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.


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

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

Pro & Home Chefs Agree: Cook with Copper

Industry professionals know copper is top-notch, but it’s a must-have for the home cook, too. Incomparable heat distribution. Ever-stunning on the stovetop. And despite what you may have heard, you can cook acidic foods in copper. (The secret? Using pieces lined with stainless steel or tin, both nonreactive metals.)

Why You Should Cook with Copper Pots

So whatever you’re whipping up – tomato sauce, orange chicken – don’t think twice. These chef favorites are whizzes in the kitchen.

Check out The Copper Kitchen: Cookware Sets & More Boutique on Friday, March 7, at 11AM ET.

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March 7, 2014

What’s Your Dining Style? 3 Collections by Villeroy & Boch

This spring, before the dinner parties begin, take a moment to assess your tabletop pieces. Missing a plate here or there? Whether you crave a modern or French-inspired kitchen, choose a handmade collection by this renowned label. Not only will your heirlooms be locked in – you’ll also find your soiree guests ever impressed.


Continue reading “What’s Your Dining Style? 3 Collections by Villeroy & Boch” »

March 4, 2014

It’s a Smorgasbord: Menu Essentials for a Swedish Spread

The word “smorgasbord” may sound complex, but really, it’s just a Swedish term for a meal offered buffet-style. Looking to make it truly authentic? Here are five foods to feature.

Swedish Menu Essentials

Lingonberry Jam
A tart red fruit spread. Think of this as the Swedish ketchup ­– it goes on everything.

Pickled Herring
Choose mustard, onion, garlic, or dill flavors for this tasty fish.

Swedish Meatballs
To us, they’re cute and tiny. To the Swedes, they’re just meatballs.

Open-Faced Sandwiches
These date back to a time when a slice of bread was used as a plate. Pile it high.

Pea Soup and Pancakes
Savory and sweet, this combination is traditionally served on Thursdays.

Our Sunday Supper: Smorgasbord-Style Boutique opens Sunday, March 2, at 11AM ET.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

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March 2, 2014

Today in the Shaker: Grapefruit Rum Cocktails from the Blog Pastry Affair

Sometime between college graduation and now, I realized that I could recreate the same tasty drinks I’d sip at swanky Boston bars for a fraction of the price. Case in point: jalapeño margaritas. Needless to say, my friends were impressed when I served those up last week – salt rim and all.

This week? I went on the hunt for a tart concoction that didn’t scream summer. The answer: rum. Even when packed with grapefruit and oranges, rum – the way it warms from the inside – is ideal for cold weather. “The ruby color, however, is what keeps me coming back,” writes Pastry Affair blogger Kristin Rosenau. “A pink grapefruit is juiced, which is mixed with ginger ale for sweetness, rum for boldness, and triple sec to round out the citrus flavor.” Consider me convinced.

Grapefruit Rum Cocktail Recipe

Click the recipe card to download and print.

A couple of quick tips: Mason jars give this mixture a rustic feel, but it can just as easily be served in a martini glass. And, if you find it too sweet – or you’re looking to cut a couple calories – swap in club soda for the ginger ale.

Our Cocktail Hour: A Splash of Citrus Boutique opens Saturday, March 1, at 11AM ET.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

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March 1, 2014