Monday, September 29, 2014

Hello Fall! - Ojai, CA

Last Saturday was the most beautiful introduction we have had to Fall in many years. The morning air was crisp and the warm, fuzzy it gave me inspired me to get cooking! I love cooking when the seasons change. Goodbye Summer. Hello Fall! Upper Ojai was just stunning, I had to snap a photo from my porch...

I set the table with candles, flowers and cloth napkins. It was just too pretty of a day not to go all out.

 Scott put on music and sweet tunes blasted through our outdoor speakers. 

Hi Scott!

My grandmother's wicker furniture makes for a lovely outdoor living space. We have used this sitting area so much this year. I see many more evenings of front porch sitting in our future! 

What I love most about cooking all day is the ability to have your meal ready and waiting with a fully clean kitchen to work in! Always clean as I cook, I hate dirty dishes. So with my kitchen spotless I decided to start cocktail hour...


Scott requested his favorite, Deviled Eggs, to start. I like making them because it is such a labor of love. You must kindly handle the eggs to boil, crack and peel them without injury to the precious whites. Then whip up the yolks to your creamy desire. It is just such a personal recipe. A little of this, a little of that - add what makes you feel right. This time it was mayonnaise, mustard, sweet pickle relish, cherry pepper juice, salt pepper and a sprinkle (or in my case an accidental downpour) of paprika.

Our sweet friends Dana, Brandon and Ryan came over to enjoy eating with us. It is so nice to have local friends who appreciate good eats like we do! When I called them last minute to come up the hill and dine with us they were good enough to jump in their cars and join in. 

I love this shot of everyone digging in! Scott was in charge of cooking the steaks and salmon on the barbecue and he knocked it out of the park! Scott loves barbecuing so I knew he would love his job. He does get nervous about cooking up my seafood selections but every time he does it comes out perfectly. I love a little surf and turf with my meal.

My plate was complete with a piece of salmon, a big scoop of Melissa's Broccoli Salad, a twice baked potato (made with copious amounts of butter, sour cream, cheese and love...) and a slice of garlic bread. 

What is in Melissa's Broccoli Salad you wonder?
  • Broccoli - 5 heads - finely chopped
  • Red Onion - Only 1/2 - very finely chopped
  • Cheddar Cheese - shaved, 1/2 cup
  • Sunflower Seeds - 1 cup+, I used extra...
  • Dried Apricots - 1 cup, also chopped finely
  • The dressing - Mayonaise, sugar and vinegar - make a paste and adjust to your liking! I overly dress mine because I like my food saucy. But do remember as the vegetables "sit" the will sweat some of their liquids out and make the salad extra wet.
Mix it all up in a bowl and let it rest in the fridge for a couple hours!

Our party was a success. It was low key and last minute just like the best parties are. No fuss, no muss and just enjoying quality time with the people you love. 

Happy Fall everyone! Now get in your kitchen and start cooking!

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