|back to home|
Welcome to delicious Destinations, a GourmetStation blog. Through the charater of T.Alexander and occasional real-life guests, our aim is to share with you light-hearted fun ideas about food, gift giving, entertaining and culture. At the same time we would love you hear from you. Please share your experiences from home or abroad.
Web Site Promos
Coffee and Tea
Congratulations With Food
Just For Fun
Louis XIII by Remy Martin
Movies On Food & Wine
Steaks & Steak Dinners
Thank You Food Gifts
Thanksgiving Dinner Delivered
Thinking Of You With Food Gifts
Valentine Dinner Gifts
Dave, Edie & Simonetta
Chris Card Fuller
GourmetStation Policy On Comments
Email Gourmet Station
Subscribe to GourmetStation Blog
Bloomberg Marketing Blogs
Original Design by:
Blue Marble Media
Food Gifts For The Holiday - A Dish With History
Posted: November 27, 2006
It’s almost December. If you’re a foodie you might be thinking about giving food gifts this year. After all, we love to share our passion. GourmetStation has a wide variety of food gifts for the holiday season, but my recommendation is the Ole English Christmas Dinner featuring beef Wellington.
Preparing meat and seafood inside a delicate pastry is a longstanding tradition. The presentation is elegant and the flavors are complex. However, these dishes are something most people, even foodies, do not have the skill or time to prepare. So GourmetStation has done the work for you. If you decide that our Christmas dinner is on your list of food gifts, you might want to share a little history about beef Wellington.
Let’s go all the way back to the kitchen of Arthur Wellesley, First Duke of Wellington. This historical figure was famous for beating Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815. History tells us he was indifferent to food and his kitchen servants were constantly working to prepare a meal that impressed the Duke. Other sources say that the dish got its name from the highly polished riding boot, called a Wellington boot. I think I like the Duke of Wellington version best. In any event, beef Wellington is a splendid food gift to get the attention of those hard to impress names on your holiday shopping list.
Christmas Dinner Around The World
Posted: November 26, 2006
Interestingly many countries use the main stables as the United States – turkey and trimmings. But there are some interesting differences, and if you wish to buck tradition, below are some interesting alternatives to consider:
Australia: Christmas falls in the heat of summer so meats such as ham and chicken are served cold. Seasonal fruits such as mango and cherries adorn the Christmas dinner table.
Germany: As you might imagine meats such as roast goose and white sausage are popular. Austria, due to proximity to Germany, is similar.
United Kingdom – While turkey is traditional at this time, during Medieval times the center of the plate was peacock or boar.
Mexico – (My favorite for lighter eating) An emphasis is on fruits, such as oranges, limes and tropical fruits, and salads including beets and peanuts. Sounds fun!
For Christmas dinner delivered to yourself or others as luxurious food gifts, GourmetStation has a solution for you. Our Ole English Christmas dinner features Beef Wellington as center of the plate. Now I’m off to write a blog post about the history of Beef Wellington. GourmetStation may just be establishing a new tradition for your Christmas dinner.
Planning Holiday Dinner Parties & Christmas Dinner Without The Stress
Posted: November 25, 2006
long party season - starting in earnest with Canadian Thanksgiving in early
October, or late October in the USA with Halloween. And then it just doesn't stop until the 1st of January, when we all wake up with a sore head, and a hefty credit card balance! But we all love it, and so we should!
What we don't love, and should actively avoid...is the stress that often accompanies all of the planning and preparations that are so essential for a successful host or hostess entertaining guests at home. So I want to share with you some well rehearsed tips for planning a holiday dinner party or Christmas dinner which just may help to get you through this season....without a headache!
My number 1 golden rule in successful, stress-free entertaining is... PLANNING AND PREPARATION! If you are not a natural-born "planner", now is the time to learn! The single biggest cause of average, (or worse, disappointing!) hospitality is a host or hostess who is so badly organised and prepared that the party descends into orchestrated chaos!
So here are my top 10 suggestions for slick and stylish entertaining without inducing a single, grey hair!
1.. Menu & Recipes
Plough through as many cook books and websites as you need to in order to prepare a menu that YOU are happy with. If using a website to locate dinner menus, print off the recipes as you find them
2.. Keep it simple!
Do not get carried away by trying to create a menu that is beyond your comfort zone. It is always far better to serve very casual, simple food that has been skillfully prepared than it is to serve extravagant and complex dishes which are poorly or badly cooked!
3.. "Cheat" a little!
Don't be afraid of buying in 1, 2 or more prepared dishes. There are so many excellent suppliers (such as GourmetStation) available now - many of them on the internet. When combined with your own offerings and finished with your individual flourish, no one need ever know your little secret!
4.. Get some Help
If the occasion is beyond your abilities (whether due to restrictions on your time, a large number of guests or a lack of culinary skills), call in some help. That might just be a few close friends. Or perhaps you need to hire Caterers or a Personal Chef. Again, you will find it easy to discover such services in your area on the internet.
5.. Prepare a Timetable
Sit down with a sheet of A4 notepaper and make headings for at least 7 days leading up to the event. Now with all of your recipes spread out in front of you, decide which tasks can be performed ahead of time, and by how much (many dishes are suitable for freezing and can be prepared a week or more in advance). Then under each date heading, list all of the separate stages of preparation.
6.. Make Lists
From your timetable, now prepare lists for the grocery shopping (look out for foods that must be ordered well in advance). Make lists for drinks & beverages to be purchased. And finally make "to-do" lists. Prioritise these in the order of importance (taking the timetable into account). I find
sticky "post-it" notes useful for this. But however you do it, make sure the reminders are somewhere prominent where you won't forget them!
7.. Prepare the Invitation List
Again on A4 note paper, prepare your guest list. Be realistic about numbers! Do not invite more guests than you are comfortable with (or can physically accommodate!). Decide on the invitation format. Depending on the formality of the occasion, a card by post, email or the telephone may be appropriate.
Always leave plenty of time for grocery shopping and do as much well ahead of time as your menu will allow. Bulk shopping can now easily be done online which takes a lot of the physical effort out of the equation. Specialty food purchases can also often be ordered online from gourmet food suppliers. Do not leave shopping to the last moment.... or you will regret it!
9.. Only Spend That Which You Can Afford
Do not be tempted into unnecessary extravagance that you cannot afford as spending excessively rarely impresses people. Plan your budget...and stick to it. Just a few small, luxury items will go a very long way and is all that is needed!
10.. Relax and enjoy yourself!
My final golden rule to stress-free entertaining is to at all times, remember that good hospitality is all about enjoyment...for your guests, and especially for yourself! So relax. Don't allow yourself to get too bogged down by worrying over every small detail. Even when kitchen mishaps do occur, our well intentioned, invited friends are almost always, very
forgiving! After all, it is the Holidays...another drink anyone?
Happy Holidays everyone.
Dinner Of The Month From GourmetStation
Posted: November 21, 2006
(PRWeb) November 21, 2006 -- GourmetStation announced they are featuring their Dinner of the Month program for holiday shopping 2006. All GourmetStation dinner gifts are designed for the connoisseur with both quality and convenience top of mind. With only thirty minutes preparation busy patrons may enjoy a delicious gourmet dinner delivered.
The Dinner of the Month program is one of GourmetStation's most popular food gifts. Programs are available for both 3 and 4 course gourmet dinners delivered. Program durations are 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. Gift recipients may enjoy a 3 or 4 course dinner for two every month from GourmetStation's wide variety of menus including Parisian, Tuscan, Cajun and Fusion. "Our dinner of the month food gift was recently featured by BusinessWeek.com in their gift guide," says Donna Lynes-Miller, founder and President of GourmetStation. "Described as Take Out Ecstasy our gourmet dinners delivered were compared to food from a top restaurant. Our goal is accomplished when our patrons can enjoy restaurant quality cuisine at home. Our Dinner of the Month Club allows them to do just that." 1-888-944-9794
"Our dinner of the month food gift was recently featured by BusinessWeek.com in their gift guide," says Donna Lynes-Miller, founder and President of GourmetStation. "Described as Take Out Ecstasy our gourmet dinners delivered were compared to food from a top restaurant. Our goal is accomplished when our patrons can enjoy restaurant quality cuisine at home. Our Dinner of the Month Club allows them to do just that."
New Christmas Dinner Menu at GourmetStation
Posted: November 21, 2006
We hope you enjoy this "hot off the press" release about our new Ole English Christmas Dinner featuring Beef Wellington - Enjoy!
(PRWeb) November 21, 2006 -- GourmetStation announced they are accepting reservations for Christmas dinners delivered - Ole English Christmas Dinner For Two. All GourmetStation dinners are designed for the connoisseur with both quality and convenience top of mind. With only thirty minutes preparation time for this Christmas dinner delivered, busy patrons are left with time to enjoy family and friends. GourmetStation is also offering free 2 day shipping. Preview menu at this link.
The menu for this holiday food gift consists of rosemary boule, creamy tomato basil soup, beef Wellington with creamy spinach and artichokes, and raspberry cordial cheesecake. Euro blend coffee and after-dinner candy round out the Christmas dinner delivered with a complimentary floating candle for the holiday dinner table. The menu for two with complimentary gift is priced at $89.99 plus free 2 day shipping.
"This year's Christmas dinner is extraordinary and unique," says Donna Lynes-Miller, founder and President of GourmetStation, "While we have featured food gifts with French, Italian, Cajun and Asian menus, we have never introduced a truly English menu." Lynes-Miller went on to comment, "this years Ole English Christmas dinner has all the warmth of the culture in England."
BusinessWeek.com Features Dinner of the Month Program
Posted: November 21, 2006
We are so appreciative that Julie Gordon with BusinessWeek.com took the time to review our gourmet dinners delivered and include GourmetStation in their “Food For Thoughtful Gifts” guide for holiday shoppers. Julie chose to focus on GourmetStation’s Dinner of the Month selections. This is the 2nd season we’ve featured Dinner of the Month gifts. In 2006 they were our top seller.
Julie is from New York and thoroughly researched her top picks for this great article. I especially like the Brown Card concept. “The ultimate gift for any true chocolate lover, the Brown Card entitles holders to incredible perks, including a tour of Cluizel's factory in Damville, France, a private lesson on being a "sommelier of chocolate," and private tastings.”
GourmetStation’s Dinner of The Month programs are featured under a section called TAKE OUT ECSTASY. “For those who love food but have no time to cook, GourmetStation offers a convenient and delicious meal delivery service. The $999 program gives two people three-course dinners one night a month for a year. Although it's delivered frozen, the food tastes nothing like typical TV dinners. The soups, fish and meat dishes, baguettes, sides, and desserts truly taste like they come from a top restaurant.”
Don’t forget to check out the slide show. Each of Julie’s picks is featured with a nice product photo and contact information. Happy shopping!
Wine Suggestions For Your Christmas Dinner
Posted: November 21, 2006
A Christmas dinner from GourmetStation is a wonderful way to relieve a little stress from the busy holiday. It is one less thing to worry about and you can spend your whole evening or morning enjoying the holiday and friends instead of cooking. And with a couple of wine pairing tips it really will be a Merry Christmas! Below are the individual menu selections from this year’s Ole English Christmas Dinner, along with my wine suggestions for each Christmas dinner course.
Christmas Dinner Starters: Rosemary Boule and Creamy Tomato Basil Soup:
Pighin Pinot Grigio Grave del Friuli – Pale straw gold in color with a delicate floral and white fruit aroma. The palate has a clean supple texture with peachy stone fruit flavors and the classic floral and hazelnut notes. Ends with a dry elegant finish.
Wattle Creek Sauvignon Blanc Mendocino – A pale straw hue with streaks of green. A touch of anise is noticeable, but the wine is dominated by lime and grapefruit flavors in the nose. Those flavors follow in the mouth with a satiny texture and a long dry lemon peel finish. A vibrant balanced wine.
Louis Jadot Pouilly Fuisse – A classic harmonious expression of Pouilly Fuisse showing the traditional Chardonnay fruit flavors with notes of melon and minerals, gently touched with oak and ending in a fresh, silky finish. Clean fruit persisting to the finish.
Christmas Dinner Entrees: Beef Wellington With Demi Glace Sauce & Creamy Spinach:
It is thought that Beef Wellington is named after Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington. Beef Wellington is a filet of beef tenderloin coated with pâté de foie gras and a duxelles of mushrooms that are then all wrapped in puff pastry. Decadence at its finest and very deserving for Christmas. Lets pick out some wine matches as special as the entrée.
King Estate Domaine Pinot Noir – 100% Pinot Noir grapes grown on the estate’s certified organic vineyards. This spicy, silky full-bodied Pinot shows a lot of class and style and many layers of flavor. As the fruit glides onto the palate, you taste a pleasing mix of blueberry, cherry, pomegranate, violet, toast and vanilla. The acids and tannins are balanced with a rich mouthfeel and a long lingering finish.
Alter Ego de Palmer Margaux – The other wine of Chateau Palmer of Bordeaux. Perfumed aromas of chocolate, berry and coffee. Intensely fresh and fruity, juicy and irresistible. Full-bodied with a reserved rich and caressing texture. This wine is made to be appreciated within the first few years of bottling. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Jean Luc Colombo Cornas ‘Les Ruchets’ AOC – Violet in color with a bright rim. Blackberry, rose, violet and asian spice aroma. Lush in the mouth, with concentrated plum, cassis, a delicate herbal component and a touch of vanilla. No rough edges or over ripeness. Long, rich finish. 100% Syrah from 90 plus year old wines.
To finish off your Old English Christmas dinner lets make Kir Imperials as an accompaniment to the raspberry cordial cheesecake. Pour 2/3 of an ounce of Chambord liqueur in a champagne flute and top with sparkling wine, gently stir.
Enjoy and have a wonderful holiday and we hope these suggestions help you create an unforgettable Christmas dinner!
Thanksgiving Dinners Delivered – It’s Not Too Late
Posted: November 15, 2006
I for one cannot believe that Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK. Have you started preparing your Thanksgiving dinner yet? I don’t know about you, but the anticipation, planning and preparation is as much fun as the event.
We’ve been very busy at GourmetStation preparing our food gifts for delivery this Thanksgiving. So far there are Thanksgiving turkey dinners being delivered to every state. Many of our patrons are purchasing these Thanksgiving dinners delivered for themselves – so they can let GourmetStation do the work providing them time to enjoy their day. Many others are being delivered to loved ones – some aging parents or other relatives who cannot or are not inclined to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner.
In any event, we’re here if you need us. Don’t forget to enter the promo code listed on our order page to receive free shipping. You will automatically receive 4 complimentary gifts including a pretty fall floating candle, Thanksgiving prayer, and for late night snacking, gourmet cookies and Numi organic tea.
Boca Party Supplies
Posted: November 11, 2006
Let’s face it – what would life be without parties? While the event itself is fun, it’s the anticipation and planning that I love the most. It’s an art. Like painting a picture – starting with a gala theme and then filling in the blanks. The most critical element to pulling off a successful party is reliable resources, and I’ve found one for you.
Whether you’re a professional party planner or just someone that likes to “do it right”, you need to know about Boca Party Supplies. Bob Lindstrom owns Boca Party Supplies and works with Patti Combs, a party industry innovator for many years. Their headquarters are in Florida and they ship nationally.
The piece that caught my eye is the chocolate fountain. If I could keep it continually filled with melted flowing chocolate (it holds 15 lbs.) I imagine my mood and energy level would improve. Seriously, renting these beautiful pieces is an option, but consider purchasing them and having them on hand for all your parties – large and small.
Tiered trays are also available and the prices are quite attractive. You can purchase a stainless 15 inch serving tray with 24K gold decoration for $160.00. So what if you’re not having a party. Treat yourself royally and use this beautiful piece to serve yourself Sunday brunch croissants! You deserve it.
Thanksgiving Prayer For Thanksgiving Dinner
Posted: November 5, 2006
I was raised in the Southeast in a small town where tradition ruled. Prayer was generally led by the Patriarch at family gatherings and Thanksgiving dinner was no exception. If you need a little coaching with a Thanksgiving prayer to lead into that delicious Thanksgiving dinner, I've got a few resources for you.
All About Prayer is a nice web site that gives practical advice on praying. For Thanksgiving they recommend that you look back on the family events for the year. Were there births, weddings or other celebration events? Were there hard times? If so, what life lessons were learned? The answers to these questions will help you write a meaningful prayer of thanks. All About Prayer also suggests you call out the names of every person present at the Thanksgiving dinner and give thanks for their presence.
Even though I keep my eyes tightly closed against the morning light as long as possible, Thank you Lord, that I can see. There are many who are blind.
Even though I huddle in my bed and put off the effort of rising, Thank you Lord, that I have the strength to rise. There are many who are bed ridden.
Even though the first hour of my day is hectic when socks are lost, toast burned and tempers short, Thank you Lord, for my family. There are many who are lonely.
Even though our breakfast table never looks like the pictures in magazines & the menu is at times unbalanced, Thank you Lord, for the food we have. There are many who have no food.
Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day and wish my circumstances were different, Thank you Lord, for the gift of life.