How wonderful it was to take the collective magic carpet ride that is Lulu & Co.Â I am speaking both specifically about the super fun book signing we hosted featuring Lulu’s new book, FOOD to FLOWERS, at currentVintage, and what it’s like to be around the Powers girls, in general.Â Wherever Lulu goes, there is a flurry ofÂ energy, ideas and yes, magic.Â Her particular combo of culinary chemistry and personal charisma has taken her from apprentice in the kitchen of Sarah Leah Chase on Nantucket to titillating the tastebuds of Madonna, Will & Jada Pinkett Smith, Arianna Huffington and Bill Clinton in LA.Â In addition to great talent and entertaining savvy, Lulu has excellent taste and style, as evidenced by her preference for vintage clothing and the fabulous pieces that she has collected from currentVintage.
“If a dinner party is like a relationship, then a cocktail party is like a fling–all the fun and none of the commitment.”–Lulu Powers inÂ Food to Flowers
The book is a lovely lesson in simple but thoughtful and chic entertaining–who couldn’t use a lesson in that?–beautifully photographed by Lulu’s husband, Stephen Danelian.Â Below are a couple of the simply delightful recipes included in Food to Flowers.Â To purchase the book, visit currentVintage (for a signed copy), your local bookstore or http://www.lulupowers.com
2Â½ cups, plus Â½ cup shelled edamame, at room temperature
1 cup fresh mint leaves
Â½ cup fresh parsley leaves
salt and pepper
Â½ cup olive oil
In food processor, blend 2Â½ cups edamame, mint, parsley, salt and pepper to taste until smooth. Add oil and remaining Â½ cup edamame, and blend until mixture is slightly chunky.
2 packages rice crackers, about 30 crackers
4 strips bacon, cooked until crispy and broken into small pieces
Â½ cup finely grated GruyÃ¨re cheese
Place dollop of edamame mixture on rice crackers. Top with bacon and garnish with GruyÃ¨re.
MILLION DOLLAR BARS
“Taste just one of these treats and you’ll understand the name. My mom’s English friend, Mrs. Kennedy, introduced the Powers clan to Million-Dollar Bars. She wouldn’t part with the recipe, so my sister Sarah and I came up with one ourselves. The problem is that you can’t eat just one.”–Lulu
1Â½ cups all-purpose flour
Â½ cup sugar
Â¾ pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter
(1 stick at room temperature &Â 2 sticks chilled and cut into pieces)
Â½ cup packed brown sugar
Two 14-ounce cans unsweetened condensed milk
Â¼ cup heavy cream
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
Makes 35 bars
1. Preheat the oven to 325Â°F.
2. Sift the flour into the bowl of a food processor. Add the sugar and the chilled butter and pulse until the mixture resembles crumbs.
3. Press the mixture into a 9 x 13-inch pan sprayed lightly with nonstick cooking spray and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until light golden. Let cool in the pan.
4. In a medium saucepan, melt the brown sugar and the remaining stick of butter. Add the condensed milk and stir constantly over medium-high heat until the mixture thickens slightly and becomes light golden in color, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the caramel from the heat and pour evenly over the cooled cookie mixture. Let cool slightly.
5. In the meantime, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water and gradually whisk in the heavy cream until smooth.
6. Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the caramel and spread it evenly with a small offset spatula or by tapping the bottom of the pan on a hard surface.
7. Cool the bars in the refrigerator until set and cut into squares. If the chocolate hardens, let the bars stand for at least 1 hour at room temperature before cutting. They will keep for 1 week on the counter and 2 weeks in the freezer.