Tonight I embraced the K.I.S.S. method and kept it simple in the kitchen. Mozzarella basil chicken is a staple in our house. With bikini season right round the corner, I opted for a side of roasted asparagus in leu of carbs. If I haven’t said so before, the best way to slice mozzarella cheese is with original flavorless dental floss. That’s right, DENTAL FLOSS! Sounds insane, right? But when I saw the Barefoot Contessa do it with ease, I was sold. Matter of fact, you can find unwaxed dental floss in my Jr Varsity kitchen tools drawer. Have fun in the kitchen, gang!
With Thanksgiving approaching, this home cook is researching recipes for the big feast, making personalized place cards, decorating the dinner table and tweaking the oven schedule spreadsheet. I do quirky things through out the year to prepare for a meal of this stature and always save everything pertaining to this meal in a manilla folder. And let me tell you, the seams on that bad boy are close to bursting!
My inspiration comes from, but is not limited to;
- Recipes from my fave magazines like Southern Living, Food Network, InStyle, Bon Appetit, and Better Homes & Gardens
- Sam Sifton of the NYT Cooking
- Food bloggers like Jessica Merchant of How Sweet Eats, Fork In The Kitchen, Downshiftology, Ambitious Kitchen and Skinnytaste.
- Food Network chefs like the Barefoot Contessa, Nigella and Bobby Flay
Like a true dork, I commit my action plan to a spreadsheet. See my first draft below.
|Nuts, olives, figs & prosciutto||appetizer||Thu, Nov 28, 2019||Barefoot|
|Turkey||Main||Thu, Nov 28, 2019||9:30 AM|
|Rolls||Side||Thu, Nov 28, 2019|
|Gravy||Side||Thu, Nov 21, 2019||Barefoot|
|Brussel Sprouts||Vegetable||Wed, Nov 27, 2019||Bon Appetit|
|Carrots||Vegetable||Tue, Nov 26, 2019|
|Sweet Potatoes & Marshmallows||Starch||Wed, Nov 27, 2019||Sunny Anderson|
|Dressing||Side||Tue, Nov 26, 2019||Barefoot|
|Macaroni Alfredo w/ pumpkin||Side||Wed, Nov 27, 2019||Better H&G|
|Perfect mashed potatoes||Starch||delegated||Bon Appetit|
|Mini Pumpkin Pies||Dessert||Thu, Nov 28, 2019||ambitious kitchen|
|salad||side||Thu, Nov 28, 2019|
|Thanksgiving Feast||Thu, Nov 28, 2019||1:00 PM|
The table is set days in advance, so I can get ahead of as many fussy tasks as humanly possible. Yes, I’m talking place cards, fancy napkins, candles, chargers, plates, dinner glasses, etc. Do as much in advance as you can. #PreparationAndPresentation
This morning my girlfriends came over for coffee and scones. I know what you’re thinking…Damn girl! What time did you get up this morning?! Well, let me tell ya a little secret, the scones have been assembled and waiting for this very occasion. That’s right, I made them (up to a certain point) in advance! #BarefootContessa #MakeItAhead
The trick to effortless entertaining and stress free hosting is, being prepared and having a plan. It’s that simple. I love having home made baked goods tucked away for a rainy day. Just before the girls arrive, I’ll toss them in the oven and wait for their aroma to fill my kitchen with bakery vibes!
Coffee Beans – This is a blog post all on its own. I personally like to buy the beans and grind them at home. When you really want to impress the #CoffeeClub, try beans from the Hampton Coffee Company or Starbucks.
BOOM! Sometimes the stars align and the universe roots for you. This evening was one of those magical evenings. This parmesan encrusted chicken is a very hands on kind of meal. I thrive on dishes that require you to get a little dirty. You all know by now how I feel about roasted carrots…LOVE! I can and do eat them all the time. And how much cuter are they when sliced on the diagonal?! Check out the Barefoot Contessa for her recipe on the afore mentioned messy chicken. Dazzle your family with this simple and delicious week night dinner!
These beef skewers by Daphne Oz did just that. Her cookbook is AH-MAZING! With her guiding light, I have successfully crushed many a brunch and family gathering. If you don’t have this gem, RUN DON’T WALK!