Monday, September 5, 2011

What We Ate: Labor Day

It was an unseasonably grey Labor Day here in Laguna, with a surprise shower in the morning as I threaded my way across town to deliver my sun dried tomatoes in their jars; the sea was cool and an uninviting shade of jade-green with yellow flag surf, but the overcast weather was perfect for me and the dogs to take an early stroll along the boardwalk, and then to cook & prep for the evening meal.  I shopped for our meal today over the last two days, leaving my menu choices to chance, discovery and whim.  The day may have been grey, but the food was anything but… shone of the heat & the delights of summer…here tomato and mango chutney~


I hit three farmers markets for this food, Corona del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe and Hillcrest (San Diego).  The rich yet oh so delicious appetizer, dates from Hillcrest stuffed with a tiny piece of Trader Joe’s bleu cheese and wrapped in DaLe bacon; don’t cook them too hard or you will melt the bleu; devoured~



I made this meal at my sister’s house, which means she sets the table and my cooking show goes on the road; I unloaded several baskets and got to work~


As my family was ~ as usual ~ an hour and a half late, including the hosts, I got busy with a few pics in the late afternoon sun; I made my Mom’s traditional cheesecake at 6am, even Mom said it was better than her own!


And lemon tarte, with the last of the citrus from our trees; what is summer without lemony desserts?


I somehow forgot the berries yesterday, so we made do with blackberry-raspberry compote and cherries in red wine from the winter stash; the white specs are some reflection on the lens..??..the fruits were all pristine~


The new white corn arrived from Kawano Farms San Diego, and the husks left in French style~


I loved the the tiniest potatoes from our newest vendor at Rancho Santa Fe, whose name I forget; these were picked Friday and they were fantastic, creamy, super-tasty mashed country-style with peels on and with a little butter and salt~


Purple shallots from Sage married with Escondido mushrooms on top of DaLa grass-fed rib-eye steaks~


Two pieces of swordfish from Corona del Mar market were topped with a mango and tomato chutney from Sage and Hillcrest~


The fruits went on top of the lemon tart and cheesecake, and both were devoured in entirety.  It was a long weekend and it will be a busy week; I hate to say that got in the way of my enjoyment of the meal, but this time I was the one to want to eat and run! 


The only item I did not buy at the markets was the bleu cheese.  I felt a sense of accomplishment at having a truly local meal, and knowing where each and every ingredient came from.  I am mentally moving on to fall, and looking for ways to profit from the late summer while preparing for fall.

Recipes will be on line later this week and I will post them in printable form so stay tuned!


  1. Oh how wonderful! Your pictures are amazing. You absolutely should feel a sense of accomplishment. Thank you for such an amazing post.

  2. What a great show---it appears that you had a wonderful time this holiday with family and friends. And truly local fare! Thanks for the beautiful photos.

  3. Andrea, I hope you are happy because now I am starving-LOL!!!!

  4. A feast for the eyes! I'd set the table for you any day!

  5. What incredible food and fabulous photography...I could eat that, easily! -smile-

  6. My mouth is watering - what a marvelous meal you prepared fo ryour family Andrea!

  7. Andrea I am just amazed at your menu and yes must have recipes!! Everything looks so fresh and delicious!! Let me know when your little package arrives....


    Art by Karena

  8. Oh. My. Gosh. That sounds and looks simply divine. I want to eat everything and that's saying something considering I'm a vegetarian! You should run a bed and breakfast, I would come for certain!
    Okay, now on the 1 1/2 hours late....I would have been freaking out. I mean, seriously?