Archive for the ‘FOOD’ Category

06.12.19

SUMMER GARDEN LUNCH

summer garden lunch | designlovefest

you might remember this floral cocktail post we did back in april highlighting the gorgeous Floral Libations book by Cassie Winslow. we loved the cocktails so much and Cassie reached out to say she’d be in LA last week and did we want to shoot a few more. we had a fun day putting these drinks together along with a killer lunch spread that we picked up at our favorite spot, Cookbook. Cassie is super sweet and talented and whipped up the perfect brunch or lunch time drinks for us. the cantaloupe bellini was so good! she’s sharing all her tips and recipes below. thanks, Cassie! and thanks to Ivan for the photos!

summer garden lunch | designlovefest
summer garden lunch | designlovefest

first up, iced lavender coffee!

Iced Lavender Coffee

This is one of my favorite morning drinks to make for guests, especially on a warm summer morning. It’s so easy to make and best to prep the night before so it will be waiting for you right when you wake up the next day.

Makes 4 beverages

Ingredients:
4 cups hot, freshly brewed coffee
1/4 cup lavender simple syrup (recipe below)
Ice cubes
1-2 cups whole milk or cream
sprigs of fresh organic lavender for garnish

Directions:

In a large bowl or pitcher, stir together the hot coffee and lavender simple syrup. Place the mixture in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight to chill.

When you are ready to make the coffees, fill each glass with ice. Pour 1 cup of the coffee and lavender mixture into each glass followed by 1/2 cup of whole milk or a splash of cream. Stir until combined and garnish with a sprig of lavender.

You can also make these beverages the morning you would like to serve as shown. Simply make the lavender simple syrup and allow guests to add the amount of sweetener they prefer to their own glass. This also makes a lovely coffee bar situation and guests and serve themselves.

Lavender Simple Syrup
You will need:
1 cup organic sugar
1/2 cup filtered water
3 tablespoons of organic dried lavender

Place all ingredients in a pot over the stove and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat so the mixture is simmering…simmer for about 5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has reduced to a syrup. Let cool for about 10 minutes then strain. Store in the fridge for up to one week.

summer garden lunch | designlovefest
summer garden lunch | designlovefest

for the food spread, we focused on light and bright items that paired well together. a little citrus, the salt from olives, crunchy toast with a creamy beet spread, cured meat and 6 minute eggs. all so good!

summer garden lunch | designlovefest
summer garden lunch | designlovefest
summer garden lunch | designlovefest
summer garden lunch | designlovefest
summer garden lunch | designlovefest

she served this drink with a garden party sugar rim that really took it to the next level!

Cantaloupe + Chamomile Bellinis
This is the perfect libation to serve at a summer brunch. The chamomile garnish adds a cheerful touch and the fresh cantaloupe is a wonderfully refreshing treat.

Makes about 10 cocktails

Ingredients:
3 cups chopped ripe cantaloupe from about 1 medium-sized cantaloupe
1 bottle sparkling wine
a handful of organic edible chamomile blooms

Directions:

Place the cantaloupe in a blender and blend until liquified. Strain the cantaloupe through a find-mesh sieve set over an extra large pitcher. Add the sparkling wine and stir until combined. Pour the Bellini mixture into 10 champagne flutes and garnish each glass with a few chamomile flowers.

Note: If you feel like being extra fancy (as shown), rim each glass with Garden Party Sugar…here’s how you make it:

Garden Party Sugar

Makes approximately 1 1/4 cups
Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon each:
organic dried hibiscus flowers
organic dried chamomile flowers
organic dried lavender
organic dried rose petals
organic dried calendula
1 cup cane sugar

Directions:

In a food process or spice grinder, combine the dried flowers and pulse until the blooms resemble small flakes. In a bowl, stir together the sugar and ground flowers. For optimal flavor, wait about 2 weeks before use. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 months.

To rim each glass, place a lemon wheel on a small plate and an even layer of Garden Party Sugar on another plate. Gently glide 1/2 of the rim on the lemon wheel. Then, gently dip in garden party sugar.

Use the extra sugar in your favorite baked goods such as homemade cookies, cakes and scones. It’s nature’s confetti….

summer garden lunch | designlovefest

Hibiscus Lemonade

I absolutely adore the color of this beverage. The hibiscus simple syrup is SO vibrant. Mixed with freshly squeezed lemon juice, this libation is the prettiest of pinks and will make your guests swoon with delight.

Makes 2 beverages

Ingredients:
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup hibiscus simple syrup (recipe below)
1/2 cup water

Directions:
Place lemon juice + hibiscus simple syrup in an extra large ball jar or pitcher. Stir. Slowly add 1/2 cup water until you find the combination you enjoy. Store in the fridge.
To make into a cocktail, simply place 1 cup of the hibiscus lemonade in a glass. Add 2 ounces of gin. Serve over ice. Cheers!

summer garden lunch | designlovefest
summer garden lunch | designlovefest
summer garden lunch | designlovefest

Hibiscus Simple Syrup
You will need:
1 cup organic sugar
1/2 cup filtered water
1 tablespoon of organic dried hibiscus flowers

Place all ingredients in a pot over the stove and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat so the mixture is simmering…simmer for about 5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has reduced to a syrup. Let cool for about 10 minutes then strain. Store in the fridge for up to one week.

summer garden lunch | designlovefest
summer garden lunch | designlovefest
summer garden lunch | designlovefest
summer garden lunch | designlovefest
summer garden lunch | designlovefest

for the bread, we toasted it in olive oil and then we did a generous spread of something creamy across the top  (one each with butter, mayo, and beet hummus) with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. and layered our ingredients on top of that, usually a little crunch, fresh herbs, and some protein, either cured meats, egg or a smoke fish. the creamy layer is key for taste but it also helps everything stay on the toast and not slide off.

summer garden lunch | designlovefest
summer garden lunch | designlovefest

cocktails by: cassie winslow
Images by: Ivan Solis

06.07.19

THAI INSPIRED MEATBALLS

thai inspired meatballs | designlovefest

i know, we’ve made a lot of meatball recipes around here. but we can’t help it, they’re easy to throw together, you can adjust based on what you have on hand and they’re delicious. today we’re sharing ivan’s take on a thai inspired meatball. we didn’t use egg or breadcrumbs in this recipe. not for any real reason other than we wanted to try it without. it’s a little harder to keep together before cooking but once cooked it worked out great. enjoy! – joanie

thai inspired meatballs | designlovefest

what you’ll need: 
serves 3-4

thai inspired meatballs:
• 1 lb ground chicken 
• 2 teaspoons garlic powder
• 2 teaspoons onion powder
• 2 tablespoon finely grated ginger (ginger powder works great too!)
• 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon grass (outer layers removed)
• 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
• 1/4 cup chopped basil
• salt and pepper to taste
• coconut oil

coconut rice: 
• 1 cup white rice
• coconut milk

garnishes:
• basil
• cilantro
• green onions
• red onions (soaked in water)
• lime wedges
• ground fresh chili paste (we love using samba oelek!)

thai inspired meatballs | designlovefest
thai inspired meatballs | designlovefest

(more…)

05.09.19

A FAVORITE COOKBOOK

eggplant parm | designlovefest
eggplant parm | designlovefest

my aunt gifted me the Repertoire by Jessica Battilana last year and it has quickly become one of my favorites. it’s really geared towards the home cook, people like me who want to make delicious meals but don’t want anything too fussy or over the top. you can tell that she really tested and refined all of the recipes and everything i’ve made has been excellent including this eggplant dish we’re sharing today. i highly recommend the cookbook. i’m pretty picky when it comes to which cookbooks i keep around, they really have to stand the test and deserve their space on my shelf and this one has passed with flying colors. – joanie

eggplant parm | designlovefest

jessica calls it “new eggplant parm”. she has simplified the whole process and kept it to the basics, fried eggplant, cheese, sauce and that’s it. it’s simple and delicious!

what you’ll need: 
• 2 1/2 pounds eggplant
• salt + pepper
• 1/2 cup AP flour
• 2 eggs beaten
• 2 cups panko bread crumbs
• 3/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
• canola oil for frying

for the sauce: 

• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
• 2 pints cherry tomatoes
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

to top:
• 1/2 lbs fresh mozz:rella
• flaky salt
• torn basil leafs

 

eggplant parm | designlovefest

• cut eggplant into 1/2″ thick slices and season both sides with salt and pepper. put the flour, beaten eggs, and bread crumbs mixed with the grated cheese into 3 different containers. she recommends cake pans which work great if you have them.

• dip each piece of eggplant first in the flour, then in the egg and finally in the panko mixture pressing down lightly so the breading mixture sticks. place each piece on a baking sheet until you’ve coated all your eggplant.

• heat 1/2 each oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. set a wire rack over a baking sheet. when the oil is hot (you can test the oil by touch a piece of the eggplant to the oil with tongs and seeing if it sizzles) add the eggplant in a single layer. cooking until golden brown on each side, it took us about 5 minute per side but go by the color, not the time! once cooked place on the wire rack to cool. i lightly salted them while they were still warm but that’s optional, i’m just totally addicted to salt 🙂

eggplant parm | designlovefest
eggplant parm | designlovefest
eggplant parm | designlovefest
eggplant parm | designlovefest

• for the sauce, in a medium pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil, then add the onion and cook, stirring until translucent, about 6 minutes. add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute, then add the cherry tomatoes and cook until they begin to soften and pop, about 5 minutes. reduce the heat to low, add oregano and cook until the sauce thickens slightly, 5 minutes or more. season to taste with salt. Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving bowl.

eggplant parm | designlovefest
eggplant parm | designlovefest

• final step! preheat the broiler to high. transfer the eggplant slices to an oven safe platter or baking sheet. top each slice with mozzarella and broil until melted. Remove from the oven, sprinkles with flaky salt, garnish with torn basil and serve immediately with the sauce alongside or on top!

eggplant parm | designlovefest
eggplant parm | designlovefest
eggplant parm | designlovefest

if you’re curious, you can find Jessica’s cookbook here on amazon!

images by: ivan solis

04.23.19

PANZANELLA

panzanella | designlovefest

whenever we make something vegetarian i find that we end up countering the lack of meat with a lot of dairy/cheese. ivan and i had a strong urge to throw some feta or mozzarella on top of this salad but we resisted and instead focused on the vegetables and using great bread and olive oil. it ended up being really colorful, delicious and filling and is completely vegan! the bread matters, we got ours at cookbook in echo park which is our favorite market. visit your local bakery, buy some good bread, it’s always worth it! for the red onion, i did half roasted and half fresh, i liked the combo of the flavors but up to you on that part. – joanie 

panzanella | designlovefest

what you’ll need: 
serves 3

• 3 cups bread cubed
• 2 cups tomatoes
• 2 Persian cucumbers
• 1 large yellow bell pepper sliced
• quarter cup olives
•1 red onion sliced
• 1 lemon
• basil
• micro greens (arugula, frisee or any type of bitter greens)
• olive oil
• 1 avocado diced

• start by pre-heating your oven to 375 degrees. in a large bowl add the cubed bread and drizzle with olive oil. toss until lightly coated, don’t over oil! spread onto a lined baking sheet and add the yellow bell pepper, olives and half of the red onions to the same baking sheet. drizzle oil on the vegetables and olives, mix. sprinkle salt on everything and bake for 15-20 minutes or until bread is golden brown. remove from oven and set aside.

panzanella | designlovefest
panzanella | designlovefest
panzanella | designlovefest

• cube the tomatoes and dice the Persian cucumbers. assemble the salad by first plating with micro greens. add the bread, bell peppers, onions, olives and tomatoes and cucumbers. drizzle with big splash of olive oil, lots of fresh lemon, salt, pepper and garnish with basil and avocado.

we plated these individually but you could also put everything on one big salad board and serve it that way. you really can’t go wrong with this salad, it’s so colorful and fresh, it’s a crowd pleaser!

panzanella | designlovefest
panzanella | designlovefest
panzanella | designlovefest
panzanella | designlovefest

images by: ivan solis
styling by: Joan Cusack

04.09.19

FAVE SPAGHETTI SQUASH RECIPE

spaghetti squash recipe | designlovefest

bri’s really been shaping up her diet lately, eating lighter meals that are more balanced, lots of vegetables, less sugar, complex carbs instead of bread and rice, etc. and it’s positively impacting all of us around here. i find myself reaching for slightly healthier options now that i have her voice in my ear. funny how that works, someone close to you starts getting healthy and it inspires you to get going too. all it takes is one person to start a positive shift! she has been making lots of healthy meals at home that she’ll tell me about and one such meal was this spaghetti squash dish. i’m not really sure why i don’t think to make spaghetti squash more often, it’s so easy and delicious and it does (kinda) feel like you’re eating pasta. we paired ours with meatballs which is a go-to dish of ours, they’re such a flexible thing to make. you can add many different herbs, any type of ground meat, breadcrumbs or skip ’em and they always turn out moist and flavorful (these are still my favorite meatballs ever). when you’re baking your squash make sure to roast it cut side facing down (so it steams)! that’s a tip i didn’t know and it makes it much more tender. – joanie

spaghetti squash recipe | designlovefest

what you’ll need: 
serves 3-5

• 2 spaghetti squash
• 4 cloves of garlic
• 1 cup Italian parsley
• 1 cup parm
• 2 cup cherry tomatoes
• 1 egg
• 1/2 a white or yellow onion finely chopped
• 1 pound  ground turkey
• olive oil
• salt + peper
• red pepper flakes

• start by heating your oven to 400 degrees. i like to poke holes down the center line with a knife and pop the squash in the microwave for 5 minutes (those things can be HARD to cut open!) this makes it easier and softens it a bit.

• cut the squash in half lengthwise, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and using the side of your knife crush two cloves of garlic into 4 pieces. rub the garlic inside the squash and then place inside each half. flip the squash over on the sheet pan and place in the oven to roast for 40 minutes. check to make it’s fully done by using a fork and seeing if you can easily spread the squash. if you feel any resistance put back in the oven. i like to wait till there is some browning happening on the sides. once cooked, turn oven down to 375 for the meatballs and tomatoes.

spaghetti squash recipe | designlovefest
spaghetti squash recipe | designlovefest
spaghetti squash recipe | designlovefest
spaghetti squash recipe | designlovefest

• while the squash cooks make the meatballs by combining the ground turkey, egg, 1/2 cup parsley, 1/2 cup parmesan, salt and pepper, chopped onion, 2 cloves of garlic grated into a bowl and mix by hand and then form 1″-2″ meatballs. heat a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat, once hot, add just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, add the meatballs (make sure you hear a sizzle sound), browning on all sides. once browned put them in the oven for 5-7ish minutes to make sure they are cooked through.

spaghetti squash recipe | designlovefest
spaghetti squash recipe | designlovefest

• for the tomatoes: wash and slice in half. place on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and a gentle sprinkle of red pepper flakes. place in the oven (still at 375) for about 5-7 minutes until they are blistered.

spaghetti squash recipe | designlovefest
spaghetti squash recipe | designlovefest
spaghetti squash recipe | designlovefest

• flake your squash with two forks and put into bowls, top with meatballs, blistered tomatoes, a big drizzle of olive oil, parm and parsley. serve and enjoy!

spaghetti squash recipe | designlovefest

images by: ivan solis

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