Note from Diane….

Hi Everyone, 

I received a few comments from members that just the slideshow posted from yesterdays post and not the other pictures, it just read “image”.

So here are the pictures of the Baked Squash Mac & Cheese.

Sorry for this problem. I will contact wordpress to see what caused this error.

Stay well, 

Diane

Ingredients

Photo Oct 06, 2 35 14 PM INGREDIENTS ONE

The finished product…

Photo Oct 06, 5 08 36 PM BAKED SQUASH MAC AND CHEESE

Written recipe and step by step slideshow on yesterday’s post.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Baked Squash Mac & Cheese…

Photo Oct 06, 5 08 36 PM BAKED SQUASH MAC AND CHEESE

Click on the photo to enlarge and then the back arrow to return to original size.

Hi Everyone,

Well, I hope your Fall is off to a good start. For me, I am slowly adjusting to the season and the cooler weather.

I can’t say that I am at the pumpkin latte, apple cider donuts and big sweater level yet, but I am working on it. 

The cooler weather and the month of October always brings my mind to comfort foods. Soups, stews and mac & cheese. Mac & cheese being my favorite. 

I am always on a quest for new recipes and then I tweak them to my liking. The other day while searching for fall recipes, I found a great recipe that caught my eye on the website HalfBakedHarvest.com.

It is “Baked Squash Mac & Cheese”. Two things I like rolled into one entree- not bad.

The mac & cheese is served in a mini squash (or pumpkin) for a great presentation and can either be a lovely weeknight meal or a seasonal lunch for company, served with a salad.

I bought all the ingredients, tried the recipe, loved it and wanted to share it with all of you. So here we go…

A slideshow preparing this recipe will be posted after the written recipe.

I had one big problem, everywhere I went I couldn’t find really small squash and I didn’t want to use a small pumpkin so the squash I bought would be considered a medium size. 

I still think that this would look cuter with small individual squash, but the taste was great.

Ingredients…

Photo Oct 06, 2 35 14 PM INGREDIENTS ONE

Baked Squash Mac & Cheese

courtesy of HalfBakedHarvest.com

Photo Oct 06, 5 07 14 PM BAKED SQUASH CLOSE

INGREDIENTS

  • 4-6 small acorn squash or pie pumpkins
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt + pepper
  • 4 slices thin prosciutto
  • 4 slices sourdough bread pulsed into fine crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small sweet onion thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-pound short cut pasta
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded provolone cheese
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper more or less to taste

COOKS NOTE:  I added shallots to my onions…

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Remove the tops of the squash and scoop out the seeds. Rub the insides of the pumpkins with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet. Lay the prosciutto flat on the baking sheet next to the squashes. Transfer to the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until the prosciutto is crisp. Remove the prosciutto from the pan and continue baking the squash another 10-20 minutes or just until tender to touch but not falling in.
  3. Add the crisp prosciutto and bread to a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs form. Melt 2 tablespoon butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the crumbs and cook until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sage and cook another 30 seconds. Spoon the crumbs out onto a plate. Set aside.
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Boil the pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain.
  5. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in the same pot used for the crumbs. Add the onions and cook until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the flour. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let cook/bubble for 1 minute, stirring once or twice to avoid burning. Gradually whisk in the milk, whisking until combined. Raise the heat up to medium-high. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking frequently until the sauce has thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in all of the cheese, mustard, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Stir until the cheese is fully melted (if needed, return the pot to the heat to fully melt the cheese). Stir in the pasta. Spoon the mac and cheese into the roasted squash bowls, you may have leftover mac and cheese depending on the size of your squash. Sprinkle on the bread crumbs over and transfer to the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crumbs are golden brown and the sauce is bubbling. Remove from the oven…dig in!!

STEP BY STEP SLIDESHOW…

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Enjoy the recipe and let me know what you think.

Stay well, 

Diane

Ask your family and friends to join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, I LOVE hearing from you.

 

Goodbye Summer 2018

Photo Sep 21, 9 04 13 PM (1) INTRO WITH HEADING

Click on the photo to enlarge, and the back arrow to return to original size.

Hi everyone,

Well the sunsets are earlier and the realization that summer is coming to an end is haunting me.

I like the spring, love the summer, can tolerate the fall and despise the winter. The thought of snow, cold and shoveling is making me sad already.

I don’t go by Labor Day as my guide to the last day of summer. No, I hold on to the bitter end and wait until the first day of Autumn shows up on the calendar.

This year, it’s Saturday, September 22, 2018. 

Although, a few weeks ago in the Northeast it was still in the high 80’s and humid and as if someone flipped a switch, it became cool, breezy, raining and 57 degrees with a high of 68 degrees after Labor Day.

I didn’t know what my Goodbye to Summer Tablescape would be and then one day while shopping in Pier 1, the best idea was right in front of me – Watermelons!

Many of you might remember my obsession with the vintage red truck cookie jar at Christmas.

Photo Dec 17, 11 55 26 AM CENTERPIECE 2

Well, Pier 1 has a vintage red truck cookie jar filled with watermelons and a tray to match. That is all it took to get me started.

Watermelon happens to be my favorite fruit and I constantly buy them all summer long.

(Along with Friendly’s “Wattamelon” ice cream roll).

rolls_ice-cream-rolls_wattamelon-roll (1).png 2.jpg FRIENDLY'S IN BOX

So, it looks as if Watermelon is now the “2018 Goodbye to Summer” theme.

To prove my love of watermelons, I even have a “watermelon shaped” clutch bag.

Photo Sep 21, 12 38 29 PM WATERMELON BAG

So, after seeing the clutch bag, I know what you are thinking and yes, I have watermelon dishes (two different sets actually).

The set I am using today and another set that I use for dessert.

 This is an additional watermelon serving bowl that I will be using on today’s tablescape.Photo Sep 21, 12 33 16 PM CHP BOWL

So, let’s get started on a tablescape…

First, the tablecloth. I am going to use burlap for a neutral background.

Photo Sep 21, 1 29 16 PM BURLAP TC

Solid green napkins to pick up one of the shades of the rind from the dishes.

This time I placed the folded napkin under the salad plate and have just a small portion exposed. I want the focus to be just on the dishes.

Photo Sep 21, 9 02 17 PM (1) NAPKIN

The placemats can be nothing else than a woven slice of watermelon.

Couldn’t pass these up.

Photo Sep 21, 12 39 27 PM WATERMELON PLACEMAT

No charger plates because you wouldn’t see the placemats and they are too cute to hide.

Now the dishes…The dinner and salad plates are exactly the same to this set and there is also a small salad bowl to match.

The dishes are ceramic with a white background with various sizes and shapes of sliced watermelon with shades of green and the deep pink of a ripe watermelon.

Just the color alone is refreshing.

Photo Sep 21, 12 34 40 PM WDISHES

Complete set…

Photo Sep 21, 12 35 03 PM W-COMPLETE SET

Here is my second set of watermelon dishes that I use just for dessert. 

 The dessert plates are melamine for outdoor use and the pattern is similar to the other dishes. It has a white background with not only slices of a watermelon but a whole watermelon as well.

Photo Sep 21, 10 08 54 PM DESSERT DISH

The serving bowl and dessert bowls are also ceramic and just too cute.

Even though the bowls and dishes are not part of the same collection, I think they look great together.

Photo Sep 21, 10 13 23 PM DESSERT BOWLS

Glassware will be clear acrylic tumblers with a design of watermelon slices.

(great find in Homegoods). 

Later they will be filled with a watermelon beverage, mini wedges of watermelon and refreshing mint.

Photo Sep 21, 12 31 03 PM W-GLASSWARE

Flatware is brown to continue the neutral feeling.

Photo Sep 21, 12 39 46 PM FLATWARE

The Centerpiece…

Here it is, my new red vintage truck & watermelon cookie jar. I just love it.

The cookie jar truck has a lid piled high with watermelons.

(I am sorry I didn’t buy this sooner so I could have displayed it in my kitchen the entire summer).

To give the tablescape some height, I am placing the truck on an inverted crate.

Photo Sep 21, 12 30 51 PM REDTRUCK

The platter is also a red truck with a cargo of watermelons and matches the cookie jar exactly. I will use this platter to serve watermelon slices.

Photo Sep 21, 12 32 49 PM RED TRUCK PLATTER

I have a few table accents in mind.

The first one is a coaster that I picked up in a tiny, I guess you could call it a general store (NOT Cracker Barrel) at a road stop on the way upstate to see our son. It is a coaster with a design of a watermelon with a slice cut out and the caption reads “Summertime Favorite”. They only had one, and I bought it anyway because it just struck me.

Since this is all I have and it is small, I will display it on a clear acrylic easel as I would a photo on the table.

Photo Sep 21, 12 30 12 PM WATERMELON COASTER

My second table accent, (if you haven’t already guessed), is my favorite item for the tablescapes and that would be salt and pepper shakers. They are ceramic slices of watermelon in the true deep tone of real watermelon.

Photo Sep 21, 12 31 38 PM WATERMELON S AND P

Next table accent, will make you laugh…

A few years back, Kleenex introduced tissue boxes designed like fruits. Of course I bought the watermelon box and I thought I could re-purpose it once the tissues were gone, so I filled the box with artificial greenery and use it as a display next to fruit platters at summer gatherings.

Just like the Ferris Wheel from the “State Fair” post, I love conversation starters.

Photo Sep 21, 12 37 03 PM TISSUE BOX

At the last minute, I decided to put two more table accents on the table…

A real watermelon…

  And a vase of sunflowers in a mason jar with rocks.

Sunflowers also scream “Summer” to me and this brings a pop of color to the table.

Photo Sep 21, 1 30 54 PM FLOWERS AND WATERMELON

Now that the table is done…I wanted to make some watermelon “food items” along with slices of fresh watermelon and the first thing that came to my mind were watermelon cupcakes.

(Do you see how my mind goes to dessert first)?

I love these cupcakes because they not only have the layered colors of a watermelon slice with seeds, but the buttercream frosting is watermelon flavored (thank you, Kool-Aid). 

They will look so cute on the table.

Photo Sep 21, 9 30 28 PM CUPCAKE 2

(Recipe for watermelon cupcakes at the end of the post).

Well, now that I had a watermelon dessert, I might as well make a complete Goodbye to Summer Lunch with some watermelon tucked in here and there and some of my favorite summer foods.

Since I can’t have a watermelon sandwich to start with, here is our menu…

Goodbye to Summer Lunch

Shrimp salad roll – for those of us allergic to lobster.

(recipe at the end of the post)

Photo Sep 16, 12 16 09 AM SHRIMP SALAD

Homemade potato chips.

(recipe at the end of the post)

Photo Sep 15, 11 52 18 AM HOMEMADE CHIPS -use

Tomato, Watermelon & Feta skewers with mint & lime.

(recipe at the end of the post). 

Photo Sep 15, 11 28 30 PM FETA, TOMATO WATERMELON

Watermelon cooler made with lemon sorbet. 

(recipe at the end of the post).

Photo Sep 21, 10 28 41 PM COOLER

Fresh watermelon slices.

Photo Sep 21, 11 28 28 PM W-SLICES

 Watermelon Italian Ice (store bought).

Photo Sep 21, 10 19 31 PM ITALIAN ICE

Watermelon Cupcakes.

Photo Sep 21, 10 34 05 PM (1) CUPCAKE

(recipe at the end of the post)

Dessert is Served…

Photo Sep 21, 10 33 53 PM DESSERT IS SERVED

*****************************

I could go on and make a watermelon cake, watermelon pizza and watermelon sorbet, but I don’t want to get carried away. Maybe next summer.

NOTE: You won’t believe what I came across while looking for the Bellini recipe, a recipe for a “watermelon sandwich”.

See the surprise recipe I found at the end of the post!

*********************

Now my Goodbye to Summer lunch is ready.

Place Setting

Photo Sep 21, 11 30 10 PM PLACE SETTING

Bob and I will enjoy this lunch as I count the days until summer once again.

(If anyone is interested, it is 272 days as of September 22, 2018). 

to the first day of Summer.

Friday, June 21, 2019.

********************

Thank you for visiting my blog and letting me share my Watermelon Tablescape with all of you.

Here is a little extra helpful hint with your watermelon purchases…

 A video on how to tell if the watermelon is ripe...open the link

https://commonsensehome.com/tell-watermelon-is-ripe/

Until my next post, make everyday a celebration!

I decided to have a Watermelon Bellini after all, to send off Summer in style! 

Watermelon Bellini

 (with and without alcohol) 

(recipe at the end of the post).

Photo Sep 21, 11 52 22 PM BELLINI

Stay well, 

Diane

Ask your family and friends to join DishingwithDiane.com. and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments & emails, I LOVE hearing from you.

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RECIPES

Watermelon Cupcakes

Recipe courtesy of Beth @ The First Year – blog

Ingredients

Cupcakes – makes 10-12 cupcakes

  • 6 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • leaf green food coloring by Wilton (or similar light green food coloring)

Buttercream

  • 2 sticks of butter, unsalted at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 tsp of powdered watermelon Kool-Aid mix
  • small about of red food coloring, to give the buttercream a pinkish color
  • mini chocolate chips

Directions

Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 375º F. Place cupcakes liners to muffin pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar, beat using an electric mixer until fluffy. Add in the egg whites, beat again.
  3. Add in the sour cream and vanilla extract, mix by hand with spatula.
  4. In a smaller bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt, gently mix with a spoon.
  5. Gradually add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, do not dump it in, rather take spoonfuls of the flour mixture and gently shake it over the wet ingredients, as if you were sifting in the flour. Fold in the mixture until no flour remains. Repeat with the other half of the flour, folding it in and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl to incorporate everything.
  6. Add in the green food coloring, mix to incorporate.
  7. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners, filling each 1/2 full.
  8. Bake at 375º F for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 350º will keeping the cupcakes in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of a cupcake.
  9. Allow the cupcakes to cool before adding the buttercream.

Buttercream

  1. In a mixing bowl beat the butter and vegetable shortening with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add in 2 cups of powdered sugar, mix by hand with a spatula.
  3. Add in more powdered sugar as you see fit, up to 2 more cups, mixing first by hand then with an electric mixer.
  4. Add in the watermelon Kool-Aid powder and a small amount of red food coloring (to give the frosting a pinkish color), mixing one last time with an electric mixer.

How to assemble

  1. Place the buttercream in a large piping bag fit with a 1M Wilton piping tip. Push the buttercream down into the bag. Pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes, starting in the center of the cupcake, swirling out, and then swirling back into the center, progressively stacking the frosting as you get to the center.
  2. Add mini chocolate chips on top of the buttercream.

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Tomato, Watermelon, and Feta Skewers with Mint and Lime

Recipe courtesy of Sara Foster of Southern Living

Makes about 3 dozen skewers

No time for skewers? Gently toss the ingredients in a salad bowl, or dice the tomato, watermelon, and cheese into small cubes to serve as a fresh relish for grilled meats.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 cups 1-inch watermelon cubes (about 1/4 of a 3-lb. watermelon)
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, cubed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 36 (3-inch) wooden skewers

Directions:

Gently toss together tomatoes and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and chill 30 minutes to 1 hour. Thread 1 tomato piece, 1 watermelon cube, and 1 feta cube onto a skewer, and place in a serving bowl. Repeat with remaining skewers. Drizzle with remaining marinade, and serve immediately.

********************************************

Shrimp Salad

Courtesy of The Blond Cook

Ingredients:

  • 1-pound medium shrimp in shell
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery

Instructions:

  1. Boil 1-1/2 cups water in a medium saucepan and add shrimp. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 2-1/2 to 3 minutes, or until pink and just cooked (do not overcook).
  2. Drain shrimp in a colander and rinse with cold water and allow to cool.
  3. While shrimp are cooling, whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, dill weed and Old Bay Seasoning in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until shrimp are ready to be added.
  4. Peel and devein shrimp and cut in half (or chop, depending upon preference). Add shrimp, red onions and celery and stir well to coat with mayonnaise mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

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Homemade Potato Chips

Courtesy of Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 7 unpeeled medium potatoes (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 quarts ice water
  • 5 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons celery salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pepper
  • Oil for deep-fat frying

Directions

  • 1. Using a vegetable peeler or metal cheese slicer, cut potatoes into very thin slices. Place in a large bowl; add ice water and salt. Soak for 30 minutes.
  • 2. Drain potatoes; place on paper towels and pat dry. In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, celery salt and pepper; set aside.
  • 3. In an electric skillet, heat 1-1/2 in. of oil to 375°. Fry potatoes in batches for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently.
  • 4. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Immediately sprinkle with seasoning mixture. Store in an airtight container.

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Watermelon and Lemon Sorbet Cooler

Courtesy of Paula Deen       Servings: 10

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 lbs (4 cups) seedless watermelon, sliced with rind removed, plus wedges for garnish
  • 1 cup lemon sorbet
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • fresh mint, for garnish

Directions:

In a food processor, blend watermelon, sorbet and lemon zest until very smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cold water; cover and refrigerate until very cold. Serve over ice and garnish with watermelon wedges and mint.

 

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Watermelon Bellini

Recipe courtesy of  Virginia Willis of Southern Living

Ingredients:

  • 1 lime
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. coarse sugar
  • 3 cups frozen seedless watermelon
  • 1 cup sparkling wine, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Additional sparkling wine
  • Garnish: watermelon wedges

Instructions:

Cut lime in half. Cut 1 half into wedges, and rub on rims of 8 (6-oz.) cocktail glasses; dip rims in coarse sugar to coat. Process frozen watermelon, 1 cup chilled sparkling wine, sugar, salt, and juice from remaining lime half in a blender until smooth. Pour mixture into prepared glasses; top off with additional sparkling wine. Garnish, if desired. Serve immediately.

**NOTE- Any summer melon will work. For a nonalcoholic option, replace the sparkling wine with sparkling white grape juice, sparkling cider, or club soda.

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Just had to share this, the surprise recipe I found.

It looks as though I CAN have a Watermelon sandwich.

Open Face Watermelon Sandwiches

recipe courtesy of FreshfromFlorida blog

Watermelon-Open-Face-Watermelon-Sandwiches-4 (1) for blog

Yield 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1/4 medium-sized Florida watermelon, seeds and rind removed
  • 1 handful fresh Florida mint leaves, chopped
  • 8 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/2 loaf of your favorite crusty bread, sliced thin
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Preparation

Crumble chilled goat cheese into a small bowl. Lightly mix cheese and chopped mint. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper.

Cut bread into 8 small slices and drizzle with olive oil. Toast bread slices until golden brown and crispy on top. Let bread cool slightly.

Spread cheese mixture on the top of each slice of bread. Cut watermelon slices into fun shapes and layer watermelon on top of cheese. Lightly season the top of the sandwiches with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.

Photo Sep 21, 1 32 05 PM WATERMELON EXTRA

 

 

 

Linguine with Blue Claw Crab Sauce

Photo Sep 16, 1 18 46 PM LINGUINE WITH CRAB SAUCE

Hi Everyone,

I have been getting a lot of requests for this recipe since I posted a picture on my Instagram page on Labor Day, so instead of sending out individual responses, I am sharing this recipe with all of you.

Linguine with Blue Claw Crab Sauce

I used to go crabbing off the local pier with my dad when he was alive. It was a lot of fun for me as a child and dad and I got both a suntan and some quality time together.

We used to use chicken legs for bait and then wait and wait and wait for a crab to be interested. Periodically pulling up the trap to see if we were lucky. Some days the bounty was enormous, other days, plan on something else for dinner.     

Since I was a child, I always remember my dad going crabbing and my mother making the most delicious crab sauce with linguine or spaghetti. The entire family would gather around the picnic table lined with newspaper and eat crabs for hours after we had our linguine. We were prepared with our mallets, seafood crackers and picks. It is a little tedious to eat, but the reward was worth it . The most delicious sweet crabmeat.

We had the best summers!   

Since my dad passed, I no longer go crabbing and I buy my crabs along with my other seafood from a local fishmonger (Claws Seafood Market Crab Shack and Clam Bar- Sayville, NY – Great owner and staff. If you live in the area, I recommend you give them a try). 

I was fortunate to be gifted crabs this Labor Day and I had the best time making this meal. It always brings back great memories.

I still have all dad’s traps in the attic and maybe one summer I’ll start crabbing again in his memory.

This Blue Claw Crab Sauce isn’t just for the summer.

I make crab sauce every year as part of the Italian Christmas Eve, “Feast of the Seven Fishes”.

For Christmas Eve, I add a few clams, mussels, shrimp and calamari rings. It is my favorite part of the meal and so delicious.

Try the recipe and let me know what you think and have some patience eating the crabmeat, trust me, it’s worth it.

*********************

I purchased two dozen crabs. I wait until they are a good size and then I buy, clean and freeze most of them for Christmas Eve and some for the rest of the winter when I am craving crab sauce.

I used six crabs today for this sauce. Any less than that and you really don’t get a good flavor. 

Photo Sep 13, 7 17 09 PM BAG OF BLUE CLAWS

They look much better cleaned. It’s a little bit of work but you can have the fish monger clean them if your prefer.

I have been cleaning crabs since I was a child with my mom after my dad’s catch so this job doesn’t bother me.

Photo Sep 13, 10 26 03 PM CLEANED CRABS

So here is my recipe for Blue Claw Crab Sauce….

 I hope you enjoy it…

(Obviously, this recipe can be doubled for a holiday meal).

Diane’s Crab sauce

Photo Sep 16, 1 18 20 PM LINGUINE WITH CRAB SAUCE FOR RECIPE

Ingredients:

2 shallots diced

5-6 cloves of garlic (or more) – diced

Olive oil

Parsley- roughly 3 tbsp- finely chopped

1 small can of anchovies with oil

6 cleaned blue claw crabs

2 cans San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes – blended in the food processor

Red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper – to taste

1 cup clam juice

1 cup white wine

Tomato paste (optional)

Directions:

Coat the bottom of an 8 qt pot with olive oil and heat on medium

Add the shallots and a pinch of salt and sauté for 1-2 minutes until translucent.

Add the garlic and sauté an additional 1-2 minutes until golden brown – be careful not to burn

Add one small can of anchovies with their oil and stir to dissolve –

(this does not make the sauce taste fishy. I add it in my white clam sauce as well).

Once dissolved add the parsley and fresh ground black pepper, salt and some red pepper flakes to taste and sauté

Now add the crabs and sauté for about 5-7 minutes until the claws become red. Mix well with the parsley mixture to get the oil and garlic in the nooks and crannies of the crab.

In the meantime, put two cans of san Marzano whole peeled tomatoes in the food processor and blend.

Add the tomatoes, wine and clam juice to the crabs.

Sauté on medium for approx. 20 minutes with the lid a jar. After 20 minutes if the sauce seems too watery add 1 tbsp of tomato paste and continue to simmer for 5 minutes.

Simmer on low until you prepare your pasta (usually linguine for this dish al dente- 7 minutes.-(I cook the pasta two minutes shy of being done).

Add your pasta to a large pot or saute pan and add the crab sauce, cook for two minutes so the sauce can be absorbed by the pasta. 

Serve with the crabs, or make the crabs a second course

Enjoy !!

 

State Fair

 

Photo Sep 08, 1 10 35 AM (1) INTRO -FINAL

Click on the photo to enlarge and then the back arrow to return to original size.

Hi Everyone,

Hope all is well.

I have been faced with a challenge. I have a dear friend who is visiting from out of state and I invited her to lunch. She is bringing along her 4-year old grandson who she said is “very fidgety”. OK, here is the challenge, how do you entertain a 4-year old through lunch?

 I had to seriously give this some thought because I didn’t want him to just play a video game all alone, but instead be involved at the table so I can have the pleasure of his company. I love his age, they are cute and funny and simply a joy. 

Over and over in my head I kept thinking “fun and games”. I didn’t want to do a craft and keep in mind, it has been 27 years since I had a little one.

Originally, I planned lunch outside, but here in the northeast the weather has been a little crazy, either very hot and humid or raining, so this will have to be indoors.

 I thought of using the beach ball dishes and beach toys on the table from a previous tablescape.

Click link to see entire Beach Ball post.

https://dishingwithdiane.com/2015/06/20/beach-ball/

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Then I thought a basket of food would be better for a 4 – year old than a ceramic dish, so I started thinking of what would go in a basket for a child. The usual hot dogs and hamburgers came to mind and then I had a thought… how about a corn dog? I am sure he doesn’t have that everyday and it might be fun to eat a hot dog on a stick.

That’s all it took and my mind started to go from there. I would make the tablescape as if he went to a State Fair. The New York State Fair is in full swing and short of taking a field trip to Syracuse, I had to start thinking.

I wrote down all the food and snacks I was thinking about to have them both Grandma and Mom approved. I didn’t want to go against any family food restrictions or allergies.

So once I got the green light on the food, I was ready to go.

This tablescape is my rendition of a State Fair. Hope you like it…

Here is the menu with snacks…

  • corn dogs
  • French fries
  • popcorn
  • peanuts
  • cracker jacks
  • cotton candy
  • kettle corn
  • cupcakes (ice cream would melt)
  • funnel cake
  • lemonade

First the tablecloth – I wanted something fun and one of my linen tablecloths wouldn’t work, so I bought a plastic “popcorn” themed tablecloth from the party store.

Photo Sep 02, 5 15 19 PM POPCORN TABLECLOTH

I had to buy some popcorn napkins to match.

Photo Sep 07, 5 50 46 PM POPCORN NAPKINS

No dishes, just red plastic food baskets lined with red & white check food grade tissue paper.

Photo Sep 07, 5 49 33 PM FOOD BASKET

Photo Sep 07, 5 56 02 PM PLACE SETTING

 Lunch will be a corn dog, French fries and a box of Cracker Jacks. 

(I still love Cracker Jacks. Much better prizes back in the day).

Photo Sep 07, 5 50 07 PM CRACKER JACKS

Photo Sep 07, 9 36 08 PM CORN DOG AND FRIES

I made the corn dogs but bought the French fries because I love the large crinkle cut fries from Nathans. 

(Recipe for homemade corn dogs at the end of the post).

No glasses, just cans of lemonade and bottles of water.

All served on a square wooden charger plate. It really comes in handy as a tray.

Photo Sep 02, 5 23 07 PM WOODEN TRAY

The first snack is cotton candy. I decided to serve this in sugar cones, since I couldn’t get the paper cones or sticks that the cotton candy usually comes on and I didn’t want to purchase a cotton candy machine.

Photo Sep 07, 5 54 30 PM COTTON CANDY CONES

Next up, roasted peanuts served in white ceramic berry baskets.

Photo Sep 07, 5 54 08 PM PEANUTS

Now, my absolute favorite food on the Midway- funnel cakes.

Homemade funnel cakes are easier than you think to put together and don’t forget to cover them in powdered sugar.

I served them on a white tray and added the cutest mini boxes of my favorite flavor jelly beans – Popcorn! 

Photo Sep 07, 7 15 02 PM JELLY BELLY

Funnel cakes.

Photo Sep 07, 9 35 23 PM FUNNEL CAKES 1

I need to work on my technique…Photo Sep 07, 8 31 16 PM FRYING FUNNEL CAKES

Photo Sep 07, 8 32 58 PM FUNNEL CAKE DRAINING

(Recipe for homemade funnel cakes at the end of the post). 

Of course we had to have popcorn with a popcorn themed tablecloth. So I filled plastic popcorn containers at each place setting.

Photo Sep 07, 5 55 12 PM POPCORN

I added a ceramic popcorn shaker to the table, that is supposed to be used for extra salt but I use it for finely grated cheese.

(Love popcorn and grated cheese and a touch of cayenne).

Photo Sep 07, 5 53 43 PM POPCORN SHAKER

*********

Well, the food is taken care of, so on to the tablescape.

I remembered all the stuffed animals that I brought home from fairs and carnivals that my son won from various Midway games, so I thought it would be fun to place some stuffed animal “prizes” with carnival tickets all around them as a table accent.

(I really missed Toys R Us not being in business anymore for this purchase).

Of course my friend’s grandson can help himself to whatever he wants.

Photo Sep 07, 5 47 31 PM TOYS AND TICKETS

And now the centerpiece.

I have, believe it or not, a white metal & galvanized Ferris wheel that hold cupcakes.

Photo Sep 07, 5 48 51 PM FERRIS WHEEL

I bought this last year at Pier 1 and it was just too cute to pass up. It was one of those purchases that I brought home and Bob said, “Do you think you’ll really use that”?

I am happy to say that I have used it on numerous occasions as part of a dessert table at an outdoor barbecue – good conversation starter.

I cheated and bought frosted cupcakes and topped them with kettle corn (another State Fair treat) and added them to the Ferris wheel.

Photo Sep 07, 7 52 33 PM CUPCAKE

(I just didn’t have the time to bake and frost cupcakes).

Photo Sep 07, 7 56 25 PM FERRIS WHEL WITH CUPCAKES

I think it looks really cute and what child wouldn’t want to pick a cupcake off of that Ferris wheel?

Okay, so I have the food, table accents and a centerpiece, but I wanted to do a little more and send him home with a party favor. 

This took me a while to think about and then I had the best idea.

What is the ultimate take away prize from the Midway that “everyone” has taken home at one time or another? Give up? A goldfish in a bag.

Of course I wasn’t going out to get real goldfish, but I could make a goldfish in a bag soap. So that is what I did (with my craft assistant Bob to help me).

Sometimes it pays off to be Cub Scouts den mother, class mother and PTA President. You remember some crafts from the past. (And I mean 27 yrs ago in the past).

I’ll have to make one for my son for his Christmas stocking and see if he remembers this from grade school.

Some melted clear suspension soap, a vinyl goldfish, clear cello bags, some twine and we are in business. Fragrance can be added to this DIY project. I didn’t want to attempt that because I was afraid that the fragrance would change the color of the soap and make it cloudy. 

Once completed, I placed a goldfish soap bag at each place setting.

Photo Sep 08, 12 23 29 AM GOLD FISH FAVOR AT TABLE

Now my little guest has something else to take home along with the stuffed animal plush toys.

Photo Sep 08, 12 20 52 AM GOLD FISH FAVOR 2

*********

NOTE:

I was not given permission from the author of this DIY project, to post her project instructions on my blog due to copyright laws. Sorry.

If you are interested in making this craft, there are so many tutorials for this project on Google.

*********

 I am done with this tablescape and now I just had to wait for their arrival.

I hope they like it…

PS- If all else fails and he doesn’t like anything and is bored, my backup is a sand art kit to keep him busy.

Either way, something else for him to take home.

Photo Sep 08, 1 15 50 AM SAND ART

**********************************************

I hope all of you enjoyed my rendition of a State Fair tablescape and it gave you some ideas that you can use in your home.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well, 

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog and please spread the word and ask your family and friends to join DishingwithDiane.

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments, I LOVE hearing from you.

*************************************

RECIPES

Homemade Funnel Cake

(recipe was given to me many years ago- author unknown)

1 – 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
1 large egg 
2/3 cup milk
2 TBSP sugar 
1 tsp baking powder 
1/4 tsp salt,
1 tsp vanilla 

Mix all ingredients well and add more milk if too thick.

Instead of a funnel, use an old plastic squeeze ketchup bottle…EASIER!!

 Heat a small amount of canola (or vegetable) oil in my small cast iron skillet.

 Then, ……I random squirt and swirl batter in oil.

 Flip when it starts bubbling and turning brown (like you do when making pancakes.)

Serve with confectioners sugar

*************************************

Before I continue, these are the best bamboo skewers I found for corn dogs or candy apples, perfect size –available on Amazon – (6 1/2 inches, 100 pieces for $8.90).

Photo Sep 07, 5 46 05 PM BAMBOO SKEWERS

Homemade Corn Dogs

 PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES… COOK TIME: 3 MINUTES… TOTAL TIME: 13 MINS are a classic fair treat, and now you can make them at home!  – adapted from Cooks County Recipes.

Mix together a quick cornmeal, dip the hot dogs, and fry!

Ingredients:

 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1.5 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp nutmeg

 3/4 cup buttermilk

 2 eggs

4 hot dogs

 all-purpose flour, for rolling

vegetable or peanut oil, for frying

Directions:

Preheat the fryer to 350 degrees F.

To make the batter, whisk to combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, and nutmeg.

In another small bowl, whisk to combine the buttermilk and eggs, and mix this into the dry ingredients until there are no more streaks of flour, but be sure to leave lumps in the batter (do not stir those out, as you may over-mix). Transfer the batter to a tall glass.

Skewer the hot dogs onto wooden sticks and roll the hot dogs in enough flour to coat, then shake the excess off.

Dip the floured hot dogs into the tall cup of batter and put them straight into the fryer for about 3 minutes, but be sure not to overcrowd your fryer. Depending on size, you might need to make two or three batches.

The corn dogs are ready when the exterior is golden brown.

Serve the corn dogs with ketchup and mustard if desired, and enjoy!

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StateFairGrunge_forWebLight STATE FAIR

Flamingo Vacation With Grandma…

 

Photo Aug 22, 4 25 40 PM FLAMINGO INTRO 2 -- adjusted

Click on the photo to enlarge and the back arrow to return to original size.

Hi Everyone,

This story and tablescape is in memory of my dear beloved Grandmother who would have turned 114 yrs old on Aug, 14th and all the joy she brought her family.

So many things in life can remind us of special moments. Sometimes it is the scent of a certain food that reminds us of Mom or Grandma cooking when we were a child, a perfume that reminds us of a special loved one, the type of weather that reminds us of a special event, the cigar smell that reminds us of a favorite Uncle or Grandfather and sometimes, something just as simple as the design on a plate can trigger a memory and that happened to me.

I live in a neighborhood close to the water and we have a great little shop in town that features coastal decor, apparel and jewelry. I go in from time to time just to browse and see if there is anything new I might want to add to my collection.

I was in there last week, and I saw a platter that made me stop and laugh in the middle of the store. Thank God I was with Bob so I didn’t look odd laughing for no reason with no one around. But to me it was a big reason to laugh.

The platter was of all things, a design featuring Flamingos. I held it up to Bob and said “What does this remind you of?” and he had a smile on his face too.

It was our little special moment.

To us the platter brought back a memory of our son and his obsession with Flamingos one year in Florida when we were visiting my Grandmother.

Back 25 years ago, on one of our many trips to see my beloved Grandmother in Fort Lauderdale, FL, she took us to a botanical garden that had Flamingos freely walking around on the grounds. (I don’t think that exists today).

Well, as soon as our son saw the Flamingos, which were about his size at the time or maybe a little taller, he was mesmerized. So much so, that we went back to the botanical garden every day for him to see the Flamingos for the duration of our trip. They came right up to him and he was amazed.

He couldn’t say Flamingo properly back then and called them “Flan-dingos”.

(He would kill me if he knew I just shared that information, but it was just adorable, and who else has the right to embarrass my child, but me? –but keep it to yourself anyway). With my luck, he’ll read this blog post and I’ll get a phone call.

Of course I had to buy him a stuffed Flamingo plush toy to take home with him on the plane and he was thrilled.

My Grandmother got a big kick out of him and his adoration for these birds (He adored his Great-Grandmother too, don’t get me wrong). I think she was also proud of herself that she picked the botanical garden in the first place and it brought him so much joy.

So now, every time I see a Flamingo on anything, it puts a smile on my face.

That was such a wonderful vacation for all of us.

***************************

Back in the store, with the Flamingo platter, I immediately flipped it over for the name of the company or design. The pattern name is “Floridian Design”. I am taking this as a sign from Grandma and the trip to Florida. 

I asked if they carried any dishes to match and the saleswoman said, “No, just platters and Flamingo salt & pepper shakers”. My ears almost fell off. Did she just say salt and pepper shakers? As in my favorite table accent? This was a second sign from Grandma and I was sold.

I bought the salt & pepper shakers and the platter and I had a new mission, complete this collection.

I came home and started my quest to find the dishes that matched the platter. Not too hard a search thanks to Google and Amazon and the pattern was still in production.

The best price was on Amazon, so I ordered them with my prime membership. Two days and free delivery. What could be better than that? (You don’t know how hard it was for me to wait the two days).

Since Grandma’s 114th birthday was on August 14th, I knew the Flamingo tablescape had to be in honor of her. I miss her every single day of my life.

So let’s start a tablescape…

The dishes are a combination of beige, coral and sage green melamine. Which was great because coral, blush, peach and sage have always been some of my favorite colors, so I was very happy with these dishes when they arrived.

The dinner plate has a plaid rim with all the colors and the center of the plate is a single standing Flamingo with a background that looks vintage and has the words “Florida” and “The Land of Sunshine” written across the plate.

All reminders of our wonderful vacation.

Photo Aug 22, 4 28 14 PM DINNER PLATE 2 --ADJUSTED

The salad plate has a solid coral rim and multiple Flamingos on the plate with a soft beige background.

Photo Aug 22, 4 28 44 PM SALAD PLATE

The set also comes with a sage green bowl with both the plaid pattern and a gold rim and a design of a pineapple and tropical flowers.

The pineapple is a traditional symbol of hospitality and “Welcome”.

Photo Aug 25, 1 20 31 PM PINEAPPLE BOWL

Here is the complete set.

Photo Aug 25, 1 21 46 PM COMPLETE SET

Now for a tablecloth... I went through all of my green tablecloths and none of them worked for me, so I went back to Amazon to find a tablecloth. This was harder to find than the dishes. Finally, I came across one that had the perfect colors -but vinyl.

I despise vinyl because I try to stay away from all the chemicals and phthalates it takes to make the product. I thought about it for a day and continued my search and I had to bite the bullet because I didn’t find anything else and the colors were just what I was looking for.

Since the dishes are melamine and the tablecloth is vinyl and both are great for outdoor use (plus the tablecloth is the same dimensions and my patio table), I thought I could make use of it on the patio, so I ordered the tablecloth.

In fabric it would have been perfect.

Photo Aug 22, 4 27 11 PM TROPIC TABLECLOTH

I am using green napkins to pick up a color on the tablecloth. The name of the napkin color is “Gecko Green”  by Dll, just in case you wanted to purchase these. I suppose this color reminded the manufacturer of a lizard.

The napkins are over-sized ( 20 X 20) and look just too large at the place setting, so I rolled them up with a napkin ring instead of folding them next to the plate. 

My napkin rings are gold medal palm trees; which started me thinking that I should find bamboo napkin rings. A new quest…

Photo Aug 22, 4 26 42 PM NAPKIN AND PALM TREE RING

Now the placemats… Since coral is a color from the plate, I have the perfect coral placemats to use. Photo Aug 25, 1 23 50 PM PLACEMAT

The dishes give you a tropical feel, so I am using bamboo chargers. 

Photo Aug 22, 4 27 46 PM CHARGER

To continue the bamboo theme, the flatware is bamboo as well.

(I really don’t get to use these enough).

Photo Aug 22, 4 29 15 PM FLATWARE

Next, the glassware. You will not believe what I found last year in Bed, Bath and Beyond at the summer clearance- Flamingo stemless wine glasses. I bought them even though I didn’t have a thing to use them with and now I do.

Photo Aug 25, 1 28 15 PM GLASSWARE

They are very cute and I will serve Grandma’s favorite drink in them – sweet iced tea with lemon.

Photo Aug 25, 1 29 51 PM GLASSWARE WITH TEA

My centerpiece had to honor Grandma and the first part of the centerpiece is the Flamingo platter that stopped me in my tracks and started this entire tablescape. It is a 19 X 8 rectangle and matches the salad plate exactly.

(Sorry about the size of this photo. For whatever reason, I couldn’t get it any larger than this).

Photo Aug 25, 1 25 08 PM RECTANGLE TRAY

To add to the platter, I am placing a photo of grandma and Michael in a very beachy driftwood frame…

This photo was from Grandma’s 90th Birthday!

Photo Aug 22, 4 30 53 PM GRANDMA PHOTO --ADJUSTED

In addition to the frame, I placed a Flamingo tea light holder on the tray.

This way I can light the candle in memory of Grandma. 

Photo Aug 22, 4 30 18 PM TEA LIGHT

 The last addition to the centerpiece is a Lenox vase (to pick up the beige) filled with once again, my artificial white heather flowers.

During the times that I don’t have flowers to fill some of my vases that I display, I add material in the vase with an accent color of the room it’s in, so the vase doesn’t look lost on a table or dresser. 

For this vase, I already had peach chiffon in the vase. It matched the tablescape so I just left it in with the flowers.

Photo Aug 25, 1 24 46 PM VASE WITH FLOWERS

This is the complete centerpiece…

Photo Aug 25, 1 26 19 PM CENTERPIECE

As far as table accents, well you know one had to be the new set of Flamingo salt and pepper shakers.

Photo Aug 22, 4 34 04 PM SALT AND PEPPER1

I came across a bonus while shopping for the tablecloth. Another set of Flamingo salt and pepper shakers (these are just a shade darker). They are magnetic and they are supposed to look as though they are kissing.

Photo Aug 22, 4 34 17 PM SALT AND PEPPER2

 I also found a beautiful 12 X 8 coral Flamingo figural serving dish while tablecloth shopping.

Just adorable, but I don’t know what I will serve yet.

Maybe some of Grandma’s favorite desserts.

Photo Aug 22, 4 30 00 PM FIGURALFLAMINGO

Place Setting

Photo Aug 25, 1 31 10 PM PLACE SETTING

Photo Aug 22, 4 37 19 PM EXTRA

I think Grandma would have loved this tablescape.

I have one other sign from Grandma to share.

A while ago, while I was in Homegoods, and I bought the most wonderfully scented soap.

Just last night, I noticed that the soap is wrapped in Flamingo wrapping paper.

Yes, it’s a sign, that this tablescape was meant to be.

Photo Aug 25, 9 51 11 PM GIFT

Photo Aug 25, 9 52 49 PM CLOSE UP SOAP

Thank you for letting me share with you my special tribute to my beloved and adored Grandmother.

Until my next post, make everyday a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

*****************************

Please spread the word and have your family and friends join DishingwithDiane.

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, I LOVE hearing from you.

Be prepared for “Company”…

Photo Aug 04, 11 57 58 PM STRAWBERRY INTRO

Click on the photo to enlarge and the back arrow to return to original size.

Hi Everyone, 

This is a little advice to always be prepared for unexpected company…

When I was a little girl, my mother always kept a pound cake in the freezer for “company”. This drove my sisters and I crazy because there were many nights we just wanted to thaw it out and eat it.

My mother used to serve us toasted pound cake with fresh fruit and ice cream for dessert on a regular basis and we just loved it.

But the pound cake in the freezer was off limits!

I never fully understood why my mother did this, until this past Friday.

Did you ever get a phone call in the morning from someone that you haven’t seen in a while and they tell you that they will be in your area late afternoon and want to stop in and say hello?

Well, I got that call Friday morning. I invited them for dessert and when I hung up I went into a mini panic.

What would I serve for dessert? Of all days, I couldn’t leave my house to run and get a dessert because I was expecting a delivery from Lowes and I had to be home, so I had to get creative.

I usually hate unexpected company because I like to plan my tablescapes and meals way ahead of time.

****************************

First the tablescape…

If you have been following my blog from the beginning, you know I always change my dishes on a monthly basis to rotate my collection. This month it is all about the  strawberry. Nice and cheery. So it looked as if that would be the tablescape theme since I had everything I needed at my fingertips.

I started out with a basic white weave cotton tablecloth. 

 I have strawberry salad plates, table-runner and napkins already in the kitchen, so that is what I used. I had no time to fuss.

The linens are a solid white background with clusters of strawberries and small red stamped flowers.

Photo Aug 04, 10 43 38 PM TABLECLOTH, RUNNER, NAPKINS

There isn’t enough room on the table for a placemat with the table runner so I just started with a glass beaded charger. I love this charger because it adds something to the tablescape but doesn’t overpower it.

Photo Aug 04, 10 37 37 PM GLASS CHARGER

Followed by a white alabaster dinner plate and my adorable strawberry salad plates.

The dinner plates are white alabaster glass with swirling semi-opaque streaks.Photo Aug 04, 10 38 11 PM WHITE ALABASTER DINNERWARE

The salad plates are a very heavy white melamine with clusters of strawberries around the rim.Photo Aug 04, 11 03 41 PM SALAD PLATE

 Another piece of serveware that I purchased with these dishes is the serving bowl but I didn’t need to use it.

I just wanted to show you what was available.

Photo Aug 05, 2 12 31 AM SERVING BOWL

I originally bought the salad plates to match a strawberry water pitcher that I bought many years ago. I used the water pitcher on Friday for homemade lemonade.

It’s fairly small for a water pitcher (only 8 X 8), which I liked because it doesn’t take up that much room on the table.

Photo Aug 04, 11 06 00 PM STRAWBERRY WATER PITCHER

Water pitchers to me are like salt and pepper shakers. They can carry the theme of your tablescape without being in the way, and are great table accents.

 Along with the water pitcher I used ceramic strawberry salt and pepper shakers on a green leaf plate.

I just loved these when I saw them because of the plate that it came on (and my love of salt & pepper shakers).

They are cute enough to be used on the kitchen counter as an accent for summer decor.

Photo Aug 05, 1 22 51 AM STRAWBERRY SALT AND PEPPER

The flatware was white pearl to match the dinner plate and not clash with the napkins since my red cutlery was too dark.

Photo Aug 04, 11 07 10 PM CUTLERY

I used Waterford crystal tumbler glasses, perfect for lemonade and already in the kitchen cabinet, so things were moving along.

Photo Aug 04, 11 56 27 PM WATERFORD TUMBLER

I was in a pinch so my centerpiece had to be a jadeite cake stand. I think this color looks good as a contrast to the strawberry table runner.

Photo Aug 04, 11 55 16 PM JADEITE CAKE SERVER

I added a few jadeite salad plates, one under the cake stand and one to use with the jar of strawberries in syrup.

Photo Aug 05, 12 13 34 AM JADEITE PLATE

Photo Aug 04, 10 35 16 PM STRAWBERRY WITH SPREADER

I had a strawberry spreader on hand in case anyone wanted some strawberries on their loaf cake and not just on their ice cream.

************************

That completed the tablescape…

I thought the tablescape looked cute once it was set and that is when I decided to make it a blog post.

Photo Aug 04, 11 07 53 PM EXTRA

Place Setting

Photo Aug 04, 11 05 14 PM PLACE SETTING

Now for the dessert…

 I already mentioned that I had a jar of Italian strawberries in syrupand I could serve them with ice cream, but that didn’t seem to be enough so I had to keep thinking.Photo Aug 04, 11 53 56 PM STRAWBERRIES IN SYRUP

BTW- the strawberries in syrup are not as sweet as the Amarena cherries in syrup.

I used the Italian Amarena cherries with my lemon ricotta pound cake- recipe in the index.

*******************************

I bought three pounds of beautiful organic strawberries in Whole Foods for 2.99 a lb. the other day and they were staring at me when I opened the refrigerator, so they became the star of the show.

I had a recipe for “Strawberry Crisp” that I made for a friend who visited a short time ago that only ate gluten free. It is made with oat flour and no refined sugar. I don’t even know where I got the recipe from, but I knew I had all the ingredients in the pantry and that could work. 

I hate when I don’t have the author of a recipe to share with you, because I always want to give credit where credit is due, so I apologize.

If anyone recognizes the recipe and knows the author, please let me know.

Photo Aug 04, 11 54 41 PM CRISP

I wanted to have another dessert choice because the crisp was not going to be very sweet because there is no added sugar, but it is good served with ice cream.

So my last dessert was a loaf cake with a lemon glaze. The recipe is easy and it originally calls for blueberries but I switched it up with strawberries.

Photo Aug 04, 5 56 31 PM STRAWBERRY LOAF

I added some strawberry wafers to the table that happened to be one of my recent purchases from Homegoods. I usually buys these wafers to top ice cream, but I served the wafers in a bowl as a little something extra to munch on.

Photo Aug 04, 5 55 03 PM STRAWBERRY WAFERS

Photo Aug 04, 11 06 15 PM BOWL OF WAFERS

So I started baking and kept thinking of mom and the pound cake in the freezer. She knew what she was doing back then.

I think from now on, I will always have a pound cake or two in the freezer for “company”. I suggest you do the same.

That could have made my life so much easier.

Mom had the right idea, as always.

If my company didn’t like strawberries, (which I thought about after the cakes were in the oven) I was ready to order a pizza or anything take out that they preferred that could be delivered, but it all worked out.

The strawberry desserts were a big hit and the visit was lovely catching up with each other.

I think mom would have been proud of my desserts today.

Plus, Bob was thrilled to come home from work to desserts…

Dessert Plate…

Photo Aug 05, 12 28 42 AM DESSERT PLATE

(Recipes at the end of the post).

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well, 

Diane

If you enjoy the posts, please ask your family and friends to become members of DishingwithDiane.

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, I LOVE hearing from you.

********************

Recipes…

Strawberry Crisp

Ingredients

  • 6 cups about 2 quarts sliced fresh strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 teaspoons almond extract
  • ¾ cup oats
  • ¼ cup oat flour oats that have been ground into a fine flour, or can substitute with whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped almonds
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, toss together strawberries cornstarch, and almond extract until completely combined.** The cornstarch should dissolve in the small amount of liquid so that you don’t see a white powder and the berries are all completely coated.
  3. Transfer berry mixture to the prepared baking dish.
  4. In a separate small bowl, stir together oats, oat flour, almonds, and salt. Add melted butter and maple syrup, stir until completely combined. I like to use my fingers to really mix together the ingredients into the crumble topping.
  5. Spread oat crumble in an even layer over the top of the berries.
  6. Bake at 350F for 50-60 minutes, or until golden brown.

  7. Allow crisp to cool before serving.
  8. If you refrigerate the crisp, it will firm up even more and it will be easy to slice into squares.

Recipe Notes

  • This keeps well in the refrigerator for at least 1 week!
  • **NOTE: The sweetness of the dessert will depend on the sweetness of the berries that you’re using, since that’s the main ingredient.
  • If you don’t have really sweet, fresh, local fruit, just add some sweetener of choice before baking. You can use maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, Splenda, stevia, anything that you prefer!

**************************

Strawberry Loaf

courtesy of Betty Crocker

REMEMBER, RECIPE WAS ORIGINALLY FOR BLUEBERRIES, SO I KEPT BLUEBERRY INSTRUCTIONS  IN ITALICS IF YOU WANT TO MAKE THE ORIGINAL RECIPE.

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, softened
cup granulated sugar
eggs
teaspoons vanilla
cup sour cream or plain yogurt
Grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
cups all-purpose flour
teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
cup fresh blueberriesI substituted strawberries
Steps

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 9×5-inch loaf pan with shortening or cooking spray.

In medium bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in eggs, vanilla, sour cream, lemon peel and juice.

Stir in flour, baking soda and baking powder.

Fold in 3/4 cup of the blueberries. – I substitute strawberries.

Spoon batter into pan.

Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup blueberries – I substituted strawberries on top.

Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely.

Glaze
cup powdered sugar
teaspoons whipping cream or milk
teaspoon lemon extract( you can also substitute vanilla extract).
In small bowl, mix glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle glaze over loaf. Let stand until set before slicing.

*************************************

Homemade Lemonade

  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 cups cold water
  1. In a gallon pitcher combine 1 cup lemon juice, 1 cup sugar, and 6 cups cold water. Stir.
  2. Adjust water to taste.
  3. Chill and serve over ice

**********************************

Photo Aug 04, 11 06 07 PM EXTRA COOKIES