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Rose Me! Selecting the Perfect Rose! | Tuesday’s Tip of the Day!

150 T A Rose Me! Picking the Perfect Rose for Occasion, or mood, at Hand!.JPG

If you’re looking for the perfect rose, regardless of what perfect may be, remember this tip! Generally speaking, the darker the hue or color, the sweeter and fruitier the rose. Of course, this is a generality, but by using that tip as a benchmark, you can gauge which will be sweeter or dryer.

For other terrific tips and hundreds of recipes, visit my website (thetabletogether.com). While there, consider “subscribing” and I will send a new tip or blog post directly to your inbox every Tuesday and Wednesday morning!

P.S. Make sure you check out my YouTube channel, The Table Together with Tiffany Lewis, for dozens of videos solely dedicated to bringing all of these fantastic tips and recipes to life!

Cheers to starting a new tradition around The Table Together!

Sincerely,

 

Tiffany Lewis

Founder and true believer in the power of bringing people around The Table Together!

 

Wonton Wrappers & Impromptu Weeknight Ravioli! | Tuesday’s Tip of the Day!

Today, we are stepping outside of the box and introducing a whole new concept when it comes to making ravioli. Wonton wrappers, readily available at most grocery stores, make for an easy replacement with your classic pasta sheets and yield the same texture and outcome when cooked. Heck, your guests may not even know! In fact, because they are so simple to use–and save time from rolling out fresh pasta dough by hand–wonton wrappers frequently make an appearance in my kitchen.

Before you begin:

  • Wash and dry your hands.
  • Make a filling for your ravioli: Open your fridge and consider the possibilities. Some of my favorite fillings are the simplest. For example, ricotta, fresh herbs, an egg, parmesan cheese, salt, and a crack of pepper is one of my favorites!
  • Make a sauce, keep it hot!
  • Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil: For faster results, salt the water after it reaches a boil.
  • Lightly flour your countertop.
  • Lightly flour a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Wonton Wrappers:

  1. Prepare the wontons:
    1. ightly flour a work surface with flour.
    2. Lay one wonton wrapper down and place a small spoonful of filling in the middle leaving a 1-inch boarder around all four sides.
    3. Using slightly wet finger tips, “brush” a thin layer of water around each side, as if you were “licking” an envelope.
    4. Place the second wonton wrapper on top, and using a fork, gently press down along the sides forming a seal.
    5. Transfer to the prepared flour dusted parchment paper, and repeat with the remaining wontons.
  2. Cook: In a large pot of salted boiling water, working in batches if needed to not overcrowd the pot, cook ravioli for 2 – 3 minutes, or until done.
  3. Sauce & Serve: Using a slotted spoon, remove cooked ravioli, and transfer directly to your sauce. Toss and serve while hot.

For other terrific tips and hundreds of recipes, like my walnut and kale pesto, a classic tomato Pomodoro sauce, or even my classic Bolognese, visit my website (thetabletogether.com). While there, consider “subscribing” and I will send a new tip or blog post directly to your inbox every Tuesday and Wednesday morning!

P.S. Make sure you check out my YouTube channel, The Table Together with Tiffany Lewis, for dozens of videos solely dedicated to bringing all of these fantastic tips and recipes to life!

Cheers to starting a new tradition around The Table Together!

 

Sincerely,

 

Tiffany Lewis

Founder and true believer in the power of bringing people around The Table Together!

Hasselback Potatoes: This Sexy Spud's Play-By-Play | Tuesday's Tip of the Day

Melissa's Produce Fingerling Potatoes | Photo: Tiffany Lewis

Melissa's Produce Fingerling Potatoes | Photo: Tiffany Lewis

Hasselback potatoes are all the rage right now! Show-stopping, jaw-dropping, spectacular “how the heck do you do that” kind of rage. The best part, although so sophisticated to the eye, is that they are easy to make and just require a few tools and steps before the oohh’s and aahh’s set in. And, if you find that your giving yourself high fives–because if anyone else was there they would be the receiving end of your excitement–I don’t blame you one bit! Now, come join me on this hasselback bandwagon and let’s get cook’n! 

Where does the name hasselback come from? Although football legend Matt Hasselbeck may enjoy potatoes, the credit goes to the “Swedes — and the chefs at Restaurant Hasselbacken, in particular — for the invention of this particular style of potato. They also sometimes go under the name Accordion Potatoes or (my favorite) Pillbug Potatoes. Whatever you call it, the result is the same: a single potato, sliced into thin wedges but left joined at the bottom, baked until the layers fan out into rounds of crispy bliss.” - TheKitchn

Definition: First of all, I should make one note…hasselback potatoes are easy to make but require a little time and patience. In summary, and in its’ simplest purest form, hasselback potatoes are sliced across the entire potato from one end to the other without your knife cutting all the way through the bottom of the potato. So, when you hold up the potato, it stretches like an accordion which is why some people call this style of potato an accordion potato. Simple enough, right?

What you need:

Fingerling Potato Medley, Melissa's Produce | Photo: Tiffany Lewis

Fingerling Potato Medley, Melissa's Produce | Photo: Tiffany Lewis

  • Potatoes: Yukon are my favorite, but russet, red potatoes and my personal favorite, Melissa’s Produce Fingerling Potato Medley, will all work just as well. The fingerling will take longer to prep as they are smaller and have to be done one at a time, but they are so darn cute you may just want to take the time!
Fingerling Potato Medley, Melissa's Produce | Photo: Tiffany Lewis

Fingerling Potato Medley, Melissa's Produce | Photo: Tiffany Lewis

  • Chopsticks! There are a few things that will make this easier and they involve taking an extra set of chopsticks on your next sushi takeout order. That’s right, chopsticks! Chopsticks are just thick enough that they will act as an aid when slicing your potatoes. If you think about it, chopsticks are the perfect–cheap–option for stopping your knife blade from cutting all the way through the potato and severing it in half.
  • Sharp Knife: This part is important as you want to cut through your potato in smooth strokes creating even width slices across. A dull knife is not only an unsafe knife, it can make it hard to cut through…remember, this potato isn’t cooked yet.
  • Patience: This may take a while, especially if you are doing the fingerlings, so pour yourself a glass of wine, tea, coffee or beverage of choice, crank the tunes and enjoy the process.

The Spud Play-by-Play:

1.     Scrub your spuds with a potato scrubber.

2.     Starting with one potato at a time, line up your chopsticks like guardrails, on either side of the potato.

3.     Taking a sharp knife, start at one end and cut all the way across the diameter of the potato stopping when the knife hits the chopsticks. Repeat these steps, spacing ¼-inch to ½-inch apart.

4.     Repeat this process with all potatoes.

5.     Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place potatoes on top.

6.     Generously drizzle oil across each potato opening the cracks to ensure oil is coating inside the slits too! Season with salt, pepper and herbs or spices of choice if using.

7.     Place in preheated 425ºF oven and roast until crispy and “done.”

8.     Remove, allow to cool and sit back as the praise comes flowing in!

For other terrific tips and hundreds of recipes, visit my website (thetabletogether.com). While there, consider “subscribing” and I will send a new tip or blog post directly to your inbox every Tuesday and Wednesday morning!

P.S. Make sure you check out my YouTube channel, The Table Together with Tiffany Lewis, for dozens of videos solely dedicated to bringing all of these fantastic tips and recipes to life!

Cheers to starting a new tradition around The Table Together!

Sincerely,

Tiffany Lewis

Founder and true believer in the power of bringing people around The Table Together

 

Stocking the Bar Cart: Celebrating New Years with all the “Fixings"| Tuesday’s Tip of the Day!

Photo by  Papereskimo  

Photo by Papereskimo 

When it comes to a festive New Year’s, its important to stock the bar cart with an element of sophistication while not breaking the bank – or countless hours of sleep. Today I offer my top tips for a fully stocked, festive and show stopping bar cart primed for your guests every wish.

Sips:

  • To keep things simple, offer a signature cocktail that is pre-mixed and only in need of a shake, stir or few ice cubes to finish. By streamlining the bar cart – remember, less is more – you minimize clutter and spillage all while keeping your costs down. If you would like to take your bar cart to the next level, keep a supply of the basics like prosecco, whiskey, brandy, vodka, and even sparkling cider from which your guests can choose from. While on the subject of sips, consider offering a hot cider or mulled wine for those looking to take off the cold chill from their commute.

Add-Ons:

  • Don’t forget tonic water, club soda and freshly squeezed orange juice or grapefruit juice as well! Bitters, cherries, orange peels, simple syrup…consider your options and have fun with it. Heck, pomegranate seeds for your prosecco is another simple and festive way to take ordinary to extraordinary levels.

Glasses:

  • Depending on available drinks, have a collection for glasses available for guests to craft their drinks in. Prosecco? Champagne flutes. Old fashioned? Rocks glass. 

Ice:

  • Use the right cube for drink. Crushed ice simply won’t do with your scant of brandy – plus it melts faster – in your rocks glass. P.S. don’t forget that ice scoop and bucket!

Napkins:

  • Always have cocktail napkins on hand. One way to help adorn the bar cart, is by using festive holiday themed napkins which are both useful and practical.

Festive Accompaniments:

  • From festive colored straws, umbrellas, fancy bamboo pics skewered with olives or cherries, or really whatever may suit your fancy, have a collection of stirrers and straws to adorn even the simplest of sips.

Equipment:

  • Cocktail shakers, stir sticks, strainers, muddlers, lemon or lime juicers, peelers…don’t forget the details because each and everyone make the difference in your overall success! 

Decorations:

  • A small vase of flowers, Glassybaby’s, bowls of gold and silver M&M’ – don’t forget the spoon – and even outlining the bar cart with fresh garland, you immediately take your cart to a whole new level with minimal effort.  

Now that you have a fully stocked bar cart, prepare yourself for an incredible evening as you cheer to 2016 and toast to 2017!

For other terrific tips and hundreds of recipes, visit my website (thetabletogether.com). While there, consider “subscribing” and I will send a new tip or blog post directly to your inbox every Tuesday and Wednesday morning!

P.S. Make sure you check out my YouTube channel, The Table Together with Tiffany Lewis, for dozens of videos solely dedicated to bringing all of these fantastic tips and recipes to life!

Cheers to starting a new tradition around The Table Together!

Sincerely,

 

Tiffany Lewis

Founder and true believer in the power of bringing people around The Table Together!

 

Giving the (Last Minute) Gift of Food | Tuesday’s Tip of the Day!

Can you believe after all these weeks of braving traffic, fighting for parking spots and long lines at the malls, Christmas has arrived? I sure can’t! Today I am going to share some of my favorite last minute “giving the gift of food” shopping tips! And at the end of the day, these ideas can apply to more than food! All it takes is a little imagination, some patience and dedication to crossing those names off your list…in 3 days.

Giving the gift of food! Last Minute Shopping Ideas:

  1. Grocery Stores: Grocery stores offer a plethora of ideas for last minute shopping! From gift cards, wines, olive oils, vinegars, finishing salts, teas, coffees, and even treasures from the specialty aisle, don’t over estimate the ease and convenience (plus late hours of operation) of your local grocery store!
  2. Gas Stations: If you are in a true pinch for time, most gas stations carry gift cards for restaurants or even local grocery stores or chains. And if that doesn’t work, a gift card to Home Depot, for example, isn’t a bad idea as maybe it’s time we start looking at that kitchen remodel after all, right?
  3. Pharmacy: From specialty nut mixes to oils, wines and candies, you never know what might line those pharmacy shelves! Plus, the lines are typically much shorter at your pharmacy store than your grocery or department stores. A much welcomed sight come the holiday mayhem!
  4. Department Stores: If you are already downtown, don’t overestimate the home-goods section at major department stores where beautiful platters, oil canisters, peppermills, mixing bowls, espresso machines, aprons, linens, and even major brands like Le Creuset and a slue of items from Martha Stewart’s collection line the department shelves. Some of them may even carry specialty candies, oils and mixes.
  5. Kitchen Stores: Stores like Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table offer everything the chef in your life loves including cookbooks, prepared sauces and mixes, spices, linens, cocktail mixers and even classes (in some locations).
  6. Restaurants: While your taking a break from all your holiday shopping, check to see if your restaurant offers a cookbook, specialty oils, spices, or even cooking classes or special tasting menus! You just never know!

Now that you have 6 fresh new ideas to consider, it’s time to start shopping and crossing those names off your list!

However you plan to celebrate this year, I hope that you find joy, love and comfort in gathering around The Table Together with those that you love!

For other terrific tips and recipes for cooking at your best, subscribe to my blog and I will send them straight to your inbox every Tuesday morning!

Cheers to starting a new tradition around The Table Together!

Sincerely,

 

Tiffany Lewis

Founder and true believer in the power of bringing people around The Table Together!