Sunday, January 10, 2010

Random things I love about cooking and entertaining

There are a few food/cooking/entertaining related things I love, and thought I would share them.

Frying Pans… There is nothing more enjoyable than cooking with a good quality frying pan. When I have the luxury of time, I prefer stainless steel as opposed to non-stick as I think it makes for a nicer cooking experience, making you rise to the challenge of making sure you’ve got the heat perfect so as not to end up with everything sticking to the bottom!!

Oversized white serving dishes… There is something I love about the ‘exaggerated’ effect of oversized serving dishes. Fill them up to make a meal look hearty and abundant, or leave space to make the meal look minimalist and well arranged. I love the serving dishes to be white so you can match with red table settings* in winter to make the table look decadent and indulged and blue table settings in summer to create a summery yet cool and fresh look.

* (candles, napkins, and placemats etc)

Long stem wine glasses… For those of you who know me well I am devoted to long stem glasses - Wine has to be served in Long stem glasses. Nothing lets a good wine down more than short stem glasses… that’s a fact!!

A good apron… I love the convenience of being able to wipe dirty hands on your apron when cooking. The apron I have at the moment is black, with roomy pockets and a band of red chillies across the middle. It was a gift to a friend of mine from his Mum…. He thought it looked to feminine and so I inherited it … Years later I sent him a Manly blue Butchers apron – It’s so long he tells me it looks like strapless dress on him …… I now question the femininity of the chilli apron

Scented candles… Good quality scented candles provide subtle background notes that infuse pleasant scents throughout the house. They also get rid of the nasty ‘post cooking’ smells that sometimes linger!! Some of my favourites are Aveda, Diptyque, I Coloniali and Durance.

Citrus fruit centre pieces… Dark brown wooden bowls filled with lemons and limes or a glass bowl filled with Clementine’s – preferably with leaves still attached, make a great change from flowers.

Champagne to start… It’s never too early (or late for that matter) to serve Champagne, or anything else that sparkles (Cava, Prosecco, Soda or Mineral). Champagne at the start of a evening is the perfect way to kick off a good time with friends. It whets the appetite and loosens the tongue.

Lighting… I’m a lighting girl and as such ALWAYS prefer dim, atmospheric lighting. Bright lights tend to be too confronting yet dim lighting relaxes and elicits good conversation. The warmth created by a flickering candle also creates an atmosphere that enhances good eating – and I am a devotee of twinkley lights. Both indoor and out.

Background music… (this is going to sound corny) Music is the blank canvas upon which good conversations are painted. Music allows people to feel comfortable, sets a mood and allows for conversations to flow freely. At the moment I am addicted to the Vicky Christina Barcelona soundtrack – It’s evocative and features Spanish guitar that makes you want to travel to Spain and theorise over subjects such as Gaudi, Rioja and Paella (both the dish and the pronunciation of the word!)

No comments:

Post a Comment