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.”
Continue Reading Debi Mazar’s Holiday Dinner Party Tips
It’s more than just alliteration; it’s a statement, a proclamation that Thursdays are when the weekend should really start. Kicking it off right is the key, and what better way than with a cocktail that not only takes the edge off, but tastes good too. A hard thing to disagree with, we know. Drink up, get down and go to sleep happy.
It’s time to embrace the holiday “spirit” as our calendars count down the days until Christmas. Celebratory and decadent cocktails are the hallmark of a good holiday party, so put down that ‘nog and whip up a unique wintry concoction that will light up Rudolph’s red nose.
This Candy Cane Martini is a sweet and refreshing mixture of vodka, fresh ginger and mint leaves, and it is the perfect, festive way to kick off the holiday season. The crushed peppermint candy that rims the chilled glasses puts the final, Christmasy touch on this winter wonderland cocktail.
Here’s to some holiday cheer! Bottoms up, folks.
Continue Reading Thirsty Thursday: Candy Cane Martini
Christmas Tree Cupcakes by Just a Taste
5 Hot Links We’re Loving:
- Looking for a jaw-dropping dessert to showcase? Just a Taste’s Christmas tree chocolate cupcakes double as both decoration and tasty treat.
- To get the party started, serve Shutterbean’s candy cane vodka and toast to the Christmas season.
- These apple cider caramels by Pixelated Crumb will not disappoint. Give them out to friends and neighbors, or just keep the whole stash for yourself — we wouldn’t blame you.
- Boozy foods: A Cozy Kitchen’s dark and stormy quick bread comes together in a flash and captures the irresistible flavors of the cocktail: spicy ginger, zesty lime and rich dark rum.
- Amp up your appetizers and make Soup Addict’s recipe for fried deviled eggs. This one is on our must-try list.
To me, the hallmark of a good holiday party is eggnog. Sweet, rich, and indulgent — the Christmas season really wouldn’t be complete without a healthy portion of this requisite libation. If the cloyingly sweet and thick store-bought stuff, spiked with nothing but too much nutmeg, has left you jaded, Alton Brown’s homemade version will convert you to an eggnog believer.
This simple and traditional Christmastime concoction is made with milk, cream, egg yolks and sugar, and is spiked with smoky bourbon and dark rum. It’s enriched with whipped egg whites for a frothy texture, and has a a hint of freshly grated nutmeg for a warm undertone. It’ll leave you wondering why you ever settled for the store-bought alternative.
Continue Reading Thirsty Thursday: Raise Your Glass to Alton’s Eggnog
Tackle the Christmas Bûche de Noël...or pick up some of these tasty miniatures.
Countdown to Christmas: 3 days. If you’re one of those type-A holiday overachievers, all of your presents are ready and wrapped, the whole menu is planned and the grocery shopping is done. Multiple batches of cookies are tucked away in tins, you’ve decorated an entire gingerbread village and you’re putting the final meringue mushrooms on a painstakingly detailed homemade Bûche de Noël. Your Christmas spread is not complete without this lifelike log of sponge cake and buttercream, a French holiday classic.
And for the rest of us…good news. If you’re up for it, there’s still time to tackle a Bûche de Noël—just don’t stress too much about the décor. Bobby Flay is not a pastry chef either, but he made a delicious Bûche for an episode of Food Network’s Throwdown and kept the décor nice and simple. Dust yours with lots of “snow” (i.e., powdered sugar) to cover any imperfections.
Baby Bûche de Noël from Ceci-Cela in NYC come in vanilla, chocolate and Grand Marnier.
Then again, there’s no shame in going the bakery route. Many Bûche de Noël are shockingly expensive and need to be pre-ordered, but check out these cute little gems from Ceci-Cela, a charming French bakery in New York. They’re individual-size and cost $6. You could also follow their lead and fashion mini logs yourself. If you step up and make your own, these tiny Santa toppers are a fun, festive and effortless touch. Pick some up at a party store if those meringue mushrooms aren’t looking so great.
Gingerbread houses are the pièce de résistance of the holiday baking world (along with the buche de noel and the croquemboche), but, like these other show-stopping treats, they aren’t exactly 30-minute creations.
Enter the gingerbread house-decorating party: Add friends (and booze) to the mix for a super-fun, sugar-overloaded, icing-covered night. Here’s how to do it.
Continue Reading Gingerbread House Party