Posts Tagged ‘entertaining’

Re-posted with permission from The Right Recipe, this beautiful appetizer is simple and delish.

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Here’s a idea for the next time you need to throw together a quick appetizer. As you know, there are many different flavors of hummus available these days, but it’s so much fresher and tastier to add your own flavors to this extremely popular Middle Eastern dip.

In these photos I’ve spread about 1/2 inch of good quality hummus onto one of my cake stands then toped it with finely chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, fresh dill and crumbled feta cheese…a quick drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper and it’s ready to serve with crispy pita chips.

Other toppings that would be good:

pine nuts, basil, oregano, cilantro, parsley, roasted red peppers, pesto, artichoke hearts, caramelized onions, whole chickpeas, red pepper flakes, roasted garlic, minced jalapeno peppers, the possibilities are endless…

Since I was going for simplicity here, I used a store bought hummus.  It takes about 1 1/2 cups to spread across this regular sized cake stand.  These are my two favorite brands:


Of course if you are feeding a big crowd, or simply have the time, you may want to make your own hummus which is quite easy with canned chickpeas, tahini and spices. Here’s a good one fromInspired Taste (hummus recipe).

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Its Description:

The idea for BowlOvers™ was born several years ago in the English countryside by Harriet Campbell, who disliked using cling wrap and for years had taken shower caps from hotels to put over bowls rather than use it. However, this solution wasn’t ideal, as Harriet really wanted to have something that could be washed and re-used over and over again. Putting the tea towels in the washing machine one day a light bulb came on and BowlOvers™ started their journey. Harriet made samples, spent a lot of time talking to friends, telling them she was going to develop the concept, but wondered how she could get her idea finally off the ground. One day, a friend suggested Harriet enter the Country Homes & Interiors Magazine “Rural Business Award” (UK edition), as apparently all the entries would get a short comment from the judges. She entered, and much to her delight and surprise, her BowlOvers™ were one of the runners up and the prize was several hours’ business consultation with a marketing firm. Their encouragement and professional advice was the final “piece of the pie” that helped Harriet to take her idea, and make it reality.

BowlOversare fast becoming a staple in every pantry, receiving great mentions in the press for this “very clever and jolly useful” way of resolving the issue of food wrap in an eco-friendly and convenient way.

The Facts:

Made from 100% cotton

Fits bowls sizes small 2-4″, medium 6-8″, large 8-10′, and salad days 12-14″

Each collection contains six covers, two of each size.

Available in five different collections 

Machine washable and can be used over and over again

Convenient way to store leftovers in the fridge, cover dishes on counter-tops, bring to picnics or BBQ’s to keep flies at bay, place over dishes for the microwave, or to transport food to pot luck dinners!

Makes for a happier planet

My Review:

A wise Eco alternative to wasteful plastic wrap! The elastic edges allows it to fit snugly over my bowls. I use them mostly with round bowls but I have used them on a few square containers just the same. I don’t have a bowl for the smallest size cover but found it useful to cover drinks when outside. There is a paw print on this small size cover in the Original collection so it’s probably designed to be used for a pet food can. I’ve also used BowlOvers™ when making my Nut Rolls to keep the bread warm while it rises. They are a handy kitchen helper taking up very little storage space. And they would make for a thoughtful hostess or housewarming gift. 

Gingham BowlOvers (1)


Gingham and Original Collections shown


Available at select retailers across the US and Canada as well as online at

The photos used in this post belong to the BowlOvers™ site.

I received BowlOvers™ to help facilitate the writing of an honest review. A positive review is not guaranteed, and all opinions are my own. No other compensation was received.

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The Hibiscus Silicone Lid

Its Description:
In 2010 the Inspired by Nature Collection by Charles Viancin made its debut in the United States. Originating in France, Charles Viancin created a line of Kitchen and Serveware with the beauty of nature at its core. The line was inspired by the desire to reduce fats and oils added to family meals while keeping them quick and easy.
The Facts:
Seals Tight on all smooth rims: stainless steel, glass, plastic, melamine.
Creates an airtight, watertight seal for reheating and storing.
Saves on Plastic Wrap, it can be reused and reused and reused.
Safe for oven, microwave, freezer and dishwasher.
Available in 5 sizes
Hibisicus Pink color
FDA approved silicone
My Review:
A good thing for your home and family! Easier to use than clingy plastic and cheaper over time, this lid is a “green” way to store, reheat, and present your food. It has great suction and seals tight to the top of my glass and stainless bowls. I have the 10″ lid and it works perfectly on several different size bowls. The hibiscus flower look is nature inspired and contemporary. In addition to reheating, storing and serving, I like to use of the lid while entertaining outdoors as an attractive way to cover food.
Watch the video to see The Hibiscus Lid in action.
I found these available online at Sears and Amazon.
Or email for a retailer near you.
I received The Hibiscus Silicone Lid from the Charles Viancin Group to help facilitate the writing of an honest review. A positive review is not guaranteed, and all opinions are my own. No other compensation was received.

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This a great book that’s available from Firefly Books

Top 100 Step-by-Step Napkin Folds: More Than 1,000 Photographs

Top 100 Step-by-Step Napkin Folds
More Than 1,000 Photographs

224 pages, 9″ X 11″ X 11/8″

more than 1000 step-by-step color photos, index, entertaining diary

wiro-bound concealed hardcover

Published by Robert Rose Books

A gorgeous table begins with beautiful napkin folds.Knowing how to execute a perfect napkin fold is not a skill everyone has, but it’s one you can easily and quickly teach yourself. Napkin folds bring a touch of elegance, whimsy or retro style to your table. And napkin folds take your table setting to the next level with no added expense — you’re just learning dozens of clever new ways to present something you already have.The 100 folds are divided into easy, intermediate and advanced sections, so you’ll know which ones to start with and how to work your way up. Simpler is often better and often the most formal folds, in fact, tend to be relatively easy. And when you’re using napkins with an elaborate pattern or design, a simple fold may show it off the best.The hundreds of step-by-step photographs, detailed instructions and wide array of ideas will make every event memorable — whether it’s a child’s birthday party or a sophisticated dinner party for grownups. And the concealed wirobound hardcover format with its user-friendly approach makes following instructions a breeze.Like a handwritten thank-you note, napkins folds might be less common than they once were, but they’re always noticed, always appreciated and always in style.
Denise Vivaldo is a seasoned food professional who has catered more than 10,000 parties. She’s the founder of Food Fanatics, a recipe-development, food-styling and catering firm. She’s catered everything from the Academy Awards Governor’s Ball to Hollywood wrap parties. She is the author of Entertaining Encyclopedia.

My review:

November welcomes the holiday entertaining season and Napkin Folds is just the book you’ll need to add some pizzazz to your table.

The book starts with easy folds and continues with intermediate and advance folds. The advanced are really not that tricky. Each fold is numbered and presented in color on both pages. A short paragraph intro tells about the fold, napkin material, and color to use;  written directions and photos follow. The photo steps are shown “to the observer”. This was backward to me and I turned the book upside down while I worked on a fold. My suggestion is that the photo steps be presented from the view “of the person folding”. The book’s spiral binding keeps the book open flat.

 Using a perfectly square napkin is recommended but sadly none of the ones I owned were perfect. I’ll be considering that when I purchase more. The intro is where I learned how the napkin ring originated. “The original intent of monogrammed silver napkin rings was to identify the napkin of each household member so his or her napkin could be reused, avoiding the labor-intensive task of daily laundering.” And the last page of the book contains a reproducible entertaining dairy. I love this book with the many creative folds for a specially prepared table. I would recommend it for use with any home economics curriculum. 

My thanks to Firefly Books for allowing me to review this book. This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was received.

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