Thursday, July 24, 2014

Guest Post - Alex Hitz's Silver Queen Corn Pudding

I'm so excited to bring you our second guest post recipe from the amazing Alex Hitz.  My friend Alex is a true Southern Gentleman living in LA.  His book, My Beverly Hills Kitchen: Classic Southern Cooking with a French Twist is a true treat full of simple recipes that Wow!  I hope you will order a copy today!

“Give people what they really want when you entertain: Comfort food—nothing trendy, pretentious, or precious. They can diet the rest of the week.”
-Alex Hitz

KSW: Where did this recipe originate/what inspired it?
AH: It’s a old-time Southern recipe for majestic Silver Queen Summer corn—inspired by a recipe from our beloved cook Dorothy. It’s been re-jiggered and tweaked, but the underlying idea is traditional and hers.

KSW: When/how/where do you serve it?
AH: I serve it as a part of my big summmer dinner in August—Pulled Pork, Fried Chicken, Ham Biscuits, Broccoli Slaw. A complete and total crowd pleaser.

KSW: What is your favorite part of summer entertaining?
AH: Being outside in California—no storms, no mosquitos, and no humidity. It’s paradise.

Silver Queen Corn Pudding
This dish goes with everything. I love it with plain grilled fish, in the height of the summer corn season, accompanied by the juiciest summer tomatoes. Silver Queen is my favorite of all corn, so that’s the one I cite, but this formula will work for any corn, even frozen, but don’t say I said it.

Yield: 1 eight-cup soufflé dish, or 2 four-cup soufflé dishes, 6-8 servings

3 cups corn (can be good-quality frozen) such as Silver Queen, or fresh yellow summer corn
1 quart water
1 tablespoon salt plus 1 ½ teaspoons salt, divided
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups milk
3 tablespoons salted butter, melted
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
3/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
5 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons minced onion squeezed dry in cheesecloth, and measured afterwards
1 ½ teaspoons flour
Additional butter for the baking dish

Pre-heat the oven to 300° F. Butter whatever size baking dish you are using.
In a medium-sized stock pot over a high heat, bring the water and the salt to a boil.
Drop in the corn and blanch it for two and a half minutes, exactly, drain it in a colander, making sure you get out all of the excess water.
In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, puree the corn until the kernels are no longer whole, but not yet smooth. Drain the puree again in a colander.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the corn, cream, milk, melted butter, sugar, salt, ground black pepper, eggs, and minced onion, and stir them together to mix them. Shake the flour over the mixture and stir it gently in to combine.
Pour the mixture into the baking dishes and bake it for approximately 45 minutes until the custard is just set. It should still tremble a small bit. Serve it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Conversation Starters

I am thrilled to be included (along with Alexa Hampton, Carla McDonald and Kathy Freston) in The Salonierre's Tipsy Tuesday article today about conversation starters.  
It was also in Town and Country - one of my very very faves!

So, read the articles and let me know what your conversation tips and tricks are!  I need more in my stash of party tricks.  Don't we all?

Photo of Danny Kaye and Grace Kelly courtesy of The Salonierre.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Guest Post - Camille Style's Bruschetta with Carrot Pesto

I am thrilled to kick off our Thursday Guest Recipe Post Series with my friend Camille Style's Recipe for Bruschetta with Carrot Pesto.  I can't wait to make it myself!  Camille has a fantastic blog with a very loyal following and has a book coming out this Fall!

From Camille:

One night a few weeks ago, when I was trying to decide what to do with the massive amount of beautiful carrots that I’d picked up at the farmers’ market, I got the idea for this carrot pesto. It couldn’t be simpler to make — really just a handful of ingredients that I always keep on hand so it can be whipped up at a moment’s notice. Something about the combination of basil, garlic and roasted carrots is so addictive, and I’ve been serving the pesto alongside grilled pork tenderloin, as a spread for the most mouthwatering picnic sandwiches, and (my personal favorite) as a surprising topping to this carrot bruschetta. It’s a double dose of delicious carrots — they’re in the pesto, as well as grilled on top — and the vibrant colors are guaranteed to “wow” guests at any summertime gathering. And the best part is: these can be completely assembled before anyone arrives, so by the time the party rolls around, you can be nibbling these with your guests with a glass of sangria in hand!
**photos by Buff Strickland for Camille Styles
Bruschetta with Carrot Pesto
for the carrot pesto:
1/2 pound carrots, sliced
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup classic basil pesto, store-bought or homemade (I like this recipe)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

for the bruschetta:
1 crusty baguette, sliced thinly on the bias
1 bunch small carrots, multicolored if you can find them
1/2 cup feta (I like goat feta, but you can use your fave)
6 basil leaves, chiffonade 
course sea salt, like Maldon


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a foil-lined baking sheet, toss sliced carrots with a drizzle of olive oil and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Spread in an even layer, then roast for about 20 minutes, until carrots are soft and caramelized on the edges.

In a blender or food processor, combine roasted carrots with pesto and red wine vinegar. Pulse until a chunky paste forms (you can make this smoother to your liking.)

Preheat a grill pan to high heat, and slice the baby carrots into long strips as thinly as possible on the bias (or shave on a mandoline.) Grill the carrot slices for 1 minute per side, then remove to a plate.

Brush baguette slices with olive oil, then grill 1 minute per side, or until grill marks show. Top each baguette slice with a scoop of carrot pesto, a couple of grilled carrot slices, and a sprinkle of feta, basil ribbons and sea salt. Eat!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Baby Girl's Summer Swim - Sale time!

I just can't seem to stop shopping for my little girl.  She is one now and, although summer is sadly halfway over, I couldn't resist these sale items from the Gap.  How darling is the fishy dress and bathing suit?  So cute!  There are tons of darling options on so check out the sale before you miss out!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Bastille Day!

Cocoa and Lavender
In honor of my French husband, today's post is all about Bastille Day!  I remember being in Paris with him while we were dating on the 14 of July and watching the parade and the planes fly by from his family's apartment window.  It was amazing!

Now we do our best to bring a little bit of France home for our children to enjoy.  Here are a few little things that you might like to bring a taste of Bastille day to your family.