[Photograph and illustration: Helen Jane Hearn] These ribs require a dry rub the day before, and after that, they bake for three hours. This means you need to plan ahead. That's okay—they're worth it. This dish works well at an...
[Photograph: Helen Jane Hearn] What's New On Serious Eats. What's simpler than peach puree topped with fizzy wine? Have some fun with this, though! Two summers ago, Helen Jane Hearn contributed ideas for setting up a Bellini bar for parties. Don't keep the joy all to yourself; have some friends over and party it up.
Please welcome Helen Jane Hearn, our new entertaining columnist. She'll chime in weekly with tips on how to host various types of get-togethers and holiday meals, with corresponding menus and last-minute reminders. First up? A make-ahead outdoor brunch.
[Illustrations: Helen Jane Hearn] This cool roasted cauliflower dish goes well with the highly spiced oven braised ribs from the elegant zombie dinner party not only because it's a mild accompaniment but also because the individual florets resemble brains.. Braaaiiins.
Rendered bacon fat becomes the base of a dressing for this hearty grain salad tossed with peppery watercress. [Photograph: Vicky Wasik] Grain salads are forgiving and flexible, and nutty wheatberries take well to all kinds of vegetables like fennel, arugula, or carrots.
Get more one-handed appetizer ideas here » [Photographs: Helen Jane Hearn] I serve with all the skewers in a bean filled jar—with the skewers anchored in the container by the beans. It makes for an impressive, easy presentation....
[Illustration: Helen Jane Hearn] Zombies are called zombies because they are seriously alcohol laden. According to the original Zombie recipe, there are the equivalent of seven and a half ounces of alcohol in a just one Zombie. This would compare to drinking three and a half cocktails made with a healthy 2 ounces of booze for each drink.
[Photographs: Helen Jane Hearn] Get the Recipes. White Peach Purée; Strawberry Purée; Raspberry Purée; Bellinis are fun to say, easy to prepare, and gorgeous to serve. Best for daytime sipping and hot weather, a Bellini bar is the perfect way to let your guests customize their drinks while you save some cash.
Cloth napkins are eco-friendly, long lasting and a worthwhile investment for your party dollar. I've had mine for almost twelve years and continue to find fresh ways to make them new. Here are three quick and easy napkin folds that don't require starch, ironing, or more than 60 seconds.
[Photograph: Helen Jane Hearn] This is the lusty, juicy classic your guests expect when you shout, "Sangria!" Fruity red wine is boozed up with brandy and orange liqueur and lightened just a bit with club soda. Macerate the fruit in the liquor ahead of time; when it's time to serve, just add the wine, soda, and ice, and you're ready to go.
[Photographs: Helen Jane Hearn] Summertime brings outside activity of a mellow sportsmanship. Here in St. Helena, we roll bocce balls, but in your town you may be tossing lawn darts or playing badminton. Three guidelines for what we want to eat while playing:
[Photograph: Helen Jane Hearn] Having a personal sangria recipe is a hallmark of the thoughtful summertime entertainer. The basics I follow include chopping the fruit, marinating the fruit in sugar and alcohol, adding wine, chilling and serving.
Throwing a dinner party to celebrate Halloween doesn't have to be candy-laden and filled with gummy spiders. This meal imagines our shambling, shuffling guests as perfectly able to enjoy an elegant meal together, great for grownups around Halloween.
Appetizers and Hors d'Oeuvres Roasted Marinated Red Peppers with Capers