There's a lot of pressure during the holiday season - and at Thanksgiving in particular - to throw the most extravagant, impressive dinner parties possible. This can leave many of us torn between holiday entertaining and our bank account. But there are definitely ways to throw a fun holiday dinner party without going overboard. Here's how...
Here's a holiday baking question from reader Ashley. Maybe you can help? She writes:
I have a holiday baking dilemma. I want to bake a breakfasty quick bread for the holidays but my boyfriend hates cranberries AND pumpkin. Does anyone have a good suggestion or recipe that I should try? THANKS!
Now here's a handy tool for Thanksgiving and the other holidays swiftly approaching. We don't know about you, but there never seems to be enough room in our oven on the day itself. There are squash casseroles to be warmed up, stuffing to be crisped, and many more dishes besides. We need more oven space, and this rack might be a major helper.
Shana tovah umetukah! Today is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. We offer the longer blessing because we love the meaning for cooks and eaters: a good and sweet year. On Rosh Hashanah observant Jews will be serving apples, honey, sweet challah, pomegranates, and other new fruits to symbolize a sweet new year.
For more good eating and Rosh Hashanah coverage, we turned to our friends over at The Jew and The Carrot. Here are our favorite posts from their week of sweetness; vegan alternatives to honey, beautiful honey pots, oranges on the Seder plate, meaty advice and more below.
Me? I want to go on at least one cooking-related trip this year. I'm dreaming of Paris, but another trip to London, or even a close-to-home guided tour of Chinatown or the Little Italy around Arthur Avenue in the Bronx would fufill my resolution nicely.
Also, I want to host four smaller dinner parties in 2008. I love going all out for the big Holiday Party, but some more intimate events will give me more time to talk to guests and practice the details of my cooking.
How about you? Tell us in the comments and let us know how we can help. We'll check back in the spring and see how we're holding up to our resolutions.
We're ready to throw down our top four predictions for what will be happening in our home kitchens in 2008. We've come up with this list based on conversations and product requests from you our readers, what we've seen in stores and at trade shows.
Here's what we'll be ready for in the new year:
4. See Ya, Stainless After a long reign (including our own kitchens) we think stainless steel will be dethroned in 2008. Stainless still will no longer be the mega-material going into just about every kitchen re-do. Instead, we're see more recycled glass, less granite and lots more Earth-friendly composite counters.
We have never quite known what to do with New Year's Eve. We are usually still trying to recover from the Christmas festivities and fall asleep sometime around 10pm. But if we were to throw a New Year's party this year we would go all out with tongue-in-cheek kitchsy glam and these party accessories from Realm Dekor. Yes, the straws glow in the dark - what kind of cocktail would you serve with these? Click for more info and links...
My mom always serves pork. Somewhere along the way, she picked up this idea that if you eat chicken on the first day of January "you'll scratch and scratch all year." We're not a superstitious family, but we think it is a fun tradition to play along with.
We found the Lee Brother's recipe for Hoppin' John -- "the pre-eminent rice and pea dish of the Western world, a nutritional marvel, the culinary touchstone of the African diaspora and a hangover remedy without equal" -- in the New York Times a few years ago and added that to my New Year's Day recipe collection.
We say - don't start from scratch? Have we lost all our principles? Hardly. We are not in any way, shape, or form above the idea of starting with a good commercially-made base and creating something new and unique with it. For instance, Sara Kate suggests a Homemade-Not-Homemade Holiday Ice Cream:
Slightly soften vanilla ice cream and stir in a nice spice mixture (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger) or powdered espresso or some caramelized nuts then re-freeze before serving.