Category Archives: All Occasion Tablescapes

State Fair

 

Photo Sep 08, 1 10 35 AM (1) INTRO -FINAL

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Hi Everyone,

Hope all is well.

I have been faced with a challenge. I have a dear friend who is visiting from out of state and I invited her to lunch. She is bringing along her 4-year old grandson who she said is “very fidgety”. OK, here is the challenge, how do you entertain a 4-year old through lunch?

 I had to seriously give this some thought because I didn’t want him to just play a video game all alone, but instead be involved at the table so I can have the pleasure of his company. I love his age, they are cute and funny and simply a joy. 

Over and over in my head I kept thinking “fun and games”. I didn’t want to do a craft and keep in mind, it has been 27 years since I had a little one.

Originally, I planned lunch outside, but here in the northeast the weather has been a little crazy, either very hot and humid or raining, so this will have to be indoors.

 I thought of using the beach ball dishes and beach toys on the table from a previous tablescape.

Click link to see entire Beach Ball post.

https://dishingwithdiane.com/2015/06/20/beach-ball/

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Then I thought a basket of food would be better for a 4 – year old than a ceramic dish, so I started thinking of what would go in a basket for a child. The usual hot dogs and hamburgers came to mind and then I had a thought… how about a corn dog? I am sure he doesn’t have that everyday and it might be fun to eat a hot dog on a stick.

That’s all it took and my mind started to go from there. I would make the tablescape as if he went to a State Fair. The New York State Fair is in full swing and short of taking a field trip to Syracuse, I had to start thinking.

I wrote down all the food and snacks I was thinking about to have them both Grandma and Mom approved. I didn’t want to go against any family food restrictions or allergies.

So once I got the green light on the food, I was ready to go.

This tablescape is my rendition of a State Fair. Hope you like it…

Here is the menu with snacks…

  • corn dogs
  • French fries
  • popcorn
  • peanuts
  • cracker jacks
  • cotton candy
  • kettle corn
  • cupcakes (ice cream would melt)
  • funnel cake
  • lemonade

First the tablecloth – I wanted something fun and one of my linen tablecloths wouldn’t work, so I bought a plastic “popcorn” themed tablecloth from the party store.

Photo Sep 02, 5 15 19 PM POPCORN TABLECLOTH

I had to buy some popcorn napkins to match.

Photo Sep 07, 5 50 46 PM POPCORN NAPKINS

No dishes, just red plastic food baskets lined with red & white check food grade tissue paper.

Photo Sep 07, 5 49 33 PM FOOD BASKET

Photo Sep 07, 5 56 02 PM PLACE SETTING

 Lunch will be a corn dog, French fries and a box of Cracker Jacks. 

(I still love Cracker Jacks. Much better prizes back in the day).

Photo Sep 07, 5 50 07 PM CRACKER JACKS

Photo Sep 07, 9 36 08 PM CORN DOG AND FRIES

I made the corn dogs but bought the French fries because I love the large crinkle cut fries from Nathans. 

(Recipe for homemade corn dogs at the end of the post).

No glasses, just cans of lemonade and bottles of water.

All served on a square wooden charger plate. It really comes in handy as a tray.

Photo Sep 02, 5 23 07 PM WOODEN TRAY

The first snack is cotton candy. I decided to serve this in sugar cones, since I couldn’t get the paper cones or sticks that the cotton candy usually comes on and I didn’t want to purchase a cotton candy machine.

Photo Sep 07, 5 54 30 PM COTTON CANDY CONES

Next up, roasted peanuts served in white ceramic berry baskets.

Photo Sep 07, 5 54 08 PM PEANUTS

Now, my absolute favorite food on the Midway- funnel cakes.

Homemade funnel cakes are easier than you think to put together and don’t forget to cover them in powdered sugar.

I served them on a white tray and added the cutest mini boxes of my favorite flavor jelly beans – Popcorn! 

Photo Sep 07, 7 15 02 PM JELLY BELLY

Funnel cakes.

Photo Sep 07, 9 35 23 PM FUNNEL CAKES 1

I need to work on my technique…Photo Sep 07, 8 31 16 PM FRYING FUNNEL CAKES

Photo Sep 07, 8 32 58 PM FUNNEL CAKE DRAINING

(Recipe for homemade funnel cakes at the end of the post). 

Of course we had to have popcorn with a popcorn themed tablecloth. So I filled plastic popcorn containers at each place setting.

Photo Sep 07, 5 55 12 PM POPCORN

I added a ceramic popcorn shaker to the table, that is supposed to be used for extra salt but I use it for finely grated cheese.

(Love popcorn and grated cheese and a touch of cayenne).

Photo Sep 07, 5 53 43 PM POPCORN SHAKER

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Well, the food is taken care of, so on to the tablescape.

I remembered all the stuffed animals that I brought home from fairs and carnivals that my son won from various Midway games, so I thought it would be fun to place some stuffed animal “prizes” with carnival tickets all around them as a table accent.

(I really missed Toys R Us not being in business anymore for this purchase).

Of course my friend’s grandson can help himself to whatever he wants.

Photo Sep 07, 5 47 31 PM TOYS AND TICKETS

And now the centerpiece.

I have, believe it or not, a white metal & galvanized Ferris wheel that hold cupcakes.

Photo Sep 07, 5 48 51 PM FERRIS WHEEL

I bought this last year at Pier 1 and it was just too cute to pass up. It was one of those purchases that I brought home and Bob said, “Do you think you’ll really use that”?

I am happy to say that I have used it on numerous occasions as part of a dessert table at an outdoor barbecue – good conversation starter.

I cheated and bought frosted cupcakes and topped them with kettle corn (another State Fair treat) and added them to the Ferris wheel.

Photo Sep 07, 7 52 33 PM CUPCAKE

(I just didn’t have the time to bake and frost cupcakes).

Photo Sep 07, 7 56 25 PM FERRIS WHEL WITH CUPCAKES

I think it looks really cute and what child wouldn’t want to pick a cupcake off of that Ferris wheel?

Okay, so I have the food, table accents and a centerpiece, but I wanted to do a little more and send him home with a party favor. 

This took me a while to think about and then I had the best idea.

What is the ultimate take away prize from the Midway that “everyone” has taken home at one time or another? Give up? A goldfish in a bag.

Of course I wasn’t going out to get real goldfish, but I could make a goldfish in a bag soap. So that is what I did (with my craft assistant Bob to help me).

Sometimes it pays off to be Cub Scouts den mother, class mother and PTA President. You remember some crafts from the past. (And I mean 27 yrs ago in the past).

I’ll have to make one for my son for his Christmas stocking and see if he remembers this from grade school.

Some melted clear suspension soap, a vinyl goldfish, clear cello bags, some twine and we are in business. Fragrance can be added to this DIY project. I didn’t want to attempt that because I was afraid that the fragrance would change the color of the soap and make it cloudy. 

Once completed, I placed a goldfish soap bag at each place setting.

Photo Sep 08, 12 23 29 AM GOLD FISH FAVOR AT TABLE

Now my little guest has something else to take home along with the stuffed animal plush toys.

Photo Sep 08, 12 20 52 AM GOLD FISH FAVOR 2

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NOTE:

I was not given permission from the author of this DIY project, to post her project instructions on my blog due to copyright laws. Sorry.

If you are interested in making this craft, there are so many tutorials for this project on Google.

*********

 I am done with this tablescape and now I just had to wait for their arrival.

I hope they like it…

PS- If all else fails and he doesn’t like anything and is bored, my backup is a sand art kit to keep him busy.

Either way, something else for him to take home.

Photo Sep 08, 1 15 50 AM SAND ART

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I hope all of you enjoyed my rendition of a State Fair tablescape and it gave you some ideas that you can use in your home.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well, 

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog and please spread the word and ask your family and friends to join DishingwithDiane.

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments, I LOVE hearing from you.

*************************************

RECIPES

Homemade Funnel Cake

(recipe was given to me many years ago- author unknown)

1 – 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
1 large egg 
2/3 cup milk
2 TBSP sugar 
1 tsp baking powder 
1/4 tsp salt,
1 tsp vanilla 

Mix all ingredients well and add more milk if too thick.

Instead of a funnel, use an old plastic squeeze ketchup bottle…EASIER!!

 Heat a small amount of canola (or vegetable) oil in my small cast iron skillet.

 Then, ……I random squirt and swirl batter in oil.

 Flip when it starts bubbling and turning brown (like you do when making pancakes.)

Serve with confectioners sugar

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Before I continue, these are the best bamboo skewers I found for corn dogs or candy apples, perfect size –available on Amazon – (6 1/2 inches, 100 pieces for $8.90).

Photo Sep 07, 5 46 05 PM BAMBOO SKEWERS

Homemade Corn Dogs

 PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES… COOK TIME: 3 MINUTES… TOTAL TIME: 13 MINS are a classic fair treat, and now you can make them at home!  – adapted from Cooks County Recipes.

Mix together a quick cornmeal, dip the hot dogs, and fry!

Ingredients:

 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1.5 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp nutmeg

 3/4 cup buttermilk

 2 eggs

4 hot dogs

 all-purpose flour, for rolling

vegetable or peanut oil, for frying

Directions:

Preheat the fryer to 350 degrees F.

To make the batter, whisk to combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, and nutmeg.

In another small bowl, whisk to combine the buttermilk and eggs, and mix this into the dry ingredients until there are no more streaks of flour, but be sure to leave lumps in the batter (do not stir those out, as you may over-mix). Transfer the batter to a tall glass.

Skewer the hot dogs onto wooden sticks and roll the hot dogs in enough flour to coat, then shake the excess off.

Dip the floured hot dogs into the tall cup of batter and put them straight into the fryer for about 3 minutes, but be sure not to overcrowd your fryer. Depending on size, you might need to make two or three batches.

The corn dogs are ready when the exterior is golden brown.

Serve the corn dogs with ketchup and mustard if desired, and enjoy!

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StateFairGrunge_forWebLight STATE FAIR

Flamingo Vacation With Grandma…

 

Photo Aug 22, 4 25 40 PM FLAMINGO INTRO 2 -- adjusted

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Hi Everyone,

This story and tablescape is in memory of my dear beloved Grandmother who would have turned 114 yrs old on Aug, 14th and all the joy she brought her family.

So many things in life can remind us of special moments. Sometimes it is the scent of a certain food that reminds us of Mom or Grandma cooking when we were a child, a perfume that reminds us of a special loved one, the type of weather that reminds us of a special event, the cigar smell that reminds us of a favorite Uncle or Grandfather and sometimes, something just as simple as the design on a plate can trigger a memory and that happened to me.

I live in a neighborhood close to the water and we have a great little shop in town that features coastal decor, apparel and jewelry. I go in from time to time just to browse and see if there is anything new I might want to add to my collection.

I was in there last week, and I saw a platter that made me stop and laugh in the middle of the store. Thank God I was with Bob so I didn’t look odd laughing for no reason with no one around. But to me it was a big reason to laugh.

The platter was of all things, a design featuring Flamingos. I held it up to Bob and said “What does this remind you of?” and he had a smile on his face too.

It was our little special moment.

To us the platter brought back a memory of our son and his obsession with Flamingos one year in Florida when we were visiting my Grandmother.

Back 25 years ago, on one of our many trips to see my beloved Grandmother in Fort Lauderdale, FL, she took us to a botanical garden that had Flamingos freely walking around on the grounds. (I don’t think that exists today).

Well, as soon as our son saw the Flamingos, which were about his size at the time or maybe a little taller, he was mesmerized. So much so, that we went back to the botanical garden every day for him to see the Flamingos for the duration of our trip. They came right up to him and he was amazed.

He couldn’t say Flamingo properly back then and called them “Flan-dingos”.

(He would kill me if he knew I just shared that information, but it was just adorable, and who else has the right to embarrass my child, but me? –but keep it to yourself anyway). With my luck, he’ll read this blog post and I’ll get a phone call.

Of course I had to buy him a stuffed Flamingo plush toy to take home with him on the plane and he was thrilled.

My Grandmother got a big kick out of him and his adoration for these birds (He adored his Great-Grandmother too, don’t get me wrong). I think she was also proud of herself that she picked the botanical garden in the first place and it brought him so much joy.

So now, every time I see a Flamingo on anything, it puts a smile on my face.

That was such a wonderful vacation for all of us.

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Back in the store, with the Flamingo platter, I immediately flipped it over for the name of the company or design. The pattern name is “Floridian Design”. I am taking this as a sign from Grandma and the trip to Florida. 

I asked if they carried any dishes to match and the saleswoman said, “No, just platters and Flamingo salt & pepper shakers”. My ears almost fell off. Did she just say salt and pepper shakers? As in my favorite table accent? This was a second sign from Grandma and I was sold.

I bought the salt & pepper shakers and the platter and I had a new mission, complete this collection.

I came home and started my quest to find the dishes that matched the platter. Not too hard a search thanks to Google and Amazon and the pattern was still in production.

The best price was on Amazon, so I ordered them with my prime membership. Two days and free delivery. What could be better than that? (You don’t know how hard it was for me to wait the two days).

Since Grandma’s 114th birthday was on August 14th, I knew the Flamingo tablescape had to be in honor of her. I miss her every single day of my life.

So let’s start a tablescape…

The dishes are a combination of beige, coral and sage green melamine. Which was great because coral, blush, peach and sage have always been some of my favorite colors, so I was very happy with these dishes when they arrived.

The dinner plate has a plaid rim with all the colors and the center of the plate is a single standing Flamingo with a background that looks vintage and has the words “Florida” and “The Land of Sunshine” written across the plate.

All reminders of our wonderful vacation.

Photo Aug 22, 4 28 14 PM DINNER PLATE 2 --ADJUSTED

The salad plate has a solid coral rim and multiple Flamingos on the plate with a soft beige background.

Photo Aug 22, 4 28 44 PM SALAD PLATE

The set also comes with a sage green bowl with both the plaid pattern and a gold rim and a design of a pineapple and tropical flowers.

The pineapple is a traditional symbol of hospitality and “Welcome”.

Photo Aug 25, 1 20 31 PM PINEAPPLE BOWL

Here is the complete set.

Photo Aug 25, 1 21 46 PM COMPLETE SET

Now for a tablecloth... I went through all of my green tablecloths and none of them worked for me, so I went back to Amazon to find a tablecloth. This was harder to find than the dishes. Finally, I came across one that had the perfect colors -but vinyl.

I despise vinyl because I try to stay away from all the chemicals and phthalates it takes to make the product. I thought about it for a day and continued my search and I had to bite the bullet because I didn’t find anything else and the colors were just what I was looking for.

Since the dishes are melamine and the tablecloth is vinyl and both are great for outdoor use (plus the tablecloth is the same dimensions and my patio table), I thought I could make use of it on the patio, so I ordered the tablecloth.

In fabric it would have been perfect.

Photo Aug 22, 4 27 11 PM TROPIC TABLECLOTH

I am using green napkins to pick up a color on the tablecloth. The name of the napkin color is “Gecko Green”  by Dll, just in case you wanted to purchase these. I suppose this color reminded the manufacturer of a lizard.

The napkins are over-sized ( 20 X 20) and look just too large at the place setting, so I rolled them up with a napkin ring instead of folding them next to the plate. 

My napkin rings are gold medal palm trees; which started me thinking that I should find bamboo napkin rings. A new quest…

Photo Aug 22, 4 26 42 PM NAPKIN AND PALM TREE RING

Now the placemats… Since coral is a color from the plate, I have the perfect coral placemats to use. Photo Aug 25, 1 23 50 PM PLACEMAT

The dishes give you a tropical feel, so I am using bamboo chargers. 

Photo Aug 22, 4 27 46 PM CHARGER

To continue the bamboo theme, the flatware is bamboo as well.

(I really don’t get to use these enough).

Photo Aug 22, 4 29 15 PM FLATWARE

Next, the glassware. You will not believe what I found last year in Bed, Bath and Beyond at the summer clearance- Flamingo stemless wine glasses. I bought them even though I didn’t have a thing to use them with and now I do.

Photo Aug 25, 1 28 15 PM GLASSWARE

They are very cute and I will serve Grandma’s favorite drink in them – sweet iced tea with lemon.

Photo Aug 25, 1 29 51 PM GLASSWARE WITH TEA

My centerpiece had to honor Grandma and the first part of the centerpiece is the Flamingo platter that stopped me in my tracks and started this entire tablescape. It is a 19 X 8 rectangle and matches the salad plate exactly.

(Sorry about the size of this photo. For whatever reason, I couldn’t get it any larger than this).

Photo Aug 25, 1 25 08 PM RECTANGLE TRAY

To add to the platter, I am placing a photo of grandma and Michael in a very beachy driftwood frame…

This photo was from Grandma’s 90th Birthday!

Photo Aug 22, 4 30 53 PM GRANDMA PHOTO --ADJUSTED

In addition to the frame, I placed a Flamingo tea light holder on the tray.

This way I can light the candle in memory of Grandma. 

Photo Aug 22, 4 30 18 PM TEA LIGHT

 The last addition to the centerpiece is a Lenox vase (to pick up the beige) filled with once again, my artificial white heather flowers.

During the times that I don’t have flowers to fill some of my vases that I display, I add material in the vase with an accent color of the room it’s in, so the vase doesn’t look lost on a table or dresser. 

For this vase, I already had peach chiffon in the vase. It matched the tablescape so I just left it in with the flowers.

Photo Aug 25, 1 24 46 PM VASE WITH FLOWERS

This is the complete centerpiece…

Photo Aug 25, 1 26 19 PM CENTERPIECE

As far as table accents, well you know one had to be the new set of Flamingo salt and pepper shakers.

Photo Aug 22, 4 34 04 PM SALT AND PEPPER1

I came across a bonus while shopping for the tablecloth. Another set of Flamingo salt and pepper shakers (these are just a shade darker). They are magnetic and they are supposed to look as though they are kissing.

Photo Aug 22, 4 34 17 PM SALT AND PEPPER2

 I also found a beautiful 12 X 8 coral Flamingo figural serving dish while tablecloth shopping.

Just adorable, but I don’t know what I will serve yet.

Maybe some of Grandma’s favorite desserts.

Photo Aug 22, 4 30 00 PM FIGURALFLAMINGO

Place Setting

Photo Aug 25, 1 31 10 PM PLACE SETTING

Photo Aug 22, 4 37 19 PM EXTRA

I think Grandma would have loved this tablescape.

I have one other sign from Grandma to share.

A while ago, while I was in Homegoods, and I bought the most wonderfully scented soap.

Just last night, I noticed that the soap is wrapped in Flamingo wrapping paper.

Yes, it’s a sign, that this tablescape was meant to be.

Photo Aug 25, 9 51 11 PM GIFT

Photo Aug 25, 9 52 49 PM CLOSE UP SOAP

Thank you for letting me share with you my special tribute to my beloved and adored Grandmother.

Until my next post, make everyday a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

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Please spread the word and have your family and friends join DishingwithDiane.

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, I LOVE hearing from you.

Be prepared for “Company”…

Photo Aug 04, 11 57 58 PM STRAWBERRY INTRO

Click on the photo to enlarge and the back arrow to return to original size.

Hi Everyone, 

This is a little advice to always be prepared for unexpected company…

When I was a little girl, my mother always kept a pound cake in the freezer for “company”. This drove my sisters and I crazy because there were many nights we just wanted to thaw it out and eat it.

My mother used to serve us toasted pound cake with fresh fruit and ice cream for dessert on a regular basis and we just loved it.

But the pound cake in the freezer was off limits!

I never fully understood why my mother did this, until this past Friday.

Did you ever get a phone call in the morning from someone that you haven’t seen in a while and they tell you that they will be in your area late afternoon and want to stop in and say hello?

Well, I got that call Friday morning. I invited them for dessert and when I hung up I went into a mini panic.

What would I serve for dessert? Of all days, I couldn’t leave my house to run and get a dessert because I was expecting a delivery from Lowes and I had to be home, so I had to get creative.

I usually hate unexpected company because I like to plan my tablescapes and meals way ahead of time.

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First the tablescape…

If you have been following my blog from the beginning, you know I always change my dishes on a monthly basis to rotate my collection. This month it is all about the  strawberry. Nice and cheery. So it looked as if that would be the tablescape theme since I had everything I needed at my fingertips.

I started out with a basic white weave cotton tablecloth. 

 I have strawberry salad plates, table-runner and napkins already in the kitchen, so that is what I used. I had no time to fuss.

The linens are a solid white background with clusters of strawberries and small red stamped flowers.

Photo Aug 04, 10 43 38 PM TABLECLOTH, RUNNER, NAPKINS

There isn’t enough room on the table for a placemat with the table runner so I just started with a glass beaded charger. I love this charger because it adds something to the tablescape but doesn’t overpower it.

Photo Aug 04, 10 37 37 PM GLASS CHARGER

Followed by a white alabaster dinner plate and my adorable strawberry salad plates.

The dinner plates are white alabaster glass with swirling semi-opaque streaks.Photo Aug 04, 10 38 11 PM WHITE ALABASTER DINNERWARE

The salad plates are a very heavy white melamine with clusters of strawberries around the rim.Photo Aug 04, 11 03 41 PM SALAD PLATE

 Another piece of serveware that I purchased with these dishes is the serving bowl but I didn’t need to use it.

I just wanted to show you what was available.

Photo Aug 05, 2 12 31 AM SERVING BOWL

I originally bought the salad plates to match a strawberry water pitcher that I bought many years ago. I used the water pitcher on Friday for homemade lemonade.

It’s fairly small for a water pitcher (only 8 X 8), which I liked because it doesn’t take up that much room on the table.

Photo Aug 04, 11 06 00 PM STRAWBERRY WATER PITCHER

Water pitchers to me are like salt and pepper shakers. They can carry the theme of your tablescape without being in the way, and are great table accents.

 Along with the water pitcher I used ceramic strawberry salt and pepper shakers on a green leaf plate.

I just loved these when I saw them because of the plate that it came on (and my love of salt & pepper shakers).

They are cute enough to be used on the kitchen counter as an accent for summer decor.

Photo Aug 05, 1 22 51 AM STRAWBERRY SALT AND PEPPER

The flatware was white pearl to match the dinner plate and not clash with the napkins since my red cutlery was too dark.

Photo Aug 04, 11 07 10 PM CUTLERY

I used Waterford crystal tumbler glasses, perfect for lemonade and already in the kitchen cabinet, so things were moving along.

Photo Aug 04, 11 56 27 PM WATERFORD TUMBLER

I was in a pinch so my centerpiece had to be a jadeite cake stand. I think this color looks good as a contrast to the strawberry table runner.

Photo Aug 04, 11 55 16 PM JADEITE CAKE SERVER

I added a few jadeite salad plates, one under the cake stand and one to use with the jar of strawberries in syrup.

Photo Aug 05, 12 13 34 AM JADEITE PLATE

Photo Aug 04, 10 35 16 PM STRAWBERRY WITH SPREADER

I had a strawberry spreader on hand in case anyone wanted some strawberries on their loaf cake and not just on their ice cream.

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That completed the tablescape…

I thought the tablescape looked cute once it was set and that is when I decided to make it a blog post.

Photo Aug 04, 11 07 53 PM EXTRA

Place Setting

Photo Aug 04, 11 05 14 PM PLACE SETTING

Now for the dessert…

 I already mentioned that I had a jar of Italian strawberries in syrupand I could serve them with ice cream, but that didn’t seem to be enough so I had to keep thinking.Photo Aug 04, 11 53 56 PM STRAWBERRIES IN SYRUP

BTW- the strawberries in syrup are not as sweet as the Amarena cherries in syrup.

I used the Italian Amarena cherries with my lemon ricotta pound cake- recipe in the index.

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I bought three pounds of beautiful organic strawberries in Whole Foods for 2.99 a lb. the other day and they were staring at me when I opened the refrigerator, so they became the star of the show.

I had a recipe for “Strawberry Crisp” that I made for a friend who visited a short time ago that only ate gluten free. It is made with oat flour and no refined sugar. I don’t even know where I got the recipe from, but I knew I had all the ingredients in the pantry and that could work. 

I hate when I don’t have the author of a recipe to share with you, because I always want to give credit where credit is due, so I apologize.

If anyone recognizes the recipe and knows the author, please let me know.

Photo Aug 04, 11 54 41 PM CRISP

I wanted to have another dessert choice because the crisp was not going to be very sweet because there is no added sugar, but it is good served with ice cream.

So my last dessert was a loaf cake with a lemon glaze. The recipe is easy and it originally calls for blueberries but I switched it up with strawberries.

Photo Aug 04, 5 56 31 PM STRAWBERRY LOAF

I added some strawberry wafers to the table that happened to be one of my recent purchases from Homegoods. I usually buys these wafers to top ice cream, but I served the wafers in a bowl as a little something extra to munch on.

Photo Aug 04, 5 55 03 PM STRAWBERRY WAFERS

Photo Aug 04, 11 06 15 PM BOWL OF WAFERS

So I started baking and kept thinking of mom and the pound cake in the freezer. She knew what she was doing back then.

I think from now on, I will always have a pound cake or two in the freezer for “company”. I suggest you do the same.

That could have made my life so much easier.

Mom had the right idea, as always.

If my company didn’t like strawberries, (which I thought about after the cakes were in the oven) I was ready to order a pizza or anything take out that they preferred that could be delivered, but it all worked out.

The strawberry desserts were a big hit and the visit was lovely catching up with each other.

I think mom would have been proud of my desserts today.

Plus, Bob was thrilled to come home from work to desserts…

Dessert Plate…

Photo Aug 05, 12 28 42 AM DESSERT PLATE

(Recipes at the end of the post).

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well, 

Diane

If you enjoy the posts, please ask your family and friends to become members of DishingwithDiane.

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, I LOVE hearing from you.

********************

Recipes…

Strawberry Crisp

Ingredients

  • 6 cups about 2 quarts sliced fresh strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 teaspoons almond extract
  • ¾ cup oats
  • ¼ cup oat flour oats that have been ground into a fine flour, or can substitute with whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped almonds
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, toss together strawberries cornstarch, and almond extract until completely combined.** The cornstarch should dissolve in the small amount of liquid so that you don’t see a white powder and the berries are all completely coated.
  3. Transfer berry mixture to the prepared baking dish.
  4. In a separate small bowl, stir together oats, oat flour, almonds, and salt. Add melted butter and maple syrup, stir until completely combined. I like to use my fingers to really mix together the ingredients into the crumble topping.
  5. Spread oat crumble in an even layer over the top of the berries.
  6. Bake at 350F for 50-60 minutes, or until golden brown.

  7. Allow crisp to cool before serving.
  8. If you refrigerate the crisp, it will firm up even more and it will be easy to slice into squares.

Recipe Notes

  • This keeps well in the refrigerator for at least 1 week!
  • **NOTE: The sweetness of the dessert will depend on the sweetness of the berries that you’re using, since that’s the main ingredient.
  • If you don’t have really sweet, fresh, local fruit, just add some sweetener of choice before baking. You can use maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, Splenda, stevia, anything that you prefer!

**************************

Strawberry Loaf

courtesy of Betty Crocker

REMEMBER, RECIPE WAS ORIGINALLY FOR BLUEBERRIES, SO I KEPT BLUEBERRY INSTRUCTIONS  IN ITALICS IF YOU WANT TO MAKE THE ORIGINAL RECIPE.

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, softened
cup granulated sugar
eggs
teaspoons vanilla
cup sour cream or plain yogurt
Grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
cups all-purpose flour
teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
cup fresh blueberriesI substituted strawberries
Steps

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 9×5-inch loaf pan with shortening or cooking spray.

In medium bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in eggs, vanilla, sour cream, lemon peel and juice.

Stir in flour, baking soda and baking powder.

Fold in 3/4 cup of the blueberries. – I substitute strawberries.

Spoon batter into pan.

Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup blueberries – I substituted strawberries on top.

Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely.

Glaze
cup powdered sugar
teaspoons whipping cream or milk
teaspoon lemon extract( you can also substitute vanilla extract).
In small bowl, mix glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle glaze over loaf. Let stand until set before slicing.

*************************************

Homemade Lemonade

  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 cups cold water
  1. In a gallon pitcher combine 1 cup lemon juice, 1 cup sugar, and 6 cups cold water. Stir.
  2. Adjust water to taste.
  3. Chill and serve over ice

**********************************

Photo Aug 04, 11 06 07 PM EXTRA COOKIES

Memories of Grandma’s Polenta Nights…

Click on the photo to enlarge and then the back arrow to return to original size.

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all well. 

I have been away from posting for quite a while and missed all of you. I was away because I had a lot of things going on at once. I had a wonderful few weeks with my son who was visiting during his vacation. We had a great time and we were out and about every day and I had no time to post.

 

For my husband and I, having our son home makes our home complete.

Also during my absence, I celebrated a milestone birthday and turned 60-years old!

Photo Apr 11, 11 47 20 AM (1) 60 Balloons @2

I don’t know where the years have gone and it seems the older I get, the quicker the years pass but I am very happy to celebrate this milestone birthday. My son was still home and having him celebrate my birthday with me was the best gift I could have ever received. 

I apologize to those who wrote and wanted a new Easter tablescape. I promise you, you will have one next year. And I want to thank those who sent e-mails to see if I was okay when I hadn’t posted. I was overwhelmed by your thoughtfulness.

Now for today’s post …

****************************************

The name of this post is “Memories of Grandma’s Polenta Nights”.

 Some of you who have been members since DishingwithDiane began three years ago will remember the story I told about my grandmother and eating polenta with mushroom sauce off of her special pastry board. When Grandma called for “polenta night”, you dropped everything and headed over to her house. No questions asked and there were no excuses not to show up. It was as sacred as going to church, you couldn’t miss it.

(This photo is an idea of how the polenta was served on the board at grandma’s house minus the bowls, and Grandma made a lot more polenta.)

Photo Apr 21, 8 32 16 PM -INTRO 1- POLENTA AND BREAD -BOARD

Not too long ago, I went to lunch with some of my friends and we were talking about family traditions and I mentioned eating polenta off the board at Grandma’s house. Some of my friends remembered the earlier post and some never heard the story.

(Here is a recap of my original story for my new members.) 

**************************************************

For those of you who are not familiar, Polenta is cornmeal. Sort of like “Italian grits”. The original polenta was cooked stove top, low and SLOW.  And I mean slow. I remember my grandmother and Mom mixing the polenta in simmering water and salt for close to 45 minutes, then adding grated cheese and butter once it became thick and creamy. 

Grandma even had a special spoon to turn the polenta and when I see this spoon in Italian specialty shops, it always makes me smile. 

(A polenta spoon can be purchased online at Fante’s Italian Market if interested. Their website is always fun to browse). 

14227 polenta spoon fantes italian market

Thank God polenta now comes in an instant version that you only need to stir for less than 5 minutes, so I never bought myself the polenta spoon.

I find the best polenta to be “de la Estancia” brand.

Organic and “not gritty” at all, very creamy.

(I purchased this bag at Whole Foods but you can also order it online on Amazon.com)

Photo Apr 21, 2 48 33 PM (1) POLENTA BAG

******************

As I said before, when Grandma called and said it was “polenta night”, everyone went over. Her wooden polenta board made a grand appearance at the table. It was huge and spanned the entire table. She had it stored all wrapped up in a clean bed sheet in her hallway closet. And after every use it was washed and oiled before putting it away for the next polenta night.

We all sat around the board at the dining room table and Grandma would spread the hot polenta out of her saucepan onto the board and top it with her famous mushroom sauce (very thick, almost like a Bolognese) and grated cheese. Everyone picked their spot and started to eat and talk and talk and talk. 

As with any Italian family there was more than one conversation going on at a time- we got used to jumping in and out of conversations. 

Back to the polenta…

Polenta starts to get hard around the edges at room temperature and that was always the time that my cousins and I wanted to become creative and make a design in the polenta.

I can’t tell you how many times we ate the polenta with the goal of making it look like the boot of Italy – never happened.

If Grandma had company for dinner outside the immediate family, she served the polenta in bowls with her sauce. Not nearly as much fun.

So after strolling down memory lane at the diner with my friends, I decided to make them polenta on the board so they could experience it first hand. Of course, I will set a place setting with bowls in case eating off the board is not what they had in mind.

I am serving the polenta with a favorite salad of mine, that both my grandmother and mother made all the time. It is so simple, delicious and refreshing – Orange and Fennel Salad. 

Salad was always served in my house after the main meal, so I will be following that tradition with this luncheon as well.

My grandmother served fennel at the end of every meal (especially holidays) to aid with digestion, because God forbid you had heartburn or felt bloated after one of her meals, she would be insulted.

The salad is simple and consists of orange slices or segments, salt, pepper, sliced fennel and olive oil. Done… 

I add some fennel fronds and orange zest before serving for garnish. (olives & sliced red onion are optional).

Photo Apr 21, 7 24 00 PM FENNEL SALAD

I don’t really have a specific recipe for this salad since I just toss it together, so I am printing the recipe at the end of the post from the website Memorie di Angelina with their link if you want to see step by step instructions with photos.

Every Italian meal has bread and I will serve this meal with homemade olive bread. Yes, I said homemade. We all know, I am not the baker but I am going to give this a try. I have to use the no knead bread recipe because homemade dough and I are not best friends – I added kalamata olives.

(Link to Bob’s Red Mill Bread Recipes will be posted at the end of this post.)

Photo Apr 21, 7 08 17 PM OLIVE LOAF

Photo Apr 21, 8 04 39 PM SLICED BREAD

Usually I tell my guests what I am serving for a lunch in case there are food allergy concerns but this is a “surprise lunch” and I have other lunch options on stand by. I made my version of polenta with Grandma’s mushroom sauce, but I added hot sausage for a little kick. 

Photo Apr 21, 8 31 49 PM FOOD CLOSE UP

 While purchasing all the ingredients for this luncheon, I was basking in the memories the polenta brought back to me. The days when all my family was still with us and we were laughing and eating. 

We were always eating!

Polenta, which was once thought of as a peasant meal, has now become quite popular in Italian restaurants.

I hope you try this recipe (with the instant polenta) and enjoy.

If you have any leftover polenta from the saucepan, spread it out onto parchment paper in a jelly roll pan as flat as possible. Once the polenta has hardened, cut rounds out of the polenta (with a wine glass or cookie cutter) and save them wrapped in wax paper in a container in the refrigerator. Perfect for any leftover sauce.

You can refrigerate for up to 5 days or store frozen for up to 3 months.

Another great tip from my Mom…

Fry the polenta slices the next morning in a 1/2 cup of olive oil in a large skillet on both sides until golden. Drain on paper towels.

Add a fried egg and you now have a polenta breakfast.

*****************************************************************

Since my last post about polenta three years ago, I have purchased my very own polenta board. (How I wish I had my grandmothers. I don’t know what happened to that.) and I have polenta night on occasion and think of Grandma. 

My polenta board is actually made to serve pizza but I have adapted it for polenta and it is also great to add some extra height to a buffet table.

Photo Apr 21, 8 32 06 PM -INTRO FULL TABLE

If you decide to have a polenta dinner party with friends, make different sauces in addition to the mushroom sauce. You could have marinara or pesto sauce if your guests want a lighter sauce. The mushroom / sausage sauce is a bit heavy.

So let’s start a tablescape…

I want this tablescape to feel as if I was eating at a farmhouse in the hills of Tuscany.  I am sure that it would be just a picnic table I would be eating on but I decided to start with one of my favorite tablecloths. 

I am using a cream tablecloth with an olive branch design to transport us back to Italy.

I love anything with this design and I think that is one of the main reasons my kitchen has a Mediterranean theme.

(This tablecloth is polyester which is one material I usually stay away from, but works perfectly for this meal because it is stain resistant. Between the tomato sauce and not eating off a plate, I didn’t want to take the chance and ruin the tablecloth because of a spill. It has a non-stick coating and liquid spills bead up as well.)

Photo Apr 21, 7 00 21 PM TABLECOTH

The napkins are olive green and I am using wooden napkin rings with a sprig of fresh rosemary for an earthy touch.

Photo Apr 21, 6 58 13 PM NAPKIN AND RING

Here is something new for me, NO placemats or chargers for this rustic table.

Just a salad dish and a pasta bowl. Pasta bowl for the polenta if you’re not ready to eat off the board and a salad dish to enjoy my salad at the end of the meal. I wanted to make this meal exactly as Grandma did. 

I do have the perfect dishes for this tablescape…It is very rare for me to purchase a square plate, but I saw these dishes and knew they would be a perfect addition to my Mediterranean kitchen. 

The dishes are cream porcelain with a pattern of green and black olives. The pattern is part of the “Olive Branch” Dinnerware Collection and is manufactured by Lorren Home Trends. As an added bonus, the dishes are both microwave & dishwasher safe.

Photo Apr 21, 7 09 02 PM DISHES

My only complaint with the set, is that the coffee cups are the size of demitasse cups and nothing you could use for morning coffee.

Photo Apr 21, 7 11 07 PM DISH SET

Flatware will be brown for that earthy feel… 

Photo Apr 21, 6 58 41 PM FLATWARE

and my glassware will be clear stemless wine glasses.

Photo Apr 21, 6 59 19 PM GLASSWARE

And now for the star of the show…the polenta board. It also doubles as my centerpiece.

Photo Apr 21, 6 55 27 PM POLENTA BOARD

 I just love this board. I found it while getting in some retail therapy and searching Google for a polenta board. 

(I do my best shopping online late at night).

Before I used it, I washed it with a damp cloth and then oiled it with food grade mineral oil, that you can purchase in Bed, Bath & Beyond.

For my table accents, I am borrowing everyday items from my kitchen. Starting with olive branch salt and pepper shakers. As you all know by now, I LOVE to use salt & pepper shakers to carry a theme. It is an easy inexpensive accent that adds so much to the table.

 The salt and pepper shakers are by Bonita Home and match the dinnerware in cream ceramic with the olive branch design.

Photo Apr 21, 7 57 25 SALT AND PEPPER SHAKERS

Another accent is an 8 inch artificial olive tree wrapped in burlap purchased at Ballard Design that I keep on my kitchen window sill. It adds so much to my kitchen and is a cute accent for this tablescape. (If you’re are not familiar with Ballard Design, it is a European inspired home furnishing store. There are a few retail stores but most items can be purchased on their website.)

Photo Apr 21, 6 59 38 PM OLIVE TREE

Adding to the olive branch theme is a water pitcher that I bought in Sur La Table a few years back. Not the same manufacturer but it blends in perfectly.

You always have to shop your house first.

Photo Apr 21, 7 01 49 PM PITCHER

Some matching dish towels from the kitchen for any spills and now I am done.

Photo Apr 21, 6 56 05 PM TOWELS

Well almost... The polenta board tablescape may be complete but not the polenta board lunch.

In addition to the salad and homemade crusty olive bread, there is always room for dessert and I chose to make another Italian favorite- Olive Oil Orange Cake. I remember my parents eating this cake for breakfast with coffee.

It is close to a sponge cake and doesn’t have a strong taste of olive oil at all. It has the hint of orange flavor and Bob tells me that it tastes like the filling of sfogliatelle pastry.

Photo Apr 21, 7 06 54 PM OLIVE CAKE

Photo Apr 21, 8 07 03 PM CAKE SLICE

I don’t have my grandmother’s original recipe, so I adapted this cake recipe with a few tweaks from the recipe on the website Italian Food Forever. Deborah Mele is one of my favorite chefs and I have been following her for years. I suggest you visit her website, ItalianFoodForever. (The link to this site is posted with the recipe.)

All my friends were good sports and ate off the board (made clean up a lot easier) and some are going to try this dish with their families. It is a lot of fun. Between the salad, bread, polenta and cake, this was the perfect meal.

Table Setting

(I set the table just in case bowls were preferred).

Photo Apr 21, 7 58 55 PM TABLE SETTING

(Don’t forget the recipes at the end of the post)!

Enjoy!!

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

If you enjoy the posts, please spread the word and ask your family and friends to become a member of DishingwithDiane.com by entering their e-mail in the box in the right hand column of the home page or join via Facebook.

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post again.

Also, continue to send me your comments, I LOVE hearing from you.

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Recipes 

Polenta with Mushroom and Sausage Sauce

Ingredients:

1 (16 oz.) box or bag of instant polenta 

1- 1/2 lbs. mixed mushrooms (white button, baby bellas, shiitake and oyste are a good choice)- diced

4 sausage links- I usually use 2 hot and 2 sweet- casings removed

1/2 cup of olive oil

1 large onion- chopped

2 cloves of garlic-minced

salt and pepper to taste

dash of red pepper flakes

1 cup white wine 

1 cup beef broth or vegetable broth

2 tbsp. fresh parsley – minced

2 tsp. corn starch OR 1/2 cup heavy cream … (I use the heavy cream method)

8 oz. unsalted tomato sauce

5 oz. unsalted butter – divided

1 cup grated cheese

1/2 tsp. ground fennel (optional)

Directions:

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic and a pinch of salt and sauté for 5 minutes.

Add the sausage meat and brown.

Add another pinch of salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and ground fennel and mix well with the onion / sausage mixture. (Adjust spices to your liking).

Add the mushrooms and sauté until soft with a golden-brown color. 

Add the wine and scrape up all the brown bits in the pan from the sausage.

Cook until wine has evaporated.

Add the 8 oz. can of unsalted tomato sauce and 2 tbsp. fresh minced parsley. 

Add the beef or vegetable broth –reserving 1/4 cup of broth if you are using corn starch.)

Stir the 1/4 cup broth with the 2 tsp. cornstarch until dissolved. Add the cornstarch and broth mixture to the skillet to thicken the sauce. OR * 1/2 cup heavy cream can be substituted for the cornstarch and broth mixture.

Lower the heat to simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes until the sauce is thickened to your liking. Taste for seasoning.

While the sauce is simmering, prepare your polenta according to package directions. 

When the polenta is done add 3 tbsp. butter and 1 cup (or more) grated cheese. Mix well and then take off the heat.

Once the sauce is off the heat, add 2 more tbsp. butter and mix well.

Ladle the polenta into shallow bowls if you are not going to be using a polenta board and top with the sauce. Serve with additional cheese, if desired.

************************************

Fennel and Orange Salad

Recipe courtesy of http://memoriediangelina.com

Ingredients

  • 3-4 fennel bulbs, preferably not too large
  • 4 or 5 oranges
  • Best quality, extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • A few black olives for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Prep the fennel: Trim the fennel bulbs top and bottom. If you’re working with a larger, older fennel, particularly one that is spotted like this one, remove the outer layer. Now cut the bulb into quarters, then slice each quarter very thinly from top to bottom, making sure that each slice has a bit of the base, which will hold the slice together.
  2. Prep the oranges: Trim them top and bottom, then take a paring knife and cut from top to bottom along the sides, between the pith (the bitter white stuff just under the peel) and the flesh. Once the orange is peeled, trim off as much of any remaining pith as you can, then slice the orange horizontally into thin, rounds.
  3. Compose the salad: Arrange the fennel and orange slices decoratively on a serving plate (or, even better, on individual plates if you have the time). Season with salt and, if you like, freshly ground pepper. Garnish with the black olives if using and drizzle everything very generously with the olive oil. And for an elegant final touch, if you like, top with bits of fennel frond.

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No-Knead Artisan Olive Bread

Recipe Courtesy of https://www.bobsredmill.com/recipes/

 

Ingredients:

Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and yeast. Add water and stir until a shaggy dough forms. Add in chopped olives and gently mix in with your hands just enough to incorporate them . Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let dough rise at room temperature for 10 hours (or overnight).
  2. When you’re ready to bake, preheat oven to 450ºF. Place a 4 qt. Dutch oven into the preheated oven, without lid, for 30 minutes.
  3. While Dutch oven heats, turn risen dough onto a well-floured surface and form into a ball with floured hands, dust loaf lightly with flour. Cover dough loosely with plastic and let rest for 30 minutes. Then, with floured hands, carefully place loaf in preheated dutch oven.
  4. With a very sharp knife, slit the top of the loaf in several places.
  5. Cover Dutch oven with its lid and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake for 12 minutes more.
  6. Remove loaf from Dutch oven and cool completely before slicing.

****************************************************

Olive Oil Orange Cake 

This delicious recipe brought to you by Italian Food Forever 
http://www.italianfoodforever.com/2013/07/olive-oil-orange-cake/

ingredients:

  • 2 Small Seedless Oranges
  • 1/3 Cup Olive Oil (Not Extra Virgin!)
  • 2 Cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • Dash of Salt
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 1 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar

To Garnish:

  • Powdered Sugar

directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and lightly grease a 9 inch spring-form pan.
  2. Cut off a small slice of the thicker top and bottom parts of each orange, discard these pieces, and then cut the rest of the oranges (flesh and peel) into chunks.
  3. Place them in a food processor and puree until blended but with some texture left.
  4. Add the oil to the oranges and pulse until blended.
  5. Mix together the flour, baking powder and soda and salt in a large bowl.
  6. In a separate bowl beat the eggs until they are light and fluffy and then slowly add in the sugar.
  7. Begin to add the egg mixture in three parts alternating with the orange mixture just stirring until combined. (Be careful not to over mix which will deflate the eggs and create a dense cake.)
  8. Pour the cake batter into your prepared pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or just until a cake tester comes out clean.
  9. Cool before slicing.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Good-bye Summer 2017

Photo Sep 20, 7 16 17 PM INTRO

(Click PHOTO to enlarge and then back arrow to return to original size).

Hi Everyone, 

I know many of you consider Labor Day as the last day of summer, but not me. I want to hold on to this season to the very end and strictly go by the calendar.

This year Autumn starts on Friday, September 22, 2017, so I am holding on.

The nights have been getting cooler with a subtle reminder that my favorite season is saying good-bye; so to pay tribute to summer, I decided to post one more summer tablescape.

As you all know by now, I just love the beach and it is a big part of the summer season for me. The sand, sound of the waves and the peaceful feeling the beach brings. Maybe because I live on an island but the beach is definitely my happy place.

I was trying to think of a theme for this end of summer tablescape, and then I read a newspaper article that some of the local waterfront restaurants here on the island with private beaches, are planting palm trees to enhance the tropical island atmosphere of their restaurants. 

Well, I just found my theme to say good-bye to summer- palm trees. And I have the perfect set of dishes for this theme.

***********

So lets get started…

The tablecloth…. I am using a tan, sage green, cocoa brown and beige tablecloth embossed with palm trees. I like the muted colors because I have candlesticks that blend perfectly with this tablecloth.

Photo Sep 18, 3 48 10 PM TABLECLOTH

I used outdoor placemats that I bought for the patio table that are made out of PVC covered jute netting. You have probably seen similar placemats, they look like rubber. I bought the placemat in the shape of a palm tree frond.  

(FYI- the material used for this placemat is top rack dishwasher safe.)

Photo Sep 19, 11 25 04 AM PLACEMAT

Along with the frond placemat, I am using my a brown rattan chargers once again. I get the most use out of these chargers.

Photo Sep 18, 3 19 40 PM - RATTAN CHARGER WITH FRAME

The set of “palm tree” dishes was a birthday gift from a friend a few years back and I only had the opportunity to use them once last summer. So I decided to use them for this post and I hope my friend enjoys seeing her gift on the blog.

The dinner plates and salad plates have the same design. A beige background bordered in sage green and a cocoa brown around the rim with two palm trees in the center, also in sage green and cocoa brown.

Photo Sep 19, 3 50 43 PM SALAD AND DINNER

The complete set comes with dinner plates, salad plates, bowls and mugs.

Photo Sep 19, 2 48 36 PM COMPLETE SET

I think the dishes match the tablecloth perfectly.

The napkins are 20″ x 20″ over sized cotton napkins with a tropical leaf pattern along with the cutest gold palm tree napkin rings that I picked up from a great store in Florida that specializes in coastal home accents.

Photo Sep 18, 5 18 30 PM - BANANA LEAF NAPKIN

The glassware are acrylic highball glasses featuring sage green and cocoa brown palm trees with a cocoa brown rim on the top of the glass and a cross hatch pattern on the bottom of the glass.

Photo Sep 18, 2 55 23 PM - PALM TREE GLASS

 The flatware is bamboo. I love using this set for my summer tablescapes.

Photo Sep 18, 2 56 46 PM BAMBOO CUTLERY - 1

As I mentioned before, I have the perfect candlesticks for this tablescape. They are  polyresin palm trees in shades of olive green and brown along with off white pillar candles.

Photo Sep 19, 11 49 06 AM CANDLESTICKS

I told Bob that I was planning on a “palm tree” tablescape and my honey went out and bought me a tabletop palm tree. It’s perfect and I love it; and it is the new centerpiece.

Photo Sep 19, 2 45 48 PM PALM

Complete centerpiece with candlesticks.

Photo Sep 19, 2 44 51 PM CENTERPIECE

My addiction and love for salt and pepper shakers continues and I found the cutest set of palm tree salt & pepper shakers on Amazon that look like the palm trees on the dishes.

Photo Sep 18, 3 48 22 PM PALM TREE SALT AND PEPPER

I added an additional table accent, imitation succulents wrapped in burlap. I am sure with my NOT so green thumb, I could kill a real succulent in record breaking time so I am sticking to artificial.

Photo Sep 19, 11 48 09 AM SUCCULENT 2

I thought an Acacia wooden bowl filled with tropical fruits such as pineapples, mangoes, kiwi, bananas, and starfruit; would be a nice touch for the table as well. 

Photo Sep 18, 3 47 52 PM FRUITBOWL 2

 So to say good-bye to summer, I just had to plan a meal to go along with the tropical feel as a send off to my favorite season, so I chose sticky pineapple chicken served in a pineapple boat with coconut rice and a tropical fruit salad.

Photo Sep 18, 8 41 53 PM PINEAPPLE CHICKEN

My dessert choice was Ambrosia & cinnamon sugar sand dollar cookies.

Photo Sep 20, 5 51 17 PM AMBROSIA

(All recipes at the end of the post)

Well, unfortunately for me, the time has finally come to say good-bye to Summer. See you in 273 days when Summer starts again on June 21, 2018. I am starting to count down already.

Wouldn’t you know, the rest of this week we are supposed to have weather like a hot Summer day. Temperature in the 80’s. 

Thank you Summer for one last hurrah! Now I feel a little better.

Although, I still think I need some pumpkin ice cream and an apple cider donut right about now to ease my pain for Fall arriving tomorrow…

See you in the Fall…

I hope you try some of the recipes on today’s blog and enjoy.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Photo Sep 20, 7 15 13 PM GOOD-BYE BUFFET

Place Setting

Photo Sep 20, 7 10 30 PM PLACE SETTING

Table Details

Palm tree tablecloth from Christmas Tree Shops

Tropical leaf placemats from Bed, Bath and Beyond

Brown rattan chargers from Sur La Table

Palm tree dishes from a friend as a birthday gift

Tropical leaf napkins from Amazon

Gold palm tree napkin rings from Wilford and Lee

Palm tree acrylic glasses from Homegoods

Bamboo flatware from Amazon

 Palm tree candlesticks from Amazon

Tabletop palm tree from my honey

Candles from Michael’s Arts & Crafts

Acacia wooden fruit bowl from Homegoods

Palm tree salt & pepper shakers from Amazon

 Succulents in burlap from Amazon

**************************************************

RECIPES

Photo Sep 18, 8 41 59 PM CLOSE UP CHICKEN

Sticky Pineapple Chicken

 (justataste.com)

Ingredients:

 1/2 cup pineapple juice

 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce

 1/3 cup low sodium chicken stock

 1/3 cup hoisin sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 Tablespoon minced fresh garlic

 2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 Tablespoon olive oil

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1-inch cubes

1 cup diced pineapple

 1/2 cup roasted, salted cashews (optional)

Rice for serving

Instructions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the pineapple juice, soy sauce, chicken stock, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, garlic and cornstarch.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the mixture has reduced to about 1 cup and is the consistency of thick syrup. Set the sauce aside.
  3. Add the olive oil to a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and season it with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken, stirring, until it is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain off any liquids then add the sauce to the pan and stir until combined.
  4. Add the pineapple and cashews and cook, stirring, for an additional 1 minute.
  5. Serve the chicken atop a bed of rice.

*****************************************

Coconut Rice

 (Allrecipes.com)

Ingredients:

  • 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1- 1/4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1- 1/2 cups uncooked jasmine rice

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, combine coconut milk, water, sugar, and salt. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in rice. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 18 to 20 minutes, until rice is tender.

**************************************

Photo Sep 20, 6 35 30 PM AMBROSIA CLOSE UP

 Ambrosia

(thecountrycook.net)

Ingredients:
  • 1 8 oz tub of whipped topping thawed
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1- 20 oz can pineapple tidbits drained well
  • 1- 15 oz can mandarin orange segments drained well
  • 1 cup red or green seedless grapes sliced in half
  • 1- 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1- 1/2 cups mini marshmallows – (see note)
  • 1- 10 oz jar of maraschino cherry halves drained very well
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Instructions:
  1. In a medium bowl, combine whipped topping and sour cream.
  2. Add in coconut flakes and marshmallows.
  3. Then gently fold in pineapple, mandarin oranges, grapes and maraschino cherries and nuts (if using).
  4. Once combined, put some plastic wrap on it or put it in a bowl with a lid and refrigerate for about an hour before serving.

COOKS NOTE: You can make this dessert look more festive if you can find the multi-colored mini marshmallows.

 

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Photo Sep 20, 5 48 24 PM SAND DOLLAR COOKIES

Cinnamon Sugar Sand Dollar Cookies

(sally’s baking addiction)

yield: 2 DOZEN COOKIES

Ingredients:

Cookies:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Topping:

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the softened butter for about 1 minute on medium speed. Get it nice and smooth, then add the sugar on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Mix in egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides as needed. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cream of tartar. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 different parts. The dough is quite thick and you may have to stir the rest by hand.
  3. Scoop a large section of dough (about 1 Tablespoon of dough each) and roll into balls. Make sure the balls are taller, rather than wide.
  4. Make the topping:   Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Roll each dough ball into the cinnamon sugar. Press 5 sliced almonds onto the tops of each dough ball, as pictured above. Chill the balls of dough for at least 2 hours and up to 48 hours in the refrigerator. This step will prevent spreading in the oven.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Arrange cookies 3 inches apart on baking sheets.
  6. Bake chilled cookie dough for 10 minutes. The cookies will appear undone and very soft. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 3 minutes and move to wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Cookies stay soft & fresh for up to 1 week at room temperature. Cookies freeze well. Cookies may be rolled into balls and frozen up to 3 months to bake at a later date. Recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.

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palm-trees-beach- thetreecenter - blog

photo courtesy of thetreecenter.com

 

Cooking with Herbs …

(Click PHOTO to enlarge and then back arrow to return to original size).

Photo Jun 16, 4 43 04 PM.jpg INTRO

Hi everyone,

We had a mini heatwave here in the Northeast the past few days. The temperature went from very cool weather to being in the 90’s in a matter of days.

Since the weather has been so unpredictable, I have had a late start planting my garden.

We finally bought our plants and they are all in the ground.

Now we wait for the first bounty.

I feel like my Dad when I plant a garden. He followed in the footsteps of his family and planted a vegetable garden every year. Back in Brooklyn, all the neighbors would share whatever vegetables they grew. 

Sharing your garden bounty is always a nice part of summer. 

Bob and I usually plant tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers and some herbs.

This year I am increasing my herb plantings.

I don’t know about you but it seems I am constantly buying herbs in the grocery store. I buy basil and within a day it turns brown. My parsley turns yellow almost immediately.

So I have decided that this year, is the year of the herb garden. I have added thyme, sage, dill, rosemary and tarragon to the usual parsley and basil.

While I was planting the herbs, I thought it would be great to make a quiche using a combination of herbs for a light brunch with a side salad. So I did some research for a new recipe and I found one for a “Crustless Herb Quiche”. I want to share this recipe with you today. Very fast and very easy.

Photo Jun 16, 9 08 44 PM.jpg HERB QUICHE

Along with the quiche I made a Baby Spinach Salad. 

My take on an old classic.

The classic spinach salad minus the bacon, fresh mushrooms and croutons.

The right salad dressing means everything to enhance the flavor of a salad and I have had the good fortune to meet a wonderful fellow foodie named ” Cucina Teresa” on one of my Facebook food groups who makes the perfect salad dressing.

Spinach salad calls for balsamic dressing and Cucina Teresa makes the best creamy balsamic salad dressing I have ever tasted. (which I highly recommend for this spinach salad recipe.) I just can’t say enough about it. I know I sound like a walking advertisement, but it’s that good.

CUCINA TERESA.jpg for blog

I have included her ordering information after the “Recipe” section at the end of this post, in case you are interested in trying her dressing. You will not be disappointed. 

Photo Jun 17, 12 17 01 AM.jpg SPINACH SALAD

Another salad for this brunch is one my mother made all the time with cucumbers from her garden. 

Cucumbers with Sour Cream and Dill.

Photo Jun 17, 12 38 51 AM (1).jpg CUCUMBER SALAD

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Brunch is served ...

Photo Jun 17, 12 45 46 AM.jpg COMBO BRUNCH

(Recipes at the end of the post.)

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What better way to enjoy herb inspired food than on “herb” themed dishes. I have just the right set.

 The dishes I am using for brunch are made by Certified International, designed by Susan Winget. I just love her work.

It is an earthenware dish with a cream background with designs of herbs, butterflies and bees in shades of blue, lilac, green and yellow with a brown rim. The name of the featured herb is on each plate.

I only bought the salad plates and mugs along with a few serving trays because I intended to only use this set on the patio, just for dessert and coffee/tea after dinner on summer nights.

Photo Jun 16, 11 08 52 PM.jpg DISHES

 The large serving tray is 14 X 14 and highlights lavender and chamomile alongside a birdcage and butterfly. The tray is cream and lilac with various shades of green and a brown rim.

Photo Jun 16, 4 27 28 LARGE PLATTER

The small serving tray is  11 x 5 and is cream and green with a brown rim. The word “herbs” is spelled out on the tray with a design in lilac, blue and green that features not only herbs and a butterfly, but a gardening tool as well.

Photo Jun 16, 4 19 34 PM.jpg SMALL TRAY

The set comes with the most adorable tea pot, creamer and sugar bowl that caught my eye first. Both pieces have a cute butterfly attached to the lids.

The tea pot is a watering can with accents of lime green with a design of chamomile flowers (one of my favorite teas) and a butterfly on the lid.

Photo Jun 16, 4 24 00 PM.jpg TEA POT

The sugar bowl is a flower pot with accents of lime green with a floral and butterfly design, a butterfly on the lid and the message on the creamer says, “Plant your wishes”. 

Photo Jun 16, 4 28 29 PM (1).jpg CREAMER

The creamer is also a watering can, with accents of lime green and a similar floral and butterfly design and the message on the creamer says, ” Hope for rain”. 

Photo Jun 16, 4 28 50 PM.jpg CREAMER

I am using the same burlap tablecloth that I used for Easter. I just love this tablecloth and find it is the perfect backdrop for a lot of my dish collections that feature garden themes. 

Photo Jun 16, 4 39 31 PM (1).jpg TABLECLOTH

You will be very surprised, but I am not using a cloth napkin. For this tablescape I am using a paper guest/dinner napkin and therefore no napkin rings. I found this napkin in a gift shop in Stony Brook, NY and it turns out that the napkin is also by Susan Winget. Somehow, I am drawn to her work everywhere I go.

Susan’s work reminds me of two other designers that I admire, Susan Branch and Marjolein Bastin.

The napkin is cream with lovely branches of lavender and a few bees. Perfect for the dishes. Thinking about it now, I should have bought more than one package.

Photo Jun 16, 11 28 39 PM.jpg NAPKIN

No placemats either for this tablescape, just my brown rattan chargers. Another natural earthy addition to go along with the theme. I suggest if you buy only one set of chargers, purchase brown rattan. They are very versatile.

Photo Jun 17, 12 18 00 AM (1).jpg CHARGER

I have a new flatware purchase that I bought for a different dish collection but thought that it would be perfect on this table. The flatware has wooden handles in the same shade of brown as the plate rim and they coordinate perfectly with the chargers.

Photo Jun 16, 4 40 36 PM (1)

No glassware, I am just using the matching mugs from the set. The mugs are over-sized and have a mint green handle and the same designs as the salad plates.

Photo Jun 16, 4 25 31 PM.jpg MUGS

My centerpiece is all about gardening and I am using a wooden cream picket fence plant holder that was given to me back in the day when my son was still in grade school. The plant holder has hand painted designs of watering cans, birdhouses and flowers.

This planter is over 20 years old.

Photo Jun 16, 11 28 07 PM.jpg PLANTER B

Close up of the hand painted designs.

Photo Jun 16, 4 22 49 PM.jpg CLOSE UP OF FENCE - USE

I am filling the plant holder with an artificial Lavender plant (you know how I am with live plants and yes, after a good two years of tender loving care, I killed the bamboo. A story for another time).

Anyway, this lavender plant reminded me of the design on the napkins and matches the colors on the plate; and for $ 9.99 in Homegoods it was a great bargain.

I am adding a few garden tools, garden gloves and some packets of seeds to complete the centerpiece.

I just love the way the centerpiece turned out so I am leaving it on an end table in the living room for the entire summer (it was put together in five minutes).

Photo Jun 16, 4 23 20 PM.jpg CENTERPIECE

For a little fun and a pop of color, I have added a packet of seeds to each place setting for decoration that can be used as a favor.

Photo Jun 16, 4 40 36 PM.jpg FAVOR

Favors do not have to be expensive. Just a little token as a reminder for your guests of the party, luncheon, dinner or gathering is enough.

This tablescape and centerpiece, reminds me of the visits Bob and I have made to a Lavender Farm in East Marion, NY called “Lavender by the Bay”.

If you are ever on Long Island, NY and want to take a drive and see a gorgeous field of lavender, that is the place to go.  

Lavender by the Bay

DSC_0708- LAVENDER FARM FOR BLOG II

DSC_0700- LAVENDER FOR BLOG

Together will the dried lavender, they also sell lavender products from sachets to lotions, including lavender honey (one of my favorites).

2016-08-31 12.56.46.jpg LAVENDER - STORE

I should have purchased this sachet, it would have looked adorable on the table. It blends right in with the dishes. Next time…

DSC_0685.jpg LAVENDER SACHET

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Photo Jun 16, 4 43 21 PM (1).jpg BUFFET

I hope this tablescape gave you some inspiration to try a new recipe for brunch, take a drive to a lavender farm or plant an herb garden of your own.

Good luck to anyone with a garden this year and I will keep you posted on the success of my garden. 

Don’t forget the recipes at the end of the post.

*********************

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well.

Diane

Place Setting

Photo Jun 16, 11 06 55 PM.jpg - PLACE SETTING

Table Details

Salad plates and mugs from Certified International – pattern, Herb Garden

Tea pot from Certified International – pattern, Herb Garden

Creamer and Sugar bowl from Certified International – pattern, Herb Garden

Serving platter and trays from Certified International – pattern, Herb Garden

Burlap tablecloth from Amazon

Paper Napkins from Tapestry Designs

Brown rattan chargers from Sur La Table

Brown flatware from Amazon

Artificial Lavender plant from Homegoods 

Picket Fence plant holder was a gift

Seed packets, gardening gloves and gardening tools from Ace

Recipes

Crustless Herb Quiche 

from Chef Mary-Frances Heck of Fitness magazine

  • Makes: 4 servings
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Carb Grams Per Serving: 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 strips bacon, chopped
  • 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 ounces goat cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat, 3 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 15 minutes. Stir in herbs and remove from heat.

Spray a 9-inch glass pie dish with cooking spray. Arrange onion-herb mixture in dish. Whisk together eggs and milk; season with salt and pepper. Pour into dish and dot with goat cheese. Bake until set and golden brown, about 30 minutes.

*************************************

Diane’s Baby Spinach Salad

I use a creamy balsamic vinaigrette for this salad.

Ingredients:

All ingredients can be adjusted to your liking.

  • ½ cup of dry mini farfalle (bowtie) pasta. (I use Barilla brand)
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves, washed and patted dry
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1/3 cup walnut pieces (or any nut of your choice)
  • ½- 1 cup mozzarella “pearls” (or goat cheese or feta)
  • ½ an English cucumber, sliced
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup red onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup scallions
  • 1 hard- boiled egg, sliced
  • fresh basil

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl toss together pasta, spinach, strawberries, mandarin oranges, walnuts, mozzarella pearls, cucumbers, red onions, scallions, sliced egg and tomatoes. Mix well.
  3. Just before serving pour dressing over salad, toss, add some fresh basil and serve.

**************************************************

Cucumber Salad with Sour Cream and Dill Dressing

By Martha Stewart

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon (from 1 lemon)
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 4-6 Kirby cucumbers (about 1 lb.), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise

Directions:

  • In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, lemon juice and dill
  • Season with salt and pepper, and whisk well to combine
  • Add cucumbers, and toss to coat. Garnish with more dill, if desired.
  • Serve, or refrigerate, covered, up to 4 hours

*******************************

The Cucina Teresa website is under construction at the moment but you can inbox her facebook page, “Cucina Teresa” and she will give you prices and directions on how to send payment for this fantastic product.

CUCINA TERESA.jpg for blog

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Photo Jun 16, 11 06 07 PM.jpg EXTRA

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Cabin in the Snow

photo-feb-26-11-23-07-am-intro

(Click PHOTO to enlarge and then back arrow to return to original size)

Hi everyone,

As many of you know I change my dishes quite often. I have two cabinets in my kitchen with glass doors so I can admire the “Dishes of the Month” every day. 

I try to rotate dishes every month but sometimes that doesn’t work out due to a busy schedule; but I definitely find the time to change my dishes every season.

Today I was putting away my February dishes and realized I never shared this pattern with you, so here is breakfast with the dish of the month… 

photo-feb-26-11-22-45-am-extra

I have had these dishes since 1995 and it is perfect pattern for the colder months. Year after year they are either my January or February dishes.

The name of the pattern is “Cabin in the Snow” by Tienshan and I remember that my first purchase was at a craft fair. I bought a service of four and then continued to shop around to add pieces to the collection. I ended up with quite a few pieces over the years; serving bowls, platters, casserole dishes, gravy boat, creamer and sugar and the salt and pepper shakers.

The dishes are stoneware and the dinner plate and salad plate have the same picture. An off white background with the top of the dish in deep blue and off white in a design that reminded me of sponge painting. Also on the plate is a log cabin, pine trees and the bottom of the dish is snow, of course.

photo-feb-26-8-53-08-am-dishes
photo-feb-26-8-54-24-am-complete-set

This is a very simple tablescape to set, so let’s start…

I am using a dark navy tablecloth along with a bright red placemat to pick up the colors on the plate. 

photo-feb-26-10-09-51-am-tc-and-placemat

I am keeping the tablescape simple to serve breakfast, so there are no charger plates.

I chose cornflower blue and off white check napkins and a wooden napkin ring.

I didn’t want a navy napkin to match the tablecloth because that would make the table too dark.

photo-feb-26-8-45-37-napkin-use

The flatware matches the set (I had to buy this once I saw it).

photo-feb-26-8-46-41-am-flatware

For breakfast I am using clear juice glasses and the matching mug to the set.

photo-feb-26-11-18-33-am-juice-glass

photo-feb-26-11-16-37-am-mug

My centerpiece will be very functional with items we need for our meal.

 I am using one of my favorite serving pieces; an acacia wood serving tray. Love acacia wood…..

The tray reminded me of being out in the woods with all the trees, so I wanted to bring a piece of nature inside to the table.

photo-feb-25-6-54-45-pm-acacia-tray

 I am using the tray with some of the other pieces from the collection; the cabin shaped creamer and the pine tree sugar bowl.

For a little whimsy, I surrounded these items with some artificial snow and some pine cones. I had to have some snow with a plate named, “Cabin in the Snow”.

photo-feb-26-8-46-59-am-creamer-and-sugar

A few table accents. The cabin and tree salt and pepper shaker and a few serving platters for breakfast, along with a few scattered pine cones on the table from my trees in the backyard.

Remember, shop your house first for table accents.

photo-feb-26-8-51-59-am-salt-and-pepper

photo-feb-26-10-06-04-am-platter

Today we had time to relax and had nothing planned, so breakfast was pancakes, eggs, bacon and hash browns. A little juice and coffee and we are all set.

photo-feb-25-1-39-56-pm-breakfast

photo-feb-25-1-35-52-pm-breakfast-3

Another piece on the table, “that didn’t come with the set” is a coffee carafe with a snowman in the snow. The carafe picks up all the colors of the plate and I think it fits right in. Another craft fair find.

photo-feb-26-10-07-37-am-carafe

I hope you enjoyed sharing breakfast with me and my Cabin in the Snow dishes. Now I can pack these dishes away for next year.

Until my next post, make everyday a celebration!

Diane

Place Setting

photo-feb-26-10-03-02-am-placesetting

Table Details

Cabin in the Snow Dishes from Tienshan

Cabin in the Snow flatware from Tienshan

Cabin in the Snow cabin & pine tree salt and pepper shakers, and mugs from Tienshan

Cabin in the Snow cabin & pine tree creamer and sugar bowl from Tienshan

Navy tablecloth from Homegoods

Blue and white check napkins from Amazon

Red woven placemat from Bed, Bath & Beyond

Juice glasses from “I can’t remember, had them so long…”

Wooden napkin rings from Amazon

Acacia Serving tray from Pottery Barn

Artificial snow from Pier 1

Snowman carafe from Craft fair

Pine cones from the backyard

photo-feb-26-8-50-05-am-end

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