Let’s face it: no one wants to be in anything but sweats when it comes to gorging on a huge meal (namely, the hugest meal of the year) – which means dressing for Thanksgiving, killer style retained, takes a little strategy.

Follow these tips and nothing will stand in the way of you and that (much-deserved) plate of seconds.

Stick to dark colors.
Red wine, gravy, corn – the list of Thanksgiving stain offenders goes on. That said, if you stay away from anything light-colored, chance spillage will be totally camouflaged.

Nothing constricting!
This one goes without saying. Who wants to be reminded that, while eating that second slice of pecan pie, one’s body is expanding to fit that second slice of pecan pie? Go for a super-oversized top plus leggings, then dress them up with boots and a scarf – and enjoy those multiple helpings. (That’s what Thanksgiving’s about, after all.)

Make sure sitting (for a long period of time) isn’t a struggle.
That too-tight waistband? Save it for Day 3 of a juice cleanse.

Transferability from dinner table to couch is key.
Tryptophan isn’t just a legend – it’s real. Keep things loose and comfy and, if a nap just so happens to strike while lounging on the couch post-dinner, you’re dressed for it.

By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

What are your Thanksgiving outfit secrets? Tell us in the comments, otweet us at @ruelala

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

November 19, 2012

The Vanderbilt Grace Hotel in Newport, Rhode Island, has luxurious living down pat. And the historic mansion’s new culinary experience, Muse by Jonathan Cartwright, is a reason to visit in itself, featuring international food and wine with a decidedly New England flair. Here, I caught up with Chef Jonathan on all things Thanksgiving – from cooking the perfect turkey to preparing for the big meal (and even got a recipe for a downright delicious pumpkin soup).

 


Instructions

1. In a thick-bottomed pot, cook the pumpkin, carrot, apple, onion, garlic, and thyme in the butter for approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the white wine and cook until it has all evaporated.
2. Add the chicken stock and simmer until all the vegetables are soft, approximately 30 minutes. Blend the soup and strain it. Add the cream and season to taste with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
3. Sear the seasoned scallops in hot olive oil on both sides until golden.
4. Place the seared diver-harvested scallops in a soup plate, cover with the velvety soup.
5. Garnish the soup with some whipped cream, flavored with a little five-spice powder.
6. Sprinkle the top of the soup with some crisp fried ginger strips.

Rue La La: Let’s talk side dishes. What’s your personal favorite holiday dish?
Jonathan Cartwright: Brussels sprouts blanched then cooked with shallots and butter.

Rue La La:  Sounds delicious! You cook for lots of people all the time. What’s the trick to cooking for a big bunch?
Jonathan Cartwright: It helps to be organized and do the preparations in advance.  Also teach your children to help and ask family to make sides or dessert!

Continue reading “Meet the Chef: Jonathan Cartwright of Vanderbilt Grace Hotel” »

November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Turkey, cranberry sauce, basic stuffing, mashed potatoes. If eating the same thing every year (no matter how tantalizing the tastes) sometimes gets you down, try adding a new dish to your Thanksgiving spread. One or more of these scrumptious sides – straight from our tables to yours – could be the answer. Just click on the titles below for printable cards to add to your recipe box.

Serve in contrasting-colored dishes – orange-hued stuffing in a turquoise bowl, for example, or nice, dark green beans on a bright red platter – for a table that’s as attractive as it is delicious.

Chorizo Corn Bread Stuffing
Makes 4 – 6 servings
“This sweet, savory, and spicy take on stuffing is a hit year after year. Use organic or all-natural sausage to boost the health factor – and the flavor.”

Ingredients
1 pound hard chorizo, diced
1 white onion, diced
1 large carrot, chopped
½ cup celery, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 cups corn bread, crumbled
½ cup chicken stock
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Instructions
1. Cook chorizo in a skillet over medium heat, about 5 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
3. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the chorizo and cook until the vegetables have caramelized, about 10 minutes.
4. Add the corn bread, chicken stock, and cilantro. Mix until the bread is just coated – not too dry, not too wet.
5. Transfer to a buttered casserole dish and bake until heated through and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

Continue reading for Firemen’s Potatoes (Potatoes au Gratin), Classic Baked Acorn Squash, Tarragon-Almond Green Beans, and Apple Cake recipes.

November 14, 2012

Planning ahead is the key to breezing your way through the holiday season. Once you’ve decided on your plates, serveware, and menu, it’s time to set the table – and crafting your own napkin rings is a simple and fun way to add personality and style.

Prep Your Holiday Table: DIY Napkin Rings

Photos courtesy of Miki Duisterhof via Eddie Ross (left, right) and Heather Rowley via The Creative Patch (middle).

Bold Texture
You can create a variation on these ribbon napkin rings to spruce up white or cream linens. Coordinate with your holiday table’s colors when you select your ribbon, trim, and burlap, and add buttons, lace, or vintage jewelry. If you love the idea of crafting with jewelry as much as I do, Eddie Ross’s vintage brooch napkin rings will help you outfit your tablescape in luxurious, textured style.

Thanksgiving Harvest
Bring a harvest feel to your Thanksgiving dinner table with acorn napkin rings. All you need is a drill with a tiny bit, some thin craft wire, and about ten acorns per place setting. Pair the rings with red or orange cloth napkins, then add acorns to your centerpiece to complete the rustic feel. You can also use some ribbon and a pearl for a different take on the same idea.

Holiday Hosting
As the go-to host, head into dinner-party season armed with festive wreath napkin rings. The small grapevine wreaths and holiday-hued ribbon should be available at any craft store. If your color scheme is more winter-themed – white, blue, or silver – try these jingle bell napkin rings to combine whimsy and class.

For the kids’ table, you can’t go wrong with Santa belt napkin rings – and they come with the added benefit of enticing youngsters with an arts and crafts project at the kitchen table while you baste the turkey or carve the holiday ham.

By Jess Huckins, Staff Writer 

What’s your favorite holiday-table DIY project? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @ruelala. 

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

November 7, 2012

November 1. Can you believe it? I swear last week it was summer. But alas, here we are – and I’m already starting to think about all the glittering, butterflies-in-your-stomach-inducing wonders of the holidays.

First up? Thanksgiving dinner. This year, impress guests with more than that expertly basted turkey thanks to these five tips for your best tablescape yet. (Trust me, Pinterest-perfect is possible. It just requires planning.)

1. Find your inspiration. Pinterest is rife with Thanksgiving tablescapes – from the simple to the lavish. Start a board online, or print out your favorites and create your own real-life “pinboard.”

2. Settle on a color scheme, then go from there. Bronzey brown, white, and silver. All white with touches of gold and cream. This year, I’m all about warm, spicy colors and shimmery metallics paired with cream or white, but don’t be afraid to play with bold color. Rich turquoisey blue really pops against a rustic farmhouse table.

3. Brush up on table setting rules. Remember what your mother told you: Forks go on the left, spoons and knives on the right, placed in the order that they will be used. Visualize it here.

4. Layer, layer, layer. There’s no rule against layering tablecloths. Try a neutral tablecloth underneath a gold or lush brocade runner. I’m also a firm believer that two (or three) plates are better than one. Start with a charger, add a dinner plate, then finish the look with a salad plate. Bonus points for varied colors and patterns.

5. Don’t forget the accents. Think place-card holders and candles. Find them in today’s Boutique or make your own. For place-card holders, stencil miniature pumpkins with guests’ initials or first names, or try a variation on these whimsical little animal figurines. Simply spray-paint turkey or bird figurines gold or white, add labels, and voilà. I also love these DIY gourd votives that Emily, one of our lovely Rue staff writers, taught us how to make.

Find everything for that perfect Thanksgiving tablescape – plus cuisine, cookware, and more – in our Feast of Thanks: Serve the Guests, Feast of Thanks: Let’s Eat, and Feast of Thanks: For the Cook Boutiques, opening Thursday, November 1, at 3PM ET.

By Joanna Berliner, Editor 

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

 

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November 1, 2012

We at Rue La La believe it’s the personal touches that make the holidays so special. So we asked how you’re “Letting It Rue” this season. Here, some of your special holiday traditions.

Heather Z Christmas Eve: Chinese takeout for dinner, watching old home movies and reading T’was the Night Before Christmas.

Pamela S – Starting a new one this year – instead of exchanging gifts we will be collecting donations and giving to families that would otherwise not have a Christmas.

Stephanie H – Watching Christmas movies with my cousins in matching PJs, drinking hot cocoa & only lights are fire & tree.

Lindsey N – Pierogi!
Continue reading “Let It Rue: Members Dish on their Holiday Traditions” »

December 10, 2010
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