Let Me Take You Down, Cuz I’m Going to…
Today I want to talk about straddling in the kitchen. You know, working the line between flavors, textures and temperatures to your own advantage. Juxtaposing ingredients to ensure that every bite is both sassy and class. It’s similar to the way that a chocolate-covered pretzel or a good and salty margarita scratch some primordial itch that occasionally pops up and leaves you clawing the walls for the smallest taste of the intoxicating combination. And if you don’t scratch said itch, you feel a need to indiscriminately throat chop everyone around you, until someone plies your greedy mouth with a salted caramel cupcake. I totally approve – desperate times call for desperate throat chops, and I’d kill a man for salted caramel. Continue reading Strawberry and Goat Cheese Crostini with Chocolate Olive Oil
Just like those cheesy radio ads for ‘bama night clubs on the late-night R&B stations, this menu is for the “grown and sexy…” *giggle* Actually, kidding aside, it’s for anyone looking for a romantic meal with a heavy wow factor and very little actual labor involved. The kind of dinner you want to throw together when your anniversary falls on a weeknight and you can’t jet your loved one off to Paris mid-week. Or if you’re looking to treat a foodie friend to something impressive, but are a little nervous wielding a knife in front of them. 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. Continue reading Bistro Menu for Beginners
I adore putting together a menu, but like a grocery shopper entering the store with a rumbling tummy, I find that I often set myself up for a challenge. Between my need to feed my guests with reckless abandon, to a love of a seemingly daunting menu, I face the issue of running out of steam. Couple that with my lack of prowess in the realm of desserts, I find that many of my menus end up being a bit front-loaded in terms of the serious cooking. Which is why, lovely readers, I am a sucker for a dessert that is simple to prepare, with a heavy dose of wow factor.
Summertime on the east coast (or pretty much anytime on the west coast – you guys have easy access to berries!) always meant an abundance of ripe strawberries just begging to be picked up and taken home. In my house growing up, we always kept it simple – cut the tops, halve the berries and toss with a few teaspoons of sugar. As the berries hung out, they’d give off the most lovely scarlet juice, which we then used to sauce the little shortcakes you could pick up in the produce section of the store. A little whipped cream, and we were in business. Continue reading Strawberries with Elderflower and Mint