September 17, 2013

Endless Summer

72 and sunny is the magical equation that keeps LA dwellers happy.  But relentless days of heat in the high 80s and 90s  is making fall a bit of an illusion.  In the spirit of being true to the weather, I had one more summer BBQ in me.  For this farewell to summer party, I rounded up the season's best in the form of classic family recipes.  My mom's BLT filled cherry tomatoes are a perfect bite with lots of fresh basil, chives and smoky bacon.  And my grandma's Sweet & Sour Baked Beans were a hit all summer long.   My favorite personal addition is the Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Rice Krispy Treat from Flour:  true deliciousness.  So thank you summer for the memories.  You filled my time with more cooking than I ever could have imagined.  You inspired lots of refreshing cocktails, juicy burgers and ice cream treats.  However, I need a year to recover to from my high exposure to corn, tomatoes & peaches (no offense, but I'm done).  This weekend I'm easing into autumn with Asian pears, potato pancakes & pork.  Can't wait.

The Menu


iced tea & lemonade

beer & rose


blt stuffed cherry tomatoes

farmers market pickles, crudites & dips

bbq potato chips & caramelized onion dip

to share

baby back ribs with espresso bbq sauce

beef hot dogs & hamburgers

sweet & sour baked beans

buttered corn on the cob

quinoa with grilled zucchini, summer squash, peppers & basil

melon, figs & mint


brown butter rice krispy treats & brownies

lemon oatmeal & chocolate chip cookies

blueberry & nectarine crisp

September 4, 2013

"Sip & See" Picnic

As a seeker of excuses to throw parties, I was thrilled to discover the "Sip & See".  It's a Southern tradition of inviting friends over to "sip" on cocktails while "seeing" a new baby.  Amazing.  So to help introduce a new little man to the world, we threw a classic, all-American picnic themed Sip & See (after all, what is more family oriented than a picnic?)  Complete with croquet, bocce ball, white picnic tables and strewn picnic blankets, it was truly a perfect Sunday affair.   Blackberries flecked Bloom and Plume's sweet arrangements and vintage picnic baskets held dishes and flatware on the buffet.  The menu was relaxed (spiked lemonade bar) and traditional (it doesn't get more picnic than fried chicken) with plenty of farmers market sides (e.g. fresh tomato, corn & basil salad--so simple and tasty).  And while we can ALL AGREE that we are over mason jars, they do have their time and place; in this case, as vessels for delicious blueberry & nectarine crisps and strawberry shortcakes.  Now I want to have a baby just to have an excuse for another Sip & See!!!

The Menu


Lemonade, Strawberry Lemonade & Watermelon LimeAid 
spiked with vodka & tequila upon request!

mint tea

rose & beer


mini blt's 

farmers market crudites, pickles & dips

To Share

buttermilk fried chicken

beef sliders

grilled caprese sandwiches

quinoa with grilled zucchini, squash, & peppers

tomato, corn & basil

citrus carrot salad with avocado, sprouts & sunflower seeds

dill flecked macaroni & potato salad

summer fruit platter


strawberry shortcakes with buttermilk biscuits

nectarine & blueberry almond crisps ala mode

banana pudding cups