January 30, 2013


While in college, my friend Tara Gordon and I were the chattiest of the chatty and spent hours sitting around speculating about our futures, as girls do.  I vividly recall Tara asking me, “What would your go-to entertaining meal be when you’re married?”  I wasn’t sure what she meant.  She clarified: “Well, mine would be steak, a baked potato and sautéed spinach.” “Even though you don’t eat meat?” I asked the vegetarian.  “That wouldn’t bother me.  Everyone likes steak.”  And while I do know a few non-meat eaters, Tara was on to something.  People love the classics.  In a world filled with mason jars and artisanal, it’s easy to dismiss silver trays and steak house favorites as old-fashioned.  But I like to think that they are timeless.  Case in point, this throw back dinner party menu received rave reviews.  Similarly, as much as I love bitters, I really relinquished the cool factor and served lemon drops, a classic ‘mom drink’.  But guess what?  A lemon drop is delicious.  And there’s nothing uncool about an ice cream sundae bar (scooping ice cream into glass bowls makes for a pretty presentation).  The only thing that could have made this a better party would’ve been having Tara on the guest list.

 The Menu


lemon drops


crab cakes with tarragon sauce

truffle cheee & fig jam on rosemary flatbread

smoked salmon, creme fraiche & dill on pumpernickel 

prosciutto wrapped asparagus

to start

iceberg wedge with buttermilk blue cheese dressing & oven roasted cherry tomatoes


filet mignon with cognac peppercorn sauce

twice baked potato with sour cream, cheddar & chives

sauteed spinach & mushrooms



ice cream sundae bar
strawberry, chocolate, vanilla & mint chip
hot fudge, salted caramel & mixed berries
milk duds, m&m's, peanut butter cups, gummy bears, peanuts
sprinkles & jimmies
whipped cream
cherries for on top

January 4, 2013

Happy New Year: Brunch

This brunch was all about the bloody mary and the egg sandwich.  I can't decide which was my favorite: pork belly and fried egg on a maple syrup drenched waffle or honey baked ham, blackberry jam & scrambled egg on a buttermilk biscuit.  Both winners.  And Greg's bloody marys, with touches of fennel and lemongrass, made for a delicious toast to the end of the holiday season, and the start of the new year.  All of the citrus at the farmer's market has been beautifully piled which inspired the simple centerpiece of sprawling tangerines.  2012 was pretty amazing with more cooking than I ever imagined and incredible theme parties that were as much fun to create as to attend (Out of Africa was a clear highlight).  In 2013, I look forward to more celebrations, big and small.  I want to challenge myself to explore new cooking techniques, stay organized in the kitchen (clean as I go!!!), and cook for pleasure as much as for work.  I want to have more small gatherings, do spontaneous get togethers, and continue to celebrate the "off" holidays: Chinese New Year, St. Patrick's Day, May Day and more.  And hopefully travel will inspire new traditions, ingredients and recipes.  Looking back on last year, I feel overwhelmingly grateful to Greg, my partner in crime, without whom, the success of 2012 wouldn't have been possible.  I had so much fun cooking with, drinking with, eating out with, cooking for and throwing parties with him.  It wasn't always pretty (it was usually a mess) but I wouldn't have wanted to do it with anyone else.  So, thank you Greg for doing so many dishes and for helping me stay calm.  Cheers to more good in 2013!

 The Menu


spicy bloody mary's

blood orange mimosas


quail eggs, cucumber and chives on toast

avocado toast with red pepper flakes

gravlax, cream cheese & dill on everything bagel 

to share, brunch buffet

sunny-side up eggs on waffles with pork belly & maple syrup

egg on olive bread with prosciutto & arugula

scrambled eggs, ham & blackberry jam on buttermilk biscuits

kale with mixed winter citrus

asparagus, wild mushrooms & leeks

brioche french toast with mixed berries

homemade raspberry pop tarts

sticky buns

carrot cake muffins with lemon cream cheese icing


banana pudding cups

old fashioned chocolate cake

Ramen Party for New Year's Eve

Throughout 2012 I did many menu proposals for various parties.  No matter the occasion, I almost always suggested a 'build your own ramen bowl' party (even for baby showers--I was getting desperate!).  Because I've been obsessed with eating ramen all year, it's my perfect idea of a 'taco party' equivalent.  However, despite all of my attempts, I had no takers.  Finally, my friend Leanne let me do ramen for her New Year's Eve party!!  We agreed that after all of the ham & turkey throughout December, people were ready for something different.  Greg and I filled each bowl with freshly boiled noodles and then guests went through an assembly line of toppings--e.g. pork shoulder, poached egg, frozen corn, kale & nori--selecting their favorites.  Then we topped the bowls off with either the pork broth from  David Chang's Momofuko Cookbook (a really amazing read) or a spicy miso broth.  If you're in LA, a trip to Mitsuwa Marketplace is a great source for fresh ramen, Japanese snacks and candies (when there have a bowl of ramen from Santouka for inspiration.  If you're a real enthusiast, make it a crawl and also go to Tsujita on Sawtelle, my current favorite).  The ramen was a huge hit.  This is a fun meal for a casual get together or game night because everything can be made in advance and people can assemble their bowls as they please--just leave the broth simmering on the stove.  And any dessert from Christina Tosi's Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook is a perfect & fun sweet finale.  Thanks Leanne for letting me end 2012 on a high!!
The Menu


ginger margaritas


lotus root, spicy daikon & ginger skewers

kimchee & brussel sprout skewers

salmon tartare & seaweed on rice cracker

teriyaki chicken skewers with chili sauce

savory, build your own ramen bar

fresh ramen noodles
pork broth & miso broth
pork shoulder
pork belly
poached eggs
fish cakes
nori seaweed
thai basil


cornflake crunch cookies, double chocolate cookies, 
fruity pebble marshmallow cookies & confetti cookies

all cookie recipes from Momofuko's Milk Bar Cookbook (a must have!!)