WHAAT?? July Already?!




Summer table settingSlim Paley Photo

Lunch with my friend at the beach house last week

Who do I speak to around here about getting time to slow down just a bit??  I’m turning into the Old Person who keeps saying “I can’t believe it’s (insert time, day, month) already”  Whatupwidat?

But here we are, July 2nd already and lo and behold  “June Gloom” has lifted as predictably as an old stripper still going through the motions.  OK, maybe not the prettiest analogy, but hey, it’s GORGEOUS outside and I want to get down to the beach!!  (speaking of old strippers 🙂 )   I hope the weather is also playing well wherever you may be.  Before I head out, I wanted to share two absolutely delicious recipes that are perfect for weekends (prep ahead), or any time this summer.  The first is new and great and the second is a tried and true gazpacho from 2009, which I’d saved in my files from Food & Wine Magazine but is actually available on their website.  God I love technology. Sometimes.  FYI; This recipe is not to be confused with the Grape & Almond Gazpacho I shared back in October 2009 HERE



Summer saladSlim Paley Photo

Celery, Grilled Grape and Mushroom Salad

  1. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar with the lemon juice, celery seeds, mustard and half of the garlic. Gradually whisk in 1/4 cup of the olive oil and the almond oil until emulsified. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.
  2. In a mini food processor, combine the remaining garlic with the parsley, celery leaves and almonds and pulse until finely chopped. Add another 1/4 cup of the olive oil and puree to a chunky paste. Season the pesto with salt and pepper.
  3. Light a grill. Brush the mushrooms with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat, turning once, until tender and browned, about 5 minutes. In a bowl, toss the grapes with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat until the skins begin to blacken in spots, about 3 minutes; line the grill with perforated foil if the grapes will fall through. Transfer the grapes and mushrooms to a large bowl and toss with the pesto.
  4. Arrange the lettuce leaves on a platter and drizzle with half of the dressing. Spoon the mushroom-and-grape salad onto the lettuce. Toss the celery with the remaining dressing, spoon it on top and serve.
MAKE AHEAD The dressing and pesto can be refrigerated separately for up to 2 days.
PS. Note from me; What makes this recipe really divine are the grapes fit to burst with roasty-goodness and flash grilling the oyster mushrooms so they are slightly blackened and have some crunch.
Recipe from Food & Wine Magazine, June 2011


Slim Paley Photo

A vintage ice thermos and little aqua milk glasses filled with last minute grabs from the garden


White gazpachoSlim Paley Photo

White Gazpacho

  1. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the cauliflower until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water until cool and drain well.
  1. In a blender, combine 1 1/2 cups of cold water with the cooked cauliflower, bread, pine nuts, chopped garlic, sherry vinegar, chopped shallot, 1 cup of the slivered almonds and the coarsely chopped cucumber; blend until smooth. Add the olive oil and pulse just until incorporated. If necessary, add more water to thin the gazpacho. Season the soup with salt and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the remaining 1/4 cup of slivered almonds in a pie plate and toast for about 6 minutes, until fragrant and lightly golden. Ladle the gazpacho into bowls. Garnish the soup with the toasted almonds and the finely diced cucumber and serve.
MAKE AHEAD The white gazpacho can be refrigerated overnight. NOTES One Serving 320 cal, 28 gm fat, 3.6 gm sat fat, 12 gm carb, 4.2 gm fiber.
PS. Note from me;  This was quite garlicky so I would suggest maybe cutting back the garlic to 1 and 1/2 cloves or two SMALL cloves 
Recipe from Food & Wine Magazine, August 2009



summer dessertsSlim Paley photo

Now I’d like to say this Lavender Lemon gelato is home-made, but nope, I buy it from my local ice-cream & gelato shop that whips up all their delicious flavours fresh daily.

 If you are ever in Montecito, CA, you must stop in to SCOOP .  

Say Slim sent you 🙂

Happy 4th of July weekend Everybody!!






  1. Thank’s Slim for taking care of my 4th July Menu!! Sounds delish, can’t wait to try.

    PS: LOVE the turquoise plates, they would go perfectly with my “summer decor”, would you share where they are from???

    • Sure- believe it or not, the dishes are “made exclusively” for “Z Galleries” so not expensive at all, but they are a few years old.

  2. Made the gazpacho last year and it was one of the most elegant summer meal / starter
    I have ever had.
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  3. that’s not a house at the beach, that’s a house ON the beach. for the record, I now officially hate you… but only for this post- I will go back to lovin’ you for the next post 😉 lucky friend!
    your recipes looks wonderful; thanks for sharing.
    wishing you and your family a happy 4th of july!!

  4. Happy 4th of July and Canada Day to you Slim. I adore gazpacho and this recipe looks de lish. Grilled grapes, mmmmnnn must try that one. Hope the sun is still shining, it’s soooo sunny here!

  5. That seriously, looks like the world’s most delicious meal. The whole photo series is gorgeous and ditto on info regarding the plates. I swore to take a year off cooking to get the thrill back – might need to reconsider.

    P.S. Yes, read and loved The Hamilton Case – it helped save my mind during a brutal East Coast winter. I’m not sure I would appreciate the syntax as much during the summer when my already limited attention span reverts to that of a 10 year old, but it is a favorite read.

    Happy 4th!

  6. SP,

    I remember seeing your Beach house on House Beautiful and I will never forget dreaming about that place! It’s truly magical! What about that view? Don’t you feel blessed every time you see it?

    I’m loving your pictures. It couldn’t be better.

    Wishing you a fun 4th of July!


    Luciane at HomeBunch.com

  7. Melt in your mouth mushrooms and popping grapes?! Sign me up for lunch by the sea… Looks and sounds divine!

    Happy 4th of July!

  8. Slim…
    You da wooomannnn! From your photos it truly doesn’t get much lovelier this side of heaven than a day at your table on the beach. Thank you for sharing the beauty you create and the many tips for our own soirees.
    Have a sizzling sassy summer and 4th.

  9. Happy Fourth of July Slim! I hope you have a fantastic day and thanks again for all your funny funny posts!

  10. I am so with you, things have GOT to slow down. Summer (weather wise) has only just begun and we are already talking about the end of August!! Not nice. I was happy to get caught up on your wonderful and hilarious posts this morning. Your beach bouquets are so sweet and that salad sounds so great…I’m thinking of trying it with chicken and calling it a meal.

    Loved your liquor store stroll and beautiful bar. And then the panama hats! Congratulations on the mag piece. Please stop by the market to see fourth of july on Orcas Island! Have a great day!

  11. Both recipes have gone on my MUST make list. I’ve used an old Spanish recipe forever for White Gazpacho based on ground almonds but I LOVE your idea of the cauliflower base. Much more interesting forceful flavor than the ground almonds.Happy Fourth!!

  12. Slim…you can’t make your 4th of July post look this good as it caused me to forget to look up in the sky at the local fireworks!

  13. Great summer recipes Slim….thank you. The table setting is beautiful…the china and flowers just perfect for the beach table….Happy July….and I agree, it goes TOO fast….xv

  14. Thanks for your visit and photography tips. Your photo’s are amazing so your advice is most welcome. I don’t know how I hadn’t come across your blog before. I now have to spend days and weeks catching up on all the gorgeousness (is that a word?) Greetings from South Africa. I was excited to see your photo’s of your African visit so you know how beautiful it is this side of the Atlantic. Warm regards Sharon

  15. “June Gloom has lifted as predictably as an old stripper still going through the motions.” Hilarious!

    Your tablescapes are so beautiful–many a food stylist could take lessons from you.

Would love to hear from you!