Because the holidays begin earlier and earlier every year, here’s a load of simple, quick small bite ideas so you’re ready no matter when company calls.
Continue Reading: Twelve Easy Holiday Hors D’Oeuvres →
Remember when I was gifted that slew of citrus a few weeks ago? Well, I never got around to sharing one of my most favorite recipes from all the experimenting, so here they are, Meyer Lemon Icebox Bites.
I originally made this recipe as part of my Oscars Viewing Party for “The Help” as a nod to the traditional Icebox cakes of the South (I couldn’t bring myself to whip up a version of Minnie’s “famous” chocolate pie). Well, last week came and went but I didn’t want this recipe to go unnoticed. These sweet, tart, floral mini pies are perfect finger food for a cocktail party or anytime you just want a bite-sized dessert.
Continue Reading: Meyer Lemon Icebox Bites →
Today was très amusant! I woke up to throw together a 1920s French-themed party and share it with my friends on Access Hollywood Live. Seeing as I’ve been working with Moet & Chandon a French-ified party seemed parfait. So, I donned my best 1920s makeup, decorated with a mix of modern metallics and vintage glasses, and assembled an assortment of finger foods with classic French flavors.
Here’s a few tips I passed on, a menu inspired by classic French foods, and a few behind-the-scenes snapshots of the food I prepared.
Continue Reading: 1920s French-Style Oscars Party →
Midnight in Paris is the next movie that I’m paying homage to as part of my week of Oscars-themed recipes. Since the film flips and flops between modern-day and 1920s Paris, I decided to make a contemporary twist on a classic French recipe.
All you have to do is read two lines of any Lost Generation novel and the romanticism surrounding that era is infectious. It’s hard to deny the quiet elegance of that era — as France recovered from World War 1 and American writers walked the streets looking to escape and find inspiration. That is a lot to translate into finger food, but I immediately thought of the classic French appetizer, rillettes. Similar to a pâté, rillettes are traditionally made by slow cooking pork in its own fat and then mixing it for a seriously decadent spread.
I wanted to give it a more modern, quicker, and slightly healthier twist so I came up with these Smoked Salmon, Crème Fraîche, and Fennel Rillettes. They’re made by breaking up smoked salmon and folding it together with a double dose of anise flavor from the fennel and the herbs and a dollop of creme fraiche for a touch of decadence. This spread has a smoky, sweet, anise flavor and is as delicious on a cracker as it is between bread for a quick sandwich. And, of course, since this is another recipe I developed for Moët & Chandon, it tastes even better when paired with some chilled champagne.
Continue Reading: Salmon, Crème Fraîche, and Fennel Rillettes →
It’s Academy Awards week here and I’m sharing ideas and recipes for throwing your own Oscars Viewing Party. Today’s recipe is for shatteringly crisp tempura-fried vegetables served with a sweet-salty miso-mustard sauce.
Continue Reading: Crisp Tempura Vegetables with Miso-Mustard →
If ever there was a time to celebrate the bright lights of fame and Hollywood, it would be now, during the awards season that kicks off each January and culminates with the Oscars. This year I’ve been working with Moët & Chandon to help Hollywood celebrate the awards season with some entertaining recipes and ideas. In that spirit, I’ve developed some finger foods and cocktails to help celebrate the 2012 Academy Awards home so you can host your own Oscars Viewing Party.
Continue Reading: Pancetta, Thyme, and Fontina Gougères →
Super Bowl is but a few days away and there are recipes galore out there for everything from overloaded nachos to kajillion-layer dips. But around these parts we’re sticking to the healthier eating habits of last month and are lightening things up for game day too.
My latest finger food obsession hails from the South but dispels all the Southern food stereotypes because it’s really light and quite healthy. Pickled shrimp are a classic in the Carolinas but, seeing as I’ve never been around those parts, I hadn’t heard of them until recently. Seeing as I have more than a mild obsessions for all things pickled and fermented, I had to try this the minute I came across it. After a few rounds of pickling and some tweaks (inspired largely by an overzealous citrus tree), I came up with this really easy but ridiculously flavorful recipe.
Continue Reading: Spiced Citrus Pickled Shrimp →
I need a “pause” button for life. Last week, in 48 hours time, I flew from Los Angeles to New York to Los Angeles and finally to Hawaii, where I arrived beyond jet lagged. You’re probably thinking, “Hawaii, huh? Quit your complaining!” But, the reality is that I have a few more weeks of work ahead of me before I can really take a break. In the five days since I arrived on island, I’ve spent every waking moment indoors going line-by-line through the galley version of my cookbook. It’s an exhausting but necessary process that will bring the book one step closer to completion.
Needless to say, I’ve been in need of brain-food to keep me uber-focused and that where this recipe fits in. I wanted a roasted almond snack that’s a bit more exciting than almonds straight from the bag but quick enough to fit in my schedule. The result are these super low-fuss, but flavor-packed roasted nuts. They’d probably work fabulously as part of cocktail party or as a holiday gift, but, I won’t be thinking about those things for at least another 5 days. And, at the pace I’m going, that might as well be light-years away.
Continue Reading: Sweet-Spicy Harissa Roasted Almonds →
If you’re like me, you’ll take all the help you can get during the holidays. In the spirit of entertaining, here’s an hors d’oeuvres that’s so simple to put together, it doesn’t really need a recipe. It’s a Mediterranean take on a sushi hand roll where the seaweed is replaced by Bresaola (an air-dried beef) that’s filled with an assortment of flavors. These are gorgeous little bundles that are a sure thing at a cocktail party though I’ve been making them as a little snack break between all the party prep that I’ve been up to.
Continue Reading: Pretty. Easy. Bresaola Hand Rolls →
My healthy-eating mantra is if you begin your meal off with a fiber-rich appetizer, you’ll fill up on healthy calories and eat better over the course of the night. So, I put that rule into effect when developing The Biggest Loser Thanksgiving menu and started things off with this Roasted Sweet Potato Dip and Toasted Sage Dip. It’s just a few ingredients yet packs tons of flavor and can accommodate almost any diet as it’s vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, lowfat, and low calorie.