Introducing Isaac Mizrahi's ...
On his new QVC show, the designer turns his whimsical eye toward home (and cheesecake!)
1. I like clean shapes. When in doubt, I go for simple, bold design.
2. Everyone just looks better in classic incandescent lamplight.
3. Washed cotton sheets and a feather duvet—that's my idea of luxury. In a past life I must have been a Swede who had a really good time in bed.
LET 'EM EAT PLAID
"Why did I combine food and fashion?" asks the baking-obsessed designer of this Tartan cheesecake. "Because I can."
8" Tartan Plaid Cheesecake, $40; qvc.com
TAKES THE CAKE
"If the crowning glory of your tablescape is your plaid dessert, why not serve it on a gorgeous plaid cake platter?" he says.
Holiday Plaid Porcelain Cake Plate, $39; qvc.com
The "model" for these aw-inspiring dishes? Mizrahi's collie-retriever mix Harry, whom he calls "the dearest thing in my life."
"Harry" Dessert Plates, $40 for four; qvc.com
Isaac Mizrahi Live! premieres Saturday, Dec. 5 on QVC
Spike Mendelsohn's ...
LUNCH FOR FOUR UNDER $10
The Top Chef alumnus and owner of Chicago's Good Stuff Eatery offers a twist on a traditional turkey burger
FREE-RANGE TURKEY BURGER WITH ORANGE-GINGER CRANBERRY SAUCE
• 2 tbsp. butter
• 1 cup diced celery
• 1 cup diced scallions
• 2 green apples, cored and diced
• ½ cup canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
• 1 cup store-bought mango chutney
• ¼ cup grated lemon zest
• 2 lbs. ground turkey
• 1 tsp. sea salt
• 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
• 4 multigrain potato buns, cut in half
• canola oil
• 4 slices white cheddar cheese
1. To make the turkey mixture, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the celery, scallions and apples and cook, stirring, for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Put the chipotle chiles and chutney in a blender. Puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl with the celery mixture, lemon zest and ground turkey; combine well. To make the patties, roll four 5-ounce turkey balls and form each ball into a patty. Arrange on a tray, cover and refrigerate.
2. Spread butter on both sides of buns. Toast on skillet over medium heat till brown, 1 minute each side. Set aside.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add just enough oil to cover the bottom. After 2 minutes, reduce the heat to medium and place patties in skillet. Season patties with salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side for 1 minute. Place a slice of cheese on each patty and continue to cook 2 minutes more. Cover with lid for the last 30 seconds to melt the cheese.
4. To assemble the burgers, place a patty on a bun bottom. Top with lettuce leaf, tomato slice, onion slice and a spoonful of orange-ginger cranberry sauce.
ORANGE-GINGER CRANBERRY SAUCE
Makes about 4 cups
• One 1-inch piece fresh ginger
• 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 cup orange juice
• zest of 1 orange
• salt to taste
1. Put the ginger on a flat surface and pound it with the broadside of a cleaver or large knife. Place ginger and the rest of the ingredients into a large saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves and the liquid begins to boil. Reduce heat to low and continue stirring until the mixture thickens. Once it reaches desired thickness, remove from heat, discard ginger and cool the sauce.
Grab more of Spike's recipes on Food2.com's "Kelsey & Spike Cook by the Book, Off the Hook"
THROW A PIE-BAKING PARTY
Playing holiday hostess? Pastry chef Jamie Cantor of L.A.'s Platine Cookies says skip dinner and go straight to dessert. Load up store-bought pie crusts with the season's best fruits. Cinnamon ice cream: optional
APPLE CRANBERRY PIE FILLING
• 2½ lbs. apples (Pink Lady or Gala are best)
• 1 tbsp. lemon juice
• 1 cup fresh cranberries or ½ cup dried cranberries
• ¼ cup brown sugar
• ½ tsp. cinnamon
• 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
• 1 tsp. vanilla
• 2 tbsp. flour
• Pinch of salt
1. Peel, core and slice the apples. Toss with lemon juice, cranberries, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.
2. Taste apples and adjust seasoning as needed. If tart, add more sugar. Add flour and salt; mix well.
3. Preheat oven to 375°. Brush inside of a frozen double pie crust with one beaten egg. Mound apple mixture in the shell. Place dough for the top crust on the apples, and crimp edges to seal together. Cut small holes in the top crust to vent. Bake for 55 minutes until crust is light brown and filling is bubbling. Remove and cool for at least 1 hour.
To accompany your pie, Cantor says, "let guests sip on this twist on a traditional white russian."
• 1 cup canned pumpkin
• 2 tsp. cinnamon
• ½ tsp. ground ginger
• ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
• ¼ cup honey
• ½ cup vodka
• ¼ cup amaretto
• 1½ cup half and half
1. Whisk together pumpkin, spices and honey. Add vodka, amaretto and half and half; whisk well. Pour over ice and enjoy. Serves 4.
1. "Buy apples, pecans and spices that can be used in different ways to stretch your budget."
2. "Have plenty of bowls, brushes and space."
3. While pies are baking, "have snacks and drinks ready."
CELEB DESSERT TREND
tweets about them. Gwyneth Paltrow
blogs about them. Even Tom Colicchio endorses them. Gluten- and dairy-free desserts made with natural sweeteners (think agave nectar instead of sugar) "don't taste chalky," says BabyCakes NYC baker Erin McKenna. So have your cake and feel healthy too.
HOT NEW TRAVEL SPOTS
Dreaming of a post-holiday escape? Joseph Rosendo, editor of Where to Go When, offers his top picks for early 2010
WHY IT'S HOT: During Holy Week festivities (March 23-April 3), this city offers perhaps the most "impressive" celebration in Central America, Rosendo says: "They roll out the Alfombras, which is a carpet of flowers with brightly colored sawdust, seeds, plants and vegetables, forming an ethereal walkway throughout the city."
WHY IT'S HOT: The week before Lent begins on Feb. 17—during Europe's off-season, which means prices are reduced—visitors to this southern state can expect "a nonstop community party that celebrates local culture," Rosendo says. One regional favorite: warm, spiced glug wine.
WHY IT'S HOT: Prices here peak during summer hiking season—but Banff National Park "offers 8,000 acres of skiing!" Rosendo says, making it an attractive (and more affordable!) winter spot. The area also "offers stunning mountain scenery," says Rosendo, who suggests driving the 142-mile Icefields Parkway between Banff and the town of Jasper.
- CONTRIBUTORS Antoinette Y. Coulton,
- Amy Elisa Keith,
- Suzanne Zuckerman,
- with Alexis Chiu.