Spring Strawberry Farro Salad by Baran’s 2239

Spring Strawberry Farro Salad by Baran's 2239

Baran’s 2239 Spring Strawberry & Farro Salad
English Peas, Asparagus, Burrata

The highlight of Teacher Appreciation Week, as usual, was our Annual Luncheon. This year it had a super-fun hang loose Hawaiian Island theme. Our friends at Baran’s 2239 Restaurant generously donated the salad course, a delightful Strawberry & Farro Salad, the epitome of springtime in a bowl. Chef Tyler Gugliotta shares his recipe here on Taste With The Eyes. Mahalo Chef!

Spring Strawberry & Farro Salad Recipe

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Dove’s Luncheonette Crispy Breakfast Hash

Dove's Luncheonette

Dove’s Luncheonette
Red Potato and Shishito Pepper Hash

We sat in a Chicago luncheonette
Sipping a Mexican cola
And snapping pics as the countertops were bussed

His style was lusty, drawing inspiration from bygone diners
It was bold and gutsy

(a nod to Hall & Oates)

The 41-stool luncheonette sits next to the Damen “L” Station in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. A gem of a diner serving Southern inspired Mexican cuisine, it has all the charm of lunch counters of yesteryear – an original tin ceiling, earth-tone hexagon floor tiles, vintage wood paneling, antique fixtures with separate hot & cold faucets reminding me of the bathrooms in the Chicago Public Schools in the 60s.

But charm isn’t the main reason to take the “L” or Uber over to Wicker Park. Come to Dove’s for the soulful food, friendly neighborly vibes, and gracious hospitality.

Shortly after our visit to Dove’s, I was thrilled to find the recipe for Red Potato and Shishito Pepper Hash in Bon Appétit. I’ve already served it a few times here in LA, with rave reviews. Editor Julie Kramer says, “People accuse me of having a bias toward every food made in my hometown of Chicago. But I defy you to find a crispier, more satisfying breakfast hash than the one at Dove’s Luncheonette.”

Dove’s Luncheonette Crispy Breakfast Hash Recipe

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Chocolate Soufflé, Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream

Chocolate Soufflé with Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream

Chocolate Soufflé with Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream

I waited for Valentine’s Day to present the third and final course of my re-creation of The Inaugural Luncheon.

Extending a special thank you to Executive Chef Shannon Shaffer of Design Cuisine and the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies for providing these memorable recipes. It has been an honor and pleasure to re-create and share this historical event on Taste With The Eyes.

Inaugural Luncheon Menu

The First Course

Inaugural Lobster and Shrimp with Saffron Sauce and Peanut Crumble

Lobster and Shrimp, Saffron Sauce, Peanut Crumble Recipe

The Second Course

Inaugural Luncheon Angus Beef with Dark Chocolate Juniper Jus

Angus Beef, Dark Chocolate Juniper Jus Recipe 

The Third Course

Chocolate Soufflé, Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream

Chocolate Soufflé with Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe
serves 10 people

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Angus Beef with Dark Chocolate Juniper Jus

Inaugural Luncheon Angus Beef with Dark Chocolate Juniper Jus

Inaugural Luncheon Part 2
Angus Beef with Dark Chocolate Juniper Jus

Earlier in the week I shared my re-creation of the First Course of the Presidential Inaugural Luncheon, held on January 20, 2017 – a day that transcended politics and celebrated the peaceful transition of power, one of the true treasures of our nation.

Inaugural Lobster and Shrimp with Saffron Sauce and Peanut Crumble
The First Course – Lobster and Shrimp, Saffron Sauce

Since 1901, The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies has been responsible for the planning and execution of the swearing-in ceremonies and the luncheon for the Inauguration of the President of the United States at the U.S. Capitol.

I’m delighted to share my re-creation of The Luncheon’s Second Course below.

The Flowers
Inaugural Luncheon Flowers
Inaugural Flowers photo credit: instagram @jccic

Stunning inaugural floral design by Toulies en Fleur: Garden roses, regular roses, stock, Spray roses, calla lilies, dusty miller, silver brunia berries, and cloni ranunculus.

Inaugural Angus Beef with Dark Chocolate Cabernet Sauce
Inaugural Table Setting Re-Creation by Taste With The Eyes
The 58th Presidential Inauguration
Luncheon Menu

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California Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

California Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

A Very California Salad
and a bit of Oregon too

Roasted Red and Golden Beets, Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese
Willamette Valley Hazelnuts, Turmeric-Black Pepper-Maple Yogurt
Arugula, Arugula Flowers, Beet Vinaigrette

A soft-ripened goat cheese accented with a line of bluish ash reminiscent of the fog often blanketing the expansive Humboldt County, California coastline is the centerpiece of this salad.

Pioneering American cheesemaker Mary Keehn of Cypress Grove conceived Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese in the early 80s in homage to cow’s milk French Morbier, with ash separating its light cakey layers.

Beets are available at California Farmers Markets year-round. And hazelnuts come from our wetter neighbor just to the north, Oregon (close enough).

Peppery arugula, earthy beets, toasty hazelnuts, and a tangy yogurt harmonize with the elegant and luscious goat cheese in this quintessential West Coast salad. A sweet-tart beet vinaigrette adds sunny notes with hints of herbs and fruit.

Arugula Flowers

Blooming in January, pretty arugula flowers come from my Southern California garden. Arugula flowers make a delightful garnish, they taste like light arugula leaves, maybe with a hint of sweetness.

Roasted Red and Golden Beets, Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese, Hazelnuts, Turmeric-Black Pepper-Maple Yogurt, Arugula, Arugula Flowers, Beet Vinaigrette

Cypress Grove describes their cheese with flavors of buttermilk and fresh cream, complemented with floral notes, herbaceous overtones, and a clean citrus finish. As Humboldt Fog matures, the creamline develops, the flavor intensifies and the subtle tanginess grows more pronounced.

California Beet and Goat Cheese Salad Recipe

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Ski Lodge Theme Holiday Party: Baby It’s Cold Outside!

Ski Lodge Theme Holiday Party: Baby It's Cold Outside!

Ski Lodge Theme Holiday Party
Baby It’s Cold Outside!

Ninety of us gathered at the Bluewater Grill at sunset in King Harbor, Redondo Beach amidst the sailboats and palm trees to celebrate the holiday season.

It was my pleasure, once again, to host our annual Rolling Hills Country Day School holiday party. With the help of fabulously creative colleagues, a super-fun theme, and a waterfront venue that exceeded expectations – this gala was another smashing success.

Guests arrived for Après Ski in ski lodge attire, presumably after a day on the slopes, as the sun was setting over the Pacific. They mingled during a cocktail hour with an open bar enhanced with an array of passed appetizers.

As the sky turned from hues of blue to shades of red, orange, violet and yellow – the DJs played a nostalgic mix of Christmas music and our favorite songs (saving those hot dance tunes for after dinner). The photo booth was a big hit as groups of skiers grabbed props to strike a pose.

Ski Lodge Theme Holiday Party: Baby It's Cold Outside!

To set the holiday mood, just before dinner, guests gathered around the “piano and fireplace” (actually the DJ booth and cocktail tables with candles) for a group sing-a-long. With lyrics in hand, everyone joined together, enthusiastically belting out White Christmas along with Bing Crosby. Dean Martin’s Let It Snow was sung in verses alternated by the guys and the gals. So fun!

Immediately after the sing-a-long guests took their seats for dinner. Waiters served the award-winning New England Clam Chowder, then table-by-table guests were invited to the buffet featuring carved-to-order prime rib roast. The meal concluded with a Dessert Station and Hot Beverage Bar brimming with whipped cream and all the accoutrements to warm a winter evening.

The night continued with general merrymaking, dancing, photo booth pics with ski lodge antics and prizes. Before leaving, guests picked up a cozy blanket and made a trip to the Hot Chocolate Bar to personalize hot cocoa to take home.

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