baby new potatoes, asparagus (super thin in thise case), fresh chives and parsley.  Dressing of walnut oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt.  Then toasted walnute on top.  OH MY GOD DELISH!

Smitten Kitchen is my favorite food blog. I did her Raspberry Ricotta Scones. I added candied ginger, only because I had a craving for ginger, but they are not needed. I also brushed them with cream at the end. Neither of these extra steps was necessary.


Scones were all just an excuse to taste all the JAMS from the Jam Fest we had on Friday night where three of us chicks got to jam making!  Wooohoooo!   Then fresh whipped cream with no sweetener.  Everyone loved ALL the jams. 

Normally I would have served sorbet or ice cream at the end of this meal, but I had ulterior motives:  SHARE THAT JAM!

Buon Cooooooooooooooooooling Appetito to ALL!