Big Parties, Small Parties…Whatever.


Did a few cool parties around July 4th.  I had the pleasure of cooking for a proposal dinner…she said yes :-)  I also did two totally different parties for the same client.  They were in east county, which is great…cause so am I.  This busy couple decided for their much needed week off, to forgo travel rigamarole and relax at home for a staycation.  Friends, family, food and drinks in a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere; sounds lovely doesn’t it?  I had the pleasure of cooking an intimate dinner for them and their family (5 total).  I did my usual thing; 8+ courses of farm to table awesomeness.  The picture above was what I was working with.  The wild strawberries pictured below made an appearance as well and were a personal freak out moment for me.  As referenced in my last post, I had just returned from Youdapimp after experiencing my first wild strawberry.  Then, what do I find upon my arrival home?  A clamshell of wild strawberries at Specialty Produce’s farmers market cooler.  A whole friggin clam shell!  Got me gigitty for the party and it felt like finding gold.


The night after that dinner, I cooked for his birthday bash.  40 people enjoying an abundance of fresh, locally farmed produce, served as a casual buffet.  Here was the menu for the big party.

Roasted tomato, chevre and oregano baguette
Pickled turnip mini taco with avocado “salad”
Mango gorgonzola nachos

Grilled tri-tip
Basmati rice with toasted vermicelli and zaatar
Roasted cauliflower
Chile/garlic broccoli
Bacon and onion collard greens with almonds and hari cot vert
Big summer salad- romaine, water cress, herbs, cucumber, celery, carrot and red wine vinaigrette
Cherry cobbler with milk chocolate mousse



Family Vacation 2016


Had a great family vacation recently. 35 other family members descended on the Idaho panhandle through various means of travel and it was fun from start to end.

What a bounty of life the Northwest is. Even hiking is mellow cause the ground is bouncy and spongy from all the fallen debris and rain. Keeps a bounce in your step while hiking. I crossed a few things off my bucket list and also crossed some off I didn’t even know were on that list. Like when we were foraging for huckleberries, I found my first wild strawberry. It was so damn cute and delicious. We had many fresh handfuls of huckleberries but on our last day, we were treated to huckleberry pancakes and waffles :-) I’m pretty sure huckleberries are not cultivated and only found in the wild…but I’ll have to Google that. Wow, I saw a skinned bear foot in the river, I saw a moose pretty close. Caught a fish with a lure for the first time. Caught and ate lake trout…which is more like salmon then what I know here in california as trout. Went mushroom hunting and found hedgehogs, chanterelles and shaggy manes…or I found their poisonous cousins…not sure cause I didn’t eat ’em. Not going to the northwest again without a couple good wild edibles books.  Also saw my boys reel in their first fish :-)  Camping is usually cool, but five days of cool is even better.

IMG_0127 IMG_1684IMG_1741