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

Cast Your Ballots, Drink Up, & Tune In to the Oscars This Weekend

This Sunday, we’re not just watching the Academy Awards – we’re throwing the ultimate Oscar-viewing party at home. On the night’s itinerary? A cocktail menu inspired by Best Picture nominees Gravity and The Wolf of Wall Street, and then a little friendly competition with these 2014 Oscar ballots. Did we just describe your ideal Academy Awards party? Thought so. Just stock up your bar cart, click on the image below to print out a ballot, and join in.

BLG-XXXX_Oscars

By Keriann Coffey, Associate Editor

For more on the Academy Awards, follow The (Style) Guide and @ruelala on Sunday night.

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March 1, 2014

Exotic Escape: Décor Inspired by Morocco

Morocco is known for its elaborate aesthetic, complete with jewel tones, fine details, and rich textures. Add small doses to your own home for a pop of style. Here’s how.

Morocco-Inspired Decor for the Home

On the Floor
Arabesque and geometric patterns mirror Moroccan architecture. Try them out underfoot.

On the Table
Take cues from nature. Gold and orange hues reflect the surrounding desert.

In the Bedroom
Decorative accents with lush textures give a feeling of abundance. Pile them on.

In the Entryway
From entryway or bedroom ceilings, hang lamps with mosaic-like details for an authentic look.

Ready to get started? Visit our Bold & Bright: Moroccan-Inspired Décor & More Boutique on Thursday, February 27, at 3PM ET.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

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February 27, 2014

So Long, Winter: Our Rue Living Editorial Director Talks Spring Cleaning

It’s about that time of year. When the outside temp hits 45 degrees, the world comes out of hibernation. And with spring on the brain, we turned to our Living editorial director (and former editor in chief of Country Living magazine), Nancy Soriano, to give us her step-by-step scoop on organizing, purging, and sprucing up every space for the sunny season.

Rue Living Editorial Director on Spring Cleaning

Continue reading “So Long, Winter: Our Rue Living Editorial Director Talks Spring Cleaning” »


February 26, 2014

Bring the Hotel Home: Bedrooms Inspired by 3 Five-Star Spots

Close your eyes. Now, think back to your finest hotel stay. Got it? Whether it was an over-the-top Ritz or a cozy B&B, use that memory to recreate the same feeling at home. Here, we’ll show you how with three aesthetics.

Recreate That Hotel Feeling at Home

Images via The Carlyle, Soniat House, and Destination360

Continue reading “Bring the Hotel Home: Bedrooms Inspired by 3 Five-Star Spots” »


February 24, 2014

Turn Up the Heat: A Fiery Cocktail for Taco Night

Pandora set to the salsa station? Check. The taco bar’s set up. With homemade guacamole – obviously. You’re a champ. But the fact is, it’s no party without the proper beverage. From the blog Love and Lemons: Spicy Jalapeño Margaritas.

Spicy Jalapeño Margaritas Recipe

Click the recipe card to download and print.

Jeanine Donofrio of Love and Lemons suggests mixing the margaritas with regular tequila, then preparing a jalapeño-infused tequila for guests to add to their drinks to taste. But, if you’re for spicy all the way, I say shake it up with the infused version from the start. If the taste is too sharp, add a slice or two of cucumber to balance the heat.

First things first – shop our Sunday Supper: Mexican Night Boutique on Sunday, February 23, at 3PM ET.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

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February 23, 2014

For the Aspiring Sommelier: Blissful Wine & Cheese Pairings

Last Sunday at the Boston Wine Expo, we absorbed mouthwatering cooking tips aplenty. While in the same room with hundreds upon hundreds of vineyard owners and wine experts, we couldn’t resist asking – how does a beginner go about pairing wine with cheese? According to Angie Van Ruiten of California’s Van Ruiten Family Winery, the most basic rule is this: “Pair soft cheese with white and hard cheese with red.” To graduate beyond novice? Read on.

Delicious Wine and Cheese Pairings

Blue Cheese
Salty blues like Gorgonzola balance best with sweet whites like Riesling and Moscato.

Hard Cheese
Pour a full-bodied red – Cabernet Zinfandel or Chianti – with full-flavored Cheddar, Gouda, and Parmesan.

Soft Cheese
Brie, Muenster, and Camembert work well with Champagne or Chardonnay, which won’t overpower their milder flavors.

Okay, enough studying. Prepare for your soiree with our Cocktail Hour: Host a Wine & Cheese Party Boutique on Friday, February 21, at 3PM ET.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

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February 21, 2014

A Lesson in Lighting: The 3 Types, Defined

Achieve your ideal lighting by layering these three common types. Think about whether you use the space ­­for work or entertaining, then begin.

How to Choose the Right Lighting

Ambient
Ceiling lights. Floor lamps. Any fixture meant to evenly illuminate an entire space. Usually directed downward.

Task
Over a reading chair, at a desk, under cabinets in the kitchen – function-based and intended to target a specific spot.

Accent
Purely for show and aesthetics. Think wall lights highlighting a painting, outdoor spotlights on a house or tree, or a stylish lamp used for decorative purposes.

Illuminate every corner at our Gallery of Lights: Lamps, Chandeliers, & More Boutique on Wednesday, February 19, at 3PM ET.

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February 19, 2014

3 Types, 1 Kitchen: Which Cookware Works for You?

Whether you’re a braise-and-sear kind of cook or you keep health in mind, we’ve outlined the benefits – and a few things to be mindful of – for each. So, do your research, then get choosing. That stack of cookbooks is begging to be cracked.

How to Choose Cookware

Continue reading “3 Types, 1 Kitchen: Which Cookware Works for You?” »


February 18, 2014