When Todd Porter and Diane Cu of White on Rice Couple throw a party at their studio, you should move heaven and earth to attend.
This inspiring couple serves up food for body, mind and soul with their fabulous recipes, photography and philosophy of life. Have you seen their blog? But wait, please? You might want to finish reading this post before clicking through to The White on Rice Couple’s site. Because you’re going to want to spend some time exploring over there.
Todd and Diane’s recent gathering with celebrity chefs Christine Ferarre and Joy the Baker was sponsored by Kitchen Aid and was a treat that I’m still savoring after a week. The company, the cooking demos and OMG that orange juice!
Seriously, I don’t even like orange juice. The oranges came from a local farmers market and were juiced on the spot using a Kitchen Aid Juicer attachment on the mixer. We suspected that they had been injected with something to make it taste that good. Like rainbows, unicorns and there is a tooth fairy after all! good. But we were assured that they were just good fresh oranges. Unbelievable. Guess what? I do like orange juice after all.
Todd and Diane shared a little bit of their experiences with storytelling, including a few clips from their own work which speaks for itself. From how to videos to book trailers, their projects always leave me hungry for more.
Cristina Ferrare shared some of the recipes from her show on OWN (and cookbook) Big Bowl of Love. She was joined by her daughter. Both of the recipes that Cristina and her daughter presented were gluten free which was a wonderful bonus for me. Both of them were also perfect dishes to serve for Passover, I noted.
Cristina made her Potato Plates in a jiff using the awesomely powerful Kitchen Aid Food Processor to slice potatoes paper thin and their countertop convection oven to bake them into small “plates” for smoked salmon, creme fraiche and chopped veggie/herb toppings. The plates can also be folded like a taco. This gives me ideas for other recipes that require a bread-y/starch based base that I couldn’t otherwise eat. Since I own both a food processor and countertop convection oven, I can see myself easily recreating this dish.
Cristina’s daughter prepared Zucchini Carpaccio salad, which looked so pretty it was hard to justify eating it. But I’m so glad I did. Fresh, light, yummy. These simply dressed, thin sliced cucumber and zuchinni rounds had a secret ingredient that gave them a taste that was just exquisite. Rose scented salt. I never even knew such a thing existed and now I won’t be able to live without.
I had to snap a picture of this cheese plate for my fellow cheese lovers. But there was no end to the amazing food we ate for lunch. A half dozen salads, fruit, cheese, gorgeous homemade pickles… oh my. Almost all of this food was gluten free. All of it was foodie heaven fabulous and I did make a pig of myself for which I am not even going to apologize. Clearly I don’t get out to foodie events often enough.
After lunch it was Joy Wilson’s (aka Joy the Baker) turn to teach us something, and it was something I’ve been dying to learn how to do for ages. From her recently published book “Joy The Baker – 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes” she shared how to make Swiss Meringue Frosting. I’ve seen Swiss Meringue frosting referenced on numerous sites but I’ve never been brave enough to make it myself. Since I’ve never tasted it, I had no idea what all the fuss was about.
Joy made it look so easy, never breaking a sweat and looking gorgeous the whole time she was preparing the frosting. Which was good. So good. As my friend and fellow blogger Kathleen said, “Two naked fingers in the bowl” good.
Whoa. Again with the rainbows and unicorns.
This frosting is like Marshmallow fluff, but lighter, fluffier, and somehow without the cloying too-sweetness despite the fact that it’s mostly sugar. It has the added bonus of being torch-able. Yep. Torchable. Cupcake Brulee anyone?
My 11 year old daughter who “hates” frosting found an exception in the brulee-d cupcake I brought home. Which she devoured in two bites.
Kitchen Aid generously handed out raffle prizes of their mixers, food processors and convection ovens to some of the bloggers in attendance. I was happy for the winners as I’m a big fan of all things Kitchen Aid. My current home, purchased 12 years ago, came with all new Kitchen Aid appliance which are mostly still here. I purchased a pink mixer before we moved in and I give that thing a workout almost every week when I make challah in it. I’ll be sharing my Kitchen Aid mixer challah tutorial this Thursday.
I’m so glad that I got to go to this gathering and see old friends, meet a few new ones and finally meet up “irl” with a few of the bloggers that I chat with and follow online. It was such a memorable and lovely event.