Hollywood Bowl Picnic

Summer Evening in LA
Picnic and Concert at the Hollywood Bowl

The Hollywood Bowl is the largest natural outdoor amphitheater in the United States. It is a friendly sociable place where Southern Californians gather to picnic and enjoy outstanding music. Last Wednesday, we thoroughly enjoyed the music of Chris Botti and Orchestra. Chris is an engaging entertainer, refreshingly humble, gracious and funny, not to mention a fabulous trumpeter. He’s my new fav. You can hear him here.

The gates open at 6 PM for the picnickers  to set up their tables and enjoy a meal before the show starts at 8 PM. We set up our box then went around to socialize with our neighbors and check out their picnics before dinner.

I spy… Veuve Clicquot Champagne


Our Mediterranean place settings and picnic menu:
Appetizer
Green Olive Tapanade, Dates, Sprouted Flatbread
First Course
Shrimp, Herbed Tomato & Feta
Grilled Ciabatta
Main
Cold Thin-Sliced Beef Tenderloin – Savory & Sweet Mustard Rub
Lemon Caper Aioli
Arugula Salad – Rosemary Vinaigrette
Cannellini Bean, Haricot Verte, Roasted Tomato, Marcona Almond
Dessert
Grilled Apricot
Greek Yogurt, Honey, Chocolate Mint Sprigs
Coffee

Since table setting is one of my hobbies, I get a kick out of some of our neighbors’ tables…
this one is totally groovy!

These gentlemen had a manly setting and a nice bottle of Zin

Adorable little fresh flower arrangement,  jaunty table cloth & napkins

Centerpiece is a gourd with sprigs of lavender with sophisticated white linens
After the meal, the chairs are turned around to face the stage, everything is packed up and stored stuffed under our seats, and then…

…we enjoy the show!

Bravo Chris Botti and Orchestra!

“To me, music that breaks your heart is the music that stays with you forever,” muses the best-selling jazz artist Chris Botti when talking about his new album, Italia. “It’s one thing to be melancholy and one thing to be sophisticated, but when you get the two of them together in a way people can relate to, then I think you’re on to something.  You want the sophistication to lie in the purity of the sound, the beauty of the arrangements, and the quality of the performances.”
A special thank you to Val, James and Terri for a wonderful evening under the stars.

Pineapple Peanut Coleslaw Alfresco

Summer is here! YAY! Time for alfresco dining.

One of the side dishes that was a hit at this alfresco meal was
The Pineapple Peanut Coleslaw.

Nothing fancy, but this combination of ingredients is a winner.

A small can of crushed pineapple is drained.

Napa cabbage is thinly sliced.
The crinkled leaves give a good texture to coleslaw.

Sliced scallions and cilantro are added.

Equal parts of mayonnaise and sour cream are blended together with pineapple.
Add peanuts and toss. Season with salt and pepper.

Let’s eat!
Where’s the beef?


We’re looking forward a long summer with plenty of grilling and outdoor dining ahead.

How ’bout you?

Afternoon Tea

I attended an absolutely lovely event co-hosted by the 7th Grade Girls and Mothers to honor the graduating 8th Grade Girls at Rolling Hills Country Day School in Palos Verdes, California.

This annual event, which has been taking place for decades, is held at the home of one of our families at Country Day School. This time it was at a beautiful home on the bluff overlooking the Pacific.

The 7th grade girls passed tea sandwiches, little cakes and tarts, and served tea and punch to all the attendees.

In addition, the 7th Grade Girls performed a delightful song for the 8th Graders by Rascal Flatts called “My Wish.”
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,

Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small,

You never need to carry more than you can hold,

And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to,

I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,

Yeah, this, is my wish.

The girls were darling, as always, and as the 7th grade girls did the serving, the 8th grade girls performed the role of gracious hostesses practicing their conversation skills with the adults. As you can imagine, I also have some adorable photos of the girls which I look forward to sharing with their parents.

Mini Scones were served with Devonshire Cream and Lemon Curd.

Early on, it was a little overcast with the temperature in the mid 60’s. The sun came out towards the end of the event. The view was breathtaking.

I am sending this photograph “Centerpiece Overlooking the Pacific at Afternoon Tea” to Sandi at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking for her Centerpiece of the Month (COTM) event, an event which I have been meaning to participate in for forever.
And apropos of my Afternoon Tea post, today is the 100th anniversary of Mother’s Day. Originally Mother’s Day was marked by the wearing of a single white carnation. Mom may get a big bouquet now, but the sentiment remains the same.
Happy Mother’s Day!
P.S. I love you, Ma.
May 14: Carol at Paris Breakfasts has linked Afternoon Tea in her “Tiny Teapots” post. If you haven’t already, please visit Carol and check out her fabulous watercolor paintings (of which I have 5 hanging in my home).

Passover Dishes Round-Up

Piece of Asch’s photo of Homemade Matzoh Ball Soup. He writes, “This was my favorite course at last night’s Passover dinner with friends.”

Bob’s idea to grill the chicken made this dish superb: Grilled Chicken, Apricots and Meyer Lemon Slices. Orange Honey Ginger Glaze is poured over the chicken and it is reheated during the Seder.

My Roasted Potatoes with Thyme, Parsley and Meyer Lemon Zest. Potatoes are roasted with olive oil salt and pepper then the herb mixture is tossed with the potatoes when they are warm from the oven.

Here is the Famous Tomato Onion Brisket.

It was slow cooked for 8 hours then chilled overnight. In this photo the cold brisket is sliced against the grain and is ready to reheat for the Seder.


Two six pound briskets!

Fat side up, caramelize under the broiler.

Smother with onion and sauce.

For the complete recipe, go here.


Stone’s Vegetable Kabobs.
Stone’s Kabobs were grilled simply with olive oil salt and pepper.

Giz from Equal Opportunity Kitchen made Matzoh Crunchies. She writes, “Matzoh crunchies are so easy to make, and even easier to eat and you’d never know it was made of matzoh.” She gives detailed a step by step tutorial, then “put into the fridge to cool and harden (about 10 minutes) and then break into pieces. You have matzoh brittle!”

Val made Passover Hazelnut Trifle: Passover Sponge Cake, Coffee, Coffee Liqueur, Coco Hazelnut Spread, Toasted Hazelnuts, Whipped Cream

Until next year…

The Passover Seder Table

The Seder Plate: Roasted Egg, Maror (horseradish), Shankbone, Haroset (chopped apples, walnuts, cinnamon with red wine), Chazeret (romaine lettuce), and Karpas (parsley).

This year’s color scheme: a stunning royal purple and sky blue.

A Seder Plate on each table.

Flower arrangements: Blue Hydrangea and Purple Iris.


Frogs are hoppin’ all over the tables. Place cards are decorated with a little hydrangea bloom.

Passover Photography Round-Up

I would love to include a photo of your fabulous Passover dish, image or table setting.
Email to:

sweetbay AT cox DOT net
I will compile the photos after 4.27.08.

Do you prefer the gold/raspberry or the purple/sky blue color scheme?

PASSOVER – Let’s Share Our Culinary Traditions!

This is our Seder Table from last Passover. We have 2 long tables that seat a total of 32 people. Guests come from across the U.S. and abroad. This year Passover begins on April 19th.

You may notice the Haggadahs, salt water, karpas, maror, haroset, matzohs, Elijah’s cup, and the Seder plate already on the tables.
We tell the story, we eat, we drink, we sing, we laugh. I wanted to show Kristy’s beautiful modern-style table, complete with frogs (one of the plagues). All newcomers to the Seder ask, what can I bring, we say, bring a frog. She has quite a collection after all these years. Kristy designs the table while I cook with help from family and friends, of course.
The menu doesn’t change much from year to year now, as we’ve got it down to a science. For those of you who have never hosted a Seder, imagine that well before you ever serve the first course, just like Iron Chef, you must “walk-away!” and then have the food hot, tasty and ready to serve when it is time, at least an hour into the Seder. My fellow cooks who have done this can attest to the degree of difficulty.

First Course
Geri’s Gefilte Fish
Davida’s Chopped Liver with Pistachio
Kristy’s Haroset
Vicki’s Beet Salad, Fresh Horseradish & Matzohs
Hard Boiled Eggs

Second Course
Chicken Soup with Spring Vegetables & Herbed Matzoh Balls

Main Course
Chicken Breasts Roasted with Orange Ginger Glaze, Apricots and Lemons

Tomato Onion Beef Brisket. This recipe was submitted to the wonderful Tried, Tested, and True event hosted by Equal Opportunity Kitchen. 32 people a year for eight years have been giving this brisket the thumbs up.

Red Bliss Potatoes with Thyme and Meyer Lemon
Grilled Vegetable Kebabs with Dipping Sauce

Dessert
Passover Trifle
Passover Cakes
Chocolate Macaroons
Coffee

Our Four Cups of Wine will include:
Kristy’s Top Wine Pick This Year: Carmel, Petite Sirah, Judean Hills 2005 Israel
Gallil Mountain, Yiron, Cabernet/Merlot/Sirah Blend 2003 Israel
Ramon Cardova Rioja (100% Tempranillo) 2005 Spain
Do you have a Kosher wine recommendation?

ROUND-UP
I thought it would be fun to include photography from other Passover Seders on Taste With The Eyes, too! If you are so inclined, please email a photo of your fabulous Passover dish, image, or table setting and a link to your post.
Bloggers please include a link to this event announcement and feel free to use the icon.

Non-bloggers are encouraged to participate as well. It’s easy, just email your photo and tell me a little about it and where you’re from!
Email to: sweetbay AT cox DOT net
I will compile the photos after 4.27.08.
Wishing you and your family a Wonderful Pesach! Next year in Jerusalem!