Pear Stuffing with Sausage and Walnuts (shown here prior to baking)
And for our very first Thanksgiving, we took a huge risk and deep-fried a turkey. It was awesome!
Finally, here was my little secret… I had a “back-up turkey” roasting in the oven. But instead of doing all the prep myself, I bought a ready-to-cook turkey from Whole Foods. They stuffed it with herbs, slathered the skin with butter and even put it in a pan with diced vegetables. Easy as pie!
Hi Friends! Happy Monday! How are you? How was your weekend? Are you ready for Thanksgiving? Can you believe it is just days away?!
I am signing off early from blogging this week to prepare our home for family and friends. I hope you understand! My wish is for you each to have a pretty morning, a wonderful week and a very special Thanksgiving celebration! xxoo
Thanksgiving is a week away! Whoa. Can you believe it? This year we are hosting Thanksgiving at our house for the first time. We are so excited! I have been working on the menu and wanted to give you a sneak peek…
Have you seen the recent commercial for the Toyota Prius? I don’t know why, but I really love it! Maybe it’s because the people are just so darn cute? Or the really catchy music?! I find myself humming along every time it comes on! “Hum, hum, hum, hum…. a Prius, for everyone!”
On Saturday night, while we were enjoying our Paella Party, there was another spectacular event taking place in Cincinnati - Diner en Blanc. It began over 25 years ago in Paris and now occurs throughout the world. So what exactly is it? Well…
Le Dîner en Blanc® is quite different from other special events. The evening takes place in a public place which was not designed for such a purpose and is often crowded.
Seats are allotted on-site in a very specific manner.
In order to participate, one must be invited by a participant from the previous year or get on the official website’s waiting list.
Once confirmed, the presence of each guest thus becomes mandatory, regardless of weather conditions, as the event is held regardless of weather conditions.
Colour of attire and table setting: white only.
Table seating is symmetrical with men seated on one side and women on the other.
Participants arrive and depart at the same time by chartered bus or organized public transportation.
Depart with one’s belongings, leftovers and trash, leaving the place as clean as it was upon arrival.
What must guests bring?
A table, two (white) chairs.
A picnic basket comprised of quality menu items and a china dinner service including proper stemware and flatware.
Wine or Champagne, if allowed. Beer and hard alcohol is prohibited.
Participants must wear white and be dressed elegantly.
Originality is encouraged as long as it stays stylish and denotes taste.
Happy Monday! Are you ready to hear about our dinner club surprise…? We had a Paella Party! And I am happy to report that it was a successful evening! We really wanted to do something fun and different, so a few weeks ago I looked into a few options. Hector from Paella at Your Place was originally unavailable, but had a last-minute cancellation and called me! So we scraped the mediterranean menu and shifted to a Spanish theme. It was authentic and delicious!
The finished Paella! Hector and the Paella… he brought everything including salad and bread! The cooking process took about an hour.While Hector cooked, we enjoyed Spanish cheeses and meats al fresco. It was perfect!
One of the things that I love most about dinner club (other than it being a great night with friends) is that it gives us a reason to use our nice china and other wedding gifts that would otherwise be collecting dust in a closet. I also love that it makes us get our house “guest ready”!
Have I mentioned that we are hosting Dinner Club at our house this month? Just kidding… I know I’ve been teasing about it for weeks. So here it is, the menu for this Saturday is a Mediterranean theme. It is a nice balance of assembled fare, make-ahead dishes and easy-to-prepare food. I hope it all tastes as good as it sounds!
Cocktail: Prosecco (Really, really good sparkling wine from Italy!)
App: Hummus, olives, feta, cashews and grilled pita bread (I am hoping to find all of these at Findlay Market on Friday!)
Outstanding in the Field is a unique dining experience that aims to re-connect diners to the land and the origins of their food, and to honor the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it. It is a roving culinary adventure – literally a restaurant without walls! Since 1999 they have set the long table at some of the most gorgeous settings I have ever seen. Ingredients for the meal are almost all local (sometimes sourced within inches of your seat at the table!) and generally prepared by a celebrated chef of the region.
Once again, one of the fall tour dates includes Woodland Farm in Goshen, Kentucky, which is about 90 miles from Cincinnati. The ticket is not cheap, but I have a feeling it is worth every penny! Outstanding in the Field is definitely on my bucket list! Check out more photos here.
Hi Friends! Happy Monday! How are you? How was your weekend? We had so much fun entertaining on both Friday and Saturday nights! The food was all so yummy that I thought I would share the full menu’s with you…
Hi Friends! How are you? How was your week? We are enjoying some cooler weather in Cincinnati. And it arrived just in time for a weekend full of entertaining. We are so excited to have not one, but two very fun nights (at home!) planned. Tonight we are having family over to celebrate Alex’s brother’s birthday! I am making this recipe from the Barefoot Contessa. It seems like the perfect summer dish. Then tomorrow, we are having good friends over for a grill out (mainly because I could not find a sitter and they were good enough sports to accommodate). Yeah! I love fun filled weekends! What are you up to? I hope you have a wonderful weekend too. Here are some fun things from around the web…
I wish I lived in DC so I could try ShopHouse. It is a “fast-casual” restaurant by Chipotle owners that lets customers mix and match Southeast Asian flavors to create their own rice bowls or sandwiches. Yum!
One of my favorite things about hosting a dinner party is planning the menu. To be honest, I probably give it too much thought. However for me, it is important to have a theme or focus for a dinner party. I think that it shows that you care about the guests and the food you are serving. Here is how I go about planning a menu…
First, I start by creating an outline. This helps me organize my thoughts. I include the occasion, date and any theme ideas I have to keep it all in one place. Above I am using a Moleskin notebook, but I also use an online app called Evernote as well.
Next, after doing some research online and reading some of my cookbooks, I begin to fill in the outline. It is also important to keep in mind the number of people. I try to balance assembled food dishes verses prepared food dishes. For example, if you have four dishes that require the oven at the same time, you are going to have a problem.
Don’t rush! I let my ideas develop over time and often change my mind about things. Also, be thoughtful the collective meal. For example, I like to have a balance of starch and vegetable side dishes. And planning the cocktails, wine, music, lighting and seating all adds to a delightful experience for your guests.
Finally here are few tips from “expert” sources (with my added opinions in parenthesis):
Start with the best ingredients. (Use what is fresh and in season!)
Keep it simple. (People will remember that the food tasted good, but not how complex it was to prepare!)
Prep ahead. (So you can enjoy the party too!)
Finish with a thoughtful dessert. (It’s the finale, make it good!)
I have a few favorite foods that I absolutely love to use… 1. Grey Sea Salt - Fleur De Sel: It is clean and simple, and basically makes everything taste delicious. 2. Artisan Crackers - Lesley Stowe Raincoast Crisps: Specifically, I love the … Continue reading →
Some of my favorite recipes are “no cook” recipes. There is something to be said for knowing how to “assemble food”. One of my favorite celebrity chefs is Ina Garten. She is a pro at assembling food and gives this … Continue reading →