Mushroom Soup with Matcha Cream (aka gnome soup)

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey
Photography by Teresa Earnest Photography

A delicious mushroom soup gnomes and humans will love…trolls not so much. 
Soup Recipes, Mushroom Recipes, Libbie Summers Recipes, A food-inspired life, Soups
What you need:
2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for drizzling
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds baby bella mushrooms, sliced (sauté a few and set aside for garnish)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley plus more for garnish
Flake sea salt or kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons soy sauce
5 cups vegetable stock
1 cup milk or cream

Matcha Cream: (optional garnish)
1 tablespoon matcha powder
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

What to do:
In a large sauce pan or dutch oven over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, onions and garlic. Add mushrooms and parsley, season liberally with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are well-browned.

Add soy sauce and cook, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in stock and cook until mushrooms are tender.

Using an immersion blender or working in batches in a regular blender, blend the mixture until smooth. Return to pan and stir in milk. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer.

In a small bowl, stir together Matcha Cream ingredients.

To Serve: Ladle into bowls, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with chopped parsley, reserved sautéd mushrooms and a dollop of Matcha Cream.
Soup Recipes, Mushroom Recipes, Gnome Soup, Libbie Summers Recipes, Winter Soups, Fall Soups


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
Chalk Board Art, Menu chalk Board, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life, Party decor,
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! 🙂 
Libbie Summers Dinner Party, Greeting Guests, 40th birthday parties
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,

Dad Dogs!

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

Every dog and every dad has his day. Check out the fun I had creating the perfect hot dog topping for every dad persona and up your hot dog game this summer!

Libbie Summers, A Food-inspired LIfe, Hot Dogs, Fathers Day, Dad Dogs, Dad, Hot Dog Toppings, Toppings, Summer, July, Fourth of July, Backyard Cookout

The Athletic Dad:
grilled turkey hot dog, spicy mustard, sliced avocado, fresh basil leaves, sliced tomato, drizzle of olive oil and pinch of salt on a whole wheat bun.
Hot Dogs, Summer Food, Libbie Summers

The Drinker Dad: 
beer steamed 100% beef hotdog, whole grain mustard, onions and kraut on a pretzel roll. 
Summer Hot Dogs, Fancy Hot dogs, Father's Day, Summer Food, A food-inspired life,

The Absentee Dad:
plain hot dog, white bun and no condiments. 

My Two Dads:
grilled turkey hot dog, sir kensington’s chipotle mayo, edible flowers, herbs and a brioche bun. 
Hot Dogs, Food Styling, Summer Foods, a food-inspired life, Libbie summers

The Professor Dad (my dad) (top dog in photo and in life): 
steamed Vienna Beef® hot dog, mustard, relish, onion, tomato, sport pepper and celery salt on a poppy seed bun.
Fancy Hot Dogs, Libbie Summers, Summer Food, Grilling Food, Food Styling,

4 Mother’s Day Breakfast in Bed Ideas

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

Low Calorie, Vegetarian, Gluten Free and Bacon Lovers!! A breakfast in bed idea for every mother out there. Happy Mother’s Day!!

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