Penelope Wall's Blog
I am the queen of last-minute party planning. Leave it to me to throw a fete armed with nothing more than a shopping list two hours before showtime. In the end, I've found guests never seem to notice that it's last-minute so long as they have a drink in hand and a few tasty vittles to nibble on.
My secret? First things first, I place beverages and glasses in a strategic location so early-bird guests can help themselves to drinks while I'm finishing up in the kitchen. Secondly, I like to think of...read full post »
It’s time for my annual holiday cookie swap. I had so much success with my 100-calorie cookie platter last year that I decided to try the challenge again this year.
I like say that I live by the “everything in moderation” mantra, but something about the holidays makes me want to throw that out the window. It’s all those cookies—they’re my downfall! So if I can fill my platter with festive,...read full post »
First of all, let’s make one thing clear: I am not an exercise guru. When I told my editor I wanted to write this piece about 10-minute exercise ideas, she laughed and said, “YOU want to write about exercise?” She knows me all too well. I like to squeeze as many things into my day as possible, but for some reason, when it comes to exercise, I seem to have every excuse in the book for not doing it. The one that most easily slips off my tongue? “I don’t have time.” Am I the only one in this sedentary, time-starved boat? I don’t think so.
Now that it’s the busy holiday season, time is even more precious. Plus it’s harder for me to feel motivated when it’s cold and dark outside.
I’ve never hosted Thanksgiving dinner before and I don’t think I will, so long as the more seasoned home cooks in my family keep inviting my husband and me to their houses for the holiday.
For every household hosting Thanksgiving this year, there are plenty of households not hosting (i.e., being the guests). Since I'm not going to roast a turkey, I want to offer to help out somehow. My favorite contribution? Bringing a beautiful dessert to share. It’s a great way to try a new recipe and contribute to the meal without being in the way or taking up precious oven space when I get there. Read: make-ahead, totable, super-easy AND delicious. (A bonus if it can still say “Thanksgiving” without knocking me and everyone else over with a 10-pound block of butter.)
These 5 recipes fit that bill perfectly.
More...read full post »
“Hate is a very strong word,” my mother used to say to me across the dinner table. “You should be grateful for the food on your plate.”
“But I hate it!” I’d squeak back to her in the most pitiful whine I could muster.
“Penelope Ann,” she’d say in that voice, tilting her head ever so slightly. I knew the fight was over. I ate it—whatever IT was.
Now that I’m an adult, I get to choose the foods that go on my plate. Every day, that is, except for Thanksgiving, when roast turkey has tenure as the main attraction for no other reason that I can see except for tradition. And if you know about my tofu turkey, you know I am not one for tradition....read full post »