My cousin Tina had my husband Stevie and I to her incredible Thanksgiving dinner. I am still dreaming about her pecan pie with fresh whipped cream. She was kind enough to share her recipe with me. I know you are going to love it like I did.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter
2 to 3 tablespoons ice water
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup pecan halves or broken pecans
1 1/2 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla
1. In medium bowl, mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost leaves side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).
2. Gather pastry into a ball. Shape into flattened round on lightly floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which helps make the baked pastry more flaky. If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.
3. Heat oven to 375°F. With floured rolling pin, roll pastry into round 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of pie plate. Fold and roll pastry under, even with plate; press with times of fork or flute if desired.
4. In another medium bowl, beat all filling ingredients except pecans with wire whisk or hand beater until well blended. Stir in pecans. Pour into pastry-lined pie plate.
5. Cover edge of pastry with 2- to 3-inch-wide strip of foil to prevent excessive browning. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until center is set, removing foil for last 15 minutes of baking. Refrigerate at least 2 hours until chilled before serving. Store in refrigerator. (I let cool completely…. and I do not refrigerate if serving that night.)
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Im going to use copper, gourds, and pumpkin to accent my table this year. Candlesticks and Copper pitchers filled with tulips are a quick way to upgrade any table.
Using Japanese eggplants and persimmons add a bit of color, and don’t forget the place cards.
I love using my brass and wood silverware to accent my wooden chargers. It adds layer to the table.
You can use rosemary, lavender, or wheat to on top of your napkins. Whatever you can get your hands on to add little touches make a difference.
Test out your own table scapes for the big day, and follow My Thanksgiving Countdown Cheat Sheet to make sure you have everything else prepped. Planning is the easiest way to make your Thanksgiving dinner a success.
I had the pleasure of cooking for the 2015 Oscar Host at a small dinner party the other night. Neil Patrick Harris and his partner David Burka were in town promoting Neil’s new book.
We made it elegant and simple by using copper; ice buckets, trays, pitchers and bowls (yes, obsessed with copper at the moment) down the baralong with our “barscape” of “rustic” cutting boardsfilled with cheeses and charcuterie gourds, pumpkins and edibles (strawberries with the stems on from Harry’s Berries from The Santa Monica ‘s Farmers market, along with grapes, figs and Persimmons.) A great way to make the bar come to life and look fun.
Jeff who was bar tending seemed to have made “zillions” of spicy margarita’s. We went through about 40 limes.(20 guests) Who knew they would be so popular. I do love a spicy margarita.
We also used sprigs of rosemary as part of the place setting from Alix’s garden, the hostess, my childhood friend and neighbor. It looked gorgeous!!!
For dinner we made Roasted root vegetables, Grilled miso cilantro Japanese eggplants, Citrus chicken (out of my book) Burrata adorned with golden cherry tomatoes and roasted beets, Roasted butternut squash with crumbled amaretti cookies, fried sage, malton salt, and ground pepper. A kale, spinach and mint salad with cashew cheese and fresh pomegranate seeds, along with my Coco Lopez Soy fresh ginger marinated skirt steak which was getting rave reviews by all. The Steak marinade is a recipe I had actually forgotten about until a month ago when my cousin Terry called me to tell me he was a hit in the hampton’s with his skirt steak. “How did you do it?” Well I was cleaning out my kitchen drawers and I found this recipe you faxed me. (I faxed him this marinade recipe in 2005) which is also good on chicken too. It was made up one day with my good friend and fellow chef , Lisa Kurtzman. Lisa and I always have fun creating in the kitchen especially after a few Sneeky’s. You cannot go wrong with this marinade.
Lisa & Lulu’s Luscious Skirt Steak Recipe
Equal amount of coco lopes to soy (3/4th cup)
1/2 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon sesame oil
a squeeze of a medium size lemon
2 heaping tablespoons of fresh minced ginger
2 tablespoons of fresh minced garlic
mix ingredients all together
marinate skirt steak for 4 hours. the longer the better. The flavors are incredible.
PS latest obsessions:
Classic leopard loafers I have even been wearing with my fav gap camouflage pants from 3 years ago -who cares (it some how all goes together)
along with this coat which to me is classic, chic and can throw over any “outfit” like my pajamas as I did in CT (running out to Starbucks as Patty P ran out of coffee) I felt like I was ready for the day with my fav cheap sunglasses an overcoat and styling shoes……….
I always have candles lit in my house. I love scents and for me candles have a calming effect. I had my friends Dena Cook & Mary McDonald for an impromptu dinner last night and they both asked what the incredible smell was when they entered my house. Well it was the mixing of my two new favorite Maquis and Geranium Rosa . I like to mix scents. Using one that is floral or citrus can be complimented or toned down for an evening scent by adding a candle that has more of a woody undertone.
I love being invited to someone else’s house for dinner. My good friend and Stevie’s Backgammon partner Tony Williams (thank god for him) had us over for a lovely evening.
His house is magical, called Flicker Cottage, and has a great view of the city. He had lanterns scattered about, including some in his trees. He set the table for this intimate gathering with candles, white roses, and most importantly a great bottle of champagne, but told me not to drink it all. We needed to save a cup for the chicken recipe.
Our first course was Tonys secret salad, which he will not divulge the recipe to. My husband is obsessed with getting the recipe. It has become a running joke. Unfortunately we will probably never know the answer. Comprised of candied walnuts, cranberries, feta, and butter lettuce with an exceptional dressing. It could be award winning recipe, but no one will ever know because he chooses to keep it a secret. His champagne chicken was perfectly seasoned. He said he wanted to try a new recipe out on Stevie & I, and our house guest Tori from NY. He made it simple and elegant. Guys can entertain effortlessly.
1. Combine the chicken, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper in a medium-size mixing bowl and toss until all the chicken is fully coated with salt and pepper.
2. In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. When the foaming has subsided, add the seasoned chicken and sauté until golden brown and cooked through, approximately 4 minutes per side. Remove the chicken to a serving platter.
3. Add the shallots to the saucepan and let them soften for 1½ to 2 minutes, without browning them. Add the grapes and let them cook with the shallots until they are just heated through, about another minute.
4. Add the champagne or sparkling wine to the saucepan. Deglaze the pan by scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a metal spatula. Turn the heat to high and let the mixture cook until it is reduced by at least half.
5. Stir in the cream tarragon, and remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and pour the sauce over the chicken. Serve immediately.
Use Spring Onions instead of Shallots. Add a generous portion of extra champagne, and less salt.
I had the pleasure of making the dessert. The simplest most delicious Queer plum cake you’ll ever have. The recipe was given to me many moons ago by my neighbors Andrea and Dave. You can substitute the plums for peaches or any other fruit. I serve this tart with vanilla ice cream.
Queer Plum Cake
½ cup Sugar
¾ stick Butter/ Margarine
1 tsp. of vanilla extract or bean paste
¾ cup flour
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. Turbinado Sugar
Cream together ½ cup sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, and 3/4th stick butter until fluffy. Stir in 1 egg. Add 3/4th cup of flour and pinch of salt until combined. Press into a 9” cake or tart pan. Place fruit (plums, nectarines, peaches) in a spiral pattern evenly. Sprinkle 1 tsp. Turbinado sugar on top . Bake 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
I love seafood, and just because its fall doesn’t mean lobster and crab rolls have to wait til next summer. I’ve become obsessed with making crab rolls with salt & vinegar potato chips. It’s as easy as one, two, three. You can get crab year round from for local retailers, or you can click this link to get clam meat sent right to you. Pair them with an easy roasted tomato salad and you are set for an Anytime Clambake.
Step one: cut in Kings Hawaiian sweet rolls in 4th’s
Step 2: smear with butter mixed with parsley, lime zest, and shallots
Step 3: toast buns in a lodge cast iron pan
Step 4: Make Crab Salad and crush salt and vinegar potato chips (recipe below)
Step 5: put warm roll around your index finger to make into a hot dog bun, add crab mixture. sprinkle with crushed salt and vinegar chips, and garnish with piece of tarragon.
4 cups cooked clam meat (2 pounds)
1 cup mayonnaise, or more to taste
¼ cup chopped fresh tarragon
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
In a bowl, mix all ingredients meat together in a bowl. Add as much of the mayonnaise mixture to the clam as you like in a separate bowl. (Some people like more or less mayonnaise in their clam salad so it’s all up to your own taste.)
Spoon the salad into the buns.
Roasted Tomato Salad
2 Pints tear drop tomatoes
salt & pepper
1/2 cup feta or goat cheese
Sprinkle tear drop tomatoes with olive oil salt and pepper. Place on pan for roasting. Bake for 20 min at 375 degrees. Let cool. Add 1/2 cup feta or goat cheese, sprinkle with fresh torn basil.
This week I teamed up with One Kings Lane to talk about the wallpaper I covet in my home, as well as my bar and accessories. As you can tell I’m obsessed with color, fabrics, and unique finds. I can find a gem in any thrift shoppe or swap meet, but my favorite place is my local Goodwill. I love partnering with One Kings Lane because I get to showcase my love of home decor and design. Being an Entertainologist is so much more then just food. Designing a space in a particular way creates ambiance and sets the tone for any soiree. Take a look at some excerpts from my feature below, and make sure to swing by my Bar Sale.
Having lived in her house for almost 20 years, Powers has become a master at reinventing her interiors, which may explain her fearlessness when it comes to color. “I just picked a color from our living room rug, and I happen to love blue,” she says of Benjamin Moore’s Bainbridge Blue, the vibrant hue she chose for the walls. An oversize mirror from her husband’s bachelor days anchors Powers’s collection of black-and-white photography, which she’s been amassing since she was 16. “If I like it, I get it,” she says simply of her collecting strategy. After a friend cast them off, Powers re-covered the pair of chairs in her living room using orange velvet curtain panels she found at Ikea and stained the legs a dark brown to up the elegance. “The possibilities are so endless if you think outside the box,” she says.
Filling an unused corner of the living room with stacks of books creates an eye-catching display that’s easy to move when it comes time to mix up the furniture arrangement.
As a genius birthday present for her “backgammon fanatic” husband, Powers completely refurbished an old game table she found in a neighbor’s garage. One flip of the backgammon board and the surface becomes a fully functioning desk.
An antique bust, sporting a hat and glasses owned by Powers’s late father, adds a bit of gravitas and is a killer conversation starter on her ready-to-serve bar. An oversize tray and mix-and-match glassware transform an otherwise ordinary console table into entertaining central.
“When I see glasses that are not your norm I can’t help myself. I have to get them. My parents always had an array of cocktail glasses on their bar, and I realize now it was so chic!” —Lulu Powers
To add impact to the house’s diminutive entryway, Powers papered the walls in Cole & Son’s Lilac Dove wallpaper, which she discovered at Walnut Wallpaper, her go-to source for all the wallpaper in her home. “I love that place,” says Powers. “The owner, Norinne DeGal, is amazing. I could spend hours in there just looking.” Keeping with her eclectic style, Powers tempered the glitz of the wallpaper’s silver sheen with a rustic vintage console and antique rug.
A lovely alfresco dinner with a roaring fire, lights over the table on a dimmer from Target. A checked table runner was used on the sides with the wood showing down the middle with simple gerber daisies in ball jars. Also I used a ball jar for the water on the table that had place cards attached. A brown tag with chalkboard paint. The lemons we got from the clients lemon trees as well as the rosemary placed on top of the napkin.
We put a big board out filled with cheeses, meats , olives, chickpeas, mustards, cornichons, baked proscuitto. I think adding herbs (note the rosemary around the grapes) it just takes it up a notch. I love honey and doused some of the St. Angel cheese which is crazy delicious that I got at whole foods.
The Olives we put in a small sauce pan and covered them with olive oil , lemon and clementine strips and some hot chile fakes. Brought to a boil and turned off. Let cool and poured the olives into a bowl with a little of the oil, the chili flakes , and lemon & clementine rind with a sprig of rosemary. The rest of the olive oil we set out with some grilled bread and people used it to dip there bread in.
I love fried sage sprinkled with salt. I could eat it like potato chips and that is what I did here on the corner of the board. In the blue bowl is baked chick peas which are delicious to eat like some nuts. Drain and rinse off the chickpeas. Dry on paper towel. Put on a cookie sheet with a little olive oil cumin, salt and pepper at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Shake after 7 minutes. Everyones oven is different so cook them until you think they are crispy enough.
The different meats, I had them slice at whole food. Very thin. The tomato crostini were grilled bread with buratta,roasted tomatoes (which I roasted baby tomatoes for 25 minutes at 350 degrees with a little olive oil salt and pepper. Took out and let cool.) sprinkled with torn basil and sprinkled with malt on salt flakes, balsamic demi glaze.
This was a rose party where they tried all different kind of Rose’s. The host wanted to put out a little tequila bar for those who may have not wanted Rose. Which I thought was fun and all the guests seemed to sip tequila and enjoy trying all the different roses.
I had the pleasure of being featured on setsipserve.com alongside Mary Alice Haney, the personality behind the new high end, luxury clothing line, Haney.
“On this night for Mary Alice, Lulu Powers, The Entertainologist, created a beautiful dinner party with a chic colorful table. Lulu has designed the most fun, creative party tents/canopies that she set up in Mary Alice’s backyard where we all gathered to enjoy Lulu’s “Sneeky”. From there, we all got to sit at the dining room table that was filled with eclectic small vases holding colorful flowers. Lulu is a genius when setting a table. Her flair for originality comes out in the details such as the gold objects on each of our plates.”
Lulu’s Tarragon and Mint Frozen Lemonade with Vodka
1 Can or 12 oz Frozen Lemonade
1 1/2 Cans vodka (use the can as your measuring cup)
1/2 can chopped cucumber
1/2 can pulled tarragon
1/2 can pulled mint
1 can club soda
Step 1: Put the lemonade,vodka,cucumber,tarragon,mint and ice into a blender and blend well.
Step 2: Pour the contents into a pitcher, add the club soda and stir
Step 3: Pour over a glass filled with ice, and add a fun straw, a slice of clementine,cucmber or whatever fruit you have on hand. Enjoy!!
*Recipe Courtesy of Lulu Powers
*Photo by Stefanie Keenan
Lulus Spinach Kale Bites with Sweet Potato Aioli Adorned with Armenian Labne
For Kale Bites:
1 medium chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. salted butter
6 ounce fresh baby spinach (5 oz. of frozen)
2 cups packed fresh kale
2 scallions thinly sliced
2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs, plus extra for coating ( I toast Udi’s bread then put in food processor and pulse for gluten free)
3⁄4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of Cholula (my fav hot sauce) more if you want
Olive oil cooking spray
For Sweet Potato Tapenade:
3 Sweet potatoes baked and peeled
3/4 cup almonds
2 cloves garlic
3/4 cup parmesan
1 lemon juiced and zested
1/4 cup canola oil or olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: 1 stp or more of Cholula
For Armenian Labne:
1/2 cup lane or sour cream
1 tsp pomegranate molasses
1/2 tsp Za’tar
For Kale Bites:
Step 1: Preheat Oven to 375 Degrees F
Step 2: In a frying pan, heat and melt butter with olive oil. Add onion and garlic. Saute until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add spinach and kale and cook until they wilt, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Step 3: Place cooked contents into a food processor along with scallions and pulse for several seconds. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl.
Step 4: Add one egg, ⅔ cup breadcrumbs, and Parmesan cheese. Mix with a spoon until well combined. Add salt and black pepper to taste and a dash of Cholula.
Step 5: In a small bowl or flat dish, put some bread crumbs. Take a teaspoon full of the spinach and kale mixture into your hand. Make small ball with your hands. You can use mini ice cream scoop too. It’s up to you to decide what size you would like to make them.
Step 6: Gently roll ball into panko bread crumbs to coat evenly.
Step 7: Lightly spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the spinach and kale bites onto baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve warm
For Sweet Potato Tapenade:
Step 1: Put everything in the Cuisinart but the sweet potatoes.
Step 2: Pulse till chunky, then add peeled sweet potatoes. Pulse to your likeness.
Notes: Bake sweet potatoes and pull skin off when hot, it’s easier. Add the sweet potatoes when they are warm. It seems to mix better this way and enhance all the flavors.
For Armenian Labne:
Step 1: Mix all together
Put a dollop of the sweet potato aioli on your spinach kale bite and finish with the armenian labne. Please substitute if you do not have the Za’tar and maybe add finely chopped scallions or chives.
*Photo by Stefanie Keenan
Check out the spread in Angeleno magazine below featuring Kale Salad with Mint Pistachio Pesto
2 cups Mint
1 cups pistachio
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Pulse the pesto ingredients in a good processor.
One head of kale, washed, dried, and julianned.
Toss kale with one tsp. olive oil, one tsp. lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add pesto and toss.
Stevie’s Salad Dressing:
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 lemon juiced
1 tsp. Tabasco
5 cloves garlic, pressed
Pull out a glass jar, add ingredients, and shake, shake, shake!
On Sunday I had the pleasure of doing an event for the Malibu Boys & Girls Club hosted by Shelley Litvak and Jaye Eigler. We wanted to use a bit of nautical as it was at Shelley’s home on the beach. Incorporating Sail rope, buoys, and shells is an easy way to Luluize any gathering. Its makes it fun, and a little outside the box.
Turn any wooden surface (the buoy) into an impromptu sign with a chalk paint pen. It’s easily erasable with a damp cloth. Wrapping sail rope around the silver wine vessel makes for a more casual & creative look.
A favorite of the night was my signature Turkey Meatballs with tomato jam, feta, & fresh basil. Try my scrumptious recipe below;
Makes 8 burgers or 40 mini meatball PRE HEAT OVEN TO 400 DEGREES THIS RECIPE CAN BE USED FOR MEATBALLS,SLIDERS,TACO’S JUST ABOUT ANYTHING………
1LB GROUND TURKEY
1LB SPICY TURKEY SAUSAGE OR REG SAUSAGE (YOUR CHOICE)
1 CUP RICOTTA
1 CUP GROUND BREADCRUMBS
1⁄2 CUP PARSLEY LEAVES
2 TABLESPOONS OREGANO LEAVES
1⁄4 CUP OLIVE OIL
2 TSPNS FENNEL SEEDS
1/8 TSP RED CHILI FLAKES (OPTIONAL)
SALT TO TASTE
PUT OLIVE OIL, PARSLEY, OREGANO, FENNEL SEEDS AND RED CHILI FLAKES ALL IN A BLENDER AND BLEND. MIX THE TURKEY, SAUASAGE, RICOTTA, EGGS, BREADCRUMBS AND HERB MIXTURE WITH YOUR HANDS. Form into any size ball you want to or burger. Depends on what you feel like.
NOTE: I ALWAYS FRY A LITTLE MEATBALL UP TO TASTE SO I CAN ADJUST THE SEASONING
1⁄2 CUP OLIVE OIL
1 LARGE ONION (JAY OMIT THIS AND ADD 3 MORE CLOVES GARLIC)
3 CLOVES GARLIC
1 BAY LEAF
2 TABLESPOONS TOMATO PASTE
2 28 OUNCE CANS DICED TOMATOES
*SOMETIMES I EVEN THROW SOME CARROTS INTO THE SAUCE. THEN BLEND IN BLENDER OR USE FRESH TOMATOES WHEN IN SEASON.
HEAT OLIVE OIL IN A PAN. ADD THE ONION, OREGANO, BAY LEAF AND GARLIC. COOK UNTIL SOFTENED. ADD THE TOMATOES,TOMATO PASTE AND BRING TO A BOIL THEN TO TURN TO SIMMER. TRY IT AND ADJUST THE SEASONING. I LIKE TO KEEP IT COOKING SO ITT GET’S THICKER. WHEN YOU FEEL IT’S DONE,TURN OFF. PUT THE MEATBALLS IN A PAN FITTED TIGHTLY WITH SIDES. POUR OVER SOME OF THE SAUCE. BAKE FOR 20 MINUTES.