menu planning

Happy Holidays! An Open House Party

The holidays are upon us.  We watch TV commercials that show foyers full of people clinking wineglasses and greeting one another, and Diane Keaton movies directed by Nancy Meyers where the kitchens look like the love child of Martha Stewart and Philip Johnson. And we start to agonize over the fact that we really, really, really promised ourselves that this would be the year that we (finally) hosted a holiday gathering. But all those people! All that cooking! All that planning! But we ARE going to entertain, dammit! And here’s how: an open house. Not a sit-down dinner for just …

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Thanksgiving Dinner Solved

Some of you may have your entire Thanksgiving meal planned at this point. I’m impressed. We’re not that together in my family, despite what you might imagine.  In fairness, most of the menu is the same year after year, so it’s never a total shocker in terms of what we will be eating. But there are always a few new dishes, and who does what changes ever so slightly from year to year. My mom is the perennial host of Thanksgiving, and the doler-outer of assignments, and let’s just say she doesn’t work too far in advance. And, as the …

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9 Tips for Relaxed Entertaining and Menu Planning

One of my very, very, very favorite things in the world is when I see someone who has been afraid of entertaining suddenly start to feel good about it. Two friends, Netta and Kate, who I work with, have recently begun to experience the little rush that comes with getting a dinner for friends together smoothly, with both the food and the mood of the evening coming together in that happiest of ways. Here are some of the most basic things to think about. These become second nature with time. Start small with a few people, and a few dishes, …

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