COOL WEATHER + COMFORTING DISHES = HEAVEN
My friend Ragan and I have known each other almost ten years, but it’s only been in the last few months that we have really bonded over the things we have in common — a love of great food, blogging and entertaining. We decided to throw a series of dinner parties and invite ladies who share our common interests. Welcome to our #LovelyDinners numero dos. We highly encourage you try this at home!
Bored of the usual fall tablescapes, I picked a bright palette of plum and cerulean blue, and Ragan and I got to work bringing our vision to life—no easy feat when you are on a budget. I was astounded how much some rental places charge ($1000 minimum, say what?? I’m looking at you Casa de Perrin), so we had to get a little creative mixing and matching what we had with rented chairs, a few investment pieces and some inexpensive treasures.
Ragan’s seasonal menu was perfection starting with a Pomegranate Salad. See the bottom of this post for the yummy recipe!
Stuffed Delicata Squash. Recipe at bottom of the post.
Roasted Muscato Grape Chicken with Fresh Tarragon. Recipe at bottom of the post.
It was a great evening filled with new friends and inspiring conversation. Get to know our guests over at their own fab blogs: The Look by V, Mother Naked, Pamela Salzman, This Girl Walks into a Bar, Christine Chang Photo
Pamela Salzman, known for her amazing cooking classes in LA & food blog, brought everyone her scrumptious homemade granola as a little take home. Get the receipe for that and many other healthy, delicious dishes here >
For dessert, Beth made us a homemade strawberry shortcake. Get the receipe here>
Napkins (Anthropologie in store only, but many great options online $12) // Cobalt Blue Glasses (my own vintage, similar ones here) // Balloon Wine Glasses (Waterford Lismore Collection) Dinner Plates (Heath Ceramics, the store sells their second quality plates for a discount and you can hardly tell the difference // Dessert Plate (Ikea $3.99) // Silverware (my own) // Table Runner (World Market $29.99) // Chairs (Rented from LA Party Rents $8.95) // Flowers & Blue Agate Crystals ( LA Flower Market , Arranging by Ragan)
Photos by the incredible Christine Chang
Fall Greens with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
2 packages raw Brussels sprouts
2 packages of kale sprouts
2 fennel bulbs
2 packages pomegranate seeds
grape seed oil
Micro greens for topping
Salt & pepper
Blanch kale sprouts and soak in ice bath to stop the cooking process and maintain the green color. Shave the brussel sprouts through a mandolin or food processor. Finely slice the fennel. Add all the greens to a large bowl.
For vinaigrette, add one package pomegranate seeds to the bowl of a food processor, about 1/4 cup grape seed oil, 4-5 tablespoons rose vinegar, 2 tablespoons agave nectar, pinch of salt and ground black pepper. Whizz until smooth and very liquid. Taste test and add more oil, agave, salt or vinegar to your liking. Mix again and then pour through a sieve into a bowl, removing all the seed remnants and creating a velvety, softly sweet salad dressing. Pour over greens and let sit for 30 minutes or so to soak up the flavors. Top salad with more pomegranate seeds and a handful of micro greens.
Stuffed Delicata Squash
5 Delicata Squash
1 red onion
1 package crimini mushrooms
1 bunch baby kale
1/2 Kombucha squash
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup chopped raw, unsalted almonds
3 tablespoons Ghee
Wash the delicata squash and it halve lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and discard. Place the halved delicata on a parchment lined cookie sheet and brush with olive oil. Roast at 350 for about 30 minutes, until soft and a fork goes in easily.
Meanwhile, slice the red onion and caramelize it by warming a tablespoon of ghee and adding a dash of olive oil to a pan. The trick here is to cook it low and slow until the caramelizing takes place. Make sure it’s well moistened by adding more ghee if necessary. Meanwhile, peel and chop the Kombucha into tiny 1/4″ squares. Once onions are nicely caramelized, remove to a mixing bowl. Now, adding a glug of olive oil to the pan, sauté the kombusha until soft and lightly browned. Remove to the mixing bowl with the onions. Next, sauté the cleaned crimini mushrooms and add them to the bowl as well. Lastly, finely chop the baby kale leaves and sauté with a lit more ghee or olive oil, as you choose. Add kale the bowl and mix everything well.
Place spoonfuls of the vegetable mixture inside the cavity of each delicata squash. Top with shredded Parmesan and chopped almonds. Cover and bake to warm (about 15 minutes) before serving. Serves 10.
Roasted Muscato Grape Chicken with Fresh Tarragon
By: Beauty in the Bite
5 skin-on, boneless organic chicken breasts
2 tablespoons organic butter
1 package Muscato Grapes (any color)
1 bunch fresh tarragon
4 cloves garlic
1 cup white wine
1 white onion
1-2 cups low sodium organic chicken broth
Wash and dry the grapes. Place on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Roast at 350 for about 45 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Brown chicken breasts in butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place in a baking dish. Reserve butter and oil from chicken and toss in chopped garlic, sliced white onion and about 2 tablespoons finely chopped tarragon. Cook slowly until fragrant and translucent, adding more olive oil if it gets too dry. Add the wine and cook off the alcohol a bit. Add the chicken stock. Once this cooks down a bit, adjust the liquid levels by adding more stock if you need more sauce. Now, you can add your roasted grapes to the mix. Cook another minute or two then pour mixture over browned chicken breasts. Cover and set-aside until 30 minutes prior to mealtime. When your guest arrive and are having their first course, you can pop the chicken in the oven at 350 for 25-30 minutes to finish cooking the chicken through. Remove from oven and slice each breast in half to create portion sizes. Plate on a large platter & top with fresh tarragon for family style serving and an impressive presentation! Serves 10.