Category Archives: Special Occasions

Springtime Holiday Breads

Photo Mar 16, 6 47 29 PM SPRINGTIME HOLIDAY BREADS

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Hi Everyone, 

This year Bob and I have plans to go out on St. Patrick’s Day so there will be no St. Patrick’s Day tablescape from DishingwithDiane- sorry.  I am too busy running around and quite honestly, I ran out of time.

Instead, I wanted to share with you my recipes for two traditional holiday breads this time of year.

For St. Patrick’s Day, celebrated on March 17th — I made Irish Soda bread with caraway seeds and lots of raisins. One of Bob’s favorites. I will be serving this with apples and Kerrygold (love that brand) aged cheddar.

Photo Mar 16, 8 08 58 PM - IRISH SODA BREAD

Here is the recipe I use for Irish Soda bread from Melissa Clark at the NY Times…

INGREDIENTS

  • Butter for greasing pan plus 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 ½teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¾ cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 ½ cups raisins or currants
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds 
  • Good aged Cheddar cheese, for serving
  • Tart apples, cut into slices, for serving 

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch oven-proof skillet and line with parchment or waxed paper.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined. Do not over-mix. Stir in the raisins or currants and caraway seeds.
  3. Pour batter into skillet. Brush top with remaining butter. Bake until golden and firm to touch, about 1 hour. Cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving with Cheddar and apples.

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For St. Joseph’s Day, celebrated on March 19th — I made St. Joseph Day Bread with anise seeds (which gives the bread a mild licorice flavor). This is one of my favorites.

Photo Mar 16, 6 32 33 PM ST JOSEPH BREAD

This bread is usually part of the St. Joseph’s Day altar (or table ) to honor St. Joseph. Each year my grandmother served this bread along with other traditional foods for this day such as minestrone soup, fava beans and bucatini pasta in a garlic, oil, and anchovy sauce ( before you even think it, it is not fishy) topped with toasted bread crumbs.

If you want to read more about this holiday and want additional recipes,

here is my link to a previous St. Joseph Day post 

 https://dishingwithdiane.com/2017/03/18/st-josephs-day-2017/

 

Photo Mar 16, 6 34 23 PM ST JOSEPH STATUE

Here is the recipe I use for St. Joseph’s Day Bread from the website, Mangia Bene Pasta

(Makes 1 loaf – approx. 18-inches in length)

Ingredients:

2/3 cup warm milk, 105 – 115 degrees F.
1 (1/4-ounce) package dry active yeast
3 cups bread flour, divided
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon anise seed or 1 teaspoon anise extract       

Egg wash: 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water
Sesame seeds

Directions:

Stir the yeast into the warm milk and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Pour the yeast mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add 1 cup of flour, sugar, salt, and melted butter. Beat the mixture with the paddle attachment for 2 minutes. Add the eggs, anise seed or extract, and another cup of flour.
Beat for 2 more minutes.

Change from the paddle attachment to a dough hook. Add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough starts to come together. You may not need to add all of the flour. Then allow the dough hook to knead the dough on medium for 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Punch the dough down and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 20 – 22-inch rope. Place the 2 ropes on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Loosely twist the ropes together, tucking the ends under. Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 – 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Brush the loaf with the eggwash and sprinkle liberally with sesame seeds.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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I hope you enjoy both the recipes and the holidays with your family and friends. Until my next post, make everyday a celebration!

Stay well, 

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

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

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

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

 

Happy “Second” Year Blogiversary

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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….

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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

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Diane

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A Night at the Oscars

2016-02-27 22.31.12  INTRO

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Hi Everyone,

Well, we are in the middle of the award season and the Academy Awards are here.

February 28, 2016

88th Academy Awards

I have to admit, in the past year I didn’t get a chance to see all the movies that are up for an Academy Award, but I never miss the red carpet arrivals on Oscar Sunday. The fashionista in me comes out while looking at all the celebrities in their haute couture outfits.

The red carpet is my favorite part of the evening.

But no matter how many movies I have or haven’t seen, Oscar night is a time to celebrate along with Hollywood and Oscar deserves a tablescape all his own.

2016-02-27 19.51.14- CLOSE UP

So let’s start.

Instead of ushering in the red carpet, I am ushering in a red tablecloth and napkins. I used the rhinestone napkin rings once again. I love the sparkle.

2016-02-27 19.24.45- TC AND NAPKINS use this

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For this tablescape, I am using a runner; something I very rarely use but I couldn’t resist because it is a film strip.

2016-02-27 22.33.43   RUNNER

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The chargers for tonight will be gold of course, just like Oscar himself and the plates will be black.

2016-02-27 19.29.39 chargers plates USE this

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To add to the theme, I bought paper dessert plates in a red, black, silver and gold movie reel and stars design.

2016-02-27 19.27.49- DESSERT PLATE   use this

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Special nights deserve special glassware, so I am using red martini glasses to match the red carpet.

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I put a beverage napkin, same colors as the dessert plates with a popcorn bucket design under each glass instead of a coaster.

2016-02-27 19.27.10- BEVERAGE NAPKIN  use this

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The flatware will be gold and silver.

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At each place setting I have included a set of “Hollywood” sunglasses. I have seen some celebrities wear their sunglasses both day/night and indoor/outdoor; so I had to include these on the table.

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All my guests are always winners to me, so at each place setting all my guests get an Oscar statue as a party favor.

2016-02-27 19.44.01  OSCAR  use thuis

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Now on to the centerpiece. What comes to mind when we go out to the movies ?…To me it would be popcorn and candy, so that had to be part of my centerpiece.

I decided to get a little crafty and make bowls out of movie ticket rolls. I saw this on Pinterest and decided to give it a try. I am the last person to take on a craft project but it didn’t look too difficult.

I was so excited to start, I forgot to take a picture of my ticket rolls when they were flat, so here is a stock photo of a roll to give you a better idea of one of the supplies I needed to start the project.

Ticket-roll1

(photo courtesy of hello.etix.com)

So with my rolls of tickets, sponge brushes, level and bottle of Mod Podge, I set out making bowls. It wasn’t difficult and Mod Podge is my new best friend.

2016-02-25 00.20.48- PARTY TICKET BOWLS

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Now that the bowls are finished, I needed to fill them, so I bought movie size candy boxes for two bowls and popcorn for the third. 

2016-02-27 19.40.24  GOLD BOWL

2016-02-27 19.40.06 POPCORN BOWL

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I displayed the bowls on a three tiered cake server.

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And now the centerpiece is complete, with the addition of a clapboard cutout.

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A few table accents and we are almost done.

 The first table accent I chose was my old Nikon camera that I haven’t used since I started using the camera in my cell phone. 

I decided to take it out of storage and give it a place on the table for old time’s sake.

Along with the camera, something every paparazzi photographer needs at all times would be a VIP back stage access pass.

2016-02-27 22.27.07  NIKON

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The next table accents for me are movie reel designed coasters. 

Instead of using them as intended, I decided to use them as photo frames with pictures of old movie stars and displayed them on lucite tabletop easels.

The photos are of movie stars that I loved.

Audrey Hepburn is one of my all time favorites- LOVE everything about her; along with Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman. 

2016-02-27 19.38.08 COASTERS

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I found this great film strip ribbon and draped it around the centerpiece. 

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And lastly, some “Hollywood movie night” metallic confetti including movie reels, stars and popcorn containers and some Oscar danglers for my dining room fixture.

2016-02-27 19.34.09- CONFETTI

2016-02-27 19.52.20 - OSCAR DANGLERS

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After our dinner tonight, 

the Academy Awards menu for Bob and I will be hors ‘d oeuvres.

2016-02-28 00.09.00 hors 'deouvres

It’s not catered by Wolfgang Puck, but it will do.

So I am now ready to sit back, relax and watch the Academy Awards.

If you plan on watching, enjoy the show…

Place Setting

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Table Details

Red tablecloth from Linens and Things

Red napkins from Linens and Things

Gold chargers from Pier 1

Black plates from Kohl’s

Paper theme dessert plates and beverage napkins from Party City

Gold and Silver flatware- everyday set

Red goblets from Crate and Barrel

Access pass and Film Reel ribbon from Amazon

Film Reel table runner from Party City

Oscar statues, danglers and confetti from Party City

Sunglasses from Oriental Trading

Centerpiece movie ticket bowls-supplies from Oriental Trading

Movie coasters from Amazon

Lucite easels- prior purchase

Tiered cake stand from Michael’s Arts and Crafts

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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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 “One Year” Blogiversary!

 

2016-01-23 00.46.04- ANNIVERSARY SIGN - BLOG

(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.

2016-01-23 02.37.22- BLOG DISHES

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.

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

This flatware goes with everything.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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 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.

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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

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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