Do you ever think about your kitchen dishcloth? I know it seems like a small thing, but I like pretty dishcloths, especially because I hang mine to dry over my oven or dishwasher handle (so it's nice when they don't look too ratty). These colorful waffle dishcloths from Anthropologie would make a perfect gift, for yourself or a fellow cook!
This week I've been sharing the fall pumpkin-carving party I hosted with my friend Lydia, an autumnal afternoon of carving pumpkins, sipping cider and sitting down for a romantic outdoor dinner at dusk. Today I'm going to give you a full look at how we transformed the blank slate of Lydia's backyard into party central, with a casual pumpkin-carving zone and a cozy buffet and dining area.
I'll also give you all the details how I created a mostly make-ahead menu centered on a healthy Indian-themed sweet potato bar full of fresh yet comforting flavors. And there's a fun DIY project: an eye-catching (but simple!) table runner made out of butcher paper and neon tape. Ready to dive in?
Boeuf Bourguignon is so much more than just another beef stew. This classic French dish, made so popular by a certain Ms. Julia Child, is the kind of stew that can earn marriage proposals. The aroma alone — that deeply savory aroma of onions, slow-cooked beef, and red wine — is enough to make your eyes roll skyward and your knees go weak. Make Boeuf Bourguignon once and you'll wonder why anyone ever bothers making anything else.
For kitchens with high ceilings or for anyone unafraid to go big and bold, an oversized pendant light in the kitchen is a total eye-catcher. Unfortunately, large lights can be pretty pricey, which is why the MASKROS light from IKEA is so great: it's huge, good-looking, affordable, and a real statement piece.
My friend Lydia Ellison Howerton is one of those hostesses who always makes it look easy. And no wonder — as a private chef and caterer, she plans and executes big events for her clients on a monthly basis, so she uses the lessons she picks up on the job to host stylish, generous parties at home. Asking her to co-host and style the fall pumpkin-carving party was a no-brainer, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to sit down with her and finally answer the question her friends are always asking themselves: How does she do it?
When the other editors and I sat down at the beginning of the year to plan out our new series, Gatherings From The Kitchn, there was one event I knew had to happen: a fall pumpkin-carving dinner party. It's a tradition that my friends and I started a few years ago — we gather together on a cozy evening in October to carve pumpkins, sip cider and eat a meal full of comforting autumn flavors. We call it "The Fall Fête" and it has come to be one of my favorite nights of the year.
If that's exactly the kind of party you've been craving as the nights get chillier and Halloween draws near, stay tuned this week as I share how my friend Lydia and I transformed her backyard into pumpkin-carving central, with a romantic outdoor dining area for dinner at dusk.
For the past several weeks, we have welcomed Tara Mataraza Desmond to The Kitchn to share her recommendations for great side dishes to go with our most favorite meals, like Fiery Kale with pizza and Pan-Seared Squash with roast chicken. After all, Tara is the expert on such things. So much of an expert that she has written an entire book with the sole purpose of helping us prepare creative, super-tasty sides for everything from Spaghetti Night to Thanksgiving dinner. Choosing Sides is the cookbook that fills the gap in our meal planning and gives a little love to the humble foods that go on the side.
I've talked a little in the past about my very favorite kind of fall dinner party: the soup party. And this week, my partner Sam and I started planning what is becoming an annual tradition. While we discussed chunky minestrone versus puréed butternut squash, the one question that has us inspired this year was: what to put on the toasts?
The point of an aperitif it is to wake up your taste buds, readying them for the meal to come. For me, bubbly aperitifs are always a win. This week's 10-Minute Happy Hour is a mash up of Spanish pours and a ripe Bosc pear, perfect for a refreshing, fall-inspired aperitif.
Q: How do you get people to sit down together? A: Feed them dinner. Maggie Stuckey's latest book Soup Night is founded on this very principle: A community soup night to bring people together — not for any grand purpose, but just to share a meal with neighbors. With over 90 completely irresistible recipes for everything from creamy cauliflower soup to spicy taco soup, trust me: you'll want to share.