Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Decorating Ideas

The winter holidays have arrived! One of my favorite parts of the season is transforming a space into something festive and new with holiday decor. Whether you’re decorating simply to capture the holiday spirit, or preparing for a special event, here are some holiday decorating techniques equally lovely for both.

To read these tips, visit the new home of Rosanna's Table Talk at

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Gift-Giving Etiquette from Anna Post

Recently I was able to meet Anna Post. Naturally our conversation turned to the similar philosophies of etiquette, entertaining, and creating traditions. I am honored that she accepted my request to write a guest post for Table Talk about holiday etiquette. Her advice is both contemporary and timeless. Thank you Anna.  

Compliments of the

Emily Post Institute
It was my pleasure to recently visit Seattle for the first time while there to promote my new book, “Emily Post’s Etiquette, 18th Edition.” One of the highlights was a trip to Rosanna, Inc. and the wonderful opportunity to sit down with owner Rosanna Bowles. Rosanna was kind enough to show me her world—and I found our opinions on entertaining, traditions and kindness to be very much in tandem. Rosanna’s beautiful creations represent easy elegance, entertaining for the pleasure of bringing people together and the values of tradition. These are also the goals of etiquette.

To read Anna's complete Q & A, visit the new home of Rosanna's Table Talk at

Friday, December 2, 2011

My Holiday Rituals

In the third of our Holiday Entertaining Series Collaborative posts between Rosanna's Table & Family Eats, we look at the Tradition of Christmas.  Be sure to gather ideas and delicious recipes from the Family Eats article, Celebrating the Art of Giving: Gifts from the Kitchen.

The winter months give us many opportunities to establish traditions that can last for generations.  The repetition of traditions and rituals helps us grow roots; it allows us to take part in the legacy spanning many generations.  When we practice a tradition, we are in fact linking ourselves to the chain of human history, providing a continuation of the kind of life that humans have lived since the beginning of civilization.

Our family traditions begin when we decorate the Christmas tree.  I make hot toddies (see recipe below) and my mother's Christmas sugar cookies.  I play a variety of Christmas music, including jazz renditions sung by Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, and classical pieces by Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo.  For my family, this night represents the beginning of winter holiday festivities.  Together we transform the house, and when we're finished, we find ourselves surrounded by the magical beauty of the holidays.

For the hot toddie recipe, as well as the rest of this article, please visit the new location of Rosanna's Table at

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Caramel Cake

By Rosanna's eldest daughter, Alessandra Wollner

For my 13th birthday, my mother made an extraordinary cake. I can’t recall why she decided to make this particular cake for that particular birthday, but after she did, there was no going back. Since the advent of my thirteenth birthday, I’ve had a decade to explore the vast realm of birthday cake prospects. Despite the staggering array of options, I’ve stayed faithful to one cake. Without fail, I have demanded and enjoyed the same extraordinary cake on every birthday since my 13th. 

What makes this cake special is the pitch perfect way in which the flavors harmonize with each other. The salty, sweet, buttery notes of the caramel frosting melt into the slightly savory, nutty essence of the cake crumb. My mother has awarded this cake with the highest accolade she bestows on food, calling it “Ambrosia of the Gods.” My great grandmother just called it Caramel Cake. 

For the complete recipe, as well as the continuation of this blog post, please visit the new location of Rosanna's Table Talk at

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Women In Business

A few days ago I did some simple math, and I made a shocking discovery. I have spent just about half my life as an entrepreneur. When I look back at the trail I’ve blazed since starting Rosanna Inc., I see the hundreds of experiences, lessons, and people who have helped me pave my way. In reflecting, I also think about what the world looked like nearly thirty years ago when I began my business.  Back then, it was no small feat for women to find a job. And a woman becoming an entrepreneur? Nearly unheard of!

Photo compliments of
Shelly Oberman Photography
All of this musing wasn’t simply for the sake of taking stock. I was revisiting my memories for a reason. A few months ago, I became a finalist for a business award specifically for Northwest women entrepreneurs. The nomination presented me with a privilege and a challenge: to craft an inspirational speech addressed to my fellow women entrepreneurs.

To read the complete story as well as excerpts from my speech, please visit Rosanna's Table Talk's new location at

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Diner En Blanc

As the last traces of summertime disappeared into the fast approaching autumn, a group gathered in historic Gasworks Park for a magical evening of food and friendship. The ingredients were unusual enough catch the attention of a few hundred Seattleites:  secrecy, creativity, synchronization, camaraderie, delicacies, and champagne. We were also instructed to dress a certain way: all in white.

I’m talking about Seattle’s very own, and very first, Dîner en Blanc (French for Dinner in White). The original Dîners began in France in 1988. Since then, Dîners have been happening all throughout Paris. Recently, food and performance art enthusiasts have orchestrated their own Dîners, far from the Seine and the clanging bells of Notre Dame Cathedral. The New York Times even ran
an article about the event, which came to Seattle, WA this summer.

For the complete story, please visit the new location of Rosanna's Table Talk at

Monday, October 10, 2011

Halloween Entertaining For Kids & Adults Alike

Many of you have already been introduced to our friends at Family Eats.  Today we’ve partnered with them to create blog entries about Halloween Entertaining.  Please make sure to read the Halloween Entertaining: Slow Sundays Goes Halloween post on their blog. It has great tips for planning party food, setting the mood,  and getting your kids involved in the preparation.  There are some great food tips & recipes.  Look for us to partner together again in the near future.

Halloween Décor
There are so many ways to decorate for Halloween beyond putting a jack-o-lantern on the stoop.  The natural beauty of the fall season is plentiful and easy to infuse into your décor.  Select beautiful gourds, squash, and fall leaves to adorn your home.  Haystacks, kindly scarecrows, and lush fall wreaths can also be added into the warm earth tones of the season.

To read the full article, with full tips and recipes, please visit the new location of Rosanna's Table Talk at