Monthly Archives: June 2015

Recipe- Sausage and Peppers

2015-06-23 21.02.14- SAUSAGE AND PEPPER CLOSE UP Well, I promised to post this recipe at the request of some of the DishingwithDiane followers.

This is another staple of my Italian cooking; and I make this quite often in the Summer.

Great on a hero, or with polenta.

I hope you try it and enjoy!

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


Sausage and Peppers

Serves 4


1 large skinny sausage ring- I use parsley & cheese (or 1 lb. sausage- sweet, hot, mixed- your choice)

¼ cup olive oil

2 yellow onions, sliced

5- 6 sweet bell peppers – mix of colors, sliced

5 or more cloves of garlic- minced

Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper- approx. 1 tsp each

½ tsp dried oregano

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

2 tsp. garlic powder

½ cup fresh basil or parsley, chopped – your choice

3 tbsp. tomato paste (regular or spicy)

1 cup white wine

Optional Additions:

2 cherry peppers in the jar, finely diced

2 sweet peppadew peppers (found in an Italian deli), diced small

4 sundried tomatoes-diced


Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage ring and cook until light brown on both sides, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

Add the peppers, onions, salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper to the skillet and cook until they pick up some color and soften, about 5 minutes. Add the oregano, garlic powder and garlic and cook for another minute

(Add any pepper additions at this time)

Make room in the center of the pan and add the tomato paste and stir for a few minutes to toast the tomato paste; then mix it well with the peppers and onions.

Add the white wine, ½ cup chopped fresh basil or parsley. Stir to combine and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the browned bits. Bring to a simmer.

Cut the sausage into 1 inch piece and add the sausage back to the pan and stir to combine.

Cook until the sauce thickens, about 20 minutes.

Can be served in a bowl or on a toasted hero roll. Serve immediately.

*Can also be served with polenta

2015-06-23 21.02.00- SAUSAGE AND PEPPERS

Recipes – Cavatelli Pasta with Broccoli, Anchovy & Garlic Sauce with Toasted Bread Crumbs

2015-06-22 21.42.17- CAVATELLI WITH BROCCOLI

Looking for a fast easy weeknight meal? This is an Italian favorite.

I make this all the time and believe me, it doesn’t taste fishy at all with the addition of the anchovies. Actually, the anchovies give it a great background taste and not a full blown fish taste. Just a depth of flavor you can’t describe. You have to try it to appreciate the flavor.

Fresh cavatelli pasta, fresh broccoli and a lot of garlic and you have a classic Italian dish.


Cavatelli Pasta with Broccoli, Anchovy & Garlic Sauce with Toasted Bread Crumbs

Serves 4


1 bunch broccoli (usually 2 stalks tied together)

1 pound cavatelli

1/3 cup olive oil

1 (2 oz.) can of anchovies in olive oil

4- 5 garlic cloves – sliced

2 tbsp. butter

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper

(1 cup reserved pasta water)

1 cup fresh bread crumbs

½ cup of grated cheese


1st step- toasted fresh breadcrumbs.

Add 1 cup of bread crumbs in a dry skillet over medium heat. Cook stirring constantly until the crumbs are golden brown and crunchy, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add grated cheese and set aside.

Separate the broccoli florets from the stalks.

Peel the stalks and cut the stalks in coins. Steam the broccoli florets and coins together in a colander over boiling water or use a double boiler– (you could also cook broccoli in boiling water for 4 minutes, drain and set aside).

Once they are tender, once again I separate the florets from the coins.

Cook the cavatelli in boiling salted water – Cook for 2 minutes less than the recommended cooking time. Reserve some pasta water.

While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a wide skillet over medium low heat

Add olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for 2-3 minutes

Take the pan off the heat and add 2 tbsp. of butter and the can of anchovies. Stir well to dissolve the anchovies.

Take the broccoli coins and puree them in a food processor until you get a creamy paste.

Put the pan back on the heat and add the broccoli cream, salt, pepper and one ladle of pasta water to make a sauce.

Add the cooked pasta to the pan with the broccoli florets and toss until all the pasta and broccoli are well coated with the sauce. Add some of the reserved pasta water if the mixture seems too dry.

Add 2 tbsp. of toasted bread crumbs to the pasta and toss.

Transfer the pasta to individual serving bowls and top each serving with a sprinkling of the reserved bread crumbs.

2015-06-22 21.43.10- CAVATELLI CLOSE UP

Happy Father’s Day

Fathers_day_graphics_10- HAPPY FATHER'S dAY

(photo credit:

Happy Father’s Day from

I want to wish all the Dad’s out there (even pet Dads and Dads to be) a wonderful day filled with love and happiness.

DishingwithDiane will have a special tablescape dedicated to all of you coming soon.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Warmest Regards, 


Beach Ball…

summer-  Summer intro

(photo credit:

The last post, “Beach Stripe” really got me thinking about Summer. Long days, balmy breezes, warmer weather, barbecues, dining al fresco and relaxing days on the BEACH! For me, this is the best time of the year.

 This year the First Day of Summer is June 21, 2015…

After the Winter we had with all the ice, snow and frigid temperatures, Summer is a blessing.

I lived near the beach growing up and it became a second home for me and my friends all Summer. I just loved it. The warmth of the sun and sand and the smell of the ocean. Time just seemed to stand still as you relaxed on your beach towel and took in the warmth of the sun. Radios in the background and a sense of calm coming over you the warmer the rays of the sun were.

It was a procedure to find the perfect spot on the sand. First of all, you had to bring all your supplies, beach towel, radio, suntan lotion, sunglasses, food and beverages.

I remember moving my beach towel a million times just to get the best position of the sun so we could properly bake to a delicate crisp. Only turning when the sun moved or getting up to go in the ocean when the heat was unbearable.

The goal back then, before the skin cancer warnings, was to get the best tan, so we could go out at night wearing white clothing and look our best. Didn’t love the seagulls trying to steal my lunch, but that was part of the day. 

At the end of this post, I have included recipes for two sandwiches that fall into the category of “beach food” for me. These sandwiches have been a tradition in my family for years when it comes to a day at the beach. The recipes are for Potatoes & Eggs and Peppers & Eggs sandwiches on a ciabatta roll.

2015-06-17 20.55.29- NEW POTATO AND EGG

2015-06-17 21.00.19- NEW PEPPER AND EGGS

My mother would always prepare these sandwiches along with her homemade lemonade. Ah, those were the days…It’s just not a day at the beach for me without Potatoes & Eggs and Peppers & Eggs.

But I have to say, even though it is such a simple recipe, it never tastes as great as my Mother’s did, when I was younger sharing a beach blanket with her.

Her sandwiches were magical.

(Click on photos to enlarge)

2015-06-19 23.37.15- INTRO

So now you know that the first thing I think of when you mention Summer is the beach. When I first saw the set of dishes I am using for this post it also screamed “the beach”. A little whimsical for a dish, because these dishes are designed after a beach ball. Who hasn’t played with a beach ball on the beach? As a child, it’s a big deal.

These dishes are fun and I loved the colors. Usually a beach ball has a darker blue stripe along with the red, white and yellow, but I thought that the lighter aqua blue was a nice change; a really cheery color and it also matched one of the charger plates I own. In addition to the beach ball design, the salad plate features matching beach umbrellas in the same colors. 

These dishes are like bringing the beach indoors to the table.

2015-06-19 22.21.31- DISHES

Now that I know which dishes I am using, I have to decide on a tablecloth and napkins. Of course I need to use a color from a beach ball. I chose bright yellow and added solid red woven placemats and aqua blue chargers to highlight the dishes. Not only do the charger plates match the dishes but it also reminded me of both the beautiful sky and the ocean.

2015-06-19 22.20.25- CHARGER AND PLACEMAT

This time I am back to the red flatware.

2015-06-19 23.26.05- RED FLATWARE

For the glassware, I chose a tumbler with a striped pattern that has all the colors of the dishes. This was a lucky find for me. I went in to the Dollar Store for gardening gloves and came out with drinking glasses.

2015-06-19 22.54.40- GLASS

Don’t the stripes of the glass really pick up the colors of the dishes?

2015-06-19 22.56.30 DISH AND GLASS

Once in awhile there is a treasure on the Dollar Store shelves; although Bob thinks I can find something to buy for my tablescapes ANYWHERE I go (he might be right).

Believe it or not, I couldn’t find a great napkin ring for this tablescape in my collection of napkin rings; so I used black plastic sunglasses instead. You have to have your sunglasses at the beach, right?

2015-06-19 23.01.43 - NAPKIN

Now for the centerpiece.

This was a tough one. My first thought was of a sandcastle but I knew from the start, that wasn’t happening on my dining room table; so the next best thing was the tools of a sandcastle and every child’s beach gear- “the basic pail and shovel”.

2015-06-19 23.37.46- EXTRA CENTERPIECE

So I bought a red pail and shovel, some play sand and put it all together on my white ceramic cheese board to make it stand out on the table. (You know the drill by now- shop the house FIRST for tablescape items- this time it was a cheese board used as part of the centerpiece).

You can’t have a pail and shovel without some accessories, so I added a few beach toys in matching colors to the centerpiece. 

Here is a close up…

2015-06-19 23.30.26- CENTERPIECE

Along with the beach toys, I added a pail and shovel candle at the base of the cheese board along with some sand and shells. 

2015-06-19 23.10.02- CANDLE

I had this candle for years and years, since my son was in grade school. It was purchased at a school fair and I only use it as a table decoration each Summer.

The centerpiece is now complete.

I gave Bob the wonderful job of blowing up miniature beach balls as my table confetti instead of using seashells, since I used seashells in the last post.

He really is a good man. He goes along with all my ideas and never complains about anything. Gotta love him.

So now with the tablescape completed, I am really ready to get out of the house and head down to the beach for some sun, sand, seagulls and the mist of the ocean. 

2015-06-19 23.39.14- BUFFET

Place Setting

2015-06-19 23.31.34- PLACE SETTING

I am very fortunate to still live so close to the beach and I appreciate it every day of the Summer season. 

I think I will have to keep with tradition and bring along some of the “beach food” I grew up with.  After all, it’s not a complete day at the beach without Mom’s sandwiches and lemonade.

Bob and I also find it nice to pack a picnic basket and have dinner on the beach or eat at one of the outdoor restaurants when we are not bringing “beach food” sandwiches.

There is just something so peaceful about the beach and the sound of the ocean.

Thank you for allowing me to share some of my childhood memories of the beach with you. I hope you have the opportunity to enjoy this Summer; spend a day or two at the beach and enjoy the warmer weather with family and friends.

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


(Don’t forget the recipes below)

Tablescape Details

Bright yellow tablecloth and napkins from Linens and Things

Aqua charger plates from Homegoods

Red flatware from Homegoods

Red woven placemats from Homegoods

Striped Glass Tumblers from the Dollar Store  

Sunglasses from Oriental Trading

Miniature inflatable beach balls from Oriental Trading

Pail and Shovel & Play Sand from Toys R US

Pail and Shovel candle from a “school fair” when my son was in grade school

White ceramic cheese board from Target

“Beach Ball” dishes by Pfaltzgraff from JC Penney

This year on June 21, 2015 we also get to celebrate another special occasion, and that is Father’s Day.

Happy Father’s Day from

To all the Dads, Grandfathers, Godfathers, pet Dads and soon to be Dads.

I hope you enjoy your special day relaxing and surrounded by family, love and happiness. All the Dads will get a special tablescape dedicated to them coming soon. I wouldn’t forget you, but couldn’t post two occasions at once.


Peppers and Eggs Sandwich

2015-06-17 20.28.46- PEPPERS AND EGGS

For 2 servings


  • Olive oil
  • Minced garlic – approx. 2 cloves
  • 1 medium onion – sliced (I use Vidalia but a yellow onion is fine)
  • 2 bell peppers, julienned or chopped– (optional: add an Italian frying pepper (cubanelle)  to the bell peppers.)
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Romano cheese
  • butter
  • 2 ciabatta rolls


Heat a little oil in a sauté pan

Sauté the onions and peppers, add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onions are translucent and the peppers are al dente – Prepare your rolls while the pepper and onions are cooking.

Melt some butter and coat both sides of your ciabatta rolls, broil for 2-3 minutes. Be careful they do not burn. You want the rolls just a little crispy.

In a bowl, beat the eggs and season with salt and pepper and a generous amount of grated cheese….. (If you use a little whole milk in your eggs when you scramble them, that is fine in this recipe too)

Pour the egg mixture into the sauté pan with the peppers and onions

Cook, until the eggs are done to your liking

Serve on the buttered & broiled ciabatta roll

Optional: for a little kick, add some hot Giardiniera

  • Giardiniera is an Italian relish of pickled vegetables in vinegar or oil.

Potatoes and Eggs Sandwiches

2015-06-17 19.57.07 - POTATOES AND EGGS

For 4 servings


  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter, plus more for toasted rolls
  • 1 medium russet potato, peeled and cut into ½ cubes
  • 1 medium Vidalia or yellow onion. Thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper
  • Grated cheese
  • 6 large eggs
  • 4 seeded semolina or ciabatta rolls, split and toasted


Heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with 1 tbsp. of butter.

Add the diced potato and cook, tossing, until browned and beginning to soften, 5 minutes.

Add the sliced onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until the potato is cooked through and the onion is browned but not completely soft, 8 to 10 minutes. 

Prepare your rolls while the potatoes and onions are cooking.

Melt some butter and coat both sides of your ciabatta rolls, broil for 2-3 minutes. Be careful they do not burn. You want the rolls just a little crispy.

Next, beat the eggs in a bowl with grated cheese. (Whole milk can be added if that is how you normally make your scrambled eggs).

Reduce the heat to low and give the pan a moment to cool. Poor in the eggs and cook, stirring constantly, until just set, 3-4 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Serve in the broiled & buttered roll and divide the potato & eggs.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

If you enjoy the posts, please spread the word and ask your family and friends to join.

Either have them “Like” the DishingwithDiane Facebook homepage (blue thumbs up- top of homepage) to get facebook notifications

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Go to the website for easy one click instructions to join and follow all the fun.(click on the “follow button” on the right side of the page) to get e-mail notifications

or send me an email of a friend you think might be interested and I will send a personal DishingwithDiane invitation out.

Once you join, you’ll never miss a post…

Go and spread the word…

And please, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

k20987894- summer fun POLAROID for beach ball


Questions and Answers…

images- questions and answers II

Hi Everyone, 

I have received a few e-mails and notifications from readers who are confused as to how to become a member via Facebook. They are clicking like and not becoming a member.


You have to click “LIKE” for the Facebook HOMEPAGE 

which is the BLUE THUMBS UP at the top of the page.

A bar will come down and click on “GET NOTIFICATIONS”

This will give you a facebook notification for each new post.

If you prefer,

You can also become a member via the website page directly by

clicking on the  BLUE FOLLOW button on the right side of the page.

This will give you an email notification for each new post


 send me an email of a friend you think might be interested and I will send a personal invitation to that person.

Once you join, you’ll never miss a post…

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and please keep sending me your comments, I love hearing from you!


Recipes – Lime Chicken & Potato, String Bean and Onion Salad

2015-06-11 22.34.02- LIME CHICKEN DAY 3

Well, I am here with two more quick Summer recipe from my files. 

The first recipe is for those of you who love chicken but want a new way to prepare it.

Lime Chicken 

A slight hint of lime and nice crispy skin.

Serve this dish with a salad, a few wedges of lime and you are all set.

The second recipe is for a cold Potato, String Bean and Red Onion salad. This is great for outdoor barbecues when you don’t want a salad with mayonnaise. The longer it sits, the better it tastes.

I hope you try both recipes this summer.


Lime Chicken


  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (approx.. 3 small limes) & the lime zest
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (or more to your liking)
  • 1 tbsp. oregano
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp. compound butter – any flavor

2 lbs of chicken WITH skin and bones (either 4 chicken breasts or 8 thighs)


In a large bowl whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and oregano and put all ingredients in a Ziploc bag.

Add cleaned chicken (WITH THE SKIN ON), seal the bag and turn to coat all the pieces.

Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator, turning once or twice for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Remove chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.

Arrange chicken pieces, skin side up (try not to crowd the pieces), on a broiler pan so the fat drips away from the chicken. If you don’t have a broiler pan a shallow baking pan can be used.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and roast in the upper third of the oven until just cooked through, 30 minutes.

Change the oven setting to broil and broil the chicken about 2 inches from the heat until the skin is crisp- approx. 2-3 minutes – Watch carefully so the chicken doesn’t burn.

In the meantime, melt 2 tbsp. of compound finishing butter and when the chicken comes out of the oven, glaze each piece.

*I buy finishing butter in “chipolte lime” flavor for a little spice but you can buy or make your own finishing butter in whatever flavor you prefer.

Adapted from Epicurious

Potato, String Bean and Onion Salad


6-8 red bliss potatoes (depending on size)

1 lb. of string beans, trimmed (if the beans are long, halve them crosswise)

4 tablespoons of olive oil

4 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp oregano

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

Squirt of fresh lemon juice


I steam my potatoes instead of boiling for 5 – 7 minutes and then add the string beans to the same steamer- just keep your eye on them and remove from the steamer as soon as they are tender.

(You can also boil the potatoes if you prefer in 2 quarts of salted water for 20 minutes. Add the beans and boil for 7 minutes longer, until the beans and potatoes are tender)

Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the onion, and the warm potatoes and string beans. Toss very gently to dress all the ingredients without breaking the potatoes. Add a squirt of lemon before serving. Adjust all the seasonings to your liking.

Have fun cooking this Summer!

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

And send me your comments, I love hearing from you.


Mussels with Spicy Sausage and Tomatoes…

2nd try to post Mussels with Spicy Sausage

Dishing With Diane

2015-06-11 20.44.55- MUSSELS DaY 2

Looks like it is going to be another hot day.

Here is another recipe from my files for an easy meal to prepare when you don’t want to be in a hot kitchen.

Mussels with Spicy Sausage and Tomatoes

Along with the mussels in the photo above, I added clams. You could add some shrimp or calamari rings also. Let your imagination go wild.

Mussels served with hot toasty garlic bread to dip in it’s own seafood broth, is one of my favorite Summer meals.

I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it.



2-3 hot sausages – casings removed and broken into 1 inch pieces

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp. butter

4-5 garlic cloves- sliced

 1 container cherry tomatoes – sliced in half (or 1 cup san marzano tomatoes- roughly chopped)

1 bay leaf

Salt and pepper

4 sprigs of fresh thyme

View original post 270 more words

Recipes- Portobello Mushroom Sandwiches

2015-06-10 18.10.06- Portobello

Here is a photo of a recipe from my Memorial Day post.

I made “Broiled Portobello Mushroom Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions and Fontina Cheese on a Toasted Roll” with sweet potatoes and broccoli rabe with beans.

A quick sandwich for a hot day when you don’t want to spend so much time in the kitchen.

Recipe below:

 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 sauté 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. (I take the gills out, but if you prefer, they can be left in).

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.

Mussels with Spicy Sausage and Tomatoes…

2015-06-11 20.44.55- MUSSELS DaY 2

Looks like it is going to be another hot day.

Here is another recipe from my files for an easy meal to prepare when you don’t want to be in a hot kitchen.

Mussels with Spicy Sausage and Tomatoes

Along with the mussels in the photo above, I added clams. You could add some shrimp or calamari rings also. Let your imagination go wild.

Mussels served with hot toasty garlic bread to dip in it’s own seafood broth, is one of my favorite Summer meals.

I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it.



2-3 hot sausages – casings removed and broken into 1 inch pieces

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp. butter

4-5 garlic cloves- sliced

 1 container cherry tomatoes – sliced in half (or 1 cup san marzano tomatoes- roughly chopped)

1 bay leaf

Salt and pepper

4 sprigs of fresh thyme

optional -1 stalk celery or fennel – diced 

1 tbsp. flat leaf parsley – chopped

1 tsp red pepper chili flakes

Lemon slices

1 cup white wine

1 cup vegetable or chicken broth

½ cup heavy cream

2 lbs mussels – cleaned and debearded

Soak mussels in Cold water for 20 minutes to remove sand inside before cleaning and debearding.

DebeardingScrub grit off the shells of fresh mussels with a stiff-bristled brush, then debeard each mussel, as needed. Remove the beard, the little tuft of fibers the mussel uses to connect to rocks or pilings, by cutting and scraping it with a knife or scissors.


  1. Heat a large stainless steel pan over high heat. Drizzle the olive oil into the hot pan. Add the butter. Add the sausage and cook until browned. Remove from the oil and set aside.
  2. ADD the garlic, red pepper flakes, tomatoes, thyme (and celery or fennel-optional). Cook for a few minutes. ADD the wine and cook until the alcohol has evaporated. ADD the broth, season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil
  3. ADD the mussels, cover and cook until the mussels have opened- approximately 2-4 minutes… NOTE: Discard any mussels (and clams) that have not opened, they are dead.
  4. Plate the mussels in a bowl
  5. ADD the heavy cream, sausage and parsley to the sauce and mix well. Pour over the mussels and garnish with lemon slices

Serve with toasted ciabatta garlic bread – Broil the ciabatta slices and then rub a garlic clove over the hot bread to really get the garlic taste.

Clams can be added as well

Beach Stripe…

This year is flying by and we are almost done with Spring already. Where does the time go? Hard to believe that Summer is around the corner and we’ll be ready for the beach.

June 24 Beach Pictures 014- BEACH STRIPE BEACH

 So this tablescape is set to Welcome our Next Season and my favorite one of all, SUMMER! 

(Click on photos to enlarge)

2015-06-09 22.06.46 - TABLE

Usually I start my tablescapes with a dish and go from there, but this time I started with the tablecloth. I know this sounds strange but I’ll explain why.

Back in the day when I was a child and my parents took the family for a beach day at Jones Beach there was a kiosk where you could rent a beach umbrella or a beach chair for the day before you started your long trek toward the ocean. My Dad always rented the umbrella because my Mother needed the shade.

Walking along the beach to find our perfect spot in the sand, I remember seeing a sea of orange and brown striped beach umbrellas; rented from the kiosk with just a few scattered brightly colored umbrellas.

I found a very old picture online of the Jones Beach umbrella kiosk and the original umbrellas to give you a better idea of what it looked like – when I found this picture, it brought back even more memories for me. I remember waiting on line with my Dad for the umbrella.

jones_beach_umbrella_stand_giftstonecoaster-r4d6370ddb09d445b84f96f167e31759a_zxe2w_324- umbrella rental kiosk- JONES BEACH UMBRELLA - KIOSK 2

(photo credit:

Once we found our spot on the sand, my parents would tie the brightest colored scarf to the spokes of the umbrella so that when my sisters and I came out of the water we could find our way back to the blanket and to my Mother’s great peppers and egg or potato and egg sandwiches; otherwise known as “beach food”.

Those sandwiches, Mom’s lemonade and an ice cream and you were set for the day.

2013-05-11 22.08.24- JONES BEACH WITH MOM

The photo above, is one of those glorious days with my family. I am the toddler in this picture with my Mom and two older sisters. Great memories; miss them all every day.

Back to the tablescape…

When I saw this tablecloth in the store, my mind immediately went back to those days at Jones Beach because this pattern reminded me of the rented beach umbrella.

Upon closer inspection, the name of the tablecloth on the package read, “Beach Stripe” and I thought that the person who designed this tablecloth must have had a childhood at Jones Beach, just like me.

The tablecloth…

2015-06-04 21.43.55- BEACH STRIPE

So that is how this tablescape started with the tablecloth and napkins and not a dish. Now to match some dishes. Since we are reminiscing about the beach, what could possibly be better than dishes that have seashells and starfish on them?

 I have a few different sets of dishes with seashells, but for this table, I chose the Hampton pattern by Thomson Pottery.

The dish is off white with embossed seashells and starfish all around the rim and the seashells have a slight hint of a sandy bronze finish. The off white and the bronze match the stripes in the tablecloth.

2015-06-09 17.01.02 DISHES

Whenever I want a more natural earthy feel to a tablescape, I always use my brown rattan chargers. They come in handy a lot and you will see them quite often in my tablescapes. This time I used them with orange placemats to bring out yet another color in the tablecloth.

If you look at the “kiosk” picture above, the original umbrellas had a lot of orange in them along with brown.

2015-06-04 20.13.53- BEACH CHARGER

 Amber goblets accent the beige and brown in the stripe… 

2015-06-04 21.19.41- AMBER GOBLET

and I decided on off- white pearl flatware.

The pearl finish reminded me of the inside of a seashell.

2015-06-04 21.13.03- PEARL FLATWARE

Now for the centerpiece…

Of course I had to have something with seashells and starfish; so I am using two white lanterns I had on the patio with white pillar candles. I added some seashells around the candle base and a few scattered seashells as my table confetti.

I tied raffia ribbon on the handles of the lanterns. The raffia reminded me of the beach grass found on the dunes at the beach. 

2015-06-09 16.58.54- LANTERN WITH RAFFIA

The next addition to the tablescape are peach, cream and clear glass gems to coordinate with the tablecloth. The gems reminded me of all the pebbles and stones in the sand you find at the shoreline, when you go hunting for seashells.

Here is a picture I took at Myrtle Beach on one of my vacations of the pebbles in the sand. The colors are different, but you get the idea. I tried to capture this feel with the gems on the table. 

Myrtle Beach 2008 719- SEASHELLS MYRTLE BEACH 2008

I put some of the gems in a glass bowl so you can get a better look at all the colors I chose. 

2015-06-09 16.06.15 BEACH STRIPE GEMS

At the last minute before I took the photos, I tied some jute ribbon to the base of the goblets just for an added natural touch. (The ribbon is also displayed in the dish above and on the goblets below).

2015-06-09 22.03.02- TABLE X-TRA

All of the seashells that I used as table confetti have been collected by my son and I from the many beach vacations we have been on over the years.

2015-06-07 10.47.16- BOWL OF SHELLS

 I proudly display the seashells all year long in my living room and it always makes me smile every time I pass the bowl.

Next to the bowl is a Willow Tree figurine given to me by my son for Mother’s Day of a girl holding a seashell to her ear and the name of this figurine is “Thinking of You”; which also brings a smile to my face because I am always thinking of my son.

2015-06-09 16.18.36 - WILLOW GIRL

Place Setting

Do you get the feeling of the pebbles in the sand with the gems on the table?

2015-06-09 16.12.11 - PLACE SETTING

So the table is set and it’s time to dream about the relaxing days at the beach; taking long walks at the shoreline hunting for seashells, the warmer weather and the later sunsets. Yes, you could say that I am ready for Summer and I can’t wait to put my feet in the sand

2015-06-09 22.01.54- BUFFET

Thank you for letting me reminisce about the beach and my childhood. It’s funny how one tablecloth can bring back so many good memories.

I still live near the beach and now I think I will have to get in the car and take a ride to watch the ocean and maybe I’ll see a striped beach umbrella or two.

The kiosks are still at Jones Beach to rent beach umbrellas.

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


June 24 Beach Pictures 013- BEACH STRIPE SEAGULL

Tablescape Details

Tablecloth and Napkins from Bed, Bath and Beyond

Seashell Dishes- Hampton by Thomson Pottery from Amazon

Amber goblets from JC Penney

Rattan chargers from Sur La Table

Off white pearl flatware from Amazon

Orange placemats from Homegoods

White Lanterns from Crate and Barrel

Seashells from “vacations past”

Candles from Michael’s Arts and Crafts

Raffia and Jute Ribbon from Michael’s Arts and Crafts

Peach and Pearl table confetti glass gems from Michael’s Arts and Crafts

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