Posts Tagged ‘The Daily Meal’

Registry Basics: Knives


The second installment in our series with The Daily Meal on wedding registry basics. These are our must-have knives for the cook and entertainer’s kitchen.  Before registering, we recommend spending time in the store handling the different knives in their different makes.  You want to make sure you knife fits well in your hand and it the right size and wight for your needs. We love the heft of a Wusthoff and the precision of Shun knives, but you may appreciate the feel of Global brand or J.A. Henckels.  At this level of craftsmanship it’s a matter of personal preference. Dare to collect your favorite knives from different companies to craft your own personalized knife block.

wusthof_chefs_sltChef’s Knife- chopping herbs and lettuces for a perfect chopped salad would be impossible with out the rolling action of this kitchen staple. If we had to bring one knife to a desert island, this would be it.
8” from Wusthoff, Henckels, Global or Shun


Santoku- fantastic for slicing and precision cuts in meat, fish, fruit and vegetables.
Japanese-style Chef’s knife from Wusthof, Shun, Global  or Henckels


One bread knife- neat rounds of baguette for crostini and paper thin tomatoes are a snap with this toothsome talent.


One paring knife- for small jobs such as slicing off hunks of cheese and slices of pear to pair with your first glass of rose for the spring.


One serrated paring knife (for fruit) (Shun brand calls it a citrus knife)- peeling and slicing fruit and vegetables has never been easier with this mini, serrated wonder.

Laguiole steak knives (in bright colors)- dress up your dinner table with these classic French knives. They strike just the right balance of rustic, classic and timeless. The fun colors are irresistible.


Laguiole spreaders- these are like the Birkin bags of cheese knives. So elegant, functional and just a bit bohemian chic. These spreaders work for all your soft favorites like brie and goat cheese.


Cheese knife set- for your hard cheese plate favorites like manchego, aged jack and pecorino you need the combination of these 3 sharp cheese knives to help you guests feel at ease over your cheese platter.


Kitchen Shears- Good quality kitchen shears make quick work of showering a pasta dish with ribbons of fresh basil and opening all that pesky packaging, saving you from using your teeth to rip open a bag.

Make sure you check out our first installment in this series Registry Basics: Pots and Pans at The Daily Meal!


A & O Top 5 Dinner Party Tips


We’re excited to announce that our second feature is live on The Daily Meal.  For this feature we updated Lydia’s Dinner Party Advice into our all-time top 5 dinner party tips.  Guaranteed to make entertaining more fun!

Tell us, any you’d add?


As private chefs we spend our working hours planning, prepping and executing meals and parties for clients, but at the end of the day we’re still excited invite friends over for an impromptu dinner party. Here’s our top 5 tips for simple but fabulous entertaining, some of it gleaned from the great Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa fame.

1. Only make 2 dishes for your dinner party but make them really good.  A prefect roast chicken served alongside a fresh green salad with homemade croutons will wow your guests yet is managable for a week night dinner party.  Trust us, cooking is fun but also tiring and you have to shop, get the house ready and plan your outfit, so go easy on yourself and just cook 2 really delicious items.

2. The other dishes you serve should be entirely store-bought, like a berry pie from a local bakery, or something you just assemble together, like a simple anti pasta platter or lovely cheese plate.The store is full of delicious and simple appetizer and dessert items. Make sure you take advantage.

Easy store-bought appetizers include:
Soft goat cheese drizzled with honey, wafer crackers or bread and walnuts
Prosciutto wrapped around bread sticks
Sliced cucumber and warm pita bread with store-bought tatziki
Sliced baguette topped with blue cheese, melt in the oven and then top with a drizzle of honey
Olive tapenade and mini mozzarella balls with baguette rounds

No-bake dessert ideas include:
Store-bought pound cake served with fresh berries and lemon yogurt sauce
Good chocolate cookies (from a bakery) and fresh strawberries
Good brownies (from a bakery) warmed slightly topped with vanilla ice cream
Chocolate sorbet with this raspberry sauce
Fresh dates, clementines and good quality chocolates

3. NEVER make a dish that requires lots of last minute work.  You won’t be able to hang out with your guests if you are stirring risotto during cocktail hour!

4. Dress up your house! Set your table before your guests arrive, place fresh flowers and candles around your entertaining areas like your living room or den and make sure you have some music playing softly in the background. When guests walk into even the smallest apartment that has a pretty set table, music playing and fresh flowers in a vase it sets the mood for a fun evening. Simple white votives flickering in juice glasses and one bouquet of brightly colored blooms from the grocery store placed in bud vases around a room can make all the difference.

5. Always offer a signature drink.  This can be your “wow” factor.  A signature drink can be as simple as beer or liquor from the same region as your meal, e.g. Sapporo if you’re making Japanese, a bourbon and soda if you’re going Southern. What’s important is that it marks this night as different and sets the tone for the menu to come.  Naturally, you offer it up cold in a pretty glass as soon as your guests arrive.

Other signature cocktail ideas include:
Prosecco with a spoonful of lemon or raspberry sorbet mixed in the glass
Gwyneth’s dirty martinis
White wine sangria- fruity Sauvignon Blanc with sliced citrus fruit and a cup of lemonade all mixed in a pitcher
Bottle of rose champagne (so chic!)

The Weekend Dish: Registry Basics


Hi loves, what are you doing this weekend?

We’re waiting to see if this will be a work or play weekend.  Can you guess what we’re hoping for?

In the meantime we have exciting news to share.  From today forward you can find many of our entertaining tips and recipes in the entertaining section of The Daily Meal, the new national food mega-site.

Inspired by last week’s Black and White Wedding Registry, we’re starting with a series on registry basics.  Check out our suggestions for pots and pans and let us know what you think!

Happy weekend!


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