Category Archives: Holiday Tablescapes

Re-post Valentine’s Day Dessert table 2016

Hi Everyone, 

This year I will not be preparing a new Valentine’s Day tablescape but I am re-posting  Valentine’s Day 2015 and 2016 for all our new members.

I’ll be back with another tablescape very soon.

Diane

Happy Valentine’s Day  !

I know everyone is busy making plans for Valentine’s Day, either with their special someone or friends and family. 

Last year Bob and I we went out to a cozy little Italian restaurant for a light lunch and came home for dinner later that evening to heart shaped ravioli, a salad with heart shaped beets, chocolate covered strawberries and cupcakes.

2015-02-08 15.42.45- USE ravioli 2

(I used a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out the shape for the beets).

2015-02-08 15.39.14-USE salad

2015-02-08 14.14.07- USE strawberry

2015-02-08 15.20.17- use 4

The older I get, the more I want cozy and quiet. I don’t need to go out to a restaurant for the overcrowded “Special Valentine’s Day” Dinner. Although it is quite entertaining to watch young couples out for the evening on Valentine’s Day. Bob and I have this little observation game we play to guess how long the couple has been together based on the way they act and look at each other.

Bob and I have been together for 31 years, so we have some experience with this.

This year, once again we will celebrate the official holiday with a quiet cozy dinner at home instead of dinner out. 

Bob and I celebrate Valentine’s Day every day of the year. I am very fortunate to have married such a loving and caring man and I am grateful every day.

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Last year I posted a Valentine’s Day Breakfast table.

2015-02-10 05.55.40 - opening table

and a Valentine’s Day Dinner table,

click on link to see entire Valentine’s Day dinner tablescape…

https://dishingwithdiane.com/2015/02/08/valentines-day-dinner-tablescape-2/

2015-02-08 14.19.34- USE candlelight

so this year, I am posting a 

Valentine’s Day Dessert table. 

2016-02-12 22.47.56- INTRO

For dessert this year I am setting up a chocolate fondue pot. Bob and I received this fondue pot as a wedding gift and this is the third time I have used it.

2016-02-12 20.24.44- FONDUE POT

I placed the fondue pot on a white ceramic cheese board and added the most adorable red ceramic “love birds”. 

2016-02-12 20.07.19- LOVE BIRDS

2016-02-24 21.13.32- BIRDS THAT MATE FOR LIFE

I’ve made cheese fondue before, but this time it will be Chocolate Fondue. 

You have to have chocolate on Valentine’s Day.

( I have the recipe posted below).

So let’s start the tablescape….

 I have decided on a pink tablecloth! Nice and cheery.

I am not using the matching cloth napkins. I picked up the cutest luncheon napkins that look like conversation heart candies. 

2016-02-13 01.37.35 - TC & NAPKIN

 Trying to keep to a pink, red and white color scheme; the placemats are red and the chargers are white.

2016-02-12 20.22.32- PLACEMAT AND CHARGER

This time, NO dinner plates. I am using pink paper luncheon plates on top of the chargers. (easy clean up)

2016-02-12 21.59.29 - PINK PAPER PLATE

Even though the fondue is delicious on it’s own, I still have to have cupcakes on Valentine’s Day.  

At each place setting I placed a Valentine’s Day cupcake in a heart shaped ceramic dish surrounded by holiday colored M & M’s. (another candy I love)

2016-02-12 20.08.14- RED DISH -USE

2016-02-12 20.20.24 -  RED DISH CUPCAKE

I am also serving two of my favorite Valentine’s Day treats, Peeps and conversation hearts. Loved these since I was a child.

It’s just not Valentine’s Day without them.

Now I needed a serving bowl for the treats and I chose red martini glasses. 

Think about how you can re-purpose what you already own.

Golden rule: shop your house first. 

I like the way the red matches both the placemat and ceramic heart dish and it also adds a bit of color to the tablescape.

I think I have enough candy for the dessert table.

2016-02-13 01.03.41 RED MARTINI

2016-02-12 20.21.42 -MARTINI CANDY

For my drinking glasses, I am using decorated goblets with hearts. 

2016-02-12 20.29.21-- GLASSWARE

The flatware is good old reliable red.

2016-02-12 22.02.01 - RED FLATWARE

Now I had to think about what to serve as dippers for the fondue. My final choice was bananas, strawberries, cantaloupe, marshmallows, pretzels, pineapple and pound cake.

2016-02-12 22.49.31 - POUND CAKE CLOSE UP

Trying to have as many hearts on the table as possible, I added heart shaped mirrors to place some votive candles on.

2016-02-12 20.28.54  MIRROR

 I had to get candles on the table, so I bought votive candle holders with more hearts painted on.

2016-02-12 22.04.05- VOTIVES

2016-02-12 22.04.14 VOTIVE CLOSE

Now to serve all the dipping goodies for the fondue, I am using various cake stands that I have collected over the years.

 The white with red ribbons cake stand, I received as a “Good Luck” gift when I started the blog last year and I just LOVE it.

2016-02-12 22.04.58 - CAKE WITH RIBBONS

The second white cake stand fits so perfectly with the theme of the table because of the colored hearts design.

2016-02-12 20.25.19- HEART CAKE STAND

And the third cake stand blends into the tablescape perfectly with it’s delicate shade of pink glass.

2016-02-12 22.06.15- PINK CAKE  FINAL

Last year I purchased felt confetti that look like conversation heart candies so I am using the same confetti again this year.

2016-02-12 22.01.13 - CONFETTI

A few heart danglers from the light fixture and we are all set.

2016-02-24 21.14.01- DANGLERS

2016-02-12 22.51.47 BUFFET

Place Setting

2016-02-12 22.22.43 -PLACE SETTING

Table Details

Pink tablecloth from Linens and Things

Paper Conversation heart napkins from Target

Pink paper luncheon plates from Target

Fondue set was a wedding gift

White ceramic cheese board from Target

Red “love birds” from Pier 1

Red flatware from Homegoods

White chargers from Pfaltzgraff

Red woven placemats from Homegoods

Red ceramic heart shaped dishes from Michael’s Arts & Crafts

Valentine’s Day goblets from Marshalls

Red Martini glasses from Crate and Barrel

White cake stand with red ribbon was a “good luck” gift when I started the blog.

Heart cake stand from Sur La Table

Pink glass cake stand from Pier 1

Heart danglers from Amazon

Heart shaped Mirrors from Oriental Trading

Heart votive candle holders from Amazon

Felt conversation heart confetti from Michael’s Arts & Crafts

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2016-02-12 22.51.55 EXTRA 1 TO WINDOW

Chocolate Fondue Recipe

Recipe By:EAGLE BRAND(R)
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND(R) Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In heavy saucepan, over medium heat, melt chocolate chips and butter with EAGLE BRAND(R) condensed milk and water. Cook and stir constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla.
  2. Serve warm as a fruit and cookie/cracker dipping sauce or drizzle over ice cream or cake. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.

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I wish each and every one of you a very Happy Valentine’s Day!

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to follow and share 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.

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

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images- valentines day 1

Re-post Valentine’s Breakfast 2015

Hi Everyone,

This year I will not be able to set a new Valentine’s Day tablescape, so I am re-posting both my Valentine’s Day 2015 & 2016 for all our new members.

I’ll be back with another tablescape very soon.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Diane

Valentine’s Day Breakfast Tablescape

2015-02-10 05.55.40 - opening table

(click on photos to enlarge)

As promised, here is my tablescape for a Valentine’s Day breakfast. Since the tablescape was casual, I felt the centerpiece should be casual as well. I filled a vase that I had from a previous floral arrangement with conversation heart candies and a bouquet of artificial heart and “ XO” pattern flowers from Michael’s Arts & Crafts

2015-02-10 05.43.47 - vase

Casual calls for paper plates and napkins. First of all, paper goods are perfect to emphasize a theme and cleanup is a breeze. Even if you use them with stoneware charger plates or dinner plates, the dirty dishes will still be disposable.

2015-02-10 05.43.07- plate close up

I found the glassware in Marshall’s a few years back with the “Heart & XO pattern”. I couldn’t resist this purchase because the colors of the glassware reminded me of a Valentine’s Day cake stand I bought in Sur La Table many years ago with a very similar pattern. I use the cake stand for many of my Valentine’s Day desserts and I thought the glasses were a perfect match. The mugs were another find in Marshall’s and I knew that they would look great with my red flatware and brighten up the table.

2015-02-10 05.41.00- glass2015-02-12 15.30.33 - NEW MUG

 

2015-02-10 05.42.13- cake stand

The flowers were an unexpected find and I loved the heart and “XO” pattern stamped on the flower because it  matched the glassware as well and everything seemed to come together nicely.

2015-02-10 05.39.47- flower close up

2015-02-10 05.44.47-flower glass pattern

When I purchase items years apart and they look as if they were part of a set purchased together, for someone who loves tablescapes as much as I do, it is a great satisfaction.

2015-02-10 05.47.08 - set

This is how I buy many of my tablescape accessories, a little bit here and there. I buy what catches my eye without having a plan for them at the moment. Eventually, these items become just what I am looking for, for a tablescape. So my advice to you would be, if you see something cute, whimsical and inexpensive, make the purchase and save it for a future tablescape. You just never know if you will ever find the same item again.

The heart cake stand is perfect not only to serve desserts for dinner but Valentine’s Day donuts and bagels for breakfast. Add some juice and coffee and breakfast is ready….heart shaped waffles would be a nice touch also.

2015-02-10 05.42.31- misc table

A last minute add on to this tablescape and recent purchase that I thought was so adorable are the red heart shaped bowls; another find in Michael’s Arts & Crafts. For breakfast, they would be perfect for fruit salad and for dinner, a pudding or crème brulee.

2015-02-10 05.42.38- heart bowl

The Place Setting

2015-02-10 05.43.19-table setting

Breakfast table details

Pink tablecloth from Linens and Things

White charger plates from Pfaltzgraff

Red dinner plates from Pier I

Theme luncheon plate and paper napkins from Party City

Glassware from Marshall’s

Mugs from Marshall’s

Red flatware from Homegoods

Cake stand from Sur La Table

Heart shaped bowls from Michael’s Arts & Crafts

Artificial Flowers from Michael’s Arts & Crafts

I hope this post gave you some ideas for a Valentine’s Day breakfast at your house. Until my next post, stay well and make every day a celebration!

Diane

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

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Holiday Breakfast Table

2016-12-26-22-46-40-intro-use

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

Hi Everyone,

Wow, another Christmas is over. The days and years seem to fly by too fast.

I was quite busy preparing all the fish for our Christmas Eve “Feast of the Seven Fishes” dinner and didn’t have time to take pictures of my tablescape.

But Christmas morning was a different story. Every year we have our traditional breakfast and the main course is always Williams Sonoma croissants. I always order the combination of plain and chocolate.

Not to sound like an advertisement for this product, but they are delivered frozen, you take the quantity you want out the night before you want to eat them to let them rise for 9 hours. In the morning you bake them and the house smells “Wonderful”. Nothing like the smell of fresh baked goods.

2016-12-26-22-27-53-croissants

The other additions to our breakfast table are eggnog muffins with rum. If you are serving children, omit the rum, increase the eggnog and add vanilla. I love these muffins. Delicious and easy.

2016-12-27-13-55-40-muffin-1

( Recipe at the end of the post).

Of course we had to have Panettone on our breakfast table. For those of you who are not familiar with it, Panettone is an Italian Christmas Cake with candied orange peel, raisins and citron. You must try it at least once.

Every year I buy a different variety to change things up a bit; sometimes traditional, sometimes pear, chestnut and my favorite chocolate. This year it was chocolate. The company I love the best is Bonifanti – fantastic. I usually order mine from Eataly, NYC.

2016-12-26-21-59-45-bonifanti-panettone-use

You can eat Panettone at breakfast with coffee, as a snack with berries and whipped cream and at dinner with wine. This year I made Panettone two ways.

I served it sliced from the package and then I made overnight Panettone French toast.

2016-12-26-22-05-11-panettone-cake-plate

2016-12-26-22-28-10-panettone-tray

I had never tried to make the overnight French toast before so this was a new experience. I have made Panettone French toast on the griddle in the past, but I was trying to make life easier. If you prepare this, keep in mind it takes 40 – 45 minutes to bake, so you have to plan your time accordingly.

Add a nice dusting of powdered sugar before serving for a pretty presentation. It must have been too early in the morning for me because I forgot to do that.

(Recipe at the end of the post).

2016-12-27-11-05-49-french-toast

 Bob and I liked the French toast a lot and it will be back on our Christmas breakfast table next year.

And I always add my Honey Bow Tie cookies to the breakfast table – another family tradition. The recipe and the story behind it was in my previous post of the same name, posted 12/21/16.

2016-12-26-22-28-44-bow-ties

This year Bob surprised me and bought me one of my favorite snack items to add to my breakfast plate. I very rarely eat them but I have loved them since I was a child.

“Hostess Sno Balls”

2016-12-26-22-25-04-sn0-balls

Has anyone had these?  Pink or white it doesn’t matter. 

There is just something about the coconut and marshmallow chocolate covered cake with a creamy center that I love. Twinkies can move aside.

Well, with a Christmas breakfast, you have to have a Christmas tablescape.

We use the same dishes each year for this occasion. Another part of our tradition.

I am using dishes and mugs from Williams Sonoma called “Christmas Carols”. An off white porcelain dish rimmed in red with a variety of scenes depicting lyrics to Christmas songs.

2016-12-26-22-36-00-dishes-and-mugs-3

But before the dishes, I started out with the matching off white tablecloth 

2016-12-27-09-39-22-tablecloth

and napkins with red and green woven napkin holders.

2016-12-26-22-41-10-napkins-use

Followed by red charger plates and green dinner plates just to use the Christmas colors.

2016-12-26-22-33-45-charger-and-plate

The glassware that I am using is another exclusive to Williams Sonoma and they are called “Santa and Reindeer”.

They are sold as juice glasses but they are 14 oz. and I think that is a little too much for a juice glass. I would normally serve water or soda in a glass this size.

2016-12-26-22-30-49-glassware-2

My flatware is red of course for Christmas.

2016-12-26-22-31-48-flatware

To serve our breakfast goodies, I am using a white cake plate with red ribbon .

2016-12-26-22-39-47-cakeplate

The three tiered cake stand that matches the dishes.

2016-12-27-16-46-37-3-tier

And the cutest red sleigh cupcake holders for the eggnog muffins displayed on a Christmas tree cutting board that was hand made by my cousin Frank- he is so talented.

2016-12-27-13-54-27-muffins-on-board

2016-12-27-13-55-55-christmas-board

My centerpiece is a tabletop size real Christmas Pine Tree that I have been watering every day and keeping it alive (with Bob’s help of course). It was touch and go for a while when some of the pine needles started to fall off, but I kept the faith and it’s still alive. (I have a reputation for killing ALL plants, shrubs, and bouquets I come in contact with).

2016-12-26-22-46-21-centerpiece

The last addition to the breakfast table was a Willow Tree figurine -“Treasure 2016”. This year has been very important for us and we wanted her on the table to remind us of our blessings.

I collect these figurines. I just love them.

2016-12-26-22-27-16-willow-tree

Place Setting

2016-12-26-22-43-15-place-setting

Well, that was our Christmas breakfast table. I hope I gave you some ideas to incorporate into your Christmas morning breakfast table for next year or a New Years Day breakfast table- wishing you many blessings in 2017.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Diane

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Don’t forget the recipes.

2016-12-26-22-47-51-buffet

Eggnog Muffins
(Makes 12 muffins)

Serve these muffins with butter or jam … very yummy! If you plan on serving them to children, leave out the rum, increase the amount of eggnog, and add vanilla extract.

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
2/3-cup sugar
1-tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup prepared eggnog
1/2 cup dark rum
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 egg, beaten to blend
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Grease one 12-cup muffin pan.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Stir in remaining ingredients.
Spoon into prepared pan.
Bake about 20 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.
Cool slightly before serving.

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Overnight Panettone French toast

Courtesy of Naptime Recipes

Ingredients

1 loaf panettone (about 2 lbs. on the box)
6 large eggs
2 ½ cups milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Slice the loaf of panettone into about 8 to 10 even sized slices. Generously butter a 13 x 9 baking dish and fit the panettone slices in, allowing them to overlap. You may have to turn some slices sideways to make everything fit snugly – this is fine!
  2. Whisk the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl and pour the mixture evenly over the bread in the baking dish. Push the bread down so it soaks up as much of the custard as possible. Cover the baking dish and place it in the fridge to chill for at least 6 hours, or up to 12.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and allow the bread and custard to come to room temperature. Then sprinkle the top lightly with some granulated sugar and bake it in the oven for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the French toast is puffed up. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving with warm maple syrup.

This tasty treat appeals to both kids and adults and is even great for entertaining! To dress it up a bit try dusting the top with confectioners’ sugar.

Naptime Stopwatch

20 minutes prep time, 40 minutes cook time

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Table Details

 “Christmas Carols” dishes and mugs from Williams Sonoma

“Christmas Carols” tablecloth and napkins from Williams Sonoma

Three tier “Christmas Carols” cake stand from Williams Sonoma

“Santa and Reindeer” glassware from Williams Sonoma

Red and green woven napkin rings from Bed, Bath and Beyond

Red chargers from Bed, Bath and Beyond

Green dinner plates (Gibson)-pattern Green Aruba from Amazon

Red flatware from Homegoods

White cake plate with red ribbon was a “good luck” gift when I started the blog in 2015

Red Sleigh Cupcake holders  from Crate and Barrel

Willow Tree “Treasure 2016” from Hallmark

Panettone from Eataly, NYC

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

And share this post with your family and friends.

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

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

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Happy Easter 2016

2016-03-26 22.28.13 - INTRO

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

Hi everyone, 

I hope you are all having a beautiful beginning of Spring, even though here in the Northeast we had a little snow on the first day of Spring to say our final good bye to Winter.

Holy Week is such a busy time, we were all getting ready for Easter and baking our traditional breads and pies. I have posted my family recipes for Pizza Dolce (sweet pie) and Pizza Rustica (meat and cheese pie) at the end of the post.

Easter is a little early this year and Palm Sunday seemed to sneak up on us right after we celebrated St. Joseph’s Day.

Still having a very busy month of March, so my Easter table is a lot simpler for me   than last year.

2016-03-26 22.26.19- EXTRA 2

I am starting out with the cutest tablecloth; it is a white bunny and pastel floral printed design on a natural beige background.

2016-03-26 21.47.13 - TABLECLOTH

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Now for the dishes. I loved the combination from last year of the white dinner plate and the star of our show, “Sofie the Bunny” salad plates from Pier 1. The plates have soft shades of yellow, blue, red, orange and brown surrounding “Sofie the Bunny” along with flowers and butterflies with a beautiful scalloped edge to the plate.

2016-03-26 22.20.19-  EASTER DISHES

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While shopping for a few table accents, I saw bunny napkins that I thought would add to my “bunny theme” perfectly.

2016-03-26 20.29.25 NAPKIN

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 I also spotted sisal grass “bunny” napkin rings. Originally, I wanted the napkin rings to match the sisal grass basket from last year (pictured below) and at the last minute decided not to use the basket for this years table. I am keeping this year pastel.

But of course, I bought the napkins rings anyway.

2015-03-29 01.06.58 - BUNNY BASKET

2016-03-26 21.52.45 - NAPKIN WITH RING

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I am using pastel blue woven placemats since I wanted to keep everything very soft while still picking up a color from the salad plate.

2016-03-26 21.49.49- PLACEMAT

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I chose glass chargers so the chargers wouldn’t interfere with any of the colors on the plate.

2016-03-26 21.50.02 CHARGER

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 I added to my “Sophie the Bunny” collection this year and purchased two cake plates in the Sophie the Bunny pattern. I am using one to display Easter eggs and chocolate and the second one will be for the traditional Easter bread, “Colomba Di Pasqua”.

2016-03-26 20.58.41 - CAKE PLATE

2016-03-26 20.59.27- CAKE PLATE WITH CANDY

Colomba Di Pasqua is a yeast bread shaped like a dove (colomba in Italian), the symbol of peace and resurrection. It is similar to a Panettone and filled with raisins and candied orange peel. Topped off with almonds, sugar and baked on almond icing to give it a sweet crust.

In my family, we would always have Colomba for breakfast on Easter. My mother would buy the traditional classic flavor but I have branched out into buying the Colomba with chocolate chunks added.

I find that the Colomba from the Bonifanti company is by far the best.

March 2013 - Easter Cakes 002  WITH FRAME

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The flatware is my favorite everyday set in gold and silver.

2016-03-26 21.54.00 - FLATWARE

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I am using light lime goblets to add to the pastel theme and pick up yet another color in the salad plate.

2016-03-26 22.21.19 - GLASSWARE

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Every year on my table, no matter what the theme I choose, dishes or tablecloth I use, my two white ceramic rabbits will always be added to my tablescape.

It has become somewhat of a tradition for me to include them.

2016-03-26 22.00.19- CERAMIC BUNNIES

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Last year I bought more ceramic bunnies for the table, and they are little “love bunnies”. I think I will add them every year as well; they are just too cute.

2016-03-26 21.55.49- LOVE BUNNIES

Here is the description and card that came with them.

2016-03-26 22.03.51- CARD

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Since there are so many bunnies on the table this year, I thought that it would be cute to add a few table accents of carrots. I bought these cloth carrots tied in small bundles and placed each trio near my white ceramic bunnies.

2016-03-26 21.58.57 CARROTS

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Adding to the pastel color scheme, I chose pastel egg cups that pick up even more of the colors in the salad plate. My husband bought me these egg cups as a no special occasion gift and I just love them (and my husband too of course).

He has become quite the shopper over the years when it comes to tableware.

Each cup has a delicate flower painted inside. I am using artificial speckled foam eggs for each place setting.

2016-03-26 20.39.02- EGG CUPS

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My centerpiece is very basic; a large bunch of assorted colored tulips. Nice, bright and it just says Easter and Spring. I have displayed them in my favorite Waterford vase.

2016-03-26 22.26.34  EXTRA 1

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And for me, Easter just wouldn’t be Easter without my favorite confection, ” PEEPS”.

 Peeps was the “first” candy I looked for in my Easter basket as a child and I have to buy them each year.

Have to admit, I enjoy them more when they are a little stale.

I am displaying Peeps around the table this year on a different set of white ceramic salad plates that are shaped like, what else? A white bunny.

2016-03-26 20.59.51 BUNNY PLATE

Peeps on display

2016-03-26 21.56.13 PEEPS

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 The last addition to my table is a white ceramic bunny candy dish. I made a promise to myself not to fill the candy dish with jelly beans until Easter Sunday.

There are too many goodies in the house for this holiday.

2016-03-26 21.56.53 - CANDY DISH

And that is my tablescape for Easter 2016.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday and I wish you many blessings always.

Happy Easter !

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

2016-03-26 22.29.22 - BUFFET

Place Setting

2016-03-26 21.06.58 PLACE SETTING

Table Details

Bunny Tablecloth from Amazon

Bunny napkins from Pier 1

Sisal grass bunny napkin rings from Pier 1

Pastel blue placemats from Homegoods

Glass charger plates from Crate and Barrel

White Gibson dinner plate from Homegoods

“Sophie the Bunny” salad plate from Pier 1

Cake plate from Pier 1

Flatware from everyday set

Glassware from the Dollar Store

White ceramic bunnies from Pottery Barn

White ceramic “love bunnies” from Pier 1

Cloth carrot trios from Pier 1

Pastel egg cups from Homegoods

White bunny salad plates from Pottery Barn

White ceramic bunny candy dish from Target

Foam speckled eggs from Pier 1

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to follow and share 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.

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

Note– Scroll to the top left hand corner of each picture for the white and red “pin it” button and add DishingwithDiane.com photos to your Pinterest page.

The first pie is Pizza Dolce, (Italian sweet pie).

2016-03-14 16.41.40- pizza dolce

It is an Italian cheesecake made with ricotta, eggs, milk, sugar and extracts. It is definitely not a low-calorie pie.

INGREDIENTS:

24 eggs

3 lbs. Whole milk ricotta cheese (large container)  

1 qt. Whole milk 

1 oz. lemon extract 

1 oz. almond extract 

1 oz. vanilla extract 

1 oz. anise extract

Zest of ½ a medium lemon 

3 ½ cups sugar 

Colored confetti sprinkles (aka: rainbow nonpareil)

 DIRECTIONS

 Add eggs, milk and ricotta in a blender until smooth (I divide this to 1/3 at a time), transfer to a large bowl.

When completed, add extracts, sugar, lemon zest and mix well.

Spray two 9 ½ X 11 inch GLASS pans with Pam. Fill each pan ¾ of the way full—add rainbow confetti on top of mixture.

Place in a 350-degree oven for approx. 1 ½ hours. (More sprinkles can be added during the cooking time).

 (1 fluid oz. = 6 tsp or 2 TBSP)            This recipe makes 2 pans

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Pizza Rustica

2016-03-15 13.24.37 - pizza rustica ingred..use this

2016-03-15 22.21.40- pizza rustica 2016

2016-03-16 02.28.44- pizza rustica close

The second pie is Pizza Rustica and my absolute favorite.

It is a classic Italian Easter pie made with cured Italian meats, Italian cheeses and bound together with eggs. We usually eat thin slices of Pizza Rustica as an antipasto before a traditional lamb dinner, and it can be served either warm or cold .

This pie is also a main part of “Easter Monday” or “La Pasquetta” which means little Easter.

Easter Monday is a national holiday in Italy. Italians leave the city and head to the country, the beach or the mountains for a family picnic. Pizza Rustica, frittata, Easter bread, wine and chocolate biscotti are all on the menu.

The whole point is to celebrate the return of Spring.

We always celebrated Easter Monday when I was a child.

Depending on what region of Italy you are from, the name of this recipe may vary. It is also called Torta Pasqualina, Pizza Gaina and Pizza Piena .  

However, Easter is called Pasqua and Buona Pasqua means Happy Easter in Italy… no matter what region you are from!

Ingredients:

¼ lb prosciutto

1 stick soppressata (or mix half sweet and half hot)

1 stick pepperoni salami

¼ lb hot capicola

6-8 slices of genoa salami

1 basket fresh cheese…….NOT Mozzarella –– usually sold in a 2 lb baskets at the Italian market. Let it drain in a colander overnight and when ready to use squeeze out any excess liquid. (Use a wooden spoon or fingers to crumble)

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13 large eggs

¼ cup half and half

¼ cup grated provolone

½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

Nutmeg (approx 2 shakes)

½ Cup fresh Italian parsley

Black pepper

Salt – can be omitted because the cold cuts are salty

2 egg yolks & a tsp of sugar for the glaze

Two 1 lb balls of pizza dough ( either homemade, or from a pizzeria)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350.

  1. Cut first six ingredients (meat and cheese) into small bite size pieces & mix together in a large bowl (This prep work can be done on one day and assemble the pie the next day).
  2. When ready to assemble, add Romano cheese, Mozzarella cheese, provolone, nutmeg, parsley, salt and pepper to prior meat and cheese mixture
  3. Prepare small roasting pan or spring-form pan, with olive oil to coat the bottom and sides. Cut pizza dough and shape to form a bottom layer WITH SIDES and a top layer of dough. (If you don’t want a full top layer, cut the dough in strips and criss cross on top with no venting)
  4. After shaping the bottom layer of dough in the pan–add the meat and cheese mixture. Separately, beat the 13 eggs and half and half, and pour over dry mixture in pan and MIX WELL. Add top layer of dough (or strips)
  5. Roll top & bottom layers of dough together around the sides to seal. Vent the top of the pie with a fork or paring knife several times.
  6. Add sugar to the EGG YOLKS and brush the top of the pie to prepare a glaze when cooking.
  7. Bake at 350 for 1 hr to 1 hr /15 minutes….
  8. For the first 30 minutes cover the pie with aluminum foil.For the remaining 45 minutes bake uncovered. If using a spring-form pan-let pie stand 15 minutes –then release pan sides and transfer to plate. Can be served warm or cold.

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St. Patrick’s Day and St. Joseph’s Day

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

Hi Everyone, 

What a crazy month I am having; a lot of social obligations. Not a moment to spare to set a new St. Patrick’s Day or St. Joseph’s Day table this year; so for my members who want to review the recipes, I am posting the links from last year’s tablescapes and holiday recipes.

Enjoy!

2015-03-14 17.59.33- EXTRA LEPRECHAUN

St. Patrick’s Day- March 17th

Click the link below for the post and recipes!

https://dishingwithdiane.com/2015/03/15/saint-patricks-day/

St Patrick’s Day Recipes included in the post…

Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

corned beef and cabbage

(photo courtesy- hecooksshewines.com)

AND

Mini Shepherd’s Pie

Mini-Shepherds-PIes3-600x896

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5547597178_9560e0b681_z- st joseph altar USE

St. Joseph’s Day – March 19th

Click the link below for the post and recipes!

https://dishingwithdiane.com/2015/03/08/saint-josephs-day/

St Joseph’s Day Recipes included in the post…

Minestrone Soup

2015-03-07 20.14.23- MINESTRONE FOR BLOG

*

Bucatini with Anchovy Garlic Sauce with toasted Bread crumbs

2015-03-08 13.03.08- MY BUCATINI FOR BLOG

*

Zeppole di San Giuseppe pastry

2015-03-07 23.40.39 - St joseph pastry for blog

*

Fig Cookies (Cucciadate)

10432988_10203212085284693_4395128701798220187_n- cuccidate from Paula Gati

(photo courtesy- Born Again Italian)

AND

Fava Beans (no photo)

Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day and St. Joseph’s Day with your family and friends.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to follow and share 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.

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

Note– Scroll to the top left hand corner of each picture for the white and red “pin it” button and add DishingwithDiane.com photos to your Pinterest page.

Happy Valentine’s Day 2016

Happy-valentines-day-HD-wallpaper-2016 - 2(photo courtesy of happybirthdaycakeimages.com)

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

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

I know everyone is busy making plans for Valentine’s Day, either with their special someone or friends and family. 

Last year Bob and I we went out to a cozy little Italian restaurant for a light lunch and came home for dinner later that evening to heart shaped ravioli, a salad with heart shaped beets, chocolate covered strawberries and cupcakes.

2015-02-08 15.42.45- USE ravioli 2

Heart shaped ravioli for Valentine’s Day

(I used a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out the shape for the beets).

2015-02-08 15.39.14-USE salad

Valentine’s Day salad with beet “heart” cut outs

2015-02-08 14.14.07- USE strawberry

Valentine’s Day

2015-02-08 15.20.17- use 4

Valentine’s Day

The older I get, the more I want cozy and quiet. I don’t need to go out to a restaurant for the overcrowded “Special Valentine’s Day” Dinner. Although it is quite entertaining to watch young couples out for the evening on Valentine’s Day. Bob and I have this little observation game we play to guess how long the couple has been together based on the way they act and look at each other.

Bob and I have been together for 31 years, so we have some experience with this.

This year, once again we will celebrate the official holiday with a quiet cozy dinner at home instead of dinner out. 

Bob and I celebrate Valentine’s Day every day of the year. I am very fortunate to have married such a loving and caring man and I am grateful every day.

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Last year I posted a Valentine’s Day Breakfast table.

2015-02-10 05.55.40 - opening table

and a Valentine’s Day Dinner table,

2015-02-08 14.19.34- USE candlelight

Valentine’s Day

so this year, I am posting a 

Valentine’s Day Dessert table. 

2016-02-12 22.47.56- INTRO

For dessert this year I am setting up a chocolate fondue pot. Bob and I received this fondue pot as a wedding gift and this is the third time I have used it.

2016-02-12 20.24.44- FONDUE POT

I placed the fondue pot on a white ceramic cheese board and added the most adorable red ceramic “love birds”. 

2016-02-12 20.07.19- LOVE BIRDS

2016-02-24 21.13.32- BIRDS THAT MATE FOR LIFE

I’ve made cheese fondue before, but this time it will be Chocolate Fondue. 

You have to have chocolate on Valentine’s Day.

( I have the recipe posted below).

So let’s start the tablescape….

 I have decided on a pink tablecloth! Nice and cheery.

I am not using the matching cloth napkins. I picked up the cutest luncheon napkins that look like conversation heart candies. 

2016-02-13 01.37.35 - TC & NAPKIN

 Trying to keep to a pink, red and white color scheme; the placemats are red and the chargers are white.

2016-02-12 20.22.32- PLACEMAT AND CHARGER

This time, NO dinner plates. I am using pink paper luncheon plates on top of the chargers. (easy clean up)

2016-02-12 21.59.29 - PINK PAPER PLATE

Even though the fondue is delicious on it’s own, I still have to have cupcakes on Valentine’s Day.  

At each place setting I placed a Valentine’s Day cupcake in a heart shaped ceramic dish surrounded by holiday colored M & M’s. (another candy I love)

2016-02-12 20.08.14- RED DISH -USE

2016-02-12 20.20.24 -  RED DISH CUPCAKE

I am also serving two of my favorite Valentine’s Day treats, Peeps and conversation hearts. Loved these since I was a child.

It’s just not Valentine’s Day without them.

Now I needed a serving bowl for the treats and I chose red martini glasses. 

Think about how you can re-purpose what you already own.

Golden rule: shop your house first. 

I like the way the red matches both the placemat and ceramic heart dish and it also adds a bit of color to the tablescape.

I think I have enough candy for the dessert table.

2016-02-13 01.03.41 RED MARTINI

2016-02-12 20.21.42 -MARTINI CANDY

For my drinking glasses, I am using decorated goblets with hearts. 

2016-02-12 20.29.21-- GLASSWARE

The flatware is good old reliable red.

2016-02-12 22.02.01 - RED FLATWARE

Now I had to think about what to serve as dippers for the fondue. My final choice was bananas, strawberries, cantaloupe, marshmallows, pretzels, pineapple and pound cake.

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To add to the theme, I cut the pound cake into little hearts.

2016-02-12 22.49.31 - POUND CAKE CLOSE UP

Trying to have as many hearts on the table as possible, I added heart shaped mirrors to place some votive candles on.

2016-02-12 20.28.54  MIRROR

 I had to get candles on the table, so I bought votive candle holders with more hearts painted on.

2016-02-12 22.04.05- VOTIVES

2016-02-12 22.04.14 VOTIVE CLOSE

Now to serve all the dipping goodies for the fondue, I am using various cake stands that I have collected over the years.

 The white with red ribbons cake stand, I received as a “Good Luck” gift when I started the blog last year and I just LOVE it.

2016-02-12 22.04.58 - CAKE WITH RIBBONS

The second white cake stand fits so perfectly with the theme of the table because of the colored hearts design.

2016-02-12 20.25.19- HEART CAKE STAND

And the third cake stand blends into the tablescape perfectly with it’s delicate shade of pink glass.

2016-02-12 22.06.15- PINK CAKE  FINAL

Last year I purchased felt confetti that look like conversation heart candies so I am using the same confetti again this year.

2016-02-12 22.01.13 - CONFETTI

A few heart danglers from the light fixture and we are all set.

2016-02-24 21.14.01- DANGLERS

2016-02-12 22.51.47 BUFFET

Place Setting

2016-02-12 22.22.43 -PLACE SETTING

Table Details

Pink tablecloth from Linens and Things

Paper Conversation heart napkins from Target

Pink paper luncheon plates from Target

Fondue set was a wedding gift

White ceramic cheese board from Target

Red “love birds” from Pier 1

Red flatware from Homegoods

White chargers from Pfaltzgraff

Red woven placemats from Homegoods

Red ceramic heart shaped dishes from Michael’s Arts & Crafts

Valentine’s Day goblets from Marshalls

Red Martini glasses from Crate and Barrel

White cake stand with red ribbon was a “good luck” gift when I started the blog.

Heart cake stand from Sur La Table

Pink glass cake stand from Pier 1

Heart danglers from Amazon

Heart shaped Mirrors from Oriental Trading

Heart votive candle holders from Amazon

Felt conversation heart confetti from Michael’s Arts & Crafts

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2016-02-12 22.51.55 EXTRA 1 TO WINDOW

Chocolate Fondue Recipe

Recipe By:EAGLE BRAND(R)
Ingredients
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND(R) Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In heavy saucepan, over medium heat, melt chocolate chips and butter with EAGLE BRAND(R) condensed milk and water. Cook and stir constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla.
  2. Serve warm as a fruit and cookie/cracker dipping sauce or drizzle over ice cream or cake. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.

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I wish each and every one of you a very Happy Valentine’s Day!

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to follow and share 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.

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

NoteScroll to the top left hand corner of each picture for the white and red “pin it” button and add DishingwithDiane.com photos to your Pinterest page.

images- valentines day 1(photo courtesy of 10-themes.com)

Happy New Year 2016 – Lentil Soup

2015-01-01 20.58.20- replace soup

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

Hi Everyone,

From my family to yours, have a very Happy, Healthy New Year.

All the best to you in 2016.

It is customary in many countries around the world to eat “Good Luck” foods to ring in the New Year.

On New Year’s Day in the Italian tradition it is customary to eat Lentils and Cotechino Sausage. The lentils, because they are shaped like little coins symbolize good fortune and prosperity. The cotechino, is a big pork sausage that’s boiled over low heat for about four hours before serving. When sliced, the pieces also look like coins and is meant to give wealth in the new year. My grandmother would also add spinach to the lentils because it is green and resembles the color of money.

So to keep with tradition, I wanted to share my recipes for Lentils with you. 

2015-01-01 20.58.20- replace soup

Diane’s Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1 medium red onion, chopped

3-4 carrots, peeled and chopped

3 celery stalks, chopped

3-4 garlic cloves, chopped

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

1 (14 ½ oz.) can of diced tomatoes with their juices

1 tbsp. tomato paste

1 bag of lentils (1 bag usually equals 1 ¼ cups)

8 cups low sodium chicken broth (2 boxes) or homemade broth

4- 6 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

1 cup grated cheese

Cooks Note: I always make lentil soup when I have the bone of a spiral ham. You could use a ham hock or skip this ingredient entirely

I have also used a 1/2 lb. of chopped bacon sauteed in a small amount of oil as the first step.

Directions:

  • Sort lentils for any stones, rinse with cold water – set aside
  • Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat
  • (saute bacon if using)
  • Add the red onion, celery and carrots and a pinch of salt to sweat the vegetables.
  • After 2-3 minutes add the garlic, tomato paste and pinch of red pepper and sauté until all the vegetables are tender, about 5-8 minutes
  • Add the tomatoes with their juices
  • Simmer until the juices evaporate a little and the tomatoes break down, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes
  • Add the lentils and mix well to coat. Sauté 1-2 minutes
  • Add the broth, bay leaf, thyme springs, and ham bone, if using
  • Bring to a boil over high heat
  • Cover and simmer over low heat until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes
  • Remove the ham bone; when cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bone. Discard the bone; dice the meat and return to the soup. Discard the bay leaf
  • Add salt and pepper and taste for seasonings
  • When serving, you can drizzle soup with a little olive oil and serve with grated cheese

 Cooks Note- salt the lentils at the end of cooking, rather than the beginning, so that they don’t remain hard.

 I hope you try this recipe and it brings you and your loved ones,

good fortune in 2016 !

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to follow and share 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.