Fresh Fig Sandwich Cookie

FullSizeRender (1)Figs are ripe in our garden, we are eating lots of them. Tried them this evening between 2 lavender shortbread cookies:

Lavender Shortbread Cookies:  ½ cup sugar, 1 tablespoon fresh lavender leaves, 4 ounces earth balance,½ cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup flour, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon baking powder, 1 tablespoon water.

In a food processor combine sugar and lavender and process until lavender is very finely chopped.  In a mixer cream together the lavender sugar and the earth balance.  Add the flours, salt, baking powder and water.  Mix until thoroughly combined.  Wrap dough in plastic and let rest for at least 30 minutes.  Roll to about 1/8" thickness and cut with a cookie cutter of your choice.  Bake in a 350 degree oven until light golden brown.  Serve 2 cookies with a slice or slices of fig in between.

Looking at June Flowers

Looking at warm weather flower photos on a cold snowy night, thanks Michelle Frankfurter. Memorable early summer wedding at DAR–– tables arrangements alternated between colorful and shades of green, lots of local flowers and foliage from LynnVale Studios and California field grown roses from Rose Story Farm.

Making me a little bit warmer on a cold snowy night!

Laura & Daniel's wedding at DAR Laura & Daniel's wedding at DAR Laura & Daniel's wedding at DAR Laura & Daniel's wedding at DAR Laura & Daniel's wedding at DAR Laura & Daniel's wedding at DAR

February 14, 2015

FullSizeRenderGreat energy, exuberant crew joined us last night to communally celebrate Valentine's Day.  Thanks for braving the weather to everyone who came. PASSING

Chicken with Lemon and Olive, Shad Roe with Sorrel, Bresaola with Fig, Bacon and Avocado, Scallop with Cucumber and Mustard, Grits and Truffle

Bay Leaf Vodka Cocktail, 2013 Fondo Antico Grillo Parlente Sicilia


Beef Short Rib with Celery Root Puree and Celery Relish (Buckwheat Bread)

2012 Dom. Depeyre Cotes du Roussillon Villages

Yellow Foot Chanterelle Salad with Pickled Beet and Parsnip (Spelt Foccacia)

2013 Domaine du Pas Saint Martin Anjou Blanc "La Gabillarde"

Rockfish with Purple Potato, Chard and Leeks (48 Hour Bread)

2012 Domaine Grosbot Barbara Saint Pourcain Rouge 

Tomme Crayeuse and Walnut Cracker

Vanilla Cake with Blood Orange, Pomegranate, Candied Pistachio and Frozen Vanilla

Billecart-Salmon Champagne, Brut Rose

Dessert Bites: Chocolate Shortbread and Mint Cream Sandwich, Gingersnap, Coconut Macadamia Nut Macaroon, Chocolate Fig Drop

Take Home: Flowers

Eating For Immunity Workshop, Thursday February 26th

107 Photo: Kate Headley

We Still have a few spots open for this upcoming workshop, come join us!


It's the many of us are getting hit with flu bugs and other viruses. Come and learn about foods that will boost your immunity and how to prepare them. These powerful foods can help ward off sickness from the common cold to heart disease and even certain cancers:

                             Eating For Immunity

A Nutrition and Cooking Workshop

With Sidra Forman, chef and urban gardener


Davina Sandground, BCHC, AADP, Health and Nutrition Counselor

Davina will share nutritional information about how the foods work in the body and Sidra will show you delicious and simple food preparations so that you can easily incorporate them into your life.

When: Thursday, February 26th from 10 am - 12.00pm

Where: 2601 36th Street NW, 20007

Cost: $90.00

To reserve your spot please


Winter Spreads

pumpkinLast night a friend texted asking for easy recipes for some winter spreads.  I texted back some vague direction but she asked for more detail... here it is. For dipping I suggest: good bread, roasted Brussel sprouts, sliced kohlrabi, romaine leaves... Winter Squash

winter squash (kobocha if available), olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh sage
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut winter squash in half and remove seeds.  I love kobocha but any type will work.
Rub squash with olive oil and place on a sheet tray cut side down.  Cook until tender.  Time will vary from 15-45 minutes depending on size and density of squash.  While squash is cooking slice onion thin, rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and place on a separate sheet tray. Cook in squash oven until lightly browned.
Once squash is cooked remove flesh and place in a blender  or food processor with onion, a few leaves of fresh sage (careful and do not add too much) olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Puree until as fine as possible. Taste and adjust seasoning.
White Bean Truffle
2 cups cooked white beans, 2 tablespoons truffle oil, salt and pepper to taste
Cook any type of white bean until tender or open, drain and rinse a can or two of white beans.
Place beans in a high speed blender or food processor and puree with truffle oil, salt and pepper to taste.  If dip is too thick add a tablespoon or two of water.
6 cups clean spinach, 3 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil divided,
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Break a bulb of garlic into individual cloves and rub with 1/8 teaspoon olive oil.  Cook until soft but not brown, 5-10 minutes.  Remove from oven, cool and peel of papery skin.
Take 1/4 head of cauliflower, cut into small pieces and place on a sheet tray.  Season with 1 teaspoon olive oil, salt and pepper.  Cook until soft and golden brown (this will take about 10 minutes).
Place spinach on a sheet tray.  Season with 1 teaspoon olive oil, salt (not too much since spinach is naturally salty) and pepper.  Place in oven for a couple minutes until spinach is just wilted.
Place spinach, cauliflower, 2 cloves of garlic and remaining olive oil in a food processor or high speed blender.  Process until smooth.  Add more garlic if desired, season with additional salt and pepper.

In front of the fireplace looking at photos from last May!

This time of year I spend lots of time plotting upcoming weddings and pouring through my portfolio looking at photos to share with my 2015 couples. No wedding is a replica another but the images of weddings past help refine the vision for upcoming weddings. Just shared these images by Joey Kennedy with a bride to be from late May 2014.

Stay warm!

Laura-Will-Wedding-24May14-406 Laura-Will-Wedding-24May14-413 Laura-Will-Wedding-24May14-1140 Laura-Will-Wedding-24May14-1188 Laura-Will-Wedding-24May14-1209Laura-Will-Wedding-24May14-687

Welcome 2015!

Even off duty the phone shot taken by the talented Kate Headley is outstanding! IMG_0419

We had a dreamy New Years Eve celebration at 1508 last night.  Thanks to everyone who joined us you guys made the night.

This is what we ate and drank––

PASSING: Blue Potato with Siberian Osetra Caviar and Caper, Cauliflower White Bean Puree with White Alba Truffle, Rockfish with Kohlrabi and Carrot, Long Island Duck with Cassis and Onion, Flatiron Steak and Watermelon Radish, Pork Loin with Apple and Sage

Bay Leaf Vodka Cocktail, 2013 Labbe Abymes Savoie


Georges Bank Sea Scallop with Ginger Lemongrass Broth with Cilantro, Leeks and Red Lentils–– Buckwheat Bread

2010 Garofoli "Podium" Verdicchio Dei Castelli de Jesi

Black Rice Black Trumpet Mushroom Risotto with Celery Root Pureed/Fresh, Celery, Parsley and Chestnut–– Rosemary Olive Oil Bread

2013 St. Pauls St Magdalener Klassisch Alto Adige

Wood Grilled Chicken Thigh with Frisse, Kobocha and Shallot Dressing–– Cornmeal Cracker

2012 Cru Monplaisir Bordeaux Superieur

Appalachian Cheese with Whole Grain Cracker

Chocolate Cake with Gold Leaf, Beet Frozen Coconut and Cocoa Nibs

Tissot Cremant de Jura Rose Extra Brut NV

Bites: Soft Gingerbread with Lemon and Coconut, Salty Rosemary Walnut Biscotti, Cardamom Pistachio Drops, Chocolate Hazelnut and Pumpkin Seed Brittle

To Go: Gingersnaps with Gold

Open Home Restaurant November 1, 2014

IMG_4297 (1)So much fun to host last night! PASSING

Bacon and Shallot Thyme, Long Island Twice Cooked Duck, Cauliflower Sesame and Parsley, Flat Iron Steak with Watermelon Radish and Kohlrabi, Girasol with Brussel Sprouts Lemon and Garlic, Baked Egg with Burgundy Truffle

Thyme and Lime Vodka Cocktail, Domaine La Blaque Pierrevert Rose 2013


Lamb Shoulder with Eggplant and Sorrel, Oatmeal Bread

Clos du Mont-Olivet Cotes du Rhone Vielles Vignes 2012 

Chanterelle, Chestnut, Beet, Arugula and Chickweed Salad, Spelt Olive Oil Rosemary Roll

La Slina/Giorgio Cichero Gavi 2013 

Rockfish, Chard, Sweet Potato and Leeks, 48 Hour Farm Bread

Ch. de Vaux Pinot Noir "Les Hautes-Bassieres" Moselle 2012

Dancing Fern Cheese with Walnut Cracker

Soft Gingerbread with Crimson Crisp Apples, Frozen Caramel and Candied Pecans

Domaine de Martinolles, Cremant de Limoux Rosé NV

Bites: Mini Chocolate Cake with Fresh Mint, Salty Rosemary Walnut Biscotti, Chocolate Coconut Pistachio Chip Drops

Take Away: Sweet and Salty Pumpkin Seeds

A favorite dahlia heavy wedding, this time last year!

53bcbe0c93c98$!900x Loved this wedding!  The design direction was–– use the best available flowers which meant all sorts of glorious dahlias, garden roses and fall foliage.  Thanks to Karson Butler Events for coordination and Amelia Johnson for documenting! Check out the post on Style Me Pretty for lots of Amelia's photos.

The spectacular dahlias were from Andrea of Lynnvale Studios and Don of Don's Dahlias.  You guys make me adore the fall!

Detox Class with Davina

IMG_6677 Today Davina Sandground and I spent the morning teaching a detoxification class.  We talked about how to avoid some common toxins, our bodies natural detox process and foods that help your body detox efficiently.  We made a bunch of recipes and tasted foods that incorporated key ingredients. Below is what we cooked and ate today.

Detox Shake (Adjust these ingredients to your taste but these are basic guidelines to start with)

1/4 Avocado, ½ Apple, 4 Brazil Nuts, ¼ cup Blueberries (fresh or frozen), ¼ cup Cilantro, small piece fresh Ginger peeled, 1 cup strong Green Tea, 2 tablespoons Hemp Seeds, 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice, ¼ cup Ice

-Combine all ingredients except for the ice in a blender and process until smooth. Add ice and blend until thoroughly combined.  If you want it sweeter add a couple dates.

Hot Ginger

Ginger Root (a piece approximately 1” long), 4 cups filtered Water

-Roughly chop the ginger (no need to peel), cover with water and bring to a simmer, and let simmer for at least 15 minutes but up to 30 minutes. I use the same pieces of ginger for 2-3 batches even though each batch is a bit weaker than the one before it is still delicious.

Basil Lemon Water

1 cup loosely packed Basil leaves, 1 Lemon ½ juiced and ½ cut into rounds, 8 cups filtered Water

-Place all ingredients in a glass container. Place in refrigerator for 2 hours to 2 days. The longer the basil and lemon is in the water the more pronounced the flavor will become.

Spicy Grapefruit Relish with Spring Onion

1 Grapefruit- sections removed, 1 Spring Onion very thinly sliced, 1 teaspoon Cider Vinegar, Cayenne or fresh Hot Pepper to taste, pinch of Salt

-Combine all ingredients and eat immediately or store in refrigerator up to one week.

Quick Preserved Lemon

1 Lemon thinly sliced, 1/8 teaspoon Salt, 1/8 teaspoon Honey, Olive Oil

-Combine lemon, salt and honey. Let sit at room temperature for 3-5 hours. Place lemon mixture in a jar and cover with olive oil. Store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

 Quick Creamy Fennel and Kohlrabi Slaw

1 cup shaved Fennel, 1 cup shaved Kohlrabi, 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric (or more to taste), 1/2 teaspoon Mustard Seeds (or more to taste), ¼ cup Greek Yogurt, 2 teaspoons Lemon Juice, 1 teaspoon Olive Oil, Salt and Black Pepper to taste

- Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve


1 head Cabbage cut in 4- heart removed and leaves separated and cut into approximately 1-2 inch slices, 1 cup shaved Radish, 2 tablespoons Salt dissolved in 4 cups Water (or more if necessary to cover cabbage and radish),1 Apple thinly sliced, 1 teaspoon Garlic minced (or more to taste), 2 teaspoons Ginger Root finely chopped (or more to taste), 2 sheets Nori broken into small pieces, thinly sliced Hot Pepper or cayenne or spice of your choice.

-Place cabbage and radish in a glass or ceramic bowl. Cover with salt water mixture (if necessary add a bit more water so cabbage is covered). Place a plate on top of cabbage to keep all leaves submerged and let sit at room temperature overnight.

-Drain and rinse cabbage thoroughly. Add remaining ingredients and massage leaves so flavoring is fully incorporated. Taste and make any adjustment to seasoning. Place all ingredients in a glass jar with a lid and make sure that all is submerged in liquid (top off with a bit of water if necessary). Check every day to see if there is a slight pop when you open your jar. This will show that the fermentation process has begun. Leave at room temperature for one day after fermentation begins and then place in refrigerator.

Raw Brussel Sprout Salad with Preserved Lemon and Avocado

2 cups finely chopped Brussel Sprouts, 1 teaspoon finely chopped Chives, 2 tablespoons Preserved Lemon (see recipe above), 1 cup finely chopped Parsley, 1 Avocado sliced, Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste

-Combine all ingredients thoroughly massaging with your fingers to make sure it is totally combined. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for later.

Detox Casserole

2 cups Kale finely chopped, Olive Oil, Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste, 2 cups Shallots peeled and chopped, 1 cup Basil leaves, 2 cups Artichoke Hearts from fresh, frozen or canned cut into ¼’s, 1/2 cup Hemp seeds, 1/2 cup Brazil nuts, 2 cups Cauliflower chopped

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

-Place kale in a casserole pan approximately 9” x 12” and season to taste with olive oil, salt and pepper. Season shallots with olive oil, salt and pepper and spread them evenly over the kale. Top shallots with a layer of basil leaves. Top basil with artichoke hearts.

-In a food processor combine the hemp seeds, brazil nuts, 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon water, salt and pepper to taste. Process until it becomes a spreadable mixture you can add additional water if necessary. Spread nut mixture over the artichoke hearts.

-Season cauliflower with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and place on top of the nut mixture.

-Cover casserole and cook for 45 minutes. Remove top, turn oven to broil and cook for a few additional minutes until top is browned. Serve hot or room temperature.