Yesterday Party gushed about the flavor of truffles on items such as fries, salad dressings, and pizzas. I'll eat them on anything and I love to add the flavor of truffles to a dish with my beloved truffle salt. Flavored salts are increasingly popular; stores such as NapaStyle carry the crystals infused with rosemary, sun-dried tomato, and citrus to name a few. Are you a fan?
When I first saw this chalkcloth runner ($24-38) in the latest NapaStyle catalog, I immediately wanted one. I made the mistake of thinking it was actual chalkboard and was disappointed when, upon further examination, I realized it was just cloth. Still, it's perfect for a cheese display or chili cook-off and would make a great gift for the hostess who has everything. What do you think?
When you entertain as much as I do, it's important to have a selection of stylish appetizer plates. From small plates to decorative trays, these serving platters are essential to displaying delicious dishes. I'm always looking for interesting pieces — like these portable, three-part servers by NapaStyle ($78.00) — to add to my collection, so let's head off to market in search of appetizer servingware. Save your finds in the Yum Market on TeamSugar with the keyword tag, Appetizer Plates. I'm excited to see what you discover!
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As I was browsing the new Napastyle catalog, I came across these interesting silicone sealing lids. Apparently they can fit almost every kitchen vessel from salad serving bowl to sauté pan. While they look a little bulky, I love the idea of the lids as they omit the need for tupperware! My only concern is they come in such large sizes with no lid smaller than eight inches. Still, I'm curious to see how functional these are. What do you think of the lids? Useful or useless?
August is a bittersweet month - it's definitely still summertime, but you know that Fall is just around the corner. To help you squeeze as much as you can out of your summer, we've come up with a list of things you must have in order to survive. Sure you don't actually need any of these, but you know you gotta have them!
- First up is this awesome European bistro inspired French Fry Holder from Williams-Sonoma. It's $16 and comes complete with a porcelain "paper" ramekin - talk about adorable!
- These colorful acrylic tumblers and bowls will jazz up all of your backyard shindigs. Imagine them full of ice cream and other delights! Prices start at $48 for a set of 6.
- These new all-natural Popchips are super flavorful and contain half the fat. Bathing suit weather is still here, so watch what you eat, but make sure it tastes good! I recommend the potato chips over the rice or corn. A case of 12 bags will cost you $29.88.
- Protect all of your cookbooks with a modern cookbook stand. This wood and acrylic one from Luciano Lorenzatti costs $27.50 and comes complete with a built-in measurement conversion table.
- Even though July was National Ice Cream month, there's still time to perfect your own frozen concoction. This Big Chill Ice Cream Maker will make hard ice cream in just 40 minutes and the lemon yellow color is perfect to chase away those "fall's approaching" blues. Available for $199.99.
Either your glass is half-empty or it's half-full. Which will it be for you? I found these Ottimista/Pessimista Beer Glasses online and think they're quite clever. A set of four is $38 (available as shorter wine tumblers for $28). What do you think, do you love 'em or hate 'em?
Last Thursday evening, YumSugar and I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with one of my favorite Food Network chefs and the creator of Napastyle, Michael Chiarello. Michael specializes in homey Italian influenced Northern California cuisine and has been the host of many television shows including Season by Season on PBS, Easy Entertaining on FN, and Napastyle on Fine Living. I love Michael for his friendly, easy going approach toward food and his fresh, delicious, recipes. In October of last year Michael opened his first store, Napastyle, in Berkeley - which is where Yum and I spoke with him. The event was a private party, tasting, and demonstration. In person, Michael is a lot like his TV personality: charming, welcoming, laid back and surprisingly he's more charismatic, incredibly personable, and quite funny.
Before the demonstration began, guests were invited to taste wines from his wine club (if anybody wants to surprise me and get me a subscription to it I would be ecstatic), sample homemade sausages and dips from his store, and to mingle with Michael. Once everyone had passed by the sample table (my favs: the parmesan dip & the rosemary garlic salami), the demonstration began.
For Michael's philosophy on food and life, the difference between taste and flavor in a dish, what he has to say about fellow Food Network celebrity chefs and our interview (including a video with a fantastic Julia Child impersonation), read more