There are lots of things to love about summer: long days of sunlight, fresh peaches, playing "identify that smell" on the streets of New York City. One thing I don't love is my inability to entertain without turning my apartment into a sauna. Air conditioners can't contend with a warm, humid NYC day, and I can't imagine torturing my friends by using the oven or stovetop in our sixth-floor apartment. (What I wouldn't give for a yard and a grill!?!)
So when the weather cools, I immediately plan the brunches and dinners I've been thinking about for months. Fall and winter are my favorite seasons to entertain at home — who doesn't love a cozy night spent with friends and family sharing a warm, home-cooked meal and a strong cocktail? And now that bathing suit season is officially over, we can finally work on our winter bodies, and that’s a 1000 times more fun!
Whether it's a festive cocktail party, a Thanksgiving feast, or an intimate get-together with friends or family, November and December always seem jam-packed with reasons to celebrate and plenty of excuses to hang out with all your favorite (sometimes not so favorite) people.
- Deep Oval Baker – Growing up in Ohio, you're guaranteed amazing casseroles over the holidays. From classic green bean and my aunt's cheesy potato, to Christmas morning strata and broccoli rice casserole, these deep oval bakers are always put to work. Ina may not have a ton of casserole recipes, but these come in handy whether you’re making her Spinach Gratin, Apple Crisp or Rum Raisin Tiramisu.
- Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract – 'Tis the season for warm pies, creamy chocolate truffles and buttery short bread cookies. Elevate your holiday classics with some GOOD vanilla! I mean, you could make your own (Ina has a recipe for that), but who wants to wait a month just to get the goods!? And I've got better uses for the vodka...
- Narrow Platter – After a couple incidents that left guests starving while the main course was coming together, I now always make sure there’s something to snack on. Usually it's just charcuterie and cheese, but when it multiples like deviled eggs, bruschetta, or pigs in a blanket, I love to present them on this beautiful platter. It's also great for passed hors d'oeuvres, crudité, and my favorite, cookies!
- Rectangular Serving Platter – Thanksgiving can be an overwhelming meal for even the most experienced cooks. How do you make sure everything is ready and warm at the same time? Luckily, Ina has a whole "make-it-ahead" Thanksgiving meal. If you choose this approach, you'll be happy you have this serving platter. On top of being perfect for a lovely presentation, it's ovenproof so once you’ve plated your turkey, you can keep it warm by sticking the platter right in the oven. For larger parties, if the narrow platter isn’t enough, you’ll have this for an epic dessert of cheese plate.
- Rectangular Stacking Dish – I've never thought about it before, but why are bowls of nuts so popular around the holidays? (Google helped answer that) For cocktail parties, these versatile stacking dishes are just what you need for Ina's addictive Chipotle and Rosemary Roasted Nuts or dips like my favorite, Pan Fried Onion Dip. These too are ovenproof, so you can make individualized portions of mac & cheese or baked brownies for smaller get-togethers.
- La Rochere Manhattan Tumbler – As I've moved out of my if-it's-glass-I'll-find-a-way-to-accidentally-break-it phase I've learned to love simple, gorgeous glasses and I fell for these stunners the first time I laid eyes on them. Sure, they’re perfect for a dinner party, but what could be better than sipping an Old Fashioned from this tumbler while curled up next to the fire place on a cold winter night (or in my case, a YouTube clip of a fireplace!).
I hope you love these products as much as I do. For one day only (November 9th) Cassandra's Kitchen is offering 20% Off all Pillivuyt Products - including the Deep Baking Dish, Narrow Platter, Stacking Dishes, and Rectangular Platter. Use code DINNER20.
We look forward to hearing your questions and comments. Happy entertaining!