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Do you still have leftovers around, or did you gobble them all up this weekend in sandwiches? I definitely have to do a (few) sandwich(es), but by Saturday, I am usually ready for some new flavors. Knowing that an awesome stock is so easy, soup is often on my agenda.
After all the tastes of fall, I am quite ready for some spice.
And I love me some tortilla soup!
I make it based on my grandma’s version, with just a few tweaks.
Are you out shopping today, getting a handle on your holiday gifts? Not me, I prefer to bask at home in the comfort of delicous leftovers. This could make get out there, but lines and those stores that open at 4:00 a.m. for today – no thank you!
Instead, how about having a drawing made of yourself or a loved one – such a unique and thoughtful gift, without the fear of being trampled. Richard Haines is offering a limited time special (until December 26) – a black & white portrait for $50. You can email him a photo or visit his studio in Bushwick, if you happen to be in the NYC area.
I love getting things done with a turkey sandwich in hand.
I like presents, so I figure you do to!
In honor of this here birthday, we are doing our very first giveaway on caitlindentino.com.
These beautiful mercury glass clandlesticks come from one of my very favorite stores for gifts in NYC, John Derian. Look at the pics below – there are too many treasures here to handle.
To be entered to win these babies, just leave a comment below with your favorite store for gifts. That way I can learn new haunts in other cities.
Giveaway ends December 4 – so make sure to leave a comment before then. Oh, and yes, I will read them all, but the winner will be picked at random.
These would be welcome on any holiday table – yours or those you will be getting gifts for soon!
Being that today is my birthday, and figuring it might be time for a turkey break, let’s talk candles.
I know they are not the newest thing in birthday/party world, but I still really love the exta-long, thin tapers. The height just really makes them fun, without the obnoxiousness of those silly ones that don’t blow out. You can find them locally at many stores and bakeries, or order them online in all kinds of colors from craftedcandles.com.
Also in honor of my birthday, come back soon for an AWESOME giveaway from one of my favorite stores for gifts! Can’t wait!!
Images via Crafted Candles
Turkey, stuffing, potatoes – check! Pie, pie, pie – check! Candles, seating, wine – check!
And then Mom wants everyone to go around the table and say what they are thankful for … please pass more wine, stat! I am not exactly considered shy, but my hands get a bit clammy when everyone has to go around the table.
My vote – reading what others are thankful for. Have these cards around the living room while everyone is gathering, snacking, drinking, etc. with a few pens on hand. Designate someone (the cousin who keeps trying to invade the kitchen, wanting to help when there IS NO ROOM) to tell people to fill out the cards and collect them before dinner.
Then pass them back out randomly, and when the time comes, it is much easier to share Uncle Joe’s blessings.
Anonymity – one more thing to be thankful for.
Click here or on the image below to download the cards in all colors.
So with all the turkey talk, its easy to forget that there are plenty of other meals that need to be had before Thursday. And while its nice to think we will all fast until then, let’s face it, it likely won’t happen (at least for me anyway).
Here is a quick easy dinner that won’t take much longer than the time it takes to boil water and cook the pasta. Fregola is a Sardinian pasta, similar to Israeli couscous, but toasted and nutty. Because it has been toasted, it takes a few more minutes to cook, but is immensely satisfying without much of a sauce.
I like to mix it with roasted mushrooms and tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil and a good helping of parmesan.
It may take it bit more to find it – it is not on the shelves of all grocery stores, but it is worth the hunt. Or here is a place you can order it directly – on of my favorite haunts in NYC, Kalustyan’s, where I can get lost for hours.
If you haven’t had it, definitely give it a try … and feel free to mix it up with any veggies you like.
What are you planning to eat between now and Thursday?
With all the food, drinks and decor, don’t forget about seating. I am a huge fan of assigned seating, even for family affairs. It is a great way to make sure converstion stays following – mixing up the chatters with the shy guys. And these ideas are a snap – just using things you already have on hand.
And you don’t even need to buy place cards, just cut down a white card stock and grab a sharpie…
Artichokes have built in holders with the leaves, so just tuck the card right in.
And the X on the roasted chestnuts provides an automatic stand.
For the lady apples or small pears, all you need to do is poke a quick hole on the side of the card, and then pluck it down on the stem.
Added bonus – when these are placed on the directly on the plate, they don’t even require more table space.
Let’s be honest – the Thanksgiving table can often use a bit of color. Some of the main components of the plate are a bit bland, in color, not taste! But between the turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes, that is more than a bit of brown and beige.
So bright colors are a fun and welcome addition, like the blue table here, or how great is this purple version? But knowing that the food is the main event, there might not be much room for flowers this round. Why not spruce it up with more food?
These candles with green beans are a snap – literally! Just fit any candle you want with a rubber band and then insert the green beans. Once you have enough to cover the circumference of the candle, trim the ends so it stands evenly. Lastly, tie it up and remove the rubber band. I think a twine would look a bit better, but my trusty kitchen string filled in quite nicely.
In the spring, this also works great with asparagus!
Another way to bring color and light is with artichoke votives.
I love bringing fruits and vegetables to the table, and decorating with things other than flowers. Particularly for Thanksgiving, when we are celebrating the bounty all around us. So I couldn’t help but snap this pic at the farmer’s market – a pre-made cabbage and pepper arrangement.
I love that these cabbages look like roses.
More pics coming up with candles, place-cards and more…
Doesn’t that just look inviting? I saw this cranberry sorbet and thought that I definitely wanted to make something for Thanksgiving as a bit of a palate cleanser. Something after the turkey, but before settling into pie. Since we all know you need a break between the two.
And ginger and orange are my favorite combos with cranberry, so I thought that would make a great granita – something simple to enjoy with some Processco – almost as a digestif.