The HIT List: April

The number of candles one needs to make any party feel like a Hollywood event. 
The formula is: Square footage of space divided by 5. Which means an average house would 
need over 200 candles per floor. And the fire department on speed dial.

Nespresso Espresso
  Nespresso's new flavor: Mansoon Malabar. Indian espresso beans infused with flavors of wood and the sea. You can smell the ocean when it brews! Yum!

Bon Appetit's raspberry-ricotta cake. I don't bake but this is super easy and super delicious! And I taught Danny how to fold dry ingredients into wet. Maybe next time he's bake the cake!

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. It won a Pulitzer. Let's hope I can swallow it before the library loan expires and it gets deleted off my iPad.

DMD Kitchen: Spinach and Strawberry Salad Recipe

copyright 2015 Kate Brankin. All rights reserved.
The Spinach and Strawberry Salad is perfect for spring and summer entertaining. Not only is it delicious and looks good, but unlike other green salads, it can be prepped in advance. I always serve it for Easter, it's a perfect light start to a large meal.

For the Salad
1lb of organic Strawberries, sliced.
1/2 Red Onion, sliced in half rounds and separated
1 bag of organic Baby Spinach
About 6-8" of English Cucumber, skin removed, sliced into 1/8'' slices

For the Vinaigrette
1/4C White Balsamic Vinegar
3/4C Olive Oil
1T Simple Syrup*
1t Poppy Seeds
Whisk together Vinegar, Simple Syrup, and Poppy Seeds. Slowly whisk in Oil until the vinaigrette comes together. Assemble the salad in a bowl big enough to toss the salad without spilling the spinach all over the counter. Dress and let sit a little before serving. The strawberries and cucumber tend to settle on the bottom, either toss again to bring them to the top or plate individually.

Make ahead: The Strawberries and the Onions can be diced a day ahead and stored in the airtight container in the fridge until ready to use. The vinaigrette can be whisked together and bottled. If it separates, just shake it up vigorously before use. I do not recommend slicing the cucumber ahead because it will release water.

*Simple Syrup: equal parts of sugar and water, bring to a boil while stirring continuously until sugar is dissolved. Cool completely. Can be stored in the fridge in a glass container for several months.

Review: Buttermilk, Geneva

I've got a new breakfast favorite: Buttermilk in Geneva. They just opened a couple of weeks ago, we checked them out last weekend.

What first peaked my interest was Buttermilk's branding. Any establishment with a good brand design always goes up a notch in my book. Being a breakfast place, they left the traditional egg kitsch behind and presented themselves in black and white with a touch of retro chic. The interior is clad in white clapboard with light grey ceiling and booths upholstered in black and white mod pattern. The staff is wearing a grey long-sleeved shirts with a large white milk bottle logo on the chest. The design of the restaurant is refreshingly monochrome, the only color is provided by the food, and an occasional customer's fluorescent running shoes. The space is light and airy with lots of large windows, the ceilings are high enough to absorb the sound – it just screams "hello beautiful morning!" The space between the tables is a little tight though, so leave the jogging stroller in the car.