Book Review-Malibu Farm Cookbook


My daughter Katie and I spent a weekend in LA in early February. We saw Beverly Hills and Hollywood, checked out the incredible Pepperdine University campus, and landed at a great restaurant in Malibu at the end of the pier called Malibu Farm Cafe. They have been featured in several foodie magazines lately and have a new cookbook. Since the owner was there and I could not resist having her personally autograph a copy, I bought the book. What a great spot! The views were amazing as we watched the surfers from our table, but the food was even better. Everything was incredibly fresh, delicious and organic! The cookbook is full of great recipes, and the tone of the writing is hilarious and fun.

I particularly liked the side dish that came with yummy chicken/ricotta/bacon burger-it is called broccoli mash (and not a low calorie one!). This is the direct quote from the book, with the authors comments (my favorite part).


3 large russet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped

1 stick butter-yeah, cry me a river (the more butter, the better the mash).

1 cup heavy cream

Broccoli, same volume as potatoes

Instructions: Cook your potatoes in boiling, salted wather until just soft. It's important to properly salt the water; use at least 1 tablespoon salt. If you don't the potatoes will taste really bland, and you will need to add twice the salt later on.

Drain, and say after me the mantra of Mashed Potatoes 101: Dry your mash or it will taste like trash.

Return the drained potatoes to the hot pan, and stir over heat until the liquid has evaporated. This step is key to making good potatoes.

Then push the potates through a ricer and into a standing mixer. Never use a food processor or blender for mashed potatoes, because the texture will be horrible. And we don't want that. We want a light, fluffy mash.

With the whick attachment, blend in the stick of butter and 1/2 cup of the cream; season to taste with salt and pepper.

Blanch, boil or steam your broccoli until just done and still bright green; try not to overcook it.

Drain and put the broccoli into a food processor, along with the remaining 1/2 cup cream, until finely chopped. Stir the broccoli and the potatoes together and season to tase with salt and pepper.

Mashed potatoes + smashed broccoli=broccoli mash is a smash!

Allison Liddell

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Travelogue: English Gardens Vol. II

Northern Wales is a scenic, mountainous paradise for hikers and bikers, with mimimal crowds even in July, and endless charming little hamlets. In the Conwy River Valley lies Bodnant Gardens, with plants from all over the world grown from seed and cuttings collected over a century ago on plant-hunting expeditions. Created by five generations of one family around a charming country estate, this 80-acre garden is superbly located, with spectacular views across toward Mt. Snowdonia. With expansive lawns and intimate corners, grand ponds and impressive terraces, a steep wooded valley and stream, as well as awe-inspiring plant collections, there are continually changing glorious displays of colour. The terraces make for striking views.