Archive for the ‘FOOD’ Category

07.01.15

HOW TO PAIR YOUR WINE WITH FOOD

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we’ve never done a wine pairing post on the blog and since that has been my go-to drink these days i thought it might be fun to create a post with suggestions on what to serve with certain types of wine. (i learned from this too!) we partnered with Mirassou Winery which offers a variety of california wines at a really affordable price (their Pinot is my favorite!). we had so much fun putting this together this fresh fourth of july inspired lunch, hope you enjoy!

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we worked with three different varietals from Mirassou, Chardonnay, Moscato and Pinot Noir. some people believe that certain wines should only be enjoyed with particular foods but we believe in a more broad spectrum of possibilities. a lot of the foods we served were interchangeable which helps to create a really fun atmosphere at your party of sharing, passing and sipping.

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the Mirassou Chardonnay is fruit forward with a little hint of oak. we paired it with grilled nectarine bruschetta that had a creamy goats milk cheese and pistachios and it was heavenly. the creaminess of the cheese was perfect with the slight acidity of the wine. Chardonnay is also great with all types of cheese as well as seafood. one of my favorite ways to enjoy it at home is with fish tacos, try it- trust me.

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Moscato was a new wine to me, as i’ve maybe had two glasses before this party…

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it’s more of a sweet wine which makes it great with spicy food but it’s also great to serve with a cheese plate. we paired it with these beautiful feta, cucumber, heirloom tomato bites that were drizzled with mint vinaigrette.

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we also served the Moscato as a dessert wine at the end of the meal with the most amazing pavlova topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. i don’t even like dessert that much and this blew me away (the one bite i had #dlfgetfit)

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many people steer clear of red wines during the warmer months but a slightly chilled Pinot is a great choice for the summer because it’s an approachable, easy red to sip on.

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the great thing about Pinot is that it’s a really balanced red so it pairs well with a lot of things. it’s also my favorite wine and the one i order most often when i’m out. i like to keep a few bottles at home to bring over as a hostess gift because it almost always works with what they are planning to serve.

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we paired it with mango bbq chicken skewers that had garam masala and cilantro spinach raita on top. they were simple and delicious (and also totally healthy!). i’ve been eating more vegetarian these days but if you’re into meats Pinot Noir is great with pork, BBQ steaks, etc.

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what types of wine are you enjoying these days? any favorite food/wine combos we need to know about? try your own wine pairing lunch on the fourth of july with these simple & clean decor ideas…enamel plates (i like these blue falcon ones), striped linens, and summery snacks.

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thank you to Mirassou Winery for letting us experiment with your wines, weekly wine pairings might have to become a new thing for our team. thanks so much urban palate for creating the food pairings for the party. and big love to moon canyon who helped me style and provided the beautiful wild floral arrangements and heather ward for that pavlova! photos by ivan solis. cheers!

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06.30.15

GRILLED FARMERS MARKET SALAD

This simple salad was inspired by one of my farmers market trips. Stone fruits are in their peak season so we have to utilize them! Let us know if you have any great ideas or interesting takes on your own salads. We always love trying new combinations!

makes 3 -4 servings

Ingredients:
• a head of butter lettuce
• romaine lettuce
• 3 nectarines sliced
• 2 red plums sliced
• half a cup pitted cherries
• 1 lemon juiced
• 1 cup pan charred corn
• fennel
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• salt and pepper to taste
• grilled chicken (optional)

Grilled farmers market salad: Start by slicing the cherries in half and removing the pits, set aside. Slice the 3 nectarines, 2 red plums, brush with olive oil and place on a non stick panini press (an outdoor grill would be ideal but if that is not an option a panini press does the trick). Grill for about 45 seconds on the high heat setting. On a medium size pan heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium/high heat. Once the pan is hot, throw the corn on and cook for 3-5 minutes, occasionally stirring until corn has a lightly roasted texture, set aside. Remove the bulb of the fennel from the stems and thinly chop the fennel into slices, squeeze half of a lemon on top, season with salt and pepper and set aside. Mix the stone-fruit, roasted corn, fennel and lettuce.

Salad dressings can hide a lot of calories so we decided to make our own. By roasting and grilling our ingredients, it brought out all their great flavors, so we wanted a simple dressing to tie them all together. In a small bowl add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Juice 1/2 lemon and combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

We also added 1 sliced grilled chicken breast to the salad for added protein but it’s also great without chicken and can be served to your vegan/vegetarian friends!

photos and styling by: ivan solis 

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06.25.15

SUMMER SNACKING

summer is officially upon us, and with hot weather comes more opportunities to lounge with my friends on my new back patio or by the pool. we created an assortment of 3 lemonades that are perfect for summer entertaining. we paired them with blue diamond sriracha flavored almonds (which are the best new spicy addition to the snack world!) and watermelon which was delicious and a great alternative to setting out a bowl of chips.

Here is a simple lemonade recipe that can easily be adjusted to your tastes. I love how versatile this is and can be swapped with your favorite take on it. We made three flavors – thyme, watermelon and cucumber mint. Start with a base lemonade recipe and mix in a large pitcher with ice.

Base Ingredients: 
• 3 cups cold water
• 1 cup fresh lemon juice
• 1/2 cup sugar

• For a watermelon lemonade, chop and remove the rind of half a large watermelon. In a blender blend for about 20-30 seconds or until smooth. Strain liquid through a strainer in a large bowl and add 1/2 cup of sugar. Add the watermelon juice to the base lemonade recipe. You can adjust the sugar amount according to how sweet your watermelon is. Garnish with lemon slices.

• For a thyme lemonade, we started by making a simple syrup. Bring 1 cup of water and 1 cup sugar to a boil or until a light syrup forms. Place the thyme in a separate bowl and pour the boiling syrup on top, let sit for about an hour or so (this syrup would be great in a gin cocktail too, if you’re looking for something spiked). Add the thyme syrup to your base lemonade recipe and enjoy with lots of ice and thyme as garnish.

• For a cucumber mint lemonade, peel two cucumbers and place in a blender with 2 large sprigs of mint and 1/4 cup of water. Blend until smooth. Strain the liquid until the pulp is separated. Since the cucumbers add no additional sweetness we added 1/2 sugar to the base lemonade recipe. Pour over an ice filled glass and garnish with cucumber slices and mint leaves.

voila! you will feel fancy serving these to your friends under the sun!

photos and styling by: ivan solis
want more food posts? click here!
this post is in partnership with blue diamond almonds. all opinions are my own.

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06.19.15

FOURTH OF JULY PICNIC

i’m excited to bring you another beautiful shoot from bird dog wedding (remember this gorgeous brunch they shared last year?)! they picked the prettiest color story for this 4th of july themed party. the popsicles with edible flowers are the cutest! looking at these photos makes me so ready for summer entertaining…

“As soon as summer rolls around nothing feels better than embracing the idea of outdoor dining and casual backyard get togethers. What better way to celebrate the magic of summer than with a playful 4th of July party!

For this set up we chose to keep it simple with sweet treats, bubbly drinks, and cheerful decor that played off the traditional red, white, and blue color scheme. However, to keep things young and fresh we included pops of citrus, peach, and aqua for an unexpected twist and to brighten up the palette.

No 4th of July party is complete without some pie! Mini pies are set alongside sweet tarts and hand painted cookies in perfect little bit sized portions. And what says summer more than popsicles? Look up a delicious popsicle recipe and add some edible flowers, berries, or herbs into the mix for a fun personalized twist. These are such a crowd pleaser and a perfect way to keep your guests cool. For drinks, we served something sparkling and pink with an assortment of mix and match berries and citrus provided for garnish.

To create a casual backyard vibe offer your friends a few blankets and let them unwind on the lawn. Slip your shoes off, lay back, and enjoy the summer slow down!” – bird dog wedding

thanks again to bird dog for sharing this beautiful story and the great crew of people they collaborated with to make it happen!

concept and creation by: bird dog wedding
photographer: Kristin Kilpatrick
desserts and Popsicles: Green Lily Bakery
vintage Serving Platters: Melody’s Joy
napkins: Leah Duncan
vintage Dresses: The Ivy Retreat
venue: Brentwood Bungalow
model: Kaki Gaines

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06.16.15

ICE CREAM SOCIAL

i remember the anticipation of summertime when i was a kid and how i could hardly wait to get out of school so that i could enjoy three long glorious months of playing outside until dark, swimming and yes, eating lots of ice cream. ivan and i had fun playing with steves ice cream in the studio last week. we licked our fingers, created pairings with the flavors and toppings and even made raspberry syrup.

there is some serious magic to be found in the wildflower honey pistachio with chocolate covered cacao nips on top.

the options are endless when it comes to creating an ice cream bar but here are the toppings we used.

 Ice Cream Toppings

• 6 ounces sliced strawberries
• 2 large sprigs of mint
•  chocolate covered cacao nibs
• chocolate covered cashews
• maple thyme pecans
• shredded coconut
• chocolate covered pretzel sticks

we also made our own raspberry syrup which turned out little thinner then we’d hoped, i think next time i would use less water (we used 2 cups instead of 1) and then slowly add the sugar to taste. it’s so easy to make and you could experiment with swapping in different fruits. peach syrup would be great for the summer!

Ingredients:
• 12 ounces raspberries
• 1 cup water
• 2 cups sugar

Raspberry Syrup Recipe: In a medium sauce pan place 12 ounces of raspberries and fill with 1 cup water. Place on medium heat and let boil for about 20 minutes or until all the raspberries lose their color (add more water if needed during boil). Strain the liquid using a mesh strainer onto another medium sized saucepan. Dispose of the berries. Add 1 cup of sugar to the water and let boil for another 15-20 minutes on medium to low heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve all sugar. taste and if it needs more sugar add the remaining cup and continue to boil for another 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

photos and styling by: ivan solis

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