The illusion of spring has been holding steady. Notice, I don't for a minute believe that spring has really arrived. But, with that sense of the new season upon us, suddenly my appetite has been moving toward lighter food. And with the season of Lent now in full swing, we need meatless dinner party options for Friday night. So, for both of these very compelling reason, I recommend making time for a Fish Dinner Party with Friends.
Copyright 2004 Sixth&Spring Books, Photography by Jack Deutsch
I'm still seeing signs of green and smelling hints of spring in the air. Yes, the weather forecast is suggesting there might be snow next week, but I can pretend that spring is on the way, right? After all, one of the biggest signs that spring is imminent is St.. Patrick's Day, and I know that holiday is just around the corner because I'm seeing Irish Potato Candy in the stores. But instead of purchasing it, I plan to make my own, because they're always better than the store bought variety. Try it and see for yourself.
There's a hint of springtime today. A little sun is shining. A little snow is melting. Sorry, I probably just jinxed our weather. But, sooner or later, spring will arrive. And that sense of spring today is motivating me to brighten our surroundings inside, since it's still too snowy to do anything outside. One place to start is with the table top when we entertain. Find tips for presenting the meal in a more attractive way, to arranging your buffet, as well as other, subtle things anyone can do to make a dinner party extra cheery.
Tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday, or the final day of Mardi Gras. You may have already celebrated in New Orleans style by hosting a Mardi Gras Party last weekend, and now feel the need to prepare for the more austere Lenten season with another tradition, a pancake dinner. If so, here's our family's favorite pancake recipe. I've also started a Pinterest board of recipes suitable for Ash Wednesday, Lenten Fridays, and all of the other times we need to dine meatless. Follow my Meatless Meals Pinterest board, and if you have posted similar recipes, please let me know, because I'm always looking for creative meals for Lenten Fridays.
Photo ©Getty Images/Stone
A vegetable platter is one of those ever-present, ever-popular buffet items at a party. I believe the popularity may be due to a combination of factors including the "healthiness" of the tray compared to the rest of the party food served. But I think that in no small measure it has to do with the beauty of fresh vegetables. Maybe I'm at that point in winter where I am counting the days to the opening of my local farmer's market, but nothing is more beautiful to me these days than a colorful arrangement of produce. Here are my tips for making an attractive, enticing vegetable platter for your next party.
The Olympics may have closed but, luckily, there's the perfect event going on right now to distract us from missing those snow and ice loving athletes. We're at the end of Mardi Gras season, the weeks that lead up to the more serious Lenten period in the Catholic church. Before that happens, we should host a big blowout party, just like they do in New Orleans as they prepare for the serious season of Lent. This weekend would be the perfect time to host a Mardi Gras Party.
Photo ©Donna Pilato
The Academy Awards are a little over a week away - thank goodness there's something to look forward to now that the Olympics are wrapping up this weekend. Although I haven't seen all of the nominees for best picture, I've pretty much covered the majority of the films I had planned on catching. So, as a little warm-up for Oscar night, I may just turn to a few of my favorite movies for foodies to lose myself to the big screen stories, once the dramas on ice and snow have melted into history.
I don't believe gratitude should only be expressed on Thanksgiving. Why shouldn't we make the time to express our appreciation and gratitude throughout the year? And that's why I accepted the offer to review "The Grateful Table" which is a book filled with blessings, prayers and graces for every day of the year. That way, if you ever feel at loss for words, there's always a grateful thought to which you can turn. Read more of my review of "The Grateful Table." I have also started a Pinterest Board to collect table blessings and grateful thoughts which you can follow for additional inspiration.
Heart Centered Fruit Platter
Happy Valentine's Day! Even if you haven't done much to decorate for this sweet holiday, you can assemble a last minute fruit platter that sends a message to your loved ones. Here's how to assemble a heart centered fruit platter for your Valentine's Day dinner party.
Photo © Donna Pilato
Bake up a cherry pie for good ol' George Washington.
Our schools don't celebrate President's Day until next Monday, but it already feels like a long weekend. That's because I expect the weekend will begin tomorrow with snow days in the forecast. A five day weekend! Stuck inside because of the cold and the snow. If that's not a recipe for cabin fever, I don't know what is. If you have young kids and they're feeling a bit cabin feverish, you could take one of the upcoming days and have a fun and educational President's Day Cabin Fever Party, or at the very least bake a cherry pie and talk about George Washington and the cherry tree.
Photo © Donna Pilato