Much to every host’s dismay, the economic situation hasn’t improved much since last year. Still, this doesn’t mean we have to cancel all holiday celebrations—it simply calls for a little more creativity. As you’ll see, creative thinking and a little planning go a long way toward making it all work. Here are some tips for throwing a fabulous holiday party on a budget. (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…)
In a way, Thanksgiving is a wine lover’s nightmare. With a laundry list of dishes packed with contrasting flavors and textures (some unctuous and sweet, others savory, crisp, vegetal or earthy), the Thanksgiving table could easily demand up to ten different wines. There’s an ongoing debate amongst the wine elite as to whether bubbly, whites or reds make the best match for Thanksgiving fare, and within these categories there’s an infinite number of contenders—off-dry German riesling or mineral Chablis for the whites, patriotic American zinfandel or spicy northern Rhône syrah for the reds. Now who has the energy to sift through all of that when you’re trying to avoid poisoning your guests with an undercooked turkey, struggling to figure out how to cram eight side dishes into a single oven, all the while turning your kitchen into a disaster zone in search of your grandma’s antique gravy boat? (more…)
I’ve been a fan of Louisa Shafia’s since I first began reading her blog, Lucid Food. With a focus on health, both for people and the planet, Louisa’s cooking philosophy is as fresh and as authentic as it gets. After the first interview we did with Louisa, I couldn’t wait to sit down with her again. (This time we talked turkey!)
A cook, educator, and author of Lucid Food: Cooking for an Eco-Conscious Life, Louisa attended The Natural Gourmet Institute, and has cooked at restaurants in New York and San Francisco, including Aquavit, Pure Food and Wine, Millennium, and Roxanne’s. She has also cooked for The Colbert Report, Isabella Rossellini, Marcia Gay Harden, Glamour, Domino, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Diesel, Converse, and the Sundance Channel. When she isn’t preparing fresh, local cuisine, Louisa enjoys exploring the five boroughs on her bike. She lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Watch Louisa’s cooking videos and read the Lucid Food blog at www.lucidfood.com.
There are so many wonderful ingredients around right now; when I go to the farmers’ market, I come home with my shopping bags bursting because everything looks so pretty.
My top 5 favorite fall ingredients: (more…)