A “Down Under” BBQ & Blueberry Limoncello Pavlova

blueberry pavlova recipe

Blueberry, Lemon Curd with Limoncello, Greek Yogurt

Gidday Mates! This past weekend we celebrated our friend Chip’s birthday, as well as my new BBQ grill with a “Down Under” Party. The idea started with “shrimp on the barbie” and grew from there with Australian wines, beers, and ports, grilled lamb steaks, grilled corn, grilled bread, salads, cheeses, and more. And of course there had to be the quintessential dessert, Australia’s beloved Pavlova. And being us, we had to put booze in the pavlova. Limoncello to be exact. We do love our themed dinner parties.

In this simple but beautiful blueberry limoncello pavlova, the sweet meringue dissolves on the tongue, the lively lemon curd spiked with limoncello adds a surprisingly zippy note which is balanced by the tart yogurt and the heavenly fresh blueberries that pop in the mouth. Could it have been too elegant for our outback party?

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Foodbuzz 24X24: Autumn Affair, New Nordic Style

An autumn affair! Oh, I am in love. He is fresh, sensuous, healthy, and playful.
He is simultaneously familiar and exotic; simple and complex.
His diverse tastes always reflect the season. And he is absolutely gorgeous.
He is New Nordic Cuisine.

wild carrot flowers

We are experimenting with New Nordic for the first time. My fellow passionate cooks, Lauren and Gail, join me in the kitchen to create this titillating dinner. Ingredients for the six-course meal include Norwegian goat cheese, wild herbs and flowers, berries and seeds, smoked fish, quail, grainy breads, root vegetables, and fresh fruits from the farmers’ market. Each dish is inspired by nature. We’ve attempted to present and garnish the plates in the sensual & earthy New Nordic style.

The setting is natural-organic-minimalist. White china, set on a large mahogany table sans cloth. The centerpiece and decoration is created from foraging…sticks, twigs, fruit from the vine in our gardens, and rocks and driftwood from the beach.

Our goal was to transport our dinner group of five, as well as Taste With The Eyes’ readers, to experience the essence of Fall in Scandinavia, Finland, and Iceland via my home in Los Angeles. We were inspired by the beauty of New Nordic Cuisine, by the distant land’s cutting-edge chefs’ pure artistry and commitment to local, seasonal, and sustainable.

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Dinner Party: A Tribute To Jackie O

A Tribute to Jackie
Jacqueline “Jackie” Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis
(July 28, 1929 – May 19, 1994)

Remembering Jackie
15 Years Later
My foodie girlfriends and I enjoyed another themed dinner party. This theme: A tribute to Jackie Kennedy Onassis. I have been dreaming of hosting a stylish, elegant, graceful “Jackie” party for years, and coincidentally held this on the 15th anniversary of her passing. We wore pill box hats and pearls, toasted to her memory, and cooked recipes from various Kennedy-related cookbooks including:
  • In the Kennedy Style recipes by René Verdon
  • Cooking for Madam by Marta Sgubin
  • In the Kennedy Kitchen by Neil Connolly

Le Menu
Welcome Platter
French Cheeses (Saint André and Bucheron), Fruit Chutney,
Lucques Olives and Accompaniments

(Served on Vintage Glass China)
Barbecued Cajun Shrimp, Honey Dew Melon, Midori Sauce
Cauliflower with a Goat Cheese, Pepita, Red Pepper Garnish
Petite Caesar, Anchovy Rosette
Palate Cleanser
Rose Petal and Lemon Sorbet

Mini Beef Wellington
Seared Filet of Beef, Slice of Truffle, Mushroom Duxelles, Foie Gras Pate
Baked in Pastry
Perigourdine Sauce
Mini Beet (vegetarian) Wellington
Roasted Beet, Slice of Truffle, Mushroom Duxelles,  Gorgonzola
Baked in Pastry
Brie and Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

Fancy Ratatouille

Green Risotto (recipe here)

Poached Pears in Pepper and Bay Scented Wine

Handmade Vintage-Style Pill Box Hats
I am so blessed to have such amazing creative friends. Everyone perused the cookbooks and chose a dish to prepare that inspired them. And this time, talented restaurateur (and seamstress) Gina Lee chose to sew the hats for everyone with vintage materials, true to style and form. Fabulous!

Wilson gets a mini pill box hat too!

Val’s Refreshingly Unique Appetizer
Great for summer dining al fresco!

Cajun Spiced Shrimp on a Rosemary Skewer
Honey Dew Melon
Barbecue and Midori Sauces
Try this Midori Sauce with Shrimp or Fruit!
Whisk together 1 c. sour cream, 2 T. heavy cream, 1/4 c. honey, 2 T. Midori (melon) liqueur.
from In the Kennedy Kitchen

Noramae’s Velvety and Complex Cauliflower Soup

Gail’s Elegant Caesar Salad

Anchovy Rosette

Lauren’s Palate Cleanser
Rose Petal and Lemon Sorbet
(rose petals, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and zest)
Served in rose petals on a lemon frozen cap
Basil leaf garnish

Pat’s Perfect Ratatouille

Lauren’s Beef and Beet Wellingtons
with Faux Pearl Design

French Champagne, Wines and Perrier
All the roses were from my garden.

Sally and Yvonne’s Gorgeous Poached Pears

Poached Pears
Port and Red Wines
Black Peppercorns
Lemon Peel
Vanilla Bean
Bay Leaves
Mint Garnish

Jackie Photos and Memorabilia

“The life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was her art, a finely wrought miniature that history enlarged and then tempered and finally veiled in privacy. As a Bouvier she inherited a tradition of elegance that became her way of life and her fortress in misfortune. She had a gift of grace, an innate sense of right proportion that shaped her values and her choices. Everything she did was done with style, a style that was shaped by her mind and her heart. She was civilized and civilizing; whatever she touched, she refined.”  Hugh Sidey
We’ve Just Returned From Paris!

A few days after the Jackie dinner we left for Paris to celebrate my sister-in-law’s 40th birthday. Joyeux Anniversaire Kristy! We were walking to the Musée du Vin (Wine Museum) located in the former cellars of the 15th Century Passy Abbey, just up the street from Avenue du Président Kennedy. So of course I had to include this photo in my Tribute to Jackie post. And I cannot wait to share our heavenly “Parisian Gastronomic Experience” with you. Please come visit Taste With The Eyes again soon for a Taste of Paris!