Menus and Odes

In addition to the menus featured here, I’ve included posts of my waxing poetically over favorite collections of recipes and ingredients.  These culinary odes (an homage to my favorite poet, Pablo Neruda, and his elemental odes) are an effusive expression of my absolute love of the ingredients that make my recipes sing, and the collections of recipes that I turn to time and time again.

Last Minute Oscar Party Last Minute Oscar Party Action - So when you are having that, "Shit, it's Oscar Sunday already?" moment, why not throw together some crostini to save you time and win you kudos with the A-listers you're having over for the night? Though tantalizing alone, each bite fits well within a menu of more complicated dishes or even other appetizers.
lightenupmemorial Lighten Up: Memorial Day BBQ Veg Out - With enough luscious tomatoes, crisp greens and light and lovely lemony vinaigrette, my stomach will have enough wholesome veg to stave off the actions of the celebratory booze sloshing around my tummy without adding to the muffin-top. Fuck a muffin top.
cincodemayo ¡Cinco de Mayo! - Join me for a menu that'll help you get your Cinco de Mayo on. Tequila gets to be the star of the show, so you can set your watch and wait as I seek out a table to use as a platform for straight-up shakin' it. And don't act like you don't want in on this dirty dancin' debauchery, fueled by fresh salsa and a lack of regrets.
bolognese Bolognese Recipes and Link Roundup - This Throwback Tuesday is all about getting saucy with it. Whether you like your bolognese action to be quick and dirty or low and slow, here's a collection of recipes to help you get your meat sauce on.
vintage_sevenlinks The Seven Links Project - I was recently tapped by Devaki Das of Weave a Thousand Flavors to participate in "The Seven Links Project". I had to answer seven questions about my blog posts and then pick 5 bloggers to pass on the proverbial torch. Here's my stab at it - hope you'll enjoy this trip down memory lane with me, along with some commentary on my past few years as a food blogger.
tikiparty Enchanted Tiki Room Cocktail Party Menu - For as long as I’ve known, I’ve always wanted to throw a tiki party full of old school flair – think the Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland or a trip to fabulous culinary relic Trader Vic’s. One step into the door transported you to an island oasis where the hula girls were always shaking their hips and the flaming volcano drinks left you forgetting that it wasn’t Hawaii waiting for you right outside the heavy wooden doors.
consomme Stock to Soup to Consommé - As one who makes homemade stock at least once a week, I was ready for this Daring Kitchen Challenge for consommé. Not to mention the fact that my consommé would have a good home in my buddy Devaki Das' guest post for Roasted Apple, Brie and Thyme Soup. What to serve with? None other than a golden, airy loaf of homemade Herbed Focaccia with Caramelized Onions.
bistromenu Bistro Menu for Beginners - This menu is as confident as you'll be puttering around the kitchen, attending to perfectly seasoned dishes for the steamiest of affairs. And it's up to you whether you choose to play Coltrane or Chaka Khan in the background - that's for you and your date du jour to figure out.
chickpeas Appam and Curry Feast Menu - It's Daring Kitchen time, and this one was an exhilarating trip through Southern India and Sri Lanka. A fragrant theme of coconut, ginger, cilantro and chilies carried us through the courses served family style. It was the first party I've had in a long time where, when the food was finished, I got to sit down and tuck in with my guests. Not to mention the fact that the dishes were perfect for casually prepping with my guests helping in the kitchen. Great success!
gnocchifeast Gnocchi Feast Menu - This month's assignment (and my very first with The Daring Kitchen) was created by Steph from Stephfood, our Daring Cooks' July hostess. Steph challenged us to make homemade noodles without the help of a motorized pasta machine. I had decided to take the plunge and make not one, but four different types of gnocchi, celebrating the myriad ways in which this toothsome delight might be constructed.
An Ode to Orvieto - Back when I was in college, I studied abroad in Italy on a minor in black and white photography. Little did I know that my time spent in an art school in the sleepy town of Orvieto would inspire me with ever so many culinary delights. Simple lunches consisted of ingredients considered haute in the states - fresh porcini mushrooms, black truffles, fava beans and homemade gelato. It was a dream.
Gorgeous Greek Feast - Please don't attempt this feast with a small group - you'll be full to the point of explosion, outdone by the amount of leftovers, and without room for even the mere thought of dessert. That all being said, break out that naughty and nice list of yours, and start calling the sweeties, because this is a menu that serves as a celebration in and of itself.
Simple Summer Barbecue - This menu is not only a celebration of those lazy summer evenings when we'd tuck into thick steaks seared on the grill, but also an ode to the perfect produce of the summer. Farmer's market tomatoes, string beans, potatoes and greens all have a home in bright and glorious side dishes.
Spring Has Sprung Feast - This feast was an impromptu Mother's Day din din, but really, it could be a weekend supper or an early evening al fresco celebration. It's light enough to evoke the feelings of spring, but comforting enough to feel like a big ol' hug and a pair of pajama jeans.
Feast of the Seven Boars - The concept of the Feast of the Seven Boars was born as both a riff off of the Feast of the Seven Fishes and an excuse to pay homage to one of my favorite proteins, wild boar. Without all of the religious undertones, our feast was focused on the loving and careful preparation of an ingredient so worthy of a spotlight. Cannot even begin to tell you how much I adore this menu.
Casual Easter Menu - Whether you celebrate Easter, the bunny, the onset of spring or just a tasty slice of ham, this feast is comforting on all levels. Ham is lovingly baked with rum and citrus until perfectly moist and tender. I've rounded out the menu with some tastes of spring that require little to no effort.
Feast of the Seven Fishes - A custom with origins in Southern Italy, a series of fish dishes (and no meat) are prepared for Christmas Eve. The number of dishes varies – some say it’s seven for the seven sacraments, or 10 for the commandments. At the heart of the celebration is a gathering of family and friends for a delicious meal and (hopefully) fine company.

Foodie for Life—Delicious to Death