The weekly food page with items on properly setting the holiday dinner table, "The New Thanksgiving Table: An American Celebration of Family, Friends, and Food" by Diane Morgan and Leigh Beisch and more.
Entertaining at its best happens during the holidays. Don’t use the same plates, stemware and napkins from years before. A well-appointed tabletop can elevate an everyday meal to an elegant and sophisticated soiree.
"Table settings are the backdrop for every meal, yet many hosts often overlook the importance of making that backdrop as appealing and functional as possible," said Angela Giannapolos, a party planner for Studio 3 Group in New York. "While it's nice to bring traditional items back year after year, adding new hints of style to your table can go a long way to refreshing your look each season."
Rather than setting a uniform table this year, consider these entertaining tips to add flair to your holiday look.
Accentuate with accessories
Linens and cloth napkins bring a rich feel to the table. Adding these accents in vibrant colors can make your dinnerware pop and bring a fresh and festive air to your meal.
A simple way to do this is to choose your favorite color and build a theme around it. Blue, green, silver and gold are on-trend holiday colors that can be used in monochromatic variations to make your decor shine.
Personalizing your table is another accessory tip that will go a long way with guests. Add reminiscent decor to your setting with items such as vintage Christmas ornaments and pictures from past seasons. Not only will your table look festive, but it will also be a fun way to spark holiday conversation.
The perfect tabletop pieces
Keep in mind that your dinnerware is the star of the show. Consider your personal style when choosing a plate pattern and be sure it's versatile for many holidays to come.
When dinner is over, be sure you have the perfect toasting flutes on hand to celebrate the year in review. Opt for classic champagne flutes.
Lastly, don't forget the basics. Here is a table-setting refresher for the holiday season:
Easy recipe: Cider-Glazed Sweet Potatoes
1. Cook sweet potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water, about 5 minutes. Drain and cool.
2. Bring cider, sugar, butter, salt and allspice to a boil. Add sweet potatoes and cook 5 minutes. Add cranberries and continue cooking until liquid becomes slightly syrupy and potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste before serving.
Makes 10 to 12 servings.
-- North Shore (Mass.) Sunday
Did You Know?
If you have purchased a frozen turkey, it is important that it adequately thaws in your refrigerator, in cold water or in the microwave.
Would You Buy It? Nature Valley Granola Thins
Details: The individually wrapped snack features a box of 10 thin squares of granola with a topping of either chocolate (80 calories) or peanut butter (90 calories).
Claims: A news release says it offers a ìcrispy alternative to dense, sugary snacks.
More information: 800-231-0308
Availability: At grocers nationwide
Comments: We sampled the peanut butter flavor and liked the taste and crunchiness. But it was cracked and the peanut butter coating stuck to the wrapper. "It’s really messy." "The product has too much packaging." "I'd rather just have a granola bar."
Would you buy it? No.
-- State Register-Journal
I am going to the city where the conical shaped, edible ice cream cone was invented.? Where am I?
C. New York
D. St. Louis
Answer is at bottom of column
Wise to the Word: Dariole
[DEHR-ee-ohl, dah-ree-OHL] A French term referring to a small, cylindrical mold, as well as to the dessert baked in it. Traditionally, chefs line the mold with puff pastry, fill it with an almond cream and bake it until golden brown. Today there are also savory darioles, usually made with vegetable custards. ??
Number to Know
350: According to Starbucks.com, a slice of reduced-fat very berry coffee cake is 350 calories.
The Dish On …
"The New Thanksgiving Table: An American Celebration of Family, Friends, and Food" by Diane Morgan and Leigh Beisch
Thanksgiving is the favorite holiday of millions of Americans and with so many diverse regions across the United States, it's no surprise to find that the Thanksgiving menu changes significantly from New England to the Pacific Northwest. This is the quintessential cookbook for our national day of thanks, capturing this diversity with creative recipes for the perfect dinner and providing the key to a stress-free occasion with author Diane Morgan's indispensable do-ahead tips.
From the Beer Nut’s Blog: Sierra Nevada’s 30th birthday
I can’t believe I forgot to mention this, but Sierra Nevada Brewing Company celebrated its 30th anniversary on Nov. 15.
Sierra Nevada, along with founder Ken Grossman, is a pioneer in the brewing industry. They pretty much invented the west coast pale ale with the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. They brew some wonderful beers, such as Big Foot and Celebration. And still today, even after 30 years, they are pushing the envelope with their series of 30th anniversary ales, along with their fresh hop beers.
Sierra Nevada’s beers still stand the test of time, and all of us as beer drinkers should take a step back, grab your favorite Sierra Nevada ale and raise a glass in thanks to them.
Cheers to Sierra Nevada, Ken Grossman and everyone at the brewery, past and present.
To read more from the Beer Nut, visit http://blogs.townonline.com/beernut/.
Food Quiz Answer
D. St. Louis
GateHouse News Service