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Great Gifts for the Host & Hostess



The holidays are upon us and it’s one my favorite times of the year. Yes, it’s busy - shopping, baking, school events, holiday concerts, dinner with friends, weekends with family. There is so much happening, but no matter where we’re going, I never like to show up empty handed. Hence the theme of this post – Host/Hostess Gifts. We know the length of your to-do list is already overwhelming - we’ve put together some quick and easy gifts so you can show your appreciation and spread some holiday cheer.

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Canning Strawberry Jam - Take 1

We’ve had a really great response to our Weck Jars. They have so many awesome uses (dry goods, storing asparagus, Ina’s Herbed Goat Cheese), but I decided to try my hand at canning and use them as initially intended. So I decided to make jam. It’s strawberry season. Strawberry jam is one of my favorites. I see posts and recipes for jam all over the place. My mom used to make jam - I never helped, but how hard could it be?

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Introducing Farmhouse Pottery

Last summer, while on vacation in East Hampton, I was lucky enough to visit with Ina Garten in her home. I noticed a beautiful piece of pottery sitting out (everything in Ina’s home is beautiful!). I immediately grabbed it, turned it upside down, and saw the Farmhouse Pottery seal. I did some quick research on the company and knew right away that these pieces (and this company) were perfect for Cassandra’s Kitchen.

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Herbed Goat Cheese in a Weck Jar

Lately at Cassandra’s Kitchen, we spend every spare moment pouring over the recipes in Cooking for Jeffrey. The response to the book has been tremendous and we’ve done our best to stock cookware, tableware, and products that Ina uses and features in the book. This week we wanted to highlight the Weck Canning Jar that Ina uses for her Herbed Goat Cheese.

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New Barefoot Contessa Website

We’re so excited about the launch of Ina’s new Barefoot Contessa website. We knew it was in the works and we have been quietly anticipating the fresh new look, gorgeous photos and of course, her special shopping section featuring Cassandra’s Kitchen!!

 

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Back-to-School Lunches

Back To School! I think we’re all ready to get back into a routine. New clothes are hanging in the closet, school supplies are neat and tidy, and I’m super motivated to pack my kids healthy lunches that they will actually eat.

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Leftovers

Leftovers

Thanksgiving in our house means turkey for days (in a good way). There’s always so much food and it’s all so good. I look forward to the leftovers and eating a turkey feast for lunch, in my kitchen, with much less pomp and circumstance.

The Plan B Containers are an easy way to divvy up leftovers for all of your guests. They're perfect for transport and you don't have to worry about tracking down your containers post holiday. I put portions of turkey, potatoes, and veggies all in one. For gravy and cranberry sauce I use the small Clear Plastic Containers – since everyone likes to add their own. I think I may put together a ‘leftover mash-up’ by layering turkey, potatoes, stuffing, corn, and gravy (so good!).

I love to use the Wrap‘n Snap to help store leftovers. At first, I wasn’t sure if I’d like it. It looked like there was a lot to it, and off-the-roll plastic wrap seemed simpler. NO WAY! Now I use it nearly every day and on occasions like Thanksgiving, it’s a lifesaver. No more frustration or time spent trying to keep the plastic from bunching up and then unbunching it. Just pull out the plastic film (I use Stretch-Tite, it's Ina's favorite), close the lid, and release. I use it to wrap leftovers right in the bowl and keep food fresh while in the fridge or waiting to be served. The cutting blade isn’t exposed so I let me kids use it to wrap up avocados or fruit. It’s easy, and even kind of fun. And when I don't need it, I store it in a drawer under my counter for easy access.

We took a few photos to show how simple it is.

--Cassandra

 

 

 

 

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