Monday, January 30, 2012

bad news brunch

Cute baby strikes again!

Cute baby (Aya, to the rest of the world) and her parents came over for brunch last Sunday and I had a very nice menu all planned out. And then they arrived and Mabel went a little nuts and I was so bewitched by Aya’s cuteness that I overcooked the fancy baked eggs.

I bought special ramekins to cook those damn eggs, and they ended up being practically hard boiled. D’oh!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

crostini with pears, goat cheese, thyme and honey

Is really, really good. You should make it now. And don't skimp on the black pepper. That is all.

Monday, January 23, 2012

the vegetarian question

Vegetarian dinner guests are often met with a mixture of disdain and contempt. Many chefs outright loathe people who don't eat meat. Vegans? Forget about it.

All this hatred is so misguided. Vegetarians, in my experience, are downright apologetic about their lifestyle choice. "Oh, don't go out of your way," they'll say. "I'll eat around the meat!" I found myself saying this when I was temporarily gluten-free. (Did I mean it? No.) Eating around things does not make for a fun meal, no matter how much your guests smile and swear that they don't mind.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

what's for dinner, sarah schiear?

People, I found someone who likes to throw dinner parties as much as me. Or possibly more! Sarah Schiear, food editor and author of food blog 20something cupcakes, is a dinner party machine. Food Network, give this woman her own show! Whether she's hosting a cocktail party, a boozy brunch or a fancy dinner for two, she's an expert at crafting delicious menus (and cocktails, lots of cocktails). I'll let her explain in her own words...

1. Name, occupation, and city
Sarah Schiear. By day, editor at Mr. Food. By night, author of 20something cupcakes. Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 

2. When was the last time you threw a dinner party, and who was invited?
The last dinner party I threw was in early November; it was something of late brunch that went into the night. We had a couple of friends over because I had just discovered a fabulous new fresh seafood market, and I had a burning desire to make ceviche. This is how menus are usually born for me — I get an idea in my head, and the rest follows. I made a glorious ceviche by Rick Bayless, from whom I also discovered the most wonderful idea for a champagne margarita. I wanted to make huevos rancheros, as I knew a few guests to absolutely adore them, but I also knew I didn't want to be standing over the stove frying eggs up to order. My solution? A huevos rancheros bake in the oven. I added the eggs at the end and cooked them just enough to achieve those delightfully runny yolks, and topped it all off with a quick avocado salsa. It was delicious.

Monday, January 9, 2012

dinner party inspiration for 2012

I put up our new calendar in the kitchen last week. Nothing makes you feel more aware of the possibility and uncertainty of a new year as a blank calendar. Leafing through our 2011 calendar, I noticed all of the dinner dates and parties written on so many little white squares. What will this year bring? What friendships will be forged, which farflung friends will pay us a visit, how many precious meals will we share with our family? And what will we eat?

I don't know about you, but I need some fresh inspiration for this year. Here are some places I go to be inspired and, well, steal ideas.


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