Stylish Holidays Start in the Kitchen

When you walk into Laura Umansky’s kitchen, it’s clear you’ve entered a space that’s anything but typical. The clean lines and bright pops of color are complemented by the buffalo plaid design of the floor tile.

The bold decision for the plaid pattern, typically reserved for blankets, creates a cozy feeling while maintaining a sophisticated and neutral style.

Laura, an interior designer by trade, understands the beautiful combination of practicality and style. That’s why it was important to her to have appliances that could carry the design of the room with all the useful features found in a hard-working, gourmet kitchen.

“I selected a full Monogram appliance package and designed my new kitchen around those pieces,” says Laura. “My kitchen is not only highly functional – for even the largest celebratory dinners – but it is beautiful, too.” She chose cabinet pulls that match the stainless steel for a look that is completely integrated, classic and chic. “For me, elevated design is timeless design, and that’s what Monogram does very well.”

Inviting Friends In 

One of Laura’s newest holiday traditions includes hosting friends at her home where they share food and laughter. Last year, they cooked and baked an elegant meal of Cornish hens, apple blossom tartes and crisp haricot verts. “It was divine, and I would love to do that again this year,” says Laura. “My girls loved watching their pastries puff up in the oven – a Monogram oven of course!”

To help continue the tradition of good food and good friends, Laura invited Chef Kelli Bunch to her kitchen. Kelli created new holiday favorites for Laura to share with her friends. “I was intrigued,” remarked Kelli as she slid a wedge of Brie into the oven. “…by how quickly the oven preheated. The faster I can get out of the kitchen, the more time I get to spend with my guests. I love how Monogram appliances are so thoughtfully engineered with both the modern entertainer and professional chef in mind.”

Laura agrees. “The Advantium cuts roasting time in half, which means more time I’m spending time with my family and friends. And that’s not just for the holidays, but on the busy weeknights as well.”

If you’d like to try Kelli’s delicious recipes for your holiday gathering,  we’ve included them below. Don’t forget to check out the latest additions to the Monogram line to make your kitchen beautiful and functional. You can also invest wisely without compromising style when you choose our Monogram Rebate and Reward program.

Baked Brie with Blackberry Compote and Candied Pecans
Recipe from the kitchen of KB Table

This is the PERFECT appetizer for your holiday entertaining needs! I also love changing up the toppings with the season. During Thanksgiving, I use leftover cranberry and orange compote (or I make extra to keep on hand for the holidays and store in freezer!) Fresh figs, pistachios and honey is also a delicious combination … and the colors are just to-die-for! For summertime, I like to use fresh peaches from the local farmers market, candied walnuts and fresh honeycomb…so divine!
For presentation, look around your kitchen for any extra fruit lying around. Place a bundle of grapes and lay them off-centered on the plate. I also love decorating my serving platters with fresh herbs from the garden—love the aesthetic and aroma it brings off!

1 wheel of Brie
1 pint of fresh blackberries
¼ cup Candied Pecans
Fresh rosemary, for garnish
Blackberry Compote
3 tablespoons honey
¼ cup brown sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Place brie on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper, sprinkle with two tablespoons of brown sugar. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese starts to ooze from sides.
3. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, combine ¼ cup brown sugar, honey, butter and cinnamon. Without stirring, bring to a boil, for about 30 seconds. Then reduce heat and add lemon juice and simmer for about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally for another 2 minutes. Stir in pecans and blackberries. Spoon mixture generously over the baked brie.
3. Serve brie warm with thinly sliced fresh baguette pieces, crostini or your favorite crackers! Enjoy!

Sangria Apple Cider Spritzer
From the Kitchen of KB Table

This is such an easy recipe to make ahead in a large batch! I like using a clear glass beverage pitcher so you can see all of the different fruit!

1 bottle of red wine (I used a Cabernet Sauvignon)
2 ½ cups good quality apple cider (I prefer Martinelli’s)
1 ½ cups sparkling water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup pomegranate juice
1/4 cup liquid honey, (slightly warmed in the microwave or stovetop)
1 large orange, thinly sliced and quartered
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
2 large Honey Crisp apples, diced (tossed in fresh lemon juice to prevent browning)
1 pint raspberries
Dehydrated citrus (I used dehydrated grapefruit and orange wheels)
Fresh thyme or rosemary for garnish
Other optional garnishes: cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, star anise

Add the apples, raspberries, pomegranate seeds and oranges to a pitcher. Add the wine, apple cider, pomegranate juice, honey and lemon juice. Stir well to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours for flavors to combine. Pour into a wine glass or your favorite cocktail glass, top off each glass with a splash of sparkling water. Serve over ice! Garnish with fresh thyme or rosemary and dehydrated grapefruit or orange wheels.


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