A passion for food + fashion

Archive for December, 2011|Monthly archive page

Perfect Prime Rib & Yorkies

In Food, Recipes on December 31, 2011 at 5:48 pm

We’ve just returned from a Wifi-free week in the mountains, but I wanted to get in a quick post about Christmas dinner under the wire before the New Year. Although I’ve happily eaten pretty much the same Christmas dinner every year of my life, this year the venue (but not the menu) changed! It was our first time hosting. My husband picked up a nine-pound, four-rib roast of prime dry-aged beef from Harvey Gussman at Harvey’s Guss Meats. Ladies and gentlemen, Harvey Gussman is a man who knows his way around a rib roast.

L.A.'s king of prime rib, Harvey Gussman (photo via harveygussmeat.com)

Harvey sells restaurant quality roasts, and his method for cooking is second to none. Per Harvey, take roast out of the fridge two hours before you plan to put it in the oven. Wet down two cups of kosher salt, drain the salt and then pack it on the fat side of the roast.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Put the roast in at 475 for 15 minutes, and drop heat down to 350 degrees and continue roasting for about two hours, or until meat thermometer registers 125 for medium rare. Allow to sit for 30 minutes, during which time internal temperature will rise 10 degrees.

While the roast was resting, I used the drippings to make these perfect little Yorkshire Puddings from an old favorite Gourmet recipe.

The trick is to make the batter earlier in the day to ensure that it has plenty of time to chill in the fridge before meeting its fate with the hot drippings.

These we served along with Brussels Sprouts with Fennel, Shallots and Walnuts, my grandmother’s horseradish cream and my dad’s perfect mashed potatoes. And I’m ready to do it all over again. Happy New Year’s!

And the Stockings Were Hung…

In Baby Love on December 18, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Notice anything different between this year’s stockings and last year’s?

I’ll give you a hint…

That’s right! Tiny G is expecting a baby brother in March so we hung a stocking for the little guy in anticipation of his arrival in the new year… (and ps, those lemon cucumber pickles from the Brentwood farmers market are the BOMB)

Happy holidays!

White Christmas Dream Drops

In Food on December 18, 2011 at 9:20 am

Imagine coming home from a day of holiday shopping and parties to find an artfully decorated plate of cookies on your doorstep. Everything about this picture is RIGHT. It shouldn’t surprise you to know that the creator of this gift also makes spectacular Halloween costumes for her kids—her son was a blueberry pancake this year and her daughter a gorgeous bouquet of flowers—and is a former Vogue editor. The most delicious cookie on the plate (and the competition was fierce) was this White Christmas Dream Drop, currently gracing the cover of Sunset magazine. (One of the best kept secrets of the West Coast isn’t the weather, but the cookie recipes from Sunset magazine.)

Honestly, I can’t stress just how delicious these peppermint white chocolate meringue puffs of goodness are. And, they’re super easy to make. First you start with a whipped bowl of frothy egg whites.

Per Christine’s advice, we scaled back on crushed peppermint candy canes by about half.

After folding in the crushed candy canes and white chocolate chips, drop meringue onto parchment lined cookie sheets and bake for about half an hour.

Spread the love and deliver a plate of these to your neighbor’s doorstep, though you will definitely want to hide a few for the elf that made them.

When Life Hands You Persimmons…

In Food on December 7, 2011 at 10:22 am

Our friends Hugh and Aimee brought over a bag generously overflowing with fuyu persimmons from their tree. Besides being gorgeous to look at, persimmons are fantastic in cakes and sticky puddings. Of course, the catch is that I don’t bake. So yesterday I begged Tiny G’s nanny to embark on a project with the little guy to bake a Persimmon Cake with Cream Cheese frosting (omitting the currants because personally I find them to be an epic bummer in cakes). In addition to being drop-dead gorgeous with a masters in Egyptology from Cambridge University under her belt, Tiny G’s nanny is also infuriatingly good in the kitchen. She whipped this up like it was as easy as Middle Egyptian hieroglyphics (because, as it happens, Middle Egyptian hieroglyphics are easy for her)…

It turns out we have enough persimmons for about 10 of these cakes, and we just might make that many because they are THAT GOOD.

Hostess Gifts: Made in L.A.

In Food on December 6, 2011 at 1:48 pm

My friend Zinzi, who is literally a rock star, brought me two precious jars from Squirl—Gravenstein Apple Butter and Elberta Peach with Lemon Verbena jam. Squirl is Jessica Koslow, an LA-based jam maker who uses locally sourced ingredients, many of them heirloom varieties. Her products are all hand-crafted and they are just beyond belief. You can find them in L.A. at Broome Street General Store and Proof Bakery. Her apple butter kind of blew my mind. Take a taste:

It’s not too sweet with just a minimal amount of fair trade organic cane sugar, and is made with Gravenstein apples that are slowly cooked for six hours until rich and concentrated. It’s going to be my new go-to hostess gift—and will also be heading back east on my next visit to see family as I have such a hard time finding great locally produced products that will travel. In the meantime, it is the only sanctioned jam I’ll use in my toddler’s peanut butter and “jelly” sandwiches, made with love…


Hostess Gifts: Caviar Powder

In Food on December 5, 2011 at 9:27 am

File this under “Top Gift I’d Like to Receive.” I’ve always said that the best hostess gifts are those you can eat for breakfast the next morning, but this Petrossian Caviar Powder takes the concept to a whole new level. My friend Trisha brought me a mill of this precious stuff as a hostess gift this weekend—”for your eggs tomorrow morning,” she said. The next morning my husband scrambled some eggs and we liberally ground the powder over them (it works like a pepper mill).

Needless to say, there weren’t many words exchanged over breakfast that morning. Just savoring the pure decadence and generosity of the ultimate hostess gift.

Ice, Ice Baby

In Drink, Recipes on December 5, 2011 at 9:10 am

We are officially in the holiday season having logged two parties this past weekend with four on the docket this week. The highlight of my own holiday party is a Champagne Pomegranate Punch (the most requested recipe in my arsenal). We serve it in a big punch bowl with a sliver punch ladle from my mother, and the night before I make an ice mold. What goes into the ice changes based on mood, so get creative! First you’ll need a bundt pan. Place lemon slices, pomegranate seeds and fresh mint leaves—or really, whatever fruit and herbs suit your fancy—in bottom of pan.

Fill with water about 2/3 full as the water will expand when it freezes. Freeze overnight, and remove about 1/2 hour before serving so that it slightly melts to loosen sides.

Turn into punch bowl. The ice will slowly melt, which is a good thing considering how much white rum I sneak into that punch. Happy holidays!