Meadowood Garden Beet Salad

Meadowood Garden Beet Salad

As you know,  I love food and travel, so I am really excited about this new book! Admired for its long tradition of gracious hospitality inspired by local cuisine and culture, Relais & Châteaux presents “The Art of Entertaining,” its first book dedicated to sharing the secrets to crafting outstanding parties and events nuanced to replicate unforgettable experiences at home.  Set for an October 2016 release from Rizzoli New York, the compilation brings to life 17 seasonal parties from Relais & Châteaux members across North America. Each chapter is designed to celebrate the senses in a unique environment with exquisite food and cocktail recipes, creative décor and the thoughtful, creative touches for which Relais & Châteaux is renowned.

Cover_Art of Entertaining

In this gorgeous new book, some of North America’s most renowned chefs and innkeepers share their thoughts, recipes and secrets for successful entertaining at home to inspire readers.

With 85 Relais & Châteaux properties located throughout the U.S., Mexico, Caribbean and Canada, the opportunities to share entertaining tips, tricks and expertise are endless. The themes featured within this first book are hinged on delicious gourmet recipes that can be easily executed. You’ll also new ideas for tablescapes and décor from the beautiful backdrop of the legendary Relais & Châteaux venues.

This Meadowood Garden Beet Salad is one of Meadowood’s favorite dishes during the summer harvest season. The beets can be small heirloom varietals of all colors and stripes (literally). Chef Alejandro Ayala recommends taking some artistic license with the presentation; he cuts the beets into various shapes as well as paper-thin cross sections. The salad is at once both bright and earthy, and the pistachio “soil” is an unexpected, at-home, twist.

Passover Avocado Toast

Passover Avocado Toast

Recipes for avocado toast are everywhere, a super popular healthy breakfast or lunch option. Avocado toast was actually the TOP food trend of 2015, so if you haven’t tried it or made it, where have you been? Since it’s Passover week, I made this Passover Avocado Toast since my kids were wondering what they were going to eat for breakfast that is Passover worthy (besides eggs, smoothies and smoothie bowls). This recipe takes literally 5 minutes to prepare and is probably one of the easiest recipes you’ll ever see on my website. Eat on its own or top with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. It’s also fabulous with red pepper or chili flakes. Not only are people making avocado toast at home, but you’ll find it incredibly popular on menus, especially in California and New York! Try it, you’ll be hooked. It’s so good on matzah!

Paleo Ratatouille

Paleo Ratatouille

I found a new cookbook, Sheet Pan Paleo, which is packed with 200 recipes and super easy steps. I love the idea of using a sheet pan for the majority of  your cooking. Since my family loves eggplant, I made the Paleo Ratatouille, which was a huge hit! The flavors are wonderful, and it’s great served as a side or main dish. With all of these recipes, just toss ingredients onto a pan; then roast, bake or broil! And clean-up? It’s a breeze! I don’t personally follow the Paleo diet, but many people seem to have a lot of luck with the diet, but all of these recipes for any healthy eating! This recipe turned out great!

Peach Tea Fizz Cocktail

Peach Tea Fizz Cocktail

Looking for the easiest three ingredient cocktail ever? Try this Peach Tea Fizz Cocktail this weekend while the weather is hot and peaches are in season. This makes a great after-work drink, lake or beach cocktail. I used Sparkling Ice as my peach tea starter. It works great in this recipe and is so refreshing. Happy weekend!

Sparkling Ice Teas launched nationally in 2015 and include Raspberry Tea, Lemon Tea, and Peach Tea flavors. SPARKLING ICE combines sparkling water, natural flavors, fruit juice, vitamins and antioxidants to offer a great tasting lightly carbonated beverage all without the calories. To locate SPARKLING ICE visit www.sparklingice.com.

Fast and Easy Chicken and Dumplings

Fast and Easy Chicken and Dumplings? Is that really possible? It is with this recipe. My friend Rick made this for my dad recently, and he and my 3 kids loved it! This is comfort food at its best. I love that this recipe uses rotisserie chicken, Bisquick Heart Smart and frozen vegetables. This speeds up the prep and cooking process but doesn’t sacrifice taste or quality. This makes a great weeknight or Sunday night main dish. You’ll keep this recipe on hand for years to come! See more recipes using frozen foods at Easy Home Meals.

 

Stuffed Shells with Kale: Kid Friendly

Who else is really into kale? I am, and it’s awesome that my 3 kids love it too. Not only is it so healthy, but it is very inexpensive and a lot goes such a long way. This recipe for Stuffed Shells with Kale is one of my newest favorites and was inspired by my friend, Kelley of Mountain Mama Cooks. I saw it on her blog, and I made it right away. My kids loved the recipe too so it goes on our family favorites list. Feel free to add other vegetables, beef or sausage, to change it up a bit. It’s perfect for weeknight dinners or even Valentines Day!

Tortilla Soup with Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey

If you have any leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, I have a great recipe idea. This Tortilla Soup recipe is my newest favorite, and it’s a perfect way to use up your turkey leftovers. I served it tonight, and I couldn’t stop eating it. If you don’t have any turkey leftovers, feel free to use cooked chicken (or a rotisserie chicken is perfect if you’re in a hurry). You can also make this a vegetarian recipe by substituting vegetable broth for chicken broth, omitting the turkey and using an entire can of black beans. My 3 kids loved this soup, and they told me it is the best tortilla soup they have ever tried. I took this as a sincere compliment and good endorsement! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday! It was so nice to be with my family and catch up on some rest. I ran a 10K “Turkey Run” on Thursday, and I placed 5th in my age division. I’ll take it! Here is to a great week ahead!

High Antioxidant Superfoods Salad

Since I have been doing a lot of nutrition seminars and speaking engagements lately on superfoods and healthy eating habits, it has been so fun to experiment with various combinations of super healthy ingredients. Last week, I thew together this with this High Antioxidant Superfoods Salad. My newest favorite ingredient is broccoli sprouts, and my kids and I are infatuated with them. They are so healthy and are said to help prevent cancer, reduce inflammation and even help protect against ulcers. This salad is also filled with some of my other super food favorites including berries, pumpkin seeds and colorful greens. If you want a refresher on the health benefits of blackberries, read my post on “Top 10 Health Benefits of Blackberries.”  Feel free to add grilled chicken or shrimp along with your favorite salad dressing, or just simply use balsamic vinegar and oil.

Blueberry Muffins with Greek Yogurt

When my daughter, Leigh, was bored the other day, I said, “Let’s make some muffins”. We had an abundance of blueberries on hand and came up with this healthier version of Blueberry Muffins with Greek Yogurt. Leigh is 13 years old, and she made this entire recipe on her own. I photographed this picture, but I told her that she just may have a summer internship. Anyway, this is the first of several of her creations coming soon that she made under my (very little) direction. They do taste as good as they look. We started with a dozen, and the next morning there were only 3 left 🙂