Thursday, September 30, 2010

Autumn Leaves

It's Autumn, and oh how I love the colors of Autumn.  I've brought out my Autumn box so that I may busy myself with arranging Autumn vignettes around our home.  One of the first things I did was set a centerpiece in the heart of our home.  The rustling leaves in this wreath greet us with rich Autumn colors.

For the centerpiece, I paid a visit to my candle closet and gathered candles representative of my beloved season ~ Mulled Cider, Tuscan Vineyards, and Sienna.

Here is a pic of the pattern in my autumnal tablecloth.  My goodness, something about these colors just makes my pupils dance ~ love these colors.  They're so visually pleasing.  Talk about an eyeful, LOL.

This tablecloth expresses many colors of Autumn.  For a large surface such as a sofa (in this case a table), designers recommend using solids and neutrals, then complimenting with pattern.

 Well, I opted for a tablecloth with a beautiful pattern and used dishes in a solid neutral with a raised design.

I doubled up on the napkins to add more autumnal color and another Autumn leaf.  The flatware highlights additional color from the tablecloth.

Since, I’ve already loaded up on pattern, the ribbed stemware introduces more texture.

The layers showcase the neutrals, raised texture, and the ornate charger ~ ooh la la la.

Autumn, scattered about the tablescape …

These are scented candles, so we will not burn them during dinner.

Candlelight for ambiance…

Lemonade to go with polish sausage with grilled peppers and onions and fries.  My very talented friend Diane from Painted Pozzie’s hand painted this lovely pitcher.  Click here to check her out on Facebook.

Tummies had a plenty.  Sweet Pea and Sugar Pudding have retired to bed to get an early start for school tomorrow.  Mr Wonderful and I are going to watch some primetime on the tube.  Goodnight dear friends.

Be sure and visit our gracious hostess, Susan at Between Naps on the Porch to see all of the fabulous tablescapes for Tablescape Thursday.Ridgefield Home Tablecloth and matching napkins, coordinating napkins: HomeGoods
Treasures Gathered on my Tablescaping Escapades:
Sicily Caramel Dinnerware Set by Thomson Pottery and Chargers: Old Time Pottery
Barenthal Flatware: HomeGoods or Marshalls
Amber Iced Beverage Stemware: JCPenney’s
Autumn Wreath: Tuesday Morning
Hurricane and Iced Crystal Trio: Partylite
Pitcher: Painted Pozzie’s

All the Best,

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chinese Take In

Yippee! It's Tablescape Thursday, and I've set out my infamous Blue and White.  Well, at least infamous to me; you know how I adore Bombay Co Blue and White.

How do traditions start?  One September, we had occasion to celebrate, so my in-laws joined us for dinner.  I did not cook, but I set a beautiful table for Chinese food.  Each of us (Mr Wonderful, father-in-love, mother-in-love, sister-in-love and her husband, and me) chose a dish from the menu to share.  That's fun because you get to try a dish that you would not normally eat.  Plus, there's beaucoup de food for a great price, less than $60 bucks for six adults and four kids, then left overs.

My mother-in-love and I went up the street to our favorite neighborhood Chinese restaurant to pick up the food and bring it into our home for Chinese Take In.

Since I have only five blue and white spheres, I used a couple of grapefruit in the bottom to help fill up the decorative bowl.

It's an informal gathering.

Our first course will be soup.

Patterns and texture.

If you collect blue and white, you probably have varying shades of blue.  When I started collecting Bombay Co Blue and White, they sold the dinner plates, dessert plates, canape plates etc, a la carte in boxes of six.  No bowls though, so I found bowls at another place.  Later, Bombay Co started carrying sixteen piece sets, but I like my a la carte patterns the best ~ a collected look.

It took me the longest time to find stemware to compliment my Bombay Co Blue and White china.  I knew I wanted blue stemware, but I used clear stemware and glasses until I laid eyes on these iced beverage stems several years ago.  This year on one of my Tablescaping Escapades, I found mouth blown goblets in a deeper shade of blue.  Now, I have an eclectic stemware duo.  I'd like a trio of eclectic blue stems ~ guess that means more Tablescaping Escapades, LOL ;)

Hostess view.

Here's a close up of the detail at the end of the silk table runner.

The napkins are *bee*jeweled.


I took this pic just for kicks.  (Don't you just love playing in the dishes?) I like how the pattern in the base of the candlestick imitates the dessert plate's pattern.

Three condiment jars for sweet and sour sauce, soy sauce, and hot tangy mustard.

Counter top dressed up as the sidebar/mini buffet.

The soup tureen does not have a slot for the ladle, so I placed it on top of a canape plate.

When I was eight, my grandparents flew me to New York to for a Summer visit.  They took me everywhere, from Central Park to the top of Lady Liberty.  We also dined at a Chinese restaurant.  I just had to conquer eating with chopsticks.  It took me forever to eat all of my food; I was determined.  We shut the place down.  I remember vividly a man, probably the waiter or manager stopping by our table.  My grandpa said a few words to him.  Then, the man locked the doors to the restaurant.  We were the last customers.  My grandpa patiently gave me more instruction.  I was delighted to eat every bit with my chopsticks.  I was so proud of myself.  Every since, I've been eating my Chinese food with chopsticks.

In case, you have not mastered eating with chopsticks, help yourself to flatware from the basket. 

It's easy to pass around the boxes of Chinese food.  It's easier to pour the soup in the tureen for everyone to help themselves.

Our neighborhood Chinese restaurant offers Chicken Egg Drop Soup, Chicken Rice Soup, Hot and Sour Soup, Vegetable Soup, Won Ton Soup, Won Ton with Noodle Soup, and Yetca Mein Soup.  We're having Chicken Egg Drop Soup.  Which one is your favorite?

Would you like a spot of China Oolong Tea?  It's being kept warm for you.  I scooped up the metal teapot warmer on a Tablescaping Escapade to a prime outlet mall.

That first September when we had Chinese Take In with Bombay Co Blue and White, we really enjoyed ourselves.  So now when September rolls around, I set the table in my Bombay Co Blue and White and we order Chinese food.  Fond memories start traditions.  That's how traditions begin.

I sure hope that you had plenty of Chinese food.  If you're a dish-a-holic, I can't imagine that you got your fill of dishes, so waltz on over to visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch to see all the beautiful tablescapes.

Silk Table Runner and Silk Napkins, Bee Napkin Rings:  Bombay Company

Dinner Plates, Dessert Plates, Canape Plate, Teapot and Cups, Soup Tureen and Ladle, Salt and Pepper Shakers, Spheres, Tall Candlesticks, and Three Condiment Jars on Tray:  Bombay Company

Teapot Warmer:  Villeroy and Boch

Bowls and Chopsticks on Rests:  Cost Plus World Market

Flatware:  HomeGoods

White Decorative Bowl:  HomeGoods

Small Candlesticks:  Hobby Lobby

Iced Beverage Stemware:  Tuesday Morning

Mouth Blown Goblets:  Pier 1

All the Best,


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bountiful Fruits, Part 2

Hi there everybody!  It's Tablescape Thursday and it's fresh and fruity at Tablescaping Escapades today.

A couple of weeks ago, Bountiful Fruits, Part 1 was out on the deck.  Today, Bountiful Fruits, Part 2 is indoors.  Come on in the kitchen.

In part 1, I used a smaller basket outside.  Normally, I use this basket in the kitchen.  I put books in the bottom because it sure would take a lot of fruit to fill this basket, LOL.  There are a mixture of faux and real fruit.

Ooh, Sunflowers.  Autumn is coming, but for now let's enjoy the last sweet fruits of Summer.

The four side chairs include the cabbage plates in the layers.  I need four more of those cute little cabbage plates. 

For now, I used two green flower placemats at the host and hostess seats. Instead of putting the black placemats beneath the dinner plates, I placed it under the rattan charger.

Last fruits of Summer....

I must say, this fruit salad is delish.  I adapted the Ina Garten's (Barefoot Contessa from Food Network) Fruit Salad with Limoncello to use the ingredients in my fridge and pantry.  My recipe is below for Foodie Friday with the talented hostess Michael Lee West at Designs by Gollum.

Here's the pitcher, loaded with fresh fruit and berry punch.

And to think, I almost left this pitcher at the antique mall.  Can you see the fruit impressions on the glass?

I think this grape decanter is so fanciful.  Usually, I fill this decanter with Welch's Grape Juice.  I discovered a new purple juice and I love it!  Today, this grape decanter is loaded with blueberries and Blueberry Pomegranate Juice from Ocean Spray.

I bought a new gadget on one of my recent Tablescaping Escapades ~ a pineapple slicer from Williams Sonoma.  A few weeks ago at my father-in-love's church's Summer Fest, one of the vendors served Pina Colada smoothies.  I think he made his with a non-alcoholic mixer.  For mine, I used ice cream and coconut cream.  My girls loved it, but Mr Wonderful isn't crazy about pineapples and coconut.  My mother-in-love and I enjoyed the spiked version.

In Bountiful Fruits, Part 1, I mentioned that I do not have any red plates - I know, shocking.  This time instead of the bamboo flatware, I used red flatware ~ extra pop of color.

Fruit is all over the kitchen.  Years ago for our housewarming party, my dear brother and sister-in-love gave us this cute fruit top cookie jar.

The pots and pans, I bought those for my apartment when I was still living the single life.  I keep them on top of my cabinets all the time.  I've been thinking about a change.  Do you have ideas of what I could put there besides vases and plates?

This treasure is a hand carved fruit stand that I acquired at one of the nation's largest craft shows.

See, it's an apple.

Lynns Stoneware China:  Venture
Rattan Charger and Basket:  Pottery Barn
Green and Black Placemats:  HomeGoods
Cambridge Jubilee Red Flatware:  Bed Bath and Beyond
Faux Fruit:  Hobby Lobby and Michael's
Fruit Splash Votive Holders:  Partylite
Grape Decanter:  From my decanter collection.
Fruitful Pitcher:  Antique Mall
Cabbage Plates:  TJ Maxx
Napkins:  Horchow
Napkin Rings:  Old Time Pottery

Here are the recipes.

Fruit Salad with Yogurt Topping

1 ounce of sour cream

6 ounces of vanilla yogurt

1/3 cup lemon curd (I used Sticky Fingers Bakeries)

1 tablespoon honey

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla (I keep the real thing from Mexico in my pantry.)

2 cups sliced strawberries (1 pint)

1 cup raspberries (1/2 pint)

1 cup blueberries (1/2 pint)

1 cup of nectarines (about 1 large nectarine)

2 tablespoons sugar

The juice of a lemon


For the lemon yogurt topping, whisk together in a bowl: sour cream, yogurt, lemon curd, honey, and vanilla. Then, set aside at room temperature.

For the fruit salad, gently toss together: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, nectarines, sugar, and fresh lemon juice. Let this fruit mixture stand at room temperature for 5 minutes.

Serve fruit in a cute dessert dish (or cup in this case) with a dollop of lemon yogurt on top.
This recipe is from Coco Goya for Pina Colada Smoothies.

Makes 3 cups

4 oz Coco Goya Cream of Coconut Creama De Coco (Instead of coconut cream, you could use coconut milk.)

1 cup of pineapple juice (or rum for libation or a split between juice and rum)

6 scoops of vanilla ice cream or vanilla yogurt (I used Edy's vanilla ice cream.)

Since I used a fresh pineapple as a glass for the smoothie, I froze the fresh pineapple  (cut into chunks) and added them to the blender with the rest of the ingredients.  You may also freeze the pineapple casing after you remove its fruit.  I also recommend using cold pineapple juice and coconut cream/milk to ensure the smoothie is cold, but don't freeze the coconut cream/milk.

Hey, be sure and stop by Susan's at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday and Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday.

All the Best,