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Tag: foodie

Party At Home ~ 73rd Emmys®

Party At Home ~ 73rd Emmys®

Party At Home this is the year to enjoy a big at home party with family and friends, while watching the 73rd Emmys®. Present an evening of elegance and entertainment with these party ideas and recipes.

Ben Whinshaw Governor’s Ball

Party at Home ~ Décor & Viewing Fun

Beautiful elegant floral arrangements with crystals in the center of each flower goes with this year’s glitz and glamour logo. You can contact your local florist for the best arrangements or shop the local Costco for exceptional variety of flowers. Place large pillows around the room on the floor for comfortable floor sitting during the show.

Include gold decorative items with an interesting shape or texture that will harmonize with the key art. Your party at home can include gold or shimmery fabrics from your local fabric store can create beautiful table covers, drapes around your flat screen, runners and napkins that add a pop of Emmy® gold. Sprinkle the tables with Swarovski crystals or rhinestones found at your local craft store.

Create a fancy selfie area for your party at home in the corner of the room with draping. You can print an enlarged copy of this year’s artwork or award themed selfie items. Don’t forget to #Emmys in your Instagram posts.

Party at Home ~ Viewing Fun

Print up a nomination card and have your guests fill out their predictions prior to the show starting. You can have prizes for the most correct answers overall and in drama and comedy.

You can divide guests into groups to play play a trivia game (printable trivia fact sheet) to play during commercials. The winning team earns a prize.

Prize ideas:

  • T-shirts, mugs or merchandise from a favorite TV Show
  • Go to your local party store for great themed award show items
  • A cocktail recipe book and a beautiful cocktail shaker
  • A special bottle of Sterling wine, Ferrari Trento Sparkling wine, or Ketel One Vodka.
  • A pair of wine or champagne glasses for toasting all the winners
  • Find the most elegant gifts at your local dollar store

Party at Home ~ Recipes

This is the time to enjoy fun new elegant or simple menu. Please find simple and elegant menu planning from cocktails to main course to yummy dessert below:

Grilled New School Quality American on Sourdough Bread with Tomato,
Balsamic Onion Jam, and bacon

by Chef Eric Greenspan
Yields: 4 sandwiches
Ingredients
For the sandwiches:

8 slices sourdough,

1 lb. New School Quality American, sliced in 1oz slices (substitute other
American Cheese where unavailable)

1-2 tomatoes, sliced into 8 slices

8 slices good bacon, crisped

¼ lb. butter, unsalted and softened
For the jam:

1 oz. vegetable oil

2 red onions, thinly sliced

½ cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

Salt to taste
Directions
To make the jam:
In a large sauce pot, heat the oil and sweat the onions. Add the sugar and vinegar
and bring to a simmer. Cook slowly until vinegar completely reduced, approx. 45
minutes to an hour. Add salt to taste.
To build the sandwiches:
On each slice of 4 pieces of bread, spread ½ tablespoon of onion jam. Add 4 slices to
New School Quality American cheese, top with two slices of bacon and two tomato
slices. Top with additional slice of bread.
Spread butter end to end on each side of the sandwich. Griddle on a 375 degree
griddle until crispy and golden brown on each side and the cheese is melted. Cut in
half and serve.

Candy-Popping Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Pops

by Chef Sherry Yard
Yield: 24 pops

Ingredients

8 oz. Valrhona Jivara Milk Chocolate (or your favorite)

½ cup Peanut Butter, creamy

1 cup Puff Rice Cereal

4 packets Pop Rocks (or more as desired)
Directions

  1. Melt the chocolate in a microwave bowl to 90 degrees F.
  2. With a rubber spatula or spoon, fold in the peanut butter, rice cereal and pop
    rocks.
  3. Place 1 Tablespoon of base 1 inch apart onto sheet tray lined with wax parchment
    paper.
  4. Press flat and inset lollipop stick
  5. Top stick with 1 Tablespoon additional spoonful to secure stick.
  6. Once tray filled refrigerate for 30 min – 1 hour, set.
    Note: Keeps 1 week in refrigerator
Party At Home Seven Minute Martini Classic
Seven Minute Martini Classic

Seven Minute Martini Classic Size

INGREDIENTS
6 OZ Ketel One Vodka
3 OZ Bianco Vermouth
4 OZ Water
5 Dashes orange bitters

Infusion: Dried mint, grapefruit twist, 1/2 sliced peach, hibiscus tea

TOOLS REQUIRED

JIGGER, KNIFE, INFUSION DEVICE, COUPE GLASS

STEP #1 Combine Ketel One Family made Vodka, Bianco Vermouth, water, and orange bitters in a bottle or large mason jar. Chill until ready to serve.

STEP #2 Use a vegetable peeler to cut a long, wide piece of grapefruit peel.

STEP #3 Curl and place into french press (or other infusing vessel) with dried mint, 1/2 slice peach and hibiscus tea.

STEP #4 Pour over pre-chilled cocktail into french press for serving.

TO SERVE Pour small portions of the infused drink into martini or coupe glasses every 90 seconds. Watch the flavor and presentation transform over the course of seven minute. Each infusion serves 3 cocktails. For a fresh twist try using a mint bouquet instead of dried mint. Makes 6 cocktails.

Cafe Oranje (A cocktail enjoyed at Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass this is not their recipe)

  • 1.25 oz. Ketel One® Vodka Oranje
  • 1 oz. espresso coffee cold brew
  • .5 oz. simple syrup
  • .25 oz. Kahula

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Shake with ice and fine strain into a chilled coupe glass over ice. Garnish with with 1/8 orange slice.

Here are previous taste sensations from Patina and Chef Joachim Splichal that you can make at home. Note that you can half the quantities depending on the size of your gathering and desire for leftovers:

NICK + STEFS PRIME BEEF TENDERLOIN: (Serves 12)

1 5 lbs. prime beef tenderloin
2 oz. unsalted butter
6 each thyme sprigs
4 each garlic cloves
Kosher salt & ground black pepper

Method: Preheat oven to 400°F. Season beef tenderloin with salt and pepper on all sides. Over medium-high heat in a cast-iron pan, sear beef tenderloin until golden and caramelized on all sides. Add butter, thyme and crushed garlic to the pan and baste the beef with the frothy melted butter. Once basted, place in the oven and cook until medium rare, approximately 15 minutes. The internal temperature should be roughly 125° if using a meat thermometer. Remove from the oven and allow beef to rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Party At Home Dinner Emmys® Party 4chion lifestyle
Party At Home Dinner Emmys

WHITE CHEDDAR POTATO GRATIN:

4 lbs. Russet potato, peeled and finely sliced
6 each shallot, finely sliced
6 each garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups whole milk
4 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoon thyme leaves, chopped
6 oz. White cheddar, grated
4 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated

Method: Preheat oven to 350°F. In a heavy bottomed pot, sweat garlic and shallots until soft and fragrant. Add cream, milk, salt, and thyme leaves and reduce by half. While the milk and cream mixture is reducing, peel and slice the potatoes as thinly as possible and cover in cold water to prevent browning. Prepare a 8×10 inch heavy bottomed casserole dish with cooking spray or butter. Arrange one layer of the sliced potatoes into the bottom of the casserole dish. Carefully cover the potatoes with the reduced cream. Sprinkle with the white cheddar and parmesan. Place a second layer of potatoes and again cover with cream mixture and grated cheeses. Continue this process until the casserole dish is completely full. Add one final layer or the grated cheeses and cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil. Bake the gratin for 1 hour at 350°F, remove foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes to brown the top of the gratin. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

FILIPINO BBQ CHICKEN SKEWERS (Makes 12 Skewers)

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup banana ketchup
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1 teaspoon finely minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 lbs. organic chicken thigh meat, cut into small cubes
12 bamboo skewers – pre-soaked in water for 30 minutes
1/2 cup finely sliced scallions
Banana ketchup for dipping (recipe and instructions below)

Method: Combine first 9 ingredients to make a marinade. Marinade the chicken for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Thread chicken onto skewers and brush with oil. Cook over a grill, turning as needed and brushing with reserved marinade, until charred and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to serving platter and garnish with sliced scallions and additional banana ketchup sauce alongside.

Banana Ketchup (yummy)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped Vidalia onions
2 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1 jalapeño seeded and minced
2 teaspoon finely grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 cups mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar

Method: Cook onions in vegetable oil over medium heat until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeño, ginger, turmeric and allspice, and cook about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste, bananas, vinegar, honey, soy sauce and brown sugar. Continue cooking an additional 15 minutes, stirring often. Let cool and refrigerate.

GREEN GODDESS CHOP SALAD (Serves 8)

1 cup baby zucchini, blanched
1 cup asparagus tips, blanched
1/2 cup English peas, blanched
1/2 cup edamame, blanched
1/2 cup green romanesco florets, blanched
1/2 cup shishito peppers, lightly grilled
8 each broccolini, blanched
2 heads baby artisan lettuce, leaves picked washed
1/2 cup Green Goddess dressing

Method: Prepare the vegetables as stated and cut all into bite-size pieces. Wash and dry the lettuce leaves and cut into a bowl. Combine with cut vegetables and drizzle with the green goddess dressing. Carefully toss and serve. Garnish with fresh tarragon leaves and fennel frond.

Green Goddess Dressing

2 cups watercress, picked leaves, washed
1/2 cup basil leaves
2 tablespoon chives, chopped
2 tablespoon tarragon leaves
1 lemon — zest and juice
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons crème fraiche
1 each anchovy
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 each garlic cloves

Method: In a blender mix lemon juice, mayonnaise, crème fraiche, anchovy, Dijon mustard, and garlic cloves. Puree until smooth adding a small amount of water if the mixture becomes too thick. Add the fresh herbs and lemon zest to the blender cup and carefully pulse to combine and fully mix the herbs and the pureed base.
“EMMY®” MACARONI AND CHEESE (Serves 5)

1 lb. box Dececco Ziti Cut No. 118 Pasta
2 quarts half and half
3 whole shallots, peeled and sliced
10 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 branches fresh thyme
1 bayleaf
Ground or fresh grated nutmeg
Kosher salt
Freshly ground white pepper
cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sifted flour
15 slices Vermont white cheddar, sliced very thin

Method: Cook box of pasta in 2 quarts of boiling half and half, that has sliced shallots, sliced raw garlic, thyme, bayleaf, salt and pepper, and just a touch of nutmeg. Cook the pasta 1/2 of the way, then use a slotted spoon to lay out on a parchment lined tray in a single layer and chill. Make a sauce bechamel, by adding a blond roux to the poaching liquid, and simmer for 5 minutes only. (if it reduces too much, add a touch of cream or milk). Strain thru a sieve.
Blond roux: Melt the butter in a saucepan without letting it brown. Add flour to butter and cook whisking, for 4 minutes. The color should be blond or very light gold.
Use a basting brush to paint/glaze the macaroni with bechamel, and chill. Once cold, cut into 15 equal-sized circles or squares. Place one slice of cheese on each macaroni square/circle, and stack up 3 high, giving you 5 three-layer Macaronis. Cover with plastic in the refrigerator, so as not to absorb odors.When ready to serve, place in a pre-heated 350 degree oven until hot throughout.

DARK CHOCOLATE BROWNIES WITH BOURBON SAUCE

1 & 1/3 cups butter, softened
2 and 2/3 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup baking dark cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Confectioners’ sugar, optional

Baby Bourbon Caramel Sauce:
1 cup sugar (+ 1/4 cup water)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Hudson Baby Bourbon
pinch of sea salt

Method:
For the brownie: In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs and vanilla. Sift together the flour, cocoa and salt; gradually add to the butter, sugar and egg mixture. Spread into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan.
Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until the top is dry and the center is set. Cool completely and cut into bars or squares. Dust with confectioners’ sugar if desired.
Baby Bourbon caramel sauce: Simmer sugar and 1/4 cup water on medium heat, swirling in the pan – NOT stirring -for about 15 minutes, or until a deep amber color is reached. Watch closely as not to let it burn. Turn off burner, remove from heat and slowly add cream while stirring. Add a pinch of salt and bourbon and place back on still-warm burner for another minute while stirring. Transfer to a heat-safe dish or container and let cool in the refrigerator. Drizzle over a plate of cooled, dusted brownies, or pipe a design of whipped cream onto each brownie and then drizzle! Enjoy!

CHOCOLATE CROISSANT BREAD PUDDING (Serves 4)

1/2 cup milk
4 cups cream
1 cup egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 lb. torn croissants (4 croissants 4 oz each)
1/4 cups dark chocolate chips
Icing sugar, for dusting

Method: Preheat oven to 300°F. Place the milk, cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, until just below the boil. Remove from the heat and set aside. Place the egg yolks and sugar in a large heatproof bowl and whisk to combine. Gradually whisk the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture to combine. Arrange the croissants in a 12 cm x 18 cm 1.5-litre-capacity baking dish, layer with chocolate chips. Pour over custard and cook for 25 minutes in a bain-marie or until golden and just set.

What will you be serving at your Emmys® party at home? Post your menu here #4ChionFoodie. The Emmys will be broadcast on Sunday, Sept. 19 (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/5:00-8:00 PM, live PT) on the CBS Television Network.

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Tour De Taco Tuesday ~ Phoenix AZ

Tour De Taco Tuesday ~ Phoenix AZ

Tour De Taco Tuesday Phoenix AZ is a great out of towners activity. You can take visitors on a site seeing tour of the city and enjoy some great local tacos. My nephew, Kaleb, came to visit from Illinois. We ventured out on Tuesday afternoon of eating and site seeing.

Tour Da Taco Tuesday

Tour Da Taco Tuesday City Tacos

City Tacos in North Phoenix is the first stop of the afternoon. It is funny as we each order a taco not 3 or 6 but 1. We are asked, “Are you sure?” We answer, “yes we are sure.” Kaleb order a carne asada with a white tortilla and ordered a shrimp taco corn tortilla. Kaleb ended up with a shrimp taco on white tortilla. He really enjoyed the taco even though it was a surprise. The adventure was picking out toppings from the salsa bar and watching them cook the tacos.

The tortillas are all homemade. The corn tortilla was so sweet and perfect. The addition of strong corn flavor difference from manufactured tortillas brings a real experience for taco Tuesday. City Tacos is, “fresh and authentic Mexican experience at our restaurant. We pride ourselves in making handmade corn and flour tortillas daily, in-house-made salsas, and only using CERTIFIED Angus Beef.” The attention to top ingredients makes this taco a real taco moment.  They do delivery with Grub Hub, lobby is open, and takeout is an option.

Tour De Taco Tuesday Scenic Drive

We took a side trip between North Phoenix and Scottsdale to enjoy the desert scenery and plants. Desert Foothills Scenic Drive, brings the best of natural plants and the dynamics of the Sonoran Desert. Watching the summer sky try to break open for much needed monsoon storms brings excitement and eeriness as the sun gets ready to set and the clouds appear to rise up from the ground.

Kaleb takes in the scenery and enjoys taking photos of the landscape around. We each gather a rock from area to add to our collection ( a tradition I have done since touring the US).

Tour De Tacos Maskadores Taco Shop

Next stop is a fun bright location call Maskadores Taco Shop in Scottsdale. This location was a lot of fun. You are greeted by a large well lit blue mask of the lucha libre, translated as free fight. The decor brings the maskadores front and center. It is a great location for street tacos.

The order here is a fish taco on corn with all the veggies (this does make it very spicy) and carne asada with corn tortillas. The treat here is the Mexican Coke. It is sweeter than regular Coke. Kaleb enjoyed every last drop.

The menu has authentic Mexican flavor from family recipes. Kaleb notes that the two different taco shops create a regional feel to the tacos. They are similar in set up but flavors vary from each taco shop. The lobby is opened, delivery with Uber Eats, and takeout.

Tour De Taco Tuesday Phoenix 4Chion Lifestyle maskadores taco shop
Last Drop of Mexican Coke

Tour De Taco Tuesday El Taco Santo

El Taco Santo is in Chandler. The cashier was warm and welcoming. It was like walking into your family’s kitchen on a holiday. The restaurant’s tables has a lucha libre. The business started as a food truck and the loyalty of customers has lead to locations in Gilbert and Ahwatukee with the food truck. There are plans for more locations in the Phoneix area.

The Sonora Style tacos are created with fresh ingredients including tortillas and family recipes. Kaleb ventures for a quesadilla. This was enjoyable and over filled with meat. I enjoyed the veggie taco. This is a great treat at the end of the day. As we leave there is a most beautiful sunset on South Mountain. Kaleb takes out the camera for a photo of one beautiful summer sunset in Phoenix. You can eat in the lobby, takeout or delivery with Uber Eats.

Tour De Taco Tuesday Los Taquitos

Los Taquitos is my favorite taco shop that I frequent, love the street tacos. They have a very festive decor with exception art.

Guy Fieri enjoyed the tacos here. He says, “they are some of the best I have ever had.” The family (5 sisters and a brother) have been creating these taco since 1981, while using their mother’s guidance and father’s memory.

Kaleb is at the end of eating today but the small pocket size taco is packed with flavor. I enjoyed my favorite there a grilled fish. Perfect end to the Tour De Taco Tuesday. There are four locations in the Phoenix area. There is even a happy hour each day. They serve great traditional breakfast all day. You can enjoy the lobby, takeout, or delivery with Uber Eats.

This was a great regional adventure of tacos in the Phoenix area. What is your favorite taco spot? Post your shops here.

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City Tacos (CT Tacos)

903 E Bell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85022

Desert Foothills Scenic Drive

6 1/2 miles of Scottsdale Road

Maskadores Taco Shop

15090 N Northsight Blvd #115, Scottsdale, AZ 85260

El Taco Santo

4025 E Chandler Blvd Suite 5, Phoenix, AZ 85048

Los Taquitos Comida Mexicana

4747 E Elliot Rd #17, Phoenix, AZ 85044

Making Cinnamon Rolls ~ Foodie Ellie

Making Cinnamon Rolls ~ Foodie Ellie

Making cinnamon rolls Food Ellie is excited to create grammy’s cinnamon rolls. Ellie’s favorite treat from grammy is cinnamon rolls.

Ellie comes for a summer visit to celebrate the Juneteenth and swim for the weekend with grammy. She made her first pie crust for a sweet potato pie for the family Juneteenth dinner.

Ellie’s advice is to always check the bowl for eggshells and wash up the dishes when done. She was determined to do this herself. She measured each cup of flour to be one cup ( I usually use my senses to measure for bread). It was a wonderful day baking with her. Sharing the tradition I learned from my own grandmother.

Cinnamon Roll Tradition

My grandmothers on my mother’s side were known for their outstanding baking skills. They always used all-purpose flour, white sugar, and no eggs to make cinnamon rolls. Family recipes are fun to create.

I prefer Bob’s Red Mill Unbleached White All-Purpose Baking Flour (12-15% protein). This pastry flour is perfect for creating great yeast-raised products. Today we only had Bob’s Red Mill Unbleached White Fine Pastry Flour (8-9% protein). Getting the right flour has been a difficult product to find during the COVID-19 pandemic. This flour worked out well.

I remember reading my great-great grandmother’s story gathering sego lilies and grinding them into flour to bake bread, cinnamon rolls, and creating pies. They did this after settling in Idaho from the Mid-West and food was scare. It is a make it work moment.

Cinnamon Roll Recipe

Bread Dough

6 – 8 cups of Flour

2 pkg. active dry yeast

2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup butter

1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

Filling

3/4 cup butter

Cinnamon and sugar

You can raisins or chopped nuts if you like.

Icing Recipe

2 cups powder sugar

4 tbsp softened butter

2 tsp vanilla

Milk, enough to get icing spreading consistancy

In a large bowl or Kitchen Aid, mixing bowl with the bread hook attachment. Add 2 cups of the flour and both yeast pkg. on top of the flour.

In a large pot on the stove on low add whole milk, butter, salt, and sugar heat warm to the touch.

Foodie Ellie Cinnamon Roll Brunch 4chion lifestyle
Foodie Ellie Warming Milk

Pour the warm to touch mixture over the flour and yeast. Mix well on low if using Kitchen Aid. When mixed well add

2 eggs blending after adding each egg.

Slowly add the remaining flour (this will vary each time how much) 1 cup at a time. Mix well after each addition. Increase speed on the Kitchen Aid as needed. The dough should be firm and start to pull away from the sides of the bowl when enough flour is added. Knead by hand for 12-14 minutes (stretch and pull using palms of your hands). In the Kitchen Aid mix for two minutes on setting 8. This is equivalent to 12-14 minutes needing by hand.

Food Ellie Cinnamon Roll Recipe 4Chion Lifestyle
Food Ellie Measuring out the Flour
Raising Cinnamon Rolls

Butter the sides of a large bowl. Place dough in a buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap. My grandmothers used a clean dish towel. This does create a slight crust on the dough as it rises. Let dough rise until double size about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down, let rest 10 min.

Next, roll the cinnamon roll dough into a circle, dust with flour if sticking, roll about 1/4″ thick. Brush the melted butter on the rolled out dough. Then sprinkle the cinnamon and then sugar till well covered. You are welcome to mix the butter, cinnamon, and sugar together then spread on the dough with a butter knife. Roll the dough each roll please pull towards you. Then cut in 2-inch rolls with a sharp knife (children can use a butter knife it will be a change the shape of the cinnamon roll some but good experience for them).

Finishing Cinnamon Rolls

Place cinnamon rolls in grease baking pan 9×13″. Let rise he cinnamon rolls rise until the are touching each other for about 20 minutes. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350° f until golden brown. Mix up the icing using a hand mixer. Cool cinnamon rolls until warm to the touch. Frost the cinnamon rolls. This is great to make ahead for a family Sunday brunch or holiday breakfast. Store in an airtight container.

Cinnamon Roll 4 Genteration Family Baking Tradition
Me, Great Grandma Lucy, Grandma Ruth, and Mother Eileen
1970 something

Teaching family recipes are so important in keeping the traditions and flavors alive. Taking time to recreate and creating new alterations make a life long memory that can last for generations. We enjoyed homemade pizza with the extra dough.

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The Waffle Iron for the Decades

The Waffle Iron for the Decades

The waffle iron that lasts for decades. The one I still use today comes from a yard sale in Long Beach Washington (1997), the longest beach in the world.

Hamilton Waffle Iron 4chion Lifestyle
Generational Waffle Iron

Waffle Iron Story

The request while at the beach home was waffles for Sunday breakfast. Just as we drove from a moment downtown Long Beach we find a yard sale. The Hamilton waffle iron is right for the best price of $2. It was a gem for the day if even for the Sunday meal.

This waffle iron has been around since then. It always works and makes perfect waffles. It has gone from the beach to home to the desert in a move. The children have grown and started there own families. The tradition continues with the waffle iron for my granddaughter.

Recently #FoodieEllie (my granddaughter) requested waffles for a Saturday breakfast. She said, “I am going to watch TV while you make me waffles, pleeaassee grammy.” I did take the time to make the waffles.

Foodie Ellie Waffles for Breakfast 4Chion Lifestyle

This is a perfect brunch after the 4th of July holiday weekend. #FoodieEllie loves blueberries and they can be added fresh it gives a nice squeeze of juice inside. Her 4th of July in Champaign Illinois was blueberry waffles. She found the blueberries at the local farmers market. Perfection.

Foodie Ellie Blueberry Pancakes 4chion Lifestyle
Foodie Ellie Blueberry Pancakes

Waffle Recipe

Waffle Ingredients

Here is the reciepe for a great waffle for your weekend celebration. Children will be a great help with creating this meal.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (we used Bob’s Red Mill Unbleached White All-Purpose Organic Flour), spooned and leveled
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (Difficult to find at times you can do 3/4 cup of milk with 1/4 cup of vinegar), perfect buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs (separated, whip egg whites to soft peaks fold in at the very end)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoon sour cream
  • Warmed syrup, fresh fruits, whipped cream, Nutella, or chocolate syrup. Fun to make it a selection for children and guests.
Waffle Recipe 4Chion Lifestyle
Waffle Breakfast
Waffle Directions
  • Preheat waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk buttermilk and eggs yolks; pour over flour mixture, and whisk gently to combine (don’t overmix). Gently whisk in butter and sour cream. Fold in whipped egg whites.
  • Following the manufacturer’s instructions, cook waffles until deep brown and crisp. (For a standard waffle iron, pour a generous 1/2 cup of batter into center, spreading to within 1/2 inch of edges, and close; waffle will cook in 2 to 3 minutes.) Allow your guests to top their waffles with their favorite.

Do you have a waffle iron story? Please post your response using #4ChionFoodie. Happy National Waffle Iron Day.

Enjoy.

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Emmys’® Governors Ball ~ Brilliance in Motion

Emmys’® Governors Ball ~ Brilliance in Motion

Sunday is the 71st Emmys® Prime Time hostless award ceremony. The nominees and winners will be honored with an after-party, Brilliance in Motion, at the L.A. LIVE Event Deck. This will be an evening of exceptional food, talent, and drinks. You can even enjoy a glamourous evening at home.

Home Entertaining for the Emmys®

Emmys® Brilliance Party At Home

Entertaining is such always fun. There is no better time than the Emmys®. Celebrate your favorite actor/actress, streaming shows, and mini-series.

Create a great time that involves your senses. This will engage your guests. The food is one way to really bring this to light. You can create great courses that bring all five senses to the table (recipes at the end).

Decorating is always a lot of fun. The Governors Ball is using a rich palette of eggplant purple, magenta, coral, red, and Emmy gold! These are great colors for your invitations, table accents, and backdrops use scarfs or sheer fabrics.

Add fountains for just an added touch of sound. Crystals are a perfect addition to the table setting and capture the light from candles. Farmers’ Markets have beautiful flowers to use as a nice pop of color around the room. Add extra large pillows that can be used as sitting for the guest to sit while enjoying the show.

Have the evening be the formal attire. Then make a budget for the amount one can spend on the purchase of formal evening wear. Then have a golden trophy for the winner.

Gift bags for your guests as they leave is a nice surprise. You can include a personalized label bottle of wine (in Chandler AZ Down Time Wines creates personal labels), Fuji water, Lindt chocolates, and an Emmy® of their own.

Emmys® Governors Ball Theme

This event is one big celebration covering three evenings of Emmys® nominees and winners. This menu, decor, and drinks set with the theme. “The theme of Brilliance in Motion reflects both the extraordinary talent and creativity of the people and productions we honor at the Emmys®, and the vibrant experience we’ve designed for this year’s Governors Ball,” said Governors Ball Committee Co-Chair Halina Siwolop.

Emmys® Brilliance Governors’ Menu

This year’s menu will be one worth waiting to eat until after the prime time show for the celebrities. You can create a nice dinner party with the recipes included below.

TRAY PASSED HORS D’OEUVRES
  • Mango rice paper roll
    • Rice noodles, mango, mint, basil, and sweet chili dipping sauce
  • Maine lobster, burrata, crisp capers, savory basil waffle cup
  • Yellowtail sashimi, yuzu ponzu, red plum relish, crispy wonton
  • Red wine braised short rib
    • Horseradish cream, herb crostini
  • Tomato “tartare”
    • Basil vinaigrette, savory tomato cone V VEGAN
  • Chicken croquette, smoked paprika aioli
TRAY PASSED SMALL PLATES
  • Kobe Meatball (recipe below)
    • American Wagyu beef, roasted heirloom tomato sauce, béchamel, aged parmesan, crispy basil
  • Crab Cake Slider
    • Jumbo lump crab, Martins potato roll, Old Bay remoulade
  • “Street Corn” Ravioli
    • Sweet corn polenta, lime aioli, Arbol chili tajin
  • Brussels Sprout “Frites”
  • Balsamic syrup, aged parmesan
  • Candy Striped Beet “Poke”
  • Marinated seaweed, red quinoa, white soy ponzu, pickled ginger
  • Caramelized Japanese Eggplant
  • scallion, cilantro, toasted sesame
  • Green Goddess Chop
  • Baby zucchini, asparagus, English peas, edamame, Romanesco, broccolini
STATIONS
NICK & STEFS inspired station
  • Chefs carving/
    • composing bite-sized meat onto small plates. Attendants plating/serving salad onto a small plate
  • Hand Carved Cape Grim Grass-Fed Tenderloin of Beef (recipe below)
    • Red wine sauce
    • Horseradish cream
  • White Cheddar Potato Gratin (recipe below)
    • Lots of cream, lots of butter
  • Little Gem Chopped Wedge Salad (recipe below)
    • Sweet 100 tomatoes, red onion, shaved radish, smoked bacon lardons, creamy blue cheese dressing Bacon on the side
SLIDERS N’ CHIPS
  • Chefs assembling gourmet versions of slider burgers
    • Farmers Market Pesto Chicken Slider herb grilled free-range chicken, local heirloom figs, fresh mozzarella, pesto aioli
    • So-Cal Slider Beyond Meat patty, oven-roasted tomato, dill pickle, grilled onions, “vegan island” sauce, Martin’s potato roll
  • Lettuce wrap available upon request
  • Sweet Potato Chips
  • Russet Potato Chips
  • Creamy French onion dip
  • Ginger aioli

Chef and Founder of Patina Catering Joachim Splichal returns to the Governors Ball. This is the 24th year for the catering company. This menu is a lavish tasting menu of chef-driven small plates and reinterpretations of classic dishes.

Emmys® Governors’ Dessert Menu

Why not start with dessert! This year’s dessert menu created by Frania Mendivil. She has a passion for pastry. She began in her family’s humble bakery in Mexico. The official chocolate is Lindt.

DECADENT DESSERTS
  • Mini Milk Shakes
  • Chocolate and vanilla whipped Chantilly
    • maraschino cherry tray-passed
  • Mini Verrines
    • raspberry chia seed tapioca, Lindt chocolate pot de crème
  • Butterscotch budino (recipe below)
  • Mini Chocolate Cup Tarts
    • mango passion, pistachio chocolate
  • Homemade Cookies and Warm Brownies
  • Snickerdoodle Blondie
    • caramelized popcorn, sea salt
  • Double Chocolate S’more Brownies
  • Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie

Emmys® Governors Ball Drinks

  • Every celebration needs a good set of drinks. The Emmys® Governors Ball brings Sterling Vineyards back. The selection of wine includes
  • Vineyards Napa Valley Chardonnay
  • 2017 Sterling Vineyards Napa Valley Sauvignon
  • Blanc and 2016 Sterling Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2015 Sterling Vineyards Platinum Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Blanc and 2016 Sterling Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • 2015 Sterling Vineyards Platinum Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2015 Sterling Vineyards Iridium Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Ferrari Trento Champagne & Sparkling Wine
  • Blanc de Blancs Ferrari Brut, the Ferrari Brut Rosé, a delicately harmonious blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and a glorious array of vintage offerings.
  • FIJI Water
  • Ketel One Family-Made Vodka
    • The Marvelous Mule – An unexpected global twist to the classic ginger mule that incorporates turmeric and lemongrass
    • The Dapper Dragon – A delightful sipping experience highlighted by vibrant dragon fruit, papaya nectar, and cardamom-spiced coconut water
    • The Moonlighter (recipe below) – A playful riff on the classic espresso martini with surprising notes of pineapple and banana
    • The Helmsman – An alcohol-free option with papaya, coconut and tangy citrus to please any palate
  • Don Francisco’s Coffee

Food & Beverage Facts


There is a lot of food that goes into the three-night event. Here is just a little insight into what it takes to celebrate the celebrities on Emmys® nights.
Service
20 executive chefs on-site in the kitchen each night
250 chefs each night
15 production managers each night
50 bartenders each night
600 servers each night
9 convection ovens
6 stoves
15 fryers
100 wine buckets

Food
Plated dishes, in miniature form 126,000
Single-bite size hors d’oeuvres 61,000
Maine Lobster 175 lbs
Braised Short Rib 175 lbs
Yellowtail Sashimi 175 lbs
Wagyu Beef 700 lbs
Local Fresh Heirloom Tomatoes 525 lbs
Golden Potatoes 3,500
Aged White Cheddar Cheese 630 lbs
Sweet Corn 540 lbs
Gruyere Cheese 410 lbs
Jumbo Crab 250 lbs
Organic Mangos 1,500 lbs
Chocolate Chip Cookies 7,040
Local Fresh Strawberries 525 lbs
Wine glasses 12,761
Sparkling wine flutes 11,185
Bamboo plates/boats 78,960
Bamboo forks 60,240
Bamboo spoons 19,200
Ice 17,920 lbs
Dry ice 11,500 lbs

Emmys® Recipes

Hor d’oeuvres
KOBE BEEF MEATBALLS WITH ROASTED TOMATO SAUCE AND
CREAMY BECHAMEL

Serves 16
2# Ground Kobe Beef
1# Ground Veal (can be substituted with ground pork as needed)
3 C Toasted Ciabatta bread
1 C Whole milk
2 T Ground Fennel Seed
2 T Ground Caraway Seed
2 T Garlic Powder
1 T Onion Powder
¼ C Salt
¼ C Chopped Parsley
¼ C Chopped Basil
METHOD: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. With a knife, remove the crust of ciabatta bread and tear the
remaining bread into small pieces. Drizzle the torn beard with olive oil and toast in oven until lightly
golden brown. While the bread toasts, mix the ground beef, veal, and all the dry spices in a large bowl.
When the bread is toasted and dry, remove from oven and allow to cool. Once the bread is cool enough to handle, crumble the bread into a separate bowl and cover with the whole milk; set aside until milk has been fully absorbed by the ciabatta. When the bread is fully hydrated, combine the bread mixture with the beef mixture, and add the fresh parsley and basil. Mix well by hand until fully incorporated. Form the mixture into 2oz balls and place onto a baking tray. Bake the meatballs in a hot oven until dark golden brown and fully caramelized, about 10 minutes. Once baked, immerse the meatballs into the tomato sauce completely and allow to simmer until fully cooked. Once cooked through the meatballs are ready to
eat but can be left in the simmer sauce to be served later. Serve warm with an ample drizzle of the bechamel sauce.
TOMATO SAUCE:
¼ C Extra Virgin olive oil
8 cloves Garlic, finely sliced for minced
½ EA White onion, finely diced
½ C Dry white wine
12 Leaves basil, chiffonade
1 can San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
1 t ground black Pepper
1 T Kosher salt
½ T Chili flake
METHOD: In a heavy-bottomed cooking pot, warm olive oil over low heat. Once the oil is warm add the
sliced garlic and diced onion and allow to cook for 5 minutes, stirring often to ensure the onion and garlic
does not burn. When the onion and garlic are soft and fragrant, carefully add the white wine and reduce
to ¼. After the wine is reduced add the remaining ingredients and allow to simmer, stirring often, until the
sauce is thickened and smooth, approximately 1 hour. Keep the heat on low and allow the sauce to simmer
slowly for best results.
BECHAMEL:
1 C Dry white wine
4 EA Thyme sprigs
2 EA Bay leaves, fresh if available
4 EA Garlic cloves, crushed
1 EA Shallot, sliced
1 tsp black peppercorn
¼ C All-purpose flour
¼ C Unsalted butter
½ C Whole milk
½ C Heavy cream
METHOD: In a heavy-bottomed saucepot place wine, thyme, bay leaves, garlic, shallot, and black
peppercorns, and simmer on low. Reduce the mixture to ¼ of the original volume. Once reduced, strain
the mixture and place the wine back into the cooking pot. Allow the wine to continue to reduce until
almost evaporated. Roughly chop the butter and add to the wine. Keeping the heat on low, allow butter to
fully melt and then whisk the flour into the butter and wine mixture to start the roux. Continue to whisk and
cook the roux until the smell of raw flour is gone, approximately ten minutes. Combine the whole milk and
heavy cream and slowly whisk into the roux watching for any lumps that may form. Allow to simmer for another 10 minutes, adding more milk if bechamel becomes too thick.

Main Course
PRIME BEEF TENDERLOIN

Serves 12
1 EA Prime beef tenderloin
2 oz Unsalted butter
6 EA Thyme sprigs
4 EA Garlic cloves
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
METHOD: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season beef tenderloin with salt and pepper on all sides. Over medium-high heat in a cast-iron pan, sear beef tenderloin until golden and caramelized on all sides. Add
butter, thyme and crushed garlic to the pan and baste the beef with the frothy melted butter. Once basted
place in oven and cook until medium-rare, approximately 15 minutes. The internal temperature should be roughly 125 degrees if using a meat thermometer. Remove from oven and allow the beef to rest for at least
10 minutes before cutting and serving.

WHITE CHEDDAR POTATO GRATIN

4# Russet potato, peeled and finely sliced
6 EA Shallot, finely sliced
6 EA Garlic cloves, chopped
2 C Whole milk
4 C Heavy cream
2 T Kosher salt
2 T Thyme leaves, chopped
6 oz White cheddar, grated
4 oz Parmesan cheese, grated
METHOD: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a heavy-bottomed pot, sweat garlic and shallots until soft and fragrant. Add cream, milk, salt, and thyme leaves and reduce by half. While the milk and cream mixture is reducing, peel and slice the potatoes as thinly as possible and cover in cold water to prevent browning. Prepare an 8×10 inch heavy-bottomed casserole dish with cooking spray or butter. Arrange one layer of the sliced potatoes into the bottom of the casserole dish. Carefully cover the potatoes with the reduced cream. Sprinkle with the white cheddar and parmesan. Place the second layer of potatoes and again cover with cream mixture and grated cheeses. Continue this process the casserole dish is completely full. Add one final layer of the grated cheeses and cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil. Bake the gratin for 1 hour at 350 degrees, remove foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes to brown the top of the gratin.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Green Goddes Chop Salad

Serves 8
1 C Baby zucchini, blanched
1 C Asparagus tips, blanched
½ C English peas, blanched
½ C Edamame, blanched
½ C Green Romanesco florets, blanched
½ C Shishito peppers, lightly grilled
8 EA Broccolini, blanched
2 heads Baby artisan lettuce, leaves picked washed
½ C Green Goddess dressing
METHOD: Prepare the vegetables as stated and cut all into bite-size pieces. Wash and dry the lettuce leaves and cut into a bowl. Combine with cut vegetables and drizzle with the green goddess dressing. Carefully toss and serve. Garnish with fresh tarragon leaves and fennel frond.
GREEN GODDESS DRESSING
2 C Watercress, picked leaves, washed
½ C Basil, leaves
2 T Chives, chopped
2 T Tarragon leaves
1 EA Lemon zest and juice
½ C Mayonnaise
2 T Crème Fraiche
1 EA Anchovy
½ T Dijon mustard
2 EA Garlic cloves
METHOD: In a blender mix lemon juice, mayonnaise, crème fraiche, anchovy, Dijon mustard, and garlic cloves. Puree until smooth adding a small amount of water if the mixture becomes too thick. Add the fresh
herbs and lemon zest to the blender cup and carefully pulse to combine and fully mix the herbs and the pureed base.

Dessert
BUTTERSCOTCH BUDINO

Yield: 10 portions
1 cup Dark brown sugar
½ cup water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cup heavy cream
1.5 cup whole milk
8 ea. large egg yolks
4 tablespoon cornstarch
4 tablespoon unsalted butter
Method

  1. Combine the brown sugar, water, and salt in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, place the pan on the stove over medium heat, cook until the caramel is dark, takes about 14 minutes.
  2. Standing back with caution add the cream and milk to the caramel. This will make the mixture seize up at first, but if you keep whisking and let it heat back up, it will combine. Bring the mixture back to boil, then turn down the heat to medium.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and cornstarch.
  4. Temper the caramel mixture with eggs yolks and cornstarch by adding a cup caramel mix to the eggs mixture, whisking constantly, then pour the egg mixture back into the pan.
  5. Increase the heat to bring this mixture to a boil and keep whisking as the custard thickens from the cornstarch, should take two minutes.
    6 Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter.
  6. Strain the custard through a fine strainer to remove any big lumps that might have formed and portion the custard into ramekins.
  7. Cover the ramekins with plastic wrap and chill the custard for a least 4 hours…it’s best when you make a day ahead
Cocktail
Moonlighter
Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ oz  Ketel One Vodka
  • ¾  oz Chamomile-Lavender Syrup**
  • ½ oz Cocchi Americano
  • ¾ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 oz Soda Water
  • Lemon Twist
  • Lavender Sprigs
Barware:

Instructions:

  1. Combine Ketel One, Chamomile Lavender Syrup, Fresh Lemon Juice, and Cocchi Americano in a shaker.
  2. Add ice and shake lightly. Over shaking will cause the drink to water down; do not over dilute, as we will be adding additional Soda Water.
  3. Roll in Soda Water and strain over fresh ice into a glass.
  4. Garnish with a manicured lemon twist and fresh lavender sprigs.
** Easy Chamomile-Lavender Syrup

Ingredients:

  • Strong Chamomile and Lavender Tea
  • Sugar

Instructions:

  1. Brew 1 cup of strong chamomile and lavender tea; allow to steep for 20 minutes.
  2. Remove tea bags or herbs.
  3. Measure remaining amount of brewed tea, stir in an equal volume of sugar (I have reduced sugar without much change in taste) until dissolved.
  4. Chill

What is your favorite nomination this year? Post your answer on social media using #4chionstyle.

The Livings Space furnishings will be donated to Habitat For Humanity after the event. The 71st Emmy Awards will air LIVE coast-to-coast from the Microsoft Theater at L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles on Sunday, September 22 (8:00-11:00 PM ET /5:00-8:00 PM PT) on FOX.

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Photos by Eric Reed/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images

Barbecue Time

Barbecue Time

There is nothing like a great barbecue with family, friends, and neighbors. Barbecuing techniques include smoking, roasting or baking, braising and grilling. We traveled across the US looking for the best.

Sugarfire Smokehouse Barbecue

St. Louis is known for its arch and barbecue. Today I enjoy the meal with my sister Cherie. This being a late Sunday afternoon we realize that many locations are not open, but find one near the ball field, SugarFire SmokeHouse BBQ!

This is an award-winning restaurant under Chef Mike Johnson has studied with Myron Mixon, cooked with Emeril Lagasse and Charlie Trotter. It was a great experience of community, exceptional food (sweet potatoes the best) and BBQ pork and salmon.

St. Louis BBQ is grilled then sauced instead of dry rubbing, slow cooking over indirect heat. St. Louis is the top consumer of bar-be-cue sauce. The sauce is tomato-based and sweeter. The coffee BBQ sauce is tangy and sweet. This is the top area for pork steaks.

Mission Barbecue

Williamington NC Vacation 4Chion Lifestyle d
Mission BBQ Wilmington NC

Always looking for good BBQ traveling across the country. Each area has its own special BBQ. Wilmington’s Mission BBQ is American and traditional to the area. This place brings the flavors of the region to dinner. Enjoying collard greens made with tomatoes, mac-n-cheese, and green beans with bacon, brisket and NC Style pulled pork with the vinegar BBQ (this food tradition is from original settlers, African slaves on plantations and modern ones). This is an Eastern-style sauce that is vinegar and pepper, no tomatoes. Barbecue is serious here making it all the way to state Congress to declare the official bar-b-q.

Mission BBQ opened 09/11/11 ten years after 911. There is a tradition in the 52 restaurants stops at noon on Fridays to honor the military members and stars and stripes. The decor follows this continued theme with a patriotic dining room full of tributes to those who make our country great. There is really nothing more American than a barbeque.

The staff is exceptional and gives a lot of insight into food and history.  The food is a delicious find.

Smokey D’s Barbecue

Lunch with my dad is at Smokey D’s BBQ in Des Moines, Iowa. The year of BBQ adventures and the history of each region is fun. My dad enjoys a half rack of ribs; I go for a lighter side with a veggie wrap. The menu includes great home comfort foods. The fries are crispy and seasoned. The ribs fall right off the bone. Next time I want to try the potato casserole. The BBQ meat and sauce are award-winning. The BBQ founded by Darren and Sherry Warth in a trailer in their driveway.

Bobby-Q Barbecue

I enjoy a late evening dinner with my daughter, granddaughter Ellie, son-in-law, niece, and sister-in-law in Phoenix. It is a great location with exceptional decor. The bathroom sink is in the hallway near the restroom. The ceiling is worth looking up.

The menu is extensive and a nice variety of choices. The meat is slow smoked and topped with a sweet-savory bbq sauce. The mac-n-cheese is exceptional (Ellie loved this the best) and fries perfection. It is a great evening out.

The restaurant owned by Bob Sikora, a famous Phoenician restaurateur. He brings a Memphis approach to his bbq. The meat is smoked with almond and mesquite wood and dried rubbed.

Barbecue is a tradition in this country that is thousands of years old. It is a great way to spend with loved ones.

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Memory Road Trip Heading West

Memory Road Trip Heading West

Heading west on a great road trip with my father. This is a dream journey with my father. He took me all over the west on road trips each summer. We begin in Champaign Illinois heading west on Interstate 80.

Molina Illinois

Lagomarino’s Soda and Candy Store The Best Chocolates and Ice Cream

The City of Moline sits on the banks of the Mississippi River. We stop at Lagomarino’s Soda and Candy Store. This candy shop opened in 1908 by Angelo Lagomarino, a Northern Italy immigrant. The store is the fourth generation. They have handcrafted chocolates with the finest ingredients. The store has an old-fashioned soda fountain. The soda menu includes the Green River (A Chicago drink named after the Chicago River that is dyed green for St. Patrick’s day).

Taking my father here was such a treat. He recalls the stories of going to the soda shop his uncle owned as a child. He talked about IronPort soda, a Utah tradition. It is a cross between root beer and Caribbean spices. He went for the hot fudge sundae (a surprise at the bottom was more fudge). I enjoyed a variety of hand-dipped chocolates during our road trip back west. This is a perfect place to stop and enjoy. They are the recipients of a James Beard Award.

Activities and Fun in Molina Illinois

This city is situated near the Iowa state border and sits on the mighty Mississippi River. This town is rich in history with being a part of the Underground Railroad and the home of industrialist John Deere (In 1848, he built his first Moline plow factory). There are many fun things to do here.

  • Washington Square Charles Deere built an upscale three-story five unit Italianate row house in 1890. His brother-in-law, Merton Cady, is the architect. The initial name for the complex was Deere Row and renters were said to be employees of the Deere factories.
  • Downtown murals love the Midwest and the vast varieties of murals. Molina’s downtown murals provide a view of Moline’s waterfront, as it would have looked in the early 1850s.
  • Rock Island played a large part of The Underground Railroad in Molina. This was the first stop for many slaves seeking freedom. The first state near several water sources provided transportation undercover. There is also a set of channels and tunnels underground that provide another escape route.

Leaving the mid-west I recall the experiences and beautiful people I meet. They have made a lasting impression on my life. This area of the United States provides history from slavery to the industrial age. The loss of jobs and industries is present everyday. The areas are gorgeous to visit and see. You feel the hardworking middle class that drove America into the modern world.

Iowa Road Trip

Sitting in a car all day with your father is a wonderful way to collect stories about his life. The first thing I learned is he loves to collect maps. Iowa is a great location for this collection.

Iowas Road Stops

Iowa has the best rest stops in history. You pull up to find a store, information about the area, books, and free maps. The first stop in Iowa my father returns with a collection of Iowa maps. He opens them up as we drive out of the rest stop.

Road Trip Memories

We enjoyed a day of talking about the years as a child I traveled the western US with my two brothers and parents. The summer trips to Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, and Southern Utah. My dad would hitch the camping trailer to a yellow rambler and off we would go. We saw so many natural beauties. The adventures from my childhood are endless. The time my mother lost the car keys in the sand dunes. My father lost his new fishing pole the first time he cast out at Strawberry Reservoir. This results in our fishing trip looking for the fishing pole. This is never seen again.

My father is a military retiree. He spent decades as a medic in the Air Force. He would bring back great dolls, toys, and white lunch boxes they would feed the crew. He tells his stories of going to the Philippines, Japan, Korea, and Europe. The time he spent counting hours on the cargo plane counting the hours to coming home to see the three of us fight over the white lunch box.

Smokey D’s BBQ

Lunch is at Smokey D’s BBQ in Des Moines, Iowa. The year of BBQ adventures and the history of each region is fun. My dad enjoys a half rack of ribs; I go for a lighter side with a veggie wrap. The menu includes great home comfort foods. The fries are crispy and seasoned. The ribs feel right off the bone. The BBQ meat and sauce are award-winning. The BBQ founded by Darren and Sherry Warth in a trailer in their driveway.

Nebraska Adventures

The time in Nebraska is spent traveling through various rest stops and counting up more water towers. This is a tradition my sister and I started on the way out to the Midwest in spring. Many times this is the tallest thing on the horizon. We see a total of 177 water towers on I-80 through the Great Plains.

The Great Plains is seen as little value to many traveling west in the mid-1800s. Soon many ranchers release that the Verdant Platte is of great value. Today the highway runs along this geography changing areas.

Winter Quarters, Nebraska

This location is a gathering location of the member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. A stop my father looked forward to seeing. Many members of our family stayed here as they prepared to travel west to a new home.

There is a history of death, birth, and husbands leaving to fight the Mexican American War. They crossed the frozen Mississippi River in 1846. This gave them time to gather much needed supplies to make the journey across the Plains and over the Rocky Mountains.

Some of our relatives made this journey without basic needs including shoes. Some pushed their own carts. A few did find themselves in the middle of a winter storm needing rescuing to survive. This is a free museum.

We ventured across the street to the modern temple. This is a location that is used seal families together in family forever. Off the temple grounds is a cemetery. We were able to find a few of our relatives’ gravesites.

Kearney, Nebraska

We stay for the evening in Kearney, Nebraska. It was fun arriving late in the evening and walking around to stretch the legs and enjoy a few McDonald’s French-fries.

The food for the morning is oatmeal, nuts, dried fruit, and yogurt from Aldi’s, a wonderful grocery finds in Champaign Illinois (this is a store located worldwide).

Kearney has a beautiful museum, The Archway, that stretches over the I-80. This museum is a celebration, “For over 200 years, the path along the Platte River through Nebraska, once called the Great Platte River Road, has been a road to adventure.  From the Oregon Trail era through today, the Archway’s family-friendly historical exhibit tells the story of those who followed the Great Platte River Road and helped to build America.”

Cheyenne, Wyoming

The last stop before returning to Orem, Utah is Cheyenne, Wyoming. This western town is full of fun and explorations.

Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant

We find an authentic Mexican restaurant, Guadalajara, locally owned and operated. The ambience of Mexico is felt from the decor to the menu. The food is regional as well as traditional American Mexican.

I enjoy Camarones Al Mojo De Ajo. Rincon de Guayabitos in the estate of Sinaloa. This is a beautiful community that is a beach resort. It is known for fresh red snapper and other seafood including large shrimp.

This was a great dish with large shrimp, mushrooms, and a beautiful garlic sauce. It is served on a bed of iceberg lettuce with a slice of orange. The heat and cold with a touch of sweet tang from the orange inside a warm tortilla is perfect after a long day of driving.

My father enjoys an Enchiladas De Mole with shredded chicken. The mole is flavorful with a nice hint of heat. Mole is a sauce containing up to 20 ingredients. The sauce usually contains fruit, chili pepper, nut, and such spices as black pepper, cinnamon, cumin, and chocolate.

Exploring Cheyenne, Wyoming

The first thing you notice is the town is filled with large cowboy boots. This is a fun scavenger hunt for the family through town. Local artist paints each boot. We enjoy searching for these boots.

The town is the capital of Wyoming. There is a great museum near the capital that had maps for free. We leave with a stack of Wyoming maps.

The best stop here is the National Guard base that has F-84F And C-130 Aircraft (a favorite plane of my father). My father spent 35 years in the Air Force reserves as a medic. He worked a civilian at Hill Air Force base.

This was a fun day exploring Cheyenne and all the history in this town. This town goes from dinosaurs to the frontier days, and 19th century covered wagons. There are great museums including

  • Cheyenne Depot Museum
  • Cheyenne Botanical Garden
  • Wyoming State Museum
  • Cowgirls of the West Museum

This is a wonderful town to really see the migration west and the history of settling the American west.

This was a fun day exploring Cheyenne and all the history in this town. This town goes from dinosaurs, frontier days, and 19th century covered wagons to the railway travel.

This was a great journey with my father. It was great sharing memories from his childhood, my own childhood, and creating new memories. The remander of the journey back to Arizona is my dog Hyde and I.

Kanab, Utah

Kanab is the location of all road trippers on 89. It is the center of many national parks, great river rafting, and tons of fun.

The town has a great old western movie museum, Frontier Movie Town. This is a fun look at old film sets long before green screen and animation. This is a free museum behind the gift shop in the cottonwood trees. There are so many adventures near Kanab they include

  • Hiking
    • Cottonwood Wash Narrows
    • Slot Canyon
    • Paria Canyon
    • Wire Pass
    • Elusive Wave
    • Zion’s National Park
  • Drives
    • Glen Canyon Damn
    • Lake Powel
    • North Rim Grand Canyon
    • Kodachrome Basin State Park
  • Explore
    • Coral Pink Sand Dunes
    • Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
    • Moqui Cave
    • Green River Whitewater Rafting

Lunchtime is at Big Al’s Burgers at the Junction Drive-in (Thank you Cherie for the suggestion). Must have a traditional Utah meal. I worked at a local diner Provo as a teenager. The best meal is milkshake, hamburger, and fries with a Utah tradition of fry sauce (mayo and ketchup dip). This was a lot of fun, good food, and super busy. What a great location for fun.

This is a wonderful time to explore and travel the US. It was great meeting so many wonderful people and tremendous adventures. What is your favorite vacation? Post your response with #4chionstyle on social media.

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What are the Elite Eating at Governor’s Ball

What are the Elite Eating at Governor’s Ball

This year the Governor’s Ball is the after party for the elite. They will enjoy an evening at The Ray Dolby Ballroom Hollywood & Highland Center®. The evening is shaping up to be a magical transformation.

Oscars Governor's Bars 4chion Lifestyle
Oscars® Governor’s Bars Menu

Governor’s Ball Menu

Wolfgang Puck Catering is preparing the Governor’s Ball. They will set the stage for Hollywood’s biggest night with a menu pairing glamour with innovation. The menu includes some of the classics and a few new dishes. There are vegan gluten-free desserts.

Governor’s Ball Amuse Bouche
  • Crostini of Compressed Watermelon with Citrus Feta Cheese
  • Crab Deviled Eggs
  • Avocado Tostadas with Crunch Cabbage and Chipotle Glaze (V)
  • Mini Taro Root Taco with Miso Glazed Eggplant and Smoked Soy Mushrooms (V)
  • Crostini with New York Steak, Classic Chimichurri
  • Spicy Ranch Popcorn
  • Housemade Potato Chips
90th Oscars®, Governors Ball Preview
The Academy’s® Governors Ball will be held in the Ray Dolby Ballroom
Governor’s Ball Tray Passed Hors d’Oeuvres
Governor’s Ball Small Plates
  • Caramelized Cauliflower, Golden Raisin, Lime, Labneh, Pinenut, Shiso-Za’atar
  • Frozen Golden Beets, Almond Custard, Meyer Lemon, Ice Lettuce (V)
  • Snap Peas, Asian Pear, Pomelo Salad, Cacik Cheese, Mint, Walnut
  • Compressed Persimmon, Cinco Jotas Jamón Ibérico, Burrata, Wild Arugula
  • Sunchoke and Fennel Soup, Chips, Truffle Gremolata
  • Potato and Caviar 2.0
  • Black Truffle Chicken Pot Pie
  • Winter Truffle Baked Cavatappi and Cheese
  • Pea Agnolotti, Black Truffle, Peas Shoot, Parmesan Reggiano Brittle
  • Miyazaki Wagyu Beef Ny, Carrot Vichy, Spigarello, Yuzu Kotcho Ponzu
  • Loup De Mer, Calçot Onions, Artichokes, Fennel, Romesco Salsa, Espelette
  • Nashville Hot Fried Quail, House Made Pickles, Red Velvet Waffle
  • Torchio Pasta, Arugula, Tomato, Caper Berries, Aleppo Pepper, Black Olive Oil, Basil Flower (V)
  • Austrian Ricotta Dumpling, Watercress-Pea Pesto, Lemon Brown Butter
Governor’s Ball Raw Bar

  • Served on Hand Carved Ice Bar
  • Spicy Tuna Rolls
  • California Rolls
  • Vegetable Rolls
  • Made To Order Nigiri
  • Scallop Ceviche, Black Garlic, Satsuma Tangerine Miso, Micro Herbs
  • Sea Urchin with Eggless Custard, Dashi, Unagi Glaze, Finger Lime
  • Albacore Tataki, Sweet Onions, Ginger, Momiji Chili, Ponzu
  • Oysters
  • Snow Crab Claws
  • King Crab Legs
  • Lobster
  • Shrimp
Governor’s Ball Individual & Plated Sweets
  • 24 Karat Dusted Valrhona Illanka Chocolate Oscars®
  • Ombre Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
  • Pillow Cake with Coconut Mango and Passion Fruit
  • Coconut – Chocolate Bar (V)
  • Yuzu Religieuse
  • Passion Fruit Cookie with Chocolate Chunks
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies.
  • Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Milk Chocolate and Caramelized Pecan Cookies
  • Strawberry Cookies
  • Hazelnut and Almond Brownies
  • Espresso Macaron
  • Matcha Cherry Macaron
  • Hibiscus Orange Pate De Fruit
  • Piper Heidsieck Golden Champagne Strawberry Push Pop
  • Mini Wolfgang Puck Dark Chocolate Bars
90th Oscars®, Governors Ball Preview 4Chion Lifestyle
The Academy’s® Governors Ball will be held in the Ray Dolby Ballroom
Governor’s Ball Passed Small Plates
  • Black Forest “Cherry”
  • Butterscotch Verrine with Dark Chocolate Nest
  • Tropical Pavlova with Macerated Jackfruit and Dragon Fruit (V)
  • Strawberry Ginger Cheesecake with Jasmine Gelee
Governor’s Ball Lollipops
  • Passion Fruit Cheesecake
  • Praline Almond Chocolate
  • Chocolate Oscars® with Strawberry Valrhona Chocolate
Governor’s Ball Chocolate Bon Bons
  • Chai Latte
  • Thai Tea with Young Coconut
  • Honey Jasmine
  • Earl Grey Tea Biscuit
  • Espresso Triple Shot
  • Praline Roasted Coffee Bean
Governor’s Ball Chef Stations
  • Air Bread “Sea Urchin” with Passion Fruit Caviar
  • Affogato with Housemade Ice Creams and Stumptown Nitro Cold-Brew
Governor’s Ball Vegan Sweets (made without gluten)
  • Hawaiian Superfood Spheres
  • Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
  • Cashew Vanilla Tiramisu
  • Tropical Halo-Halo
  • Sunflower Raspberry Macaron
  • Chocolate and Sea Salt Cookies
Governor’s Ball Local, ORganic AND Sustainablty

• Babe Farms
• Rising C Ranch
• County Line
• J Marchini
• Coke Farms
• Weiser Family Farms
• Pudwill Farms
Polito Family Farms
• Troy Regier
• DiStefano Cheese
• Laura Chenel
• Marin French Cheese
• Rustic Bakery
• La Quercia
• Cremenelli
• Garcia Organics
• Cuyama Farms
Heriloom Organics

Governor’s Ball By the Numbers

Governor’s Ball Numbers in the Kitchen
  • 100 pounds housemade bread and butter pickles
  • 6,500 wood-fired Oscar®-shaped flatbread
  • 3,500 sesame miso cones
  • 350 pounds Atlantic bigeye tuna
  • 300 pounds eggplant
Governor’s Ball Numbers in the Dinning Room
  • 1,500 guests
  • Team of 10 maitre d’ staff
  • 850 service and support staff
  • 13,000 glasses for beverages
  • 2,000 yards of Wine Royal Velvet and sleek Wine Satins, Textured Gold and Champagne Gold fabrics
  • • Beautiful Black and Gold Deco Dot with Black Velvet Border
  • • Ten thousand blooms from all over the world

Governor’s Ball Decor

Mark’s Garden will be overseeing the floral arrangements this year. Mark Held is creating a room of deep color and elegance for the elite diners at the event.

Held’s designs this year will feature unique floral compositions in saturated shades of deep red accented with bright gold, evoking memories of the grand movie palaces of the past. Thousands of brilliant red tulips, velvety burgundy roses, mauve orchids and dark purple calla lilies packed into a medley of mixed gold containers will line the guest tables.

MIXOLOGIST CHARLES JOLY alcoholic drink Oscars 4Chion Lifestyle b
Ancho Old FashAncho

Governor’s Ball Recipes

Eat and drink like the celebrities for you Oscar’s viewing party with these recipes.

Ancho Old Fashioned – Created by Mixologist Charles Joly

Ingredients:
1 1/2 oz Tequila Don Julio Reposado
Barspoon of Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur
3 drops Bittered Sling Arabica Coffee Bitters
1/3 oz Rich Demerara Syrup (2 parts sugar:1 part water)
Orange Oil for Mist
Orange Twist for Garnish

Preparation:
1. Stir Tequila Don Julio Reposado, chile liqueur, coffee bitters, and demerara syrup over ice.
2. Pour into an Old Fashioned glass over one large cube.
3. Mist with orange oil and place orange twist decoratively.

Smoked Salmon Oscar with Iranian Osetra Caviar on Brioche

1 loaf brioche
1 cup dill cream (recipe below)
1 lb. smoked salmon
2 oz. Iranian Osetra caviar

  1. Cut the brioche into the shape of an Oscar statuette and toast until golden.
  2. Spoon small amount of dill cream on the brioche.
  3. Layer smoked salmon on top and garnish with caviar.

Dill Cream
1 cup sour cream
1 T lemon juice
2 T shallots, chopped
1 T fresh dill, chopped

Whisk ingredients together thoroughly. Pinch of salt and white ground pepper

What is your favorite part of the Oscars®? Post your comments on social media using #4ChionStyle.

The 91st Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network at 5:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

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Screen Actors Guild 25th Celebrity Dinner

Screen Actors Guild 25th Celebrity Dinner

Screen Actors Guild (SAGS) 25th annual awards is just a few hours away. This year the ccelebrityfilledparty starts off with a toast on the red carpet, continues with the best in entertainment, and finishes with a star-studded dinner catered by Wolfgang Puck.

Red Carpet Toast Screen Actors Guild 2018 4chion Lifestyle
Red Carpet Toast Screen Actors Guild 2018

Screen Actors Guild Red Carpet Toast

SAG Award® nominee Jon Huertas (This Is Us) will join Vitalie Taittinger, Global Spokesperson and Artistic Director for Champagne Taittinger, for a toast that will herald the start of arrivals for the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards®.

The Champagne Taittinger Toast will kick-off the SAG Awards arrivals as it has every year since 2001. The family-owned Champagne House will ask actors entering the SAG Awards showroom to sign a Nebuchadnezzar (15 liter) bottle of Champagne Taittinger. For every signature, Taittinger will contribute additional funds for the Foundation’s critical Emergency Assistance program.

Screen Actors Guild Beautiful Decor

The Silver Anniversary arrangements, created by CJ Matsumoto & Sons, inspiration is the harmony of a much-loved garden, expressed with a simple monochromatic palette of burgundies. Green highlights accentuate the marriage of burgundies with their silver containers.

The event flowers after the event they will deliver over 100 petite arrangements to victims of sexual violence and domestic abuse at local women’s shelters and emergency treatment centers.  

Screen Actors Guild Viewing Party Ideas

This is a great list of ideas for your guest to enjoy viewing the SAGS together. There is a viewing party at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants (recipes included below).

Selfie Props

You will want to take selfies for the evening for sure. Here is a link for great props and one for the SAG statue for the evening. You can create your own silver carpet with Reynolds Wrap®.

Have the opportunity to gather your guests together before the show starts to fill in their own ballots. You can provide a great award for the winner.

The show starts hand out the bingo cards and have a set of prizes for the first bingo, filling in a t, creating an x, and blackout.

Screen Actors Guild Cocktails 4chion lifestyle
Screen Actors Guild Cocktails 2018

Screen Actors Guild Menu

This year Wolfgang Puck brings out the best for the silver anniversary celebration. The celebrities will dine and toast on:

  • Squash and endive salad with dried cherries, mustard greens, and maple vinaigrette
  • Maple and soy glazed salmon with sesame cauliflower and crispy shiso leaf
  • Grilled chicken with Meyer lemon salsa and lemon scented fingerling potato.
  • The “Happy 25th!”
  • “The Silver Anniversary”
  • “The Silver Screen”
  • A Classic Martini will also be available, featuring Chopin Wheat Vodka and gourmet blue cheese olives.

The sponsors have stepped up to celebrate the SAG Awards®, the first televised awards show to acknowledge the work of union members and the first to present awards to motion picture casts and television ensembles. These sponsors include FIJI® Water, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, Lindt Chocolates, Reynolds Wrap® and Extra® Gum. Excludsive for the celebration cocktails are Chopin Vodka® and Dorda Liqueur®.

Screen Actors Guild by the Numbers

This evening is tops for entertainment, celebrities, food, and fun. The evening will use:

  • 17,100 square feet of carpet, the traditional red being replaced this year with plush silver to commemorate the SAG Awards Silver Anniversary
  • 3,500 stems of roses
  • 1,500 stems of miniature calla lilies
  • 1,800 blossoms of cymbidium orchids
  • 1,600 Jidori chicken breasts
  • 450 pounds of Scottish farm salmon
  • 3000 endive leaves
  • 240 pounds of Meyer lemons
  • 3 gallons of Vermont maple syrup
  • 2,000 Wolfgang Puck Signature Tuna Cones
  • 3,000 crab claws
  • 3,000 cocktail-flavored macarons
  • 300 pounds of chocolate
  • 26 bottles of Chopin Wheat Vodka
  • 42 bottles of Portobello Road Gin
  • 20 bottles of Dorda Sea Salt Carmel Liqueur
  • 36 bottles of Bourbon
  • 25 bottles of Scotch Whisky
  • 25 bottles of Light Rum
  •  102,000,000 grapes to create the Artist’s Red Blend wine
  • 160 magnums of Champagne Taittinger Brut La Française at the official Post-Awards Gala

Screen Actors Guild Recipes

These recipes are servied at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants viewing parties nationwide.

Arugula, Honeycomb, Pear & Blue Cheese Salad with Warm Vinaigrette

4 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
4 one-inch x one-inch square pieces of Savannah Bee Honeycomb with 1 tsp honey
8 Tbsp Sky Organics extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
8 large handfuls arugula (about 24 ounces)
1 barely ripe pear, cored and sliced thin
6 ounces soft blue cheese
Directions

  1. Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, mustard, and 1 teaspoon honey in a small
    saucepan over low heat. Gradually pour in the olive oil and continue whisking until the
    dressing has emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Divide the arugula between four plates. Top each salad with a honeycomb square and
    equally divide sliced pear and blue cheese, then drizzle with warm vinaigrette.
Classic Tomato Bruschetta

3 pieces soft Italian bread
3 oz burrata
3 oz grape tomatoes, cut in ¼’s
1 pinch kosher salt
1 tbl white balsamic vinegar
1⁄8 tsp garlic, finely chopped
¾ tsp shallot, finely minced
1 ½ tsp basil, freshly chopped
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 cup baby arugula
½ each fresh lemon
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp Maldon flaky sea salt
fresh cracked black pepper
butter
Directions

  1. Slice bread approximately ½” thick. Brush both sides with soft butter and grill on
    both sides to make crispy and create grill marks.
  2. In a small bowl, mix grape tomatoes with 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and set
    aside.
  3. Gather bruschettas and cut evenly in half.
  4. With a small spatula or spoon, place an even, thin layer of strachiatella on each
    piece of bread.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the baby arugula, lemon, and extra virgin olive oil with
    half the Maldon flaky sea salt and a grind of fresh black pepper. Mix well until evenly
    coated. Spread evenly over the plate.
  6. Mix the tomatoes and sauce one more time and place even amounts on each
    piece of bruschetta.
  7. Arrange them over the arugula.
  8. Garnish each piece of bruschetta with the remaining Maldon flaky sea salt.
The Silver Anniversary

• Chopin Potato Vodka
• Blue Curaçao
• Fresh Lime Juice
• Club Soda
• Gold Dusted Eatable rose

Start with Chopin Potato Vodka and Blue Curaçao, and then add fresh lime juice and sparkling club soda. Topping it off is a show-stopper – a gold-dusted edible rose.

The Silver Screen

• Dorda Sea Salt Carmel
Liqueur
• Amaretto
• Half-and-Half Cream

The spotlight is on Dorda Sea Salt Caramel Liqueur, blending it with the perfect amount of Amaretto and half-and-half, then poured on the rocks with a caramel wedge garnish.

The 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, hosted by Megan Mullally and presented by SAG-AFTRA with Screen Actors Guild Awards, LLC will be produced by Avalon Harbor Entertainment, Inc. andnationally simulcast live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, 

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Elevate Your New Year’s Party with a Crowd-Pleasing Grazing Table

Elevate Your New Year’s Party with a Crowd-Pleasing Grazing Table

New Year’s Eve is just around the corner and the last holiday party. What a great time of the year. The best New Year’s Eve celebration is perfect for a grazing table with little work. This will be a great way to let the chef enjoy the evening events too. Kristen Seymour presents a step-by-step guide to the perfect party.

If you want the food at your holiday party or corporate event to be opulent and impressive—but still inviting—a grazing table just might be the answer to your culinary conundrum. And as a bonus, you probably won’t even have to cook.

This hot trend in entertaining isn’t exactly new. In medieval times, palace feasts often featured tables piled high with layers of food for guests to sample at their leisure. These days, grazing tables are more likely to feature local cheeses than, say, roasted peacock. But a year or two ago, a modern take on the grazing table began to take hold in Australia and New Zealand. Now it’s taking the U.S. by storm.

What, exactly, is a grazing table?

Typically, it’s a table (although it can also be a platter, a counter, a board, or any large, flat surface) with lots of visually appealing and accessible food. Most items aren’t contained within bowls or baskets but are instead arranged in piles that lavishly spill into each other. It’s artfully disheveled. Decadent, but relaxed. It’s a really flexible concept that can work for a wide variety of events, numbers of guests, locations, themes, and budgets. In a work setting, for instance, a grazing table is a great way to incorporate office snacks you already have on hand without the need to bring in or buy a ton of serveware and utensils.

Grazing Table New Year's Menu
New Year’s Grazing Table Menu

And if all that isn’t enough, one of the best aspects of a grazing table is the low maintenance set up, which allows the host to spend time with their guests. After all, parties are much more fun to throw when you actually get to join them. Interested in giving a grazing table a go? Here’s how to build your own for your next office party or gathering at home.

Planning for Your Party

The first decision to make is the shape and size of the table. Will it be large enough to hold everything you want to include? According to New Zealand caterer Sarah Jones, who was at the forefront of this trend, you can expect a table that’s one square meter (which is about three feet by three feet) to fully feed around 15 people and allow around 30 to graze. However, you can use layers to fit more food or add decorative elements to take up more surface area if the table you have is too large.

And don’t forget about location. Your grazing table should be situated in a way that makes it easy for multiple guests to access it at once, encouraging mingling while snacking. But you don’t want it to be in the way of traffic (or dancing!). If you’ll have small children or pets at the party, you might also want to use an elevated surface to keep snacks away from little hands and curious noses.

Now, onto the food!

With a grazing table, you don’t want to choose food only for its tastiness, although, that’s an important factor. You should also think about the aesthetics. Brightly colored fruit and veggies, breads and crackers with different textures and shapes, meat slices that can be folded artfully, and vibrant dips and sauces all add to the visual appeal of the table.

Be sure to pick up a variety of each type of food. For instance, when it comes to cheese, consider a soft Brie, a hard and nutty Manchego, and a sharp Cheddar—and then think about what would pair well with each type. This planning isn’t just for your shopping list, but also for your layout because you will want to make it easy for your guests to distinguish which cracker and spread complements the cheese they just sliced.

How To Create A Grazing Table New Year's
New Year’s Grazing Table Creation

And remember, this can be whatever you want it to be, so although the cheese, charcuterie, and crudités route is a common one, you can branch out in any way you’d like. Make big, brightly hued exotic fruits the main feature, layer your table with cakes and candies, or pick a sampling of easy-to-eat snacks from your favorite tapas restaurant. Living a healthy life? You can keep it vegan, paleo, or sugar-free, no problem. As long as you fill the space with food your guests can easily enjoy, the sky is the limit.

Creating Your Grazing Table

While it may look haphazard, a well-curated grazing table is anything but. It’s vital that you leave yourself plenty of time for the set-up process alone. Rushing to add the finishing touches as your guests arrive is no way to enhance that effortlessly chic atmosphere that a grazing table provides.

Step 1: Write out a list of all the foods you want to put out

You’d be surprised at how easy it is to forget what you’ve purchased until the party is over. A list will help you in step two. Consider whether you’ll be buying and preparing each item, or if you’ll go the corporate catering route instead.

Step 2: Plot your table

Time to decide what platters and other surfaces to put your food on. In keeping with the casually decadent feel, leave your linen tablecloth in the closet and, instead, stick with the surface of a nice, clean table, or cover it with kraft or butcher-block paper.

You can use baskets and cutting boards to organize more unruly foods, and of course, you’ll need bowls for dips or spreads. Adding a big, beautiful bowl of punch is a great way to take up space and add a pop of color, and now is the time to decide where any larger containers will go. That said, resist the urge to separate everything too precisely. You’re going for organized chaos, so just this once go ahead and let the grapes mingle with the prosciutto.

If you opt to decorate with non-food items, this is also a good opportunity to set out larger embellishments. Get creative with greenery and flowers, fresh herbs, whole fruits and veggies, unscented candles, framed art or signs, vases—anything that works with your theme and adds a bit of visual interest will increase the appeal of your grazing table.

Step 3: Use layers to create height

You can use cake stands, wine boxes, or just about anything else you have handy to add dimension to your table, but don’t use everything you have. Just a couple elements should do the trick. Place larger, more eye-catching foods—such as large cheese wheels or a pile of big brownies—on raised surfaces, and spread them out around your table. If you have large amounts of one item, such as salami slices, arrange them in two or three places around the table to break things up.

Step 4: Fill it in

Add your remaining foods to the empty spaces, making a point to separate similar items from one another. Place foods people may want to pair in close proximity (you could surround a wheel of Brie with pear slices, a crusty baguette, and a jar of fig jam, for example). The ideal grazing table will encourage people to move from one end to the other, sampling bits and bites from all areas.

Once you add your main foods, fill in the remaining spaces with handfuls of nuts, dried fruit, berries, pieces of dark chocolate, or any other small foods you’d like to sprinkle throughout. You can also scatter flowers or other decorations if you have room. Though the design is completely up to you, a traditional grazing table leaves very little bare space, so don’t be shy about adding more. Abundance is a theme that’s hard to overdo.

Step 5: Take a tour

Approach the table as if you were a guest and make sure everything is accessible (can you reach for that biscuit behind the candle without burning your hand?) and inviting. Slice a corner of each block of cheese and tear off a few chunks of the baguette to encourage guests to dig right in.

Step 6: Snap a picture before your guests dig in!

The photogenic nature of the grazing table is inversely proportional to the amount of noshing that’s been done, so ‘gram it for posterity’s sake right away.

How To Save Time And Money On Your Grazing Table New Year's
New Year’s Grazing Table Savings

Happy New Year! May you have a wonderful celebration and year filled with the best lifestyle. Thank you to ZeroCater for the collaboration and exceptional article.

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