Friday, November 30, 2012

1st Annual Holiday Tradition Contest

Winter is a challenging season. The weather turns cold, inhibiting our ability to connect with others, at times making us feel isolated and alone. Winter is a time when we must make an extra effort to interact with our friends, family, and neighbors. This is why holidays, celebrations, and lighthearted moments of frivolity take center stage this time of year.

Practicing rituals and traditions is vital to creating and sustaining a well-lived life. The repetition of traditions and rituals helps us grow roots; it allows us to take part in a 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.

Each individual has his or her own traditions and rituals that signify something special and unique. The winter months give us many opportunities to establish traditions that can last for generations. One of my own traditions is to make hot toddies and my mother’s Christmas sugar cookies when my family decorates the Christmas tree. I serve them in Rosanna Christmas mugs and dessert plates. I use the same mugs every year to start off the holiday season. 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 the winter holiday festivities. Together we transform the house, and when we’re finished, we find ourselves surrounded by the magical beauty of the holidays.

This led me to an idea for a contest. What are your unique family traditions for the holidays? Do you have a special recipe you always prepare for Christmas? A special hot drink you serve your children after coming in from a day in the snow? Maybe you have a special Hanukah menorah that’s been past down generation to generation. Do you celebrate New Year’s Eve with the same group of friends every year? I want to know! Tradition is the glue that binds us together and makes the holidays a time that everyone looks forward to celebrating.

Use your creativity to explain to me your traditions! Whether it is in a short essay (200 words or less, please!), in photos, or with a special family recipe, share with me your unique family traditions celebrating this time of year. I will choose winners personally. Join for a chance to win one of three amazing prizes!


The Rosanna Holiday Traditions Contest will start on December 1st, 2012 and end on January 5th, 2013. Winners will be announced shortly after.


  • First Prize: An entire set of the French Linens Collection
  • Second Prize: Les Fleur en Rouge teapot and set of 4 Mugs
  • Third Prizes: Les Fleur en Rouge pitcher and set of 4 Pressed Glass Goblets

Official Rules
  • Anyone, regardless of age or gender, is welcome to compete.
  • Contest begins on December 1st, 2012 at 12:00 AM PST and end January 5th, 2013 at 11:59 PST.
  • Submit up to four photos, recipe, or anything that conveys your family tradition, along with a short essay (200 words or less) explaining your tradition. Digital submissions must come as jpegs, around 4x5 inches, no less than 72 dpi and no more than 180 dpi.
  • When entering, make sure to include your name, city, and an email or phone number where we can reach you. We respect your privacy and will not give out any of your information.
  • Photos in hard copy will not be returned.
  • Rosanna, Inc. reserves the right the use and/or publish photos of your submissions however we see fit. Photos may be published on social media sites. Publishing does not necessarily constitute a winning entry. By submitting your photo, you agree to these terms.
  • Please email entries to
  • Mailed entries should be sent to: 
          Rosanna, Inc.
          Attn: Holiday Traditions Contest
          6755 East Marginal Way South
          Building B
          Seattle, WA, 98108

Good luck!

Warm wishes,

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

You're Invited to Rosanna's Semi-Annual Warehouse Sale!

Save BIG on Rosanna classics and overstock items, in addition to vintage furniture and collectibles. Lots of great gift ideas!

There's more:

  • Receive one raffle ticket for every clothing or food donation to benefit the Regina House - a Seattle food & clothing bank.
  • Receive one raffle ticket for every dollar donation towards Go Red For Women - a foundation supporting women's heart health.
  • Three raffle winners receive a big, fancy prizes (TBD).
  • Free Happy Christmas tote bag with purchases over $50.
  • Enjoy free coffee and Trophy Cupcakes while you shop!
Please note our warehouse store will be closed this week in preparation for this sale.

Location (in Georgetown):
6755 East Marginal Way South
Building B
Seattle, WA, 98108

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My Thanksgiving Turkey

Turkey is the star of many Thanksgiving meals across the nation. It can be tricky to cook, especially the first time when many first-time Thanksgiving chefs are nervous. Follow my special recipe for turkey below and you're guaranteed a delicious bird the whole family will enjoy!

Rubbing the meat under the skin of the turkey with a flavorful paste of herbs, garlic, and prosciutto and letting it marinate in the refrigerator overnight ensures that it stays juicy as it roasts. Garnish the platter of sliced turkey with big branches of fresh rosemary and sage.

The size of the turkey will determine the number of servings. I would figure on 1 pound of uncooked turkey per person.

Cooking Chart

8 - 12 pounds (2 - 4 people): 2 3/4 - 3 hours
12 - 16 pounds (5 - 7 people): 3 1/2 - 4 hours
16 - 20 pounds (8 - 10 people): 4 1/4 - 4 3/4 hours
20 - 24 pounds (11 - 13 people): 4 1/2 - 5 hours

Rosanna's Special Thanksgiving Turkey

3 large sprigs fresh rosemary, stemmed
15 large leaves fresh sage
8 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
4 slices prosciutto
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 organic, hormone-free turkey, preferably free-range, cleaned, giblets removed
1 large carrot
1/2 onion
1 rib celery
Fine sea salt
  1. Put the rosemary, safe, 5 cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon of coarse salt, and the prosciutto on a board and mince them together. Drizzle the olive oil over the mixture and mince until the mixture is a thick paste.
  2. Place the turkey in a large stainless-steel, porcelain, or ovenproof glass roasting pan. Gently pull up the skin near the cavity and rub small spoonfuls of the herb mixture under the skin, pushing it all the way to the back of the breast. Make sure the breast is totally covered with the herb mixture. Put a heaping tablespoon of the mixture in the cavity of the turkey and rub it all over the inside. Put the carrot, onion, celery, and remaining 3 cloves of garlic in the cavity and sprinkle with the 1 teaspoon coarse salt. (The carrot and celery should be whole when inserted in the cavity with the half onion.)
  3. Rub the remaining mixture all over the top (breast) and bottom (back) of the turkey, as well as the legs. Generously season with fine salt all over the turkey and drizzle with more oil. Let the turkey marinate overnight.
  4. The next day (Thanksgiving), preheat the oven to 475 degrees fahrenheit.
  5. Roast for 20 - 25 minutes to brown the turkey. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degree fahrenheit and roast until the meat between the breast and leg registers 170 degrees fahrenheit and the thigh 180 on an instant-read meat thermometer, basting the turkey often with the pan juices to ensure a juicy turkey. The turkey is done when the drumstick moves easily and the juices run clear, not pink. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with aluminum foil that does not touch the turkey, for at least 30 minutes before carving.
  6. Make the gravy (recipe below), if desired, then slice the turkey and serve.
Rosanna's Gravy

If your turkey-roasting pan isn't flameproof, transfer the drippings to a saucepan to make the gravy.

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Drippings from turkey, clear fat skimmed off
1/2 cup dry white wine
Sea salt
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, then whisk in the flour. Cook the roux, whisking frequently, until the butter is a shade darker, but not browned - about 1 minute.
  2. Whisk the roux into the drippings in the roasting pan or another saucepan set over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the roux is incorporated into the drippings. Add the wine and cook until the liquid is reduced by three-quarters.
  3. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
  4. Serve in a sauceboat and drizzle the sliced turkey with the gravy before serving.
rosanna bowles


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Set a Delightful Thanksgiving Table

Thanksgiving is almost here! Below are some of my favorite tips and tricks for setting a beautiful Thanksgiving table that will be sure to wow your guests.

thanksgiving table

  • Look to nature for an elegant, easy table. Use gourds in different sizes and shapes as a centerpiece, or try placing a sprig of wheat in each guest's napkin.
  • Use autumnal colors. Plates, glasses, and table linens in browns, greens, reds, and oranges make for a warm table.
  • Do you have a special family heirloom collecting dust in storage? Pull it out to add some tradition and nostalgia to the meal, whether it is with an antique gravy boat or silver serving tray.
  • Don't forget the candles! Everyone looks fabulous in candlelight and it adds to the cozy feeling.
  • When I am expecting a large number of guests, I always set my table with place cards. This cuts down on the chaos and can foster unexpected dinner conversations.

thanksgiving table

  • Try using food in your decor. Bowls and vases full of hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, and walnuts not only look lovely, but can be eaten throughout the day.
  • As fun as putting together centerpieces can be, try not to get carried away. Guests will want to see each other, so don't make your arrangements so large that they impede conversation and sight lines.
  • Try using vintage cloth napkins. You can go to your local antique mall and find beautiful, high quality pieces for very reasonable prices.
  • To create more space on your table, try a Thanksgiving buffet. This is also a great way to add more decor and warmth to your Thanksgiving. It also makes it easier for guests to go back for seconds!
  • Before the meal begins, ask everyone to go around the table and say what they're thankful for. It helps to remind everyone why they're gathering and what happy, fulfilling lives we really do have.


Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for the bounty nature brings forth, but it is most importantly a time to share, to open our hearts, and to be generous as well as thankful for the generosity of others.

Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving, everyone!


Friday, November 2, 2012

Falling for Pumpkins with Girly Obsessions

I've teamed up with Girly Obsessions again! This month I'm guest-blogging about my current Fall obsessions, and Girly Obsessions' is writing all about pumpkins! Take a look!

Hi everyone, it's Ashley here again from! I don't know about you, but this Fall has been flying by! October came and went in the blink of an eye and now we're in November, with the oranges of Halloween shifting into the browns and reds (and sparkles) of the upcoming holidays.

One of my favorite seasonal activities is taking a drive through the foliage to a local farm for apple and pumpkin picking. (I'm obsessed with all things pumpkin!) There is one in particular I go to every Fall after Hugh Jackman was spotted there a years ago. But, unfortunately, I never see him. Sigh. And this year my husband and I were about three weeks too late for picking anything, but luckily the farm had plenty of pre-picked stock for us to choose from! (By the way, I made sure to bring along my latest bag obsession, my Ink Blot Tote! It's light and roomy and perfect carrying all my fall goodies!)

So after leaving with a bag full of apples and mini pumpkins, and a few colorful mums, I came home to decorate for the season. Better late than never, right? And there is no reason the stash of mini pumpkins you bought need to be tossed out with the candy wrappers! They totally work as seasonal decor well into Thanksgiving. And one easy way to make them last, especially when they start getting a little funky, is to make them sparkle. A little glitter makes anything better, don't you think?

This is a very simple project that requires three things: a pumpkin, decoupage glue, and glitter. I used a combination of fine textured glitter in smoky quartz and onyx along with a coarse gold glitter. But the beauty of this project is you can use any color or texture glitter you like to match your style.

First, brush on the glue and then (generously) sprinkle on the glitter. I would do half the pumpkin, rest it on its side to dry, and then finish the other half. Then once it's dry, repeat the glue and glitter process to get full coverage. Finally, once the second coat is dry, add one last coat of glue to seal it all in. And then done! You now have sparkly pumpkins that will add an element of rustic elegance to your home for the holidays.