Luncheon in the Library

Each May, Mrs. Parker recognizes all the parent volunteers for their time, energy, and dedication in helping maintain the library at Rolling Hills Country Day School by hosting a fabulous luncheon in their honor.

Library Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon

Mrs. Clifford works her usual amazing magic by setting out such a charming buffet on top of the lower bookshelves. The menu consisted of Mrs. Parker’s curried chicken salad, mixed baby greens with Parmesan, sunflower seeds and vinaigrette, rolls served in an adorable picket fence corral, the perennial favorite deviled eggs, cream puffs, chocolate eclairs, flower-shaped sugar cookies, fresh strawberries and lemonade.

The buffet was decorated like a precious garden with flowers and seed packets and books (of course).


Mrs. Parker has been the beloved librarian at Rolling Hills Country Day School since 1983. Her daughter, Leslie, started attending the school in 1982. A year later Mrs. Parker came on board and has been here ever since. And Leslie has gone on to graduate from Georgetown and receive her MBA from UCLA.

Mrs. Parker’s specialty: Curried Chicken Salad. She makes it exactly from the recipe found in Gourmet June 2002 issue. There is a synergy in this combination of ingredients. Everyone loves it, year after year. Chicken, curry, yogurt, lime, honey, ginger, red onion, mango, red grapes, cashews…intrigued? Go here for the complete recipe. You’ll be glad you did!





Library Before and After

I love before and after photos. In the summer of 2005 it was my pleasure to update the library at Rolling Hills Country Day School.

It is amazing what color can do to enhance a space. The remodel consisted of a new paint palette, new computers, bookshelves, lighting, carpet and rug, furniture, and other design elements. I worked with Mrs. Parker to make sure we met the needs of the students while preserving some of the historical features in the library. We retained the old card catalog (no longer in use) and installed special shelving for Mrs. Parker’s antique books.

Those big red leather chairs continue to be a magnet for the children. Sometimes we’ll find three of them sitting in one chair, reading one of the books that Mrs. Parker has painstakingly chosen for the library. It is an awesome space, warm and inviting, enhanced by Mrs. Parker’s enchanting personality and love of children and books.

Alas, there were no Legumes at the Library Luncheon, but don’t let that stop you from submitting your fabulous legume-centric dish to the global event taking place the entire month of May. My Legume Love Affair, go here for details!

And remember, as a special treat to one of the lucky participants in My Legume Love Affair, there is a GIVEAWAY. A book, how apropos! A World of Dumplings – Filled Dumplings, Pockets, and Little Pies from Around the Globe by Brian Yarvin.

Do join us, won’t you?

Calling All Bean Aficionados!

My Legume Love Affair 11th Helping is officially underway! It is my honor and pleasure to be your hostess for this month’s edition of the wildly successful event created by Susan, The Well-Seasoned Cook. I hope you will join us by sharing your awesome legume-centric dish this month. The event round-up will be posted the first week of June. So, come one, come all, show us what you bean cooking!
Join In the Fun!
  • Create a dish where the LEGUME (beans, lentils, pulses, and/or the edible pods that contain these seeds, and derivative products like tofu) is the STAR ingredient.
  • Post this dish on your blog during the month of May. Link to this announcement and to Susan’s MLLA Host Line-up. Feel free to use the MLLA 11 Badge.
  • Email your name, name of your blog, the link to your legume dish, your location, description of your dish, and a photo (350 pixels wide) OR recipe, to tastewiththeeyes AT cox DOT net by May 31st. If you like, please include one or two sentences describing the inspiration for your entry.
Let’s Get This Party Started!
Here are links to some previous Taste With The Eyes legume dishes:

Eleventh Helping
Legume Lover’s Prize

As a special treat to one of the participants, Susan will be giving away this darling cookbook: A World of Dumplings: Filled Dumplings, Pockets, and Little Pies from Around the Globe by Brian Yarvin.

We are more than happy to accept multiple recipes for this event, however only one will be included in the random drawing for A World of Dumplings.
To my non-food-blogging readers, we encourage your participation too! It is your opportunity to share your delicious cooking but more than that, it is our unique opportunity to sample your creativity! What do you say?
Leah? Lauren? Gail? Allison? Kirk? Sally? Lori ann? Abby? Tash? Juliet? Kelly? Merisi? Carol? Liz? Father Adam? Tori? Tom? Gary? Vicki? Charlotte? Molly? Heather? Deanna? Val? Bob? Noramae? Pat? Gina? Peggy? Davida? Susan? Judi? Judy? Sandy? Alex? Anyone else?
We look forward to virtually savoring all your marvelous legume creations!
Lori Lynn
UPDATE: The amazing Round-Up is posted here. Come check it out!

Cilantro-Scented Navy Bean Mash, Smoked Fish

Cilantro-Scented Navy Bean Mash
Smoked Salmon Rosette

Cook navy beans in chicken stock with smashed garlic cloves. Add cilantro sprigs for the last half hour of cooking. Let cool. Remove the sprigs and garlic.

Mash the beans with a potato masher, add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Fold in crème fraîche and rough chopped cilantro leaves.
The Navy Bean is a mild-tasting, smaller-sized dense white bean that got its name from being a staple food for the US Navy, as they do not spoil and provide excellent nutrition.

Courtney of Chicago’s Coco Cooks blog is hosting this month’s My Legume Love Affair, a wildly successful event created by Susan, The Well-Seasoned Cook. April is its tenth incarnation, and one of which I am excited to participate in once again. Next month’s host will be yours truly, Taste With The Eyes.

Courtney’s challenge was to create a starter or dessert with legumes. For this party, I am serving a starter of cilantro-scented navy bean mash on spoons topped with a rosette of smoked salmon or a morsel of smoked trout.

My friends Heather and Abbi, stopped by during the creative stage. I served them the cilantro-scented navy bean dip with toast points brushed with olive oil. Cooking the beans with garlic cloves, stock, and cilantro imparts a wonderful depth of flavor to the beans. My vegetarian friends would love this too, just use a rich vegetable stock in place of chicken stock.

Another post, another thank you to my brother. This one, to my brother Don. You see, he waited in a not-so-short line last December to get an autographed cookbook by Charlie Trotter. Those of you who have been following Taste With The Eyes may recall that my birthday gift from Don & Kristy last year was Guest Chef For The Day in Charlie Trotter’s kitchen. I am a big fan of Charlie, and this cookbook, Home Cooking with Charlie Trotter, is a favorite; with casual recipes for the home chef, focusing on crisp flavors and straight-forward presentations. That’s where the idea for cilantro-scented navy beans came from!
Next up for MLLA 11, Three Bean and Potato Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette, inspired by Charlie, too.  Bean aficionados, won’t you please join us in May and share your favorite legume recipe?