This week I did an on air segment for NBC's The 10! Show in Philadelphia about hot new products in the kitchen. I always enjoy putting together these segments because in the process I never fail to gather new ideas for future segments, too. Love the decor twofers!
This time, during a trip to Pier One I came across a whole line of entertaining pieces called The Tasting Collection. It was so simple and fabulous I decided to have my own little tasting party this weekend and I think you should, too!
Living most of my adult life in Miami, we did this type of tapas style entertaining a lot. In recent years it has become increasingly more popular because it's simple and stylish, it's easy and it caters to the ever growing number of people who love good food but don't want to blow their diet and workout regimen over one big, heavy meal. Also, kitchen design overall has become much more interactive. Open kitchens are everywhere in homes and in restaurants, "cooking school" type entertaining is huge and let's be real here, it looks really cute. Open kitchen plans are one of the biggest must have requests I hear from homeowners nowadays. I am a big fan of this trend and I would bet my last dollar it's here to stay.
As a person who loves food but loves to be healthy too, I have personally embraced mini-style entertaining for years. I have to tell you, I was a 100 calorie pack devotee from day one! Different vibe, same concept. The wonderful thing is, if you want to put together an impromptu gathering of some friends, this is a really cool and easy way to get together and not dread the awful clean up. Hello, could I make this any easier for you?
You can get some shot glasses and fill them with gazpacho or tomato soup from your local market, like a Trader Joe's or a Whole Foods. Doctor them up with a sprig of cilantro, some fresh pepper and a few lime wedges and you're good. Get some grilled shrimp, some finger foods, some bruschetta, whatever. My thinking is, you can put your kids chicken fingers on cool little plates and it just looks better. My father (insert French accent here) used to say, "In France, even if you eat a piece of bread and a slice of cheese, you eat it on a dish with a glass of wine. You enjoy yourself." Smart guy.
Now, you can also give your guests guilt free desserts in a mini version. Even the most militant calorie counters can indulge. Layer whipped cream and dark chocolate chips. Cube some store bought pound cake and lemon curd. Top with a few lemon shavings and you look like a Foodie Rock Star! Lay everything out on one table, pour some drinks and enjoy yourself. You can hang out with your guests instead of slicing and serving from the kitchen all night. Getting holed up in a hot kitchen while everyone else is having fun is so lame. This isn't.
It's chic, it's simple and it's affordable. To give you a head start, go to Pier One's website, view their collection and check out a bunch of yummy recipes they have. I'll be waiting for my invite..
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