Fresh Mango Coconut Cobbler

It’s mango season! I was just visiting the Volman family near Boca Raton FL and they had a mango tree in their backyard that was full of fruit. I promised I’d share this recipe with them – it’s one of my favorites. If you don’t have fresh mangos try frozen or one of the frozen tropical fruit mixes you can find at the store.

Mango Coconut Cobbler

Ingredients:
1 Box Yellow Cake Mix
1/2 Cup Butter, softened
4 Cups Fresh or frozen mango, or Tropical Fruit – cubed (mango, papaya, pineapple and strawberries)
2 Cups Water
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Coconut, flaked

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl mic cake mix with softened butter – set aside.  In an oblong pan place tropical fruit, add water and sugar then stir. Crumble butter and cake mix mixture on top of fruit, then sprinkle with coconut.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Thermador Shares Recipe for all Ages

As a Lifestylist®, I am always on the go. I have opportunities coat to coast, and often get to spend evenings with friends and family experiencing their homes and their lifestyles. There is nothing I enjoy more than an evening at home – either mine, or my friends. For these special evenings I like to have recipes that are my “go-to’s” that I can prepare and share.

I’m honored to be on the Design Council for Thermador Appliances, and on a recent visit to their amazing Thermador showroom in Scottsdale, AZ -they put us to work. We got to experience these appliances first hand, and prepared a fabulous dinner that we all enjoyed. My favorite item of all things that we prepared was the Creamed Spinach – who knew? Thermador shared the recipe with me, and since then it has become one of my favorite recipes to share. When I just got to spend some time with my grandkids we prepared this together and they loved it! Thank you Thermador for sharing this great, simple recipe that everyone enjoys. I’m going to return the favor and share it with you here.

 

Creamed Spinach

5 lbs. of fresh spinach, cleaned of stems and rinsed

1/4 cup butter

1 shallot, fine dice

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp. nutmeg

1 C. heavy cream

shredded Parmesan cheese

salt & pepper to taste

Bring a large stockpot full of water to a boil. Blanche the spinach for only 10 seconds.

Put blanched spinach in a colander and press out as much liquid as possible, then chop.

Melt the butter in a large rimmed skillet over medium heat and add the shallot and garlic. Cook until tender, about 4 minutes.

To that, add the drained spinach, nutmeg and heavy cream. Bring to a light simmer.

Transfer to a bowl and using an immersion blender, blend the ingredients to a uniform consistency.

Place in a heat proof serving bowl and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Place under broiler until cheese is golden brown – enjoy!

 

Say Cheese!

Summer is here, and Chef Joanne Bondy is giving us lots of ways to enjoy the 72 degree temperatures inside the Gaylord Texan.  Besides the very popular Jr Chef Camps, Chef Bondy will be hosting the Cheese and Beer Dinner on June 15th.

Joanne’s signature Habanero Corn will be featured in a new way – Habanero Cream Corn and Crab Soup. Author and Cheese Expert Liz Thorpe of Murray’s Cheese in NYC will be in attendance. This is the first in a series of dinners featuring artisan cheeses and great brews paired with of course… food and fun.

Here’s the menu for this amazing evening:

Passed Hors d’Oeuvres
French Feta Stuffed Green Olives
Salami & Fontina Fontal Panini’s
Bourbon Cured Pickles with Aged Gouda
Blonde Ale – Fireman’s # 4 Longneck – Blanco, Texas

First Course
Habanero Corn and Crab Soup with Satori Sarvecchio Parmesan Crostini
Pale Ale – Lost Gold IPA – Blanco, Texas

Second Course
Heirloom Tomato Salad with DiStefano Burrata
Lemon Basil Vinaigrette
Hefeweizen – Widmer Wheat Beer – Portland, Oregon

Entrée
Beef Tenderloin with Smoke Haus Blue & Bacon Gratin
Warm Potato Salad
Herbed White Asparagus
Mustard Seed Braun Sauce
Ale – Brooklyn Brown Ale – Brooklyn, New York

Dessert
Blueberry Pie with Lavender Butter
VBC Cremont Cheese Ice Cream
Barleywine Style – Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Ale – Chico, California

Executive Chef Joanne Bondy                      Sous Chef Michael West

It’s Time to Get Corny

Right now it’s corn season in Texas! The Dallas Farmers Market has a great selection, and even many of the grocery stores are featuring locally grown sweet corn.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy this seasonal favorite is Chef Joanne Bondy’s Habanero Cream Corn. Joanne is the Executive Chef at the Old Hickory restaurant at the Gaylord Texan. Part of the summer series at the Gaylord is Jr. Chef Camp, and this dish is always one of the favorites that that kids prepare.

If you can’t get to the Gaylord Texan to enjoy this dish, Chef Bondy has shared the recipe here so you can try it at home.

 

Farm to Market

This Lifestylist® is so fortunate to be close to a great farmers market. The Dallas Farmers Market is open 365 days a year, and I love how they make sure  you know which the local farmers and produce are.

One of my favorite farmers is Lemleys which has had a stall for as long as I can remember. If you want great tomatoes and peaches, this is definitely the place. They are so nice, and Mr. Lemley is often there on weekends sharing his knowledge.

Not only does buying from farmers help support the local economy, it also is an excellent way to save money and eat healthy. Search out your local farmers market and find out what a difference it can make in your lifestyle.

Summer Sweets

It’s watermelon season! We try and go to our local farmers market at least once a week, and this week the watermelon slices we sampled were too good to pass up.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a Lazy Cook, and what could be easier than watermelon as a dessert? We just added some mint, sliced up our watermelon and that was it! Fantastic food doesn’t have to be complicated or costly. Fresh, local and healthy is always the best choice.

Perfect Pasta Salad

It’s Memorial Day weekend, and lucky for me the Dallas Farmers Market is full of locally grown produce that offers me endless opportunities for fast, fresh meals. I’ve started making at least one trip there a week to stock up on what’s in season.

This pasta salad is one of my favorite “go to” recipes, and can be changed by adding your favorite vegetables or what is in season. We made it a little more healthy today by using whole wheat pasta.

If you are in a lazy cook mood, try buying a cucumber tomato salad already prepared at your local deli and just add the pasta.

 

Perfect Pasta Salad

(1) fresh tomato, diced

(1) Avocado, sliced

(1) Cucumber, peeled and diced

1/2 Red Onion, chopped

1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped (dill is a great substitution if you prefer)

8 oz. pasta of your choice cooked, drained and chilled – I like rotini

3 T. Red wine vinegar

1 t. fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/4 c. Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta in boiling water, drain and cool to at least room temperature. While pasta is cooling, chop and slice avocado then toss in lemon juice. Peel and slice other vegetables, then place in serving bowl. Add cooled pasta, oil and vinegar and toss, then add salt and pepper to taste.

 

LifeStyling Savor Dallas

It’s hard to believe that Savor Dallas is less than a week away! This will be the 7th year that I’ve attended and styled the shots for photography – each year seems to be better than the last. As a Lifestylist®, I appreciate the fact that Savor Dallas is all about Living your Life with Style, and eating well as you do it!

With over 200 chefs, mixologists and winemakers typically bringing goodies that always not only look good enough to eat, but to shoot as well. I have to get with their team, style the item on a pretty plate that I bring along or a beautiful glass, then hand them off to photographer Lisa Stewart of Lisa Stewart Photography. We only have a few hours on each day to accomplish this so I’m always amazed at what Lisa is able to get photographed.

Today I pulled some of my favorite shots and made a video with them -great memories and inspiration on what I want to accomplish this year. Which is your favorite?

For more information on this fantastic event, contact Jim and Vicki at: www.savordallas.com

Most of the photography on the site is shots that Lisa and I did as well, so enjoy!

Verrines: Big Tastes in Small Packages

It’s a small world after all: verrines, a French concept that layers ingredients in a small glass or clear container has been seen in restaurants and high end parties, and now it is making it’s way to suburbia.

Verrines are as pretty to see as they are to eat, and it’s a great way to cut calories by making portions smaller but still appealing to the eyes and the palette. These bites can be sweet or savory, and can add a touch of elegance to any event.

Pier 1 Imports has a great assortment of mini cordials, dessert bowls and shot glasses complete with coordinating spoons that are perfect for making your own verrines at home.

If you don’t want to make these yourself, Seasons 52 Fresh Grill calls these their Mini Indulgences, and it’s hard to only sample one. Choices include Key Lime Pie, Old Fashioned Carrot Cake, and Mocha Macchiato – yum! I recently went there with the owners of The New American Home for a celebration dinner and we kept (and ate) the entire Indulgence presentation – now THAT was a celebration!

The verrine trend is here to stay, and we are looking forward to sharing some of our favorite recipes for these here.

Citrus Truffles

Are you looking for something easy and memorable to do for the special person in your life on Valentine’s Day?
These White Chocolate Citrus Truffles will be a gift to remember. I entered these in the State Fair of Texas this year and they were a huge hit.
INGREDIENTS:
3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
Zest of 1 Orange
Zest of 1 Lemon
2 lbs. White Chocolate
1 Tablespoon Shortening
Combine zests and heavy cream in a small saucepan – simmer until bubbles appear.
Remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, warm up again until bubbles appear.
Melt 1 lb. white chocolate, strain cream mixture and add to chocolate. Stir gently and allow to cool to room temperature.
Once cooled, place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
Roll ganache into 1 inch round balls, then put in freezer to set at least 2 hours.
Melt remaining white chocolate, and stir in shortening. Dip centers into chocolate, then garnish with orange zest.