Thursday, March 29, 2012

Romantic Prairie Cookbook, The Splendid Table & A giveaway

I was so excited when I got my hardcover copy of the beautiful and delicious Romantic Prairie Cookbook
by Fifi O'Neill photographed by Mark Lohman. When I opened it I immediately became inspired. Romantic Prairie Cookbook is like no other cookbook I have ever seen, 
packed full of 192 pages of yummy, mouth watering recipes.

I was so giddy when Fifi O'Neill asked me to be a part of Romantic Prairie Cookbook
 and to share a few of my families favorite recipes.
Many of you know how amazing Fifi O'neill is and how her talent is endless.
 I LOVE to cook. I come from a long line of chefs in a big Italian family.

Quick story for my new readers
My beautiful nona Rosa, my stunning mother, Carmen, my older brother, Alberto and my sister, Donna,
 are all chefs in our family. I don't want to come across as being arrogant or that I am bragging but, I am really proud of my family, sometimes it was a bit intimidating being in our kitchen.
I then decided to go to culinary school and refine my skills.
Culinary school can be expensive, so in order for me to
go, I exchanged cleaning services for my
education. I am not frivolous and value working hard for what you want in life.

 Ironically, my teacher, Ceclia DeCastro, was the same teacher that 
taught my brother at UCLA 20 years ago. 
 Every Monday for 6 hours and 8 grueling months later I graduated.

When I got the news that Romantic Prairie Cookbook made The Splendid Table I was so happy for Fifi and knew it was only a matter of time before it would happen. Then, Fifi told me that they 
where going to feature my recipe for Salmon. I was so happy and honored. 

The Splendid Table is part of American Public Media, which is the second largest producer and distributor of public radio programming and the largest owner and operator of public radio stations in the nation, reaching 15.4 million listeners each week.
Check out The Splendid Table and you can see peek of the review below. 
Every Wednesday morning, get a new recipe, as well as tips, tricks and advice from Lynne Rossetto Kasper.
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March 28, 2012
Dear Friends,
This week's recipe is a shout-out to spring. It comes from Fifi O'Neill's The Romantic Prairie Cookbook, a lovely collection of farm-to-table dishes that celebrate flavorful ingredients and home cooking.
A mix of fresh herbs and olive oil comes together in a bright, fresh-tasting sauce for wild salmon fillets. If you've already dusted off your grill for the season, use it now; otherwise, a grill pan on the stovetop works as well. When we tested the recipe, we had some dressing left over. We stirred in a little non-fat Greek yogurt and served it as a dip for crudités the next night.
Also hot off the press is the revised edition of Vegetables by James Peterson, author of seven James Beard Award-winning cookbooks. In keeping with the early spring theme of this week's newsletter, we feature James's recipe for Rhubarb Gratin with Vinegar and Sugar -- an unusual and more savory departure from the sweet dishes we usually associate with rhubarb.
Have a good week,


From The Romantic Prairie Cookbook: Field-Fresh Recipes and Homespun Settings by Fifi O'Neill (CICO Books, an imprint of Ryland Peters & Small, Ltd., London and New York, 2012). Copyright © 2012 by Fifi O'Neill. Photography copyright © 2012 by Mark Lohman. All rights reserved. Used with permission of the publisher.
Serves 2
Lulu Tapp knows that wild salmon is a much better option than the farm-raised type, as it does not contain any food coloring or additives. The accompanying herb and honey dressing gets its summery zest from lemon juice, its kick from a touch of garlic, and its heat from a hint of jalapeño.
  • 2 6-ounce/170g thick salmon fillets
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, to drizzle
  • Vegetable oil for the grill
  • Few grape (baby plum) tomatoes, halved, to garnish
  • Fresh dill sprigs, to garnish
For the Herb Dressing:
  • 1 medium garlic clove
  • 1/4 small jalapeño pepper, diced
  • 1 cup/50g fresh cilantro (coriander)
  • 1/2 cup/25g fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup/10g fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3/4 cup/180ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper
For the Tomato Topping:
  • 1 cup/170g grape (baby plum) tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup/60ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
1. First make the herb dressing: put the garlic and jalapeño pepper in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
2. Add the herbs, lemon juice, and honey. With the food processor running, drizzle in the oil slowly. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Make the tomato topping: gently toss the grape tomatoes, 1/4 cup/60ml olive oil, chopped chives, and lemon juice together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
4. Prepare the salmon. Heat a grill or grill pan over high heat. Drizzle each salmon fillet with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spray the grill with vegetable oil.
5. Add the salmon to the hot grill. Sear each side for 4 minutes. (Do not try to move it too soon or it will stick.) Loosen gently with tongs, and set on plates.
6. Spread the herb dressing around the fish and dollop the tomato mixture on top. Garnish with a few grape tomatoes, and little sprigs of fresh dill.


From Vegetables: The Most Authoritative Guide to Buying, Preparing, and Cooking with More Than 300 Recipes by James Peterson (Revised Edition Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., 2012). Copyright © 2012 by James Peterson. All rights reserved. Originally published in the United States by William Morrow and Company, Inc., New York, in 1998.
Makes 4 side-dish servings
When preparing the rhubarb, be sure to remove all the leaves and discard them as they are poisonous. The pectin in the rhubarb causes this gratin to thicken as it cooks.
  • 5 stalks rhubarb, leaves removed, stalks cut into 3-inch lengths
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar, plus more as needed
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup water, plus more as needed
  • Salt and freshly grated black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Spread the rhubarb in a baking dish just large enough to hold it in a single layer. Add the vinegar, sprinkle over the sugar, and add the water. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until the liquids form a glaze on the bottom of the baking dish, about 30 minutes. If the baking dish runs dry before this, add a little more water or vinegar. Serve hot.
A Word about Rhubarb: To start out with a warning, never eat rhubarb leaves, and don't eat a whole lot of raw rhubarb stems. They contain oxalates that can cause significant irritation; eating the leaves can be fatal. On that cheery note, most of us don't remember rhubarb as the first fresh thing to come into season in the early part of spring. It is usually associated with sweet ingredients (such as sugar or maple syrup) probably because of its bracing acidity.

Copyright © 2012, Lynne Rossetto Kasper.
All Rights Reserved

Fifi just keeps on coming out with more and more inspiration. 
I can not express enough how wonderful Romantic Prairie Cookbook by Fifi O'Neill is
and that for you foodies, chef's and cooks out there it is a must have in your culinary

You can now purchase Romantic Prairie Cookbook on Amazon.

It has been awhile since I have done a giveaway so
In honor of this beautiful book, I am giving one lucky reader
a signed copy of Romantic Prairie Cookbook.
Post about it on your Blog, Facebook and or Twitter, come back 
and tell me you did.

I will be back soon with and amazing interview and
a simple Easter vignette.

Have a wonderful day,

Follow us on Facebook.

"I am grateful for my life."


  1. Putting the button in my sidebar!

    Very inspired by your cooking story, my dear!



  2. Posting on Facebook - when does the giveaway end, Lu? I'm putting for a week as a placeholder for now.

  3. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! We are in it too. I have it on my blog now:) It is a gorgeously photographed book full of delicious recipes:)
    ~Debra xxx
    Capers of the vintgage vixens

  4. what a lovely story and i know what a magical force fifi is. i would love to win a copy. it is posted on my facebook page.

    thank you and warmest congrats!


  5. What a wonderful giveaway Lulu!!~
    I would love to own this cook book! And this recipe looks delicious, my family loves salmon especially my boys.
    You are so fortunate that your family are such amazing cooks! You should be so proud for how hard you worked to go to culinary school, that is so awesome!
    Thanks so much for the opportunity!
    Hope your having a lovely week.

  6. Hi Lulu,
    I just posted your giveaway on both of my Facebook pages.
    Have a great day.

  7. Tweeted this giveaway! Would love to win!!

  8. Great story about your family. Nice to know you can attend cooking school
    just one day a week...that might help some folks who can't go daily.
    I posted on FB for you :) Thanks!

  9. Blogged this great giveaway also. Thanks Pam

  10. Hi again Lulu,
    I just added your giveaway to my blog sidebar.

  11. I tweeted! Such a gorgeous cookbook! I've loved having her Romantic Prairie on the book shelf. :)

  12. My goodness. You are awesome at everything! I did not know you and your family have a culinary background. The book looks beautiful. Not entering as my cup already overfloweth but I tweeted and facebooked. I've added the book to my Amazon wish list. I love to cook too!

  13. Hi! I added your giveaway to my blog's links! Very cool! Pick me..Pick me...:)

  14. Congratulations to you, Lu. I am so happy for you. the recipe sounds luscious. And to have it on a show and in a magazine is fantastic. Miss you!

  15. This is a great giveaway !!! Love Fifi and all she does. Your blog is great too!

  16. Congratulations to you, Lu. The recipe sounds luscious. Blogged: http://candyricettebarbare.blogspot.it/2012/03/giveaway-dustylu.html
    Thanks, GREAT giveaway!

  17. Congratulations! That is wonderful and the recipe, too!

  18. Great giveaway!I'm happy you have Italian origins!I'm from south of Italy,can I participate?I hope so!

  19. I've just added your link to my sidebar,bye

  20. Congratulations!!
    Thank you so much for a chance to win this cook book! (I need all the help I can get in the kitchen!) I'll be keeping my fingers crossed ~ thank you again!

  21. Just bragged about you on Facebook!

  22. I'm a big Fifi fan so I'm really excited about his book! Thanks for the giveaway!

  23. I just Tweeted about the Giveaway! (@fabulousfinds)

  24. Congratulations! The salmon looks soooo good.
    Have a good weekend.

  25. I just posted on my blog and tweeted too. Loved learning more about you and your chef family. That's exciting!

  26. Oh, it does look wonderful! And thanks for a chance to win the cookbook! Enjoy your week! ♥

  27. Would love a chance to read and cook from this!
    Thanks! :)

    I shared about the giveaway on FB

  28. I would love to have the chance to win Fifi's newest book...it looks amazing....I mentioned on Facebook.

  29. I shared here on Facebook:


    Congratulations on being in the cookbook, I'd love to read it!

    kate1485 at hotmail.com

  30. Isn't it gorgeous!!!!
    Can I have my brag moment? That's my sweet little girl on that first page!!!
    Lu, you are right! FIfi is the BEST!
    Thank you for sharing this "inside story!" How fun!!!!
    You don't have to enter me - I just got mine the other day but I wanted to say congratulations!

    It's Friday...
    But Sunday's Comin'!


  31. Fifi is so talented and she is just the sweetest! She was just here to shoot our farmhouse for her new magazine Romantic Prairie Style. It was such a pleasure to meet her in person. I would love a chance to win her new book. I just posted the giveaway on my facebook page.

  32. Hi!! This cookbook looks AWESOME! Would love to get my paws on it :) I tweeted so thanks bunches for the opportunity :)

  33. This looks like a fantastic cookbook. Tweeted about the cookbook and this post. https://twitter.com/#!/teslaca/status/188982663263166464