Love & Lemons

By Molly McConn
Love & Lemons couple taste testing

Jeanine and Jack stick to the most important ingredients when it comes to making fresh meals in their kitchen: a lot of love and a squeeze of lemon to finish. On their award-winning food blog Love & Lemons, they dish out the type of delicious recipes that we always want to make (seriously, if this site isn’t already one of your daily reads, hop on over and start exploring.) For this edition of Entertaining With, we asked the Austin-based couple to show us how they celebrate Valentine’s Day. Turns out, it’s with a date night in featuring handmade fettuccine and vino for two in their enviable light-filled kitchen. Click through to see the step-by-step pasta-making process and read Jeanine and Jack’s secrets to simple, stress-free entertaining… and if it’s just the two of them, that’s even better.

*photos by Kate LeSueur

My must-have entertaining tool:

Jeanine: Super delicious food and plenty of wine!

What (if anything) scares you about entertaining?

Jeanine: I’m pretty terrified to throw parties for large groups. The way I like to cook is to go to the market and see what speaks to me – so smaller impromptu gatherings are the most fun for me. I also think a “party” can be just the two of us.

Always in my refrigerator:

Jeanine: eggs, wine, kale, sriracha, cold brew coffee, and a bunch of random cheeses

My standard host / hostess outfit:

Jeanine: Jeans and shirt when I’m keeping it casual. Lightweight dresses on hot summer nights.

The taste I’m always craving:

Jeanine: Lemon & avocado

Jack: Whatever Jeanine is making.

My signature entertaining dish:

JeanineMy signature is to sort of wing it. But whatever I make will probably start with a seasonal vegetable and end with a big squeeze of lemon.

Jack: Molten Chocolate Cakes or Homemade Pretzels.

The restaurant meal I’ll never forget:

Jack: I had just proposed to Jeanine in Italy, and most of the food on that trip was unforgettable. Not just because of the service or the dishes, but because of Italians’ love of fresh ingredients.

The meal I’ll never forget was at a little waterfront restaurant in Capri. We ordered the Acqua Pazza and the waiter brought out the whole fish to show us how fresh it was before they cooked it. I asked where it came from and he just pointed out the window and matter-of-factly said “we caught it out there today.”

The trip was entirely transformative for both of us, as it was after that trip that we started seeking out local farm food and cooking at home.

The perfect dinner party playlist includes:

JeaninePandora radio on the 1940’s station

Current favorite color palette for parties:

Jeanine: White – I like to let the food pop. When I have larger dinner parties, I like to use mismatched vintage plates from my food photography stash.

The entertaining rule I rarely break:

Jeanine: I like to plan specific tasks where both Jack and I can be involved. Whether it’s making pasta together or letting him own a “signature” dessert – it’s way more fun to tag-team than to try to do everything myself.

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Jeanine: Jack and I have a Valentine’s Day ritual where we stay at home and try out a new fun kitchen project (like making pasta together). It’s something we don’t do on regular weeknights, but making a mess with flour and dough is a fun “date night” for us!

My dream dinner guests:

Jeanine: Close friends because if I mess up the meal I won’t feel bad!

My entertaining style in 5 words or less:

Jeanine: Last-minute. Seasonal. With wine.

Click here to get the recipe for Jack and Jeanine’s fresh pasta with lemon, rosemary & pine nuts.

As always, made with love!