Fire Up the Grill: Memorial Day Dining Must-Haves

Whether you’re barbecuing for the whole block at home or taking your feast to the beach, here are your can’t-live-without essentials.

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May 23, 2014

Eat Well, Live Well: Behind the Food at Blackberry Farm

Pamper your body, then feed it right. That’s the mantra behind Tennessee’s culinary resort Blackberry Farm, which beckons wellness seekers with a soon-to-open Wellhouse and not one, but two James Beard Awards. Here, we checked in with Corporate Chef Josh Feathers for a few words about the farm’s health-minded cuisine.

Blackberry Farm Chef

Rue La La: How would you describe the cooking at Blackberry Farm? 
Josh Feathers: It may sound like every other chef in the country today, but we cook with the very best local, seasonal ingredients we can find. Our dishes are Southern-inspired, meaning our chefs and cooks are inspired by their industry and everything that is happening in it.

RLL: What’s on the menu today?
JF: Our cheese and charcuterie plate features elements from our butcher, preservation kitchen, and cheese maker. Soppressata and Finocchiona salami, smoked onion jam, pickled ramps, Downer Brown cheese, and aged Singing Brook cheese. Just throw in the baker and candlestick maker and there’s your nursery rhyme.
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May 13, 2014

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo: The Under-100-Calorie Margarita

While Cinco de Mayo is always a cheat day in my book, it’s tough to swallow how many calories the holiday’s signature drink comes with. Until now. Say hello to the under-100-calorie margarita. Total game changer. I mean, do you know how many calories that frees up? Excuse me while I run to the store for another bag of tortilla chips. To make your own, check out the recipe below, courtesy of Women’s Health magazine.

Under-100-Calorie Margarita

Image via Women’s Health

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May 5, 2014

Cocktails with Rue Magazine: 3 Spots to Pop Bottles

The temptress that is spring is finally showing her face, which means post-office Pilates classes will quickly become post-office martini sessions. Or margaritas. Or sangria. (The options are endless.) Here to help us kick off the cocktailing season? Crystal Palecek, founder and editor-in-chief of Rue magazine. On the lawn, in the kitchen, and on the roof – Crystal shares three fail-safe ways to sip with friends this season.

Cocktail Tips from Rue Magazine

I admit, I thoroughly enjoy hibernating each winter. But even more than curling up with hot cocoa and a good movie, I love the arrival of warmer weather and the entertaining options that come with it. This summer, I’ll be playing hostess and inviting  friends over for happy hour every chance I get – from an alfresco picnic on the lawn to an urban rooftop retreat.

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May 2, 2014

Chef’s Choice: Thomas Kaltenecker’s Essentials for All Skill Levels

Whether perfecting that hollandaise recipe or cooking pasta al dente, chefs – novice or pro – are only as good as their tools. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to empty your cabinet of every item. Simply stock up on a few key necessities.

Here with your must-have checklist? Chef Thomas Kaltenecker from the Escoffier Online International Culinary Academy. From his mother’s kitchen at age nine to pastry shops, family businesses, and hotel restaurants, this seasoned foodie knows his tools.

Must-Have Tools for Cooks of Every Skill Level

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April 25, 2014

How to Eat Your Way Through Abruzzo, Italy

Before I traveled to Italy, I was told: Understand how the food works. In Southern Italy, you’ll eat red sauce and olive oil. In the north? Butter. Parmesan cheese. Maybe some truffles. Despite the fact that the country is no bigger than half of Texas, there is no one way to cook Italian. Everything’s completely regional. And if you want to eat through Italy right, you have to know what to get where.

This can be tricky, considering Italy has 20 regions. Rome’s Lazio, Milan’s Lombardia, and Toscana (or Tuscany, as we know it) are some of the most familiar. So, let’s start small – with one of the country’s lesser-known, but no less picturesque, regions: Abruzzo.

What to Eat in Abruzzo, Italy

Tucked east of touristy Lazio, quieter Abruzzo seems to have it all. Rugged mountains. Forested national parks. The Adriatic Sea. And with its diverse landscape comes a huge range of cuisine.

Here are a few of the items Abruzzo does best:
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April 24, 2014

All About Earth Day: 3 Ways to Make It Count

We’ve all heard of Earth Day, which is celebrated every year on April 22, but other than the basic premise that it has to do with environmentalism, do we really know what it’s all about? Or what we can do to make this day different than any other? Here’s a quick breakdown.

All About Earth Day

It all started at the height of the whole hippie and flower-child movement. Protest was a big part of that era, but environmentalism? Not so much, at least initially. Rachel Carson’s bestseller, Silent Spring, brought the concept to the masses in 1962, and in 1970, Wisconsin senator Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day. As a result, the United States Environmental Protection Agency was created, and the Clean AirClean Water, and Endangered Species Acts were all passed.

Here’s what you can do to commemorate the day.

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April 22, 2014

Sip & Snack: Must-Try Pairings for Casual Sunday Dinner

Maybe you’re catching up with old friends over cocktails, watching the play-off game, or recovering on the couch from the night before. Whatever you’re up to, Sundays were made for kicking back. Turn these classic culinary duos up a notch with made-for-each-other combinations.

Snacks for Casual Sundays

Cocktails & Tapas
Goat-cheese frittersFried plantains. Anything that’s bite-sized, add it to the spread. For refreshments? Homemade sangria.

Wine & Cheese
Invite your neighborhood connoisseurs for Chardonnay with soft Brie or for Gouda with a full-bodied Cabernet.

Beer & Bites
In addition to your cheesy nachos, try candied bacon. Then bring out those salty-sweet flavors with a lambic or fruit beer.

Our Sunday Supper: Beverages & Bites Three Ways Boutique opens Sunday, April 20, at 11AM ET.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

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April 20, 2014

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.

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


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

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April 9, 2014