New Year’s Eve

Even though it is after New Year’s Day, I still wanted to start this blog with my

first tablescape of the New Year

2015-01-01 00.06.33Ah, New Year’s Eve, the end of the busy holiday season, and a time of reflection and hope for all good things in the New Year.

This year, before we left for dinner at a local restaurant, I set the table for the usual midnight hors d’ oeuvres and champagne. But when we got home from dinner we were too full to move, let alone eat one more bite, so I left the table set for the morning and this is where we had New Year’s Day breakfast (always, William Sonoma chocolate and plain croissants- if you haven’t tried them, order a box. They arrive frozen and you bake them fresh, you will not be disappointed.)

This tablescape is an example of a “mix and match table- don’t be afraid to experiment -the table setting ranges from paper plates from Party City to champagne flutes from Tiffany’s and it all works out in the end.

(Click on photos to enlarge)

For the centerpiece I used an old square glass vase that I kept from a floral arrangement I received and Christmas ornaments from the Dollar Tree store.

Centerpieces can be simple, no need to call the florist all the time.2014-12-31 17.25.28The place setting:

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New Year’s Eve table details:

Placemats from HomeGoods

Tablecloth and napkins from Macy’s

Glass charger plates – from Crate & Barrel

Gold dinner plateplastic plate from Party City

Silver and white glass accent plate from Fortunoff’s (purchased many years ago.)

Theme paper plate from Party City

Flatware was a bridal shower gift (don’t ask how long ago)

Champagne Flutesfrom Tiffany’s

  I served dessert later in the day with New Year’s dishes from Pottery Barn

and a coffee set from Fortunoff’s.

2014-12-31 17.26.45 2014-12-31 17.26.30

Holiday noisemakers and party hats are from Party City to complete the celebration and start the year off right.

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2014-12-31 17.28.31

So that is my 1st tablescape for the New Year. I hope you enjoyed the pictures and tips and come back for my next post…

From my family to yours, have a wonderful 2015…cheers!

2015-01-01 00.29.05And for some “Italian” good luck, don’t forget the lentils for New Year’s Day

2015-01-01 20.58.20

Diane’s Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1 medium red onion, chopped

3-4 carrots, peeled and chopped

3 celery stalks, chopped

3-4 garlic cloves, chopped

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

1 (14 ½ oz.) can of diced tomatoes with their juices

1 bag of lentils (1 bag usually equals 1 ¼ cups)

8 cups low sodium chicken broth (2 boxes) or homemade broth

4- 6 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

1 cup grated cheese

Optional: I always make lentil soup when I have the bone of a spiral ham. You could use a ham hock or skip this ingredient entirely

Directions:

  • Sort lentils for any stones, rinse with cold water – set aside
  • Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat
  • Add the red onion, celery and carrots and a pinch of salt to sweat the vegetables.
  • After 2-3 minutes add the garlic and pinch of red pepper and sauté until all the vegetables are tender, about 5-8 minutes
  • Add the tomatoes with their juices
  • Simmer until the juices evaporate a little and the tomatoes break down, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes
  • Add the lentils and mix well to coat. Sauté 1-2 minutes
  • Add the broth, bay leaf, thyme springs, and ham bone, if using
  • Bring to a boil over high heat
  • Cover and simmer over low heat until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes
  • Remove the ham bone; when cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bone. Discard the bone; dice the meat and return to the soup. Discard the bay leaf
  • Add salt and pepper and taste for seasonings
  • When serving, you can drizzle soup with a little olive oil and serve with grated cheese

 

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