I just finished my new book Dine & Design on the Fly: Everyday Meals Under $3 a Serving with a Side of Flowers for Easy Entertaining
Whew! That's a freakin mouthful. Needless to say, I'm stoked! My agent and I are working on The Flower Chef, which of course I'm even MORE stoked for- and yes, you'll still get your free copy.
I suppose I was just inspired by all the recipes I wrote, and none of which I made a couple of nights ago- wait, I did make the chili, that's in the book, and went on a cooking rampage. Alex was on his computer kind of perplexed at the manicness happening in the kitchen. Hence, him giving me headphones to watch Breaking Bad. He's not caught up yet. And holy shit, can we talk about the amazingness that is that show! I digress.
I hope this inspires you to cook something delish!
1 package of organic, cage-free chicken strips
1 package of cranberries
1 cup of orange juice
1 cup of sugar
In a small pot, mix sugar and OJ. Boil, then simmer, and cranberries. Cook on low for ten minutes.
In a hot skillet, put a tablespoon of EVOO. Brown chicken on each side so it's crisp. Add a pinch of salt. I forgot to put the chicken in the panko crumbs I bought. Damn it! That would've been better. Next time.
1 package of organic spinach
1 package shelled edamames
2 bulbs fennel
Slice fennel and place on a baking sheet. Douse in olive oil. Roast (bake) on 350 for about 15 minutes or until soft. Let completely cool.
Place all ingredients in a bowl, and mix with dressing. Voila!
1 package frozen shrimp, thawed
In a large dish place shrimp. Cover lightly with olive oil. Place a few cups of flour on top and then coat all of the shrimp. This is WAY faster than the dipping method. Season with salt and pepper.
In a very hot pan, place olive oil. Cook shrimp until white.
I wanted to make a hot sauce, but didn't have butter. That's two for two on mess ups. To make the sauce, in a pot, mix butter, mustard and chili sauce. YUM.
3 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
As I mentioned, I don't have butter. Boil the potatoes until almost falling apart. Drain and cover with chicken stock. Mash, and and salt. Top with massive amounts of gravy. Definitely a healthier recipe, by accident!
Told you I went on a cooking bender. I didn't even have time to drink wine, but I did have time to watch Breaking Bad while I was slaving away on the stove. Alex gave me his wireless headphones to wear while it was playing on my computer.
1 can each of the followin
small tomato paste
large diced tomatoes in juice
5 carrots chopped
3 celery chopped
1/2 onion chopped
1 package soy ground meat
Italian seasoning, Cumin, Cinnamon, Salt, Chili powder, Cayenne Pepper
Cook carrots, celery and onions in olive oil for ten minutes. Add in everything else. Add water to cover a bit. Boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. Add corn, optional. This yields A LOT. Like 8 servings.
These are from Eufloria flowers in Santa Barbara. My absolute favorite vendor. They are sustainable and last twice as long. Look at ALL of those leaves. Insane! Thorny bastards too.
Cut ONE stem first. Measure against vase, then use that one as a guide to cut all of the rest. Makes sense, right?
You can't really tell what I'm doing since I took this picture on the fly, but I'm pushing down the leaves to rip them off. You can see the pumpkin I wrote on for Alex, my cup of soy chai, and our beautiful unfurnished apartment haha.
Place the tall vase on the floor. See, your flowers will looks like this, crappy. This will look good because there are SO many roses in a narrow vase, making it easy to move them around. However, if you're working with less roses, like a dozen, you will have to make a grid with floral tape- just like how I teach in my design classes.
Maneuver around to create a dome form. I normally take off all leaves, but created a base of leaves for the flowers to rest on, so I kept the top third on. You just don't want any leaves under the water, or else it creates bacteria.
Pretty and simple! Don't forget to change the water every day. Fine, every other day. But more than that I'm gonna come over and slap your hand.
Any artist will tell you that anything and everything can be inspiration. Here are a few photos of some flowers that have inspired me lately.
Yesterday was Alex and I's ONE YEAR anniversary, but I'm in AZ visiting my mom and bestie Maureen, and all the other gals that I love (HI Cristen and Kylie!) and then will be back in LA for the Herman Schwartz opening on Thursday, and THEN off to Vegas this weekend for a belated all-out celebration!
Watched part 1 of the Kardashian wedding last night, and wanted to shoot myself. How superficial and ugh they are not in reality!!! This whole phenomenon is a joke about our society. Okay, don't get me started- I'm getting all wound up!
And for exciting news- I'm currently writing a spin-off book of The Flower Chef this week. Yes, in a week. Ha! I already have half or more of it done, so I can't wait to share it with you once I have it in my hands. This book will most likely be sold at a store you're all very familiar with... :)
All I have to say is, makeup does wonders!!!! And thank god for the lovely Miss Kimberly, whom I met a couple of years ago through Joelle of the LA Shoot This! group. You have got to check out Kimberly Bragalone's work. I went from, wha-wha, to va-voom in a matter of minutes. We shot this at Custom Design and Construction in El Segundo.
I shot the cover last Thursday at a kitchen showroom in El Segundo by Syretta, and makeup by the great Kimberly Bragalone. I cannot WAIT to show you the pictures. In the meantime, I discovered a very weird, unique color combo that actually works.
Although I stopped online orders for daily deliveries, I still get a few occasionally, and will do them if time permits. For this, I used coral and lime green roses. Very bright and summery. It needed umph so I added dahlias from the centerpiece. It added a bold, and unexpected color against the white glass vase. Normally jewel tones and summery brights don't mix, but this just works.
Here's the unexpected colors that clash, but work. I made a bouquet to use for my shoot. How lame would it be if I didn't make the flowers?! Actually that would be funny. I had this bright summery bouquet, and then saw that centerpiece nearby, so I picked out the yellow and black calla lilies. Again, this should totally clash, but it adds depth and character. I used a teal blue ribbon for the base, to add extra color and pizzaz. Roses and callas always look good because of the shape. The callas form to the roses.
I'm always asked about color combinations. I don't necessarily think I have a great eye, but am willing to experiment and not play it safe. Most of the time, it's by chance. You put something next to another thing that you think wouldn't work, and ponder. Then you realize, why yes, this may just work! As yo can see, I mixed two completely different looks to get something interesting. The yellow would have been fine on it's own. To add some depth to nearly ANY color combo, add a super dark or "black" flower. This can be the black calla, black bacarra rose, fiddleheads, or chocolate cosmos.
The Flower Chef
How Did She Do That