New Year’s Plans Gone Awry? Tips for Last-Minute Entertaining

Forget about getting a reservation this late in the game. Here’s your solution: Call the neighbors who decided to “keep it low-key this year,” drag them out of bed, and throw together an impromptu soiree. Author and entertaining expert Matthew Mead gives us the foodie 411 on rocking it until the ball drops.

“It is important to keep key ingredients stocked for spontaneous get-togethers,” Mead writes. “Keep the following items on hand, and you will always be prepared to entertain drop-in guests.”

Last-Minute New Year's Eve Entertaining

  • In the cupboard: Several types of crackers and crisp breads to accompany spreads and cheeses, canned Mandarin oranges (to top cake or add to trifles), and jam, coffee, and tea.
  • In the refrigerator: Semisoft cheese, hard cheese, dip, and salsa. Two bottles of white wine, ginger ale, cranberry juice, seltzer, lemons and limes, and whipping cream. At holiday time, consider a spiral-sliced ham or smoked turkey breast.
  • In the freezer: Fruit bread, biscuits, cheesecake, pound cake, frozen cookie dough.
  • In the entertaining pantry: Red wine, taper, pilar, and votive candles.

 
Excerpted from Entertaining Simple by Matthew Mead (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). Copyright 2008.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

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December 30, 2013

5 Holiday Kitchen Disasters and How to Fix Them

From turning over-salted veggies into soup to bulking up that gravy pot, Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, the founders of Food52, come through when the fruitcake hits the floor (so to speak).

Averting Kitchen Disasters

Photos by James Ransom and Sarah Shatz

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December 18, 2013

Gifting with Crystal Palecek: It’s (Finally) Time to Treat Yourself

Rue magazine editor shares 12 daily gift picks for everyone on your list

 

You’ve spent the last few weeks scrambling to get all your gifts. Now the moment has come to scoop up something for yourself. For the last day of her 12 Days of Gifting, Rue magazine Editor-in-Chief Crystal Palecek shares her personal indulgences.

Crystal Palecek's Gick Picks for the Home

Seda France Candle and a Cashmere Throw
“Now, curl up with a holiday flick and a mug of hot cocoa.”

Find these gifts and more in our A Gazillion Gifts Boutique now. Then click here to see all of Crystal’s must-have gift picks.

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December 13, 2013

Gifting with Crystal Palecek: What to Get the Midnight Snacker

Rue magazine editor shares 12 daily gift picks for everyone on your list

 

That friend who can’t end the day without a chocolate fix? Rue magazine Editor-in-Chief Crystal Palecek knows just what they need.

Crystal Palecek's Gift Pick for the Snack Lover

igourmet 8-Piece Chocolate Set
“Complete their 2014 sweet supply.”

Find this set and more in our A Gazillion Gifts Boutique now. Then click here to see all of Crystal’s must-have gift picks.

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December 12, 2013

Inspirer Picks: 4 Lifestyle Experts Share Their Sleep Essentials

The flurries are sticking. The air is chilly. But your bed? Toasty as ever. We understand the struggle of crawling out of it on winter days. Which is why stocking it with the coziest, fluffiest materials possible is a must. Here, Rue Living Inspirers reveal what they love most about their own relaxing sleep spaces.

Sleep Essentials

The Lifestyle Expert: Camille Styles
“With my jam-packed schedule, my bedroom needs to feel like a serene escape. High-thread-count sheets and ultra plush duvets mean snuggling into the covers with a good book and a cup of tea on wintry evenings.”

The Editor: Crystal Palecek
“The bedroom is typically the most personal space. It should be a stress-free haven ready to unwind in. I always invest in making my bed as comfortable as possible with quality sheets, a cashmere throw, and plenty of pillows.”

The Foodies: Merrill Stubbs & Amanda Hesser
Merrill writes, “We have a really comfortable bed with an organic cotton mattress, but my must-have bed element? My pillows. They’re the same kind you would find in a luxury hotel – heavenly.” Amanda can’t live without “feather pillows. At least four. But for sleeping? A memory-foam pillow that frames to my head.”

Visit the Rue Living page and pile up high-thread-count sheets, flannel, cashmere, and more.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

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December 11, 2013

Gifting with Crystal Palecek: What to Get Your Coworkers

Rue magazine editor shares 12 daily gift picks for everyone on your list

 
You have a whole row of cubicle mates to gift. And Rue magazine Editor-in-Chief Crystal Palecek has picked a practical – and work-appropriate – present.

 121113_blog[1]

Sisters Gourmet 10-Piece Baking Mix Set
“Secure your title as office favorite.”

Find this set and more in our A Gazillion Gifts Boutique now. Then click here to see all of Crystal’s must-have gift picks.

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December 11, 2013

Gifting with Crystal Palecek: What to Get the Recent College Grad

Rue magazine editor shares 12 daily gift picks for everyone on your list

 

Any recent college grads on your gift list? Rue magazine’s editor, Crystal Palecek, suggests a must-have for new kitchens – and soon-to-be cooks.

Crystal Palecek's Gift Pick for the College Grad

WMF “Prep and Cook” 12-Piece Set
“Bonus idea? Include a bag of groceries to get them started.”

Find this set and more in our A Gazillion Gifts Boutique now. Then click here to see all of Crystal’s must-have gift picks.

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December 10, 2013

Gifting with Crystal Palecek: What to Get the Home Chef

Rue magazine editor shares 12 daily gift picks for everyone on your list

 

Know a chef whose cookware collection is never complete? Rue magazine Editor-in-Chief Crystal Palecek suggests something practical and colorful.

Crystal Palecek's Gift Pick for the Home Chef

Rachael Ray 16-Quart Stockpot
“Say hello to hearty winter dishes – and your next dinner-party invite.”

Find this pot and more in our A Gazillion Gifts Boutique now. Then click here to see all of Crystal’s must-have gift picks.

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December 9, 2013

Gifting with Crystal Palecek: Get Something for the Whole Family

Rue magazine editor shares 12 daily gift picks for everyone on your list

 

Rue magazine Editor-in-Chief Crystal Palecek knows how to make the brood’s Friday night in extra special. For day seven of her 12 days of gifts, she recommends these chocolate-drizzled treats for your next family movie night.

Crystal Palecek's Family Gift Pick

Hampton Popcorn 6-Piece Tin Set
“Did someone say ’Elf‘?”

Find this set and more in our A Gazillion Gifts Boutique now. Then click here to see all of Crystal’s must-have gift picks.

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December 8, 2013

On the Brunch Menu: 3 Holiday Recipes from Expert Matthew Mead

Thanksgiving was a full week late this year. Which means the next big meal is around the corner. Cease your frantic recipe search. If a December 25 brunch is in the works, stylist and Rue Living Inspirer Matthew Mead has sweet and savory covered – from spinach strata to maple syrup–filled muffins. So click, print, and pour the eggnog. It’s time to prep.

Savory Stratta
“It’s easy to make and bake. Serve in slices with a crumble of feta cheese for extra piquant kick.”

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December 8, 2013