From Michael Chiarello, this is a crazy-fun way to have a party: Just spread the hot polenta onto a heatproof table lined with butcher paper and let your guests go at it. Read more >
© Tina Rupp
Sommeliers, of course, spend a lot of their time thinking about which wine goes well with which food, or does not go well, or might go well if it weren’t Thursday, and so on. But if you ask a sommelier what wine he or she would like to drink right now, more often than not the answer is Champagne.
There’s a good reason for that: Champagne, essentially, goes with everything. It goes with salty dishes; it goes with fatty dishes; it goes with birds and it goes with beasts; with cheese it’s mighty tasty and with vegetables it is sublime; it’s ideal for celebrations and obligatory for toasts; it’s even excellent when poured on its own for no particular occasion at all. Here are some great sparkling wine options, from inexpensive to pricey, that will solve any New Year's wine issues you might have. >>
Photo © John Kernick.
Here’s what you’ll find at event planner Bronson van Wyck’s seasonal pop-up shop, through January 3, inside Manhattan’s Overbey & Dunn design store (19 Christopher St.).
His garlands often feature magnolia leaves—some are gilded and others are flipped over to show the brown underside, a striking contrast to the dark-green leaves.
Bespoke Garlands and Wreaths
For customers who bring measurements, van Wyck’s shop will custom-make wreaths and garlands from magnolia leaves and other stunning foliage to fit individual spaces. From $300.
You can pick out a tree, then have it fitted with lights and hand-painted in amber by van Wyck’s staff. From $1,250.
Tablecloths and napkins, some patterned after the tartan plaid of van Wyck’s mother’s Scottish clan, can be monogrammed in the store while you wait. From $100.
Signature Dressings and Mixers
Van Wyck bottled three kinds of salad dressings (two vinaigrettes and a Caesar) and two mixers (Bloody Mary and margarita) and hired Brooklyn design firm Madwell to create the retro labels. They are available online at vanwyck.net.
© Zubin Schroff
Having an Ashkenazi father and a Sephardic mother means the best of both culinary worlds when celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Read more >>
© Quentin Bacon
During the week before Passover begins, on April 6, observant Jews will prepare for the eight-day holiday by removing every piece of chametz (food with leavening) from their homes. Then panic will start to take over: "Oh, no, there's nothing to eat except matzo. I'm going to the supermarket to buy every product that's ever been marked with a 'Kosher for Passover' label." The result is often a kitchen full of packaged cookies, cakes, chips, gefilte fish and marshmallows (seriously, how did marshmallows ever become part of Passover?).
For a more satisfying and relaxed Passover, without processed foods and artificial ingredients, here are some delicious and unorthodox ways to restock the pantry: Unexpected Passover Food.
© Ingalls Photography
"Most people serve lamb or ham at the Easter meal," says F&W's Tina Ujlaki. "Sure you can have both, but Easter is always on Sunday, and the next day is always a school day, so you don't want to have a very heavy meal that's going to send you straight to bed afterward."
Decisions, decisions. Here, Tina weighs the options so you can plan the perfect menu in F&W's Easter Smackdown: Ham vs. Lamb.
© Stephanie Meyer
Chopped Chicken Liver
Tonight, families around the world will light two candles on the menorah. Celebrate the second night of Hanukkah with Jewish comfort foods like Andrew Zimmern’s family recipe for Chopped Chicken Liver. Though it was traditionally made by Zimmern’s bubbe (grandmother) for the Festival of Lights, the creamy, make-ahead liver spread would be a brilliant addition to any holiday celebration.
© Courtesy of The Spit Bucket
Peaceful Bottle Stopper
So for the last-minute, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, procrastinating oeno-shoppers, here are 10 little (mostly under $20) presents to nab now.
1. Moss Terrarium Bottle ($38)
I’m embracing the terrarium fanaticism that seems to have taken my hometown of Brooklyn. And what better vessel to install a mini world of moss rocks and wee figurines than a wine bottle? Package it with a bottle of earthy, herb-scented wine like a Chinon from the Loire Valley.
2. Skinner and Stevens Wine Bag ($100)
For the cartographer in every wine lover. This new company makes tote bags from maps. Choose a bag with a St. Tropez map and load it up with a couple of Provençal rosés.
3. Peaceful Bottle Stopper ($6)
It’s been such a tumultuous year and these bright wine stoppers are good reminders to seek out peace.
4. Spanish Wine Glasses ($6 each)
I’m as impressed by an elegant wine stem as anyone (these from Zalto are current favorites), but lately, for everyday wines, I’ve been reaching for short glasses like these, inspired by Spanish wine bars. They’re easy to clean, hard to break and are less hazardous next to my computer.
5. Wine Bottle Hats ($15)
Admittedly, if you’re just reaching for knitting needles at this point, you’re a little behind the game, but paired with a warming red, like Barolo, these bottle hats can work as host gifts all winter long.
6. Blind-Tasting Sleeves ($20 for 4)
Perfect for your wine geek friends who like to taste blind, these sleeves come in packs of four—good for parties or studying for sommelier exams.
7. Stemware Savers ($15 for 4)
Who doesn’t love a practical gift? These stemware savers will prevent broken glasses in any dishwasher.
8. Pinot Noir Salt ($7)
This tangy, purple finishing salt is made with Pinot Noir from Adelsheim winery in Oregon.
9. Horse Head Bottle Opener ($14)
Ok, I know this isn’t for wine, but this sturdy bottle opener will liven up any party bar. Pair it with a bottling from Francis Ford Coppola.
10. Handmade Wine Bags ($12)
Made from soft cotton and hemp fabrics, these charming wine satchels from BananaSaurusRex are cheerful and reusable.
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