Category Archives: Entertaining

Easy, Last Minute Valentine’s Day Dinner Recipe from The Vegan 8

Entertaining, Holiday, Recipes | | | 1 Reply

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Did you forget Valentine’s Day is tomorrow? It’s okay, we’ve been there! Don’t worry, we have a last minute Valentine’s Day Dinner recipe that will make your significant other think you’ve been planning for weeks — or, that you can enjoy on your own.

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This Poblano Pepper Cream Sauce and Pasta from The Vegan 8 looks particularly delicious in our Cambria Footed Bowl don’t you think? We love how Brandi from The Vegan 8 creates delicious, simple recipes that only use 8 (!) ingredients. Best of all, this comforting, decadent recipe comes together easily for a last minute Valentine’s Day dinner — the only serious prep requires soaking the cashews in boiling water for a couple hours.

Cashews? That’s right — this creamy decadent sauce is entirely dairy free. Trust us, you wouldn’t know it from the taste — but your body will thank you for it.

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Sweeten the deal with another ridiculously simple recipe — 1 bowl peanut butter chocolate chip cake (easily split between two people, but could happily be eaten by one).

Check out the full recipes + printable recipe card for both here.

Winter Dinner Party Recipes Made to Impress Your Guests

Entertaining, Recipes | | | Leave a comment

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Text for tips and winter dinner recipes from Simi Hansen of Wanderlust Catering

When I’m throwing a dinner party for my friends or family, I always choose to serve family-style. I think there’s something lush and indulgent about placing large beautiful platters of food in the middle of a table of your favorite people. Plating individual plates of food takes time, extra hands, and practice. If you’re not used to it, food can get cold before it’s ready to be served. Serving family-style eliminates that risk and gives you more time with your guests.

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For really striking platters, I take my inspiration from seasonal produce (even during the winter!) and try to incorporate as many colors as possible. For every season, there are interesting heirloom vegetables at my farmers market. For a winter dinner party, I look for purple heirloom carrots, orange “cheddar” cauliflower, and black radishes. These unexpected pops of color really draw people into the food.

Take a look at two of Simi’s custom recipes from this beautiful winter dinner party, below!

Photos: Edyta Szyszlo
Styling: Alexandra Phelps
Flowers: Studio Mondine
Paper goods: Cheree Berry Paper
Pottery Barn pieces: dinnerware, serveware, chargers, wooden pedestals, barware and snack bowls.

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BRAISED BEEF SHORT RIBS WITH A RED WINE DEMI

5 pounds boneless beef short ribs, cut in half
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 medium onions, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 750-ml bottle dry red wine (We use Coppola Claret. You really want a quality red wine here for best flavor.)
10 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
8 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs oregano
2 sprigs rosemary
2 fresh bay leaves
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
4 cups low-salt beef stock

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Preheat oven to 200*F convection or 225*F. Season short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Working in small batches, brown short ribs on all sides. Be patient. Let the surfaces get a nice crust on them. Transfer short ribs to a plate. Pour off all but 3 Tbsp. drippings from pot.

Add onions, carrots, and celery to pot and cook over high heat, stirring often, until vegetables are browned. Add flour and tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, until well combined and deep red, 2-3 minutes. Stir in wine and bring to a boil. Once all of the alcohol is cooked off (about 10 minutes), add beef stock. Bring to a boil then take off heat and pour into an oven-proof pan. Add short ribs and any accumulated juices. Add all herbs along with the garlic. Cover with parchment, then cover with foil. Place in the oven

Cook until short ribs are tender, 4-5 hours. Transfer short ribs to a platter. Strain sauce through a chinois from pot into a bowl. Spoon fat from surface of sauce and discard; season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Pour sauce back over short ribs and let the ribs cool in the sauce.

Short ribs can be prepared up to two days before your event. Gently reheat them in a 300*F oven or on the stovetop over a low flame.

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BEET AND GOAT CHEESE MOUSSE CROSTINIA
makes 24-32 crostini

3 beets (about 3/4 pound total)
4 thyme sprigs
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 rosemary sprig
1 lb chevre
up to 1/2 tsp heavy cream (optional)
1 baguette, cut on the bias into 1/4″ thick slices
olive oil
salt
pepper
1 cup microherbs

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Preheat oven to 400*F. Scrub beets and trim tops and tails. Put in an oven-safe dish with 1/2 cup of water, a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper, a drizzle of olive oil, and thyme sprigs. Cover with parchment, then foil. Roast for 2 hours or until tender.

When the beets are cool enough to handle, rub them with your hands. The skins should easily peel away. Cut the beets into 1/4″ dice.

Simmer beets, sherry vinegar, sugar, and rosemary until nearly all of the liquid has evaporated. Let cool.

Note: We like to use different colors of beets: golden, chioggia, and red for visual interest. If you’d like to do the same, each color needs to be prepared and stored separately. Mix them gently right before service.

For the goat cheese mousse, whip goat cheese in a stand mixer until it becomes smooth. Add a few drops of heavy cream to lighten the mousse if needed. Place in a piping bag fitted with a star tip.

To make crostini, drizzle baguette slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toast in the oven for 3-4 minutes per side or until crisp but not brown.

All of this can be made up to two days prior to your event. To assemble, pipe a few swirls of goat cheese on one end of the crostini. Top with beets and garnish with a pinch of microherbs. Crostini should stay crisp for up to an hour.

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See the rest of this party here.
Find more of our favorite recipes here.

Guide to the Perfect Dinner Party: A Warm Winter Gathering

Entertaining, Parties | | | 5 Replies

After the holidays are over, it’s easy to quickly lose your entertaining gusto. Whether you’re burnt out or just can’t think of a good excuse to get everyone together, post-holiday winter entertaining is hard to envision — that is, until we saw this gorgeous winter dinner party.

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Everything from the warm, cozy setting to the abundance of winter produce makes this dinner party feel perfectly suited for the season. Who needs an excuse when the party is as fun and gorgeous as this?

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Keep reading to take a look at this party from the talented team of Wanderlust Catering, Edyta Szyszlo PhotographyAlexandra Phelps EventsStudio Mondine and Cheree Berry Paper — plus their expert tips to throwing a classy dinner party with ease and style.

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Invitations:

Are paper invitations outdated? Hardly! We’ve loved seeing them come back with a force — Cheree Berry’s beautiful invitations are lovely enough for everything from a simple affair to a formal event.

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“An email/phone RSVP works great for a casual affair, such as a backyard BBQ, kid’s birthday, even ancillary wedding events,” says Cheree. “Today, we recommend an email RSVP vs. a phone RSVP as not to interrupt work or family time.”

“Know your audience too.  A more senior crowd may not handle an electronic invite as well as a printed one,” says Cheree.

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Hostess Tips:

“The perfect dinner party should have at least these three things: good food, tasty drinks, and great conversation,” says Simi Hansen of Wanderlust Catering. “There’s nothing worse than a party where guests are too shy to get to know each other.

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  “Interesting food and drinks are the easiest way to get the conversation started,” says Simi. “Soft lighting and an appropriate soundtrack can also help set the mood.”

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  “So many tasks can be done the day before your party. Food prep, table setting, decorating, choosing music, flowers,” Simi says. “If you can get these things done early, all you’ll need to do day-of is put ice on the bar, open wine, heat and assemble food, and get yourself ready. Doesn’t that sound totally stress-free?”

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Decorating Tips:

“Be creative when choosing your bar location. It can be a buffet, a cart, a table, your countertop. Just be sure to choose a surface that’s large enough to hold beverages, ice, glassware, and any accouterments,” says Simi. “If you serve beer in bottles, you can eliminate pint glasses, which is one less thing to set up and clean up. If you’re serving a signature cocktail, make a pitcher for the bar so guests can help themselves.”

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“Building a solid collection of basic items like runners, vases, napkins and service platters is a smart investment,” says Allie of Alexandra Phelps Studios. “Plus, it’s fun to challenge yourself to find new ways to utilize them again and again.”

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  “Just like produce, flowers are seasonal too,” says Amanda of Studio Mondine. “Save money by buying in season. For this table, we mixed the wintry amaryllis with local camellia and some early-blooming quince.”

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Pottery Barn items used: Napoli Dinnerware, Tava Chargers, Harrison Wine Pull, Harrison Multiple Bottle Cooler, Harrison Bottle Coaster, Blonde Wood Paddle Pedestals, Metallic Snack Bowls.

See more of our entertaining tips and recipes to help you throw the perfect dinner party here.

 

Friday 5: From Bedroom Makeovers to Bean and Basil Soup — Our Top Blog Posts from January

Decorating, Entertaining | | | Leave a comment

top posts from january

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s almost February! Can you believe it? Us either. That’s why we’re enjoying the last of January by looking back at our top posts for the month. From bedroom makeovers to basil soup, it’s clear that we all craved a fresh start this year — and our guides were here to help you along the way.

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1.Easy, Clean, Healthy Recipe: Italian White Bean and Basil Soup.

This white bean tomato basil soup looks like just the right way to ease us off our holiday sugar rush — it’s filling, and takes minimal prep and cook time. Plus, we love how Brandi served it in our Vintage Wood Bowls with our Paros Chargers, Belgian Linen Hemstitch Napkins and Great White Dinnerware. It looks gorgeous!

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2. Bedroom Makeover: Luxurious Neutrals with Erin Gates

Although we’re big fans of embracing color in the new year, we love how Erin used a neutral palette to create a calm and soothing space that still has plenty going on. A luxurious mix of patterns and textures completely transformed this bedroom — taking it from shabby to chic.

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3. How to Organize Your Home Room by Room

Who doesn’t feel extra motivated to organize your home come January 1st? But as the month wears on, it’s easy to lose steam, and let all of the home organization to-do’s slip to the bottom of the list. This year, we’ve gathered our favorite organization tips and tricks to make sure you can organize your home room by room — and actually (yes, actually!) make it happen. To top it off, our experts share how to make sure your home is organized year round.

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4. January Designer Spotlight: Victoria Smith’s Favorite San Francisco Spots

Victoria Smith of SFGirlByBay’s passion for the city of San Francisco and her sophisticated style is part of why we chose her for our Designer Spotlight this month.

Victoria’s collected an incredible stockpile of must-do, must-see, must-taste, must-try activities after 20 years in the City by the Bay. Read on to learn about why she loves San Francisco — plus, get a glimpse inside her gorgeous Bay Area home.

View More: http://rusticwhitephotography.pass.us/waitingonmartha

5. How to Reorganize Your Linen Closet with Mandy of Waiting on Martha

Baskets are the fastest way to keep your linen closet tidy, towels folded and bedding from falling off the shelves. Do what Mandy did and mix and match — some woven, some wire. “I love that you can see what the wire baskets are holding,” says Mandy. “Like my favorite striped beach towels!”

Family-Friendly Football Game Day Recipes

Entertaining, Recipes | | | 3 Replies

Written and photographed exclusively for Inside & Out by Alison of Two of a Kind.

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Game Day Recipes

Touchdown! Are you watching football this Sunday with family or friends? Make meal prep a team effort! Everyone can help put together this super spread.

Here’s the game plan:

Cook a batch of chili (or pick up a few cans of your favorite brand at the store) – My go-to recipe is a quick two-bean turkey chili – it’s healthy, hearty and packed with flavor. There’s bacon in it, to boot!

Make the honey peanut butter popcorn – If you’ve never made stovetop popcorn, you’re missing out! It’s incredibly easy and fun. Because there’s hot syrup involved in this recipe, let the teens tackle it; the kids can look on (they’ll go wild when the kernels pop!). Warning: This snack is extremely addictive. I like to serve it alongside peanut butter pretzels and roasted peanuts for textural contrast.

Move on to beverage prep – Make the simple syrup for the lemonade and assemble the rest of the ingredients, but don’t mix the drinks just yet.

Prepare the cornmeal popovers – Ask the little ones to help you whip up the batter – they can measure, stir and whisk. When the popovers emerge from the oven, I promise there will be big grins as they set eyes on their workmanship.

Put everything on the table, make the lemonade and dig in!

PS: Don’t forget to pick up everything you’ll need to make your set up a winner! We love how Allison used our Galvanized Metal Tiered Stand, Bon Appetit Towels, Football Koozie, Mason Jar Mugs and Galvanized Metal Condiment and Tray Set.

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Honey Peanut Butter Popcorn
Makes 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • sea salt
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, crunchy or smooth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a 3-quart heavy pan with a tight-fitting lid, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add 3 kernels to the pan, cover and continue to heat. When the kernels pop, add remaining kernels, cover and shake the pan. As the kernels start popping, shake the pan continuously until popping stops. Remove from heat and pour the popcorn in a roasting pan to cool. Remove unpopped kernels and lightly salt the popcorn to taste.
  2. In a small sauce pan, combine the sugar and honey. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook the mixture for 3 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and add the peanut butter; stir with a silicone spatula until smooth. Then stir in the cinnamon and vanilla extract. Cook the mixture over medium heat for 1 minute.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately pour the mixture over the cooled popcorn. Stir with a silicone spatula until the popcorn is coated evenly.
  5. Spread the popcorn in a single layer in the roasting pan. Gently break up any large clumps with your hands. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

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Sparkling (and Spiked) Mint Lemonade
Makes 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup simple syrup (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cups cold water
  • ice
  • 2 cups sparkling water
  • lemon wheels and frozen raspberries, for garnish
  • Don Julio Tequila Blanco (for adults, optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a pitcher, combine the mint leaves and simple syrup. Using a wooden spoon, gently muddle the mint leaves, being careful not to tear them.
  2. Stir in the lemon juice and cold water.
  3. Add ice and the sparkling water.
  4. Garnish each serving with a lemon wheel, frozen raspberries and additional mint leaves.
  5. For spiked lemonade, add 1 ounce tequila to each serving.

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NOTES
To make simple syrup, combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small sauce pan. Cook over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves completely. Remove from heat and let cool completely before using.

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Chili-Filled Cornmeal Popovers
Makes 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

Popovers:

  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Topping:

  • (or 6 cups canned chili)
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • diced avocado
  • green onions, thinly sliced
  • sour cream

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INSTRUCTIONS

Prepare the popovers:

  1. Place a nonstick 6-cup popover pan on the bottom rack of your oven and preheat to 450 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Then whisk in butter.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal and salt. Then whisk in the egg mixture until smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour the mixture into a large glass measuring cup; this allows you to quickly and easily distribute the batter among the popover pan wells.
  4. Once oven is preheated, carefully remove popover pan from oven and coat wells with nonstick spray. Moving quickly, divide the batter evenly among the wells and place pan back in oven.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes. Then reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Do not open the oven door while popovers are baking.
  6. Remove pan from oven and turn out popovers onto a wire rack. Serve immediately. Or, if not serving right away, poke a small hole in the side of each popover with a toothpick or paring knife to let the steam escape.

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Assemble the chili-filled popovers:

  1. Split popovers and fill with chili.
  2. Top with cheese, avocado, green onions and sour cream.

And that’s it! Just a little planning and a lot of fun, easy cooking makes this a perfect family-friendly spread that we’d love to snack on during game time.

 

5 Ridiculously Delicious Game Day Recipes

Entertaining, Recipes | | | 1 Reply

What’s your favorite part of football season? To us, it’s all about the food. Sure, we love rooting on our teams — but the day is made so much better with a plate of something tasty, too.

Since the end of football season is just around the corner, we’re on the hunt for some extra-delicious game day recipes. Take a look at 5 of our favorite snack recipes, below, and stay tuned for even more next week!

Caprese-Pull-Apart-Bread

Kick off game day with something savory to munch on, like Two of a Kind’s Caprese Pull Apart Bread (PS: Stay tuned for a special game day spread from Two of a Kind on Inside & Out next week!)

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Or maybe try your hand at these easy baked onion rings as a homage to stadium food!

pizza cauliflower

Spend halftime in foodie heaven thanks to this pizza with a healthy twist.

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Quinoa makes anything healthy, right? We’ll just tell ourselves that while chowing down on these Loaded Greek Goddess Chickpea and Quinoa Pita Chip Nachos.

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Finally, celebrate or mourn the final score with something sweet — like these Mini Brownie Pies from Sugar & Cloth.

Our 5 Favorite Detox Recipes for a Healthy New Year

Entertaining, Recipes | | | 2 Replies

Hello, Monday! It’s the second week of 2015 — are you still sticking to your New Year’s Resolutions? We’ve rounded up 5 of our favorite delicious detox recipes to help you stick to your goal of healthy eating this year. From green smoothies (yum) to salads to soups, this menu is perfect for a veggie-packed weekly menu.

Detox Recipes for the New Year

These 8 Green Smoothies from The Glitter Guide sound like a delicious way to start easing into eating more greens.

Camille Styles’ Detox Green Smoothie looks pretty amazing, too.

Or, start off the day right with Oh She Glows’ Oatmeal Power Bowl! It only takes 5 minutes (yup) to prep.

Tales of a Kitchen’s Massaged Kale, and Millet Salad might just make us forget about that grilled cheese we wanted for dinner (emphasis on might).

We’re in love with the comforting flavors of Vegan 8’s easy, clean, healthy recipe: Hearty Italian White Bean and Basil Soup.

What are your favorite recipes for healthy eating? 

PS: See more of our favorite recipes here and here.