Dinner June 1, 2013

IMG_4819IMG_4777IMG_4821IMG_4800 Lovely guests on Saturday night gathered to celebrate a friends engagement.  They were a pleasure, fabulous wine pairings by Tom, so many great ingredients makes cooking super fun– all good!


Flat Iron and Broccoli Rabe, Porcini with Leeks, Chicken Thigh on Cabbage with Preserved Lemon and Olive (Red Lentil for Vegetarians), Soft Shell with Sorrel and Avocado (Sweet Potato for Vegetarians), Scallop and Rhubarb on Cucumber and Mustard (Giant Lima Bean for Vegetarians), Beet Noodle with Black Walnut

Lemon Verbena Vodka Cocktail, (Delaunay) Touraine ROSE 'Cabotieres' 2012


Asparagus, Ramps and Morels with Arugula and Radish– Corn Meal Bread

(Dutheil) Chinon 'Les Gravieres' 2012

Fava Beans, Baby Artichoke, Black Rice, Green Onion, Celery, Parsley and Basil– Spelt and Oregano Bread

(Frabcois Cazin) Cour-Cheverny 2009

Halibut with French Summer Truffles, Mashed Potatoes and Baby Collard Greens (Poached Egg for Vegetarians)– Buckwheat Bread

(Bart) Bourgogne, Marsanney 2011

Moses Sleeper Cheese and Walnut Cracker

Chocolate Cake with Frozen Chocolate, Coconut Cream, Local Strawberries and Pistachios

(Champalou) Vouvray NV

Bites: Tiny Carrot Cakes, Popcorn Cookies, Lychee Nuts

Give Away: Chocolate Chip Sesame Cookies

Weekend Home Restaurants

home Photo Kate Headley

We hosted two open Home Restaurants last weekend.  Great guests, lots of fun and such a fabulous variety of spring ingredients.  We had a few vegans join us, the ingredients in the parenthesis were for them.

For those of you who joined us thank you and hope to see you again very soon!


Scallop Rhubard Chervil (Giant Lima Bean), Soft Shell Sorrel Avocado (Sweet Potato), Flat Iron Horse Radish (Shiitake), Asparagus with Leek, Raw Beet Noodles Johnny Jump Ups Walnuts, Egg Bacon Chives Cabbage (Polenta)

(Gerard Boulay) Sancerre ROSE 2012/ Lemon Balm Vodka Cocktail 


Fava Bean, Arugula, Artichoke, Fennel, Preserved Lemons, Green Olives, Parsley

(Dominique Piron) Morgon Cotes du Py 2010 

Ramps, Fiddlehead, Bamboo, Sesame Seeds, Black Rice, Vietnamese Cilantro, Ginger, Baby Collard Greens

(Grange Tiphaine) Montlouis "Clef de Sol" Blanc 2011 

Wood Grilled Chicken Thigh, Morels, Rapini, Basil Olive Oil Mash Potatoes (Quinoa, Red Lentils)

(Prudhon) St. Aubin Rouge 1er "Les Frionnes" 2009 

Oma Cheese and Walnut Cracker

Strawberry Frangipane Tart, Frozen Lavender and Lemon Balm

(Pierre Paillard) Brut Champagne Bouzy Grand Cru NV 

Tree Peony– gone until next year

The fall before our daughter Martin-Lane was born, nearly 13 years ago, we planted a tree peony. The first flower bloomed on April 16, the day she was born, and on her birthday for the first 9 years of her life.  A couple years ago a cool early spring delayed the flowers opening until the end of April. This year they bloomed on April 5th.

Tree peonies have larger and more delicate flowers than more common bush peonies. The trees grow slowly and prefer not to be moved. Tree peonies buds are formed above the ground on the woody stems during the fall so take care not to prune in the fall or you will not have any flowers the following spring. With bush peonies next years buds are also formed in the fall but in the underground rhizome so cutting leaves will not affect the next springs flowers. Tree peony flowers only last a few days on the tree or in a vase.  Like all peonies if you want to use the bloom as a cut flower cut as soon as the bud feels like a marshmallow, before the flower actually opens. Place the cut stem immediately in cold water, most likely the flower will open in a few hours.

Home Restaurant Saturday April 7

We enjoyed our evening last night thanks to our fabulous guests, farmers, wine importer and other purveyors who provided us with ingredients... PASSING

Fiddlehead Ferns, Scrambled Eggs with Wild Chive, Watermelon Radish with Parsley, Smoked Potato with Truffle Salt, Seared Scallop with Pickled Ginger, Shad Roe with Sorrel, Grilled Rabbit with Grainy Mustard

Lemon Balm Vodka Cocktail, (Chateau Les Valentines) Cotes du Provence ROSE Estate 2011


Pork Shoulder with Baby Kale, Morels and Ramps– 48 hour Bread

(Chateau Pradeaux) Bandol Rouge 2005 

Turnip and Black Walnut Gratin with Asparagus, Salad Mache and Argon Oil– Olive Oil Herb Bread

(Jonathan Pabiot) Pouilly-Fumé 2010

Halibut with Salsify, Carrots, Leeks, Chard and Black Rice– Cornmeal Bread

(Francois Gaunoux) Bourgogne Rouge 2007

Harbison Cheese with Walnut Cracker

Banana Cake with Frozen Vanilla, Champagne Mango, Oranges and Candied Hickory Nuts

(Moutard) Brut Champagne Grand Cuvee NV

Bites: Chocolate Cake with Beets, Coconut Almond Macaroon, Salty Chocolate Macadamia Nut Biscotti

Take Home: Fig, Walnut and Chocolate Bread

Home Restaurant March 22, 2012

Photo Kate Headley

Last night we hosted a dinner for an old friend of ours and his colleagues who were in town from all over the world...  Fabulous to have so many just available spring ingredients– shad roe, fiddelhead ferns, pea shoots, rhubarb... As per our hosts request served all American wines–


Scrambled Egg and Bacon, Shad Roe with Sorrel, Grilled Guinea Hen with Leek and Mustard, Roasted and Pureed Potato with Oregon Truffle, Watermelon Radish with Parsley, Baby Beets and Balsamic, Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Ginger

(Arnot-Roberts) Rose of Touriga Nacional 2011, Bay and Lemon Vodka Martini


Roasted Rockfish with Lemon Grass, Carrot, Salsify and Spinach– Sesame Roll

(Porter Creek) Pinot Noir Russian River 2009 

Fiddle Fead Ferns, Black Trumpet Mushroom with Celery, Celery Root and Fennel Salad– Spelt Olive Oil Bread

(Illahe Vineyards) Pinot Gris Willamette 2010 

Beef Short Ribs with Pea Shoots and Black Walnut, Turnip Gratin– 48 Hour Bread

(Porter Creek) Carignan "Old Vines" Mendocino 2009  

Winnimere Cheese, Walnut Cracker

Ginger Bread with Frozen Vanilla, Rhubarb and Candied Pecans

(Red Newt Cellars) Finger Lakes Riesling Semi Dry 2010

Cookies: Chocolate Cake, Coconut Almond, Rosemary Cornmeal, Chocolate Macadamia Biscotti

Take Home: Salty Rosemary Walnut Biscotti

Cherry Blossoms Now!!

It is always difficult to predict the blooming of the cherry blossoms on the national mall, the current prediction for peak date is March 20th.  Florists have a little more leeway, we can force blooms early and get them from up north when the local ones are finished blooming.  This year blooms are coming early, more than 2 weeks earlier than last year. I used them earlier this week at an event at Rogue 24 and for an Architects photo shoot.  This coming weekend they will decorate a wedding at the Tabard Inn and another at Longview Gallery.  Because of the early heat, up and down the east coast I am concerned about availability for a couple of my mid-April brides–– luckily all sorts of other beautiful flowers will be available...enjoy them while they last!

Note from Path Valley Coooperative

Anyone who has eaten at a Home Restaurant or knows me at all has heard me rave about Path Valley.  Just after they were formed, nearly two decades ago,  we connected with the cooperative of Amish farmers and they have been our primary source for produce ever since. Yesterday with the weeks order list we got a note:

Yay!  It is March and the weather is being predictable for once.  The winds are perfect for kite flying and the kids have been really busy running around "catching the breeze" and "adding more tail" and generally enjoying the weather.  Spring has never seemed so welcome.
All of the growers have been busy placing seed orders and tilling and preparing for a busy growing season.   Month after month we do more business than ever and with the increase in business comes an increase in WORK and we are all ready to work.
All of us are super appreciative of being able to grow produce at home.  This keeps families at home, specifically, it keeps the guys at home.
This is far preferable than working out as a day laborer or at the local pallet shop.  There is a strong current of gratitude that I don't often mention and yet it is a fact that we all appreciate growing produce for you and engaging in such grounding and rewarding labor.
Thank you for supporting our family farms.