Fourth of July

blueberrypieA friend of mine from NYC called the other day to ask which pie bakery I preferred. He had guests from Norway stopping by that afternoon for coffee and wanted to offer them a slice of “American pie”.

When he told me a whole pie from a bakeshop would cost anywhere from $35-$65, I suggested he take a quick lesson in pie making and bake one himself. He had 3 hours before they arrived and I was convinced I could help him get a pie, prepped, baked, and on a cooling rack before they rang his buzzer.

I quickly emailed this recipe for Best Ever Blueberry pie and he raced to his local grocery store to pick up everything we needed, (including a pie plate). With the help of Skype, I coached him through the basic steps (he saved time with a ready-made pie crust) and the pie was in the oven in no time.

There's nothing better than the smell of a freshly baked pie and this one is certain to please any guest.

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Fourth of July CakeThis recipe is actually Ina Garten's recipe for her 4th of July Flag cake. It is one of the BEST tasting cakes and frostings out there.

It was my intention to make this into a flag cake but at the last minute could not find my large star tip for my pastry bag to make the stripes and stars so I improvised and just decorated the cake as is.  It turned out beautiful.

If you are having a large gathering this summer make this amazing cake, you can decorate it with anything you like and it feeds an army.

All my fruit came from local farm stands so it was extra delicious. Happy summer entertaining!

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sansabi.jpg There was a time when I CRAVED greens. I mean it.  CRAVED ‘em. Lambs tongue (mache) arugula, romaine, and kale (which I would stem, blanche, squeeze dry and then sauté in olive oil and garlic). Evan Kleiman has a terrific soup recipe that uses escarole and you can find it in the archives right here at One for the Table.

I used to eat salads all the time and for the life of me I wish those days would come back. But, you know the old saying; “A pickle can never become a cucumber again.”

I’m convinced it’s the secret to staying slim, even if you use decadent dressings.  Recently, I ate at Wabi Sabi on Abbot Kinney in Venice. They served an amazing salad there, which was actually a side to a scallop dish. It was a simple arugula with walnuts and goat cheese, but the dressing was completely unique. They were kind enough to give me the recipe. 

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From the Los Angeles Times

grapeleaves.jpgIn the beautiful economy of the forest – or the urban backyard garden – leaves are nature's brilliant cookware. Banana leaves can be cut down to make plates or unfurled into wrappers perfect for steaming fish on a low-slung grill. Fig trees and grapevines yield leaves the exact size for enclosing, then grilling, a cube of feta, a recumbent sardine or a mint-studded lamb meatball.

Before the invention of tinfoil or grilling baskets, pragmatic cooks picked their kitchen supplies from branches and found what they needed in the trees.

Going green was logical – OK, obvious – long before it became chic.

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From the New York Times 

picnic.jpg There is something both innocent and exciting about a picnic, even if you are only packing a few things at the last minute and heading down the street to the park. It may be nothing fancier than bologna or tuna salad on white bread, but you’re still likely to have a good time, which is probably why many of us remain devoted to the same picnic foods we’ve eaten all our lives.

But at some point, you may get the urge to vary the menu a bit. With that in mind, I’d like to make a few — or, actually, 101 — suggestions, ranging from snacks to dessert. With a little shopping, a little effort, and 20 minutes or less for assembly, you can create the kind of carry-out food that will put the local prepared food shops to shame while saving you a small fortune. No matter how faithful you are to your old favorites, I’ll bet you will find something intriguing here.

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