Apples and Pomegranate Seeds Are What Your Guacamole Is Missing

Serve it with parsnip chips if you're really feeling fancy.

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To be honest, guacamole has gotten a little blah — it can be more than just avocado, tomato and onion! The actor Chris O'Donnell told me mixing in a little honey is key. I like to take it to the next level by also adding apples, jewel-like pomegranate seeds, whatever you like. You want it to be fun! And gorgeous, of course.

Lulu's Chunky Guacamole

Serves 6-8

  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 5 large ripe avocados, pitted, peeled and diced
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 apple, diced
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds

1. In a small bowl, mix the onion, honey, garlic, tomato, cilantro, salt, pepper and Tabasco. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to let the flavors meld.

2. In a medium bowl, mash the avocado into the onion mixture with a fork until it reaches your desired texture. Stir in the lime juice, apple and pomegranate seeds. Serve with your choice of chips — I like parsnip crisps!

This story originally appeared in the October 2017 issue of House Beautiful.

Yep, We Seriously Want You to Add Bacon to Your Vanilla Ice Cream

Plus 17 more inventive toppings you have to try.

Making ice cream from scratch is hard, so I often opt instead to garnish vanilla Häagen-Dazs with something fun, like candied bacon — easy to make by brushing on maple syrup and brown sugar as it bakes. Delicious! Or, I let the ice cream soften a bit, mix in something like broken-up Butterfingers or cookies — or anything yum — and refreeze. Vanilla doesn't have to be vanilla.

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Caramelized Bacon

  • 2/3 cup grade A or B maple syrup (not the fake stuff) 
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 pounds beef or turkey bacon

Preheat the oven to 325oF. In a small heavy saucepan mix together the syrup, mustard, and sugar and heat slowly on low heat, stirring often. Cook until syrup thickens, about 10 minutes. Set aside. Fry bacon in a large pan on medium-high heat using a “bacon weight” to keep the bacon really flat as it cooks. When the bacon is cooked to your liking, drain the bacon on a paper towel. Lay the flattened bacon on a jelly roll pan and brush the glaze on both sides. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. 

Not into bacon? Try more of my favorite vanilla ice cream toppings:

  1. Candied bacon (shown)
  2. St-Germain liqueur, plus berries and chopped basil
  3. Dehydrated or fresh fruit
  4. Caramel popcorn
  5. Olive oil and lemon zest
  6. Cotton candy and edible gold flakes (buy on Amazon)
  7. Candied ginger or orange, grapefruit, or lemon peel
  8. Toasted coconut flakes
  9. Brown rice cereal, dipped in melted chocolate and cooled
  10. Whipped cream mixed with malted milk
  11. Hot fudge with crumbled candy canes (any time of year!)
  12. Crushed malt balls and toffee—dangerously good
  13. Chocolate-covered espresso beans
  14. Any flavor of Compartés chocolate bars, broken up
  15. Salty pretzel pieces
  16. Lillet rosé dessert wine
  17. Crumbled shortbread
  18. Crushed Oreos. I love them.

This story originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of House Beautiful.

Cool Down on Summer Nights With This Sweet Corn Gazpacho

This soup may be served chilled, but a pop of jalapeño brings some warmth.

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To me, summertime means corn — I love it! This corn gazpacho is a simply sumptuous meal, super-refreshing and so easy to make. You can even do it a day ahead for a party. Because it's almost all vegetables, it feels light and healthy, but the corn and grapes add a sweetness that takes it to a whole other level. I like to serve my gazpacho with rosé and crusty sourdough bread, which I brown in a hot cast-iron pan with salt and olive oil for crunch. Delicious!

Sweet Corn Gazpacho

Serves 6

  • 1 pound yellow tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 3 ears of sweet corn, kernels removed from cob
  • 1/4 cup sweet white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup green seedless grapes
  • 1 Persian cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 2 small garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded Sea salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Optional: hot sauce, chive oil
  1. Combine the tomatoes, bell pepper, corn, onion, grapes, cucumber, garlic, and jalapeño in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sea salt, mix well, and set the bowl aside for 1 hour, covered.
  2. Put the mixture in a blender with the olive oil and blend until it reaches your desired smoothness. Stir in the vinegar and lime juice, then season to taste with sea salt. Serve lightly chilled; pretty it up with a hot sauce or chive oil garnish.

This story originally appeared in the July/August 2017 issue of House Beautiful.

Perk Up Your Iced Coffee With These 5-Layer Mocha Cubes

Chocolate milk cold brew? Yes, please!

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I love an iced coffee in the afternoon, especially in summer — and I make it even more of a treat with my five-layer ice cubes. With ribbons of coffee, milk and chocolate milk, they're such a pretty pick-me-up!

Iced-Coffee Cubes

Makes about 12

  • 3 cups black coffee, cold
  • 3 cups whole milk or half-and-half
  • ½ cup chocolate milk

1. Fill large, square ice-cube molds, such as Tovolo's King Cube tray ($9, amazon.com), with a thin layer of coffee and freeze. Once this first layer has frozen (about two hours), add a layer of milk or half-and-half and freeze. Then, add a thin layer of chocolate milk and freeze. Repeat the process with milk and a final layer of coffee, filling to the top.

2. To make the drink shown, pour chilled coffee and milk over the ice cubes — you can also add some Kahlúa or Baileys — and the cubes will melt into the most delicious iced coffee ever! Take it to the next level by keeping some sweetened condensed milk in a squeeze bottle and adding as much as you like (it's divine in my morning hot coffee, too!).

This story originally appeared in the June 2017 issue of House Beautiful.

Veggies Are the Secret Ingredient Your Cocktail Is Missing

This recipe looks healthy, but tastes divine.

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I love serving a specialty sneeky, even when a neighbor is just stopping by. It makes it seem like you went the extra mile! This arugula cocktail is green, so it looks healthy, but it's soooo delicious.

Arugula Sneeky

Serves 2

  • 4 ounces gin, vodka or tequila
  • 1 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 2 ounces fresh cucumber juice
  • 1 ounces herb simple syrup, plus more to taste (recipe below)
  • ¼ cup fresh arugula leaves

Fill a shaker halfway with ice. Add all ingredients and shake-shake-shake, then strain into two glasses over ice. Garnish with slices of cucumber and rosemary sprigs.

Herb Simple Syrup

  • ½ cup each of fresh rosemary, mint and basil leaves
  • ¾ cup agave syrup
  • ¾ cup boiling water

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stir, cover and let stand for an hour. Strain syrup into a glass container and store in the refrigerator. It's also great drizzled on top of fruit, or for sweetening iced tea or lemonade.

This story originally appeared in the May 2017 issue of House Beautiful.

 

Lulu's Irish Soda Bread

St Patrick’s day to me conjures up many fun memorable moments. As a kid it was the St Patrick’s Day parade in NYC, wearing all green even down to the elastic in my hair. Trying to find a four leaf clover in our grass, and calling my cousin Patty Powers Smith to say Happy Birthday!

My father always wearing his green hat from Ireland, which now proudly sits a top the bust on my bar in the living room.

Memories are travels for the soul. A St. Patrick's Day wouldn't be complete without some Irish classics, so grab your Guiness and make my Irish Soda Bread!

Lulu's Irish Soda Bread:

Ingredients:
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk,
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup julienned apricots
½ cup crystalized ginger

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer add the butter and the flour mixture on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour. With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk and the egg in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture.
Now add the cranberries, apricots and crystalized ginger. Mix to combine.
The mixture may seem a bit wet but dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf. You may want to make 2 smaller loaves out of your dough. Place the loaf or loaves on the prepared sheet pan with parchment paper.
Optional: Brush with egg wash: 1 tsp milk and 1 whole egg mix with fork. This will make your loaf shiny.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.
 

Options for serving (all delicious): 
Serve warm with butter.
Eat plain.
Toast and put a triple creme brie on it with a drizzle of truffle honey.

My favorite butter to use at the moment is Kerrygold. Smother a warm piece of fresh bread with this butter and it is heaven.

My favorite butter to use at the moment is Kerrygold. Smother a warm piece of fresh bread with this butter and it is heaven.

My March Column in House Beautiful - Essential Items In My Pantry

In every pantry, you should always have a few go-to items that you can use in case you need to make a quick meal or host some unexpected guests. I always have guests stopping by for Sneeky's, so I like to keep some essentials on hand that are great for entertaining. 

 

 

 

My Party Staples:

  • Whoppers 
  • Entube
  • Ortiz Tuna
  • Luke's White Truffle & Sea Salt Chips
  • Roasted Nuts
  • Harissa Pepper Paste
  • Cipriani Pappardelle
  • Dang Onion Chips
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Honey
  • Sourdough Pretzels
  • Dried Mangoes
  • Urbani White Truffle Salt
  • Colman's Mustard
  • Frankies 457 Olive Oil
  • San Marzano Tomatoes 

 

Find out why these are my party essentials in the March issue of House Beautiful!

The Oscars: How You Should Prepare

Oscar Sunday is just about one week away. Whether you're more interested in who wears what, or who wins what, you should definitely have a Sneeky in hand for the occasion. 

Try my Oscar Spritz: An easy and elegant drink to serve to any guests or viewing parties next weekend! Make it this weekend to test it out and it'll be the real winner of The Oscars.