ON THE FIFTH DAY OF NEATNESS…
Who needs five gold rings when you can own the multitasking miracle that makes enjoying a nice glass of vino even more enjoyable?! For that special wine connoisseur or sommelier wannabe in your life (even if it’s you), the neat product for today is the incredibly smart, next generation Corkcicle®.ONE. Wine drinkers from Napa to Naples, and even Oprah herself fell in love with the Corkcicle® last year. But these innovative game-changers didn’t rest on their laurels, no sir. They instead came up with the ultimate hat trick! It is my great and intoxicating pleasure to introduce you to this little bit of “three-in-one” heaven. It’s actually a chiller, an aerator, and a pouring spout. Now you’ll have your wine at the optimal temperature, aerating automatically as it pours out of the perfectly clean spout. The Corkcicle.ONE makes wine serving classy, clean, and oh so deliciously easy.
Disposable to-go containers are a must have item during the holidays. Keeping these on hand is a great way to make sure you aren’t stuck with too many leftovers. And, let’s be honest, any organizational item with a festive flare will end up on my good list any holiday season. Pack a small container of yummy goodness for your guests to take with them so they can continue to enjoy your delectable bites upon their return home. Now you won’t have to worry about getting that turkey platter back from Aunt Marge or where you’re going to store an entire green bean casserole. Plus, without a house full of treats to snack on, you won’t have any trouble zipping up any of your favorite holiday duds!
Thanksgiving is only nine days away. Let’s just repeat that for effect: Thanksgiving is only nine days away. And if you’re like any other living, breathing, working, person out there, there is still so much to do to make sure you are ready for the big day. Never fear! Breathe, relax, get those shoulders down from your ears, because I’ve outlined 3 simple to-do’s to make sure your kitchen is ready for one incredible feast!
- Plan + Confirm – Take a moment to review your menu (or put it together if you haven’t yet). Make sure you have enough food for the number of guests expected and don’t forget to take into consideration any food allergies your guests may have. Be sure you are working with recipes that allow for some advanced preparation. The last thing you want is to spend the holiday festivities stuck in the kitchen, or stressed out about not having enough time to get everything done. While offering great food is of the utmost importance, you want to be sure that you get to enjoy time with your guests and share in the fun. And, if you don’t know your way around the kitchen very well, keep it simple. It will make the entire process much less stressful, and I promise your guests will be just as delighted with what you serve.
- Take inventory + Stock Up – Once you’ve confirmed your menu and determined all your needed ingredients, take inventory of your pantry to make sure you don’t run out of any staples. Make a trip to the supermarket to stock up on all these non-perishable essentials ahead of time to avoid elbowing your way through the crazy crowds next week.
- Tools – Don’t forget to check your cooking tools and serving essentials – this is an often overlooked area when prepping for the holiday. Do you need a new meat thermometer? Maybe a turkey baster or twine. Does your carving knife need to be sharpened? Take a moment to make sure everything is in working order and that you have everything you need for Turkey Time. The last thing you want is to go cook your Turkey and discover your roasting pan is missing in action.
Taking a little time to plan in advance will help you feel in control of your party, rather than at the mercy of gravy boats and green bean casserole. Above all, remember that the whole purpose of the day is to come together with family and friends to enjoy a beautiful meal. Stress does not get a seat at the table!
Take a peek at my Springpad notebook to see some of my picks for Turkey Day Essentials!
With the Oscars this Sunday, many people are gearing up for a festive evening with friends. From parties with themes based on the movie nominees to parties with competitive voting contests, for some it is a night bigger than the Super Bowl.
Unfortunately, at the end of the night whether Best Picture goes to Argo or Lincoln, the task of getting the award for “Best Cleanup” still remains for the gracious host or hostess. To make cleaning up from this “star studded” evening a little easier, pickup a couple Clean Cubes. A recent discovery at the New York International Gift Fair, Clean Cubes take away the mess and frustration of taking out the trash or recycling. This fully biodegradable product is leak resistant and a great solution for when you need an additional receptacle for your disposables or recyclables. Plus, it’s sturdy construction means there’s no worry about bags tearing or breaking on the way out the door.
Great for any type of party, or even every day, Clean Cubes are currently available on Amazon.com, or in the New York City area at select Duane Reade locations.
It is the height of the outdoor summer season, and whether you are spending your time at the beach, or in your backyard, chances are that you are outside BBQing and entertaining friends and family. However, just because you’re outside doesn’t mean you should have to resort to the typical white disposable tableware. Let the summer fun follow through to your tablescape with the Waverly Tableware collection by Hefty. These vibrant disposable plates carry the Hefty tradition of being super strong, while donning some of the Waverly prints that have become synonymous with American style.
You can find this fun and colorful collection of tableware at Walmart and your local grocery store.
From ice cube trays and a white wine chiller, to several healthy frozen dinners and a couple delicious homemade treats from mom, my freezer is stocked and lacking any spare room. As with any tight space such as this, I am always on the lookout for multifunctional products that are not only more efficient, but help me maximize my space as well. That is why I happily welcome one of my latest product discoveries – the IceOrb from Fusion Brands.
The IceOrb is the first vertical ice tray that will do everything from make ice to hold a chilled dip. To help you get as excited about its multifunctional capabilities as I am, here are some key facts you should know:
- Makes 21 cubes of ice on a vertical wall
- Stores up to 51 cubes – airtight and odor free
- Chills wine and other beverages in a bottle
- Use as a cooler to keep cold foods fresh while serving
Watch the video below to see it in action…
Fusion Brands: IceOrb
Christmas and New Year’s are almost here, which means the wine will most likely start flowing a bit more freely. And, while we all love the wine being poured into our glass, we don’t really love the drips and run-away drops that glide down the bottle onto the tablecloth or counter.
To help you save those little drips and make sure that every delicious drop gets into your glass, head out to your nearest BedBath&Beyond and pick up this sleek and sophisticated wine stopper/pourer from OXO. This nifty little gadget helps any host/hostess or avid wino accomplish the following important things…
- Reducing drips and spills while pouring the wine to help keep your tablecloth clean of deep red dots throughout dinner
- Creating an even and consistent flow, as well as aerating the wine while pouring it to ensure that your taste buds get the best experience
- Sealing the bottle for short-term storage with the easy to use lever to make sure that the wine stays as fresh as possible
This little gadget will not only save you some agony during the clean-up process by keeping your tablecloth free of wine stains this holiday, but it also serves as a perfect stocking stuffer for your fellow wino.
P.S. – Remember to drink responsibly this holiday season, and on every other occasion.
OXO wine stopper/pourer
The holidays are around the corner and your shopping is almost done, but you still haven’t taken the time to sit down and write out the holiday greeting cards that mom insists should be sent. Secretly, you are probably hoping that Santa’s elves will come and take care of it for you, as you still don’t know when you will fit in writing and addressing those thirty, sixty or one hundred cards.
My favorite solution to this dilemma at holiday time, or any other time of year that you require greeting cards or invitations, is Paperless Post. This convenient, affordable, easy-to-use, green service allows you to create beautiful custom cards online in minutes. However, these are not your typical online cards, as they are designed to look like beautiful, hand-made stationary and are free of advertisements and pop-ups. Their unique designs and luxurious feel keeps these cards personal.
For $12 you can send 150 cards or invitations to the most important people on your list and confidently know that they will be delivered. The online Post Box in your account allows you to track each card’s delivery to ensure it was delivered successfully, and even allows you to receive personal messages from the recipient.
So, make mom happy and send out those cards, but check out Paperless Post and use the time that you saved to attend another holiday party.
Now that Thanksgiving has passed and Cyber Monday is upon us, it seems like the perfect time to start talking about gift ideas for the upcoming holidays. Over the next several weeks I’ll point out some great gifts for everyone on your list so that you can help keep them organized and stylized.
First up on the list is an item that will not only make a great gift for others, but is also a must have for those of us who love to entertain. Whether you are serving olives or pistachios, the Double Dish from Joseph Joseph is the perfect solution to your woes about how to serve snacks with shells or pits. The Double Dish has a built-in place to dispose of the unsightly remnants of yummy snacks such as olives, edamame and pistachios (just to name a few). It not only helps to keep your table neat by hiding the snack remnants, but it also helps save you space since you won’t have to put out a second bowl to catch those nasty remnants.
So whether you are planning your own party, or looking for the perfect gift for the party planner, think about picking up one of these genius little bowls from Joseph Joseph so you don’t ever have to question whether or not to serve those delicious olives ever again.
The Double Dish by Joseph Joseph
Planning a menu for entertaining can be a stressful task. From the food allergies and preferences of your guests, to how the entire menu will blend together, there are so many things that you need to take into consideration.
One of the things that I like to advise my clients to do is to plan their menu at least a week ahead of time and consider the amount of preparation that is involved with each item. Try to work with recipes that allow for some advanced preparation. The last thing you want is to be stuck in the kitchen once your guests have arrived, or stressed out about not having enough time to prepare everything. While offering great food is of the utmost importance, you want to be sure that you get to enjoy time with your guests and share in the fun. I also suggest not spreading yourself too thin. If you don’t know your way around the kitchen very well, the holidays are not the time to try to master the culinary arts. In other words, stick to more simple dishes. It will make entertaining much less stressful for you, and I promise your guests will be just as impressed with what you serve.
If you haven’t planned your Thanksgiving menu yet, set a goal to have your menu outlined by the end of this weekend. In addition, take a quick inventory check of your ingredients to make sure you have all of the necessary items on hand for the big day.
P.S. – Keep inexpensive or disposable containers handy just in case you want to send your guests home with some yummy leftover goodies.