For Movie Night, Cocktails, or Brunch: Use 1 Porcelain Bowl 3 Ways

Whether you’re on the couch catching up on Mad Men or hosting brunch for close friends, let one chic porcelain dish be the star of your laid-back day.

How to Use One Bowl in Three Ways

Movie Night
Hello, popcorn bowl. Make it gourmet with drizzled chocolate or mixed-in pretzels.

Cocktails
Hard lemonade or virgin punch, use this chic piece for ladling drinks.

Brunch
Choose a full flower, like sweet pea, then cut the stems short to create a centerpiece for your buffet.

Grab this does-it-all piece and more in our Sundays at Home: Brunch, Movies, & Cocktails Boutique on Sunday, April 13, at 11AM ET.

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April 13, 2014

Bake It Until You Make It: Inside an Escoffier Online Course

If you’ve ever been to a bake sale or picnic, you’ve likely made a pie. My time came last Thanksgiving. Having never baked anything more complicated than cookies, it was no surprise when my pecan pie cooled to the consistency of concrete. Some advice? If an event calls for pie, learn how to do it right. And if you don’t have time to perfect your pâte sucrée in culinary school, don’t fret. Enter: Escoffier Online.

Having failed at my Turkey Day dessert, I enrolled in a course on Cookies, Pies, and Tarts, hoping to turn my game around for 2014. Here’s how it played out:

Escoffier Culinary Courses

Continue reading “Bake It Until You Make It: Inside an Escoffier Online Course” »


April 9, 2014

Ready the Hefty Cookware: The Best Roast Chicken from Food52

For novice cooks, roasting a chicken can feel like a daunting culinary feat. But put your fears away. Merrill Stubbs – co-founder of recipe mecca Food52 – is here to guarantee you pull it off without a hitch. All it takes? Six ingredients, a heavy roasting or cast iron pan, and a hint of patience. If you can swing that, The Best Roast Chicken will be golden brown and ready for carving before you know it.

The Best Roast Chicken from Food52

Stubbs says, ”Don’t open the door for at least 45 minutes, when you can start to test it for doneness. (The chicken is cooked when you pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a sharp knife, and the juices run clear.) Let the chicken rest on a carving board while you make the pan sauce.”

Trust yourself. When the juices run clear, pull the chicken out of the oven. The alternative is a dry dish, unsalvageable by even the tastiest of gravies. Once your bird is ready for plating, watch Food52′s video tutorial, “How to Carve a Chicken.”

Then visit our Sunday Supper: Roasting Essentials Boutique on Sunday, April 6, at 3PM ET.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

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Merrill Stubbs graduated from Brown and Le Cordon Bleu. She went on to work at Cook’s Illustrated and behind the counter at Flour Bakery in Boston’s South End. In addition to her work with Amanda Hesser on The Essential New York Times Cookbook, Merrill has written for the Times’T Living, Edible Brooklyn, and Body+Soul, and she was the food editor at Herb Quarterly. She lives with her family in Brooklyn.


April 6, 2014

Breathe New Life Into Your Lazy-Sunday Table

Sundays are low-key, but that doesn’t mean mealtime has to be lackluster. Here are four easy ways to make suppertime more stylish.

Add Style to Lazy Sunday Meals

  1. Select a unified color scheme, be it black and white, pastels, or neutrals. Tip: Take cues from your dining room’s décor.
  2. Create layers – charger, napkin, salad plate, silverware. For an informal look, simply stack it all up at each place setting.
  3. Light candles, but try votives instead of tall tapers. They’re less formal, but they still incorporate soft lighting.
  4. Build a casual centerpiece using natural materials. Sprigs and herbs add texture and surprise.

 

Start your laid-back tablescape at our Spend Sunday at Home: Cooking to Entertaining Boutique on Sunday, March 30, at 11AM ET.

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March 30, 2014

Eat Bistro Style: Almond and Fennel Flatbread from Food52

This week for Sunday Supper, we had our hearts set on something simple, fresh, and not too heavy. Imagine cuisine you might find at your corner café or bistro. With that in mind, we turned to Food52 – our destination for all things delicious – and discovered Almond and Fennel Flatbread.

Almond and Fennel Flatbread Recipe

The main ingredient? Za’atar. Don’t panic – it’s not as complex as it sounds. Za’atar includes cumin, sumac, salt, pepper, and a few other spices. It’s a mixture commonly found in Middle Eastern cooking. (See the recipe here.) But, let’s not digress. As Laura Wright of Food52 writes, “Once you have a good piece of dough, this one’s pretty much in the bag.” So grab the closest apron, a glass of white wine for pairing, and whip it up.

Our Sunday Supper: The At-Home Bistro Boutique opens Sunday, March 23, at 11AM ET.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

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March 23, 2014

A Slice of Heaven: Prada Buys Historic Pastry Shop

High fashion and dessert? I think I speak for every woman when I say they’re pretty much the two best things on earth. And now, Italian fashion house Prada has had the ingenious idea to combine them.

Prada Buys a Pastry Shop

Continue reading “A Slice of Heaven: Prada Buys Historic Pastry Shop” »


March 17, 2014

Prep for Passover: Jewish Cooking Pro Joan Nathan Talks Brisket

Meet Joan Nathan, Rhode Island–born and Harvard-educated author, as well as the premier authority on Jewish cooking. Now, I’m not religious. But I am a foodie with a soft spot for comfort dishes that bring family and friends together. And Jewish cooking happens to do just that. Case in point: Brisket.

“It is a dish I serve frequently – on Friday night, at holidays, and at dinner parties,” Nathan writes. “The whole piece of meat, from three to ten pounds, is potted (hence the term pot roast) and cooked slowly for hours. Brisket needs to be simmered slowly to transform it into the succulent morsels I remember as a child.” First time hosting? You’ll need a wow-worthy recipe. And it just so happens that Nathan is sharing one of her own. So grab a roasting pan and get started.

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Click the recipe to download and print.

Craving more? Check out Joan Nathan’s latest book, Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France, then shop our Sunday Supper: Celebrate Passover Boutique on Sunday, March 16, at 11AM ET.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

Not a Member and like The (Style) Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.

Joan Nathan considers food through the lenses of history, culture, and tradition. She regularly contributes to The New York Times, Food Arts Magazine, and Tablet Magazine, and is the author of ten award-winning cookbooks. Her most recent book, Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France, was named one of the ten best cookbooks of 2010 by NPR, Food & Wine, and Bon Appétit.

Ms. Nathan lives in Washington, D.C. and Martha’s Vineyard with her husband. For more information, visit her website at joannathan.com.


March 16, 2014

Two Centuries of Tradition: The Story Behind Waterford & Wedgwood

It graced your grandmother’s holiday table, and you’ll likely pass yours to the kids. Why? Because, like white pearls and little black dresses, one-of-a-kind crystal and china never go out of style. Here, a brief history of the tabletop labels.

Waterford Wedgwood History

In 1783, exporters and brothers William and George Penrose of Waterford, Ireland, set out to create the finest crystal for decorative and practical uses. Over 200 years later, credited with achieving just that, Waterford merged with Wedgwood, one of the world’s premier manufacturers of high-quality china. Together, these labels became synonymous with taste and timeless tabletop style.

Start your collection in The World of Waterford & Wedgwood Boutique on Friday, March 14, at 3PM ET.

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March 14, 2014

Upstage Your Entrée with Serving Pieces by Portmeirion & Spode

If you’re an enthusiast of classic tablescapes, you’ll recognize the brand names below. The epitome of timeless, fete-throwing style, these two enchanting patterns are our top picks.

Portmeirion & Spode Tabletop Pieces

Botanic Roses by Portmeirion
This pattern is a surefire hosting win. Light, cheerful, and ever brunch-ready, its fresh blooms infuse a little English sophistication into every meal.

Blue Italian by Spode
Designed in 1816, Spode’s signature style features scenes from the Italian countryside and a border inspired by Japanese art. It’s stunning over a crisp white tablecloth – or even when peeking through a glass cabinet.

Our Garden-Inspired Tableware by Portmeirion, Spode, & More Boutique opens Thursday, March 13, at 11AM ET.

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March 13, 2014

Serve Up Italian: Homemade Gnocchi from the Blog Cupcakes and Cashmere

My love for Italian food? Let’s just say, it’s everlasting. Fresh ingredients, savory sauces, seafood – I’m sold. This week, we’re taking our tastebuds through Northern Italy to Tuscany. On the menu: homemade gnocchi with pesto sauce.

Emily Schuman, author of the blog Cupcakes and Cashmere, gushes, “Last week I made it from scratch and was delighted by the results. I love the versatility of gnocchi – that it can work with any sauce (I made a quick pesto) that you have on hand and is far superior to the packaged variety available in stores.”

How to Make Gnocchi

Potatoes, flour, an egg, and a ricer, and dinner is served.

Before you start ricing? Grab cooking essentials at our Sunday Supper: The Tuscan-Inspired Kitchen Boutique on Sunday, March 9, at 11AM ET.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

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March 9, 2014