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.
I got to sit down with fabulous friend Carla McDonald, founder of The Salonniere, to discuss how to “Luluize” your party from the very start. Check out her article on The Salonniere.
Hi-de-ho, babycakes. Come on in and meet my fabulous friend, Lulu, also known as “The Entertainologist.” In addition to being one of the country’s most inventive celebrity chefs and event designers – her clients have included luminaries from Madonna and Herb Ritts to US presidents - she’s the best-selling author of Lulu Powers: From Food to Flowers, a beautiful, comprehensive and completely accessible party-planning guide. Trust me, this L.A. lady’s natural beauty, colorful personality and bohemian flair are as intoxicating as her “sneekies,” Lulu’s pet name for giggle water. Go ahead, doll, grab your sneeky and join the fun. Lulu’s spilling the beans about how to cook up a fresh, fun and fanciful fete and you’re not going to want to miss one delicious morsel.
About how many events do you plan per year? 100
What’s the last party you planned? An al fresco dinner party for 70 people hosted by Catharine and Jeffery Soros to thank the donors of the LA Dance Project. We designed a gorgeous dinner using Katherine’s own china and down-home burlap tablecloths that she wanted to incorporate.
Lulu with clients, Catharine and Jeffery Soros
What party are you planning now? A cocktail party at producer Shelley Litvack’s Malibu beach house to raise funds for the local Boys and Girls Club. We’ll be doing mini versions of fun, summer foods like lobster rolls. But, honestly, I won’t finalize the menu until that morning when I see what looks fresh and tasty at the Malibu Farmers Market. Let’s go from food to flowers. What your best tip for…Food: Always use fresh. Cocktails: Learn how to make at least one good classic cocktail that you can serve all the time. Champagne: Serve Schramsberg Vineyards champagne – it’s what they serve at the White House – or the Brut Rosé from Domaine Carneros. It’s delicious and well-priced. Wine: You can get a deal if you buy a case. Also, your wine guy will deliver it to you cold if you ask. Music: Always have music on – jazz for cocktails and something more upbeat for later on. Décor: Put candles everywhere. Powder rooms: Always light a candle and have plenty of guest towels. Invitations: Pick up the phone and invite people over at the last minute. Impromptu dinner parties are fun. Flowers: Two bunches of the same colored flowers can go a long way. What makes a party great? At the end of the day, it’s the people. You can spend a fortune and do the most creative things but, if the people are boring, it’s not going to be fun. If you need to hire people to come to your party and dance all night to keep the energy level up, do it.
Lulu’s L.A. book exchange hosted by television news journalist, Lisa McCree
What’s the best party you’ve ever been to? I’ve been to my share of fun parties but, in the last year, it has to be my friend Gwen’s birthday party last November. It was just good ole girl fun with foot massages at the end of the night, which really helped after I was ripping up the dance floor. The bar cart filled with caviar was pretty great, too. And my sneeky glass was never empty. Need I say more?
When should someone hire a caterer versus doing a party themselves?Hey, if you can afford to hire a caterer, do it. Hosts should spend their time enjoying their own party and taking care of their guests instead of worrying about the details.
What makes a client great?When they trust me and let me be completely creative. That’s one of the reasons I love working with Jouer Cosmetics owner, Christina Zilber, so much. She hires me and then says, “Just figure it out.”
If your client gave you $100 to spend on party décor, what would you buy? I’d buy as many candles and balloons as I could. They’re inexpensive and add so much.
What are your party musts? My staff has to dress meticulously (that means no cat hair on your pants) and arrive with a smile and a good attitude. I send sour-pusses home on the spot. Guests must be offered a drink as soon as they walk in since people feel most comfortable when they have something in their hand, dirty glasses and scrunched napkins have to be cleaned up as soon as they’re set down and the answer to every request must be “yes.” We can figure out the how later.
What’s the best way to deal with a difficult or over-served guest? Tell whomever they came with that you think it’s time to get their friend home. Then call a cab and send them out the door with a bottle of Gatorade and some cookies. How much should a client tip their caterer? Twenty percent, although some tip more. And never underestimate the value of a sincere thank you. How do you stay party ready; what’s always in your fridge or pantry? Pellegrino, wine, Prosecco, champagne, a big hunk of parmesan, potato chips, olives and nuts. Also, I always have three pretty bowls ready to be filled with the nibbles and set out.
Lulu’s bar in her L.A. home, which features a green hat and shaker that belonged to her dad
What’s your current favorite sneeky?
I put some ice in a ball jar, add vodka, fresh mint and basil, which I smash up to let out the essence, and add two tablespoons of limeade and the juices of one fresh lemon and one fresh lime. If I have fresh strawberries, I’ll chop up two or three and throw them in. Then I put the top on the ball jar and shake, shake, shake. So fresh and delicious for summer.
Lulu’s favorite summertime sneeky
What celebrity would you most like to work with? Filmmaker Tyler Perry. Ever since I saw a story about him on “60 Minutes,” I’ve been a huge fan. He’s completely inspiring and crazy creative. I’d love to collaborate with him. I love his story and I told him so when I met him. I like working with people who inspire me.
Finish this sentence: you know it’s a Lulu Powers party when…
You get a sneeky passed to you as you’re coming in the door, the food is scrumptious and the staff is stellar.
“There is nothing like a soirée thrown by my childhood friend Sally Horchow” She is an incredible host. As I watched her walk around the party making sure everyone had a sneeky (a spicy Sally or glass of rose) asking if everyone was good. That’s a good host. You want your guests to have a great time. C’mon everyone likes to feel they are being taken care of.
Sally is bringing back the Fritos along with her crab dip which was scrumptious. Simple prosciutto wrapped melon, and s’more bites.
Hey put some Fritos in a bowl with a big spoon and your good to go. Fritos are ol school. Recently I was served Fritos in an ol silver gravy boat with a ladle looking spoon. First thought: chic presto bingo you have a “snack” for your guests. All it takes is keeping a bag of Fritos in your pantry.
Sally’s Scrumptious Crab Dip
1 lb lump crabmeat
1 can quartered artichokes
2 8 oz. pkgs cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayo
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Tabasco to taste
Sea salt to taste
300 degrees in the oven for 20-30 minutes (stir halfway through) Serve with Fritos!
Sally’s S’more Bites
3 tbsp butter
1 bag (10oz) marshmallows
6 cups rice-crisp cereal
1 cup melted semisweet chocolate chips
71/2 rectangular graham crackers (or 15 squares)
1 cup marshmallow creme (such as fluff)
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in marshmallows and cook, stirring until smooth, 2 minutes; remove from eat. In a bowl, combine marshmallows with cereal; mix well. In the bottom of a 9”x 13” pan, spread half of the cereal mixture into a thin, even layer. Top with warmed chocolate. Place graham crackers in single layer over chocolate, breaking crackers as needed to fit; top with creme. Spread remaining half of cereal mixture over creme; lightly press to cement layers together. Let s’mores sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
Spicy Sally Sneeky
1/2 oz 100% agave tequila
2oz pineapple juice
1/4 oz agave nectar or simple syrup
3 fresh jalapeño slices, divided
2 to 3 sage leaves
Club Soda (optional)
Squeeze lime into cocktail shaker and add tequila, pineapple juice, agave nectar, 2 jalapeño slices, and sage. Muddle, add ice, and slake well. Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Top with Soda if desired. Garnish with remaining jalapeño slice.
I can’t get enough of the gorgeous shoes from Sole Society, and I am delighted to be featured on their blog. We are partnering over the next few months to bring you delicious food, drink and entertaining tips. Who doesn’t love stilettos and sneekys?
First up is The Entertainologist Summertime Sneeky and Sangria Popsicles paired with my metallic gold Paulinna Heels.
The Entertainologist Summertime Sneeky
Makes 1 drink
1 strawberry for flourish
A sangria popsicle
Mix 20oz (2 1/2 cups) dry wine , rose, 2 tablespoons of sugar, blackberries and strawberries and pour into a large ice cube tray. When almost frozen, stick in popsicle sticks and let freeze entirely.