Monthly Archives: November 2014

New Thanksgiving Do’s

There are lots of smart…but possibly familiar…suggestions for smoothing the Thanksgiving production and presentation process. Post a list of the dishes you’re serving, so you don’t forget to put something on the table. Create a cooking schedule so everything is ready and hot together. Pull out serving dishes and utensils a day or two in advance and use sticky notes to identify them.

But here are two that were new to me, and I didn’t want you to miss them:

If you’re serving a large group at a long table, place duplicates of side dishes at opposite ends to reduce the need to pass heavy platters.

Keep floral centerpieces low enough so guests sitting around the table can see each other. A florist on The Barefoot Contessa show explained how to gauge the right height: Put your elbow on the table and don’t let the arrangement extend beyond your wrist.

A happy, hysteria-free holiday to all of you! Look for my next post on Tuesday, Dec. 2.

Flour,Flour Everywhere

I confess. I make a mess when I’m baking. No matter how hard I try to control the flour and sugar, it seems to end up everywhere.

But while making a tart yesterday, I thought of spreading a sheet of parchment paper on the counter and found that it freed me to measure ingredients without worrying where the excess would end up.

Better yet, afterward I just picked up the four corners of the paper and tossed the evidence of my indiscretions into the trash.

Home Appliance Advancements

Unless you are in the market for large kitchen appliances, you probably aren’t aware of some of the developments in stoves, dishwashers or refrigerators that could make home entertaining easier. I had the opportunity to catch up on the latest advances, while accompanying a friend to Sears and Home Depot on an appliance shopping expedition last week. Here are three of my favorite upgrades:

Stoves-Instead of individual grids encircling each burner, now the grids on some models span the stove top, allowing you to easily slide a heavy pot or pan to a back burner without having to lift it.

Dishwashers-Some now offer an adjustable shelf, which accommodates over-sized items.

Refrigerators-A few models now feature an external drawer that has a flexible setting, so you can store wine, party platters or deli meats at the perfect temperatures.

These are useful features, that were news to me. They’re tame compared to the newest smart-phone-controlled technological advancements, however. For instance, LG makes a refrigerator that keeps track of the foods inside and lets you locate recipes from the Food Network that match your ingredients! This and other time savers undoubtedly will become commonplace in our kitchens someday.