Tag Archives: martha stewart

Tips for Preparing, Serving Thanksgiving Dinner

Sapporo's Tips For A Successful Thanksgiving Dinner

Whether you’re heading home for the holidays or you’re hosting your family, Thanksgiving can be a stressful time. A time to be spent with family and friends can quickly turn bad as the pressure is on to make a delicious and memorable meal. Thankfully, there are some tips to help alleviate some of that stress-at least in the kitchen.

At Sapporo, the chefs know a thing or two about the pressures that can exist in the kitchen, especially during the holidays. Create a delightful meal and beautiful experience for your family and friends with minimal time and effort. Wise in the ways of cooking and pleasing guests, here are a few tips and tidbits to help home cooks this holiday season and help get Thanksgiving dinner on the table with ease.

Plan your Thanksgiving menu early

Having your family, friends and neighbors over for the big dinner? You don’t need to be a top chef to make a delicious meal. Thanksgiving should be a time to relax, so don’t spend too much time slaving over the stove. Choose menu items that all guests will love, and prepare ahead of time to help alleviate stress on Turkey Day. Side dishes like soups, mashed potatoes and stuffing can be made and stored in the fridge. You can even get other family members involved, offering a potluck style Thanksgiving dinner and having everyone bring their own dish that day.

Fake it, don’t bake it

Not everyone can bake like Martha Stewart. So, if you don’t like baking or just aren’t good at it, save yourself the time, and don’t do it. Bakeries and grocery stores have all the pies and baked goods you could need for the holidays. Before the big day, stock up on all the traditional favorites and store in the freezer. When it’s time for dessert, serve them on decorative plates to give the illusion you made them. Turn a store-bought dessert into a semi-homemade treat by making your own dessert toppings like whipped cream and caramel sauce.

The quick and easy clean-up

Who wants to spend Thanksgiving evening doing dishes and cleaning the counters? Avoid the Thanksgiving aftermath by taking steps to make for a quick and easy clean-up. Don’t like doing dishes at all? Get out the plastic ware. Once guests are done eating, a simple toss in the trash will have clean up done in no time. Use cooking spray to help prevent food from sticking to the surfaces of your pots and pans. Avoid dishes piling up in the sink by cleaning as you go. In-between courses, load the dishwasher and wipe down counters. You’ll be able to enjoy your evening instead of being left with a mess when it’s over.

Thanksgiving is not only a time to indulge into delicious turkey; it is also a time to serve people around you. With an organized plan and no fuss clean-up, holiday gatherings this year will be fun for everyone — including the cook. By keeping things simple, you will be able to relax and enjoy the holiday with friends and family.

Spring

Springtime Finds: Decor, Items To Brighten Up Your Home

Spring is here, and moods are instantly lifted. So why not add a little life to your home as well? Celebrate spring with the right home decor. Here are five ideas that will bring spring to you, brightening your home while simultaneously lifting your mood:

Add pops of color in your decor

Nothing says spring more than bright colors, and adding it to your home is an easy way to transition from winter to spring. However, that doesn’t mean repainting your walls meadow green or lavender (unless you want to, of course); instead, simply add a pop of color. It’s an easy solution without sacrificing results and will give your home a fresh, spring look without transforming it into a giant Easter egg. Try adding some bright throw pillows to your living room couch or hang an elaborate picture frame. Here are some examples from HouseBeautiful.

Plants and flowers

SpringWho says spring has to be left outside once you close your front door?  Take a literal approach to spring decor by bringing the outside in. Adding flower arrangements throughout your home will allow you to savor every minute of spring that fades all too quickly. For an extra touch of luxury, add spring flowers to your bedroom and leave your windows open overnight (just a crack does the trick) for fresh air. You’ll think you woke up in your garden the next day. Plus, flowers are another fun way to add your pop of color. Check out proflowers.com for examples.

Prep your porch

Just because you’re outside doesn’t mean you can’t accent its natural beauty by getting into the spring spirit. Redecorate your porch, and put up a giant umbrella in a bright, uplifting color. Not only does it provide shade, which is needed in Arizona, but it also creates a fashionable focal point that can be seen inside the house as well. Then, add smaller, festive items like lawn ornaments and outdoor-friendly kitchen wear. Pier 1 has some great ideas.

Select some trinkets

Some of you may be cringing or rolling your eyes at this, and the idea does usually need to be supervised. Just a few seasonal trinkets can be cute, but because they are so cute, it can be easy to get carried away, and that can get tacky pretty fast. A lot of it depends on personal style as well. If you’re the type that loves an Easter chick on a bright welcome flag hanging on your front door, go for it; but for those of you who think that’s the only way, think again. Try an antique, standing rabbit statue that is festive but subtle, or Pier 1’s hummingbird ornaments that are beautiful and elegant. Want some more ideas? Head back to Pier 1’s website.

Spring in the kitchen

SpringBring spring to your kitchen by placing spring-inspired desserts on display. For example, take symbolic favorites like Peeps or chocolate bunnies and creatively arrange them in a covered glass container or cake stand. Also, try displaying some fancier desserts like spring-colored cupcakes, iced lemon pound cake, petite fours and strawberry shortcake. This will brighten up your kitchen as well as provide your family and friends with yummy treats. For recipe ideas, check out marthastewart.com.

DIY of the Week

DIY Of The Week: Chalkboard Wall Calendar

Chalkboard Wall CalendarInstead of keeping yours and your family’s schedule written in a planner, save a few trees and write it on your wall instead. That’s right, your wall — on a chalkboard wall calendar.

Although Martha Stewart has now given your kids a reason to write on the walls, at least you can wipe it right off. Plus, it’s a unique and much bolder way to keep tasks organized. This is a great addition to your home office.

Actually, you can do a lot with chalkboard paint (something I didn’t even know existed). Down below, you’ll find a couple links to some great ways to utilize this fantastic product.


But first, here are the steps to creating your own chalkboard wall calendar (thanks to marthastewart.com):


Tools and Materials:

Black chalkboard paintWhite chalkboard paint
Pencil
Measuring Tape
Painters’ Tape

Make Custom Color Chalkboard Paint


Directions:

First, you need to choose how many shades you want to create the checkerboard pattern. On Martha Stewart’s website, four shades of paint were created.

1. Paint entire wall with store-bought, black chalkboard paint; let dry for one to two hours.
2. Mark the perimeter of the calendar with a pencil (to accommodate 8-inch squares, ours measured 48 inches high by 56 inches across).
3. Using painters’ tape, mark off the B squares according to the diagram to the right. 
4. Make B paint by mixing 4 parts black chalkboard paint with 1 part homemade white chalkboard paint. Paint B squares. Remove tape. Let dry about an hour. 
5. Repeat process for C and D squares using the proportions pictured to the right.

Going chalkboard crazy? Here are a few more DIY ideas using chalkboard paint:

Tea Storage Jars

Love tea? Label those loose leaves contained in your various jars by spraying a bit of chalkboard paint on the lids. It’s all about the little things in life … and keeping those organized, too!

 Tea Storage Jars

Chalkboard Tags

Keep everything else organized, too. Whether it be your food pantry, your bathroom products or your living room, the possibilities are endless. Learn how to make these useful chalkboard tags from lil blue boo.

Chalkboard Tags