2 For this dinner gathering, my longtime housekeeper, Laura Acuna, chose to set the table with a simple white, and green color palette.
3 Table settings included shades of white and off white with silver and a touch of light green.
4 in keeping with Kosher practices, these dishes and flatware pieces are always kept separate for my Kosher guests.
5 This is a potted Juncus effusus - also known as Curly Wurly or Corkscrew Rush - a hardy, water-loving evergreen that forms clumps of stiff, cylindrical grass-like foliage. It is always a popular plant with guests.
6 Podacarpus macrophyllus is a dense upright slow growing evergreen with long, slender dark green leathery leaves. It is relatively easy to care for and adapts well to various conditions.
7 This is a Cymbidium inside an antique urn made of the same material used to manufacture sewer pipes. Sewer tile pottery was made by pipe workers who used leftover clay at the end of the work week to create sculptured forms such as this planter. Over the years, I've collected a few pieces.
8 Here is another Cymbidium in my faux bois planter.
9 This is a beautiful lady's slipper orchid.
10 My Green Parlor was also decorated with beautiful plants.
11 Because of my busy work and travel schedule, I only have my plants in the house for special occasions - they are regularly kept in my greenhouse, where they can be cared for properly.
12 These are some of my melodious red factor canaries. They are prized for their color rather than their song, but they are also good singers and enjoy singing. My canaries also love to listen to classical music, which I keep on for them during the day.
13 The smaller dining room table in my Bird Room is decorated with potted lemon cypress flanking a vase of cut orchids.
14 In the Flower Room, Chef Pierre of PS Tailored Events, prepares the crust for dessert. The crust of the Atlantic Beach Pie is made out of saltine crackers, unsalted butter and sugar. http://pstailoredevents.com
16 Chef Pierre uses a whisk to completely mix the ingredients.
17 Once the ingredients are completely combined, pour the mixture into the cooled pie crust shell and bake for about 16-minutes until the filling has set.
18 And here are the Atlantic Beach pies fresh from the oven.
19 It should be served cooled, so store it in the refrigerator before topping with fresh whipped cream.
20 Pierre then prepared the mis en place - a French culinary phrase meaning "putting in place" as in setting-up all the ingredients to be cooked, such as these root vegetables for our entre.
21 Whenever I entertain, I enjoy using interesting foods - perhaps foods that may be new to my guests. This is sunchoke, or a Jerusalem artichoke. The tubers are long and uneven - similar in appearance to the ginger root, with a crisp texture when raw.
22 Salsify is a root vegetable that is often used in soups and salads. It also goes by Purple Goatsbeard or Oyster Plant. It has a slightly oyster like flavor.
23 And, along with our root vegetables, we served fresh carrots.
24 And, fresh potatoes from my garden.
25 As with all the food scraps used at the farm, nothing gets wasted - they are all set aside in a clean bin and then given to my chickens.
26 Pea shoots are the tendrils of pea plants. They are popularly used in salads. Chef Pierre will use them as a garnish for the ravioli.
27 We also served sugar snap peas with the ravioli.
28 The filling for the ravioli is made from pureed peas and onion, with parmesan cheese - so delicious.
30 Pierre runs the dough through the pasta attachment on my mixer several times.
31 This gets the pasta to the proper thickness for ravioli.
32 Then, using a spoon, Chef Pierre adds scoops of the pea filling onto the dough.
33 A scoop is enough for each ravioli.
34 Chef Pierre folds over the dough to cover the pea filling.
35 He presses the dough around each scoop of pea filling to make sure it is completely enclosed.
36 Then, using a cookie cutter, Chef Pierre separates each ravioli.
37 Here is what the ravioli looks like just before cooking.
38 Keep them on a floured piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet, while they wait to be cooked.
39 Add some olive oil to the pan, and place the ravioli on high heat until cooked.
40 Chef Pierre and I chose hake fish for our dinner. Hake is a relative of the cod. It is considered one of the best fish in the whiting family because of its firm, sweet, white meat.
41 The root vegetables were all sautéed in a bit of olive oil and cooked just until tender.
42 The salsify cooks just until tender and a touch brown.
43 Fresh parsley is always so pretty and delicious - a wonderful garnish for any dish.
44 Decorating with plants is an easy, and inexpensive way to add refreshing color to any room.
45 First course - pea ravioli, sugar snap peas and pea shoots with a green pea sauce.
46 The finished entree - roasted hake with brown butter caper lemon sauce and root vegetables - it was so delicious.
47 And, here is the finished dessert - Atlantic Beach pie with fresh whipped cream.
48 It was a big hit!