Chef, event planner offer ideas for holiday hostesses

Photo by Evelyn Cairns

The table setting designed by event planner Leslie Jacobs for the cooking class “Razzle, Dazzle & Oh So Fabulous Cocktail Party: A Holiday Spectacular!” Dec. 12 at The Henry. Note how she used glass window blocks to display the decorative items at different levels.

By Evelyn Cairns
Chef Kenneth Lincoln of The Henry and Leslie Jabobs, event planner, joined hands to offer prospective holiday hostesses easy and elegant ideas for entertaining Dec. 12 during the final class of the year in the hotel’s Cooking With Style series.

The class, attended by some 25 students, was titled “Razzle, Dazzle & Oh So Fabulous Cocktail Party: A Holiday Spectacular!” and was, indeed, that.

Among the menu items Lincoln demonstrated for a small-plate party were Herbed Arancini Balls with Romesco Sauce; Roasted Lamb with Ragout of Apple, Bacon and Fennel; Mini Tossed Green Salad; and Stuffed Salmon en Croute with Tomato Caper Relish.

The unique presentation of the salad in a martini glass, and the easy-to-prepare salmon en croute drew raves.

The salad consisted of shredded lettuce topped with chopped grilled vegetables, grape tomatoes, Havarti cheese, and herbed vinaigrette.

For the salmon en croute, small portions of the fish were stuffed with dill-scented Boursin cheese and wrapped in store-bought puff pastry before being baked.

After the demonstration, the classmates were served a small-plate dinner featuring Lincoln’s recipes at tables festively decorated by Jacobs.

Among the decorations were Christmas bulbs in glassware of assorted sizes and shapes; votive candles; silver-and gold-sprayed branches and coin plants; and vases of fresh tulips, rhubrum and calla lilies, mums and roses. Jacobs used glass window blocks to display them at different levels.

“Try reinventing what you already have,” she advised the class. “Don’t throw away the glass vases when people send you flowers — reuse the vases by filling them with flowers or other things. And remember, a pitcher doesn’t have to be just for water — it can hold flowers or breadsticks.”

Jacobs also advises shopping the dollar stores, T.J. Max and Michael’s for glassware, plates and other decorative items. For a stunning holiday table, she suggests buying silver or gold lame fabric and using it as a tablecloth.

“Entertaining is all about color, lighting and being organized, she said. “Turn down the lights, use candles, put on some music, and when you plan your menu, don’t forget that a lot of people are vegetarians today.

A new series of cooking classes is scheduled to begin in February.

Copies of Lincoln’s recipes are available by sending a stamped self-addressed envelope to Evelyn Cairns, Box 869, Grosse Ile, MI, 48138.

Art winners announced
Winners of the current juried art exhibit at the Wyandotte Arts Center, “The Color of Winter,” were announced this week by Tammy Trudelle, executive director of the Downriver Council for the Arts, which sponsored the contest.

Janet Kondziela of Dearborn captured the first prize of $100 for her painting of “Hill Houses.” Second place and $50 went to Vivian Longfellow of Taylor for “Blizzard,” and third place and $25 to Ronald Mitchell of Grosse Ile, for “Winter Shadows.”

Approximately 114 paintings were entered in the show, which continues through Jan. 13, along with the exhibit “The Group of Ten.” The latter features the works of 10 Downriver artists who participated in an intense weeklong artist workshop in Maine led by Karl Kamulski.

The DCA is hosting its annual Christmas boutique, overflowing with jewelry, decorated glassware, paintings and wood carvings, among a wide assortment of handmade gift items.

The center, at 81 Chestnut, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 2 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays. It is closed Mondays and will not be open during the holidays, from Dec. 24 through Jan. 2.

Save the date . . .
Jan. 12 — Downriver Town Hall program featuring Steve Ross, pianist and cabaret singer; 11 a.m. at Crystal Gardens, 16703 Fort St., Southgate (doors open at 10 a.m.); luncheon preceding the program costs $10.50; for additional information, call 734-783-9224.

Jan. 13 — Charity black-tie preview party kicking off the North American International Auto Show; 6 to 9 p.m. at Cobo Hall; tickets are $250 ($240 tax-deductable); for additional information, call 888-838-7500.