B Smith: Rituals and Celebrations


Television lifestyle expert B. Smith shares her passion and ideas for entertaining, cooking, and crafts in this fabulous twelve-month celebration of holidays and rituals. As a restaurateur, TV host, columnist, and former model, B. Smith lets us in on the tricks of entertaining with flair and personal style.

The first in a series, Rituals & Celebrations is organized by calendar month, each including two or three celebrations and ...
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Television lifestyle expert B. Smith shares her passion and ideas for entertaining, cooking, and crafts in this fabulous twelve-month celebration of holidays and rituals. As a restaurateur, TV host, columnist, and former model, B. Smith lets us in on the tricks of entertaining with flair and personal style.

The first in a series, Rituals & Celebrations is organized by calendar month, each including two or three celebrations and containing a history of the ritual, full-course recipes, party ideas, and step-by-step craft instructions. In addition to such basic celebrations as a wine tasting at home,a Labor Day picnic on the beach, and a New Year's Eve pajama party for kids, Rituals & Celebrations also incorporates such African American traditions as a Juneteenth celebration and a bid whist card party. The book also includes some wonderful variations on traditional holidays, such as a hot pink Valentine's Day, a Thanksgiving featuring Jerked Roast Turkey, and Christmas Eve spent dipping into fondue.

Shrimp Dumplings with Ginger Soy Sauce, Candied Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Potato Stuffing, and Triple Chocolate Torte are just a few of the other mouthwatering recipes included. Craft ideas include putting together the perfect houseguest thank-you basket and creating beautiful personalized hand-painted glassware.

B. Smith brings these celebrations into your home and helps you make them your own. Filled with beautiful full-color photographs, B. Smith: Rituals & Celebrations completes any home and makes a great gift all year long.

B. Smith gives us twelve months of menus, recipes,crafts, and party ideas that help us celebrate with style

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Celebrate the Holidays in Style

Not being much of a television watcher, I had had little exposure to the current entrepreneurial phenomenon, lifestyle expert Barbara Smith. I had eaten a few tasty meals in her New York restaurant, B. Smith's, but otherwise had remained untouched by her passion for cooking, entertaining, high-impact homemaking, decor, and handicrafts. A sudden media blitz, however, made me more than aware of her gifts—television hostess, lifestyle expert, restaurateur, magazine editor in chief, and author. Where does one woman find the time to do all of this well, I thought.

Catching up with Barbara Smith was no easy task as, just in time for holiday entertaining and giving, she was traveling across America promoting her new book, B. Smith: Rituals & Celebrations. The first in a proposed series of four lifestyle books, it is a wonderfully conceived celebration of giving. Broken down by month, with each section highlighting two or three celebrations of the moment, Rituals & Celebrations gives the reader a bit of history, party ideas, easy-to-execute recipes, and simple handicrafts to make home entertaining a snap. You can find helpful ideas to celebrate Christmas in a stylish fashion as well as hints on the perfect Chinese New Year bash. This is a great book for anyone who wants to entertain with great style and little stress.

A former model, Barbara Smith has, like many single-minded career women, had a tough row to hoe as she's built her many enterprises. Unlike Martha Stewart, to whom she is most often compared, the very beautiful Ms. Smith now seems to enjoy every minute of her success. She makes cooking and entertaining fun and within the reach of us ordinary souls. Where Martha Stewart intimidates and makes me feel a bit inadequate, Barbara Smith makes entertaining with style well within my reach. Her self-described "casual elegance" is accessible elegance. Her "creative vision and playful style" are in evidence on every page of the book.

Rituals & Celebrations made me take a look at Barbara Smith's new magazine, B. Smith Style, which has hit the newsstands in time for the holiday rush. Called "the new lifestyle magazine devoted to entertaining, home, garden, travel, fashion, and beauty," this is a magazine that Barbara assures us is filled with her personal style and passions. "We wanted to create a lifestyle magazine that makes elegance and style an achievable reality for our readers," she says. "The real challenge will be to relate ideas that are not only truly elegant and stylish but also creative and simple."

With her new book and her exciting new magazine, Barbara Smith certainly presents a uniquely personal message: "We live in a multicultural world where everyone wants to be able to and should have the opportunity to experience elegance and beauty in their own lives." Find your own festivity in the pages of Rituals & Celebrations and add it to your own library or give it as a gift this holiday season. Either way, you will feel a little bit more stylish and elegant during this busiest of all seasons.

Judith Choate

NY Times Magazine
B. Smith's goal is to get you looking good and having fun.
Wall Street Journal
Ms. Smith has surfaced as one of the most formidable rivals of Martha Stewart.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"You don't need vast resources to be creative," Smith believes. "You just need to be resourceful." True enough, but most admirers of this restaurateur and television personality will have to enlist a few helpers in order to emulate her dynamic style: Smith is passionate about entertaining. She insists that hostesses must be well-organized, for there's a lot of work involved in her seasonal meals, party plans and craft projects. More than 100 chic and highly seasoned recipes are presented in the context of monthly, celebratory menus--from Heart-Shaped Swordfish Papillotes with Mango Salsa for a Valentine's Day Dinner for Two to Orzo Paella at a Labor Day Weekend Dinner Party. Classics are given clever twists: Warm Apple Spring Rolls with Rum Cider Syrup can be served for Chinese New Year and Jerked Roast Turkey for Thanksgiving. Many African-American traditions are incorporated into the food and party themes as well--Smith recommends serving Black-eyed Pea Salad for Juneteenth. Craft projects such as painting glassware sound like fun, and her decorations can be as lighthearted as setting real goldfish swimming in small bowls at each place setting. Smith describes herself as having "creative vision and playful style," and she exhibits both in this first of a planned four-book series. 16-city author tour. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
In this book, Smith, former model and now owner of three restaurants (in New York City, Sag Harbor, NY, and Washington, DC), offers "menus and ideas for festive events throughout the year, from `A New Year's Day Buffet' to `A Christmas Eve Fondue.'" (LJ 9/15/99) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375502361
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/19/1999
  • Edition description: 1 AMER ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 8.37 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Smith
Barbara Smith is the host of her own half-hour nationally syndicated television series, B. Smith with Style, and appears regularly as a lifestyle expert on NBC's Today show. She is the owner of three B. Smith's restaurants in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Sag Harbor, Long Island. Her new magazine, B. Smith Style, will be available on newsstands this fall. She lives with her husband, Dan Gasby, a television producer, and her step-daughter, Dana, in New York City and Sag Harbor.
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Read an Excerpt



3 medium Granny Smith green apples, peeled, cored, halved,
and sliced thinly (about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
(or more to taste)
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vinegar

In a nonreactive 2-quart saucepan, combine all the ingredients. Simmer uncovered over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 35 minutes. (If the apples get too dry, add a splash of water.) Remove from the heat; let cool. Chill until ready to serve. The chutney will keep in the refrigerator up to 1 month.

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Recipes from B. Smith: Rituals & Celebrations

Roasted Herb-Stuffed Capon with Warm Mincemeat Sauce
Serves 4

One 6- to 8-pound capon or roasting chicken
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Herbed Stuffing (recipe follows)
Melted butter for basting
Warm Mincemeat Sauce (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Rinse the capon under cold water and dry thoroughly inside. Season the capon inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the body as well as the neck cavity of the capon loosely with the Herbed Stuffing. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Rub or brush butter over the skin of the capon. Place the capon breast side up on a rack inside of a roasting pan in the oven and lower the temperature to 350 degrees. Baste frequently with pan drippings and melted butter. Roast approximately 20 minutes per pound or until the skin is golden brown and the juices of the roast run clear when it is pierced at the thigh. Let the capon rest at least 20 minutes before carving. Serve with the Warm Mincemeat Sauce.

Herbed Stuffing
Serves 4

There are many wonderful stuffing and dressing recipes. This one just might become a tradition in your home. The stuffing could be baked inside the cavity of your poultry or in a casserole. If you decide to stuff your capon, remove the dressing from the cavity after your meal. Refrigerate separately and reheat before serving.

3 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
4 cups dry or slightly toasted white bread cubes
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves or 3/4 teaspoon dried sage leaves
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves or 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 to 1 cup chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a sauté pan, melt the butter. Sauté the onions and celery in the butter until tender. In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with the onions, celery, poultry seasoning, and herbs. Add the eggs and enough chicken stock to slightly moisten and barely bind ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Mincemeat Sauce
Yields 3 cups

I love this sauce. You might want to try it with poultry or wild fowl, and the orange zest is a nice addition.

2 cups roasting-pan drippings and/or chicken stock
1 cup bottled mincemeat
1/4 cup port
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
1 tablespoon grated orange zest (optional)

In a small saucepan, heat the drippings and/or chicken stock. Add the mincemeat and port and stir in until blended. Simmer 5 to 8 minutes. In a small cup, mix together the cornstarch and cold water until dissolved. Stir into the sauce. Let simmer about 2 to 3 more minutes, until desired thickness. Add zest, and serve warm.

Recipes from B. Smith: Rituals & Celebrations, copyright © 1999 by Barbara Smith. All rights reserved.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2000


    Barbara Smith's book is a visually delightful guide to celebrating throughout the year. The emphasis is on thoughtfulness and good, easy to make food. (Her New York restaurant is one of my favorites. Good food, good service, nice atmosphere, and good value.) I highly recommend this book.

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