When you’re invited to an afternoon with Cristina Ferrare and Joy the Baker at the studio/kitchen of Diane Cu and Todd Porter – the White on Rice Couple – co-hosted by Kitchen Aid, you know you’re in for a deliciously fun time! Throw in meeting many of the talented and creative food bloggers from LA, San Diego, and Orange County that I’ve only known online and the result is a truly memorable experience of mixing, mingling, and munching.
Mixing and mingling were fueled with mimosas and fresh squeezed orange and grapefruit juice delivered with lightning speed at the hands of @JenJenK and Diane and the Kitchen Aid juicer.
Todd and Diane brought tears to our eyes and inspiration in our hearts while sharing their journey in food and photography through photos, video and their deeply personal, heartfelt stories. The team posed for pictures before Cristina’s cooking demonstration, pictured above from left to right: Todd Porter, Joy the Baker, Cristina Ferrare, Diane Cu, Rachel Barbarotta, and Alex Ferrare.
Everyone that meets Cristina must fall in love with her – she’s approachable, friendly, and down-to-earth, and her daughter Alex is the same way. Being a genuine and fun person who’s also a great cook must run in the family! Cristina prepared a simple, but impressive appetizer of thinly sliced baked potatoes she calls “potato plates” topped with smoked salmon, creme fraiche, and herbs, and Alex put the finishing touches on this beautiful, light and healthy cucumber and zucchini salad. Cristina makes this salad often especially in the summer months when there is an over abundance of cucumbers, zucchini and fresh herbs. “It’s light and full of fresh flavor; it’s also very beautiful and appetizing to look at when presented this way. I love when food not only taste great but looks beautiful and has eye appeal. After all you eat with your eyes first!” Both recipes are in Cristina’s cookbook Big Bowl of Love published last year by Sterling Publishing Co. and including the stunning food photography of Todd and Diane.
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oilcucumber and zucchini carpaccio
- 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley
- 2 zucchini, sliced paper-thin
- 2 cucumbers, sliced paper-thin
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
- ¼ cup finely chopped roasted walnuts
- Freshly cracked pepper
- In a glass bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, mint, dill, and parsley. Set aside.
- Slice the vegetables on a mandolin or a vegetable slicer that can slice paper-thin. Arrange the zucchini and cucumbers alternately on a large platter. Sprinkle lightly all over with kosher salt. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette over the top, add the crumbled feta, and sprinkle with walnuts and cracked pepper to taste.
If you’re not going to use the salad right away, do not add the vinaigrette; instead, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
Recipe from Big Bowl of Love by Cristina Ferrare
Unfortunately, I had to leave to meet the Time Warner cable guy; all my efforts to restore my internet connection at home had failed and two days without internet on my desktop took precedence over cupcakes, so I missed Joy’s demonstration on how to make marshmallow meringue! But I did get to talk to Joy and have her sign my copy of her new book Joy the Baker Cookbook and she definitely makes baking a joy, check out the video to see for yourself. Thanks to all the amazing bloggers real-time Instagram and Twitter updates, it was if I was there oohing and aahing and swooning over those meringue topped cupcakes 🙂 And you can too, courtesy of my friend Shelby Barone’s video and photo included here.
The day ended with a raffle of Kitchen Aid goodies and, WAIT…. my name was drawn as the winner of the grand prize: the new 7 Qt. Kitchen Aid stand mixer in Candy Apple Red, so totally HOT and my favorite color! I found out on Twitter – how awesome is that 🙂 And, my internet was up and running! My plans for this beauty: buy the grinder attachment and make homemade sausage – one of the foods we’ve sorely missed since hubs low-sodium mandate.