January 7, 2016
At Home with Friends


Melissa Clark’s Chive Mashed Potatoes

We all know Thanksgiving is fairly labor intensive. Anything you can do ahead is a plus. It never occurred to me that it was possible to make mashed potatoes ahead until I read Melissa Clark’s recipe for Mashed Potato Casserole. I admit I had doubts, so I tried it out a few weeks before Thanksgiving. […]


Thursday Night

6:00 P.M.

4 Weeks Before

  • Invite guests.
  • Think about Menu and style of Thanksgiving. (Will you be doing most of the preparation on your own or is yours a group effort? Do you want to do most of the meal and ask people to bring a dessert or salad, or their favorite Thanksgiving dish?)
  • Buy all non-perishables including alcohol.
  • Decide logistics: Where to set up bar, buffet, etc. Do you need extra tables and chairs?

3 Weeks Before

2 Weeks Before

1 Week Before

  • Finalize menu and confirm guest list.
  • Set table: If you’re doing a formal sit-down dinner, it’s not too early to set the table. Traditional Thanksgiving involves a lot of last minute food preparation, so set the table now!

Sunday Before

  • Do all grocery shopping.
  • Wash all the vegetables and fruit.
  • Buy and arrange flowers. If your house isn’t too hot, flowers will keep if you replenish water, or wait until Monday to arrange flowers.

Monday Before

Tuesday Before

Wednesday Evening


December 3, 2015

September 7, 2015
At Home with Friends

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Holiday in Croatia

Some people have a bucket list of where they’d always dreamed of visiting. I have no list. Things cross my desk, I read an article in a travel magazine or the New York Times, and a destination calls to me. This is how it was with Croatia. I didn’t do a lot of research and […]

June 26, 2015
At Home with Friends

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Game Night

Lots of people have game nights on a regular basis but this was a first for me. Lots of people play Cards Against Humanity but this was also a first for me. A first, but definitely not the last. I wanted the food to be fun food, kind of like bar food but my style. […]

April 20, 2015
At Home with Friends

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Polpettone Stuffed with Eggplant and Smoked Mozzarella

Meatloaf is a standard in many home kitchens. For many people meatloaf is immediately associated with mashed potatoes and gravy, and it evokes childhood memories. Meatloaf and mashed potatoes is comfort food to be eaten when it’s cold outside and we need to feel the warmth of hearth and home. I would never take away […]

April 17, 2015
At Home with Friends

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Weeknight Sit-in-the-Kitchen Dinner

It was a weeknight and my friend Maria was coming over for dinner. I’ve known Maria for 30 years. (Is it really that long?). Maria doesn’t cook but she eats real food, so it’s always fun to make dinner for her. She doesn’t eat mushrooms, loves artichokes and will try anything I prepare. This was […]

December 8, 2014
At Home with Friends


Pistachio Ice Cream

This is nothing like the American version of generic pistachio ice cream which usually tastes like vanilla ice cream with a few chopped nuts and a bit of green food coloring. This is a serious rich, deep pistachio flavored wonderfulness! I would expect nothing less from Melissa Clark, one of my favorite food writers. This […]

August 15, 2014
At Home with Friends



One of my favorite food writers is Melissa Clark of The New York Times. I love her enthusiasm and sense of adventure, and suspect dinner at her house would be especially tasty. This recipe is adapted from her book In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite (available at my Amazon Affiliate Store). Her recipe is […]

July 18, 2014
At Home with Friends


Smashed Potatoes

I’ve been making these for many years. My friends can attest to this. I wanted the equivalent of homemade potato chips without all the frying. Recently the New York Times posted a recipe for smashed potatoes that is similar but different. I think mine are better. This is a great recipe to add to your […]