Monthly Archives: October 2013

Setting a Holiday Table

Most Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners are family affairs, with close friends invited as well. So the table setting doesn’t have to be formal, but you do want it to look nice.  Here are 8 tips for creating an attractive holiday table!

A selection of small colorful gourds look great in a glass bowl.

1. Centerpiece – Keep a low and simple centerpiece so everyone can see each other. A beautiful glass bowl with many-colored squashes, or filled with colorful glass balls or ornaments would be lovely.

2.  Runners – Try a white tablecloth with a brightly colored runner (plaid is great) to give the table a striking look.

3.  Chairs– Attach a bow to the back of your chairs, with the name of the person you’d like to sit there, if you have a seating plan.

4. Place settings– feel free to mix up your plates and bowls, play around with different patterns and colors. Do you have blue plates and green bowls? They might look great together!

5. Wonder where everything is supposed to go? Here’s a diagram from Wikipedia. If you’re not using everything, put it in the same general location and move it in!

6. Napkins – There are no rules for napkin placement- lay it on the plate as above, with or without a napkin ring, or tie with a ribbon or silver or gold wire. Roll it up and put it into the water or wine glass for each place.  Or fold it in half and lay it under the fork at the left side of the main plate. If you want to get fancy, Google ‘folding napkins’ and fold them into fantastic shapes and put them on the main plates!

7. Color Schemes- You don’t have to stick with autumn colors for Thanksgiving, or red and green for Christmas. Break out of the mold and try a table color scheme of elegant white and gold,  pale blue and silver,  deep yellow and tan,  sage green and deep black.

8. Placemats- If you have a beautiful wood table, then placemats are a good idea to keep the finish. But if serving a meal for four, a criss-crossed runner could act as placemat. have fun with placemats and napkins- same color, matching colors, colors on opposite sides of the color wheel- whatever looks like fun.

Most of all, have fun and don’t stress out this holiday season! MagicKitchen.com’s Thanksgiving meals delivered and Christmas meals delivered can really take the stress off.

Melody, MagicKitchen.com blogger

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How do you celebrate Halloween?

We’d love to know what you do to celebrate Halloween. Are you crazy about it, and love nothing better than dreaming up a costume idea, making the costume and then partying the night away? Do you eschew the costume yourself, but dress your dog to the nines? Or do you have a bowl of candy next to the door and wait for the kids shouts so you can enjoy the fun and energy of their Halloween? Whichever way you enjoy it, here are some costume, party and recipes ideas that will make your Halloween a fun success!

1. Costume ideas:

  • Pixelate yourself! Wear a black top, and glue on squares of tissue paper in different colors.  On your face, use squares of colored tissue paper held on with spirit gum(found at costume shops, remember to buy remover too!), or just white glue watered down with quite a bit of water. Just blur the edges of yourself!
  • Stick figures – wear all black and tie glowsticks to yourself . Stickman halloween costume Instructions here.
  • Zombie! So popular these days, here’s an instruction manual.
  • Candy Box- Get a box you can fit into, cut armholes and a head hole. Then use craft paper to cover the box, and some paints to paint on the logo of your favorite candy- Reese’s pieces, M&M’s, whatever you love!

2. Halloween Party Ideas

  •  Once we created a headless man and hung him from the back of the bathroom door so when people closed the door they got a surprise. Of course, all the lights were colored bulbs for extra spookiness.
  • If you can’t afford to make your whole house creepy, then really concentrate on your front door. Bats, chains, gravestones, spiderwebs, blacklight to make everything glow.
Photo by partycity.com
  • Use mini-pumpkins, spider web(available at most dollar stores this time of year), bats on fishing line, candles and fall branches to make your table pretty but appropriately spooky.
  • Keep the lights low, and hang ghosts in all the corners.
  • If you have black lace anything, now’s the time to use it, draped over red tablecloths. OK, fancy lace undies might not be appropriate!
  • Put more spiderwebs around family photos, and add scary vampire teeth to the photos themselves.

Halloween Recipes

Although all these recipe ideas are scary, if not downright gruesome, it might be a good idea to have a homestyle meal on hand from MagicKitchen.com, for the squeamish. here are some of the best Halloween recipes we’ve found from around the web.

 

Recipe and Photo from delish.com

Whatever you do this Halloween, Have fun and be safe!

Melody, MagicKitchen.com blogger

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VW Cuisine- Blog post 3

Temple of Apollo

For part one click here, for part two click here.

From Greece we moved on to Turkey, a truly fascinating country with a bad rap. There’s something compelling about Turkey. The mix of eastern and western cultures, the many ancient sites and natural wonders, the friendly people and scrumptious food, and the diversity combine to make a trip there one of endless fascination.

The coastline is dotted with resort towns combining the best of white sand beaches with wild bars and terrific seafood restaurants. The interior of the country has gorgeous scenery and a compelling history.

For instance, there is an underground city called Derinkuyu there, cut 7 stories deep in the solid rock, probably by the Hittites, who were contemporaries of the Babylonians. In the center is a huge circular air shaft. It contains stables, wineries, schools and endless tunnels down which you duck-walk to reach the next level.

The food of Turkey is similar to that of Greece (but don’t tell them that). One of my favorite appetizers was boreki, cigar-shaped cylinders of phyllo dough wrapped around Gruyere cheese with fresh dill and parsley, deep-fried to a golden crunchiness.

Of course, we still cooked a lot in the kombi or VW  van as well. One day I got extremely lucky with a pasta dish that I was never capable of replicating. In the pantry(under the back seat) I had some pasta. In the tiny fridge I had a bit of medium white cheese, an egg and some milk. I had a few people to feed that night, so I cooked up the pasta in one pot. In the other, I mixed the egg and milk well, and turned on a medium flame. I crushed up the cheese as best I could since I had no grater. When the milk started to thicken up, I added the cheese and some salt and pepper and stirred until the cheese was melted. After my husband had drained the pasta outside, I mixed the pasta and the sauce and it was a huge hit.

You may want to purchase MagicKitchen.com’s easy pasta dishes instead of attempting this at home.

Melody, MagicKitchen.com blogger

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10 Perfect Client Gift Ideas

With the holidays coming, businesses are looking for unique, fun and attention-getting gifts for clients. Here’s a list of ten unique ideas for client gifts.

  1. Leather iPad Sleeve – Luxurious and practical, this sleeve will be appreciated for years!
  2. A Funsherpa Gift certificate Let them choose their own fun experience, from a French cooking class to a flying lesson!
  3. A MagicKitchen.com Meal Bundle – People get excited about good food, and the ease of making these meals combined with the restaurant quality will ensure the gift will be a hit. Gift certificates available, too!
  4. Season tickets – Whether for sports, theatre, ballet or opera, if you know your client this is guaranteed to please.
  5. Solar Chargers A day of direct sunlight on the CLASSIC2 captures enough energy for three charges for most smartphones or tops-off most tablets from half-depleted to a full battery.
  6. Search Etsy – Maybe your client has a thing for handmade quilts, antique watches or cool decorative bowls. Lots of ideas here.
  7. A Kindle – If they don’t already have one, this is always a welcome gift.
  8. 3000 Classic Books on one Flash Drive – Client have time on their hands, travel a lot, spend time in hotel rooms? Give them the gift of 3000 classic books, in teeny-tiny fashion.
  9. Corporate Logo Oreo Gift Tin – Both the cookies and the tin are emblazoned with your logo. Classy!
  10. Bose Soundlink Mini – Perfect sound for a presentation, a hotel room or even at home. Bose is the premium speaker manufacturer, and this mini works with an MP3 player or your smart phone with great sound output.
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