Avocado Goat Cheese Dip (Video)

by Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

Trust me, THIS will be your go to dip/spread recipe! Make any multiples of it you like. It just keeps getting bigger and better! 

What you need:
1 clove garlic
1/4 t ground cumin
1/4 t flake sea salt
1 ripe avocado
3 T lime juice
4 ounces goat cheese
4 ounces  cream cheese

What to do:
In a bowl combine avocados, garlic, cumin and salt. Use a molcajete, blender or food processor to mix ingredients together. Add lime juice, cream cheese and goat cheese pulsing until smooth and blended well. Add a bit more salt, if necessary.

Rhubarb Profiteroles

Recipe and Styling by Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong
Assisted by Candace Brower

Once you master the art of making a pâte a choux (an airy cream puff dough) the possibilities of its use are endless. You can fill the baked dough with a savory or sweet mixtures. In honor of our rhubarb week, we chose sweet.

Libbie Summers, Rhubarb, French Food, Satled and Styled, Profiteroles, Pastry

Rhubarb Profiteroles
makes approximately 15

Ingredients:
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter
Pinch salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, and 2 egg whites
Pastry Cream (recipe to follow)
Rhubarb Puree (recipe HERE)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with a silicon mat or parchment paper and set aside.

In a large heavy bottomed saucepan add the milk, brown sugar, butter and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and add the flour all at once. Using a wooden spoon, stir crazy fast until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan and a tight dough forms, about 2-5 minutes.

Transfer the dough into the bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment. Turn the mixer on low allowing the dough to cool for about 4 minutes. Slowly add the eggs one at a time, making sure the egg is completely incorporated before adding the next. Once all the eggs are added continue mixing until the dough is smooth and shiny.

Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a large plain tip. Pipe golf ball-sized mounds onto the baking sheets, leaving 1 inch between them. Cook for ten minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and continue cooking for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden brown. Allow to cool completely.

To assemble: Cut the profiteroles in half. Swirl some or all of the Rhubarb Puree into the chilled Pastry Cream before filling a piping bag with it. Pipe a generous amount of the filling onto the bottoms of each profiterole. Replace the top and serve.

Libbie Summers, Rhubarb, French Food, Satled and Styled, Profiteroles, Pastry

Pastry Cream
makes about 3 ½ cups

Ingredients:
2 ½ cups milk
8 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon vanilla paste
2 tablespoons butter

Directions
In a large heavy bottomed saucepan heat the milk on medium high heat until it starts to simmer. While the milk is heating whisk the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla paste and cornstarch together in a separate bowl. Temper the milk into the egg yolk mixture by slowly ladling a cup of the hot milk into the bowl and whisking constantly. When the egg yolks are tempered add to the pot. Whisk constantly until the pastry cream starts to thicken making sure it bubbles. Add in the butter. Strain through a wire mesh strainer to remove any lumps and allow to cool.

NOTE: Make sure to put plastic wrap directly onto the pastry cream when storing to prevent it from developing a skin.

Libbie Summers, Rhubarb, French Food, Satled and Styled, Profiteroles, Pastry

Charred Purple Cabbage with Parmesan and Chives

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

This CRAZY GOOD side dish started out as part of a main dish I was developing for Terra’s Kitchen (which is still sooo happening btw).
I had three ingredients in my crisper: a head of purple cabbage, a nub of parmesan cheese and a handful of chives (one still with it’s blossom attached). Chop, splash, toss and 20 minutes later I had one of the best sides I’ve ever eaten –and one that will be on my Thanksgiving table this year.
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Charred Purple Cabbage with Parmesan and Chives
serves 8

What you need: 
1 head purple cabbage, rough leaves and core removed and cut in 8 wedges
Olive Oil
Flake sea salt
Coarsely ground black pepper
4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 small bunch chives chopped in half

What to do: 
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Place cabbage wedges on a baking tray and drizzle all with oil, salt and pepper. Use your hands to turn each wedge and coat the other side making sure to keep the wedges intact.
Roast until beginning to brown on the edges (about 15-18 minutes). Remove from oven and sprinkle all with cheese. Place back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes.
To Serve: Use a spatula to transfer each wedge to a plate or platter and garnish with chives.
Vegetarian Recipes, Healthy Recipes, Healthy Sides, Libbie Summers Recipes, Thanksgiving sides, Great side dishes

The perfect side dish for this perfectly purple holiday table…see it HERE.
Purple Pumpkins, Libbie Summers, Holiday Table, Chive Blossom Inspiration, Organic, Chic

 

A Very Cherry Birthday Party

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by Candace Brower and Anthony Lunsmann
Photography by Cedric Smith

When one of the coolest chicks in the land (I’m talking about you Autumn Van Gunten) is turning 40 and her even cooler boyfriend (Yep, that’s you Cedric Smith) asks you to cater a little surprise dinner party for her and her closest friends, you scream HELL YES!

Inspired by the juicy ruby colored fruit of the season, I used cherries to inform the table and the menu spectacle for this very special event.

The result, like Autumn, a total cherry bomb!!!

The menu on a chalkboard made of a vintage vanity mirror
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Greens, roses, fresh cherries and vintage milk glass ran down the middle of the farm tables as a centerpiece. 
Tablescapes, Cherries, Dinner Party Decor, Libbie Summers Parties, Food-inspired parties
The birthday girl, Autumn, in blue and feeling happy surrounded by her dearest friends including her best friend who flew in from Ohio for the surprise! 
Me…explaining the menu and looking tired! 🙂 
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First Course (sat on the table for guests to pour themselves):
Southern Peanut Soup 

Soups, Peanut Soup, A food-inspired life, Libbie Summers
Second Course:
Salad of Pea Shoots, Avocado and Watermelon

Salads, Summer Salads, Avocado Salads, Watermelon Salads, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life, parties
Tablescape Ingredients: Fresh rosemary, eucalyptus, fresh cherries, pink roses, garden greens, vintage glassware, mix of flatware, torn french fabric napkins, mix and match plates, vintage milk glass, glass cloches and burlap. 
Cherries, Summer Parties, Tablescapes, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life
Main Course:
Slow Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Fried Potatoes, Cherry Salsa, Handmade Charred Tortillas
Pork Recipes, Pork Tacos, Cherry Salsa, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life,
Cherry Inspired birthday party, Libbie Summers, Summer Parties, Cherry-inspired party, Summer entertaining, Libbie Summers

Happy 40th Birthday Autumn!

Cherry Watermelon Wedge Salad

By Libbie Summers
Photography by Teresa Earnest
Assisted by David Dempsey

When my son was young, he called a watermelon wedge diced in the rind “fancy melon”. In toddler Jenga fashion, his tiny fingers would strategically pull out the diced pieces from the rind bringing on contagious juicy giggles.

With a few simple cuts, the humble watermelon wedge will instantly become “fancy” in the eyes of any guests at your table. And, topped with this simple fruit salsa, salty feta and crunchy pistachios…it’s extra fancy.
Summer Salads, Watermelon Salad, Cherry Salsa, Summer Entertaining
Cherry Watermelon Wedge Salad
ripe melon, cherry salsa, feta, pistachios, lime finish
Serves 4

What you need:
4 watermelon wedges (about 6-8 inches long and 3-4 inches wide at the rind)
1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and roughly chopped (feel free to sub any fruit here, it all works!)
¼ jalapeno, finely diced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 juicy lime
Flake sea salt
Coarsely ground black pepper
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup pistachios, roughly chopped
Olive oil for drizzling

What to do:
1. Prepare cherry salsa: Cut the lime in half. Cut one half into wedges and set aside for serving. In a small bowl, stir together the cherries, jalapeno, cilantro and juice of ½ lime. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
2. Prepare watermelon: The way these wedges are diced in the rind and served from it, is what   makes this summer salad a show stopper! Working with one wedge at a time, start your cuts from the peak of the watermelon wedge, make vertical slices 1-inch wide just down to the rind (don’t cut through the rind). Next, with your knife at a 45-degree angle, make horizontal cuts about 1-inch wide on one side of the wedge working from the peak to the rind without slicing through the rind. Spin to the other side of the wedge and repeat the process. Finally, run your knife along the rind of the wedge.
To Serve: Place one watermelon wedge on each plate pulling out a few of the pieces of melon slightly to give a “shelf” for the salsa to land on. Spoon salsa over each wedge. Top each with feta and pistachios. Drizzle with olive oil and finish with a pinch of salt. Serve with a lime wedge on the side.
Summer Salads, Watermelon Salad, Cherry Salsa, Summer Entertaining, Fancy Salad
Event Design, Party Design, Magnolias, Watermelon, A food-inspired life,

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