Wednesday, October 31, 2012

what's for dinner, jenny park?

It's a cliche, I know, but it was love at first sight when I first visited the blog Spoon Fork Bacon. The gorgeous photos! The instantly appealing recipes! The crazy-awesome animated GIFs! It's no surprise that Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park, the women behind the site, landed a cookbook deal. And it's no surprise that Tiny Food Party is as wonderful as their site. Today, Jenny, the food stylist half of the team, answers the usual Dinner Party questions about how she entertains at home. (And if you still haven't visited their site yet, go now!)

1. Name, occupation, and city
Jenny Park, food stylist/recipe developer, and co-author of Tiny Food Party: Bite-Size Recipes for Miniature Meals, Los Angeles

2. When was the last time you threw a dinner party, and who was invited?

The last time I threw a dinner party was about a month ago...taco bar night and it was with a small group of my LA friends.

Monday, October 22, 2012

a party-party

In our house, five is the magic number for dinner parties. Part of this is out of necessity -- we can only squeeze five people around our dining table. It also makes menu planning easy. Most recipes feed six to eight people, so you're always covered food-wise. But I also think five is a good number for conversations. It's intimate but still lively enough that it feels like a party. You never go to bed feeling like you didn't get a chance to talk to everyone and missed out on good gossip.

But like many people who love to entertain at home, I've held onto a fantasy of hosting a really big party. Not five people, more like 25. I would swan around, refilling drinks and setting out tray after tray of delightful finger foods, dropping into conversations here and there. Now, this is unrealistic for many reasons, mostly because our circle of friends has been whittled down over the years thanks to people moving out of New York (losers!). Also, I don't own 25 forks. And don't really like making an entire menu of finger foods.

So when I decided to throw a housewarming party for our new apartment, I struck a compromise with myself and invited eight people for a party of 10, counting Dan and myself. Ten seemed do-able. I would make a ton of food and it would be an actual party. Not a dinner party, a party-party.

In the end, it ended up being five adults and one toddler. And did I make less food? Absolutely not.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

a note fromm mabel

Mabel heer.

Woh. Anunthr day, anuthr partee.

Evr sence we muved into the noo hous ther hav ben so manee partees. As the peeple lik to sey, Mabel is al parteed out.

It taks alot to be a good hostee. Wen I heer the buzz sownd thet meens peepl are heer I run to the dor to tel them with lowd barks to say Im heere, up Here. Becus maybee they dont kno wher to go.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

fall favorites

Even though I haven't been blogging that much, I have been cooking a ton. If summer is about doing as little as possible to fresh ingredients, fall is about baking, and braising, and struggling to cut butternut squash. (Pro tip for the lazy: buy it pre-cut.)

Whether or not it feels like fall where you are, you can fake that wonderful chill-in-the-air feeling with food. Here's a roundup of some really good fall recipes I've been making lately:

Dan's parents were in town for a long weekend, so I hosted dinner one night. Being that they were up from Florida, I wanted to make a meal that really felt like October in New York. Which is exactly what this pumpkin pilaf tastes like. I'm sure you're skeptical already. A pilaf, with pumpkin in it? It is wonderful, and it can be made all in one pot. Let me break it down for you: tender rice, savory onions, Indian-inspired spices (tumeric, cumin, cinnamon), sweet chunks of squash, plump raisins and grassy parsley. I substituted butternut squash for the pumpkin and also added a handful of almonds. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

grilled cheese, please

I’m not a huge grilled cheese person. I like the sensory pleasure of crunching into dry, buttery toast and melty cheese, but it's not something I crave. I'd rather eat cheese on a pizza, or just straight up with some cured meat.

However, as a kid, it was often my standard order in restaurants, along with chicken fingers and Shirley Temples. Ah, to be a budding lush, oblivious to calories. I remember the thick, oily toast and oozy American cheese at Denny’s in particular. It was cut into two triangles and served with a pile of wavy-cut fries the same color as the toast. Maybe that’s why I’m not such a fan now.

But then fall rolls around, and I start thinking soups, and autumnal salads, and what goes better with those two things? You got it.


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