Category Archives: Dishing with Diane Blogiversary

Happy 7th Blogiversary!

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all well and staying healthy and safe.

I can’t believe I am saying this but today marks the 7th year that I am posting DishingwithDiane and it has been a wonderful part of my life. I consider all of my members my extended family and I wish I could meet you all in person.

I hope in some way over the years, I have entertained you with my family stories and inspired you to celebrate life with a tablescape idea or a new recipe.


The last anniversary tablescape that I posted was the blog’s 4th Anniversary in 2019 and that was just before I received the call from the hospital to receive the greatest gift of all, a second chance at life and that was my heart transplant. Who knew when I was cutting that slice of anniversary cake that 6 days later my life would change forever.

As you know, I was too weak to post the 5th anniversary in 2020 a year later after a few complications and setbacks but I did take pictures and set a partial table and I will get that together and post it for you to see.

And last year for the 6th anniversary in 2021, Bob and I were recuperating from having Covid and I did not prepare a tablescape and only posted a cake recipe that I hope you all enjoyed.

But this year is different. This year with your love and support over the past three years and the fabulous transplant team that looks after me I am ready to prepare a tablescape.

I have the strength back and I am allowed to lift and carry a little more as approved by my transplant team. But I will admit I am a bit rusty remembering to take all the photos I usually take. I get so excited to prepare the tablescape that some little details might have slipped by. I will do my best.

Bob and Michael bought me these Kate Spade dishes by Lenox (pattern Deco Dot) for Mother’s Day last May, and as soon as I received them I knew this would be my anniversary tablescape. Each 12 piece set comes with 4 dinner plates, 4 salad plates, and 4 mugs. Kate Spade seems to add monthly to the accessories to this pattern and my inventory is growing from her collection. It seems as soon as I add a piece she comes up with more great additions.

I hope you enjoy the tablescape and continue to enjoy the postings from Dishing with Diane. It would be a personal favor if you could spread the word and ask your family and friends to join DishingwithDiane either on Facebook or via email.

My goal is to welcome at least 10 new members this anniversary. So please, make a few calls and have some of your friends join the family. Thank you.

So let’s get started.

JANUARY 25, 2022

I have absolutely LOVED polka dots since I was a young teen and it has just carried over into my adult life. Here is some proof….

And I have loved the black and white combination since I saw “My Fair Lady” with Audrey Hepburn and the black & white ball that was a famous scene in that movie so this tablescape was a little bit of heaven for me.

Since I only had two colors to work with, this was supposed to be an easy tablescape right? No!…. not every black and white shade matches exactly and at times can get a little frustrating but it all works out in the end.

I started with one of my many white tablecloths but I chose this particular tablecloth because the scalloped edges reminded me of the round edge of a dot and the pattern could pass for dots as well.

(Sorry it is not coming out a true white due to the lighting but it is a very bright white).

Of course, my tried and true black placemat was an easy choice. I love how the combination with the tablecloth matches the dish pattern with the large black dots against the white background.

Now for the chargers– I have two glass chargers. I highly recommend owning a glass charger if you only want to keep one charger on hand. They are so versatile, you will use them constantly.

I usually favor a completely clear glass charger with the bubble pattern edge, but for this tablescape, I chose a glass charger with a slight ribbed pattern and a steel gray edge that I thought would accent the black and white much better.

Next, the star of our tablescape, the dishes. As I said earlier they are the Deco Dot pattern from Kate Spade. I am also using the mugs from the set along with glassware.

KATE SPADE FOR LENOX-DECO DOT PATTERN

The glassware is part of the Kate Spade collection (Deco Dot pattern)… I have to say that I was very surprised and very disappointed in the quality of these glasses. They are listed as glass but when I opened the box, they are very light and feel like plastic. They hand wash beautifully and don’t get cloudy like plastic does, but I thought Kate Spade would have a better product, but visually they work.

For the cutlery, I chose casual flatware with a matte-finished black handle.

The napkins are NOT from the Kate Spade collection and they are 18 X 18 polyester napkins that I purchased from Amazon a few years ago. The white is slightly off from the shade of white in the dishes but there was no chance of me finding an exact match and I think they work well with the dinnerware.

The napkin ring is from my personal collection I purchased over the years and they are black and white beaded in an abstract pattern. I love them paired with the napkins.

Now for the complete place setting… Casual and a little fun.

Complete place setting

For the centerpiece, I used black and white silk flowers and pearl sprays in a 9″ Waterford crystal vase.

I didn’t want too many accents on the table because I wanted to add a few snacks in addition to the cake so I just used a few votive candles not to crowd the table and two serving containers that match the Deco Dot pattern from the Kate Spade collection to hold some black junior mints and white buttermints.

The votives I chose came from my safari collection of animal prints and they were the only two in black and white and I think they were just enough for the table.

Now some snacks…. Bob and I were celebrating late afternoon with coffee and the anniversary cake and then I got the idea in my head that I wanted some black and white desserts and the first snack that came to mind was black and white cookies – a childhood favorite and together with the ultimate black and white cookie -Oreos, this theme could work.

I ordered the mini black & whites cookies from Costco and I have to say -big mistake! They were tasteless. The Oreo’s are an old standby that I still enjoy and I placed a few in black and white polka dot cupcake liners to continue the theme.

Since I was on my black and white dessert idea I thought about mini donuts, so I ordered the Hostess donut variety, and once again- big mistake.

I have come to the conclusion that I have outgrown these desserts. I can no longer tolerate the fake ingredients and they are not worth the added calories to me or the clogged artery that will eventually come along with them.

Now the big challenge, the anniversary cake. Normally I would call up my local bakery and order a cake to go along with whatever my theme was for the occasion. But this year because of the pandemic and the numbers being out of control with Omicron, neither Bob nor I were running off to a bakery, so I decided to bake.

Yes, that’s right me, the one who doesn’t bake cakes was about to bake a cake from scratch. I have baked cookies and muffins and a few holiday recipes for traditional cakes but this is not my comfort zone.

Thank God I had the help of the King Arthur website and I made a basic vanilla cake and vanilla frosting (not bad, I survived) and then I decided to work with black fondant and cut out circles – should I say it again- big mistake. This project confirmed why I order cakes.

After many ovals and not perfect circles, I declared my project complete once I thought I had enough circles and made enough of a mess. I topped it with a few polka dot black and white candles, a number 7 candle, and an anniversary sign, and I was done.

Remind me to hug the girls in the bakery the next time I see them- they are miracle workers to me. Although I was happy with how the cake matched the dishes, cake decorating is something I have to work on.

Here is my finished project and I have to say it was delicious even though it took longer to decorate than expected….. I used a basic black and white enamel cake stand (from Pottery Barn) to continue with the black and white theme.

All in all, we had a lovely celebration and I reviewed some of the pics from previous anniversaries and counted my blessings that I am still here to have these milestone anniversaries, continue to share my family stories and recipes on a blog that I love producing and blessed to receive lovely comments and the opportunity to speak to so many members over the years.

Thank you is not enough to say but you have all brought such joy to my life by being so supportive.

Thank you for sharing in this anniversary post and DishingwithDiane is on our way to more recipes, tablescapes, and stories going into our 8th year.

I hope the next year brings us all many blessings- good health, lots of love, laughs, good times, happiness, and a peaceful world!

Don’t forget to ask your friends and family to join the fun and sign up now via Facebook or email (the right-hand column on the main page).

That would mean the world to me.

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

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” “share” and JOIN  DishingwithDiane.com 

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

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

Happy 6 year Blogiversary!

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are all well. Today is a celebration at my home and for all DishingwithDiane members.

HAPPY 6TH BLOGIVERSARY

Recipe for this cake is at the end of the post.

It is hard to believe that today marks 6 years ago that I started “DishingwithDiane.com” and I want to thank each and every one of my members for making this such a wonderful experience for me.

I feel as if I have gained an extended family sharing my tablescapes, recipes and stories with all of you. I love your comments, messages and feedback when you try a recipe or find a new product I shared.

And thank you for being so patient and supportive through my medical journey with my heart transplant. Your understanding when I wasn’t able to set a tablescape and just share recipes and your kind words of encouragement, love and caring meant the world to me and gave me strength.

I didn’t set a tablescape today because a large majority of my dinnerware sets, platters and cake stands are still in storage and with the Covid19 pandemic I have not been able to get to the unit and retrieve my inventory, but I am still working on that. So there will be many new tablescapes in the future.

So for now on this 6th anniversary, I wanted to celebrate all of you and extend my gratitude to my members/now family. I have a lot of ideas for tablescapes and recipes and plan on having a lot more fun with the blog entering our 7th year.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

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.

_______________________________________________

The recipe for the featured cake slice above (taken from Pinterest) is courtesy of Sugar Hero website

(https://www.sugarhero.com/)

and is listed below:

CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY MOUSSE CAKE

Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake – a gorgeous three-layer mousse cake with chocolate, raspberry, and vanilla mousse, all on a chocolate brownie base. prep time3 HRScook time24 MINStotal time3 HRS 24 MINSSERVINGS: 

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE BROWNIE LAYER:

  • 3 1/3 oz all-purpose flour (3/4 cup)
  • 2 oz unsweetened cocoa powder (2/3 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 oz unsalted butter
  • 7 3/4 oz granulated sugar (1 cup +2 tbsp)
  • 2 eggs large, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

FOR THE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE:

FOR THE RASPBERRY MOUSSE:

  • 1 1/2 cups raspberries fresh
  • 9 oz white chocolate finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream divided use
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tsp unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Pink food coloring (optional)

FOR THE VANILLA MOUSSE:

  • 9 oz white chocolate finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream divided use
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tsp powdered gelatin unflavored
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste (can substitute vanilla extract)

TO FINISH:

  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate finely chopped
  • 4 oz heavy cream
  • 1 pint raspberries fresh
  • Chocolate curls or other decorations

US CUSTOMARY – METRIC

INSTRUCTIONS

TO MAKE THE BROWNIE LAYER:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment and spray well with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl. Set aside for now.
  • Cube the butter and place it in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally as the butter melts. Add the sugar and stir it into the melted butter until combined. 
  • Remove the pan from the heat, and let it cool to lukewarm. Once it has cooled, add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well between each addition. The mixture will start out grainy, but as you add the eggs, it will become shiny and smooth. Whisk the vanilla in. Finally, add the dry ingredients, and stir them in with a spatula.
  • Scrape the brownie batter into the prepared pan, and bake it for 22-24 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Cool the brownie layer completely before proceeding.

TO MAKE THE MOUSSE LAYERS:

  • Prepare your pan. You need a 9-inch pan with sides at least 3 inches tall, and the ability to remove the bottom. Either a cake pan with a removable bottom or a springform pan will work. Line the inner wall with a 4-inch high acetate cake collar or strip of aluminum foil or waxed paper. Make sure the acetate or waxed paper is long enough so that it overlaps itself, and if you are using foil/waxed paper, make sure you cut the strip tall enough to extend at least an inch over the pan’s sides, since the cake is about 4 inches tall.
  • Place a cake cardboard in the bottom of the pan, then carefully place the baked brownie on top of the cardboard. Prepare the chocolate mousse layer: combine the chocolate, 3/4 cup of cream, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring every 30 seconds, until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour it into a large bowl, and let it cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
  • While you wait for the chocolate mixture to cool, prepare the gelatin. Whisk together the gelatin and the cold water in a small bowl, and set it aside to let the gelatin absorb the water. When the chocolate is at room temperature, microwave the bowl of gelatin for 15 seconds, until it is melted. Whisk the melted gelatin and chocolate together.
  • Whip the remaining 1 cup heavy cream to firm peaks. Fold half of the whipped cream into the chocolate, and once it’s incorporated, gently fold in the remaining whipped cream. Scrape the mousse on top of the brownie, and spread it into an even layer. Refrigerate the cake for 25 minutes, until the mouse has started to set and is firm enough that a second layer can be added.
  • For the raspberry mousse, make a quick puree by blending 1/2 cup fresh raspberries in a blender or food processor. Pour them through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds, and measure out 1/4 cup raspberry puree. (If you have extra puree, save it for another use.)
  • Combine the white chocolate, raspberry puree, 1/2 cup of heavy cream, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl. Continue to make this layer the same way you made the chocolate layer, by melting and cooling the chocolate, whisking in melted gelatin, and folding in whipped cream. Add a few drops of pink food coloring to boost the pink color, if desired. At the very end, stir in the remaining 1 cup of fresh raspberries and pour the mousse over the chocolate mousse layer. Spread it into an even layer, and refrigerate again.
  • Finally, prepare the vanilla bean layer. Combine the white chocolate, 1/2 cup heavy cream, honey, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl. Continue to make this layer the same way you made the previous two layers. At the very end, stir in the vanilla bean paste and pour the mousse over the raspberry mousse layer. Refrigerate to set the mousse layers very well, at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • To finish the cake, push the bottom out from the pan, or unhinge the sides, and unwrap the acetate strip. Transfer the cake to your serving platter. Make a quick chocolate ganache by putting the chopped chocolate in a small bowl and heating the cream to a simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and whisk gently until the chocolate melts and you have a smooth, shiny mixture.
  • Pour the ganache over the top of the cake, and use a spatula to nudge it right to the edge and over in evenly spaced drizzles. Don’t worry if the top is not smooth—it will be covered up! Add the fresh raspberries and chocolate curls on top of the cake. Refrigerate to set the ganache.
  • For the cleanest slices, cut the cake when it is well chilled. Use a large sharp knife, and wash it frequently between cuts. For the best taste and texture, allow the cake slices to sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving.
  • Store Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake, well-wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to a week.

NUTRITION

https://eb2b19f3bd81851179aaf9b1ac43cdbf.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.htmlSERVING: 20g | CALORIES: 604kcal | CARBOHYDRATES:50g | PROTEIN: 5g | FAT: 43g | SATURATED FAT: 26g | CHOLESTEROL: 120mg | SODIUM: 115mg | POTASSIUM:342mg | FIBER: 4g | SUGAR: 38g | VITAMIN A: 1105IU | VITAMIN C: 9mg | CALCIUM: 124mg | IRON: 2.2mg

Happy 4th Blogiversary!

 

photo jan 26, 12 06 13 am congrats extra

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

Hi everyone,

Well it’s that time of year again, time to celebrate another anniversary for DishingwithDiane.com

Hard to believe that DishingwithDiane is

Four Years Old !

photo jan 26, 12 03 46 am (1) blogiversary cake

 Four years have flown by so quickly. I absolutely love sharing my recipes, tablescapes, family events and stories.

The more members we have just makes the DishingwithDiane family bigger and better. I deeply appreciate every member.

I wish I could thank each and every one of you in person for signing up to become a member and showing so much love and support for this blog. 

I hope that over the course of four years I have helped you in some way. Perhaps a new recipe that has become a family favorite or new ideas for your tablescapes for parties and holidays. Whatever it is, it has been a labor of love for me.

Please continue to ask your family and friends to like, share, comment and join DishingwithDiane, as we head into year number Five.

******

So let the celebration begin and lets start an anniversary tablescape for our

Fourth Anniversary. 

photo jan 25, 11 58 45 pm (1) 2019 sign

I knew from the day I bought these dishes that I wanted to use them for my 4th anniversary tablescape. They are pretty versatile. They can be used for any winter celebration and even for a Christmas luncheon.

I think what attracted me to these dishes was the black & white harlequin pattern, absolutely one of my favorite patterns. And they are designed by one of my favorite artists, Susan Winget.

I have been obsessed with black and white in fashion and home decor for many years. I think I fell in love with the bold look of black & white once I saw My Fair Lady and they had the Black and White Ball.

Does anyone remember seeing the movie and how stunning Audrey Hepburn looked in this ensemble?

Photo courtesy of Arktimes.com
c1d31abaaadc71a01ab085ef71b781e2 my fair lady black and white

 She has always been a favorite actress of mine.

Back to the dishes…

The dinner plate is very festive and it has the black and white harlequin pattern as the border with an accent of amber and burgundy at the edge of the plate. The center of the dinner plate is white framed in an array of fruits in tones of burgundy, amber and green finished with a red bow. Almost looks like a wreath of fruit.

photo jan 25, 11 48 58 pm dinner plate

The salad plate also has the harlequin border with an amber and burgundy edge and each plate features one of the fruits displayed on the dinner plate in the center.

photo jan 25, 11 47 58 pm salad plate two

photo jan 25, 11 48 29 pm (1) salad plate one

Unfortunately for me this set does not come with soup bowls, only small ice cream bowls which I chose not to buy. I did purchase the mugs along with a small harlequin rectangular tray (12 X 6) with handles and the creamer and sugar bowl

photo jan 25, 11 50 22 pm creamer and mugsphoto jan 25, 5 53 39 pm rectangular tray

I am starting my tablescape with a solid black tablecloth with a woven square pattern. Very basic but I needed the pattern to add something to the table. I think a plain solid tablecloth would be too dull.

photo jan 26, 1 17 57 am tablecloth

Along with the black tablecloth, I had to add my black and white harlequin table runner.  I originally bought this table runner to decorate a table at Halloween for bowls of candy for trick or treaters. 

Photo Jan 25, 5 59 39 PM  RUNNER.jpg

Now for the placemats and chargers. This tablescape needed an accent color from the plates, so I am using a red woven placemat. This will add a pop of color and match the bow on the dinner plate.

photo jan 25, 11 42 49 pm placemat

I didn’t want to add any additional color to the tablescape so I am using clear glass chargers. They dress up the table without taking away from the table linens.

photo jan 25, 5 59 54 pm charger

When I purchased the table runner I also purchased the matching napkins and I am so glad that I did. They work perfectly on the table and I decided to use a pearl napkin ring. I love the combination and I am using pearls in my centerpiece.

photo jan 25, 5 58 46 pm napkin and pearl ring

My flatware is absolutely fantastic! I was gifted this set of black and white harlequin cutlery and I love it. My son’s girlfriend gave me this set because she knows how much I love black and white and the harlequin pattern. There couldn’t be better flatware for this tablescape.

photo jan 25, 5 58 08 pm

Now the glassware. Since there is always a dessert and prosecco celebration for the anniversary, I am using my Waterford crystal flute glasses.

photo jan 25, 5 57 25 pm flute

photo jan 25, 11 51 23 pm prosecco

My centerpiece is the crystal vase that matches the stemware and I filled the vase with black and white silk flowers and a few pearl sprays to accent the flowers and coordinate with the napkin rings.

photo jan 25, 11 40 51 pm centerpiece

For the first time I am using water jewels as a vase filler. These are water absorbing polymer that grows larger the more you hydrate them. When the water evaporates the beads shrink and can be saved in an airtight container for another project.

Normally, I would use these beads for fresh flowers, but I wanted to try them on silk to help the flower stems stay exactly where I wanted them.

Here is the picture of the water jewels I purchased…

(Found at Michael’s Art’s & Crafts).

photo jan 25, 11 33 26 pm (1) water jewels

My table accents are candles of course and I am using mercury glass votive holders to complete the table along with black, gray and white glass gem table scatter.

photo jan 25, 11 44 14 pm candles and scatterq

My cake stand is clear glass at the base with a crackled pattern for the cake stand top. It actually reminded me of the water jewels in the vase.

photo jan 25, 11 42 27 pm cake stand

Now, what is a celebration without a cake? This year I asked for a harlequin print on the cake and I had to go to two bakeries before anyone would accept the challenge. It seems that black frosting is a color that isn’t asked for very much. 

I finally found a bakery willing to try and I think they did a great job. I even kept the filling simple to make it easier for them- just yellow cake and chocolate pudding (can’t go wrong with basic).

And now the finished cake served by candlelight…

photo jan 26, 1 16 16 am table and candlelight

photo jan 26, 12 07 45 am (1) cake with candle

I wanted to add a second accent to the table and decided on some fresh fruit that was featured on the salad plate. I used a white ceramic fruit bowl with pears, apples and grapes. 

(Bob said this looks like a painting).

photo jan 25, 11 40 02 pm fruit bowl

Table Setting

photo jan 25, 6 00 44 pm place setting

And now, Bob and I will have our traditional toast to another great year along with a toast to all the members of DishingwithDiane that make my dream of having this blog come true.

Thank you

photo jan 26, 1 26 24 am cake and toast

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

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.

4th blogiversary - use

Happy “Third” Year Blogiversary

 

blogiversary third with DATE

Photo Jan 25, 2 45 49 PM INTRO

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

Hi Everyone,

I can’t believe that another year has flown by and DishingwithDiane is now,

THREE YEARS OLD TODAY!

I absolutely LOVE sharing my tablescapes, stories and recipes with all of you. It has been a wonderful experience for me and I have made so many new friends over the three years. You have all become a second family to me.

I want to thank each and every one of you for becoming members and showing the love and support for this blog.

Please continue to ask your family and friends to follow, like, share and join DishingwithDiane.com, as we continue to grow.

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

I hope along our journey together, I have inspired you to try a new recipe or given you an idea for you to create a tablescape at home.

Photo Jan 25, 2 42 29 PM INTRO CAKE

So now let’s start a celebration tablescape to bring us into year number FOUR together…

For this anniversary tablescape I wanted to feature my Italian Deruta dishes. Both my husband and my son bought me new pieces for Christmas to add to my collection and I can’t wait to use them.

Let’s start with the tablecloth. I am using a sunflower gold tablecloth to blend with the rim of the dish.

Photo Jan 25, 12 07 20 AM - TABLECLOTH SUN

I am adding something that I don’t normally use on my tables and that is a table runner. For this particular pattern, I thought the table runner pulled everything together nicely.

Photo Jan 25, 1 47 58 PM (1) EXTRA

The dishes are one of my favorites, Nova Deruta.

It is an earthenware dish with scalloped edges with a cream background and a sunflower gold & rust rim. The intricate pattern on the dish feature vibrant colors of navy, turquoise, sunflower and rust.

While doing some research about the dishes from Italy, I discovered that this design also originates from a fresco made by a Renaissance master, “Il Perugino” created the frescoes containing the dominant motif of this pattern. If you travel to Italy you will be able to see them in the “Logge del Cambio” in Perugia. 

Deruta majolica artists later adapted the motif to the ceramic art.

The dinner plate has a scalloped edge and a border in sunflower and rust with the fresco design around the rim and a cream center.

Photo Jan 25, 1 50 11 PM DINNER PLATE

The salad plate also has the scalloped edge with the same design as the dinner plate but the center has the design of the fresco.

Photo Jan 25, 1 50 56 PM SALAD PLATE

The complete set…

Photo Jan 25, 1 51 58 PM SET

I chose two colors from the plate for the placemats and chargers. Rust woven placemats and navy beaded chargers.

(With the lighting the placemat looks orange but it is a deep rust).

Photo Jan 25, 2 42 08 PM PLACE MAT AND CHARGER

These dishes always give me a rustic feel of Tuscany, so I am using wooden flatware to keep the rustic theme going.

Photo Jan 25, 2 10 35 AM FLATWARE

Instead of a solid color napkin from a color on the plate, I chose the Deruta napkins to match the set and wooden napkin rings.

Photo Jan 25, 12 53 00 AM NAPKIN

The glasses will be simple. My clear stemless wine glasses. I didn’t want colored glassware to interfere with the intricate pattern on both the dishes and table runner.

Photo Jan 25, 12 50 41 AM GLASSWARE

The new piece that Bob bought me is the soup tureen. I absolutely LOVE it. Not many people can fall in love with a soup tureen, but I can. I didn’t want to make soup for the occasion, so I am going to use this piece as my centerpiece.

Photo Jan 24, 10 37 58 PM SOUP TUREEN

My son bought me the demitasse cups for Christmas and we will use those later with dessert.

Speaking of which, what is a celebration without a cake?

This year I gave the bakery a challenge when I gave them a photo of the plate and told them I wanted to have all the colors of the plate on the cake. I think they did a great job.

The cake is a marble cake with a layer of cannoli and a layer of chocolate pudding.

Photo Jan 25, 2 47 56 PM CAKE

I had to buy some additional mini cannolis when I picked up the cake. I couldn’t resist; the smell of the bakery got to me.

I will serve these on one of my Deruta serving trays.

Photo Jan 25, 2 10 07 AM SERVING TRAY

Photo Jan 25, 2 43 51 PM CANNOLI

Since I am going rustic, I am using my Acacia wood pedestal cake stand (this comes with a very large dome).  I ordered it from Crate and Barrel. I wish you could see the detail of the wood in person.

Photo Jan 25, 12 58 43 AM CAKE STAND WITH DOME

Photo Jan 25, 1 48 32 PM CAKE STAND

Of course there must be candles and I am using glass votives in shades of emerald, gold and navy.

Photo Jan 25, 2 09 32 AM CANDLES

A few pieces of golden glass table scatter on the runner and we are almost done except for the centerpiece.

Photo Jan 25, 2 12 10 AM TABLE SCATTER

I told you it would be the soup tureen, but it had to have something added.

 At first, I thought I would fill the tureen with hydrangea but that didn’t do it for me once I saw the hydrangea in the tureen. Still searching, I came across these little heather floral picks in Michael’s Arts and Crafts.

I dug through the basket to search for colors that would coordinate with my tureen; came home made the arrangement and now I am a happy girl.

Photo Jan 25, 2 43 45 PM CENTERPIECE

Place Setting

Photo Jan 25, 2 46 24 PM PLACE SETTING

 We couldn’t forget a bottle of prosecco for a celebratory toast,

Photo Jan 25, 2 53 41 PM PROSECCO

and some demitasse with anisette and our 3rd Blogiversary occasion cake.

We are ready to celebrate. 

Photo Jan 25, 4 12 33 PM CAKE

Just a note, I always use a fresh lemon peel for the rim of the cup and anisette sugar in demitasse coffee just like grandma did.

Photo Jan 25, 2 57 45 PM Anisette

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I have to share one other thing about my day of celebration. 

This afternoon, I surprised Bob with cupcakes for an early lunch, but this time the cupcakes were turkey meatloaf cupcakes with mashed potato frosting, chive sprinkles and a grape tomato as the cherry on top.

Served in a cupcake holder with broccoli slaw as a side dish.

I have been celebrating all day.

Photo Jan 25, 4 41 35 PM CUPCAKE HOLDER


Photo Jan 25, 5 05 59 PM MEATLOAF CUPCAKE

Photo Jan 25, 4 54 27 PM MEATLOAF MEAL

I just had to show you. I found the recipe on Skinnytaste.com and for those interested, it is Weight Watcher friendly made with turkey and grated zucchini- delicious. (recipe below)

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

It has truly been a pleasure for me to share three years together with all of you. Spread the word about DishingwithDiane and continue to help me get new members. We have a lot more fun ahead.

Stay well, 

Diane

________________________________________________________________________________

Skinny Meatloaf Cupcakes with Mashed Potato Frosting

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 2 cupcakes • 

Ingredients:

For the Meatloaf Cupcakes:

  • 1.3 lb. 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup grated zucchini, all moisture squeezed dry with paper towel
  • 2 tbsps. onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

For the Skinny Mashed Potato “Frosting”:

  • 1 lb. (about 2 medium) Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 2 tbsps. fat free sour cream
  • 2 tbsps. fat free chicken broth
  • 1 tbsps. skim milk
  • 1/2 tbsp. light butter
  • kosher salt to taste
  • dash of fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tbsps. fresh thyme

Directions:

Put the potatoes and garlic in a large pot with salt and enough water to cover; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat; simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain and return potatoes and garlic to pan. Add sour cream and remaining ingredients. Using a masher or blender, mash until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°. Line a muffin tin with foil liners.

In a large bowl, mix the turkey, zucchini, onion, breadcrumbs, ketchup, egg, and salt. Place meatloaf mixture into muffin tins filling them to the top, making sure they are flat at the top.

Bake uncovered for 18-20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from tins and place onto a baking dish.

Pipe the “frosting” onto the meatloaf cupcakes and serve.

Makes 12.

 

Happy “Second” Year Blogiversary

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(CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ENLARGE AND THEN BACK ARROW TO RETURN TO ORIGINAL SIZE)

Hi Everyone,

I am so excited that DishingwithDiane.com is TWO YEARS OLD today.

Wow, what a journey. I can’t believe that two years have passed.

As the saying goes, “it seems like only yesterday” that we started.

I have had so much fun sharing my tablescapes, family stories and recipes with you these past two years.

I want to thank all of the DishingwithDiane members for your support and for sharing and spreading the word about the blog as we continue to grow.

Please continue to ask your family and friends to follow, like and share DishingwithDiane.com so they will never miss a post.

It is just wonderful for me to have so many new friends in my life and receive so many comments about the blog.

Continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

I hope that I have inspired you to try a new recipe or given you ideas to create your own tablescapes.

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So now as we start year number THREE, let’s have a celebration!

Let’s set an anniversary tablescape…

I am starting out with a light dove gray tablecloth.

(With the lighting I was working with, I couldn’t get the true color gray from the tablecloth)

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The napkins are black and the napkin rings are silver and black beaded. The sparkle the napkin rings adds to the table is perfect for a celebration.

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The placemats are black woven and I am using black chargers as well. I wanted the focus to be only on the dishes; plus I love the beaded detail around the edge of the charger, it highlights the plates.

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The dishes I chose for this occasion are by Isaac Mizrahi and the pattern is Madison Bloom. They are porcelain and feature a very soft and muted floral design.

The dinner plate and salad plate feature the same soft gray floral design with different color backgrounds. The dinner plate background is in off white and the salad plate is in black.

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Complete set…

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The flatware is acrylic made to look like crystal to coordinate with the stemware.

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And once again, I am using my Waterford crystal champagne flutes.

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I just love my second year blogiversary cake so much, that I decided to use it as my centerpiece.

The cake highlights the dishes perfectly. Three tiers of rosettes in black, gray and white to match the floral pattern on the dishes.

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The cake plate is clear glass. I didn’t want any color to interfere with the rosettes. I am displaying the cake plate on a mirrored disc for a little more sparkle.

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You know I love candles and to go with this tablescape, I am using a pair of black metal and crystal tree tealight candle holders with cup shaped blooms. I wanted to use these to continue my floral theme.

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The more candles the better as far as I am concerned, so I am added a few black and white “damask pattern” votive candle holders to add a soft glow.

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A few pieces of black, pearl and gray table confetti and some 2017 party danglers for the chandelier and the table looks complete to me now.

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Place Setting

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A bottle of prosecco to accompany the cake and we are all set for another celebration.

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This year the filling is chocolate mouse and banana creme with fresh bananas.

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Once again, I am truly grateful to all of you for allowing me to share my passion with so many new friends and members.

With each bite of this anniversary cake, I will be thinking of all of you and your support and well wishes throughout the year.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

On to year THREE of tablescapes, stories and recipes….

photo-jan-24-11-51-06-pm-buffet

Table Details

Gray tablecloth from Party City

Black napkins from Amazon

Crystal flatware from Amazon

Champagne flutes from Waterford

Black, gray and off white dishes from Isaac Mizrahi

Black and silver beaded napkin rings from Bed, Bath and Beyond

Black woven placemats from Homegoods

Black beaded charger plates from Bed, Bath and Beyond

Black, gray and white table scatter from Michael’s Arts & Crafts

Crystal tree tea light holders from Amazon

Damask votive candle holders from Kate Aspen

2017 party danglers from Party City

Blogiversary cake from Alpine Bakery – Smithtown, NY

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

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Diane

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Happy “One Year” Blogiversary!

 

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

Hi Everyone, 

I just can’t believe that DishingwithDiane.com is a year old already.

The year just flew by and I have had so much fun sharing my stories, my tablescapes and my recipes with you.

I want to thank all of the DishingwithDiane members for your support and I love your comments and feedback. I feel as if I know you all personally and we are old friends.

Please share and ask your family and friends to become members and join the fun.

Well, we are starting year number TWO, but before we start we have to have a celebration!

2016-01-23 03.32.49- INTRO BLOG

My favorite color combination is black, white and gold and I have the perfect dishes in just those colors.

I am breaking out the fine china. (I really shouldn’t say breaking and fine china in the same sentence. Gives me a chill). Back to the celebration tablescape.

I am using Lenox fine china in the Minstrel Gold pattern. I fell in love with this pattern immediately because of the color combination and the floral shapes. The dishes feature beautiful gold and black flowers on a white background, trimmed in gold.

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The dish description said it was inspired by the Art Deco theme. I am a big fan of Art Deco. I should have been born in the 1930’s.

Choosing a tablecloth was not a hard choice for me. I bought this Kate Spade (love her too) tablecloth last year and had it packed away. You guessed it, I bought it because of the color combination and now is the perfect occasion to use it.

I was originally keeping it for a New Year’s Eve tablescape, but a Blogiversary is a very special occasion.

Black, gold and a pale blush polka dots on a white backgroud. Kate Spade features a lot of polka dots in her collections. If you are a fan of polka dots, Kate Spade is the place to look. I guarantee you will find something you love.

2016-01-23 02.34.02- BLOG TABLECLOTH

There is so much pattern going on with this tablecloth, I decided to use black napkins instead of the matching napkins to tone it down a bit. You don’t have to “match” everything- there are no rules.

I still wanted that celebration feeling so I am using rhinestone napkin rings.

2016-01-23 02.13.39- NAPKINS BLOG

With this color combination, there really was no other choice than to use black placemats and gold chargers. Now everything looks complete.

2016-01-23 02.33.46- PLACEMAT AND CHARGER - BLOG

Once again, I am using my everyday, silver and gold flatware.

This flatware goes with everything.

2016-01-24 01.50.02- FLATWARE BLOG

Well, we have to have a “good luck” toast, so this calls for my Waterford champagne flutes. For more sparkle, I set the table with the matching goblets. 

2016-01-23 02.14.53- GLASSES BLOG

For my centerpiece I wanted something simple and elegant, so I brought another piece of my Waterford collection out of storage; the matching vase to the champagne flutes. I brought the vase to my favorite florist for an all white arrangement.

2016-01-24 01.55.01 CENTERPIECE 2

My florist John is simply the best! He knew exactly the vision I had with the white flowers and the crystal vase. John has been my florist for many years.

If you are ever in need of a florist, call

 Raindrops & Roses Florist

 in Bay Shore, NY and ask for John. You will never be disappointed.

To add to the sparkle, I placed the vase on a mirrored disc. 

2016-01-23 00.44.02- CENTERPIECE

You know by now how much I love candles, so I added crystal candlesticks on each side of the vase. These candlesticks are rimmed in gold and I filled in the candle base with gold glass pebbles and I added a clear tapered candle, speckled in gold. They were placed on mirrored discs as well.

2016-01-23 02.15.49- CANDLESTICK BLOG

 I had a few gold votive candles that I thought would bring a beautiful glow to the table. These candles are leftover party favors that I once used for a New Year’s Eve party.

2016-01-23 02.19.01- BLOG GOLD VOTIVES

I did mention there would be a celebratory toast, so to chill the Prosecco, I am using a gold wine cooler. I love the bold pop of color the wine cooler brings to the table among all the icy clear crystal.

2016-01-23 03.36.23 - WINE COOLER BLOG

I love using confetti on my tables and this table called for “special celebration” confetti in white, silver and gold. A combination of tiny champagne bottles and champagne glasses covered in glitter. 

2016-01-23 01.57.54- CONFETTI 1 BLOG

I think just a sprinkle around the mirrored discs would be enough. The confetti would get lost directly on the tablecloth with the polka dot pattern.

2016-01-24 00.25.33- CONFETTI 2- BLOG

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And NO celebration is ever complete without some eating involved, especially dessert? My husband bought me a “One Year Blogiversary” cake.

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Of course, decorated in white, gold and black filled with lemon curd and raspberry mousse. Two of my favorite fillings.

I have the perfect cake stand for this occasion and I am so excited to finally have a chance to use it. I found it online during one of my retail therapy sessions and just couldn’t resist the beautiful wavy design of the glass and the gold border. 

2016-01-23 02.17.03- CAKE STAND BLOG

I was waiting for the perfect occasion to use this cake stand, but I never thought that the occasion would be a Blogiversary.

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A last minute touch of some “2016” party danglers hanging from my dining room fixture and my celebration tablescape is complete.

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(photo courtesy of amscam)

 Bob and I are going to enjoy some cake and a glass of Prosecco and celebrate this very special occasion.

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 I wish you could join me for DishingwithDiane.com “1st anniversary”.

I will be thinking of you and your support throughout the year.

I am truly grateful to all of you.

On to year TWO of tablescapes, stories and recipes…

Place Setting

2016-01-23 03.32.16 - PLACE SETTING BLOG

Table Details

Kate Spade “Logan Park” tablecloth from Macy’s

Black napkins from Amazon

Rhinestone napkin rings from Amazon

Black woven placemats from Bed, Bath and Beyond

Gold charger plates from Pier 1

Gold & Silver flatware –every day set

Champagne Flutes and Goblets from Waterford Crystal

Crystal vase from Waterford Crystal

Crystal candlesticks from a wedding gift (1988)

Gold cake stand from Bed, Bath & Beyond

Gold votive candles from Kate Aspen

Mirrored Discs from Michael’s Arts and Crafts

Wine cooler from Target

Confetti from Party City

“One Year Blogiversary Cake” from Alpine Bakery, Smithtown, NY

2016-01-23 02.46.18 - CLOSE UP USE

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to follow DishingwithDiane.com either on facebook or sign up for emails directly from the web page. 

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

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

 Blogiversary-Thank-You