For a little New Year's Eve prep, we're going to play a game. I'll name a place, and you tell me how a glass is raised there. Do you know how to ring in 2012 with "cheers!" in every language? Let's find out.Take the Quiz
Being a native to the Bay Area, I've long been a seasonal eater. This means that I enjoy peaches and corn in the Summer and pears and squash in the Fall. However, there are certain fruits and vegetables that have become season-less due to the fact that they're always available at grocery stores, such as apples, strawberries, and one that used to be only around in Spring, asparagus.
Now, let me clarify something. I'll avoid these ingredients at all costs until they are in season, but if a friend or family member begs me to serve them for his or her birthday, I can't say no! That's how I came to make these uncomplicated but delectable asparagus canapes. Crispy toast, creamy cheese, and fresh asparagus: what's not to love? They're an addictive bite; you won't be able to eat just one, so make the whole recipe. Get the technique after the break.
For Colin's tips on giving the perfect toast, read more.
Forget sparkling cider and go retro by picking my daughter's poison — Shirley Temples and Roy Rogers! Though the recipes vary, my girl likes her mocktail simple — 7-up, splash of grenadine syrup, hold the maraschino cherry. The Roy Rogers is essentially the same, but you swap out the 7-up for cola. Do these drinks make you nostalgic?
Serve an easy, crowd-pleasing menu that highlights the bounty of green produce at the farmers market. Start with asparagus and ricotta toast canapes.
Then sit down to a hearty braised chicken and artichoke fricassée with morel mushrooms. The creamy and flavorful fricassée can be paired with pasta, rice, potatoes, or polenta, so select a side dish that suits your hosting needs. For these delightful recipes, please read more
Get the basic technique after the break.
Take the Quiz
The onset of Summer means many things: road trips, picnics, barbecues, watermelon . . . and weddings. Rarely does a June or July pass by when I'm not at or in a wedding celebration. Since lots of wedding toasts are to be had this time of year, I thought I'd put your multicultural toasting skills to the test. Do you know how to say "Cheers!" in every language? There's only one way to find out!
If you're thinking of sending your mom an ecard this Mother's Day, send one from Toast to Mom. This website is partnering with Clos du Bois — one of my favorite affordable wine makers — to raise money for women's heart disease.
For each sent ecard, Clos du Bois will donate $1 to the cause. The site also has tips for healthy living and some delicious-looking recipes for grilled shrimp with mango salsa and spicy oven fried chicken. I've already sent etoasts to the important mothers in my life and suggest you do the same!
While the toasts at a rehearsal dinner are casual, the wedding reception usually has its own set of more formal speeches. Having planned speeches at your wedding is in no way mandatory, but if you don’t account for them, they’re likely to happen anyway, so before the big day, it’s best to sit down for a few minutes to plan them out. To check out my tips on reception speech etiquette, read more
When handling stemware, such as wine and champagne glasses, be careful. It's super easy to get caught up in the moment of toasting, being fabulous, and having a little too much wine. This very thing happened to me last week when I was out with some girlfriends. I was so excited that I downed the rest of my Pinot Grigio in one gulp and slammed the wine glass on the bar a teeny bit too hard. The glass broke, the gals laughed, and I was left feeling horribly embarrassed (and it's not the first time I've done it!). Remember that glass is fragile and unless you want a wet messy splattering of dangerous shards at your next fiesta, set down those glasses lightly, and toast with care.
How about you? Have you ever broken a glass during a toast?