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BIG, Bold and Beautiful by Jenny Lorish

Springtime: a season to renew, refresh and hit the restart button. Nothing brings a smile to my face like a beautiful springtime day. The birds are chirping, plants are popping out of the ground, the smell of the air is crisp and clean, the sun feels warmer and everyone seems happy.
 
After a long, cold winter, I’m always ready for a celebration. Getting together with friends and family for some of the seasons fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, and libations
is the best way I can think to do a toast and welcome all that is new.
 
Recently, my family went to Newport Beach, CA for Spring Break. Everything was green and lush. The sun was shining everyday and it felt, as my son Thomas says, “like a blanket on my skin”.
 
We had many adventures and saw some beautiful sights. We also ate most of our meals at restaurants. There are many wonderful places to eat in SoCal. Before we left for our trip, we planned out the places we really wanted to hit. Many were recommended by family who live there.
 
What surprised me most was that every restaurant was super healthy and had many vegetarian and vegan choices. Being pescatarians, my husband and I had no problems at all. Fresh fish, fresh veggies, fresh everything.
 
One of my favorite things to do when I return home, is to recreate some of the recipes of the food we ate. Ceviche, salads, grilled fish tacos, etc.
 
At one restaurant we ordered the crudité bowl. When it came to the table I laughed out loud. It was a huge bowl stuffed full of beautiful vegetables with an olive tapenade sauce and a tzatziki sauce for dipping. We devoured it. It was so fresh and crunchy, and with the sauces it had the perfect umami. If you want to get your children to eat their vegetables, this presentation will do it!
 
Now that we are back, I’m ready to start my re-creations and celebrate Spring with my friends and family. First on the menu is sure to be the crudité bowl. Next, will surely be many of the delicious and amazing food and drink we enjoyed. But I really want to share this, oh so easy, but oh so BIG Crudité Bowl recipe with you.
 
It’s not really a recipe per se, as it is an arrangement, customized how you like. I will be sure to make this ahead of time in one of the biggest and prettiest bowls I own.
 
My version will include long leafs of romaine lettuce stacked vertically in the bowl to start. Then, whole peeled smaller carrots, and radishes with some of the tops left on. I will also add spears of cucumber, vertically sliced red and yellow peppers, and one minute blanched green beans. (Recipes for the dips, below) So, I’m going to go ahead, invite my favorite friends and family, set glorious table and go BIG!
 
At Marcel’s, we celebrate Spring with fresh new merchandise for decorating and outfitting your kitchen with style. We have all the kitchen tools and gadgets to help get you started, BIG beautiful bowls included. We also host many cooking classes to help you be the best cook and entertainer amongst your family and friends. Stop in and let us help you with your Springtime entertaining!
Tapenade & Tzatziki Dip
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Ingredients
  1. Tapenade Dip
  2. 1/2 cup black olive, puréed
  3. 3 big bunch basil, puréed
  4. Juice of 1 lemon
  5. 1/2 cup avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
  6. Tzatziki Dip
  7. Two 7-ounce containers Greek yogurt (like Fage Total)
  8. 1/2 English cucumber, diced
  9. Juice of 1 lemon
  10. 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  11. 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
  12. 1 clove minced garlic
  13. Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Tapenade Dip
  1. Mix all ingredients well. Can be made up to a week ahead of time.
  2. Tzatziki Dip
  3. Mix all ingredients well. Can be made 1 or 2 days ahead of time.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Aged Cheddar and Beer Dip

Aged Cheddar and Beer Dip
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons of butter
  2. 3 tablespoons of flour
  3. 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme
  4. 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
  5. 1 (12 oz.) bottle lager
  6. 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature, cut into 6-8 pieces
  7. 6 ounces of extra-sharp cheddar, grated (1 ½ cups)
  8. 6 ounces of Gruyere, grated (1 ½ cups)
  9. 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
  10. Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  11. ½ cup coarsely crushed pretzel rods, plus whole pretzel rods for serving
  12. Celery stalks, for serving
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour. Cook, whisking about 2 minutes. Add thyme and mustard, then gradually add beer, whisking constantly until smooth. Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute more.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add cream cheese, a piece at a time, whisking constantly until smooth. Whisk in cheddar and Gruyere, a handful at a time, until melted. Remove from heat. Add Worcestershire. Season the dip with salt and pepper.
  3. Serve, sprinkled with pretzel crumbs, with pretzels and celery.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/