We'll drink cocktails any time of year, but it's especially festive to celebrate the holidays with a communal bowl of punch or a big batch of eggnog. These delicious prep-ahead options take the stress out of hosting a party, and fill your guests with plenty of winter cheer.
'Entertaining' on Serious Eats
The holiday season is fast approaching. Did your stomach just drop? Did your chest seize with anxiety? Did you jump up and down with gleeful joy? No matter. Whether you dread hosting or simply can't wait, we've got some crucial basics that will make your life a whole lot easier (and make your food look a whole lot better).
For the last 15 years or so, I've been more likely to stuff a suitcase than a turkey come Thanksgiving. But I have a little fantasy about Turkey Day. It involves Bill Withers singing "Just the two of us" on the stereo as a fire crackles in our little fireplace. It involves a really nice bottle of Champagne that doesn't need to be split eight ways. It involves staying home: no planes, no trains, and a meal that's meant for just us. Here's what I'd serve.
Follow the advice I offer here, and you can throw a heck of a bash without blowing all the cash you'll need for your office's Secret Santa routine.
A couple of weeks back a friend of mine asked how to poach a large number of eggs for a brunch party. Here's a secret: When poaching eggs, you don't have to cook them to-order. In fact, you can poach them up to five days in advance with no loss in quality. Not only that, but it takes just 2 minutes and zero skill to take those eggs from fridge-cold to ready-to-serve once brunch begins. Here's how it's done.
Is there a correct way to seat guests at a dinner party?
So many readers asked for my husband Joe Cleffie's meatball recipe that we had to oblige. With a few small tweaks made for foolproofing and streamlining, we're proud to present it here. This isn't the most complicated meatball recipe around—quite the opposite in fact. Our goal here is a recipe that anyone can make, no practice required, and get great results out of. I hope it inspires a thousand dinners in communities worldwide.
When hitting up the closest dim sum restaurant feels about as easy as traveling to China, creating a downscale experience at home is the answer, and the Dim Sum Classics we've been writing about all week are a great place to start. Your complete menu, after the jump!
Weekly spaghetti dinners with a rotating cast of friends and family started as an easy solution for working parents who missed having a social life. We had no idea it would tap into something much deeper.
Make outdoor entertaining easy with this fill-your-own taco brunch.
What to do if you're hosting a dinner party and your friends insist on opening a bag of chips right before dinner.
I once threw a potluck where five people brought green salad and two brought cookies. Period. Even with the revelers manage to cover the courses, the flavors are a trip around the world: Indian curry, Greek salad, Tex-Mex enchiladas, Swedish meatballs, Mama's Lasagna. The unifying theme, if any, is diversity. So what about that wine? What can you take to a potluck that'll taste good amid the noise of flavors, textures, and styles?
In the dead of winter, there's nothing better than hunkering down over a big 'ol meal with your nearest and dearest (assuming you can convince them to leave the house in the midst of yet another Polar Vortex). Then again, for those who live in more temperate climates, any day ending in "y" is an excuse to throw a dinner party. So with that in mind, we asked our editors for their go-to dish when entertaining.
I would say that everyone loves a holiday party, but that's just not true; many of them suck. Here are a few tips that should help ensure that yours is of the non-sucky variety.
Hot on the heels of an all-the-sourdough-in-San-Francisco taste test, I found myself on Wednesday afternoon with six half-eaten loaves of awesome sour dough in the kitchen with very few ideas as to what to do with them. When I'm in need of ideas, I usually head to one of two places: the bath tub or the farmers' market. Luckily for you, this time it was the latter.
With the tips I have for you today, you'll be primed to host the most awesome beer and cheese tasting party ever...and you and your guests might even learn something along the way.
If you're looking for something a little more creative than a Bellini and scrambled eggs, consider a Mother's Day celebration that forgoes the grape in favor of the grain. Invite Mom over for a beer brunch. Here's what to make and which beers to serve alongside each dish.
Uh oh. The buzzer rings. Friends are coming over to spread holiday cheer and you panic. Serve frozen dumplings...again?! You can do better than that. Print out this list of easy-to-assemble, stress-free, mostly-sub-20-minutes-to-prepare munchies and paste it to the fridge. Here are 60+ dips, hors d'oeuvres, small bites, toasty snacks, sweet nibbles, appetizers, and more festive munchies to prepare in a snap.
This Labor Day, whether you're barbecuing or camping out, relaxing in the yard or entertaining a bunch of friends, you'll probably be thirsty. Consider this your one-stop shopping for drinks ideas (and recipes!) to get you through the holiday weekend.
Is there anything more convivial than a brimming bowl of punch? Once relegated to the dusty corners of Victorian nostalgia, punch has been making a serious comeback, with bartenders creatively combining herbs, spices, and blends of alcohol and juices. The sharable nature of punch (not to mention its good-cheer vibes) makes it the perfect addition to spice up your holiday party. Here are 9 great punch recipes from Prime Meats, The Drink, and Slightly Oliver to put you in a celebratory mood.