Posts Tagged ‘Suzanne Goin’

How To: Bloody Mary Bar


Bloody Mary Bar

I’m planning a wedding shower in a few weeks for a bride that loves Bloody Mary’s. The other hostesses and I want this Bloody Mary Bar to be unforgettable. This is what we did last year for Anjali’s shower


Bloody Mary Mix

Starting with a great Tomato Mix is very important, I want to try this recipe for Roasted Tomato Juice from my fav chef Suzanne Goin (The Hungry Cat Bloody Mary.)


Bloody Mary Bar

Once you have your base of Vodka and Tomato Mix then you need an array of garnishes. Lemon, limes, hot sauces, crunchy celery and a mix of artisan pickled vegetables.


Bloody Mary


Guests mix their own custom cocktails to get the shower started on the right note. Any other tips or ideas to spice up our Bloody Mary Bar? (pun intended)




Apps for Entertaining


Sarah and I FINALLY made the switch to iPhones in 2011 and have found them to be an indispensable tool in many areas of our lives. Here are a few of my favorite apps that make cooking and entertaining just a bit easier (or at least more organized.) All can be downloaded at the app store to your iPhone or iPad (some to Android and Blackberry too) and all are free.


Grocery iQ

1. Grocery iQ

This app makes shopping lists at multiple different stores and allows you to share the list with multiple people. So if your husband/roommate picks up paper towels, they’ll be checked off your list as well.


2. Kitchen Pro

The ultimate kitchen calculator. Need to know how many tablespoons are in a cup or convert ounces to grams? Kitchen Pro app takes all the guess work out of kitchen conversions and measurements.


Epicurious App

3. Epicurious aggregates all the delicious recipes printed in popular food magazines like Bon Appetit. The app puts all these recipes in your pocket with helpful features like user ratings and automatic grocery lists made from recipes you flag as favorites! If you need an idea for a low-carb dinner or kid friendly lunches on the go, you are only one touch away from 1,000s of ideas.


Chefs Feed App

4. Chefs Feed

Get restaurant suggestions from your city’s best chefs, as well as their favorite dishes at said restaurants. Turns out my favorite chef, Suzanne Goin, loves the French Toast with marscarpone and prunes at Canele which is right in my hood. Sunday brunch decision, done.




6. Red Stamp

I often long to buy the paper invitations in fancy card shops that say Dinner Party or Cocktails at 6, but I never do because I don’t have a life where I can invite friends over 3 weeks in advance via snail mail. Red Stamp lets you make custom invitations/announcements/thank you notes and send them via text or email to your lucky receiver. Pick from 100s of chic graphic designs, then customize the color scheme and the text.  No stamps, hunting for addresses or awkward emails with too many exclamation marks!


Any I have missed? I’m always hunting for the next favorite.



The Weekend Dish: Valentine’s Day Dinner


Hi Friends, what do you have in store this weekend in the romance department? Sarah and Angus are taking a ski trip and Drew and I are staying home re-decorating and reorganizing our apartment! Two trips to Ikea in three days might be his Valentine’s gift to me this year.

I always like to stay in on Valentine’s Day and make a super nice dinner at home. It’s cozy and relaxed, we open a special bottle of wine we have been saving and play some of our favorite albums while we cook.


This year we have a beautiful bottle of Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon my Dad gave Drew for his birthday 2 years ago. I’m planning our meal around this wine.

cheese and mortadella hearts

We will start our meal by nibbling on slices of mortadella and cheese hearts and crackers. Aww.

Kale Salad

Next we will dig into a hearty Kale Salad with crisp apples and shaved Parmesan cheese. The acid in the vinegar softens the kale leaves so they are chewy and the flavor is sweet and grassy. The apples remain crisp and the Parmesan provides the salty umami satisfaction.

sunday-suppers cookbook

For dinner I’m leaning towards Dijon and shallot crusted lamb rib chops with Suzanne Goin’s parmesan pudding. Decadent special occasion foods in our very favorite flavors.

Martha Chewy Chocolate Chunk-Cherry Cookies

Dessert has to be Martha Stewart’s Chewy Chocolate Chunk-Cherry Cookies which are truly the best chocolate chip cookie I have ever tried. Crisp outsides, chewy dark chocolaty insides (the chunks of chocolate melt into layers not lumps like chips do) and then you bite into a sweet tart dried cherry and your heart melts just a bit.



The Weekend Dish


What are you up to this weekend friends?

BBQ dinner

It’s the unofficial last weekend of summer so we plan to enjoy it! I’m going to a Malibu beach bbq tonight and can’t decide what to bring as a side dish? Heirloom tomato salad with goat cheese and basil like the picture above? Or maybe a savory watermelon salad with feta and mint?

Fortunately I know what I’m going to wear tonight so that helps clear my mind of what to cook.

J. Crew metallic beach cardigan

My Grandma bought me this AMAZING sparkly silver metallic beach cardigan yesterday at J. Crew! My Gram embodies classic style done with a “tasteful” twist, so I talked her into this fab vintage bateau neck striped shirt to add to her collection.

J. Crew batuea top

She said she’s going to wear it with her skinny jeans and pearls this weekend. Sounds like a great outfit. I enjoyed read Garance Dore’s closet staples a few months ago, what are yours?

Suzanne Goin

Los Angeles has a chef who embodies classic style too, Suzanne Goin! Sarah and I adore her restaurants Lucques, Tavern, AOC and her husband’s restaurant The Hungry Cat. Local food bloggers are talking about where they would choose to eat their last meal in LA, mine would for sure be at Lucques.


Her cookbook, Sunday Suppers at Lucques would certainly be in my top 50 fav cookbooks of all time along with some of these new ones. Happy Weekend!

Parmesan Pudding


By Sarah Lagrotteria

It felt like the gods were against me Tuesday morning.  The rain was torrential, my umbrella was “missing” (I know exactly who filched it and I’m legally stuck with him), and the only firm bell pepper I could find at the market fell out of of my shopping basket, out of the car and rolled all red and rosy into the nearest sewage drain.


But the world got a bit brighter when I pulled this savory Parmesan pudding out of the oven.  Mind you, the literal storm clouds had not cleared, hence the overcast image below, but my inner tempestuousness was soothed by satiny texture of this very rich, very impressive and very easy-to-do dish.  I served it alongside grilled lamb chops.  It needs something firm and strong tasting (lamb, beef, root vegetable ragu. etc.) to counteract all the soft cheesy-ness of the pudding.


Suzanne Goin’s Parmesan Pudding from Sunday Suppers at Lucquessunday suppersjpg

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups whole milk (or low fat milk works great too)
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 extra-large egg
1 extra-large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat a medium pot over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the butter, and when it foams, whisk in the flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, and cook for about 5 minutes, being careful not to let the flour burn. Slowly pour in the milk and cream, whisking constantly to incorporate it. The butter and flour will seize up and get pasty first. Continue whisking vigorously as you add the liquid, and the mixture will become smooth. Cook a few more minutes, until warm to the touch. Remove the pan from the heat.

Whisk the egg and egg yolk together in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle the eggs into the cream mixture, whisking continuously until combined. Stir in the cheese, and seaon with a heaping 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pour the mixture into an 8×6-inch (or equivalent) baking dish, and cover tightly with foil. Place the baking dish in a roasting pan, and add hot water tot he pan until it comes halfway up the outside of the custard dish. Place the pan in the oven and bake about 1 hour, until the pudding is just set.


Spring Pea Risotto


By Sarah Lagrotteria

It’s hot.  When I went to meet Lydia at Suzanne Goin’s new Tavern (more on that amazing meal later!) at 8 last night, my car thermometer read 91 degrees!   So, it was with some sadness that I prepared my favorite spring risotto–fresh pea and mint– for what will be the last time this year.  I got a bit of an aromatherapy facial as I stirred (and stirred) the steaming pot.  What I love about making risotto (and pasta too) is how the fresh ingredients intensify upon hitting the hot starch.  In this case, the smell of the mint as it warmed to the rice was fresh and mildly spicy, followed by the rich scent of melting parmigiano-reggiano. It’s like crushing anew on old friends.

I used Carnaroli rice in lieu of the more common Arborio variety and the difference is really noticeable.  You can tell from the picture-the risotto is luscious but more textured than normal, as the Carnaroli is starchier and holds more of its shape than the Arborio.  I’m going to use it next time with my summertime risotto ingredients of choice.

Risotto with spring peas and fresh mint

2 tablespoons butter and/or olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup white wine

2 cups risotto rice (arborio or carnaroli)

7 cups chicken stock, held at a simmer

2 cups freshly shelled peas (can substitute frozen)

1/2 cup fresh mint, cut into chiffonade

Parmigiano-reggiano for shaving

1.  Melt the butter and/or oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 8 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

2.  Add the rice, stirring, until the edges of the rice being to look translucent.  Add the wine, stirring until the wine is absorbed.  Add the hot stock, one ladle at a time, sitting continuously until each ladle is absorbed before adding the next.

3. Taste the risotto when about half the broth is gone.  The outside of the grains should be tender but the insides still hard.  Stir in the fresh peas and continue adding the broth ladle by ladle until the stock is completely absorbed, the peas are cooked, and the risotto is creamy but retains a bit of a bite. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4.  Stir in half the mint.  Plate the risotto in a large serving bowl and top with a generous dusting of grated Parmigiano-reggiano.  Serve with the remaining mint and the cheese for grating on the side.

Note: I love to serve this with broiled prawns.  Just preheat the broiler, toss the peeled and de-veined prawns with olive oil, salt and pepper and broil for 2 minutes on each side.  Add a squirt of fresh lemon juice and serve on top of the risotto.

Yield: serves 8