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Follow me

Counting the days until my NYC Christimas Weekend…which first and foremost
includes stalking the Bergdorf windows like a modern day Holly Golightly.

I have now watched this dreamy, delicious, divine video about fifty times in
a row.

As if the photography and videography wasn’t lovely enough, the song is just
as happy as can be.

Is it me, or does the little ditty scream Apple commerical?

I am surely itunes-ing the album for download. It is perfect bubbly,
joyful, girly music for the store.

It instantly puts you in the cheerful holiday spirit, don’t you think?

Debi Lilly

Had me at Henri

Had me at Henri

I am so very excited for dinner tonight.

By the looks of things, you would guess I am headed to Paris, right?

The simply stunning Henri looks like the most romantic, sumptuous, turn of
the century dining room I have ever seen.

Sea green mohair covered settees, velvet covered walls, herringbone hardwood
floors to match all of Paris’ finest, ornate crown molding…and of

The menu matches the decor – I am already swimming in which courses to order
– and in what order.

Lobster Wellington or Pork Belly Salad with Strawberries to start?

Napoleon of Raw and Cooked Vegetables with Tomato and Pepper Jam or Dover
Sole Meuniere to entree?

And even get me started on the completely divine Plats du Jour…

Debi Lilly,

Beautiful Holiday Bites

Beautiful Holiday Bites

Don’t you just love a fresh, beautiful hors’d ouevre that has less ingredients and steps to prepare than you can count on one hand?

One that looks as lovely as it tastes – with the perfect sweet salty flavor combination?

I know I do. Frankly that’s the only kind of foods I crave – or want to create in the kitchen.

So here is a party favorite – Pears n’ Proscuitto.

I like to add a schmear of softened Brie to the pear slice before I wrap the Proscuitto – because isn’t everything infinately improved with french cheese?

Once wrapped, a nice fresh grind of black pepper adds a finishing garnish – and spiced back of the tongue flavor.

For the approaching Christmas season, the cheerful flavor matches the green and red festivity with holiday colors built right in.


Debi Lilly,

Thanksgiving Trivia

I always love to have a fun family activity at the holiday table.  Don’t you?  It breaks it up…creates a fun, buzz of energy, and gets everyone instantly talking about something interesting.

So, without further ado, let me introduce the Thanksgiving Trivia Game skillfully written by yours truly.  You can use this as your own game, and just typeset and print off copies for your guests.  I circled answers on this one, as the family key, to be used for scoring when guests are complete.

I personally learned so much about the traditions, origins, and first celebrations  both from pilgrims and parades.  I have been talking it up for almost two weeks – and everyone wants a copy.  So here it is!

Of all questions, the history of the Macy’s parade is my personal fave.  My brother lived just half a block away, on the Upper West Side on Manhattan.  We had the most wonderful Thanksgiving there together – and could hear all the parade commotion out the open window.  It was so magical to actually be at The Macy’s Parade – up close and personal.

More to come…

Debi Lilly,

Thankful Decor

The countdown is on…are you ready?

Just one day – albeit one morning – left.  I could use two more…truth be told.

I have been menu planning, prepping, shopping, designing, cooking, tasting…and many more for weeks. And tomorrow the celebrations begin!

My mantle has a warm and wonderful seasonal accent of jack-o-littles tucked and topped into my collection of vintage silver loving cups, trophies, urns and more.  I love finding new silver at Paris flea markets, antique shops, thrift stores…everywhere!  Grouped onto tabletops or bookcases they add the perfect aged patina.

The beautiful silver pheasant above is my absolute favorite piece.  I almost lost them, which is why they mean just that much more.

My mother gave me a his and hers pheasant pair as an incredibly thoughtful anniversary gift a few months ago.  She of course spied them at Marche de Vanves in August, which she attends twice weekly, finding everything fabulous and then some.  My husband (the bird shown above) packed these little treasures in his carry on as we returned home, and at Charles De Gaulle one seriously attentive security guard came THIS close to confiscating them due to sharp, dangerous metal beaks and claws and super pointy tail feathers.  Lucky for me I could explain in french they were a special gift for our anniversaire de mariage de ma mere.

I have always loved loving cups.  These make such a statement, as they are quite tough to find.  The varied engravings, symbols and crests are always fascinating to study and mix and match.

The paired amber glass votives add such an ambient glow to the collection.  Oddly enough, this mercury glass wren is yet another anniversary gift – this time from my sister in law’s darling mother, Anne.  Another favorite memory, tucked into the collection.

These flowers are just as delicious as the Thanksgiving menu – if I do say so myself.  The textures, the apricot and maize pallete, the glossy magnolia, the scent of fresh rosemary, the silver footed urn.  It looks picture perfect.

I love for florals to vary vase to vase, and here we have a similar design with clusters of chocolate mums, artichokes and fresh thyme and sage.

The table is set with persimmon linen, silver crocodile embossed chargers, pheasant feathers, silk ribbon wraps and personalized menus at each placesetting.

Decor is never simply limited to the tabletop, of course.  Each champagne glass will be adorned with festive starfruit garnish, which is one of the easiest yet prettiest holiday tips and tricks.

Gail Simmons “the guru” shared this cool tip – fry sage leaves in a little olive oil for the ultimate soup garnish. This seriously took no more than 3 minutes – TOPS.

Here they are, all nice and crispy, and still pretty as ever.  And better yet – that oil they fried in – is now the perfect sage infused olive oil drizzle ontop the butternut squash bisque.  Simply drop the fried sage in the center of the bowl, then drizzle a light circle of oil for a Top Chef finish.

Well, there’s a little Thanksgiving taste.  Now, back to the kitchen for me…

Debi Lilly,

Turkey Tales

Turkey Tales

As a young aspiring child hostess, the Thanksgiving bar was set quite high by my precious Grandmother, Caroline Adams.

She taught my mother everything she knew, and then, lucky for me, I had two generations of fabulous to teach me the ways of traditions and the tablesetting world.

When you arrived, usually the day before Thanksgiving, she had already carefully set her table to perfection.

The first memory that I have of these beautiful family holidays is laughter. My grandparents had five children, and the large, merry extended family with spouses and children has an energy that I have always longed to emulate – now in my very own family.

But the second memory I have of Thanksgivings past is how much care Gigi spent setting her table with precious, sentimental family herilooms. The oval table looked like a collection of sparkling royal jewels – with Fostoria colored glassware, Depression Glass, Milk Glass, Carnvial Glass, Anchor Hocking Glass, Lenox China, McCoy Pottery…and so, so, so much more.

My absolute, hands down favorite tradition was her candy corn filled mini cornucopia at each placesetting. I am pretty sure I walked carefully, calculatingly around the dining table for 24 hours prior to the family holiday meal, "tasting" one tiny candy corn at a time so all guests still had equitable quantities spilling out onto the table next to their stemware. I have been looking for those for years…if you see some…do share and pass the source along.

My favorite menu tradition was her Succotash. I will still – decades later – order anything on a menu with succotash in the entree. It is such a happy, joyful correlation in my mind’s menu.

She is also the queen of molded butters and cakes. My eyes filled with tears when I spied these Turkey shaped Butters at the grocery tonight…holidays just aren’t the same with Gigi and GG in one state and me in another.

So…I bought three for my own holiday table. And so, now her tradition lives on with another new generation, my own children.

Last, but not least, was dessert. My iconic Great Grandmother, Ruth Lucas, is legendary for her blueberry pie and chocolate cake. As clearly as I remember them – a la mode with vanilla ice cream – I can picture her walking in the front door carrying her vintage portable wooden pie safes – and a huge, warm smile.

Gigi’s dining table is perfectly centered underneath a gorgeous crystal chandelier, and as a young girl I would stare up at it, reveling in the beauty of the holidays.

Here’s to your own family traditions, and happy generations at gleaming holiday tables.

Debi Lilly,

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