Memorial Day Celebration


photo credit:

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:

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. 


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:

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!


(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!

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Chicken Kabobs

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



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.)


  • 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…


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


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.


10 thoughts on “Memorial Day Celebration

  1. verna belgrave

    Diane, beautiful as always, I want to be like you when I grow up:) I Love your motivation, continue to feel better. Bob really does follow good directions. Thanks for the useful tips & for the recipes… I am taking notes… Love you



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