The Story of Cooking - L & L Blog
Happy Independence Day, from Ladles & Linens!
Hours: Roanoke: 10a-1p & Carytown: 10a-3p
In the meantime, enjoy a couple of last-minute tips to make the most of your holiday!
In case you haven't noticed, it's hot outside. Cakes and pies are grand, but firing up the oven on a sweltering day? Not so much. Show your loved ones that you're too cool for British rule with an Americana parfait! Zero cooking, refreshingly cool, and you can wow your guests with homemade whipped cream! Ditch the whisk (again, too hot) and try this handy cream whipper! One taste and people will know your cream wasn’t store-bought.
Enjoy fireworks without floaties – keep pesky bugs out of your drink with these silicone drink covers.
As a nation of immigrants, it's sometimes tough to find a food that originated in America. People's go-to are hot dogs and hamburgers, but they are in fact German foods, from Frankfurt and Hamburg, respectively. How to Americanize these dishes? Slather them in BBQ sauce of course! Take your grilling next level with a Himalayan Salt Block. Filled with minerals, it infuses food with a subtler and more complex flavor than regular table salt. And it can take the heat!
Have a happy fourth!
Nearly every party you attend this summer will be out under the sun. Who can resist a pool party or down-home BBQ? How can you throw a party that sets you apart? Host your friends in the evening, enjoying cool air under the stars. And what if the theme dare not involve a grill or bottle of rose? Throw an International dinner party, and wow your friends with the unexpected!
How to do it:
Have your guests show up in clothes from their native country, or from their newly-discovered DNA results! My friend Kim wanted to poke fun at her Russian lineage, so she came with a basket of vodka and potatoes, and scowled for photos.
Keep it Simple
No need to embark on elaborate recipes, though, should you feel so inclined, Ladles & Linens has an exotic list of spices. You can keep it simple. If you have a good food processor (and you should), you can whip up a batch of hummus for a fraction of the price of the tiny tubs at the store - and no cooking! Just throw the following in the food processor: one can of drained chick peas (save some water to soften the mix), two cloves of garlic, juice from a half lemon, a teaspoon of tahina sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Blend and taste until it's just right. Garnish with a shallow puddle of extra virgin olive oil on top, and dust with paprika.
To reduce stress, prep as much as you can ahead of time, with food-saving miracle products, like this guacamole keeper and Greensaver produce keeper. Expert tip: No one wants to be greeted by a stressed-out host, so drink during the inevitable last-minute hustle. These stemless martini glasses are a beauty, and less likely to be knocked over. If you've had two full drinks before the first guests arrive, it's gong to be a good night.
It's a Small World
Try to include foods from your guests' homelands. Label the dishes on printed flags for the intended country. Have a photo booth with a sign above reading, "It's a Small World" - a feel-good reminder to focus on our similarities, rather than our differences.
Let the Games Begin
You've probably noticed by now, but I'm a fan of games. Host a trivia contest about world geography and culture. The winner gets to take home a basket of International food! Your local Ladles & Linens store will be chock full of creative gift ideas! We stuffed our prize basket with Italian pasta, Greek dolmas, English shortbread, Mexican salsa and more!
For the full story on our International dinner party, click here.
And when you host your own soiree, be sure to share the photos with us - we can't wait!