In my cookbook, I talk about an amazing party my parents threw every July 4th. It was the “best ever” every year. We celebrated exactly on the day, and it was a consistently well orchestrated potluck for over one hundred and fifty guests. I reminisce about that party every summer and when the opportunity arises to share a meal outside, I am all over it.
In this beautiful al fresco wedding, the bride, also a gardener, used handmade seed packets as escort cards. Cute! And outdoorsy! This event was held exclusively outside until it was time for dancing.
Just last week, we made an amazing plant based celebration for Muir Ranch. About one hundred and forty guests enjoyed a six course meal in the farm field behind Muir High School in Pasadena.
It was a glorious event.
Kids were running around, food was shared, elixir was mixed and everyone had a personal best night of the summer. There was a delightful musician, Eric Kufs, and it all came together to make a magical experience. Right here in our city, outside.
The menu was prepared with offerings from the ranch. I was thrilled to feature several recipes from “Who Wants Seconds?” including my recipe for ratatouille which is truly a best ever, and my Classic Catalan Gazpacho, also ridiculously delicious. They loved them both! My crazy great zucchini butter featured years ago on food 52 was a huge rave, and my friend Davey made a delicious whole wheat batard. F A N T A S T I C.
Want more recipes?? Try these beauties all from the “Who Wants Seconds?” – (plus another 70 or so from the book which are time-bank tested and super easy) Like these corn fritters!
We ended with some peach crunch (also in the book!!) with peaches from Top Notch Farm. It was the kind of party that had little bits of perfect in every moment, in so many ways. Mostly though, I think being outside was the best part, enlivening our spirits with an unseasonal cool breeze and feeling the earth give way with every step.
Good times were had by all and everyone ate well! That is a spectacular night in my world!
Read the reviews on Amazon. Buy the book on Indie bound.
Do you know what cookbook authors do to promote their book?
Welcome to my point of view. Click on this for the first in a series.
I’m calling it Thanks Giving. Not my best work, but I dare you not to smile.
Check out the book on IndieBound – Mac and cheese recipe in chapter one.
WOW MOM what a night!
Thank you everyone for all the love, support and purchasing of “Who Wants Seconds?” last night. So many familiar faces cheering me on and laughing at my jokes… cuz, ya know, I’m a joker.
My girls came down from up north, and their brothers from another mother came in from Mission Hills with their beautiful girlfriends and fiance!! ( WEDDING!!)
I’m feeling the love, and wearing the invisible crown for at least another week.
Here are 2 more reviews – The Kitchn and Hometown Pasadena.
Could this get any better? I don’t think so.
And it’s wonderful! Thank you Publisher’s Weekly, I’m blushing.
Here it is, and a recipe to celebrate!
Publisher’s Weekly Review:
“This engaging and colorful book covers a lot of food and fun. The author is a long-time caterer in California and an advocate of healthy dining and fills her volume with recipes that are unfailingly delicious. She is also an artist, which is clear from the book’s spectacular presentation—each page tinted with a mix of amazing fonts, headings, notes, and photos. Jennie Cook is also a family woman, regaling the reader with anecdotes including the culinary exploits of her “Chef Ma” and tales of a family vacation discovering delicacies in Spain. Among the innovative yet approachable recipes are burgundy beef stew, lacquered chicken, and a reputedly never-fail fruit crumble that can be made in several ways. There’s a simple recipe for pickled cranberries and a “Boozy Blackberry Balsamic Reduction” that adds “pow” to everything it touches. Every dish has a story; Cook welcomes reader into her kitchen with recipes dedicated to excellent cuisine. (Oct.)”
Recipe of the day – Waldorf Salad!
Get out there and get the last of the Arkansas Black apples, my favorites of all time.
A Waldorf is kind of like cole slaw for apples. It’s an old fashioned recipe that really needs to make a comeback. I eat this for dinner on a bed of greens, topped with a drizzle of balsamic. Delish.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Makes 1 quart, or about 6 servings
6 apples, unpeeled, chopped in 1/2-inch pieces
2 celery stalks, sliced thin
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons sugar, honey, or agave
Mix everything together, chill, and enjoy!