Seaside Supper: A Curated Dinner & Demo in Ventura County

OurLocaltopia headed to Ventura County to cook for an ocean front retreat!

This week, OurLocaltopia was invited to a seaside vacation home in Ventura county to curate a meal for the Sew n’ Sews, a group of avid quilters who take this yearly retreat to work on projects and bond with their friends. We were thrilled to be cooking in a gorgeous kitchen that  had panoramic coastal and ocean views. The menu for the night featured a variety of locally sourced produce, including delicious Ventura County strawberries and included a demonstration of the prep and execution of Fritto Misto. Below is our recap of the evening, including photos and recipes. If you are interested in having a similar event at your next getaway, party or gathering, don’t hesitate to contact us! Continue reading “Seaside Supper: A Curated Dinner & Demo in Ventura County”

Seasonal Tomato Preserves!

Gather some backyard tomatoes...

Tomatoes are in abundance this time of year, and they never fail to come center-stage at our tables as the heat and light of summer presses on.  This week, we featured a recipe in our cooking class at the Fullerton Arboretum that highlighted some additional potential of the summer tomato: tomato preserves.  It’s not that the idea of a preserved tomato is new – far from it.  But the simplicity with which these particular summer tomatoes are preserved, and the great ingredients added to them that make them sparkle even greater, well, is just magic. Read on for the full recipe and browse the photos of the process in this post’s gallery… Continue reading “Seasonal Tomato Preserves!”

Figs and Fresh Ricotta: Watch & Eat!

We promised it was on the way, and now here it is! Enjoy our brief video tutorial on making homemade ricotta cheese and pairing it with grilled bread, local honey and fresh figs. This delightful snack can be enjoyed as an appetizer, as part of a tapas style menu or even for dessert. Figs are bountiful and delicious this time of year, so take advantage of what’s in season, and try it out! We think you’re going to love it! And read on for the text version of our fresh ricotta recipe… Continue reading “Figs and Fresh Ricotta: Watch & Eat!”

Inspiration in Simple Ingredients, for a Simple Sunday Meal

This past week, amid the buildup to the 4th of July holiday, family gatherings and time spent with friends, Our Localtopia was at work putting a video together featuring fresh local figs paired with homemade ricotta.  We gathered in my kitchen to film and make ricotta cheese; creamy, warm and decadent.  It had been a while since I had made homemade ricotta, and our video shoot reminded me how just a few simple ingredients, thoughtfully prepared, truly come together to make a great dish.  A dish that is at once completely homey, and at once truly sophisticated.  Pure ingredients allowed to shine in their own radiant light — creating harmony on a dinner plate. Continue reading “Inspiration in Simple Ingredients, for a Simple Sunday Meal”

Pâté Preview

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Have you ever wondered how to make that mysterious and delicious dish, pâté? Well, stick around because in the next few weeks Our Localtopia and Alicia Hitchcock will be releasing our newest culinary video, a how-to on pâté creation! Watch this site for more info, and check out this teaser shot of the pâté that was made!

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Alicia Hitchcock’s Famous Cherry Pie (In Video Form!)

Alicia Hitchcock of Brea’s Alicia’s Cookery and Catering visited Cathy Thomas’ kitchen recently and made this delicious looking cherry pie. Check out this video to watch the recipe unfold and learn helpful techniques from these cooking experts!

Read on for the full recipe for the pie crust and filling… Continue reading “Alicia Hitchcock’s Famous Cherry Pie (In Video Form!)”

Organic Strawberry Ice Cream: Making the Best of a Seasonal Favorite

Farm fresh strawberry ice cream.
Farm fresh strawberry ice cream.

As winter fades and spring comes into the year with all of the promise and excitement we expect, it was time to take advantage of a special ingredient that won’t be with us for much longer.  Jonathan Davis, the farmer at the Fullerton Arboretum has been tenderly caring for strawberries, and since their season is fading I knew my time was limited to make something really special with as many as I could get my hands on… Continue reading “Organic Strawberry Ice Cream: Making the Best of a Seasonal Favorite”