‘Tis the season for holiday parties. Whether you plan to host one or attend one, this is one of the busiest times of the year for parties with both family and friends. It can be stressful if you are the one hosting that party so here are some tricks and tips I like to use when we have guest over.
* If it’s a dinner party, make things you can cook ahead of time or in a slow cooker, that way you can be with your guest not in the kitchen.
* If you are having the event catered but want to have the illusion you did the cooking, put a whole onion in the oven on a cookie sheet and turn the oven on low about an hour before the guests arrive. When they come in they will smell the onion in the oven and think you have been slaving away in the kitchen all day. Just remember to turn the oven off just before serving the food.
* Pick a theme to unify your party and plan foods around that theme. E.g. Moroccan, serve traditions dishes from Morocco, Moroccan themed drinks, and create an atmosphere that reflects the theme by using coloured glass votive candles, colourful accent pieces, etc.
If you are a guest at a party you can’t go wrong with bringing a small hostess gift. Here are a few I’ve brought in the past.
* Wine, always a good pick and it doesn’t need to be very fancy or expensive, just please no homemade wine.
* Homemade preserves. Canning is somewhat of a lost art now, by bringing some homemade jam or jellies nicely presented shows how much you value your friendship with the host/hostess.
* If you know the party will be a late one give a small basket of homemade cookies and a coffee card. This way they won’t have to make coffee when they wake up.
I’m sure almost all of you have heard of e-books, but have you heard of e-cookbooks? They are on the rise, and you can even get an app for that.
Publishers Weekly recently published an article on the subject. The article focuses on the latest PW Discussion Series, “The Digital Kitchen: Adapting Cookbooks in the App Age,” held on November 16th and hosted by the editor of Pw’s Cooking the Books newsletter Mark Rotella. The panel included experts like Amanda Hesser, co-founder of Food52.com, Doris Cooper, v-p and editorial director of Clarkson Potter and Potter Style, and Melissa Clark, author and staff writer for The New York Times. The panel talked about the growth of digital cookbooks vs traditional print cookbooks and how you can’t really have one without the other. It was a very interesting article that is worth a read.
You can also buy really cool software to help you organize all your bookmarked recipes and have them available on both your computer and on a laptop/tablet. A member of the GPL Cook Book Club told me about Cook’n and how much she loves it. It lets you capture recipes from websites, auto-generates a shopping list for you, calculates the nutritional info for you, and so much more. This great product is on sale for Black Friday until only $20.00, originally $80.00.
I’m really excited to see where the digital age will take cookbooks, but I will still always love my printed cookbook collection.
I’m sure most of you by now have heard something about the book of movie called Forks over Knives. My Boyfriend and I try to live a healthy active lifestyle and watched this film to see what it was all about. Now if you’ve seen the movie or read the book you know that meat is something you shouldn’t be eating a lot of or even at all. My boyfriend was very taken aback by some of the things he learned about meat and animal products. He was particularly interested in the part that talks about how you can reverse the damage done by meat and animal products by simply taking them out of your diet and eating a whole foods plant based diet.
After watching the film he decided that we were going to cut meat down to one day a week and that we would be vegetarian the rest of the time. I was a vegetarian off and on growing up so I didn’t have a problem with this but he started to find it got harder and harder as the weeks went on. He lasted almost a month before he wanted to put meat back into our diet. He did take something away from the film though, he chooses vegetarian options more often then not and we only eat meat maybe three days a week.
On November 26th at 7:00 PM Transition Guelph will be hosting a viewing and discussion of Forks Over Knives at The Guelph Public Library – Main Library (100 Norfolk Street) FREE Admission with Library Card.
Forks over Knives (DVD
Forks over Knives: the cookbook by Del Sroufe
A few months back my boyfriend and I decided to make an upholsterd headboard for our bed. We had never done anything like this before but we gave it a try. It turns out upholstery is not as hard as it looks, I even got cocky enough to put puckered in buttons (also homemade) on the headboard.
All we used was a piece of wood the width of our bed and the height that we wanted, a thick piece of foam the same size as the wood, battan, and lots of material.
You can glue the foam onto the wood or use the batton to keep it in place. Lay the batton out on the floor and place the foam in the middle and then the wood on top of the foam. Using an industrial stapler, staple the batton to the wood on one side. This I found out is very important, you have to staple the oposit side first before you move on to the adjacent side otherwise it puckers. Once you have the batton attached trim around the staples edges so you don’t have a bunch of excess. Lay your material down on the floor so the bad side is facing up. Place the batton covered foam on the fabric and repeat. To get your corners looking nice and taught fold the fabrick into many little pleats. TADA your head board is compleat!
If you want to do the buttons drill holes in the back where you want the buttons and use an unfolded coat hanger to go through the foam to the fabrick. Attach your buttons to thin wire and feed it back through the front, pulling it in untill you get the desired effect. We used eye hooks srewed into the wood to attached the buttons but i’m sure there is a much better way.
To hang it on the wall we used a French Cleat. The video below shows you have to make one.