Thursday, December 27, 2012

link-o-rama, new year's eve edition

Happy (almost) New Year!

Dan and I will be ringing in 2013 at home, dreaming of balmy New Year's Eves past spent with friends in Florida. There's nothing like cocktails and sparklers on the back patio in December. But then again, there's something nice about bundling up and heading out into the cold for dinner at a cozy restaurant that's bursting with happy, red-cheeked diners. Or eating a big cheese plate in your toasty apartment as you watch all those shivering Times Square fools on TV.

If you're staying in, I found lots of recipe inspiration for you. Starting with these lovely little chocolate croissants. It's an absolute no-brainer recipe (just three ingredients!), and absolutely delicious. I made some for a party recently and debated making a double batch to store in the freezer (AKA, eat all by myself later). Shoulda, but didn'ta.

The recipe, by Nigella Lawson, is here, but one extra key thing to add is a little sprinkling of flaky salt on top of the croissants as soon as they emerge from the oven, all puffed and golden. See, they are so good I'm reverting to Nigella-speak. Make them for New Year's Eve and eat them warm with some sparkling wine. You'll go to bed very happy.

More links after the jump!

Monday, December 17, 2012

surviving the party-party

Not too long ago I was longing for a party-party -- a gathering more party than dinner party, where people outnumber chairs. And last weekend, I got my wish. Friends filed into our apartment after work, bearing wine and cheese and potted plants and suddenly the house was full. Mabel had so many laps to choose from, she didn't know what to do with herself.

Cooking for a real party-party can be a tricky thing. My friend Casey, who is cooking for freaking 75 people(!!) this New Year's Eve, told me that she prepares a variety of food in shifts because people come and go throughout the night. Instead of making a Costco-sized vat of onion dip, she makes largeish portions of several different recipes and serves everything in stages. Cold appetizers might come first, followed by some hot mains, and then maybe some desserts. What you eat depends on when you arrive. If I was invited, I would arrive before dawn so I wouldn't miss anything.

Unlike Casey, I only hosted 10 people, so I didn't need to plan with military precision. But I did a few things that you might find helpful the next time you find yourself with a crowd to feed.

Monday, December 3, 2012

the dinner party is dead. long live the dinner party.

I wanted to dismiss it as just another bogus New York Times trend story, but it got me thinking. How often do I go to dinner parties, other than my own? Forget the term “dinner party,” how often do I go to someone else’s house for a meal, any meal?

Now, the article describes a world I have never, and will never inhabit. It’s dinner party as theater, where every component of an evening is orchestrated down to the serving utensils. It’s society ladies in caftans, seating arrangements and salad forks. It’s about as far away from the way most people eat and entertain as the moon. If this style of entertaining goes the way of the finger bowl, so be it, in my opinion. But does that mean the intimacy of having someone over to your home, feeding them and sharing real face-to-face communication is slowly dying?


Blog Widget by LinkWithin