Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"ENTERTAINS' goes to Atlanta

Last week, we held a preview party for our new book, "Romancing the Home ENTERTAINS", at my friend Lynda's home in Atlanta. We prepared recipes from the book and set inspirational tables in true RTH style, complete with animal prints and rhinestones. This book is all about over the top entertaining in your home, using simple elements that are readily available. Before the party, Lynda and I made a trip to H Market, a chain of asian food stores. We found baby bok choy, small red and green peppers, and exotic mushrooms that we used in our floral displays for extremely low cost. Beautiful baby artichokes and sun dried tomatoes were purchased for the antipasto tray for half the cost of traditional stores. We set a formal table in the dining room, using a cow rug as the tablecloth. Lynda's antique monogrammed crystal was filled with velvet pumpkins with real stems, making everyone ooh and awe over them. On the conservatory table, we used ironstone and zebra print dinnerware with a painter's tarp as the tablecloth. On this floral arrangement, the produce from the asian market was incorporated. But the crowning jewel of this table was the antipasto tray, vibrant with the colors of the cheeses and vegetables. Champagne grapes, fresh figs, pomegranates, and sun dried tomatoes were devoured with cheeses from the local supermarket. But the favorite thing served during the evening was a killer chocolate martini with a chocolate orange stirrer, a clear concoction that tastes like pure liquid chocolate. Guests were delighted by the chocolate taste as the drink is as clear as spring water. But you'll have to get the book to get the recipe!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Food from the French Countryside

You can feel the change - acorns are falling, leaves are on the ground and the nights are getting nippier- fall is around the corner. As the grilling season slows down, people begin to think of stews, pastas and baking. We just recieved new merchandise from France and Italy - wonderful food products. Butcher salt for meats, fig, wild blueberry and peach vanilla jams from the french countryside, lemon infused olive oil that's awesome on pasta, and some of the best mustard I have ever tasted. the mustard is a tarragon and basil dijon mustard that makes an ordinary sandwich into a gourmet delight. I used the tarragon mustard as a dipping sauce for a tuna steak and it was unbelievably good! Herbes de Provence, rose buds for freezing in ice cubes, and flowers to sprinkle on your salad.
Don't forget to order our cookbook - Romancing the Home ENTERTAINS by Sept . 25th. It's 372 pages of gorgeous photos and over 200 tried and true recipes gathered from family and friends.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My son "the dessert guy"

My son and his family were just out for a visit from the San Francisco area. As I was finishing final touches on our new cookbook, I asked him for any new recipes that he had been cooking. He's quite the dessert guy, while my other sons are "more about the meat and barbecue" guys. So while I was at the store, Wes made me this gorgeous, tangy, succulent orange cheesecake that was photo perfect. So I had to add it to our book! It's texture is lighter than a normal cheesecake, so it's perfect for the ending of a summer meal. I love the way he garnished the top with the mandarin oranges and subtle orange glaze. A fresh, edible nasturtiam from the herb garden was the perfect choice for the center of the cake.

This recipe and over 200 others are in our new book "Romancing the Home ENTERTAINS". Make sure you pre-order your copies by September 25th as the first printing is limited. Call the store at 847-615-1900.