Holly's Blog!

Why Going Gluten Free Might be Worth a Try

For a pasta loading, carb loving, bread craving foodie like me, the idea of going gluten free was about as likely as growing pointed ears and hitching a ride on the Starship Enterprise. However, I’ve become increasingly interested in the health and wellness benefits of reducing, and even eliminating gluten from our menus. I’ve also learned a few things about gluten that have opened my eyes and taste buds. Here’s some reasons why going gluten free might be worth a try,

Antioxidant Menus For Healthy Entertaining!

If you’re planning to kick off a diet, cleanse, or new healthy regimen, you’ll be delighted to know that you don’t have to stop eating great food and entertaining in style. You can enjoy a healthy lifestyle full of antioxidants and cleansing ingredients in you daily meals and menus. See what I learned about antioxidants and how you can cook, eat, and entertain your way to health and wellness in 2013!

Ring in 2013 by Dining in and Making Tamales!

Ring in 2013 by dining in and making classic handmade tamales at home with friends. Our recipe gives you a step-by step approach. Tamales are a special treat. Here’s how we make Pork Tamales with Chile Sauce, and assemble them as a group, perfect for New Year’s eve dinner party entertainment!

10 Tips for Hosting a Holiday Baking Day & Cookie Swap

Holiday baking and cookie swaps are a highlight of the season! I can’t think of anything more fun than getting friends together to bake fresh goodies, and giving them to teachers, colleagues, friends, and family. After several years of hosting an annual Holiday Baking Day & Cookie Swap, I decided to jot down 10 tips that make the day a delight for everyone. Here’s to sharing many happy cooking memories with your friends!

Give the Gift of Cooking This Holiday Season

“Give the gift of cooking this holiday season and it will last a lifetime,” says Mauro Golmarvi, Owner of Assaggio Ristorante in Seattle, in this week’s guest blog. “Catching up with friends and family around a hearty, home prepared meal is the best gift we can give each other. I encourage you to cook at least once beyond the big holiday meal and to get everyone involved – even the bambinos! It’s never to early to start helping in the kitchen. Lessons taught now, will be cherished later. Now, I know cooking is not for everyone. To be a chef, you must be dedicated and have passion for even the smallest details in your kitchen and recipes. But cooking is also about traditions,” says Mauro. Read more to learn his restaurant secrets you can use in your kitchen at home.

Italian Style Holiday Comfort Food

This month we’re cooking up comfort food with Italian chefs and getting some fabulous holiday menus in the process. This week we take you to Brad’s Swingside Café in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. Owner Brad Inserra takes us into his restaurant’s kitchen to recreate the Sicilian classic, Eggplant Caponata. His sweet and spicy sauté is a great start to a cozy Italian menu. It’s just the beginning of a holiday comfort food dinner plan we’ve put together from some of our favorite Italian recipes. It’s comfort food your friends are sure to love. Get our complete menu here!

What to Serve in Between Holiday Feasts

Tired of turkey, but still have lots of holiday entertaining to do? Pasta is a great alternative to the turkey, ham, and lamb dishes we typically enjoy this time of year. Pasta can even be served with a wonderful lamb ragout, if you want to keep things festive and hearty! For inspiring ideas, we’re talking to Italian restaurateurs all month. We’ll get their take on Pasta Perfect dishes you can serve at home. This week, we made fresh, hand-cut pappardelle pasta with Aimee Pellegrini, owner of La Romanza Bistro Italiano in Seattle. We went behind the scenes, in her restaurant’s kitchen, to see how she makes pasta from scratch. Aimee shares her family secrets for making perfect pasta every time.

National Bake Cookies Day Sweepstakes

Enter our Cookie Baking Sweepstakes and you could win $100 in Cookie Baking Gear. The Sweepstakes is open to new and existing fans or subscribers of TheBrownLounge.com. Simply become (or verify your status as) a fan by going to our Facebook Page and “like” the page. Then enter the Sweepstakes. Winner will be chosen at random on National Bake Cookies Day, December 18, 2012. For complete Sweepstakes details and great holiday cookie recipes click here.

Giving Thanks Brown Lounge Style

We have so much to be thankful for this holiday season. Thanksgiving Day itself is a wonderful gift of family, food, and friends. Here’s how we get things cooking at our place, starting with prepping the bird. Our bird gets the “3 B’s” at Thanksgiving. Brine, Butter and Basting. Truth is, my husband is in charge of the turkey. I’m in charge of the menu and preparation of everything else. I truly love spending the day in the kitchen sampling, and sipping Prosecco while I cook. Below you’ll discover how we put together our Turkey Day, starting with how we get a moist and tasty bird every time.

How to Host a Harvest Crush Party

If this is the image that comes to mind when someone says we’re having a “Crush Party,” then we’re on the same wavelength. Throwing a Crush Party can be a lavish celebration of Harvest, or a simple food and wine pairing event. Of course, it’s completely up to you if you want to make some grape stomping one of the activities. The period culminating in the grape “crush” begins when the grapes start to change color in mid to late summer. The actual picking of the grapes usually happens between August and November.