Summer-like Grillin’

Grilling has been a consistency ever since we got our grill about two months ago, but something about last night’s BBQ with friends really felt like summer. Maybe it was the glass(es) of cold white wine I drank (I only ever crave whites during warm months), or the fact that the entire meal was eaten with our hands – no utensils required. Whatever the reason, the menu was a winner. Here’s how it all came together!

11:00 – Wandered through the farmers’ market on my way home from the gym (kettlebells for the win!) and picked up some perfectly ripe avocados and deliciously in-season fresh figs. I looked for corn, but no luck today.

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Prepping For Your Party

I am hosting a brunch for my lady friends this afternoon. I am so looking forward to entertaining again, that the hardest part was waiting for the day to get here. Seriously, it was like waking up on Christmas morning. My eyes were open at 5:30 and I forced myself to stay for another two hours! But the benefit of planning ahead is, well, having time to plan ahead.

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The key to pulling off a party with panache is getting as much done ahead of time as you can. The first party we threw at our new joint was a last minute affair, so prep basically occurred within hours of kickoff time. Which was fine. A little hectic, but for such a laid back last-minute occasion it worked. This go-around I left myself plenty of time to work with and here’s how it all went down. Continue reading

Dinner Party Recipes

Raw Zucchini Hummus

         Ingredients
1 cup diced zucchini (peel if you like)
⅓ cup raw tahini
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Combine all of the ingredients into a mini food chopper, and blend until smooth and creamy. Adjust seasonings, to taste, and serve chilled with your favorite veggies. Continue reading

The Inaugural Dinner Party

For the last two and a half years, my fiancé and I have been living in a 390 square foot apartment. Now before you wonder how the heck we did it, let me explain that it was located right on the beach in Santa Monica, California. A backyard as beautiful as this can help you forget about a lack of space:

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One thing that I truly missed while living there (besides a garbage disposal and a room other than the bathroom to escape to) was the space to entertain friends and family. I grew up in a family that cooked and ate together. On weeknights it was Mom cooking us dinner and then waiting for Dad to get home before we sat down to eat. On weekends it was the two of them cooking and grilling together while listening to “steak music” (jazz that was always associated with a more elaborate, relaxed weekend meal). For me, food always brought people together and became a way to express love and gratitude. During the week, I eat a pretty clean and simple diet, but when it comes time to share the experience with others, I like to create a special ambiance with special food. Continue reading