A Winter Picnic with Jenny Lee

Back in March, when lockdown was first implemented for many of us, photos of bread and other comfort food flooded my feed on Instagram. This shared panic stricken fervor was fun but it was Jenny Lee's images of impressive and playful dishes that caught my eye and sustained my interest. Her passion project eventually evolved into its own feed and now you can find her food journey at La qt Appetit; a visually satisfying plethora of inspiring dishes and recipes.

One of my favorite things about being a creative is collaborating with people I feel inspired by.  While 2020 has made this challenging I recently reached out to Jenny and asked if she would be interested in co-curating a winter picnic with me. After saying yes to my invitation Jenny chose to prepare three items; a butternut squash galette with caramelized onions accompanied by two types of cookies from the Quarantine Cookie series; The Pantry Cookie and The Cranberry-Glazed Chewy Almond Cookie. For the occasion I developed a collection of plates and platters with varying shape, designs, and color to compliment her choices. 

After our individual preparation Jenny and I recently met one late afternoon at a park in Silverlake for our socially distanced picnic. We excitedly talked food and recipe inspiration (in the way that people isolated by a pandemic do) until the sun streaked the dishes a golden color and eventually sunk behind the surrounding hillsides. Her choices were colorful, textured and lovely to photograph. Not to mention absolutely delicious!

To pass along the inspiration we've listed links to the recipes Jenny worked from and a list of the ingredients below. Enjoy and bon appetit!

BUTTERNUT SQUASH & CARAMELIZED ONION GALETTE: 

For the pastry:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1/2 cup or 115 grams) unsalted butter, cut into
pieces
1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup ice water

For the filling:
1 small butternut squash (about one pound)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons butter (if you have only non-stick, the smaller amount will do)
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced in half-moons
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of sugar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
3/4 cup fontina cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces), grated or cut into small bits
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves

 

 PANTRY COOKIES / INGREDIENTS

  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup granola
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened or unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup almonds or your favorite nut, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
  • 1/2 cup puffed amaranth, or 1/4 cup sesame, chia or flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or your favorite dried fruit, chopped if large
  • 1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt, or 1 1/4 teaspoons Morton kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 

CRANBERRY-GLAZED CHWEY ALMOND COOKIES

  • 1 medium lemon
  • 2 cups super-fine or finely ground almond flour (192 grams, not almond meal)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup powdered sugar 

 

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