Thursday, June 28, 2012

Watermelon Time

Watermelon is the quintessential summer treat.
It happens to be one of my favorite things to eat. It just always tastes good.
My daughter was actually allergic to watermelon when she was young so I never kept it in the house. I am now making up for lost time and I am rarely without this versatile fruit.

A few fun facts :
Watermelon originated in South Africa and it grows wild there today. It is now commercially grown in 44 states in the U.S. with California, Florida, Georgia and Texas prodcung the most. Watermelon is 92% water and it contains lycopene and beta carotene. The rind is edible and is often used in Aian dishes. The largest watermelon ever grown weighed 262 pounds!

Wheteher you are enjoying a sliver of this bright red fruit at the beach or as the base of an iced drink - it is refreshing and thirst quenching.

Try the yellow variety for a change. Unless you enjoy the seeds, purchase seedless watermelon - you will spend more time enjoying the wonderful taste of this delicious fruit.

Watermelon Recipes

Watermelon, Strawberry and Mozzarella Salad ~
Cut a half of a large seedless watermelon into chunks. Gently toss this with
one cup of strawberries (cut in half), eight mozzarella balls (cubed with a melon baller),
and a 1/2 cup of blueberries. Lightly toss the fruit and cheese with vinaigrette dressing and serve immediately.
Perfect for July 4th!

Watermelon, Cucumber and Feta Salad ~
Combine one large seedless Watermelon (cut in cubes), three Persian cucumbers (seeded and cut in cubes), one cup crumbled feta cheese,  1/2 of red onion  (thinly sliced) and 1/4 cup of mint leaves (thinly sliced).
Drizzle two tbsp fresh lime juice and two tbsp evoo and gently toss.

Watermelon Coooler ~
Place three cups cubed seedless watermelon, 10 ice cubes, 1/3 cup fresh lime juice, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a blender. For an extra kick - add vodka.
Garnish with fresh mint and serve immediately.

Watermelon Salsa ~
Mix two cups finely chopped seeded watermelon, one  cup crushed pineapple (drained well),
one cup sweet onion (minced), 1/4 cup orange juice, 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (Tabasco or your favorite brand), four tbsp fresh cilantro (optional) - chill for several hours before serving.
This salsa is great on chicken and fish.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Small in Size - Big in Flavor

Serving four types of salad - a delicious way to begin a meal

I am not  often a fan of trends. I  find that true classics that have stood the test of time are classics for a good reason.  One exception to that is the current popularity of "small plates". Since I often make a dinner out of several appetizers , this style of eating is a treat for me. I can get bored with one big steak but this way I can eat the steak as well as the chicken, the fish and the sides...
Guests at a dinner party, corporate event or wedding typically enjoy dining this way as well.
I have been offering tasting menus and small plates to my clients for years for this reason.
It is great to see that so many restaurants are now offering this style of dining. Of course, each course has to taste amazing and look appetizing.
You can serve three similar dishes for the same course such as three types of salad, three types of pasta etc or simply bring out a continuous assortment of a wide variety of tastes. Either way - your guests will thank you.
Not planning a party? Try The Chef's Spontanee Tasting at Hatfield's on Melrose. It is a meal you will not forget. Each course is delectable.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pretty In Pink

While this may be a bit traditional for some of my clients - it has a classic, sophisticated flair. We planned the bride's ceremony on the rooftop of The Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire.  The reception was in their stunning ballroom. Hidden Garden did an amazing job with the bride's choice of colors. They made sure to include  shades of pink but  were careful to not overdue it. The result was soft, romantic and timeless.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Great Dress from BHLDN

What a fun dress to wear to a cocktail party.
BHLDN never fails to disappoint.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

San Ysidro Ranch

San Ysidro Ranch is a unique getaway. Entering the grounds feels as if you are visiting a private estate in a tranquil area. You are immediately taken by the meandering creek, tree lined paths and fragrant flowers. SYR is in the foothills of Montecito, just minutes from Santa Barbara. It has a long and storied history. Jackie and John Kennedy spent their honeymoon in one of the hotel's lovely cottages. Weddings and parties can take place in several gorgeous areas throughout the property. There are only 41 cottages, suites and ranch rooms. Many of their accommodations feature hot tubs on private patios, radiant heated floors, fireplaces and outdoor rain showers. The natural beauty coupled with classic luxury and amazing service earned San Ysidro Ranch the honor of being selected as one of the top five hotels in the world by T&L Magazine. adores this unique and gorgeous hotel.