Dear Entertaining Mavens, It's harvest season, but the only wine pairing I'm familiar with is Ernst and Gallo. Help!
When paring food and wine, strive for balance and synchronization. Wine shouldn't overpower your food and vice versa.
Dear Grilling Goddesses,
I know that fall's right around the corner, but I'm not quite ready to retire the old barbeque. Help me go out with a bang!
To end summer in style, you first need to know the difference between grilling and barbecuing.
Dear Catering Divas,
It's summer and I am itching to put some heat into my dishes. Unfortunately, I'm a chile novice. Help!
Dear Chile Novice,
Thank you for bringing up one of our favorite topics. Just thinking about the ancho, chipotle, cascabel, de arbols, guajillos, habanero... it really gets us going!
You've just dropped your youngest child off at college. The older children are on their own, doing just fine, thank you. Your home, which holds all the memories of raising a family, seems just a little too quiet and way too big. As you stand in the hallway looking at empty beds and old childhood trophies, you wonder... Is this the empty nest syndrome you've been hearing about or is it the whooshing sound of a big page turning in your life?
Need a new garage door? How about a backyard barbeque, or a complete kitchen remodel? For nine years, Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley residents have flocked to Saugus Speedway's semi-annual Home and Garden Show underneath the big expo tent.
Delicious food can also be good for you. As caterers, we've often designed menus based on health and dietary needs, and you know what? Clients and guests are often amazed that they are eating (and enjoying) dishes that address high cholesterol, low-sodium needs, diabetes, and more. With research and attention to detail, anything is possible!
Q: Every year around Saint Patrick's Day, I get a hankering for great potatoes. Too bad that the only way I know how to cook them is baked or traditional holiday-style mashed. Can you inspire me?
A: Potatoes are in our soul, just like the aromas of our grandmother's kitchen. They provide comfort, texture, accessibility, nutrition, and a bridge to other cultures. Potatoes are gods, covered in dirt but endowed with magical powers.
In one of the most recent rooms we did for a client, we placed two sofas across from each other, floating in the room. We arranged a beautiful console table behind the sofa that serves as a "wall" within the room. It is a very long and narrow console table, made out of hand-pounded iron. The console table serves multiple purposes in the room.
I'm tired of crowded restaurants and cranky waiters, especially when I'm trying to set a romantic mood. I want to create the perfect at-home Valentine's Day meal for my wife, but Emeril I'm not. Any suggestions on how I can wow her without leaving home or going to culinary school?
We tend to love anything made of natural materials, like sisal, seagrass, linen, paper, etc. One of our latest loves is bamboo - we love anything and everything made of bamboo! It can be as simple as "lucky bamboo" placed in a vase ("lucky" bamboo is actually not bamboo at all, but is dracaena sanderana).
A few months ago, while I was still living in Texas, I was given one of the best compliments I had ever received regarding the decorating style of my home: "Nothing matches, but everything goes." When we relocated to the Santa Clarita Valley, I seized the opportunity and ended up selling almost all of my furniture so I could start all over again!
I'm having a party, but have no idea how to stock my bar. It would be so embarrassing to run out of drinks, but I don't want to go overboard, either. Help!
Feeling calm, cool and collected? Good - neither are we. In the impractical pursuit for Martha Stewart-esque perfection (without the jail time, of course) we've now moved on to Holiday Preparedness Check List - Part III. Procrastinators that we are, there are a few tasks we've yet to scratch off our personal lists, but we're well on our way to the least-stressful holiday season ever. Why don't you join us?
Flooring is often overlooked as a key ingredient to a finished room. While we won't suggest that you go out and have brand-new hand-scraped hardwood floors installed (although that would be great in an unlimited budget scenario), there are other unique options that are cost-effective and provide a truly desirable effect. Two of our favorite flooring options are both made of natural materials: seagrass and concrete.
So you've been living with the same wall color for years and yearn for a change, but you aren't quite prepared to paint your walls one of the latest new colors... What else can you do for a fresh look? Think beyond the walls - how about the ceiling or the trim?
Here we are again, trying to facilitate a stress-free holiday for all, including ourselves. If you didn't yet complete your list from last month (OK, we didn't either - but we came close!), we've included an update to catch you up to speed. Good luck!