I hope everyone had a wonderful Hanukkah & Christmas.
I on the other hand was so sick on Christmas Eve that my whole day was spiraling downward. I woke up feeling awful, stuffy and congested but I was still ready to cook and start my crab sauce and get the meal completed.
First problem, I burned an entire pot of fregola (a form of toasted pasta) with clams and scallops which didn’t add to my day. Burned so badly that the clams & shells stuck to the sides of the pot and I had to scrape them off with a metal spatula- not a pretty sight and I won’t even tell you what the pan looks like.
Word to the wise, cast iron heats up very, very hot and you have to either watch the pot every minute or adjust cooking times. I was just very thankful that I didn’t have company coming over.
Christmas Eve, Feast of the Seven Fishes is my favorite meal of the year. I was determined to get that meal on the table and I don’t know how I had the strength to finish, but I did. I posted some pics below of the entrees I completed and just didn’t bother with the shrimp scampi and crab cakes. I ran out of energy.
I made baccala (cod) with potatoes & tomatoes – cold broccoli salad with lemon & garlic, baked clams – linguine with crab sauce, mussels & clams – crab meat stuffed shrimp -coconut shrimp – stuffed calamari (squid) and cold seafood salad with shrimp, calamari, scallops, celery, olives in a lemon oil dressing.
I didn’t have time or strength to prepare a Christmas Eve tablescape or Christmas Day tablescape and Bob put together our traditional Williams Sonoma croissants, Christmas morning breakfast.
I am happy to say that I am feeling much better now, so I am posting a
New Year’s Eve tablescape.
I hope you all had a very nice New Year’s Eve. Since it was 10 degrees in the Northeast, Bob and I stayed home for a cozy dinner.
I made shrimp- clam bisque as the first course.
Baked crab cakes with tri-color couscous and a salad for our main course.
And Chocolate Pots de Creme for dessert.
And at midnight, we had assorted hors d’ oeuvres and Prosecco.
So, let’s get started on the tablescape…
This year’s theme is all poinsettias! Something I wanted to do for Christmas.
I love poinsettias; such a beautiful flower but it doesn’t love me back as much. If I buy real poinsettias early in December, I usually have a poinsettia twig left in the pot next to the fireplace on Christmas Eve with hopefully one leaf left. So, I decorate with artificial and Bob buys a real plant close to Christmas and takes loving care of it.
I am starting with a very cheery modern take on a traditional holiday tablecloth. The tablecloth has a white background (sorry, looks off-white in the photo) with red poinsettias, of course and shades of green holly branches.
I had to have poinsettia napkin rings and shopping online after Christmas last year, these just caught my eye. I think they are perfect with the placemat.
I bought poinsettia placemats in Pier 1 last year and have been counting down the 12 months to use them with this tablescape. I just couldn’t resist these.
I didn’t want to use any chargers with this tablescape because the placemats were so pretty. Even the glass chargers didn’t work, you couldn’t see the entire poinsettia.
The set of dishes that I am using are porcelain dishes by 222 Fifth (I buy a lot from that company) and the pattern is called “Winter Harmony”.
The dinner plate has a white background and along the border are poinsettias, holly berries and a beautiful flower that looks like a magnolia to me. The dish has a scalloped border outlined in a thin trim of red.
The salad plate has a white background but the design on the plate is more lush than the dinner plate. This time the entire plate is covered in poinsettias, berries and flowers, all in white and red and it too has the scalloped border trimmed in red.
This is the complete set…
I loved this pattern so much, I bought the platters, tiered servers, cake plate and tea pot.
The flatware for this table are my every day silver and gold combination from Towle.
The glasses are champagne flutes from my Waterford collection.
I just switched to the matching water goblet for the meal.
As you know by now, I love candles.
For this table, I used mercury glass votive candles scattered on the table.
My 2018 table decorations will also be my table decorations for New Year’s Day to complete my poinsettia centerpiece. Horns, hats, blowers, eyeglasses and beads. Along with a few small bottles of La Marca prosecco.
My dinner for New Year’s Day will be the traditional Italian “good luck” foods for the new year.
The menu is as follows:
The first course has to be lentils. The story is that lentils are eaten because the shape resembles coins which hopefully will bring you good fortune and prosperity. My family also adds spinach to the lentils because it is the color of money.
The second course is cotechino. Now this is a large pork sausage (looks like a large salami), made from fatback and pork rind and it needs to be boiled at a low temperature for hours. The story is that the richness of the sausage will bring you wealth.
I was never a fan of cotechino, so I substitute any other pork. Pork sausages, pork loin, etc. This year I am making a broccoli rabe and sausage stromboli. I figured the pork and the green for the color of money has to bring me some good luck.
And that is my New Year’s Eve /New Year’s Day tablescape to welcome 2018!
It has been my pleasure to spend 2017 with all of you and I look forward to the new year together.
From my house to yours, I wish you many blessings along with love, health and happiness in 2018.
Until my next post, make every day a celebration!
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