Toronto food entrepreneur Devin Connell wears many hats: co-owner of Delica Kitchen, mother of two young boys, and founder of the new website
Crumb. So when it comes to entertaining, she likes to keep it simple. “I only began to enjoy [entertaining] when I realized everything didn’t have to be homemade. I love the idea of a corner store dinner party where you grab everything off the shelf and dress it up. It’s about using basic things and learning how to elevate them,” she says. Click through to see inside her laid-back family home, and get her easy entertaining tips and recipes.
Warm sunlight and an artful vignette offer a friendly welcome in Devin’s airy entryway.
The living room is a happy mix of rustic and modern.
Devin’s kitchen has a big eat-in nook, where her kids sit and color while she cooks.
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Devin’s dining room is designed to comfortably seat a crowd, with plush sage chairs and a statement chandelier.
Devin uses these Pez dispensers as placecards — dinner party guests have to guess which one is theirs!
“Treat your guests like the adults they are. A dirty martini bar gives them a fun task but also allows you to ‘outsource’ one small part of the night,” says Devin.
Dirty Martini recipe.
Devin’s go-to hors d’oeuvre is a crudité platter. “Use heirloom vegetables, if you can, but this is all about the dip! There’s a yummy creaminess from the ricotta and then the brightness of the salsa verde tops it all off,” she says.
Veg Tray with Ricotta and Salsa Verde recipe.
“You can eat fresh during the winter — it doesn’t have to be about stewy, slow-roasted foods all the time. This recipe is no more work than a green salad.”
Grilled Radicchio And Cauliflower Salad recipe.
“Who doesn’t have a potato kicking around in their vegetable drawer? These adult french fries with fancy ketchup are perfect for a winter gathering.”
Roasted Potato Wedges With Walnut Romesco recipe.
“Clams are very festive. As people drop the empty shells into bowls, you hear that happy clicking – it’s the best dinner party sound! I love that this dish takes a long time to eat; it encourages conversation. People are often intimidated by clams, but they’re the easiest thing to make,” says Devin.
White Wine Clams With Herbs And Grilled Sourdough recipe.
“I always make family-style meals, and that includes dessert. I love the idea of a dish being big and messy, and everybody taking a spoon and getting there. I’ve always enjoyed baking but it’s time-consuming, so shortcut desserts work better for me right now: this recipe takes minutes to make,” she says.
Caramelized Plums With Yogurt, Honey And Gingerbread recipe.
Author: Olivia Stern
Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott
House & Home February 2018