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The Weekend Dish: Breakfast


We have breakfast on the brain here at A & O as we gear up to make it for our clients this weekend! The forecast is in the 80’s so the weather will be perfect for peachy pink freshly squeezed Cara Cara orange juice and Italian breakfast paninis (pancetta, egg, arugula and slow roasted tomatoes) served on the deck overlooking the ocean.

Cara Cara Orange

I ADORE breakfast. Eggs are one of my favorite foods (as seen here and here.) Growing up my mom would make my brother and I popovers for breakfast on very special occasions! Hot from the oven and slathered with raspberry jam, the are truly one of the best things on earth.


My Dad used to make us creatively shaped chocolate chip pancakes which we topped with whipped cream (from a can of course) or little marshmallows.

chocolate chip pancakes

Now days I like to start the day with something lighter and healthier like our Cranberry Coconut Granola over Greek yogurt.

CranberryCoconut Granola

Or a green smoothie with seasonal or frozen fruit and lots of leafy greens during the week.

Green Smoothie

But weekends are a time to indulge in a big breakfast and the shared act of celebrating the morning with your loved ones.  If I was cooking for myself this weekend I might make Sarah’s Lemon Blueberry Pancakes

Lemon Blueberry Pancakes

Or the sweet breakfast panino we featured this week with the mouthwatering combination of Nutella and Bananas!

nutella panini

This weekend make something special for breakfast at home or treat yourself to a breakfast date with a girlfriend. Enjoy one of the weekend’s best little rituals in honor of Sarah and I as we slave away in the slums of Malibu.



A Day in the Food Life: Sandra Sanchez of


sandra sanchez

What does a hip, hot eco-blogger eat when she spends a day working from home? Today we are pleased to feature the food diary of our friend Sandra Sanchez, founder/editor-in-chief of A vegetarian since birth, Sandra keeps her her daily food choices ecologically responsible by abstaining from meat and eating mostly organic foods. Make sure you subscribe to Orglamic for daily updates on sustainable luxury living.

A Day In The Food Life – Sandra Sanchez of

7:45am Coconut Cream Pie Lara Bar

I am completely obsessed with these.  I love that they are made of such pure, vegan ingredients and add a perfect punch of protein and fiber, which is generally what I look for when picking out energy bars.  Also, I know that eating nuts is super healthy, but I don’t really like eating them plain so this is a good way to get them into my diet.

Water in Vapur Anti-Bottle

I love this reusable, portable water bottle (or anti-bottle, shall I say.)  It is super lightweight and fits easily in my purse so I can carry it with me throughout the day.  I pretty much only drink water, unless I am socializing with friends in which case I drink wine or vodka sodas.  I also love a good fresh-squeezed fruit juice and tend to get that when I am out to breakfast or brunch.

9:45am Beverly Hills Juice Club Banana Manna Shake: Apple Lemon Double Ginger w organic banana and almonds.

I love love love this place and totally think it is worth the price!  Sometimes I’ll try to do a 3-day juice fast so I’ll get all my juices from here.  Most of the time I just swing by for a protein-filled pick-me-up smoothie.  I just moved across town though, so I am going to check out Pressed  Juicery, which is just down the street from me, and hope that it is as good.

Sandra Collage

12:45pm 2 mini 100 Grand chocolate bars

Yes, despite my best intentions to eat healthfully, I have a perpetual, insatiable sweet tooth and will literally pull into gas stations and 7-11’s for a fix.  I know, it is tres tacky, but I can’t help myself, nor do I want to.

2:00pm vine ripened tomato, fresh mozzarella, olive oil, dried oregano, French bread and 2 dates

I went to the Brentwood Farmer’s Market this weekend and picked up some goodies, so I am trying to eat more at home this week.  More often than not, I am out to lunch (either business or with friends.)  As for the dates, I always have to end my meals with something sweet, so these were my attempt at being healthy.

3:45pm 6 avocado rolls and 2 dates

Okay, so maybe I didn’t make my sandwich big enough, or maybe it is bc I am working from home just a stones throw away from the kitchen, but I am inspired to have another mini-meal.  The avocado rolls are from Whole Foods.  Simple and yummy.

5:00pm ½ fresh mozzarella ball

Now I swear I am just eating because I know that I have to write it all down.  It is almost like when I tried to diet and only ended up eating more than usual bc I was thinking about food the whole time.  Nevertheless, the mozzarella is mouthwatering.

6:10pm about 15 Snapea Crisps

More snacking…

6:45pm 2 mini 100 Grand chocolate bars

Must really build a wall between my office and kitchen…

9:45pm spinach and tomato sautéed in olive oil and pepper and a bowl of Pacific Natural Foods Curried Red Lentil soup

Again, I usually go out to dinner with my boyfriend or friends, so this is quite uncharacteristic.  I am trying to use the fresh spinach and tomatoes from the market and they turn out great when paired with a hearty bean soup.  This reminds me of the kind of European-style dinners I had as a child, and I often tend to eat that way…just throwing together a small salad, soup, cheese and bread.  And of course, dessert!

Meatless Monday: Allergen Friendly Almond Noodles


Sarah’s INCREDIBLE peanut noodle recipe is starring this week on The Meatless Monday site as a featured Lunch recipe! Yipee! Check it the complete nutrition information of the MM site and if you have ever made this recipe be sure to give it a 5 star rating.

Peanut Noodles topped with vegetables

Last Summer I did a cleanse and ate only low allergen foods for 3 weeks. Naturally I craved satisfying meals so I adapted the magic peanut noodle recipe to fit into my cleanse and had really good results. This recipe below is Gluten Free, Peanut Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Vegetarian and Vegan. If you are allergic to almonds then I’m sorry this recipe won’t help you any.

Allergen Friendly Almond Noodles

adapted from Sarah Lagrotteria’s Peanut Noodle Recipe


For sauce:

1/4 cup sesame oil (not toasted sesame oil)

3 tablespoons rice vinegar or fresh lime juice (or a combination of the two is nice)

1 tablespoon Gluten Free Tamari

1 clove garlic, minced

1 jalapeno pepper, minced or 1 teaspoon chili paste (we like Sriracha)

2 heaping tablespoons almond butter (available at natural food stores)

12 ounces Gluten Free Brown Rice Spaghetti or linguine (available at Whole Foods and Trader Joes)

3 large carrots, julienned (cut into matchsticks)

2 small or 1 large cucumber, skin on and large seeds removed, julienned (cut into matchsticks)

Any other vegetable of choice, cut into matchsticks.  Broccoli, kohlrabi, snap peas, celery or radishes are great. Shredded broccoli slaw or cabbage slaw mix from the grocery store are good and fast additions. It’s an anything-goes, clean-out-your-fridge kind of dish.

Fresh mint, Thai basil, basil, cilantro or any combo of the four, roughly chopped

Chili paste and sea salt, to taste.


Sarah’s Crisp Vegetables Tip- If the day feels particularly sticky, I recommend crisping your cucumbers and carrots in an ice bath before adding them to the dish.  Once you cut them into matchsticks submerge them both in a bowl of ice water in the fridge.  Let sit while you prepare the sauce and noodles and then drain just before adding to the dish.  Even a short soak in an icy water bath will give the vegetables more crunch.

Bring a large pot of water to boil over medium-high heat.  Cook the noodles according to the package directions.   Drain.

In a large bowl or in your blender, whisk together the sesame oil, vinegar or lime juice, tamari, garlic and jalapeno.  Add the almond butter and continue whisking until smooth.  You may need to add a teaspoon or two of hot water if the almond butter sauce is too thick. Add the warm noodles and gently toss until evenly coated.

To serve place a portion of almond noodles in a bowl and top with an assortment of the crisp vegetables. Then top with the freshly chopped herbs and serve with salt and chili sauce at the table for last minute seasoning.

Enjoy in good health!


Individual Lobster Pot Pies


Our clients got engaged over the holiday! Sarah and I are giddy with joy and excitement for them. We wanted to make them a special romantic dinner to share with a glass of champagne as they look over wedding magazines and start the fun planning process.

Lobster pot pie filling

ready for thier pastry lids

Nothing says decadance, celebration and romance like individual lobster pot pies. A cozy homey dish elevated by the rich lobster and chic white Le Creuset bowls we bake them in. Served with a fresh green salad with a tart vinaigrette to cut through the richness of the pot pies, this makes a lovely winter meal for any special occasion.

Lobster pot pies with pastry tops

pastry lids draped over the pots

These would be fantastic for a January birthday dinner or a Valentine’s day meal for two.

Lobster pot pie

brushed with egg wash and a sprinkle of Maldon salt

Our recipe is based off of Ina Garten’s Lobster Pot Pie recipe which we have adapted to be slightly easier to execute and slightly healthier.

Individual Lobster Pot Pies

makes 4 individual pot pies


1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 large onion)

3/4 cup chopped fennel (1 fennel bulb)

1/4 pound unsalted butter

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2  cups fish stock or clam juice

1/2 cup white wine

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons 1/2 & 1/2

3/4 pound cooked fresh lobster meat

1 1/2 cups frozen peas (not “baby” peas)

1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions

1/2 cup minced flat-leaf parsley

2 sheets of frozen puff pastry, thawed


Saute the onions and fennel with the butter in a large saute pan on medium heat until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the flour and cook on low heat for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Slowly add the stock, wine, salt, and pepper and simmer for 5 more minutes. Add the 1/2 & 1/2.

Cut the lobster meat into medium-sized cubes. Place the lobster, frozen peas, frozen onions, and parsley in a bowl (there is no need to defrost the vegetables). Pour the sauce over the mixture and check the seasonings. Place the filling into individual sized oven safe bakeware pots or bowls (our Le Creuset soup bowls hold 16 oz.)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the thawed puff pastry dough on a floured surface and slightly roll out to flatten and stretch the dough to make 2 rounds that will fit your pots. I like to trace around the pot or bowl leaving 1/2 inch of extra crust to drape over the edge of the pot. Cut 2 slits in your pastry round for steam to escape during baking. Brush the rim of your pots with egg wash and then drape the crusts over your pots, molding it to fit tightly along the sides. Repeat with the remaining dough and then brush all 4 pots with egg wash and sprinkle the tops with sea salt. Bake on a covered baking sheet for 30-40 minutes until the tops are golden brown and puffed and the filling is bubbling hot.


The Look: Winter Sherbet Palette


For You

Butter London Cheeky_Chops

Cheeky Chops

Butter London Minger


chanel jade


Butter London ArtfulDodger

Artful Dodger

Butter London QueenVic

Queen Vic

Butter London PillarBoxRed

Pillar Box Red

For Your Table

Laguiole Steak Knives

Don’t let the muted palette of winter lock you into black/brown/vamp nails and steak knives. In 2011 Color will be King!

Southern-Vintage Holiday Decor


Southern Living’s feature on this home in Tennessee is really spectacular. This is holiday decor done right.


Photo by Laurey W. Glenn


Photo by Laurey W. Glenn


Photo by Laurey W. Glenn


Photo by Laurey W. Glenn

I’m on my way to the South as I write this so I’ll be sharing some snaps of authentic Southern food and decor in the coming week! Stay tuned…



The Weekend Dish: Holiday Cookies


What are you up to this weekend friends? Sarah and I are closing up the kitchen and traveling to spend the holiday with our families. We are both so excited to see our siblings and parents and share in the week of cooking, decorating and cozy traditions. When I think about my highlights of the week before Christmas I noticed a strong theme… cookies!

MS gingerbread people

I’m looking forward to decorating gingerbread men and women with my mom this weekend as we’ve done almost every year my entire life.

MS jam cookies

Since childhood I’ve been OBSESSED with the jam galettes from Harry & David and my lovely Grandma always keeps them in stock this time of year, chilled in her fridge for when I visit. Almond-y butter cookies sandwiching tart and sweet jam, be still my heart.

Sugar cookies- LEH wedding

photo by Nancy Blum

When we get to Atlanta, I always love helping bake these incredible sugar cookies that are a Christmas tradition in Drew’s family. Buttery, sweet and light, the recipe has been in the Howerton family for many generations (the secret ingredient is buttermilk!)

Gingerbread Cookies- LEH wedding

photo by Nancy Blum

Another heirloom Howerton family cookie recipe I crave are these gingersnaps. The perfect balance of sweet and spice. The photos above are from the dessert buffet at our wedding where Drew’s incredible Aunts baked dozens of these signature family cookies and shipped them across the country for our big day.

chocolate peppermint cookies

My newest cookie fantasy is these double chocolate peppermint cookies from December’s Bon Appetit that I want to try. There is always room for new cookie traditions this time of year!


Raw Kale Salad with Apples and Currants



Hurray it’s kale season! This salad is so clean, bright and satisfying you will start keeping a bowl of it on your fridge to nibble on all the time. The hearty texture of the kale leaves “breaks down” in the lemon vinaigrette revealing a sweet, grassy nature. The apples and currents are a burst of sweetness, the nuts add crunch and the cheese brings the salty richness to the table. I made this last week and Drew and I fought over the last bowl which I snuck while he was in the shower!


Raw Kale Salad with Apples and Currants

Adapted from the recipe by Dan Barber in Bon Appetit

Serves 4


1 bunch Tuscan kale, washed, center rib and stems removed, leaves thinly sliced

1-2 apples, diced (I like Fugi)

¼ cup of currants

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon honey

salt and pepper

toasted slivered almonds (optional)

shaved parmesan cheese (optional)


Rinse kale in cool water and pat dry with a clean towel. Pull or trim the leaves from both sides of the center rib and slice the leaves into thin ribbons. Make a vinaigrette by dissolving a large pinch of salt into the lemon juice, adding the honey and fresh ground black pepper and then whisking in 1 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss the kale in the vinaigrette and allow to sit for 20 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Meanwhile chop the apple, toast the almond slivers and shave the parmesan. Add the apples and currants to the kale and mix well. Serve topped with shaved almonds and parmesan.


Raw, Vegetarian and Gluten Free. For a Vegan version, serve the salad with out the cheese.

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