Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dinner with Helen (Tartelette)

I was fortunate to be invited to dinner with some great fellow food bloggers last night.  The guest of honor was Helen Dujardin of Tartelette blog fame; all the way from South Carolina. She's here to speak at a conference in Park City.  That's Helen (on the left) with Becky.
What a treat to meet her!  I have followed her blog for a long time.  If you have never read it, you should; immediately.  She is a wonderful photographer.  Her blog is like eye candy. A trained, professional pastry chef, her tutorials and recipes are well-written and precise.The best thing is that she is a REAL person.  No pretense, no grandeur, just down to earth and very likable.  Humble and hard-working, she has truly earned any accolades which she has received.  It was so fun to talk with her and learn from her.  She was genuine and generous in sharing her knowledge.  Thanks for coming Helen.  It was such a pleasure to meet you!  I felt like we all were old friends before the evening was over.

There were many other accomplished women in attendance, as well. 
Back row:  Becky (Project Domestication), Barbara (Barbara Bakes), Maria (Two Peas and Their Pod), Helen (Tartelette), Brooke (Cheeky Kitchen), Holly and Baby Kayla (Phemomenon), Bonnie (City home / Country Home), and Dara (Cookin' Canuck).
Front Row:  Becky (Vintage Mixer) and Cristie (The Table Runner).  Jaime (Sophistimom) arrived after the photo.

Some new and a few old friends; all lovely people and great cooks.  You would expect that, of course, but you never know when you see a recipe on a blog if it really is good.  Well, these women were the genuine article, and they DO know how to cook, I wouldn't lie about that.  Click on their links above to visit their blogs and get their recipes. The event was held at Cristie's.  As you can see by the photos it was a beautiful setting and she went to a lot of work to make it a memorable evening.  She was a terrific hostess in every way. 
What would a food blog be without food photos?  We were asked to bring appetizers, salads, or a dessert.  I was thrilled to be included.  My girls asked, "How did you get invited to this group?"  I'm not sure, but I'm mighty grateful.  I mean really, how often do I get invited to meet a national food blogging celebrity?

My contribution was this arugula salad (before it was tossed).  Cristie brought her simple yet elegant vases over to hold some of the flowers from our backyard.
I hope you'll try this salad.  Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Arugula Salad with Grapes and Pecans
4 tsp. apricot jam
3 Tab. white wine vinegar
3 Tab. extra-virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, very finely minced (about 1 Tab.)
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
½ small fennel bulb, cored, trimmed of stalks and sliced very thin (about 1 C.), fronds chopped coarsely   (about ¼ C.)
5 oz. baby arugula (about 8 C.)
6 oz. red seedless grapes, each grape quartered lengthwise (about 1 C.)
4 oz. Gorgonzola, crumbled (about 1 C.)
½ C. chopped pecans, toasted in skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 4 minutes

Whisk jam, vinegar, oil, shallot, ¼ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper in medium bowl. Toss fennel and vinaigrette in large bowl; adjust seasonings with salt and pepper if necessary; let stand 15 minutes.

Toss arugula, fennel fronds, and grapes with vinaigrette mixture. Divide salad among individual plates; top each with portion of Gorgonzola and pecans. Serve immediately.

Serves 8 people.


  1. I'm so glad you posted the salad recipe. It was delicious! It really was a fabulous, fun party. So happy I was invited too.

  2. Bonnie,
    Thank you for providing and arranging the beautiful flowers! They were beautiful, as are you from the inside out. We did have a wonderful night with Helen.
    Cristie, The Table Runner

  3. Thank you for telling us about your lovely and exciting meal. I love arugula and have some growing in my garden. I will try your salad when I return from vacation. Your blog is looking beautiful!

  4. what a great time, so many great bloggers hanging out, great salad..


  5. Your flowers are gorgeous!!! And I will definitely try your salad! Off to check out your blog friends!!!

  6. What a gorgeous post this is ... wonderful peeps, great food, and a beautiful home {& garden}. A treat for the eyes indeed!

  7. Oh, I am so green with envy! You're all celebrities in my book! What a blast! Looks wonderful! Someday...:)

  8. Thank you so much for coming to the meet and greet and being so generous of your friendship. Yes, definitely had the feeling we had been friends before too! Thank you also for posting the recipe for the salad. My husband was getting tired of hearing me rave about it and not eat it (I could have tried to wing it but your proportions were spot on!)
    I'll be back to SLC!

  9. Helen, I hope that you come back soon. We will all have another great time. I am following your blog and enjoying it so much.