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Posts Tagged ‘holiday entertaining’

Debi Mazar’s Holiday Dinner Party Tips

For a celebrity, Debi Mazar sure knows the keys to a simple life. Despite her Hollywood status (in addition to starring in Extra Virgin along with husband Gabriele Corcos, she’s had roles in Entourage and Goodfellas, and she is a longtime friend of Madonna), this New York City-born wife and mother of two really keeps herself grounded — no doubt in part to a Tuscan-influenced lifestyle. We recently caught up with Debi to see how she maintains that relaxed spirit during the holidays and get her tips for effortless entertaining.

When asked for her essential dinner party tips, Debi starts with the decorations. The lover of tabletop design collects vintage tablecloths, napkins and dishware. Anything goes, she says, “I’ll use pitchers as flower holders,” adding that she’ll mix and match on purpose. “My style is ghetto fab and uber-modern.” The Mazar/Corcos’ tabletop in Brooklyn is a raw piece of jade marble purchased in Italy — “My Tuscan tabletop,” Debi notes. And while it may appear their house is in tiptop shape to entertain, when pressed, Debi reveals there are a few appliances on her holiday wish list this year, especially for her NYC kitchen that’s a bit rundown: “I’d like a new stove, a new dishwasher and a new fridge.”

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3 Holiday Parties You Can (Still!) Pull Off This Year

Did holiday cheer find you a little late this year? Don’t fear: you can still pull off hosting a holiday party. Just choose one of these three easy themes.

Cookie Swap

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of a good cookie swap and it’s a great way to simplify your holiday baking. It’s an easy and affordable party to throw and so loved that it often becomes a tradition that you’ll want to bring back year after year.

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Melt Away the Stress of Holiday Entertaining

Raclette Recipe

I have a rather large family, and they all love to eat. We divide and conquer on the holidays, with different family members hosting certain holidays. My holiday to host is Christmas Day. (My mother gets Christmas Eve, the most sought-after holiday. Apparently, I haven’t earned it yet. I’m not bitter or anything.)

My wife and I visit her family Christmas morning and usually get home at about 11 am. This can make for a stressful cooking situation to say the least. But we cook simply, prep in advance and use fresh high-quality ingredients so my time is spent just making them shine. We serve a great roast coated in herbs, chunky pieces of Maldon Salt and crushed garlic; basic roasted root vegetables tossed in olive oil and thyme; sautéed greens with nutmeg; and crusty bread with compound butters. All of this food is easy to finish off quickly and tastes delicious. But when it’s time to really impress, to make the occasion special, I bring out the fermented curd, the coagulated aged milk, the king of all things edible: the cheese!

And I still keep it simple.

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Russian Quick Buttermilk Oladyi (Buttermilk Pancakes)

Buttermilk Pancakes Recipe

Not to start another competition of sorts (the Cold War is not that far behind us), but Russian oladyi (aka pancakes) get me far more excited than their American cousins. Somehow, mysteriously, they manage to feel lighter, and their diminutive size, topped with briny salmon roe and sour cream, or jam and sour cream, makes them so much more fun to eat. It doesn’t hurt that they look all festive and decorated — just what the season ordered.

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Pomegranate Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

The simplicity of a fresh salad is one of the hallmarks of all our meals. Regardless of what is on the menu, a simple seasonal salad is our favorite way to start the feast. Fresh, crisp lettuce, a bright addition of fruit and tangy vinaigrette is the perfect starter to please the palate.

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Give Thanks for Cheese

Thanksgiving Cheese Plate

My all-time favorite holiday is Thanksgiving: A day set aside to give thanks to the bounty of the harvest. Just as the weather starts to get chilly and hearty appetites are sparked, this beautiful autumn holiday rolls in with potatoes in every form, roasted squashes, Brussels sprouts, and of course, crispy turkey with heaps of rich gravy. My mouth starts to water just thinking about it.

The harvest is an important time for cheese, too. This is the time where most animals have been feeding outside on rich, full summer grasses.Their milk is the best by the time autumn cheeses roll through.

For Thanksgiving, I usually start planning about a month ahead, figuring who in my family will bring what, which farm to get our turkey from and how to get my mom to make even more of her famous poppy seed butter again. One ridiculously easy dish that always starts my families’ Thanksgiving feast is, of course, cheese.

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