Even if the weather isn't reflecting the season quite yet, the markets in Northern California are showing signs of Spring. What better way to celebrate than by inviting friends over for a delicious meal? I've looked through our recipes and created a menu that's perfect for entertaining at this in-between time. It features the beloved produce of the season (strawberries and asparagus!) and the majority of the dishes are vegetarian, but more importantly, they can be made in advance, which is a must in my book for any successful dinner party.
Although the biggest Mardi Gras celebration happens on Fat Tuesday, I recommend you have your own party, complete with beads and masks, this Saturday night. Serve a delectable spread of Southern finger foods, including some classic New Orleans dishes. I've scoured our recipes to come up with an amazing menu, so check it out now!
The Academy Awards are this Sunday, and I recommend you invite friends over to enjoy the show with you. Since the celebrities will be dining on an array of amazing eats at the Governors Ball (the official afterparty), serve a spread of delectable finger foods to nibble while you watch. I've browsed our recipes and come up with an awesome menu of elegant hors d'oeuvres that can be made mostly in advance.
Like Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day is a popular night for restaurants to create a special prix fixe menu. Although I've been known to order a prix fixe or tasting menu from time to time, when it comes to meals with a holiday theme, I generally avoid them. They seem overpriced and extravagant. What's your take on them?
Instead of going out for a pricey meal on Valentine's Day, I suggest that you host a romantic dinner for two in the comforts of your own home. Make it special by setting the table, lighting some candles, and serving a meal that is decadent and delicious. I've searched through our recipes and selected a menu that's sure to please the meat-and-potato lover in your life. It's a four-course meal, so you might want to get started with the planning on Sunday.
The Super Bowl is this weekend, and it's time to start thinking about a menu! Whether you're having a crowd over or simply watching the game with a significant other, it's fun to make a special meal packed with game day eats. To inspire you, I've scoured through all of our recipes and come up with a winning menu. It has got two dips, a hearty sandwich, and a decadent dessert, so start clicking for the recipes.
Unlike, say, the Oscars, Golden Globes attendees enjoy a seated dinner, courtesy of the Beverly Hilton. Last week, Executive Chef Suki Sugiura and Executive Pastry Chef Thomas Henzi unveiled what'll be on the dinner menu for the night.
To get you fired up for the main event, guess which courses will — and won't — be served to the stars. Ready? Let's get started!
Photo courtesy Massimiliano LeanzaTake the Quiz
Instead of joining the crowds of party-goers this New Year's Eve, I'm staying in, and I invite you to do the same! Call up some friends and host a festive and special dinner party that lasts until the countdown. Start with a luxurious duo of appetizers: oysters on the half shell with two types of sauces (cucumber mignonette and classic cocktail sauce) and a bubbling pot of cheese fondue with lots of delicious items for dipping (bread cubes, potatoes, broccoli, etc.). For the main course, offer a thick and slow-cooked pork ragu with pasta. It's comforting and hearty. Crusty bread and a big green salad round out the menu. Check out the recommended recipes after the break.
Last December, my family started a new tradition: a holiday pub crawl! We met for heavy hors d'oeuvres at a cousin's house, then afterward took a tour of the neighborhood's best bars. It's a casual but festive style of soirée, and since everyone always has lots of parties to attend, friends and family members can stop by for one drink or take part in the entire crawl. When planning the first leg, offer a good quantity of appetizers with an assortment of textures and flavors: serve something cheesy, something meaty, and something seafood. Baked camembert is sophisticated and colorful when topped with sun-dried tomatoes; pair with crackers and bread.
Meatballs are a classic holiday bite, but update them by using ground lamb and exotic spices rather than the same old pork-beef mixture. Tuna tartar on thick-cut potato chips is addictive and irresistible. Head to the store for the rest of the menu; pick up your favorite crudités with ranch dip, charcuterie, nuts, or olives. To check out the suggested recipes, keep reading.
Don't be scared to host a holiday party. With a little planning and creativity, one can easily throw together a fabulous shindig. A holiday open house is ideal because it doesn't involve making a complete meal, and it's less formal than a cocktail party. Begin the open house in the afternoon or late evening. Offer a couple of uncomplicated but classic apps alongside store-bought nuts, olives, and charcuterie. Chicken skewers are always a hit, and they're delicious fresh from the oven or at room temperature. Puff pastry pinwheels are one of my go-to recipes during the holidays. Fill with cheese and herbs in advance, then slice and bake as needed.
Lastly serve an assembled hors d'oeuvre, like bacon wrapped apricots, which requires nothing more than a quick bake in the oven. Interested in these recommended recipes? Keep reading.