Category Archives: food and gather

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5 Tips for the Holiday Table with Anchal Project

When it comes to hosting over the holidays, we love simple and approachable gatherings where the items we sourced can be used over and over again. As soon as we knew our friends at the Anchal Project were offering table linens for the season, we couldn’t wait to partner with them to give you some tips for the perfect holiday table top.

We must be honest. We love using neutrals and a more minimal approach when it comes to decorating for the season. With a few steps outside our door it’s easy to approach various pine, birch trees, and waxed magnolia leaves to add seasonal greenery to the table, adding additional and seasonal texture.

Anchal Project partners with women to provide stunning fair-trade garments, textiles, and goods to the market. (Find our previous interview with Anchal Project here.) With a background in architecture and design, two sisters are bringing positive social change and putting my hometown on the map. We have been a huge fan of their work and are continually impressed with the products and design they roll out year after year. With a favorite Christmas record playing, we styled this cozy table using our favorite products from their newly launched table linen collection.

One: Know Your Palette

When adding textiles to our table, we loved the similarity of geometric stitching and chose both the runner in slate and napkins in bone. By keeping the palette cohesive we added special festive touches with black stoneware and black mugs to hold any warm cocktail throughout the evening. This palette is simple, understated, and works perfectly in any interior.

Two: Add a touch of the unexpected.

By using twine and a simple tag stating “Peace on Earth” there’s an additional festive touch, with a sprig of douglas fir pine lying on the napkin, the table setting is complete and evokes an understated elegance. We love how this tag mirrors the message of Anchal Project and can’t think of a message the world needs more. (Download the tags at the bottom of the post.)

Three: Something found and something green.

No table is complete without a touch of the outdoors and a bit of wooden texture. For this table’s centerpiece, we used a variety of foraged greenery and found pieces of driftwood from our nearby Whiskeytown shore.

Four: Set the mood.

Light candles, put on a favorite Christmas record, and relax. As you’re hosting, make sure to add a bit of margin before guests arrive. With cozy cocktails, offer a mocktail option for everyone to partake regardless of their preference. We love to feel just as cozy as well and loved wearing the Didi Tassel Scarf from Anchal for this gathering. (Go to today’s giveaway post on Instagram to enter to win this scarf! Day One of Gifting has begun!)

Five: Embrace layers and texture.

These table linens have a natural texture with modern embroidery lines. It would have been easy to add metal geometrics everywhere, but would have been too much. When styling a table, just like in all good design, it takes an editing eye. By embracing a variety of greenery, it added an element of texture. Other elements of texture included a sandblasted concrete in a pale blush, a natural twine, and matte black stoneware. To keep the textures natural, we finished the table setting with a simple brushed metal flatware.

Shop this post:

Organic Cotton Arrow Table Runner in Slate from Anchal Project
Organic Cotton Arrow Napkin Set in Bone from Anchal Project
Didi Black and White Scarf with Tassels from Anchal Project

Download the Peace on Earth Tags Here

This post was a conversation brought to you by the Anchal Project. Product and a giveaway was provided as compensation for this post. All thoughts and opinions are our own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that underwrite Glisten and Grace.

 

 

 

stuffed acorn squash

Stuffed Acorn Squash

One of my favorite traditional dishes on Thanksgiving is stuffing. With the crispy and nutty texture of organic wheat bread cubes, browned chicken sausage, and honeycrisp apples, it boasts classic flavors that we crave for leftovers. It’s always the first side dish to run out and we make two pans of stuffing solely to have enough leftovers. How do you create a delicious stuffing option without bread? We made a smart substitution by ditching the bread but adding quinoa. The container for this stuffing mixture? A roasted acorn squash.

Keep reading for the full recipe after the jump!


Stuffed Acorn Squash

6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 acorn squash
  • 3 T organic extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground salt and pepper
  • 1 lb chicken breakfast sausage
  • 1 C quinoa, cooked according to package instructions
  • 3 stalks of celery, cleaned and diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, minced
  • 1 honeycrisp apple, diced
  • 1/2 C dried cranberries
  • 1/2 C walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Rinse off squash and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Using a sharp knife, cut squash in half. With a large spoon scoop out seeds and discard. With a pastry brush, apply olive oil on the flesh of the acorn squash. Season liberally with fresh ground salt and pepper. Place in oven and cook for 45 minutes or until fork tender.

Meanwhile, begin to make the stuffing. Cook quinoa according to package instructions. In a large skillet, brown the chicken sausage over medium high heat. Once chicken is cooked, remove and place to the side. Add diced apple, onion, and celery to the pan. Cook until translucent. Add fresh herbs, cranberries, and walnuts. Once quinoa is cooked and all excess liquid is removed, add quinoa and browned sausage to the pan and bring to temperature.

Spoon stuffing mixture in squash. Return to oven and cook for 10 minutes. Enjoy our favorite dish from this Friendsgiving!

 

 

braised turkey breast

Braised Turkey Breast with Burnt Citrus

As a kid I remember watching an episode of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. It was an episode where Will, Carlton, and Hilary were tasked with cooking a Thanksgiving dinner for his mom. At one point the turkey was frozen another it caught on fire. Everytime I cook a turkey this episode replays in my mind. By keeping techniques simple, you’re guaranteed a moist and delicious turkey. Over the years, I’ve typically cooked things with a brine, but this year I opted to mix things up with braising technique. While cooking a whole turkey is impressive in appearance, by breaking your turkey into smaller pieces you’ll be able to flavor the meat more thoroughly, retain moisture, and cut down your cooking time.

With the addition of burnt citrus and aromatics, this turkey is unlike anything you’ve ever had before. (We got our dutch oven here and are finding every way to use it possible.) 


Braised Turkey Breast with Burnt Citrus

Servings 6

  • 3 T organic olive oil
  • 1 half of a turkey breast, 4-6 lbs
  • 3 oranges, sliced in rounds and one orange cut into wedges
  • 2 lemons, sliced in rounds
  • 4 C organic chicken stock
  • 3 stalks of celery, cut into pieces 3 inches in length
  • 6 organic carrots, washed and cut into pieces 3 inches in length
  • 1 onion, cut into wedges
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 sprigs of sage
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a large dutch oven, bring olive oil to heat over medium high heat. Season turkey breast thoroughly with ground salt and pepper. Brown the sides of a turkey breast. Rotating every 7 minutes, until all 4 sides are browned. Place to the side.

Add garlic and onion to the pan. Cook until onion is translucent. Add stalks of celery, carrots, and sprigs of fresh herbs. Juice oranges and place wedges into pot. Stirring occasionally, cook until vegetables are beginning to become tender. Add chicken stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and return turkey breast to the pan. Cook for 2 hours, checking every 30 minutes. Remove from heat when the internal temperature of turkey breast on the bone reads 165 degrees F. 30 minutes prior to turkey being cooked, preheat oven to broil or 450 degrees F. Place sliced oranges and lemons on aluminum foil lined cookie sheet. Broil in oven until there is a slight char around the edges and on the flesh of the citrus. Allow the turkey breast to rest on the cutting board for 15 minutes before carving. Place cooked vegetables on platter. Add fresh rosemary. Add carved turkey breast and top with charred citrus on top.

Remove fresh herbs from sauce and bring cooking liquid to boil. Reduce to half and stain. Serve gravy alongside turkey.

 

gluten free mini chai bundt cakes

Gluten-Free Mini Chai Bundt Cakes

With gluten-free cooking, there’s a common struggle, when baking items, it’s challenging to get the proper rise and texture with alternative flours. This recipe takes the cake. (Pun intended.) By substituting the butter and oil in the recipe for unsweetened applesauce, the cake is light, fluffy, and rich. Instead of using brewed chai and having the dough become runny, chai tea in the batter keeps the flavor rich and robust.

Keep reading for the full recipe after the jump!



Gluten-Free Mini Chai Bundt Cakes

Servings: 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 C organic coconut sugar
  • 2 1/4 C all-purpose gluten-free flour (we use the Trader Joe’s blend)
  • 1 1/2 t arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 2/3 C almond milk, plain
  • 3 teabags of chai tea

For glaze:

  • 1 C powdered sugar
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 3 T almond milk, plain

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Grease mini bundt pan with coconut oil.

Begin by sifting sugar, flour, arrowroot powder, baking soda, salt, and teabags. Place in stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed while adding eggs, vanilla extract, applesauce, and almond milk. Use a spatula to incorporate mixture on the sides. Once mixture is thoroughly incorporated, pour into cake pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Check cakes with toothpick, as a slight crumb on the side of the toothpick, marks the perfect timing to remove from the oven.

While cakes are baking, make glaze for the cakes. Using a small bowl and whisk. Combine powdered sugar, almond milk, and vanilla extract.

Let pan rest for 5 minutes to cool. Then turn upside down on cooling rack. Place cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet to allow for glaze to drip off. Once cakes have cooled apply glaze. Prior to serving dust with powdered sugar. Enjoy!

 

friendsgiving 2017

Friendsgiving 2017

This post would better be titled how to clean, shop, and cook for Friendsgiving in a day. As a blogger, it’s easy to come up with hosting solutions and ideas that take a long time and are incredibly creative. This Friendsgiving my life required a bit more simplicity. I started with the size. While I love the farmhouse table in our townhome, it can feel a bit tight. With the focus of Friendsgiving being the food, I wanted plenty of tablespace, so I apted to invite 3 friends to join me. The morning of the dinner, I cleaned the lower level of our house and purchased groceries. As the turkey was cooking, I set the table.

It has become the norm that most everyone at my table eats incredibly healthy. With this in mind, this Thanksgiving I opted for fare that was gluten-free in nature. Using some smart substitutions, our meal was light and festive, honing in seasonal flavors and allowing them to take center stage.


For the table, I used some new favorite pieces from Target’s Hearth and Hand by Magnolia collection. Our centerpiece was simple, adding a few sprigs of cornflower, eucalyptus, and seasonal farm spray to an antique glass gallon jug in the house. With a table dressed in white washed linen, the wrinkles add an effortless look. To fill in the rest of the table, I used various white and green gourds and mini pumpkins. For balance and to offset the flowers, I placed two brass candlesticks with taper candles. Wanting additional elements of texture, I used a creamy gray stoneware plate and striped napkin. In lieu of traditional napkin rings, I used rawhide leather strips wrapped around the napkin multiple times and fixed with an informal knot. For the touch of the unexpected, I added black stoneware mugs, bread plates, and 8 oz clear glasses. The overall look is simple, unexpected, and smart juxtapositions lending itself to a casual and autumnal vibe.




Remember when I stated, that I wanted things to feel simple? This carried to the food as well. Rather than loads of options and a potluck, I started with a beautiful charcuterie tray. Peppered with meats, cheeses, olives, bread, and crackers. I placed it on a beautiful wooden circle tray from Hearth and Hand. Then, I followed the meal up with stuffed acorn squash, braised turkey breast with burnt citrus, and garlic mashed potatoes. For dessert, we had chai two ways: liquid and mini gluten-free bundt cakes.

A few Life hacks for hosting:

Look for the unexpected and affordable.

Strips of leather as napkin rings, foraged greenery, and repurposing gourds from Halloween, keep the table fresh and decor affordable. For cocktails, we used black stoneware mugs we had on hand, perfect for a bourbon cider chai.

Keep wooden cutting boards fresh and clean.

Place a piece of parchment paper underneath meats and cheese on the board. This will protect it, keeping the wood from absorbing the oil.

Candlesticks.

Taper candles always look a bit better when burnt down. Use masking tape on the bottom or a lighter to slightly melt the candle and keep it in place.

Dress in comfortable, light layers.

Throughout the day, you might feel like you’re tied to the stove. Wear light layers that are breathable and allow you to stay cool in the kitchen. Plan 30 minutes to get ready before your guests arrive. Put on a favorite playlist or record, light candles, and have drinks ready when guests arrive.

Foraging is your friend.

I can’t tell you how many moments and thoughtful gatherings have come together with a bit of foraging. Take a walk on your property, drive down a street, and discover the beauty that surrounds you. We will be reusing our dried eucalyptus from the fall months with evergreen for a stunning wreath for the front door. (Stay tuned for this simple DIY, coming soon!)

Shop this post:

Round wooden cutting board
Gray striped napkins
Black stoneware salad plate
Cream stoneware dinner plate
Black stoneware mugs
Washed Linen Tablecloth

Stay tuned as we share recipes tomorrow!

See past year’s Friendsgivings here and here.

This post contains affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We receive compensation for any purchase from this post.
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