Cheese Straws Are Easy! – BTW, I Own The Playa Vista Cooking School


The Playa Vista Cooking School is my newest creation, a good example of taking a risk when an idea strikes you. Website, check. Marketing, check. Menu and plan, check. Butts in seats?  CHECK. Our inaugural class, Easy, Elegant Appetizers had 8 enthusiastic cooks (Larry was one of the warm bodies, LOL). Start with a glass […]

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Feta Psiti – Greek Oven Baked Feta


Feta is the flavor of Greece.  For the uninitiated, it’s slightly pungent, on the dryer side, crumbly, soft, and versatile as all get-out.  This night, we made Psiti – Oven Baked Feta, an appetizer served with crusty bread.

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Seared Scallops with Orange-Ginger Sauce


If New Year’s Eve is a night when you want to cook something lovely, flavorful, but light, try Seared Scallops with Orange-Ginger Sauce. We had them as an appetizer. But over a bed of rice with baby greens for a salad,… LOVELY.

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Zucchini Cheese Tart


What an appetizer! More like an appetite-spoiler… at THIS party (Gourmet Club), the plan is to cook and eat for HOURS. How would that be possible if we started off with this flaky, cheesy, mustardy, bubbly hot Zucchini Cheese Tart? 

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Puff Pastry Straws with Truffles ~ In Erika’s Kitchen


This past weekend was Trufflepalooza, the brainchild of blogger Erika of In Erika’s Kitchen. It’s a private party, packed with her friends, family, fellow bloggers and members of the media. The occasion? Erika’s love o’ the truffle, and her showcase of recipes featuring Les Truff, including these crispy beauties, Puff Pastry Straws with Truffles.

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Champinones Rellenos ~ Guest Post by Julieta of Lindaraxa’s Garden

Mushrooms from Worth The Whisk

FROM JULIETA:  I am delighted that Patti has asked me to share this easy tapas recipe for Stuffed Mushrooms, or Champinones Rellenos, with her readers.  My name is Julieta and I blog about my cooking and recipes at Lindaraxa’s Garden.

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Grilled Mushroom and Ham Crostini


If I may give some life advice… whenever you find yourself in need of a mood lift, throw a potluck dinner party. People like to contribute, they really do. Invite an interesting mix of friends, hand out food assignments (appetizer, side dish, salad, vegetable, dessert) – the host does the entrée. Wine tends to arrive […]

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Baked Olives in Cheese Appetizer


Another Wisconsin inspiration. Dinner party at Barbara and David’s, the Wisc. connection is Barbara. Her mom was from Kewaunee, Wisc. My parents are both from Kewaunee, Wisc. If this doesn’t sound odd, we all live in Los Angeles, including the folks, who only reconnected when we kids made the hometown discovery. Kewaunee is an teensy […]

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Cucumber, Cream Cheese and Lox ~ a Foolproof Appetizer


If you’re one of those people who claims to not cook, or thinks they cannot cook, this recipe is for you. Don’t be “one of those” who stop at Whole Foods for something from the deli to bring to a potluck. Or a frozen Trader Joes fan. To a party?? Be a hero; bring homemade, […]

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Guest Post by Jen at Domestic Divas – "White Trash" Bacon & Egg Salad Sandwiches


From Jen: This year, I had the pleasure of volunteering with Patti at the Stir It 28 Fundraiser for Haiti, where I provided two dishes, one of which was my “White Trash” Bacon & Egg Salad Sandwiches.  I created this recipe specially for Stir It 28, and Patti loved it so much, she asked me […]

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Hawaiian Coconut Shrimp Appetizer


Four couples who like to cook. And drink. And travel. Every few months, we gather at someone’s home for our Gourmet Club dinner cook-a-thon. The hosts select the theme and divvy up potluck assignments. We schlep bags of ingredients, piles of utensils, then make ourselves at home for platters, serving pieces. Every surface is used, […]

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Thyme and Goat Cheese Tart Topped with Mixed Tender Greens in Champagne Vinaigrette

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This isn’t exactly how we eat around our home, putting salad on top of a cheese tart. Yet, as swank as this appeared, our “Thyme and Goat Cheese Tart Topped with Mixed Tender Greens in Champagne Vinaigrette” (whew, the name alone is a mouthful) was neither pretentious nor weird. This was the salad course during […]

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Chile Lime Shrimp

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You can practically smell this through your monitor, can’t you? A recent cooking class, “Date Night In Wine Country” with thirsty, hungry foodies was on a Friday evening. Give us sumpin’ to eat, fast! Chef Diane Brown was prepared, and put classmate Stefanie on the job of whisking up this appetizer. And we all agreed, […]

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