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Ted’s Tip No. 172

Food, particularly vegetables, can be exquisite on the eye. If you know you are cooking them later in the day, leave them out on the counter to enjoy their beauty. They will also feed your soul.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 171

Pickled red onions add tons of flavor to a variety of things, like burgers, salads or added to a cheese plate. Slice onions nice and thin. Add to a bowl, cover with rice wine vinegar and a few pinches of salt. Let sit for at least an hour or more, then enjoy.



 

 

As Outside Dining Fades Away…

As Autumn rolls full steam ahead, the chill of the eve in many parts makes it tough to dine outside. This Wine & Dine Wednesday is a look back on some of the table settings of the past season. Long languid evenings spent at the table enjoying a meal, telling stories, laughing until it hurts. Memories to savor…



 

 

Stacks of Magazines

I love staying in a guest room that has a stack of magazines waiting to be flipped through or landing on an article I can’t wait to read before I fall asleep. It is a creative design element that enhances really just about any room, but especially a guest room. We sell a variety of magazines at Watson Kennedy, some of my favorites like the Paris Review and Flower. To make it easier to accomplish a spiffy stack of mags, awhile back we started selling all of our back issues at half off. It is fun seeing customers sort through the stacks finding the issues that resonate with them, finding an assortment.



 

 

My Favorite Things Today

All sorts of new yumminess arriving at the shops each day. Thursday I snapped away at some new favorites. Always tough to narrow it down, but fun trying! I am often asked during my ‘wrap’ sessions with customers how I came up with the concept for Watson Kennedy. I always say it was easy, as I only buy what I love. My first test is we must be able to love having it in our own home or giving it as a gift ourselves. If goods pass those guidelines, then they go through a bunch of other criteria in my head in the split seconds that I give to making the final decision to buy something that ends up on our shelves.



 

 

Sparkling Water Bottles

This Wine & Dine Wednesday has a bit of a Ted’s Tip vibe to it. I have had this in the line-up since we had our Watson Kennedy family staff party out at WestWard awhile back. Today is the day. Homemade water bottles is the subject. Often, actually make that always, the sparkling water bottles you find at the grocery store have a tremendous amount of lettering and logos all over them. For a ‘every little detail counts’ type of guy I am, sometimes seeing all that lettering gets in the way visually of what you have going on your dining table. In this case, those stunner dahlias wanted all the attention for this appetizer table. That is where your homemade water bottles comes in. Find screw top bottles you like, then soak off the labels and they become your water bottles at the table. We were drinking a white wine for awhile that had a snazzy red screw top. It would be perfect for out on the island so we don’t have to lug more glass bottles down to the house. They would become our sparking water vessels. Upside also, you save a ton of dough buying big plastic bottles of sparking water over buying smaller glass bottles. Just pour the water from the big plastic bottles into the glass bottles. Or some of you might have those devices that whip up plain water and makes it fizzy, which is fab too. Some might think this is a silly post, but those of you ‘sparking water with your meal’ fans will totally get where I am coming from. Please know I am smiling as I type that–we are major bubbly water fans in our house. Agua mineral con gas, as they say. I hope your Wednesday is grand… T



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 169

A well-stocked fridge and cupboard can produce a quick appetizer board in a pinch. Nuts, crackers, olives, jams, butter, salt–all can be called into action. Just add a piece of your favorite cheese and a bunch of radishes and away you go.



 

 

Basil Green Goddess Dip

For a cocktail party we hosted the other week in town, I whipped up one of my favorite Barefoot Contessa recipes. Ina makes it as a salad dressing. I change it up ever so slightly making it a tad firmer, which makes it a great dip for roasted vegetables and potatoes. Both hearty, which we really quite like when serving drinks. Most guests come right from work so something substantial to curve the hunger crave before they head out to dinner after the cocktail party. The basil in the dip just makes the whole thing sing.

For the dip: 1 cup mayonnaise, 1 cup chopped scallions, 2 cup chopped basil leaves, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 teaspoons chopped garlic, 2 teaspoons anchovy paste, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 cup sour cream

Add to a food processor, pulse until all is incorporated being careful to not overdue as that is what makes it more dip than dressing. Refrigerate for at least an hour which will also help to firm things up. SO good!

While that is in the fridge roast big sheet pans full of florets of cauliflower & broccoli and small whole new potatoes. Liberally coat with extra virgin olive oil and salt. Put into a 400 degree oven. Shake pan and move things around often until they start to become a bit browned, then pull out. The potatoes will generally stay in longer. Sometimes the really little potatoes will cook just as fast. Enjoy!



 

 

Roasted Tomatoes with Crumbled Feta

We were invited early Monday eve to sit on the beach while watching the sun go down with a glass of wine by new friends out on the island, Don & Betty. They also walked us around their abundant gardens and filled up bags of vegetables for us to take home. The above tomatoes part of the bounty of goodness and extreme generosity. We came back to WW and roasted them up super simply by dousing with extra virgin olive oil and a generous amount of sea salt in the oven at 400 just until they started releasing their juices, which becomes the sauce when combined with the oil. When done, toss with your favorite just cooked pasta and crumble feta over the top of it all. Truly could not be easier but it is just so darn good when tomatoes are falling off the vine fresh and plentiful. You could certainly add minced garlic to the tomatoes before they go into the oven. Chopped basil too. Fresh corn would be amazing, as well. But this supper we wanted the freshness of the tomatoes to be the star so they took center stage.



 

 

A Season Ending Sunday Supper

It was a fiery red season ending supper table on Sunday eve. You know we love tradition. I get the same crazy beautiful dahlias at the Market each year for this meal. They strike a cord of both Summer and soon to be Autumn, dancing down the middle of the table for all of us to enjoy. Now you too! With a slight chill in the air as I write this, we welcome in the new season and relish the sunny memories of the last few months.