Archive for the ‘FOOD’ Category

08.22.18

MORNINGSTAR FARMS LABOR DAY BBQ!

MorningStar Farms BBQ | designlovefest

can’t believe it’s already the end of august and that it’s time to start thinking about labor day weekend! we hope you enjoyed following along with our posts this summer. we loved creating these entertaining stories and spreading the message about eating more plant based meals and focusing less on labeling ourselves as a meat eater, vegan or vegetarian and more on making mindful choices with our meals . the whole campaign was about making room on your grill this summer for veggie/vegan options which kept with one of our goals this year. we said back in january that we wanted to include more plant based meals in our lives and on the blog and we’re excited to have been able to do that. hope you enjoyed following along!

MorningStar Farms BBQ | designlovefest
MorningStar Farms BBQ | designlovefest
MorningStar Farms BBQ | designlovefest
MorningStar Farms BBQ | designlovefest

labor day weekend is a bit of a bittersweet moment, it really feels like the closing of summer but it’s also a time to celebrate and enjoy being outside with friends and family. we created this spread at our friend victoria’s house who has killer taste and a gorgeous back yard. a big long table covered in grape leaves that lets the sun peak through and creates a really relaxing environment. we wanted a mix of lots of colors and textures with pops of citrus throughout. using fresh citrus as a way to decorate is both inexpensive and practical as you can use the citrus in drinks/food afterwards!

MorningStar Farms BBQ | designlovefest
MorningStar Farms BBQ | designlovefest
MorningStar Farms BBQ | designlovefest
MorningStar Farms BBQ | designlovefest

we wanted the menu to be fun, seasonal and playful so we decided to do mini burgers paired with a flight of mini beers! we wanted the burgers to be small so that people could try multiple flavor combos so we used a 2″ cutter and cut everything to size, including all the toppings so that it make a nice stack. here are the combos we created:

• with sharp cheddar, Iceburg lettuce and avocado

• with red onion, blue cheese and butter lettuce

• with mozzarella, tomato and grilled onions

MorningStar Farms BBQ | designlovefest
MorningStar Farms BBQ | designlovefest
MorningStar Farms BBQ | designlovefest
MorningStar Farms BBQ | designlovefest
MorningStar Farms BBQ | designlovefest

we completed the menu with a citrus cake, melon and prosciutto, radish tacos with chicken salad and sliced heirloom tomatoes topped with olive oil and sea salt. and of course, a flight of beer! we picked up a range of beer options and had fun tasting them paired with the burgers. our favorite beer was the grapefruit sculpin. we used these which were the perfect size!

MorningStar Farms BBQ | designlovefest
MorningStar Farms BBQ | designlovefest

for the cake, you can make it using a boxed cake mix and add the zest of one lemon to the mix before making. for the icing, we made a cream cheese frosting but you could really make any type of frosting that is on the thicker side, even whipped cream would be delicious. and for decorating, you’ll want to find two very small lemons and thinly slice them, the smaller the lemon the better as you can create more of a pattern. we cut greens from outside, washed them and put them on top!

MorningStar Farms BBQ | designlovefest
MorningStar Farms BBQ | designlovefest
MorningStar Farms BBQ | designlovefest

the watermelon radish tacos are also super easy to make, we used a mandoline slicer to make really thin slices and topped with chicken salad and a little cilantro. a colorful and fast appetizer that was inspired by our friends at Haute Chefs LA.

thanks for following along with us this summer and responding so positively to these entertaining stories! we’d love to hear if you made room on your grill this summer for more veggie/vegan options.

MorningStar Farms BBQ | designlovefest

images by:

(this post was created in partnership with )

08.10.18

CHILLED COCONUT CORN SOUP!

chilled coconut corn soup | designlovefest

i’m always slightly skeptical of chilled soups. there’s just something that doesn’t usually sit right with me about them. i like a smoothie bowl but i’m not such a fan of savory things in a bowl. but, with the unrelenting heat in los angeles lately, i was willing to give it a go. my aunt texted me and said she was making it so i thought i’d try it too. i’m all about any recipe that lets be soak up the summer corn season. the base is really easy to make and you need the corn kernels for the soup anyway, so i wouldn’t skip that step. – joanie

chilled coconut corn soup | designlovefest

chilled coconut corn soup
recipe from  
serves 4

• 2 tablespoons coconut oil
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 1/2″ piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
• 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
• 1 teaspoon salt + more taste
• 6 ears of corn, kernels cut off, cobs set aside
• 1 small Yukon potato, our was about 3 ounces
• 1 (14 ounce) can full fat coconut milk
• 2 2″ strips of lime zest
• 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
• 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
• toppings: avocado, cilantro leaves, lime, coconut flakes

chilled coconut corn soup | designlovefest
chilled coconut corn soup | designlovefest
chilled coconut corn soup | designlovefest
chilled coconut corn soup | designlovefest

• prep all your ingredients as listed above.
• melt coconut oil over medium heat in large pot, cook onions for about 3-5 minutes, then add ginger, turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook for 8-10 more minutes

chilled coconut corn soup | designlovefest
chilled coconut corn soup | designlovefest
chilled coconut corn soup | designlovefest

• break corn cobs in half and add to the pot with the kernels, potato, coconut milk, pieces of lime zest and 1 1/2 cups of water, bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 25 minutes.

• discard corn cobs and lime zest. add 1/2 teaspoon salt and blend soup until smooth. Let cool to room temp and put in refrigerator until completely chilled.

• while the soup is chilling, toast the coconut flakes at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes, until golden.

• stir in lime juice, adjust seasoning, thinning with water if needed. pour into bowls and top with coconut flakes, avocado, and cilantro. serve with more lime on the side!

chilled coconut corn soup | designlovefest
chilled coconut corn soup | designlovefest

images by:  

08.01.18

WILLIAMS SONOMA KNIFE GIVEAWAY!

williams sonoma knife giveaway | designlovefest
williams sonoma knife giveaway | designlovefest

one of the most important elements in a kitchen is your knives. they are probably the most used item and there are few things more frustrating with cooking than trying to cut things with a dull knife. both joanie and i use in our home, justin introduced me to them when we started cooking together and joanie registered for them for her wedding. so when asked if we wanted to team up with them and offer a Wüsthof Crafter knife giveaway we were a 1000% yes! they just redesigned the knives and they now have a smoked oak handle with brass rivets which are gorgeous. i’m so excited to be able to give this set away. they are truly knives that with proper care will last a lifetime (psss… it’s more than $1,000+ worth of knives!)

williams sonoma knife giveaway | designlovefest
williams sonoma knife giveaway | designlovefest

we had lunch at the beverly hills hotel last week and tried their chopped cobb salad which was delicious. we decided to re-make it because what better way to break in new beautifully shape knives than with tons of chopping! this recipe is time intensive in the sense that we wanted everything to be in perfect cubes but it turned out perfectly and we’d highly recommend giving it a go.

Beverly Hills Hotel Chopped Cobb Salad
(taken from )
serves: 2-3 as an entree or 3-4 as a side 

what you’ll need: 
• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
• 1 garlic glove
• 12 oz iceberg lettuce, finely chopped
• 12 oz hearts of romaine, finely chopped
• 2 oz watercress, finely chopped
• 1/2 lb red beets, roasted and finely diced
• 1/2 lb aged cheddar cheese, finely diced
• 1/2 lb applewood-smoked bacon, cooked and finely chopped
• 3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and finely chopped
•  1/2 lb cooked chicken breasts, diced
• 1 large tomato, peeled and diced
• 1 avocado, peeled and sliced

williams sonoma knife giveaway | designlovefest
williams sonoma knife giveaway | designlovefest

• we started by prepping all the ingredients that need to be cooked, you can prep each thing how you prefer but this is what we did: with the eggs, put them in a pan with water over medium high heat, when it starts to boil, remove from the heat and let them sit covered for 10 minutes, put in ice waterfor the beets, wash and pat dry, place on tin foil with a little oil and salt and bake at 450 degrees for 45minutes- 1 hour. once cool, peel the skin off with your hands and set aside. we seasoned the chicken with olive oil, salt and pepper and cooked it at 375 for about 20 minutes. and the bacon we cooked until it was reallllly crispy so that it would add a nice crunch to the salad.

williams sonoma knife giveaway | designlovefest
williams sonoma knife giveaway | designlovefest
williams sonoma knife giveaway | designlovefest

then mix your dressing, add the oil, balsamic, mustard, and garlic (we used ) together in a bowl and whisk until smooth, season with about 1 teaspoon salt and some pepper. once you have everything prepped, it’s time to start chopping! chop the beets, cheese, chicken, and tomatoes into as cubes as much as possible. for the lettuce and egg, just chop really finely.

we also used these , and !

williams sonoma knife giveaway | designlovefest
williams sonoma knife giveaway | designlovefest

and now for the  Crafter giveaway! THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! THANK YOU FOR ALL THE GREAT ENTRIES, WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED SOON! 

here is what you’ll win! the value of the this giveaway is over $1,000!
• that includes:
• 8″ chef knife
• 9″double serrated bread knife
• 3 1/2″ pairing knife
• 5″ serrated utility knife
• honing steel
• shears
• Wood block with brass rivets

also, these! 




williams sonoma knife giveaway | designlovefest

and here’s how to win…

1) visit  and take a look around!

2) leave a comment below with your favorite summer meal/recipe!

one winner will receive all of the knives listed above, a value of $1,000+. one winner will be chosen at random on august 8, 2018. one entry per person, double entries will disqualify you from winning. giveaway subject to designlovefest’s rules and regulations. giveaway open to readers in North America only. we reserve the right to change, alter or cancel at anytime. 

this post was sponsored by

07.26.18

GRAZING BOARDS WITH BLUE DIAMOND ALMONDS

grazing boards with blue diamonds | designlovefest

back with our second post with and their new ! this time, it’s all about entertaining at home, which is something i really enjoy. whether it be hosting a sunday dinner at my house, an impromptu gathering on my patio or girl’s night to catch up on reality tv, i love having people over to share food and hang out in my kitchen. once justin moved in, entertaining became way more fun because we shop and prep all the food together and i find it to be a really relaxing way to spend the weekend. it’s always more fun to create something beautiful and delicious when you have people to enjoy it with!

grazing boards with blue diamonds | designlovefest
grazing boards with blue diamonds | designlovefest
grazing boards with blue diamonds | designlovefest
grazing boards with blue diamonds | designlovefest
grazing boards with blue diamonds | designlovefest

i like to remind myself that entertaining doesn’t need to be stressful. one way to cut down stress is to create grazing boards, which offers something for everyone and can be prepared before your guests arrive. we brought in the experts, sorella collective, to help us craft these ones and to share a few of their tips on how you can create one at home. here are their tips:

• pick cheeses based on how they work together in flavor on the board. we usually go by what is soft/medium/hard to mild/unique/familiar. We always recommend splurging on at least one cheese as you truly see the difference in quality and taste!

• we recommend going to your local farmers market (if possible) for seasonal produce to pair with your cheeses and almonds. Right now we are in summer so the markets are bursting with stone-fruit, grapes, melons, figs, and summer berries. A cheese lovers dream team! the farmers markets make you think out of the box, and guide you try something new and different. there is truly nothing like getting your produce straight from a farm. the taste is unlike anything you’ll find in a market. and will bring your boards to the next level!

• when cutting your cheese for the board, aim for a mix of generous whole slices, slices that are cut in half so you can layer to create height and easily accessible pieces like squares of cheddar. the cheddar squares are the perfect size to grab and pair with an almond and are great for grazing, no cheese cutting required!

grazing boards with blue diamonds | designlovefest
grazing boards with blue diamonds | designlovefest
grazing boards with blue diamonds | designlovefest
grazing boards with blue diamonds | designlovefest
grazing boards with blue diamonds | designlovefest

•  for the charcuterie, we recommend getting it freshly sliced at your local meat shop or market. make sure they are thinly sliced! our rule of thumb is two different medium- large circular pieces and a smaller one that can be laid down or easily scattered. try to find flavors like chili, fennel and garlic. the fennel sausage was perfect with the rosemary and sea salt almonds.

for the boards we used both the Crafted Gourmet Almonds  and the flavors. the simplicity of the pink salt variety was perfect to pair with the stronger cheese and also the sliced apples and the rosemary ones were great with the salami and the olives. they’d also be really good with some fig jam and crackers. the almonds are roasted so they have a delicate texture, that pairs well with a lot of things.

grazing boards with blue diamonds | designlovefest
grazing boards with blue diamonds | designlovefest

and for their final tip on assembling:

• when arranging your board, always lay the cheese and charcuterie down first. Its sets the foundation of the cheeseboard and starts the flow for the rest of the items. For texture, we make our crowd favorite “salami flowers and ribbons” that are tucked in between the alleys of the cheese. next, we cascade berries down the surface of cheese, or in any crevices for color. For holes this is where we put almonds, olives and any other items that tend to easily roll off the board. it is also a must to add something salty and crunchy, like the Crafted Gourmet Almonds. to finish off the board add the rest of the fruit and accoutrements. this is where you should be as creative as possible! We love to cut strawberries and blackberries in half, and of course adding a pop of color with edible flowers.

you really can make an entire meal out of these boards, put the more substantial board out first with the almonds, meats and cheeses and finish with the fruit board. we served ours with rosé but a glass of bubbly would also be great.

grazing boards with blue diamonds | designlovefest

this post was sponsored by

07.24.18

HEIRLOOM TOMATO TART

heirloom tomato tart | designlovefest

i’m not going to lie, using phyllo dough was a mistake. we made this on a super hot day and i had to brush olive oil on every sheet of it and layer it in the baking dish. if i was to make it again i would use puff pastry. the other important note is that you have to let the crust cool completely before adding the cheese mixture and you want the cheese mixture to be cold or it will all melt together and make it really difficult to cut. these are all things we learned the hard way so take our lessons and run with them! this is the perfect thing to make with all the gorgeous tomatoes that are at grocery stores and farmer’s market. summer tomatoes are the best! – joanie

heirloom tomato tart | designlovefest

what you’ll need: we adapted this recipe from an old issue of Gourmet Magazine 

• 1 package of phyllo dough or puff pastry (can be found in the frozen section of the grocery store)
• 4 -5  medium sized heirloom tomatoes sliced
• 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
• 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
• 1 zest of a lemon
• 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
• 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
• basil as garnish
• 2 teaspoons salt

heirloom tomato tart | designlovefest
heirloom tomato tart | designlovefest

• pre-heat oven to 350. bring the phyllo dough to room temperature before unwrapping. once warmed unroll and cover with a damp cloth or paper towel as to keep the thin sheets from drying out while working on them. with one sheet at a time, lightly brush olive oil or butter over the surface of the phyllo sheet. then add it to your baking dish. (we used a 10 inch pie dish but any oven safe dish will work as well!) repeat process for about 10 sheets depending on how thick you would like the crust. remove the excess crust by cutting with a knife or kitchen scissors. bake for 15 minutes on 350 degrees or until golden brown. remove from oven to cool completely.

heirloom tomato tart | designlovefest

• to make the filling mix the mascarpone, parmesan, ricotta and lemon zest in a bowl, and the olive oil and salt. place in the fridge at least 30 minutes to firm up the cheese filling.

heirloom tomato tart | designlovefest
heirloom tomato tart | designlovefest
heirloom tomato tart | designlovefest
heirloom tomato tart | designlovefest
heirloom tomato tart | designlovefest

• to assemble add the cheese filling to the completely cooled crust and spread evenly. layer the sliced tomatoes and garnish with fresh basil, you may add additional salt and pepper to taste.

heirloom tomato tart | designlovefest
heirloom tomato tart | designlovefest

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