While weeknights are all about just managing to get something (anything!) edible on the table in as little time as possible, weekends (and snow days!) are for larger-scale, more complex cooking projects. You know, the ones that have more prep time or require obscure ingredients. If you’re feeling ambitious, here’s how to get your kitchen ready to help you tackle even the most complicated recipe.
It’s awards season! While Hollywood stars are thinking about getting ready for the Oscars, the A-listers in your life could be preparing to celebrate a February birthday. Whether or not your party is pegged to the Academy Awards (or even this month!), there are a few things you should keep in mind when it comes to throwing an award-worthy soirée. Variety is the spice of life and a party too.
If you celebrate Easter, you’ve most likely been dyeing eggs for years. But have you ever stopped to consider why this process works? There’s some science to it all, and certain conditions are more ideal for egg dye than others. Here’s all of the essential info you need before you start dunking. If you’re going to end up peeling and eating your Easter eggs, don’t use fresh-from-the-farm eggs.
There are few things worse than getting your kids psyched to dye Easter eggs, only to have the process go horribly awry. While the supplies are all relatively cheap and easy to find, no one wants to dye a second batch of eggs (because, let’s face it, by the time the eggs gets plunked into their respective colors the kids have already lost interest). Avoid these five mistakes to make sure you get egg-cellent results the first time around.
Holidays have a tendency to sneak up on us. Easter especially, because the date can change year to year. Luckily, you probably already have everything you need in order to get in on the egg-dying fun. Instead of buying one of those wasteful kits at the corner drug store, you really just need food coloring and white distilled vinegar. And eggs. You will definitely need some eggs.
When done correctly, a buffet dinner can look lovely and be far easier for a hungry crowd to navigate. Sure, it’s not as formal as a sit-down meal, but it allows guests to get what they want, when they want it, without worrying about offending the host by not eating certain things. Plus, it’s easy for the host to organize and clean up. Just make sure you don’t make any of these (totally avoidable) mistakes and you’ll wind up throwing the best buffet meal ever.
I consider myself to be a good hostess. When I have guests over, my house is clean, my menu is planned, and I like to think I’m not flustered by the actual meal prep. I want to enjoy my guests’ company instead of staying holed up in the kitchen. That said, there is always one thing I forget every single time I entertain. Do you suffer from the same absent-mindedness as I do? Ice! I never fail to forget it!
If you’re looking for a sweet and thoughtful way to show your appreciation this upcoming holiday season, look no further than your slow cooker. In addition to soups, dips, and weeknight dinners, your trusty slow cooker can easily help you DIY the perfect gift: a bunch of cute candles. And before you ask, no, the wax doesn’t touch the inside of the slow cooker, so there’s no gross residue or hard-to-clean mess. Here’s how to do it at home.
It’s the most wonderful meal of the year! Gathering your best friends together to break bread doesn’t happen often enough, so make it the best Friendsgiving ever. Here are a few pointers if you’ve never hosted a meal quite this large before: Before you send out an official invite ask your favorite friends for their availability to get a feel for other people’s plans. This is a very busy time of year with lots of holiday events/concerts/dinners to attend.
For this year’s Friendsgiving, skip the formal decorations and have a little fun. This decked-out buffet brings a little something special to the table that you might not be able to get away with for a family-centric Turkey Day. Here’s what you’ll need to create this look on your own. Don’t worry — it only looks complicated! This whole look is all about layers. If you think of the banner in those terms, it makes the process so much easier.
The beauty of Friendsgiving is that it’s Thanksgiving’s cooler, more casual cousin. No family fights about politics, no cranky aunt inspecting your glasses for water spots, oh, and it’s totally fine to make it a potluck or a buffet instead of a more formal sit-down occasion. Plus, you get to invite whoever you want! It’s fun, it’s laid-back, and it’s full of delicious food. So what’s not to love? This casual-ness extends to your decor and setup, too.
I’ve always loved Halloween. Every year as a kid I’d dress up in my homemade costume and go door to door to ask strangers for candy. I’d shuffle through the crispy leaves, carrying my pillowcase and enjoying the faint chill in the air. But I’d shake my tiny fist at the people who had left their light off, or even worse, had the gall to give out boxes of raisins. So what I’m trying to say is that I’ve never had a traumatic Halloween-related experience.
Halloween is fun, so we’re not going to muddy it up with a whole bunch of rules. But here are a few suggestions for ways to stay sane, look like a good neighbor, and enjoy your night — especially for you newbies who are passing out candy for the first time. No one wants raisins or stale Tootsie rolls. Ditto on the black licorice. I’m not saying you have to shell out for the king-size candy bars (it doesn’t even have to be brand name stuff!
Want to be a good friend and have someone over for dinner — but dread trying to cook for more than you and your cat in a tiny kitchen? Don’t be scared! Teeny-tiny kitchens are cozy, friendly, and can do anything a larger kitchen can do! Just in case you need a little refresher, though, here are a few ways smart cooks handle cooking for more than one or two in a really small space. Counter cleanliness is key right now.
While we all might fantasize about having a sprawling kitchen, à la our favorite Nancy Meyers movies, reality is often a lot, um, smaller. Whether you live in an apartment or a house, you can either curse the cooking gods for your misfortune or make the best of it. I mean, some professional chefs can pull off culinary magnificence in small New York kitchens. So you can come close. Or at the very least, love your tiny kitchen a little more.
Ah, Pinterest. What would we do without you when it comes time to throwing parties? From food to decorations to cocktails, the site is chock-full of inspiration — but you know that already. Something else you already know? Pinterest can also be an overwhelming rabbit hole that can take over your life. Don’t waste time getting sucked into all those sometimes-too-crazy pins!
When you’re planning and paying for a wedding, eventually you start to see dollar signs. According The Knot’s 2016 Real Wedding Survey the average wedding cost is $35,329, which leaves brides looking to save where they can. For couples set on having a cake, one way to save money is to buck tradition and skip the specialty bakery.
The 1980s called and they wants their wedding favors back. Okay, just kidding. But it is 2017! And wedding favors are so much more fun (and keep-able!) these days — as long as you do them right. Here’s an updated list of some things you should keep in mind. And no, we’re not talking about homemade chocolates made from chocolate melts you can find at the craft store or Jordan almonds wrapped in tulle.
An open bar at a wedding is basically a premature gift to thank you for being a good guest. It allows you to get all the drinks you want, when you want, without having to search for an ATM. (The availability of booze adds just the right amount of social lubricant to get strangers to become friends and nudge even the shyest guests out on the dance floor, too.) Don’t make your hosts rethink their stance on serving (free!) alcohol by taking advantage of their generosity.
Wedding season is upon us. While brides and grooms across the country are getting ready for one of the biggest days of their lives, they’re also planning one heck of a party. And it’s on you to be an awesome wedding guest. While you might be thinking, “Me? I’m a great guest!” check yourself against the list below to see if you really make the cut. Better to be safe than blacklisted, right?
No matter how small your kitchen happens to be, people always end up hanging out in there during parties. Bummer, right? It leaves you wondering if you should have skipped cleaning every other room of your house and just focused on cooking the food instead. The problem, of course, is that it can become a logistical issue for you if you’re trying to get stuff done and people are all sorts of in the way. Here’s how to give your well-meaning guests the boot.
There’s a certain type of person who never has to wait for a drink at a party. For some reason their mere presence causes any bartender or cocktail waiter in a close proximity to hop to attention, like James Bond for instance — I’m pretty sure he’s never had to flag down a bartender to order his signature martini. And waiters with hors d’oeuvres probably flock to him with trays of cocktail hot dogs.
Remember the dinner parties your parents used to throw when you were a kid? You know, those weekend nights when you ate dinner early and then went upstairs to entertain yourself while mom and dad fed their friends? You’d sneak downstairs to check out the scene and it just looked so … boring! How were they all still sitting at that table? But now that it’s your turn to try adulting, you totally get it. Dinner parties are fun!
An afternoon of decorating Easter eggs using something beyond the standard dye kit usually calls for a lot of supplies — and creativity and effort. If that combination of things doesn’t seem to be in the cards this year, consider making some of these simple eggs. They’ve all got that wow-factor you’re looking for and require very little fuss. Winter is coming … no, not really, because it’s springtime.
It’s a basket full of candy supposedly left by a giant bunny. It’s hard to go wrong here, people. You can scoop up sugary sweets at the drug store and create a totally satisfying basket. Or you can go all out with artisanal and homemade treats that are sure to please the biggest kids you know: your friends and grown-up family members! Here’s what you need, and how you can update each essential element.