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Christy Rost: Spring travel leads to inspired gatherings

Earlier this spring, I attended the Inspired Home Show in Chicago, where homeware brands from around the world came together to showcase their new products to media and retail buyers. Several of these products will be on store shelves this summer.

For indoor sit-down dinners, backyard get-togethers, cocktail parties, picnics, and pizza parties, I’ve seen everything I could want to “up” my game when hosting parties. memorable occasions. Color was everywhere, but relaxing hues replaced last year’s vibrant shades.

Stainless steel cookware and utensils have demonstrated that shiny surfaces are still popular, but matte finishes on everything from bakeware to herb grinders illustrate the trend toward softer finishes. White was everywhere, from glossy white fondue sets and mini charcuterie board handles dipped in white ceramic to matte white cookware.

Manufacturers have also focused on ease of use without sacrificing style. I fell in love with a compact Italian espresso machine from Espressione that grinds coffee beans and produces a rich cup of espresso in seconds at the touch of a button. Cocktails remain an important beverage category in the United States, while consumers who prefer wine will still be drawn to attractive stemware that ranges from informal to glamorous. I discovered a brand called Joy Jolt that answers the call in style, no matter what consumers are sipping on.

One of the highlights of this year’s show was the “Meet & Greet” that Microplane organized for me at their booth. I’m a big fan of their graters and kitchen tools, whether it’s cooking, baking or garnishing, and I loved chatting with the attendees who joined us for my presentation.

My next stop was Bismarck to deliver the keynote address at the North Dakota Farmers Market and Growers Association annual conference. I’m passionate about buying and cooking with local ingredients, so I took the opportunity to share the fun and benefits of farmers’ markets with North Dakota audiences during two televised guest segments . For North Dakota TODAY viewers, I prepared coffee-rubbed North Dakota bison, thinly sliced ​​and served on a bed of local greens and sautéed peppers. The next day, I showed KX TV Studio 701 viewers how to create a platter of farm fresh salads with a honey vinaigrette. A take on a charcuterie platter, ingredients are grouped in a tempting display allowing guests to customize salads, side salads or main course salads. It’s a simple and smart addition to gatherings year-round, especially when our Dallas-area farmers’ markets are full of beautiful, fresh produce.

Christy Rost is a cookbook author, Celebrating Home cooking video host, and longtime resident of the Park Cities and Preston Hollow. Her cooking series “At Home with Christy Rost” for Eat This TV Network airs on AmazonFire, Apple TV+, Roku, Samsung TV and Youtube. Please visit christyrost.com for more details and recipes