What do you get when you mix one part former fashion-model with two parts culinary artist and talent? You get Candice Kumai. At only 29, she’s currently a regular judge on Food Network’s highly acclaimed, Iron Chef America as well as a respected cookbook author (Pretty Delicious 2011, Cook Yourself Thin 2009) and a food writer for publications like Clean Eating, Fitness and Self magazines. Not to mention a Top Chef alumni from season one. Candice also knows how to keep her wardrobe stocked as well as her pantry. Rebecca Taylor, being her favorite designer of all time, dolled up Ms. Stiletto Chef in all things holiday to help her share her favorite holiday recipes with our stylistas! As Candice says, “Because life should be full of good taste.”
Scroll down for four great recipes written by Candice and click through the slideshow above for pics of our Stiletto Chef in some amazing RebeccaTaylor dresses!
Who says that Mimosas are for brunch and brekkie only?Mimosas are the perfect way to celebrate the holidays! So serve up your own Can-Domimosa bar at your next party. Champagne on ice and all things nice. xx
Instead of Champagne, I make mine with less pricey sparkly like Cava, Italian Prosecco, or good ol’ made-in-Cali sparkling wine (check out those from Mendocino, Carneros, and Sonoma). Since the champers is acting as a mixer with fruit juice, chances are your guests won’t even detect the cash-saving swap out. Remember that alcohol adds calories and subtracts from your bank account, so save it for celebrationslike the holiday season. Please drink responsibly!!
1 Bottle of Sparking bubbly of your choice
Juice: Pom, Cranberry, Orange, Pineapple, Blueberry, Passion fruit puree
Top offs!: Fresh grated ginger, pom seeds, fresh berries, basil, mint, lavender, lemon/lime wheels
Pour 1/4 cup sparkling wine into a champagne flute. Add a touch of your favorite juice.
Add your favorite top-off! I love a pinch of freshly grated ginger root and 2 tablespoons pom juice.
Make your own combos like:
Cranberry+Ginger, Blueberry+Lime, Orange+Pom seeds, Passion fruit+ Lavender or Blueberry+Basil
Mix, play and cheers!
Pan Seared Brussels Sprouts with Apricots + Toasted Almonds
1 – 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed, julienne sliced thin!
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive oil
cup Dried Apricots, julienne, thinly sliced
cup toasted sliced almonds
2 tablespoons Apple cider Vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Sea Salt to taste
1. Toast the sliced almonds over a stovetop or in the oven for approx. 5 minutes on low heat.
2. Trim and thinly slice the Brussels sprouts into a fine julienne.
3. Thinly slice the apricots into a fine julienne.
4. In a large saut pan over medium heat, add the 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
5. Add in the Brussels sprouts, the apricots and toss well to coat in olive oil. Season with the vinegar and honey. Saut for approx. 8 minutes.
6. Add in the toasted slivered almonds.
7. Season with sea salt to taste.
Simple Roasted Turkey
1 10 lb turkey (Serves 6-8)
For seasoning the external part of the turkey:
cup canola or vegetable oil
Sea Salt to season the whole bird
1 large piece foil
For seasoning the inside of the turkey.
2 whole garlic bulbs
1 bunch fresh sage
** 1-2 Days prior to cooking the bird. Keeping the turkey inside of its packaging, remove from the freezer and thaw completely in the fridge.
** It is recommended to cook a 10 pound un-stuffed bird for approximately 3.5—4 hours at 325 degrees. For the last hour remove the foil from the bird for a golden roast!
When you’re all ready to cook:
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Wash your hands. Begin to wash your turkey thoroughly with water. Remove innards + neck + pat completely dry with clean paper towels.
Place thawed or fresh turkey, breast up, in a large, very stable roasting pan.
Tuck the wings back to prevent burning.
Tie the legs together neatly with butcher’s twine.
Massage your turkey skin with vegetable oil, making sure to coat the entire bird. Season the whole bird, including the internal cavity generously with sea salt.
If making stuffing always remember your stuffing should be at 165 degrees when done.
Place the sage and garlic bulbs inside of the turkey.
Cover the top loosely with foil and make sure your oven’s bottom rack is set and ready for roasting!
Place the turkey in your pre-heated oven at 325 degrees.
Throughout the cooking process, remove foil and baste your turkey using a turkey baster or a large ladle using the pan juices every 45 minutes or so.
When the turkey is about 2/3 done, remove the foil and let the bird crisp up for the last few hours.
Safe Internal temperature for roasted turkey:
-180 degrees deep in the thigh. At this temperature juices should run clear, not pink.
-165 degrees in the center of the stuffing, if turkey is stuffed.
When the bird is fully cooked. Safely remove roasted turkey onto platter.
Allow the turkey to stand 15 minutes to release all the juices. Bon Appetit my friends!
Candice’s Lavender Sugar Caramel Apples
6 Granny smith apples, any variety is ok here, Granny seems to hold up the best and makes for the most tart!
1 cup organic sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
Pinch baking soda
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Light fluffed coconut shavings
Fine Sea salt
1. Place popsicle stick into each apple.
2. To make the caramel: In a large saucepan, melt the sugar, corn syrup and water; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in baking soda.
3. Mix in the butter until melted; slowly begin to add the cream. ** Make sure to stir constantly using a rubber spatula.
4. Cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 242 (firm-ball stage). Remove from heat and cool to 200.
5. Place lavender sugar + coconut + all toppings in shallow plates. Dip apples into caramel mixture until completely coated, then dip the bottom of each in desired toppings.
6. Return to baking sheet + chill in the fridge to set.
Photos: Pete Thompson
Creative Director/Recipes: CandiceKumai
Food Styling: Cindy Chou, Clare Langan, Brooks Halliday, Jane Nguyen
Props/Art: Christina Malanga, Thea Sokolowski
Hair: Gloria Espinoza
Makeup: Seevon Chau
Wardrobe: Rebecca Taylor
Wardrobe Styling: Meredith Sherwood
Digital Editing & Manager: Colleen Carroll