Sunday, November 25, 2012

guilty: blogging hiatus

It's been another blogging hiatus-- my (huge) apologies.

My life has consisted of cooking for some wonderful clients all week, every week. I wouldn't trade it for the world. But, event photos have been more sparse and I have been neglecting my sweet blog followers!'s an extended "lately" with one of my favorite new fall/winter side dishes to conclude! Enjoy, foodie loves.
Spiced Butternut Squash Hummus made with orange juice/zest,
chipotle, chickpeas, tahini and fresh sage
The perfect way to start my Saturday! Crisp bacon, eggs over easy, avocado and poblano-laced ratatouille
Decadent S'mores Cookie Bars for a special sweet-toothed someone. Adapted from recipe here.
My newest addiction! Green Chicken Curry
(add cashews!) from Thailicious.
Gluten-free Cherry Chai Granola for a local bake sale. Looking for the perfect holiday fragrance for your house? The smell of homemade granola baking is intoxicating!
The ultimate Chi-town dog after our visit in October.
Tomato, hot peppers, relish, mustard, celery salt and a poppyseed bun finished with a pickle spear.
Cooking classes at Market Street! Come join me for
my Homemade for the Holidays class in December.
Sinful Mexican Chocolate Cake with Avocado
Getting clients ready for Thanksgiving-- Pumpkin
Ricotta Wontons with a Sage Pesto in the works.
Our delish Thanksgiving spread full with squash casserole, gingered
sweet potatoes, cranberry grapefruit relish, honey-smoked turkey,
green bean casserole, celery root puree and a green salad.
The gorgeous winter produce and fresh flower-packed
cornucopia from our stylish hostess.
Watercolor hydrangeas with fresh cranberries acted as centerpieces. Genius!
My kitchen "helpers"
My Celery Root Puree ready to transport!
This is such a delicious alternative recipe to mashed potatoes. The texture is a gorgeous, creamy bright white and the flavor is to-die-for!
yields 4 side dish servings
1 large celery root, peeled and diced in ½ inch chunks
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
8 ounces creme fraiche
heavy cream, as needed
1 teaspoon, fresh thyme leaves
kosher salt, to taste
 Simmer celery root in water until fork tender, approximately 30-35 minutes. Drain well and add to food processor with butter, creme fraiche and thyme. Process until smooth then add salt to season. If mixture appears too thick, add a splash of cream. Serve hot.
If you are interested in making this recipe Paleo, forgo butter, creme fraiche and cream for full-fat  coconut milk. Delish!
It's finally that time of the year! Making Cranberry Lemon Jam with Pomegranate and Spiced Blueberry Compote with Red Wine.
Cheers to the Christmas Season!


Sunday, July 8, 2012

grilled summer veggies + jet skis

and the lake livin' is easy...

I celebrated the fourth of July on Lake Buchanan in Burnet, Texas with family and close friends. 

Our only itinerary for the trip: basking in the sun, afternoon naps, extended jet ski rides, cocktail hour at 2pm, spoiling our playful labs and grilling everything in sight!

Red, white and blue salsa 
with raspberries, jicama and blueberries.

Baby blue morning sky.

Just-grilled veggies ready to turn into a 
Grilled Ratatouille Salad with Basil Pesto.

Cocktail hour: Dark Cherry + Vodka Slush

Dad with grilled jalapeno cheddar sausage.

Lemon + Herb Red Potato Salad with Scallions

Cocktail hour: Coconut + Lime Daquiri

The patriotic Ms. Sadie

Afternoon nap.

Fresh berries ready for salsa.

My hammock view.

Gorgeous flames.

Blackberry Vanilla Cobbler straight from the oven.

I hope everyone had a delicious holiday!


Saturday, June 9, 2012

sparkling rosé & spring birthdays

I've been a terrible, horrible, no good blogger lately. 
Please forgive me.

I do have fun spring food photos to post, a couple delish recipes to share and some simple entertaining techniques to offer. 

Cheers to spring!

Looking for a quick healthy dinner? 

Saute organic chicken sausage (this one has apple and smoked gouda), with sliced cremini mushrooms, sliced okra, fresh minced rosemary, minced garlic and edamame-- a funky delicious hodgepodge. 


Lovely flutes of pre-dinner rosé on the patio.

YUM Veggie Burger with sliced avocado and Tomato Basil Soup from Austin's Galaxy Cafe.

Funky Chinese take-out containers for a picnic-inspired photo shoot. Coming soon in the summer issue of Fort Worth Foodie!

Blackberry Mojitos with Serrano Simple Syrup 
from my Cinco de Mayo cooking class at Market Street

yields approximately 4 cocktails

2 cups water
1 cup sugar
2 serrano peppers, cut in half
2 cups blackberries
2 cups fresh mint
Juice and zest of 2 limes
1 bottle prosecco

Begin by making serrano simple syrup: simmer water, sugar and serrano halves in a small saucepan over medium high heat until thickened and reduced by half, approximately 10 minutes. Cool.

Meanwhile, muddle together mint and lime juice/zest in a large mortar and pestle. Set mixture aside in a small bowl. Next, muddle together blueberries and simple syrup. Split blackberry mixture between four glasses then top with divided mint mixture. Stir and add ice to glasses. Top glasses with prosecco.

A pre-birthday cupcake surprise for me! 
Vanilla with Cream Cheese Frosting.

My go-to guacamole recipe for a fiesta: Orange Peel Guacamole
This stuff is addictive and doesn't last long.

yields approximately 2 cups.

pulp of three ripe avocados
1 jalapeno, ribbed, seeded and minced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of two limes
1 tablespoon orange zest
juice of ½ orange
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 cup minced red onion
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Mash all ingredients together until chunky. Garnish with cilantro leaves, thin-sliced orange peel and a sprinkling of coarse salt.

My latest Pinterest screen-shot:
champagne, cocktails, bright patterns and Daniel Craig :)

To-die-for chocolate meringue pie from The Black Rooster Bakery

Gorgeous antique treasures: crystal wine stoppers. 
Too big for some of my bottles but too beautiful not to display.


Dad's charred corn on the cob. Perfect to stir in to summer salads.

Lazy Sunday Charcuterie Board: Salami, Manchego, Dark Cherries, Brie, Rainier Cherries, Crackers and Marcona Almonds-- perfect with a glass of rosé of course.

A much appreciated article in the June issue of 
Inside Fort Worth magazine (page 8).

Mini Espresso Chocolate Puddings with a Strawberry Orange Compote for a Linguine and Dirty Martinis engagement party.

What a delicious spring this has been! 
Bring on summer...


Thursday, April 5, 2012

springtime hors d'oeuvres

Spring is here and lovely produce such as rhubarb, asparagus and tropical fruit are bright, beautiful and in season for the taking.

I recently did a demonstration for the lovely ladies of Junior Woman's Club of Fort Worth complete with techniques and tricks on making these three simple spring treats:

Crostini with Ricotta, Spicy Rhubarb Jam
& Crushed Pistachios

This rhubarb jam is a little sweet, a little tart and a little spicy.

Make a batch to slather atop morning toast with a touch of butter or top dessert glasses of creamy vanilla pudding with a dollop of this hot pink-hued delight!

Rhubarb Jam:

yields approximately 3 cups jam

3 cups rhubarb, sliced
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium high heat until reduced and jam-like, approximately 30 minutes. Let come to room temperature then chill in an airtight container. Serve atop toasted baguette with ricotta and toasted, chopped pistachios.

Asparagus & Hummus Tart
with Fresh Basil

This tart is flavorful, beautiful and oh-so-easy to prepare with the help of store-bought puff pastry.

yields 1 tart

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted but chilled
1/2 cup prepared hummus
1.5 pounds asparagus (about 18 medium spears)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
sea salt to sprinkle atop asparagus

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unfold and place pastry on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle. Using a fork, pierce dough inside the markings at 1/2-inch intervals. Spread hummus evenly atop the fork-pierced portion.

  • Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell; arrange in a single layer over hummus, alternating ends and tips. Brush with oil, and season with salt. Bake until spears are tender, 18-20 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature.

  • Coconut Panna Cotta with Tropical Fruit
    & Sugared Kumquats

    Use coconut milk instead of cream for this whimsical play on panna cotta! Ripe and sweet tiny tropical fruit bites are the perfect toppings.

    one 15-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 packet powdered gelatin (about 1.5 teaspoons)
    2 Tablespoons cold water
    small diced kiwi, mango, pineapple, for garnish
    thin-sliced kumquat tossed in sugar, for garnish

    In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over the water and stir. Set aside to bloom.

    In a small saucepan, heat the coconut milk and sugar to a soft boil.

    Whisk in as much as a quarter cup of the coconut milk into the gelatin to melt.

    Pour gelatin mixture into the remaining coconut milk and whisk together.

    Fill desired jars, small glasses or bowls and place in refrigerator for 4 hours-overnight to set. Before serving, top panna cotta with tropical fruit and sugared kumquat slices.

    Happy spring!