A west coast trip to my favorite San Francisco goes just like this…
Land happily, Terminal 2, SFO.
Step off plane, and fall in love all over again with an airport terminal
completely and totally devoted to beautiful, fresh food.
Sushi bar, burger bar, taco bar, wine bar, piano bar, candy bar, cupcake
bar, chocolate bar, Pinkberry, Lark Grill, Napa Valley Farms gourmet
Just to name a few.
Drive directly to historic Ferry Building, for food and flaura stalking at
I kid you not.
One stop, and magically, right before your eyes does appear everything,
always, and forever food centric.
My go to source for trend spotting, meals to go, meals to stay, gourmet
gifting, menu research, new product sourcing, and more.
Oyster farmstand, mushrooms turned artistic sculpture stand, salumi bar,
melted raclette cheese cart (longest lines EVER), infused olive oil, Miette
Patisserie, gelato, honey hives, vegan gluten free painted pastel donut
It is an overload of delicious.
It is serious artisan eating over here.
Exquisite, local, sustainable, family owned farm to table fabulous.
Windy City Live
Monday, November 12
Thanksgiving is just two short weeks away…and here to show us just how to
set our holiday table this season in 5 steps, is none other than our
favorite celebrity party planner, Debi Lilly, A Perfect Event.
We wrote a book, A Perfect Event, and launched A Perfect Event the
eMagazine, just to share, share, share all of our favorite trends, looks
and do it yourself designs for every possible occasion. Today we are
opening up our holiday lookbook and sharing 5 easy, elegant ideas for your
Step 1: Easy, elegant, DIY grocery to gorgeous table decor – our Debi
Lilly Design collection is right from Safeway/Dominick’s, and brings high
style to your tabletop, at accessible, affordable prices. Pumpkin shaped
candles, pumpkin pillar candles, mercury glass candlesticks, vases filled
with candles and chic florals not only dress the table, but are high
quality, and very long lasting, so you can use them all throughout the
holidays – even all year long.
And – best of all – Debi brought along for each of you her favorite
Thanksgiving gift candle from the Debi Lilly Design collection at
Safeway/Dominick’s and also 25% off discount shopping cards for each of you.
Step 2: Personalize each placesetting with fun, interactive details – like
"turkey cakes" as placecards, menu cards, and arts and crafts to keep kids
busy at the table. These are fun and colorful, right from afterschool.com,
our favorite new site to find everything fun for kids.
Games start conversation among young and old alike at the table. Download
the turkey cake DIY and holiday puzzle free, on our blog, at http://www.debililly.com/dev.
Step 3: Delicious, specialty holiday sips are here, with just a few fast
ingredients, like Gingerbread ‘tinis, and Rock Candy Cocktails, and work
perfectly for the fall season.
Kahlua Gingerbread combines the holiday favorite – gingerbread with nutmeg,
1/4 part Kahlúa Gingerbread liquor
1/4 part Absolut Vodka
1/2 part Ginger Beer (Ginger Ale is great substitute)
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake. Strain into a
chilled martini glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and enjoy.
Candy Champagne Cocktails
Pour champagne into a glass, garnish with rock candy stirrer. Enjoy!
Step 4: My favorite recipes for Thanksgiving salads and sides this
· Roasted Beet Salad
· Arugula Pears Salad
· Yukon Fennel Puree
· Haricot Vert
· Glazed Carrots with Pineapple
· Sage Sausage Stuffing
· Pancetta Roasted Brussels Sprouts
· Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding
These recipes are my favorite updated trends to traditional holiday
favorites – bread pudding, beet salad – and best of all – even if cooking
isn’t your thing, you can call Blue Plate Catering, and they can deliver
these right to your door
Blue Plate uses fresh ingredients and creative ideas to provide a
delicious, customized spread for you and your guests.
5. Donuts are the hot new trend – move over holiday pies – the Donut Vault
Stack them into "towers", dip them into caramel, chocolate sauces, roasted
nuts, sprinkles and more for a fresh take on Thanksgiving dessert.
Best of all – they brought each of you a Donut bag – with these favorite
holiday flavors to go.
For more fabulous ideas on entertaining, pick up a copy of Debi’s new book,
A Perfect Event, at her store A Perfect Event and amazon, Dominick’s,
Safeway, and her new eMagazine, A Perfect Event, online now,
Blue Plate Catering Recipes
*Roasted Beet Salad:*
Your holiday task list can begin a few days before the family arrives. Opt
to roast the beets up to 2 days beforehand to make day of prep easier.
3 lbs Baby Red Beets
3 lbs Baby Gold Beets
3 Tbl Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste
-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash the beets thoroughly, leaving the
skins on, and remove the greens. Rinse greens, removing any large stems,
and set aside. Place the beets in a small baking dish or roasting pan, and
toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. If you wish to peel the beets, it is
easier to do so once they have been roasted. Cover, and bake for 45 to 60
minutes, or until a knife can slide easily through the largest beet. Once
cooled enough to handle, Gently rub with a paper towel to remove the skin.
2 Tbl Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Tbl Chopped Onions
Cleaned Beet Greens
– Gently warm olive oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and onions and
saute on low until fragrant. Add beet greens and season with salt and
pepper. Saute until just beginning to wilt. Transfer to plater
¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tbl Sherry Vinegar
1 Tbl Honey
Fresh Goat Cheese
-Whisk together olive oil, salt, pepper, vinegar and honey. Gently toss
beets with vinaigrette. Plate on top of wilted beet greens. Top with
fresh goat cheese.
*Arugula Salad with Bosc Pears:*
When you make the Spiced Walnuts in this recipe, be sure make extra and
place in bowl as a holiday snack.
¼ Cup Walnuts
3 Tbl Sugar
1 Tbl Water
1 Pinch Cinnamon
1 Pinch Cayenne
1 Pinch Salt
-Pre heat oven to 350’. In a small oven gently warm all ingredients except
walnuts. Once sugar is dissolved add walnuts. Toss to coat. Place on
greased cookie sheet. Bake approx 5 min or until nuts are fragrant and
beginning to dry off.
1 Tbl Minced Shallots
2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tsp White Wine Vinegar
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/4 Tsp Dijon Mustard
1/8 Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
6 cups Baby Arugula
2ea Bosc Pears
¼ cup Spiced Walnuts
-Whisk together shallot, olive oil, vinegar, salt, mustard and pepper.
Drizzle vinaigrette over greens and top with pears, walnuts and edible
*Yukon Fennel Puree*
If you are peeling potatoes the day before, leave them covered in water in
the fridge to keep them fresh. **
1 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and quartered lengthwise
2 Bulbs Fennel, cut into large chunks
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
3 Tbs Butter
Salt and Pepper
-Place potatoes and fennel into a saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Add water
until potatoes and fennel are covered. Bring to boil, reduce heat and
simmer, covered, 15-20 minutes, or until done and a fork can easily be
poked through them.
*-*Warm cream and melt butter. Drain water from potatoes. Put hot potatoes
and fennel through a potato ricer and into a bowl. Add cream and melted
butter. Use potato masher to mash potatoes until well mashed. Adjust
consistency with additional cream if needed. Garnish with fennel fronds.
Green beans could also be roasted the same way as the brussels sprouts.
This lets you make two different vegetables, one easy way.
10 ea Shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup flour
Salt and Pepper
Oil to fry in
-Toss shallot rings in seasoned flour. Shake off excess flour and flash
fry at 350’ until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towel and season with
1 lb Haricot Vert, trimmed
3 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbs Dill, chopped fine
Salt and pepper to taste
-Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water.
Boil the beans for 2 minutes. Plunge them into the ice water to stop the
cooking and set the color. Drain the beans and pat dry on a cloth or paper
*-*Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Add the
green beans and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Add dill and some
salt and pepper and toss to combine. Cook for 1 minute more.
-Transfer to platter and top with crispy shallot rings
*Glazed Carrots with Pineapple*
Don’t have time to peel and cut whole carrots? This will be just as
delicious if you substitute pre-peeled baby carrots.
3lb Baby Carrots, peeled**
1qt Pineapple Juice
1ea Vanilla Bean, split and scraped
1 Stick Butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
-Combine all ingredients except butter; gently simmer the carrots in a
shallow pan until they are tender. Remove carrots and reduce remaining
liquid to approximately 1 cup. Remove from heat and whisk in 1 stick of
butter. Drizzle over warm carrots
*Sage Sausage Stuffing*
Select your favorite decorative casserole dish for this stuffing, you can
bake and serve this side directly in it. No need to transfer!
1lb of Dried Bread Cubes
6 Tbl Butter
1 lb Fresh Sage Sausage,
1 Cup Onion, chopped
½ Cup Dried Cranberries
1 Cup Celery ,
1/2 Tsp Salt
3 Cups Chicken Broth
1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted
2 eggs, beaten
-Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
-Put the stuffing cubes in a large bowl and set aside. Butter a casserole
-Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add
the sausage and
break up with a wooden spoon. Cook until it loses most of its pink color,
but not so much that it’s dry, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage and pan
drippings to the stuffing cubes. Melt the remaining butter in the pan. Add
the onion, apple, celery, and salt. Cook until the vegetables get soft,
about 5 minutes. Add the broth and parsley and bring to a boil.
-Pour the vegetable mixture over the stuffing cubes and toss until evenly
moistened. Mix in
eggs. Loosely pack the dressing in the prepared pan and cook uncovered
until the top forms a crust, about 40 minutes.
2 tablespoons of turkey
pan drippings or
melted butter over the top. Cook until the top is crisp and golden, about
20 minutes more.
*Pancetta Roasted Brussels Sprouts*
Brussels sprouts can also be roasted the day before and simply rewarmed day
of, resulting in more time with friends and family.
3 Tbl O live
1/2 lb Thick Sliced Pancetta, diced
1 lb Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and halved
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 Tbl Butter
-Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
-Heat oil over medium heat in a roasting pan or large skillet. Add the
pancetta and cook until golden brown and crisp. Remove the pancetta to a
plate lined with paper towels. Add the shallots to the pan and cook until
soft. Add the brussels
toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven until
the vegetables are cooked through and golden brown. Remove the vegetables
from the oven and stir in the butter. Transfer to a platter and top with
the reserved pancetta.
*Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding*
This option is great for large groups. Prep the night before in a baking
casserole and simply place in the oven when your turkey is half done
6 Cups Dried Brioche Bread, cubed
1 Cup Half and Half
1 ¼ Cup Whole Milk
1 Cup Fresh Goat Cheese
2 Cups Wild Mushrooms
1ea Leek, whites only, diced
1ea Shallot, diced
1 Tsp Fresh Thyme, Chopped
2 Tbl Butter
Salt and Pepper
-Over high heat saute mushrooms, turn heat to low and add leeks, shallots,
butter and fresh thyme.
-In a bowl whisk to combine milk, ½ and ½, eggs, goat cheese and salt and
pepper. One it is lump free add mushroom mixture and dried bread.
-Soak bread for about 30 min.
-Transfer everything to a well buttered baking dish.
-Cover with aluminum foil.
-Place bread pudding casserole into a large roasting pan. Put hot water ⅓
the way up the casserole to create a water bath.
-Bake 350’ for approx 1 hour or until center is set. Remove foil and place
under a low broiler until the top is lightly browned and crunchy.
Blue Plate Catering, 312.421.6666, http://www.blueplatechicago.com.
Photo: Debi Lilly Design, Safeway
Here we go again – time to set that fabulous, thoughtful, trend forward table for Thanksgiving.
Did you see our delicious spread in Today’s Chicago Woman magazine, with NoMi and The Park Hyatt Chicago?
Click here: http://www.debililly.com/dev/2012/10/a-styled-thanksgiving.html
Want to watch us pull another set of favorite tabletop, cocktail and menu trends together tomorrow, 9 am?
Then tune in, Monday morn, to see all of our favorite new holiday tricks and tips come to life on Windy City LIve.
We’re setting a stunning tabletop – grocery to gorgeous style – using dozens of details from our beautiful new Debi Lilly Design collection at Safeway/Dominicks.
Mercury glass candlesticks…
Darling mini pumpkin candles…
Pumpkin spice pillar candles…
Fabulous fresh autumnal florals and berries…
You name it.
And then – to top it off – we’re designing each placesetting, right from our favorite Thanksgiving Lookbook.
Plus – serving up a dozen recipes you need now.
Including, two must have cocktails, our go to sensational salads, sides and dessert trends for the season.
Click here to watch us livestream, on Windy City Live:
Click here for more fave A Perfect Event Thanksgiving and holiday trends:
See you tomorrow morning!
Photo: Debi Lilly Design, Safeway