Spring is full of so much beauty; the tulips peaking through the dirt and the fresh rainfalls bring a feeling of renewal. This is reason alone to celebrate, and hosting an elegant, simple brunch seems like the perfect solution. From food and drinks to decorations, hosting a spring brunch is a wonderful way to greet the changing season. The great thing about hosting a brunch is that it can be as laid back and casual or as elegant as you like. The tips below are a happy medium. The dishes suggested are low-maintenance but deviate from the standard casserole-themed spread. (more…)
Fondue conjures up a variety of conceptions; some are true, many are not. Double dipping. Fire hazard. Outdated. Are you running for the hills? I hope not. Fondue, though gaining popularity, often goes overlooked as the perfect fare for entertaining. So many of us are short on time and use this as an excuse to pass on entertaining, but fondue can be assembled in little time and with affordable ingredients. Plus, it gives the host a chance to sit and enjoy the evening with guests rather than slaving away in the kitchen. Here are five simple tips to help you throw a successful fondue party of your own. (more…)
As wonderful as entertaining at home can be, sometimes going out to a restaurant is just more appealing, especially with a large group. Among the upsides: professionally prepared dishes cooked to order, and hours saved washing dishes, shopping, cooking and cleaning. But pleasing a big group can be challenging. What kind of restaurant should you chose? How will the bill be paid? Will everyone like the menu selection? What if there aren’t any options for the vegetarian in the group? Inevitably, the bigger the group, the more logistical challenges you may encounter—like the awkward post-dinner moment when the check comes out and you have to do the math. (more…)
When my husband and I first decided to move to Japan, one of my earliest concerns was how I would manage holidays away from my family. Every year at Thanksgiving, my family gets together for an identical meal; from the way the turkey is cooked to the way the fruit salad and sweet potato casserole are prepared, it never varies. Every year I have exactly half a piece each of pumpkin and apple pie. Whipped cream on the pumpkin, ice cream on the apple. Year after year it was the same glorious spread. Until 2008, I had never missed a Thanksgiving with my family in my 20-odd years of life. (more…)
Guest Post by Chef George Llorens of Stew Leonard’s
George Llorens has been Executive Chef at Stew Leonard’s Norwalk store for almost 20 years. Raised in a resort town just south of Barcelona, Chef George moved to Paris and graduated from the Paris Culinary School in 1962. Five years later, after moving to the U.S., George discovered Stew Leonard’s. It was love at first bite. His style of cooking reflects his Mediterranean and French influences, as shown in his signature seafood paella and truffle-filled beef Wellington dishes. His creativity as a chef has George in demand for all types of catering events, including celebrity parties like The View’s Elizabeth Hasselback’s baby shower. In addition to regular local and national TV appearances, George also made significant contributions to Stew Leonard’s two cookbooks: Stew Leonard’s Winning Recipes and Stew Leonard’s You Can Do It! Cookbook.
What do you expect when you are expecting guests? Cooking through the night? Missing china? Last-minute preparations? Cleaning and decorating? Hosting any holiday can be stressful, and with turkey-roasting, stuffing-baking, and cranberry-molding just the tip of the turkey on a laundry list of to-dos, Thanksgiving can frazzle even the perpetual host’s nerves. Advanced planning and preparations are key, so here are ten holiday hosting tips that will ensure your turkey day features a fabulously festive feast that leaves you and your guests to enjoy a delicious, relaxing Thanksgiving…thankfully!
When hosting a holiday happening at your home, choosing a color theme for the evening is a fun, creative way to bring the evening together. Use your color palette for décor, flowers, table settings and even food garnishes. For Thanksgiving, think warm, inviting colors like chocolate browns, burnt oranges and hunter greens. (more…)