Monthly Archives: May 2015

Memorial Day Celebration

Memorial-Day-Short-Notes-and-Saying-of-Memorial-Day-2015 -memorialdayquotes.net

photo credit: memorialdayquotes.net

Well, I am slowly getting back on my feet again after surgery and I couldn’t wait to do another tablescape.

I have to thank my husband Bob for helping me put this table together. I did all the planning and he did all the lifting for me because I am still in pain from surgery- we are a good team.

Just love that man!

Today we celebrate Memorial Day.

This year, Memorial Day is Monday, May 25, 2015

I saw this on ABC News and wanted to pass this along. I will definitely participate in this honor to our fallen heroes.

“The National Moment of Remembrance” encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.

images- salute to the flag

(photo credit: Americanflags.com)

Now on to the tablescape…

At the end of the post I have included two recipes for Memorial Day; one for the grill and one for the broiler. You never know what the weather will be like, especially since it has been so cool here for the past few days.

The recipes are Chicken Kabobs and Broiled Portobello Mushroom Caps with Caramelized Onions

(Click photos to enlarge)

2015-05-23 21.32.00- MEMORIAL TABLE INTRO

Memorial Day for me is twofold. First, I am not forgetting that Memorial Day is a day of remembrance to honor our soldiers who have died serving our country. That will always be the first priority; but Memorial Day over the years has also become the unofficial start of summer and an opportunity to get together with family and friends. 

I only hope that people do not forget the true meaning of this day and it doesn’t just become a reason for a barbecue. We must never forget our soldiers who sacrificed for our freedom. 

To honor this holiday, I chose dishes called “America the Beautiful” by Gibson Home. America the Beautiful sort of says it all – land of the free, home of the brave. I just love these dishes; they combine our patriotic spirit with the stars and stripes and also the natural beauty of our country.

2015-05-23 22.51.51- MEMORIAL FULL SET

As soon as I saw these dishes, I loved the colors and the design and was immediately reminded of the first two lines of the lyrics to the song, “America the Beautiful” (which by the way, I sang to myself for 2 days because I couldn’t get the words out of my head).

“O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain”

To get that feeling of the song into the tablescape, I decided to use a white pitcher and bowl set (which I thought was very Americana) filled with stalks of wheat for my centerpiece. The wheat in the pitcher represents the “waves of grain” on the dish. I have had this pitcher and bowl set forever. I bought it as a decoration for one of my son’s elementary school events when I was PTA President back in the day— he will be 25 yrs old soon- you do the math. Can’t believe how fast time passes by.

 I added a few American flags to the pitcher and my centerpiece is now done. It had to be one of the easiest and fastest I think I have ever put together.

2015-05-23 21.32.48- MEMORAIL CENTERPIECE

Next, I chose a navy blue tablecloth and napkins with clear napkin rings.To dress up the napkins a bit, I placed flag toothpicks under the napkin rings – keeping the patriotic theme going.

2015-05-23 22.37.33- MEMORIAL NAPKIN

To go along with the tablecloth and napkins, I added red woven placemats and white charger plates. 

2015-05-23 21.37.03- MEMORIAL WHITE CHARGER-RED PLACEMAT

With simple red flatware.

2015-05-23 21.38.41- MEMORIAL CUTLERY

 No fancy goblets for this table setting either. I wanted to keep it simple, so I am using mason jar mugs. For some color, I added red, white and blue paper shred so it would be easier to see the mugs for the photograph and then I added red paper straws with a star design. 

2015-05-23 22.39.56- MEMORIAL MASON JAR

Here is a little Diane tip for you….

If you are outside and want to prevent bugs going in your drinks, just poke a hole in a cupcake baking cup with a straw and put it upside down on the rim of the glass— guaranteed to keep your drink bug free.

You can also use the cupcake baking cup right side up to catch drips from ice cream bars – no sticky fingers.

(Sorry about using a stock photo but I didn’t have any patriotic baking cups to show you how it looks on the mason jar mugs- remember, I am not the baker so baking supplies are not usually found in my home). I hope the tips help the next time you have a barbecue.

cupcake-600_600x350_71428644581- kitchen tricks- for blog

photo credit: food.ndtv.com

Back to the tablescape…

My first table accent is a ceramic angel holding an American flag. To me, this angel represents all the angels that are now with our fallen heroes and a reminder of all the families who have sadly taken home the American flag in a flag case in memory of their loved ones who served their country. We must never forget the military families as well and their sacrifice for our country.

2015-05-23 21.45.27- MEMORIAL ANGEL

I am always looking for more patriotic accessories to add to my collection and this second table accent was a great find for me. As soon as I saw it, I thought that it was just so simple, beautiful and definitely unique. It is an arrangement of wood curl rosettes to represent the American Flag. 

2015-05-23 22.41.11- M- WOOD CURL

I think it looks great on the dining room table to complete the tablescape and then it will become part of my kitchen decorations until it finds a new home on my 4th of July tablescape. And last but not least, a little patriotic table confetti just for some fun.

2015-05-23 21.54.25- MEMORIAL CONFETTI

I placed both the angel and the wood arrangement on “upside down” white coffee cup saucers to help them stand out; because I thought they got lost on the navy blue tablecloth. Don’t be afraid to re-purpose your household items.

2015-05-23 21.49.09- MEMORIAL BUFFET

Place Setting

2015-05-23 22.50.05 - M- PLACE SETTTING

I just can’t seem to get enough of this pattern so I decided to set up a second place setting to show you. This time, the place setting is for dessert, using the mugs and dessert plates from the set. I don’t usually photograph my dessert tablescape but I made an exception for these dishes. 

Dessert Place Setting

2015-05-23 22.53.58 - M- DESSERT PLACE SETTING

I love the “star” pattern on the dessert plates and I just might have to add this plate to my 4th of July tablescape. We’ll see…

I couldn’t show you a dessert table setting without adding a dessert, and what could be more “American” than apple pie?

2015-05-23 22.59.48 - M - DESSERT

So now the table is set, and I am ready for Memorial Day.

Thank you for letting me share my Memorial Day tablescape with you and hopefully you picked up some ideas to use for your tablescape.

I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day and have the opportunity to see family and friends and possibly attend a parade or two, and

Please remember our fallen heroes.

 Until my next post, stay well and make every day a celebration!

Diane

(Don’t forget the recipes below)

Tablescape Details

Navy tablecloth and napkins from Macy’s

Napkin rings from Bed, Bath and Beyond

Red woven placemats from Bed, Bath and Beyond

White ceramic charger plates from Pfaltzgraff

Red flatware from Homegoods

America the Beautiful dishes by Gibson Home from Amazon

White bowl and pitcher from “my attic”

Wheat stalks from Michael’s Arts and Crafts

American Flags from “the garage”

Patriotic paper shred from Michael’s Arts and Crafts

Flag toothpicks from Stop and Shop

Mason jar mugs from Webstaurant

Patriotic Angel from Oriental Trading

Patriotic table confetti from Pier 1 Imports

Wooden curl flag arrangement from Pier 1 Imports

Apple Pie from KK Bakery- it was delicious!

Thank you for visiting my blog.

If you enjoy the posts, please spread the word. Either “Like” the DishingwithDiane Facebook homepage or share it on your timeline and ask your family and friends to follow or follow the blog via email from the website.

Chicken Kabobs

You will need either metal or wooden skewers. If using wooden skewers soak them overnight in water to prevent burning when grilling.

Marinade:

Oregano

1 cup of chopped basil

5 cloves of crushed garlic

Olive oil

 Other ingredients:

4 chicken breast halves

Zucchini, sliced

Vidalia onion, cut into wedges

2 Bell peppers, cut into 2 inch pieces

(Other veggies can be used as well, it’s a personal choice—some suggestions are cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and squash.)

Directions

  • Wash and dry the chicken
  • Cut the chicken into cubes (roughly the same size for even cooking)
  • Season with kosher salt and pepper (remember to dry the chicken first) and set aside
  • In a zip lock bag add your marinade ingredients: olive oil, basil, oregano, and garlic
  • Add the chicken to the bag and make sure all pieces are coated with the marinade.
  • Marinate for 3-4 hours in the refrigerator

While the chicken is in the refrigerator, prepare your veggies. Chop all veggies in bite size pieces and set aside AND preheat the grill for high heat

When ready to skewer the chicken, thread the chicken and veggies onto the skewers alternately (at least ½ inch apart for even cooking)

 Lightly oil the grill and place the kabobs on the prepared grill.

 Cook, turning frequently for 15 minutes or until the chicken juices run clear. (OPTIONAL: barbecue sauce can be added at this time).

 Broiled Portobello Mushroom Caps with Fontina Cheese and Caramelized Onions

 This has to be one of my favorite meals and so easy…

 Ingredients:

2- 3 Portobello mushroom caps

Kosher salt

Fontina cheese, shredded

2 large red onions- sliced

Olive oil

1- 2 pats of butter

2 tbsp. Marsala wine

 Directions:

Start caramelizing your onions, this will take 30 minutes….

Slice 2 large red onions and set aside. (The onions will cook down)

Coat the bottom of a wide saute pan with olive oil and butter. I use a ceramic coated pan to prevent the onions from sticking.

Heat the pan on medium high until the oil starts to shimmer. Add the onion slices and stir to coat the onions. Spread the onions out evenly over the pan and let them cook, stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes, sprinkle some salt over the onions. Keep the onions from drying out as they cook by adding a little water to the pan.

Let the onions cook for 30 minutes, stirring every few minutes. After 20 minutes lower the heat and add a little bit more oil, if you think the onions are about to burn. As the onions cook down, you may need to scrape the pan every few minutes if they are sticking. Continue to cook until they are a rich, brown color.

At the end of the cooking process, I add Marsala wine to deglaze the pan and add some flavor to the onions.

While the onions are cooking, grate the cheese, set aside and clean the Portobellos.

To clean the mushrooms remove the stems and scrape out the gills using a spoon. Brush off any dirt with a damp cloth and dry the mushrooms.

Turn on the broiler in your oven.

When the onions are close to being done… arrange the mushrooms under the broiler within 6 inches from the source of heat, top side up. Broil the mushrooms 5 minutes, until they soften a little.  

Turn the mushrooms over and fill the caps with shredded cheese and broil for 2 more minutes until the cheese melts.

Serve the mushrooms on a bun with the caramelized onions.

Advertisements

Happy Mother’s Day

mothers day card for DWD- Mothers day card II - use this

photo credit: 123rf.com

I am still in the recovery stage from cardiac surgery, and I am unable to lift anything, so I can’t  set a table and post a Mother’s Day tablescape for 2015.

I want to personally take this time to wish all the Mothers out there (even pet moms) a wonderful day filled with love and happiness.

DishingwithDiane will be back soon, so stay tuned and thank you once again for following my blog.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Warmest Regards, 

Diane

Butterflies….

2nd try to publish

Dishing With Diane

Diane put this post together for her followers before she went to the hospital for surgery.

She sends her love to all.

She’ll be back soon with new posts.

Butterfly Lunch With the Girls

140213114050-01-monarch-butterflies-restricted-horizontal-large-gallery- BUTTERFLY

At the end of this post I have included some recipes to help you prepare this luncheon including my Chicken Salad with Grapes and Walnuts recipe.

A very easy lunch to pull together and it never disappoints.

 Chicken salad with grapes and walnuts served on a croissant with a green salad and some fruit, and your guests with love it.

Now on to the butterflies…

For those of you who know me well, you know that,

 I Just LOVE Butterflies !

Bob and I have been to many Butterfly Gardens in South Carolina, Niagara Falls and downstate New York. I just can’t seem to get my fill.

To me, Butterflies are a sign from heaven and are…

View original post 1,207 more words

Butterflies….

Diane put this post together for her followers before she went to the hospital for surgery.

She sends her love to all.

She’ll be back soon with new posts.

Butterfly Lunch With the Girls

140213114050-01-monarch-butterflies-restricted-horizontal-large-gallery- BUTTERFLY

At the end of this post I have included some recipes to help you prepare this luncheon including my Chicken Salad with Grapes and Walnuts recipe.

A very easy lunch to pull together and it never disappoints.

 Chicken salad with grapes and walnuts served on a croissant with a green salad and some fruit, and your guests with love it.

Now on to the butterflies…

For those of you who know me well, you know that,

 I Just LOVE Butterflies !

Bob and I have been to many Butterfly Gardens in South Carolina, Niagara Falls and downstate New York. I just can’t seem to get my fill.

To me, Butterflies are a sign from heaven and are good luck.

Here is a photo of a butterfly that landed on my shoulder at one of the events, that I thought for sure was coming home with me because it stayed there for hours; but at the last minute, no such luck.

(Click photos to enlarge)

October 2011 200- butterfly on shoulder

Since Spring is finally here, I am hoping to see more and more butterflies come back to share their beauty. 

I buy so many items in the butterfly theme, that you could say it is another “collection” (just ask Bob). I bought these butterfly dishes many years ago not only because of my love for butterflies, but because I just loved the colors as well. They are simple and cheery and I also love the scallop edge.

2015-04-29 15.15.01 - DISHES A

2015-04-29 15.15.37- DISH B CLOSE UP

Now on to the tablescape...I decided to use these dishes for a very casual “ladies” luncheon that I was having with some friends. You know the type of luncheon I am talking about, a little girl-talk, a little food, A LOT OF DESSERT.

2015-04-29 18.07.39- INTRO TABLE

Since the colors are so bright in the dish, I wanted to keep the rest of the table bright too. I chose a lime green tablecloth and napkins with simple clear napkin rings. 

2015-04-29 15.16.28=- NAPKIN

and then decided to use my orange woven placemats with a lime green charger plate.  

2015-04-23 12.39.26 -PLACEMAT AND CHARGER

For the glassware I chose bright aqua goblets.  All of these colors together gave the table a sort of a Tropical feel and very upbeat.

2015-04-29 15.23.28- AQUA GOBLET

I continued with the bright color scheme using my very bright yellow flatware.

2015-04-29 15.19.48 - FLATWARE

Along with the chicken salad and fruit, I wanted to have a special dessert to go with the usual cake, so I bought cupcakes and topped them with edible sugar butterflies and some colorful crystal sugar.

Between my love of butterflies and love of setting a tablescape, I was so excited to find baking cups with a butterfly design while browsing in Michael’s Arts and Crafts that I just had to buy them.  (I was so delighted with this find that I think I lost my breath for a few seconds in the store).

2015-04-29 14.08.24- BAKING SUPPLIES

The colors on the baking cups match the butterfly picks that I will be using in the centerpiece. It’s the little things that make me happy.

2015-04-29 18.07.05 - EXTRA BUFFET WITH CUPCAKE

I brought out one of my favorite items that I own, individual glass cupcake holders. I wanted to display the cupcakes at each place setting during lunch.

The sugar butterflies are so delicate, you can hardly tell them apart from the baking cups.

2015-04-29 15.55.44 - CUPCAKE CLOSE UP

2015-04-29 18.09.18- CUPCAKE WITH HOLDER

I had to give this centerpiece a little thought because I didn’t want it to be too high so I couldn’t have a conversation, or see my guests over the centerpiece. After shopping around the house (in this case the garage), I spotted some colorful flower pots that pick up the colors of the dishes.

(Remember, shop your house first).

2015-04-29 18.13.10 - EXTRA TABLE

I planted a few marigolds in each flower pot that would be bright and low enough for conversation. A few silk butterfly picks added to the flower pot and this would work perfectly. The centerpiece would be done.

2015-04-29 18.04.37 - CENTERPIECE

I chose marigolds because they are a hardy plant and since I have a “brown” thumb and kill every plant (except the bamboo-that is still alive), I figured I will have a good chance that they would last until the luncheon was over.

Of course I had to keep the theme going, so I scattered a few more silk butterflies on the table as table confetti…. I made the confetti from garden picks that I just cut the wire stem off of.

2015-04-29 16.08.02 TABLE CONFETTI

 and I wore my Butterfly scarf to the luncheon (I told you I love butterflies).

2015-04-29 20.32.29 - BUTTERFLY SCARF

Now I am ready for my guests.

2015-04-29 18.06.26 - BUFFET

Place Setting

2015-04-29 19.22.10 - PLACE SETTING

Tablescape Details

Tablecloth and napkins from Linens and Things

Butterfly dishes from Caldor (yes, I know, I am showing my age)

Orange placemats from Homegoods

Lime charger plates from Michael’s Arts and Crafts

Yellow flatware from Christmas Tree Store

Aqua goblets from Pier I

Butterfly baking cups from Michael’s Arts and Crafts

Butterfly picks from Michael’s Arts and Crafts

Butterfly table confetti from Michael’s Arts and Crafts

Edible butterflies from Amazon

Individual Glass Cupcake Holders from Kohl’s by Artland Aspen

Butterfly scarf from Lord & Taylor

Flower Pots from the garage…

Marigolds from Lowes

Thank you for letting me share with you my love of butterflies and one of my favorite dinnerware sets. I hope you enjoyed the butterfly tablescape.

(Don’t forget the recipes below)

Until my next post, stay well and make every day a celebration!

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

If you enjoy the posts, please spread the word. “Like” the DishingwithDiane Facebook page or share it on your timeline and ask your family and friends to follow the blog as well.

Recipes

Chicken Salad with Grapes and Walnuts

2015-04-23 12.09.07- FRUIT SALAD AND CROISSANTS

Serve this chicken salad on a croissant along with a green salad and some fruit,

 (PLUS a lot of dessert of course).

2015-04-23 12.09.24 - FRUIT SALAD

Below is a photo of what the chicken salad looks like when all combined.You could also serve it on a bed of lettuce.

2015-04-23 12.28.31- CHICKEN SALAD

Dressing
1 cup mayonnaise (or ½ mayo & ½ plain Greek yogurt)
4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
5 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Salad
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4-cup walnut pieces, toasted (or any nut of your choice)
2 cups red seedless grapes, halved
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced

Method

In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, poppy seeds, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to dress the salad. This can be prepared up to 2 days ahead.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the chicken breasts in one layer in a baking dish with 1/2-cup water or chicken broth. Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes until completely cooked through.

Remove cooked chicken breasts from pan, cool at room temperature for 10 minutes, then cover and refrigerate.

When the chicken is cold, dice into bite-size chunks and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in walnuts, grapes, celery and dressing. (I told you this was easy)

Enjoy !

I hate the look of salad dressing bottles on the table when you are having guests; so I always dress the salad right before serving.

The recipe below is very basic and I always gets compliments. Nice accompaniment when putting goat cheese and fruit in your salad too. 

Little tip: If you have a hard time cutting goat cheese, use dental floss.

Homemade Salad Dressing for a Green Salad

Ingredients:

3 TBSP fresh lemon juice

1 TBSP apple cider vinegar

1 TBSP mayonnaise

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

4 tsp sugar (equal to 4 packets)

1 very small garlic clove, chopped or 1 TBSP minced garlic in a jar

1 cup olive oil

Directions:

In a food processor, blend all ingredients EXCEPT the oil until smooth…..with the motor running, add oil in a stream, blend until emulsified. Transfer dressing to a jar and keep it covered and chilled until serving, yields 1 1/4 cup… you can adjust the amounts of the ingredients to your liking.

 Some of my butterfly photos over the years..

October 2011 066- BLOG 1October 2011 091 -BLOG 2October 2011 092- BLOG 3October 2011 130- BLOG 4.

Myrtle Beach 2008 309- BUTTERFLY 1

Myrtle Beach 2008 429- bUTTERFLY 2Myrtle Beach 2008 635- bUTTERFLY 3