Table and Home Free Shipping over $99 and Same Day Shipping on most orders   CoolAnimalStuff - Our great selection of Toys
Tableware |   For the Home |   Outdoor Fun |   Giftware |   Baby |   Toys |   Stuffed Animals |   Holidays & Occasions (866) 417-7200

Home | Brands | GiftWizard | Specials

Help | Login/ Sign Up for Updates| Cart Empty  

Go to: Newsletters Home

August 2006 Newsletter

Fire It Up

What's Inside...

Shopping For the Feast

pig Now that you are inviting your friends over to enjoy good food and nice weather, you are going to have to go shopping. To be blunt, throwing a barbecue can be both costly and time consuming. However, having a clever plan of action often saves you a huge headache. So, here is a helpful guideline for deciding how much food to buy for the feast.

First, find out how many guests plan on showing up to your feast. If you don't know and it is time to shop, it is perfectly acceptable to call or email them so that you can better plan. After you have a fairly accurate idea how many guest are coming, then you can better plan for thedish feast. Obviously, your chosen recipes should correspond with your guest. If you have friends with restricted diets or preferences, adhere to their needs as much as possible.

*Remember, you know your friends' appetites better than we do. If you have friends like mine, then double the meat portions.
* Also, guests are going to come hungry if you have a reputation for being a great cook. Increase the amount of appetizers so that they have food to gnaw on when they arrive. Instant gratification.

Making Your Shopping List

The following suggestions should help you make your shopping list.

Hors d'oeuvres

  •  If serving Hors d'oeuvres that require lots of time to prepare, then plan for 12 items per person. Make about     four of the special hors d'oeuvres and eight of the more simple.
  •  For an easier solution, serve chips with fresh guacamole and salsa. They are favorite with folks, and chips and dip aren't difficult to prepare.  Be good to yourself, and make this get together relaxing.


  •   Fish, poultry, and meat: 5-6 ounces of protein per person (excluding bones and excessive fat)star


  •   Pasta served in a buffet style: a pound of cooked pasta will serve 8 – 12 people
  •   Pasta served formally: a pound serves 4 – 6 people


  •   One head of lettuce feeds about four people
  •   The trimmings should fit your taste. For example, I love tomatoes, fresh basil, red onions, almonds, and    cucumbers.
  •  Add a nice touch by making your own dressing

Vegetables and Sides

  •  3 side dishes is a good philosophy for entertaining: two savory and one sweet, with different textures and colors
  •  For an outdoor barbecue, think corn still in the husk. About one cob per guest, but make a couple of extra just in case somebody would like two
  • Another delicious suggestion for outdoor barbecues is making skewers of vegetables. Estimate about two pigskewers per person. A simple suggestion: mushrooms, bell peppers, red peppers, and onions.


  •  If serving one dessert, estimate one full portion per person.
  •  If you are having more than one dessert, people will take smaller portions of multiple items. A good estimate would be a cake that normally serves eight guests will serve around thirteen hungry guests.


  • ½ Bottle of wine per person and unlimited water.
  •  If you are having cocktails, it is a good idea to make each drink as wanted. Then you don't waste your ingredients and each drink
     is fresh.
  •  Since about 15-25% of your guest won't drink alcohol, a good guideline is 1 cup of seltzer, 1 cup of ginger ale, and one soda.
     And, all the water they want to drink should be available.

    With these helpful suggestions, you are bound to have a great backyard barbecue. Don't forget to slather on the sunscreen!

    [Back to the Top]

    Grilling Gadgets to Get You Going fat chef

    Grilling Essentials . . . .
    To get you cooking, here are the tools of the grilling trade:

  •   A natural bristle, long handled basting brush for applying sauces.
  •   A suction baster
  •   A large spatula
  •   Skewers in various lengths. If you use wooden skewers, remember to soak them in water before grilling.
  •   A stiff brush for cleaning the grill
  •   Heavy duty, long handled tongs

    Tips for Everyday Flavoring
    You may use other flavoring agents to spice up your grilled food. Just marinate the food with olive oil, and choose those spices that are compatible with the meal. Our suggestions are

  •   grapevines for the coals
  •   nutshells for the coals
  •   branches of herbs
  •   garlic
  •   orange or lemon zest
  •   pumpkin or poppy seeds
  •   other spices

    [Back to the Top]

    August's Recipe

    This recipe comes from “The New and Basics Cookbook.” Of all the lamb recipes I have made, this one is by far the best tasting and easiest to make. All I can say is Yum! Your guests are going to be so amazed, you might not have any leftovers for tomorrow.

    Let me know if you have any great lamb recipes, tips for grilling, or how your experience went with the butterflied leg of lamb recipe.

    Grilling Lamb . . .
    According to Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins in “The New Basics Cookbook,” the most tender cuts of lamb come from the loin and augrib sections, usually in the form of a chop. They also suggest the leg, because they feel it is the most flavorful cut. It also can be grilled, whole, or boned.

    Most cuts of lamb benefit from marinade. Simply trim off the fat and marinate in oil flavored with herbs, garlic, lemon juice, wine, chilies, soy sauces, ginger, and anything else that appeals to your taste.
    Also, a leg of lamb should be cooked over indirect heat on a covered grill. If the leg is butterflied, it will cook in about ¼ of the time of a bone-in-leg. When making kabobs from cubed leg meat, marinate the meat and skewer. Then, alternating lamb with vegetables, prepare the skewers and grill them over direct heat. It is a good idea to let lamb stand for about five minutes before serving . . . perfect!

    Butterflied Leg of Lamb for Eight

    This recipe is great for both beginners and grilling masters. Because it is from a butterfly cut, the leg of lamb is able to reach perfect pinkness more easily. Your are going to love how tasty the butterflied leg of lamb is.

    buddhaIt brief, a butterfly cut of lamb means that you slit down to the bone where it lies closest to the surface, then cut the bone out carefully. It is best to use a very sharp knife. Don't forget to get the kneecap—it is not difficult, but it is an aggravation. When you have finished, you will have exposed a thick vein of fat that was next to the bone. Trim this vein out as well. Basically, you unwrap the meat from around that bone, so the cut lies perfectly on the grill. If there are any thick parts that won't lie, slit them so that they do.

    A smidgen of herb or garlic mayonnaise atop this recipe is delicious.

    1 cup of dry red wine
    ¾ cup of soy sauce
    4 large cloves crushed garlic
    ½ cup of fresh mint leaves
    2 tablespoons of slightly bruised fresh rosemary leaves or 1 tablespoon of dried
    1 tablespoon of coarsely ground black pepper
    1 butterflied leg of lamb (4 to 5 pounds)

    1. Combine the wine, soy sauce, garlic, mint, rosemary, and pepper in a small bowl and mix well. Place the lamb in a nonreactive baking pan. Pour the mixture over the lamb frequently.
    2. Prepare hot coals for grilling.
    3. Drain the meat, reserving the marinade. Grill the lamb 4 inches above the hot coals, basting frequently with the marinade, about 20 minutes on each side. Check the lamb for doneness frequently after 30 minutes' grilling.
    4. Cut the lamb into very thin slices, and serve immediately.

Bon Appetit!

    [Back to the Top]

    Cool Down with These Summer Cocktails drink

    To cool you and your guests off, here are some traditional recipes. Luigi Bormioli has opened up their bar to share with us these drink concoctions. Each recipe serves one drink, but you can make more than one by multiplying the ingredients as needed. This conserves your ingredients while making each drink as fresh and flavorful as possible.

    And, summer is the best season for buying bunches of flowers at bargain prices. Use a wide mouthed pitcher, vase, or jar to create a casual arrangement. Be sure and cut the stems at a angle to extend the life of the bouquet.

    Pina Colada
    1 oz Rum
    1 oz. Coconut Cream
    2 oz. Pineapple Juice

    Fill a mixing glass with crushed ice, then pour the above ingredients into it. Blend for 20 – 30 seconds then strain into cocktail fdsaf glass with fresh ice. For a nice touch, garnish your cocktail glass with an orange and a cherry.

    Strawberry Daiquiri
    1 oz. Rum
    1 oz. Lime Juice
    2 oz. Frozen Strawberries
    ½ oz. Strawberries Schnapps
    1 Teaspoon of Sugar

    Fill a mixing glass with crushed ice, then pour the above ingredients into it. Blend for 20 – 30 seconds then pour into cocktail glass. Add a little flair by garnishing the cocktail glass with an orange and strawberry.

    Long Island Ice Tea
    ½ oz. Vodka
    ½ oz. Gin
    ½ oz. Rum
    ½ oz. Tequila
    ½ oz. Triple Sec
    Balance with coke or a sour mix

    Fill a mixing glass with crushed ice, then pour the above ingredients into it. Blend for 20 – 30 seconds then strain into cocktail glass with fresh ice. For a nice touch, garnish your cocktail glass with a lemon.

    Bahama Mama
    ½ oz. Rum
    3 oz. Pineapple juice
    ½ oz Jamaican Rum
    ½ oz. Black Seal Rum?

    Fill shaker or mixing glass with ice. Pour the ingredients into it, shake well, strain the cocktail into appropriate glass. Float Jamaican and Black Seal Rum, and enjoy!

    [Back to the Top]

    Summer Wines
    white wine

    Since summer is so hot and humid, summer wines shold be refreshing, light, and cool. Serve Sauvigonon Blanc chilled but not freezing—you don't want to loose the flavor. For dishes cooked over fire, such as a grilled leg of lamb, choose a wine that matches the robust flavor. For instance, a Shiraz works perfecty to balance the intense flavors of the lamb. Remember, the Shiraz shoudl be decanted and served at room temperature. The dark delicious aromas work will with the smokey flavor fot the grill. Store left over wine properly. It is best to pour left over wine into another container, cork it, and store it in a dark place. Be careful of aeration, which may cause the grapes to rot. If they rot, you will be able to smell it. Time to pour the bottle down the kitchen sink.

    Remember . . . it is important to have drinking water available anytime you are serving alchohol, but the summer heat makes it even more critical. Leave a couple of pitchers of iced water on the table and fill up your guests glasses when needed.

    [Back to the Top]

    Why Luigi Bormioli is Cool

  •  environmentally conscious
  •  state of the art automated glass making technologies
  • glass is of the highest quality

Luigi Bormioli has brought glass back into the limelight. Founded more than half a century ago, Luigi Bormioli built its success on the same pillars that made Italian lifestyle so famous: creativity and excellent tastes, fantansy paired with elegance, and strict quality controls. It is not surprising to know that they are constantly improving manufacturing technologies.

Best of all, Luigi Bormioli cares about enviromental issues. For many years, the company has adopted only electric glass fdasfusion technology. This means zero impact on the envirnoment and the ability to have an industrial site employing over 1,000 people on the doorstep of Parma city center. All these are important details that make us, the users, even happier with Luigi Bormioli products.

We are also tickled to discover that with six furnaces and sixteen production lines, it is the only company that uses state of the art technology in the manufacture of tableware. Production is carried out using completely automatic rotary press-blown machines for pop glasses and stemware.

In short, Luigi Bormioli's manufacting process combines the traditonal skills and abities of glass experts with technonlogy and flexible production characteriestics of modern industrial manufacturing. To be sure, their glass is of the highest quality and transparency and is obtained using the purest siliceous sand and rigorously controlled raw materials. Colored glass is produced using feeder technology, thus allowing production flexibility and an infinite range of shades and colors.

For all these reasons and more, Luigi Bormioli is a strong company leader in the tableware market. If you haven't experienced the quality of their products, then you should consider them next time you are looking for stemware. Know that Luigi Bormioli will not disappoint you!

Interested in learning more?

[Back to the Top]



Help Links: Store Info: Gift Options & More: