Jul 19, 2012

Napkin Folding with Denise and Cindie. New Book!

And you thought the tropics was just a destination. Watch and learn, kids.

Top 100 step-by-step Napkin Folds. Robert Rose publishing. Available for pre-order at Amazon.

Jul 14, 2012

How to Set Up a Buffet

Denise illustrates setting up your buffet ahead of time to ensure stress-free hosting.

Jul 13, 2012

Huffington Post: Frying Chicken

When my mother bought a wok in the '70s, the family learned about peanut oil. A Mexican vacation taught my mother about lard, and Florence Henderson sang to us about vegetable oil. But it was a trip to Atlanta and Savannah that taught my mother about fried chicken. She perfected it, and I've been trying to make my mother's version ever since. I've made some good chicken, but not as good as hers. This past week, however, I believe I may have stumbled upon her secret.

I had to do it. This is what summer's all about. Click here to enjoy the post in its entirety and most importantly, for the recipe. Please share and post a comment on HP if you are so moved, and have a beautiful weekend!

Jul 12, 2012

Bastille Day Parfait

Saturday is Bastille Day. This is the national French holiday which recalls the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, which has been celebrated annually ever since.  This year, Paris will enjoy a military parade and fireworks with a soundtrack called, 'Disco Years' (70s-80s). Fabulous. We will be eating parfaits.

This delicious dessert comes together in about 5 minutes. Store-bought meringues add crunch but you can use any crisp cookie you like.

Bastille Day Parfait
Serves 8

3/4 cup heavy cream chilled
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
16 vanilla meringue cookies

1.    Place whipped cream in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until slightly thickened. Sprinkle sugar over the top and beat until soft peaks form. Add Grand Marnier and beat just to combine.

2.    Place meringues in a large resealable plastic bag. Push out air and seal firmly. Using a heavy wooden spoon or your fist, hit meringues until coarsely crushed.

3.    Divide berries among 8 tall dessert glasses.

4.    Sprinkle with half of the crushed meringues.

5.    Spoon a generous dollop of whipped topping into each glass.

6.    Sprinkle with remaining crushed meringues and berries.

7.    Serve immediately.

Jul 4, 2012

California Tomato Farmers Couscous salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

This is heaven on a plate for summer. It's all we want to eat on these very warm days. Well, maybe a little chocolate is allowed, too...

It's also awesome with quinoa for those gluten-free train riders. Thank you, California Tomato Farmers. Don't mind if we do!

California Tomato Farmers Couscous salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

3 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
6 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons shallots, chopped
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

1 1/2 cups Israeli Couscous
1 1/2 cups water
1 Tablespoon butter
2 large red tomatoes, diced
1 bunch watercress, stems removed
1 cup red onion, diced
1 cup cucumber, diced
6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Place lemon juice, oil, mustard and honey in the work bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Add shallots, salt and pepper, pulsing just to combine. Set aside.

Place water and butter in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stir in couscous, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 13 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Transfer couscous to a large bowl. Add tomatoes, watercress, red onion, cucumber, pine nuts and feta, tossing to combine. Drizzle vinaigrette over top and toss gently to coat. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Recipe courtesy of California Tomato Farmers

Photo courtesy of Jon Edwards