Infusing grandeur into otherwise drab Monday mornings with five things/ideas/events for the week:


I.  What better way to celebrate Thankgivukkah than with an elaborate feast?!  With Hanukkah falling on Thanksgiving this year, it’s the perfect excuse to combine festive fare from both holidays to create an extra-gluttonous menu to be thankful for.  (And it’s your only chance to partake in the dual holiday for the next 79,000 years, making this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity).  


I highly recommend pairing your kosher turkey and pumpkin noodle kugel with my truffle salted latkes and flourless chocolate cake topped with gelt.  These recipes require little prep-work, making them the ideal additions to your celebratory cuisine. 

II.  On the topic of holidays, you are surely going mad trying to pull everything together by Thursday.  Something that usually takes up a great deal of time day-of is the floral centerpiece. Picking complimentary flowers, cleaning and cutting the stems, finding a place for each bud to create a gigantic arrangement…  Why not skip all of this, and buy a dozen roses (I’m going with orange) and a few bunches of branches?  Putting together the components couldn’t be easier, and the branches fill up the dining table, while allowing guests to see one another during dinner.

III.  Sometimes, though not often, that other metropolitan municipal on the East Coast comes up with a novel idea before we do.  Reluctantly, I must admit that one of these small moments of genius came in the form of flavored ice cubes at Ichabod’s.  Besides looking pretty in highball glasses, the infused ice adds flavor to your cocktail as it melts.  My favorite was the black tea ice in the “Aphrodite” (a delicious blend of honey, orange brandy, rum, lemon, and nutmeg).  Recreate these gems by letting your imagination run wild (see above for ideas) using King Cube silicon trays!

IV.  San Francisco is known as a cultural mecca, yet far too often I hear people complain that there aren’t enough opportunities to enjoy the city’s treasures with fun like-minded people.  Sure there may be a young professionals board for everything from the Opera to the de Young, but the purpose of these organizations often gets lost in membership parties having little to do with actually appreciating the arts.

To remedy this, Symphonix put together Beyond the Score on December 1st: brunch to get to know fellow symphony enthusiasts, chamber music performance, champagne reception - and the best part, a meet and greet with the musicians afterward.  Don’t miss this unique chance, tickets must be reserved by Wednesday!

V.  Lately, I’ve found that many of my friends are coming to me for advice about which tools are essential for the kitchen.  Years ago, I did a series on this (pt. I, II, III), but if I had to pick one tool that will change your culinary life, it would be knives.  Shun is my favorite, and all you need is a chef’s knife (I swear by my 7-inch Santoku) and a pairing knife.  Amazon has amazing deals on the brand!

Have a wonderful week, and happy holidays!  xx tt