Home | You Better!™ | "You, Better! with Ceslie Armstrong" ENTERTAINING AT HOME with KATIE LEE

"You, Better! with Ceslie Armstrong" ENTERTAINING AT HOME with KATIE LEE

Home | You Better!™ | "You, Better! with Ceslie Armstrong" ENTERTAINING AT HOME with KATIE LEE

Guests include celebrity cook book author and entertaining expert Katie Lee with her how-to tips, recipes, and easy ideas to create a fun "spa day" at home with your friends. Here, healthy food and beauty recipes from Katie Lee and Gretta Monahan, Also, the editor of TheGoodCook.com recommends the best books for affordable entertaining. Plus, celebrity photos from Katie's book launch party!


cookbook author & entertaining expert
From food to fashion Katie summarizes her style with her three c's – casual, comfortable with a touch of couture. She also refers to her culinary approach as “conscious consumption.” She explains, “If you are what you eat, then you should know what you are eating, where it came from and how it was raised.” This philosophy is clearly reflected in her best selling cookbook, The Comfort Table (Simon & Schuster, April 2008).

Many of the classic recipes come directly from her grandma's kitchen, but with Katie's special twist. “By using fresh organic ingredients and a delectable variety of vegetables, comfort food doesn't have to be unhealthy,” she exclaims. “The book also encourages readers to acknowledge that eating is not just about what you serve, but how you make your guests feel.”

Her second book, The Comfort Table: Everyday Occasions (Simon & Schuster) released in October 2009 further expands on this philosophy.

Katie's books here at a great price!



A few years ago, my friend Wendi started a “girls trip” tradition. We like to pick somewhere relaxing with a spa-like atmosphere. One year we went to the Golden Door spa in California and had super healthy food and exercised about four hours a day. Our friend Kelly had a family member who lived nearby drop off a basket of oranges at the front desk—the bottom of the basket was lined with chocolate bars! Needless to say, I didn’t lose any weight on that trip.

On another trip, we went to the Caribbean for a week. Our friend Kathy Freston, who is a best-selling author of many books on spirituality and healthy living, guided us in daily meditation. Kathy is a vegan and we ate vegetarian the whole time. It was really a week to cleanse from the inside out.

Sometimes I need an escape but I don’t have the time to take a week off to rejuvenate, so I like to have the girls over for a mini-spa day at home. I cook an all-vegetarian menu, which is much more exciting than it may sound. My friend Gretta Monahan owns several spas and salons and she shared all of her secret recipes with me, so I make homemade spa recipes for masks and scrubs with ingredients right out of the pantry. I have a great dressing room, so I serve all of the food and drinks in there and set up the spa in my bathroom.

Having a spa day at home is relaxing, fun, and certainly more affordable.


• Beet Tartare
• Grilled Vegetable Tostadas
• Wheatberry Salad (featured in this episode)
• Broiled Spicy Tofu
• Moroccan Mint Tea
• Healthy Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (featured in this episode)

Playlist suggestions:
Hotel Costes Vol. 8 & 9 album by Stéphane Pompougnac


Beet Tartare

Beets are full of vitamin C and potassium. This beet tartare is a vegetarian-friendly play on the traditional steak or tuna tartares. I like to serve it on toasted bread, in endives leaves, or in appetizer spoons.

4 small beets, trimmed
¼ cup shallots, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, minced
1 tablespoon tarragon, minced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper 

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place beets on a baking sheet and toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Roast until fork tender, about 1 to 1 ½ hours. Remove and let cool completely. Peel and cut in a fine dice. 
In a medium bowl, combine shallots, olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, parsley, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Mix until well combined. Stir in beets. Serve on toasted bread, endive leaves, or in appetizer spoons. 

Yield: 6 servings (about 1 cup)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep time: 20 minutes to cool
Cook time: 1 to 1 ½ hours 

Grilled Vegetable Tostadas
These tostadas are really tasty and really healthy. With lots of veggies, protein from the beans, and whole-wheat tortillas, Mom would approve!
For the vegetables

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise
2 Japanese eggplant, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 yellow squash, thinly sliced lengthwise
2 Portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced

For the tostadas

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lime juice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
4 flour 8-inch tortillas (taco-size)
1 cup refried beans
1 avocado, sliced

For the vegetables

In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Whisk until emulsified.
Place zucchini, eggplant, squash, and mushrooms in a sealable container or sealable plastic bag. Pour marinade over vegetables and toss to combine. Refrigerate at least 3 hours and up to overnight, tossing vegetables once or twice.

For the tostadas

Preheat oven to 250°F.
Whisk extra-virgin olive oil and lime juice, season with salt and pepper. Toss with romaine lettuce.

Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Spray each tortilla with nonstick cooking spray on both sides. Cook on grill pan about 2 minutes on each side. Spread with refried beans. Place in oven to keep warm. Remove vegetables from marinade and cook about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Top each tortilla with vegetables and lettuce and avocado slices.

Cut tostadas into quarters and place on a serving platter.

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 3 hours and up to overnight
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Wheatberry Salad (featured live in this episode!)

Wheatberries are a whole grain and therefore high in fiber. I love their nutty flavor combined with the tart Granny Smith apples and cranberries. The chickpeas and pecans add some protein too!

1 ½ cups wheatberries
One 14-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
2 tablespoons chives, minced
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

Bring wheatberries and 4 cups salted water to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and partially cover. Let cook one hour, until tender. Drain and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine cooked wheatberries with chickpeas, apple, cranberries, pecans, chives, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine. 

Yield: 6 servings (about 7 cups)
Prep time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep time: 30 minutes to cool the wheatberries
Cook time: 1 hour 

Broiled Spicy Tofu

Don’t turn your nose up at tofu! An excellent source of soy protein and so versatile, tofu takes on any flavor that you want it to. It’s so easy…marinate and stick it under the broiler. That’s it!

Two 14-ounce packages extra-firm tofu
½ cup barbecue sauce, store-bought or homemade (see Barbecue Chicken recipe)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons Sriracha hot sauce
Drain tofu. Line a colander with paper towels and place tofu on top. Cover tofu with more paper towels and place something heavy on top, like a small skillet or heavy plate. Allow the tofu to sit at least 30 minutes. Remove and slice into ½-inch thick pieces. 
In a shallow dish, combine barbecue sauce, lemon juice, and hot sauce. Add tofu and toss to cover in sauce. Let marinate in the refrigerator at least one hour. 
Take the dish of tofu out of the refrigerator 20 minutes before cooking.
Preheat the broiler. Place the tofu dish under the broiler for about 7 minutes, until heated through and beginning to brown on the top.

Yield: 6 servings (about 16 pieces)
Prep time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep time: 30 minutes to drain tofu, 1 hour to marinate
Cook time: about 7 minutes 

Healthy Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (featured live in this episoed!)

The words “healthy” and “dessert” don’t usually go in the same sentence. At least in my books, anyway. The exception to the rule? These delectable carrot cake cupcakes! With a pound of carrots and whole wheat flour, they are so yummy and guilt-free!

For the cupcakes

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup lightly-packed brown sugar
¼ cup canola oil
2 eggs
½ cup plain yogurt
1 pound carrots, grated (about 4 cups)
1/3 cup golden raisins

For the icing

4 ounces light cream cheese (I use neufachtel), room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
¼ cup walnuts, finely chopped

  Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin tins with paper cup liners. 

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.

  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine brown sugar and oil and mix about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time. Stir in yogurt, carrots, and raisins. Mix in flour mixture until just combined. 

Using a 3-ounce ice cream scoop or a 1/3 cup measure, spoon batter into paper-lined muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Using an electric mixer, whip cream cheese and powdered sugar. Ice each cupcake with cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with walnuts for garnish. 

Yield: 12 cupcakes
Prep time: 20 minutes
Inactive Prep time: 30 minutes to cool the cupcakes
Cook time: 20 minutes 



Katie & Gretta Monahan


(Katie Lee & Gretta Monahan's Favorites)

Moroccan Mint Tea

When I was in Israel we drank this tea every night after dinner. The mint is calming and refreshing. If you can find agave nectar, try it. I really like the way it tastes and it has a very low-glycemic index, which means it doesn’t cause a sharp rise or fall in blood sugar.

2 cups mint leaves
2 green tea bags
¼ cup Agave nectar or honey

Bring 6 cups water to a boil. Put mint leaves, tea bags, and Agave nectar into a teapot. Pour in hot water and let steep 5 minutes. Drain and serve.

Yield: 6 servings
Prep time: 2 minutes
Inactive Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes

These Spa Recipes Courtesy of Gretta Monahan

Spa Menu

• Honey Oatmeal Facial
• Strawberry Hand & Foot Scrub
• Cucumber Cooling Mask
• Oatmeal, Almond, and Avocado Body Scrub
• Rose Petal Steam
• Shiny Hair Rinse

From the Pantry

• Almonds – act as an emollient and soften skin
• Apple Cider Vinegar – rich in alpha-hydroxy acids and gives softer, smoother skin and scalp
• Avocados – contains collagen building properties that help with fine lines and wrinkles and helps repair rough, dry skin
• Cucumbers – acts as a cooling agent and reduces eye-puffiness
• Honey – rejuvenates and nourishes skin and fights fine lines and wrinkles
• Oatmeal – anti-inflammatory and anti-itch, so acts as a skin soother
• Strawberries – skin soother and is packed with antioxidants
• Plain yogurt – a natural moisturizer


• Blender
• Tea kettle
• Glass bowls
• Measuring cups
• Towels


Katie Lee's Tips & Favors

• Stainless steel, enamel, and glass are the best materials to use.
• Avoid use of reactive metals such as silver, copper, aluminum, Teflon, or iron.
• Start your spa experience with a shower to remove any lotions, perfumes, or surface dirt.
• Have plenty of extra towels on hand.
• Buy inexpensive house slippers for each guest to wear and that can be worn during the spa experience and taken home as a party favor.

Honey Oatmeal Facial

¼ cup oatmeal
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons plain yogurt

Finely grind oatmeal in a blender or food processor. In a small bowl, combine honey and yogurt, stir in oatmeal and mix well. Smooth over face and neck. Let sit 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water. Follow with moisturizer.

Strawberry Hand & Foot Scrub

1 cup strawberries
¼ cup coarse sea salt
¼ cup shower gel

Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Over a large bowl or bath tub, massage into hands and feet. Let sit 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. Follow with moisturizer.

Cucumber Cooling Mask

1 tablespoon witch hazel
½ fresh cucumber, plus 2 slices
¼ cup aloe vera
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Mix witch hazel, cucumber, and aloe vera in a blender or food processor. Add cornstarch to thicken. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour. Smooth over face and neck and place cucumber slices over eyes. Let sit 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. Follow with moisturizer.

Oatmeal, Almond, and Avocado Body Scrub

½ cup almonds
1 cup oatmeal
1 ripe avocado
¼ cup plain yogurt

Combine all ingredient in a blender or food processor. Rub mixture all over body. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Follow with body lotion.

Rose Petal Steam

1 cup fresh rose petals (be sure they are chemical free)
1 gallon near-boiling water

Place rose petals in a large bowl and add water. Lean over the bowl and cover head with a towel to keep steam in. Face should be 10 to 12 inches from the bowl. Steam 10 minutes.

Shiny Hair Rinse

½ cup apple cider vinegar
1 quart water

Combine vinegar and water in a pitcher or jar. Shampoo and rinse. Pour mixture onto hair, massaging into hair and scalp. Rinse thoroughly and condition as usual.


Photos from Katie Lee's book launch party hosted by Lee Brian Schrager at Hill Country Restaurant in New York City (photos by PMC/Patrick McMullan)


  Katie Lee & Isaac Mizrahi                      Wendy Murdoch                  Chef Scott Conant & Katie Lee

    Katie Lee, Lee Brian Schrager, Guy Fieri, Giada DeLaurentis             Marcy Blum & Katie Lee

Ceslie Armstrong & Guy Fieri          Gretta Monahan & Katie Lee         Chef John DeLucie & Katie Lee



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