Tag Archives: guide

The Cookbook Gift Guide That Covers EVERYONE You Know

Everyone at BA loved Almonds, Anchovies, and Pancetta, the tiny but mighty cookbook that uses three simple, fatty ingredients in exceptional ways. At our cookbook club dinner, the standout recipes were cucumber and green tomato salad with avocado, fish sauce, cilantro, and lime; almond butter cookies with chocolate; Bagna cauda salad with optional truffle upgrade; spicy almond crack; and the pork meatballs with farro, hazelnuts, and sage. The recipes are fab, and that’s what we’re here for, but the writing is so damn funny you’ll want to read it cover-to-cover while snacking on toast bites with basil, anchovy, sambal oelek, and a single peanut (a “fucked-up Frankensnack”). Salty fishes forever!

Buy it: Almonds, Anchovies, and Pancetta: A Vegetarian Cookbook, Kind Of, $18 on Amazon

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Basically Gift Guide 2018: The Cheap, Chic Glassware You Need for Your Next Party

I’ve flown first class exactly one time. (Don’t look at me like that, it was a free upgrade!) And while getting to board first and all that extra legroom certainly didn’t suck, those luxuries paled in comparison to one small, simple gesture: When I ordered a gin and tonic, it was served to me in a real glass. An actual glass! Made of glass! I was sipping an alcoholic beverage from a clear vessel made out of melted sand at 30,000 feet. I felt like A Million Dollars.

And you know who else will feel like A Million Dollars? All of your friends when you invite them over to your house for a party and have real glasses for them to pour their beverages into instead of a stack of disposable plastic cups. And no, I’m not talking about the random assortment of branded pint glasses you stole from bars in college—nice glasses, ones that match and feel good to hold in your hand and aren’t too big or too small. It’s classy! It’s grown-up! It’s better for the environment! And before you groan about being asked to buy more stuff, just relax: The glasses you’re looking for are affordable enough to buy in quantity, durable enough to survive a party, and low-profile, meaning they’re easy to stash on a high shelf until you need them again. Where can you find glasses that fit this description? Well, right here, of course! Here are six options you should buy right now.

Basically GiftGuide Picardie Clear Tumbler

Chelsie Craig

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: When it comes to durable, stackable, iconic glassware, Duralex is the reigning champ. These simple cafe glasses will never go out of style, and we’d love to see even your clumsiest friend try to break one.

Basically GiftGuide BormioliRoccoBodega Glassware

Chelsie Craig

Sleek, stackable, and easy to love, the Bormioli Rocco Bodgea Modern Red Wine Glasses from West Elm feel about 100 percent fancier than any two-buck-a-pop glass should. Bonus: They’re low-profile enough that they can do double duty as bowls for olives or ramekins for individual puddings.

Basically GiftGuide IKEA Godis Glassware

Chelsie Craig

Sturdy, no-nonsense, restaurant supply store-chic. We’re big fans of red wine that tastes like juice, so what better vessel to drink it out of than a sturdy little diner-style juice glass?

Basically GiftGuide UnieTumblers

Chelsie Craig

Like the Libbey juice glasses above, but fashion. A bit taller, a bit more sophisticated, these are the glasses your cool aunt who sometimes bums you cigarettes after Thanksgiving dinner has in her loft.

Basically GiftGuide HeavyBaseJuiceGlass

Chelsie Craig

The. Price. Is. Right. Daaaaamn, IKEA! Back at it again with the inexplicably-cheap version of the thing you can get for more-expensive elsewhere! These Chunky Bois may not have the same soigné as some of the above options, but if you need a lot of glasses, well, you know what to do.

Basically GiftGuide Target Stackable Short Tumbler

Chelsie Craig

At nearly 13-ounces, these simple stackable tumblers from Tar-Jay are bit bigger than the other options on this list—great if you’re pouring more on-the-rocks cocktails and craft beer than wine.

And once you’ve got enough glasses, you’re ready to upgrade your dinner party table…

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Basically Gift Guide 2018: The (Affordable!) Platters, Bowls, and Utensils You Need to Host a Proper Dinner Party

You’re past paper plates and plastic forks. By this point you’ve been cooking (and eating) long enough to know that the platters, bowls, and utensils used to serve a meal are (almost) as important as the food itself—and even more so when you’re having people over. The real-real? You need to invest in some gear if you want to up your dinner party game.

But you don’t need to have a ton of stuff! Or even expensive stuff! You can get by with a pretty lean list of dinner party essentials. Oh, you’re curious as to what might be on that list? Yeah, we’ll share. Here’s everything you need to throw the raddest dinner party your friends have ever been to:

Basically GiftGuide SaladBowl

Chelsie Craig

A Salad Bowl

Yeah, you know about vegetables. Your friends know about vegetables. So you’re definitely going to serve a salad at your dinner party. Salads are easy! And a great way to get some brightness and color on the table. The salad bowl you’re serving out of should be big. You want enough room to dress the salad in the bowl before you serve it. We like a wooden bowl with a finish, which protects that beautiful wood grain from your acidic (but delicious) dressing.

Buy It Here: Providence Wooden Salad Bowl, $49 from Williams Sonoma.

Basically GiftGuide Platter

Chelsie Craig

A Platter

Whether you spent twenty minutes or three hours on your main course, you want it to look good. Which means you want it on a platter. The world is full of platters, but we gravitate towards a simple white platter with enough of a lipped edge to contain the tasty sauces hanging out under whatever you’re serving for dinner.

Buy It Here: Black Clay Round Platter, $18 from CB2.

Basically Gift Guide PastaBowl

Chelsie Craig

A Deep Shallow Pasta Bowl

And for the stuff that a platter can’t handle, there’s the serving bowl. We’re mostly talking about pasta here. People love pasta. And we like pleasing people, so you’ll catch us serving pasta at a dinner party pretty frequently, especially something with a simple sauce that comes together quickly.

Buy It Here: White Serving Bowl, $14 from CB2.

Basically GiftGuide Serving Spoons

Chelsie Craig

Serving Spoons

Serving spoons separate the children from the adults. Sure, you could just use the fork that was placed at your seat, but having a spoon that’s big enough to serve chicken thighs and scoop up the juices below will make everyone significantly happier. Plus, your friend is getting over a cold, so let’s keep our germs to ourselves, shall we?

Buy It Here: Stainless Steel 3pc. Serving Set, $8 from Target.

Basically GiftGuide salad tongs

Salad Tongs

Remember when you put that big wooden bowl of salad on the table? Yeah, you need some serving utensils for that nutritious masterpiece, and a normal-sized fork and spoon from the depths of your cutlery drawer won’t do. Grab a pair of salad tongs to pick up those leafy greens.

Buy It Here: Olivewood 2-Piece Salad Serving Set, $24 from Crate and Barrel.

Basically GiftGuide DipBowl

Dip Bowls (parm, pesto, dips, etc.)

If you’re not dipping something into something else, you’re probably not at a dinner party. Dip bowls hold the dinner party snack hour essential: Dips. Duh. But they’re also good for accompanying sauces and toppings like pesto, chile oil, or grated Parmesan cheese.

Buy It Here: 4 Open Kitchen Dip Bowls, $12 from Williams Sonoma.

Basically GiftGuide Candle Holder

Candle Holders

Candle holders should really be called vibe holders. That’s what they do. They hold the vibes, especially when dinner is coming to a close and the after-dinner drinks are being poured. Whether you’re going for a short tea or votive candle or a tall tapered candle, having a set of matching holders makes the vibes glow even stronger.

Buy It Here: Bronn Taper Candle Holder, $6 from CB2.

Basically GiftGuide Ice Bucket

Ice Bucket

Room temperature beverages are tough to sell. Cold ones? Those fly off the shelves, which is why you need an ice bucket. Whether you’re working with a 30-rack of Budweiser or some naturally sparkling wine (or both!), you want a tub with some serious volume. And please, don’t empty all the ice in and then add the drinks. Fill the tub with drinks, give them space to breathe, and then empty the ice on top, so it fills in all the cracks.

Buy It Here: Hammered Metal Beverage Tub, $24 from Target.

Basically GiftGuide WaterPitcher

Chelsie Craig

Water Pitcher

Hydration is key. For health. For life in general. But also for dinner parties. You don’t want people running to the kitchen every time they’re feeling thirsty. Keeping a pitcher of water on the table for easy access is the professional move. A simple glass pitcher is best. If anyone needs ice, they know where the ice bucket is.

Buy It Here: Trap Water Pitcher, $14 from CB2.

Basically GiftGuide Zeppoli Kitchen Towel

Chelsie Craig

Cloth Napkins/Dish Towels

You don’t have to spring for the ultra-fancy, hand-dyed linen napkins, but you definitely shouldn’t be putting a paper towel next to the plates on your table. Cloth napkins that can double as dish towels? Yeah, that sounds about our speed. Picking up a bunch of multipurpose pieces of cloth on the cheap makes dinner more impressive and cleaning up a hell of a lot easier.

Buy It Here: 30 White Kitchen Towels, $28 from Amazon.

Want more kitchen upgrades? These cost less than 25 bucks:

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https://www.bonappetit.com/story/everything-you-need-to-host-a-proper-dinner-party

Brad Leone’s Holiday Gift Guide 2018

These gloves are not for a fancy winter wedding, but if your going ice fishing or shoveling the driveway, these bad boys are the gloves to get. I picked them up at a gas station while I was crabbing in Alaska and I’ll never not own a pair now. They’re warm as hell, and way more comfortable than any of that Gore Tex stuff, which feels like wearing friggin boots on your hands.

Buy it: Showa Atlas 460 Vinylove Cold Resistant Insulated Gloves, $14 at Amazon

 

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Ina Garten’s Guide to Hosting a Stress-Free Thanksgiving

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Ina Garten is Bon Appétit’s guest editor this week. Take a look into her pantry, read celebrity and chef odes to their favorite Ina recipes, watch her and food director Carla Lalli Music make chocolate-pecan scones, and read more from her guest-editing week here.

   

Halloween just came and went, which means Thanksgiving is already around the corner. Time to start thinking about which turkey recipe you’ll try, the sides you’ll make, and whether you’ll opt for classic pumpkin pie or switch up the dessert with something more unconventional. Does thinking about all of that at the beginning of November stress you out? Maybe you should have prepared like Ina Garten and started planning in July.

When we were hanging Garten earlier this summer, she was already well underway with her Thanksgiving menu plan. “I’m never stressed!” Hard pause. “No, of course I am,” she joked. “But a plan makes me much less stressed than I would be.”

For those of us just getting around to thinking about it now, there’s still something to learn from Garten’s process. Here, the Barefoot Contessa culled her decades-worth of hosting experience for eight pro tips for a (nearly) stress-free Thanksgiving.

1. Plan ahead

Even if Thanksgiving in July is not for you, you can still get a head start by filling your table with make-ahead dishes. “I try and gear the menu toward things that you can do mostly in advance, like blanching the green beans and sautéing them just to reheat, and getting gratins and bread puddings ready to go so they can just go into the oven the day of.” One of the menu additions she’s most excited for this year is the butternut squash gratin from her new cookbook, Cook Like a Pro, which can be prepped days in advance.

ina garten butternut squash gratin

Quentin Bacon

Butternut squash gratin, from Garten’s latest book Cook Like a Pro, can be made ahead easily—just save the breadcrumbs for the end so they get perfectly crispy.

2. Tackle your shopping in stages

A week before Thanksgiving, she suggests stocking all the staples: baking ingredients, onions, potatoes, and other items that will be able to hold up until the big day. Then, two or three days before the event, she says to shop for fresh ingredients—like green beans, other fragile vegetables, and bread—and make sure her turkey is in the fridge and ready for dry brining.

3. No carving for the crowd

For Ina, there’s only one way to cook turkey, and that’s by making it ahead. With her method, you make the gravy ahead too, pour it on a platter, and arrange slices of cooked turkey on top of the gravy about 30 minutes before dinner. “Then you can just put the whole platter in the oven so you’re not all dressed up for Thanksgiving and slicing a turkey while everybody’s watching you. I don’t want to do that, and I’m a professional cook!” She adds that the gravy keeps everything moister and hotter longer, so it’s “not cold by the time the last person eats.”

4. Don’t fuss with appetizers

Forget elaborate hors d’oeuvre—they’re just a distraction. Garten suggests putting out little things, like marcona almonds, instead. “The most I’ll ever do are figs wrapped in prosciutto or a dip that I can do in advance,” she says. “I’d rather spend my time making the meal and the desserts.”

5. Introduce some innovation to the table

“I like to do something classic and something new,” she says. One year, that meant swapping in chipotle smashed sweet potatoes that she had been developing. This year, she’s thinking about debuting her triple chocolate loaf cake with a scoop of pumpkin ice cream for an autumnal twist.

6. Don’t expect any help!

One of Garten’s worst Thanksgiving memories is the time she invited a bunch of friends to make all the dishes together at her home. “The next thing I knew, they were all in the library watching football, and I was in the kitchen making the entire Thanksgiving meal—right before dinner!” she recalled. “Never did it again. That was that.” Even if she’s still making the whole meal herself, she’d rather have the time to do it peacefully, quietly, and on her own time. If you have reliable family and friends, you can divide and conquer day of; or you can always assign out dishes for a potluck style feast.

7. Maybe just make Thanksgiving leftovers sandwiches…for Thanksgiving

Once in a while, Garten and her husband, Jeffrey, will skip hosting Thanksgiving entirely, and jump right to the good part. “One year we decided we liked leftovers so much that I made the turkey and stuffing the day before, and we had turkey sandwiches for Thanksgiving. It was really fun.” Her ideal sandwich includes turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce on toasted, buttered country bread. Now that’s the ultimate stress-free Thanksgiving game plan.