Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pumpkins for Breakfast??

Breakfast is my very favorite meal of the day and I am always trying to find new recipes to cook for it.  However, when I was planning this table, I turned to one of my special "old" recipes - Sausage and Egg Pie.

Of course, for my last post in October, I had to use pumpkins somehow on the table.  I grabbed these cute Chantal pumpkin bakers and thought they would be perfect to use for the pies.  I am not sure where I purchased these, but I think it was Marshall's last year.

The rust, green and blue placemats are from Old Time Pottery (I promise that I am not working for them!) and the plaid napkins came from Kohl's.

These cute mum napkin rings are from Pier I, but were given to me by a sweet friend - thank you, Anne!!

This is how the table looked, before the cooking started!

This is how the place setting looked, after the pies were baked and orange colored cantaloupe was served in Mikasa fruit bowls.

O.K., here is the link to the recipe for the pies. I feature it on a post, when I was blogging for Tablescape Times Three.  You can find it HERE. I hope that you love them, as much as I do!

One more thing - the great rust colored dinner plates on the table are from Dillard's. They are part of the "Toscano" pattern by Noble Excellence in the butterscotch color.  Let me say that I have always loved this china pattern and have been looking at it in all of the different colors, since Dillard's first began carrying it.  This color is a mystery!!!  I had never seen it previously and when I bought it, my store had only six dinner plates and a few bowls and mugs.  I bought all of the plates and rushed home to buy more online and there were none listed on the website. I cannot find a reference to this color anywhere - not even on Replacements!!  What????? I guess that I will have to visit (or call!) every Dillard's store looking for at least two more plates.    Has this ever happened to you? So frustrating!


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Sunday, October 20, 2013


“Will you walk into my parlour?” said the Spider to the Fly,
 'Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
  The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
   And I've a many curious things to shew when you are there.”

“Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “to ask me is in vain,
 For who goes up your winding stair
     -can ne'er come down again.

And begins one of my favorite poems, "The Spider and the Fly" by Mary Howitt written in 1829.  I have always loved this poem and decided to use it as the inspiration for my Halloween table this year.

I found these adorable appetizer plates on the Crate and Barrel website and they were on sale - yeah! I had to add a few bugs - spiders get hungry, you know!

The black and white tablecoth was purchased from Boscov's online and the black and orange placemats came from my local Steinmart store. With all of the black and orange, I decided to use white flatware that that I bought at Walmart a number of years ago.

The centerpiece was a large faux pumpkin from Jo-Ann's that I decorated with a spider kit from Martha Stewart.

You have seen a few of the bugs that the spider wanted to catch, but the real stars of the table were all of the spiders!

They were clinging to the pumpkin -

 holding onto the napkins -

lighting the table -

and creeping down from the chandelier.

I hope that you are not afraid of spiders, if you decide to come celebrate Halloween with me. I find them lots of fun, as long as they are fake!!

Do you love Halloween, as much as I do?  Maybe, it is because I used to teach pre-school, but I love pretending on this day every year.  Now, I just have to decide whether I will be the spider or the fly!!



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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

White and Purple

It is time, again, for a challenge from Kathleen of Cuisine Kathleen!  She has asked us to set another white table with just one additional color.  For this challenge, I chose white and purple.

The inspiration for the color came from my Fostoria "Fascination" water goblets in the lilac color,  These glasses were made from 1958 through 1974 and, also, came in clear and ruby. The other crystal piece is a footed iced tea glass made by Galway in the "Longford" pattern.

Fortunately, I had recently purchased Laurie Gates purple flatware from Horchow on sale.

For the plate stack, I used white chargers from Maryland China, Lenox "Opal Innocence Carved" dinner plates and large "Coventry" salad plates by J. C. Penney from Replacements.

White on white embroidered napkins were set on the plates with pearl napkin rings -

with a sprig of purple and lavender tucked inside.

Faux pearls were added to the centerpiece, as well.  This glass, bronze and marble compote was recently purchased at an estate sale.  I fell in love with it. Afterwards, I saw another like it on eBay and thought that I would enjoy having a pair of them.  However, the one on eBay was twice as much, as I paid for this one.  I decided that one was enough for now!

Lavender ceramic birds hopped around among the acrylic scatters on the table.

For dessert, I made a recipe that I found on Kitty's Kozy Kitchen, which you can find HERE. Kitty calls it a Heath Bar Cake Roll and she wrote that the frosting is the best frosting ever.  She was right - it is so delicious and it actually has flour in it!  I have been baking, since I was in the 4th grade and I have never seen a frosting recipe with flour in it.  That was one of the reasons that I wanted to try out the recipe.  Wow - it was certainly worth the trouble. It is delicious!!  I cut my cake in half, so that I could freeze part of it, but it is beautiful left in the original shape.  I hope Kathleen will forgive the brown Heath Bar pieces on the top - the rest of the cake is all white!

I wish that I could have shot this post on a day, when it was not raining - oh, well!  I still enjoyed the challenge of another white table.  Kathleen's challenges are always so much fun - cannot wait, until the next one!!


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Monday, October 7, 2013

Pumpkin Soup Bowls #2 and Poblano Corn Chowder

My daughter had a big birthday last week-end (Happy Birthday, Andrea!). Since I received so many sweet comments, about the pumpkin bowls that I featured in my last post, I thought I would show you how I used them for Andrea's birthday dinner.

I changed some things and kept some things on the table.  Obviously, I kept the soup bowls, but I placed them on Villeroy and Boch "Intarsia" salad plates.  I, also, used "Intarsia" bread plates and dinner plates, which I used on top of chargers with a harlequin design from One King's Lane. I kept the napkin rings and green Ralph Lauren napkins, but added the matching tablecloth.

I used the same pattern clear glass, but used the water goblet, instead of the wine glass.  I took away the green Fostoria glass and added Celebrity "Ebony" stemware. I continued to use Gorham "Strasbourg" flatware, but added individual butter paddles on the bread and butter plates and a dessert fork and spoon for birthday cake and homemade ice cream.  The ice cream was compliments of Andrea's Dad - my husband is an expert at creating homemade ice cream!!

I took away the pumpkin tureen that I used for the centerpiece in the previous post and added this black metal Mikasa candle holder.  It usually has five glass votive holders, but I liked the way the two small pumpkins looked on each end. I could not decide what color candles to use, so I put small cream colored  ones in tiny glass holders and set them in the larger glass ones. Then, I added amber glass fillers.  I, also,  used a few of the Fall leaves from the first table setting. 

A few of the ceramic pumpkins and gourds from the other table were used, as well.

This is how our birthday table looked, as compared to the table on the previous post:

Which one do you prefer?  Isn't it fun to use pieces in different ways? Well, I hope you enjoyed seeing a couple of different tables using the pumpkin bowls. I had fun mixing up things, but I cannot decide which table I like best.  However, I know what I served in the bowls is my favorite soup - Poblano Corn Chowder. The recipe was originally given to me by my friend, Jo.  You will find it at the end of this post.

Here is the "Wonder Woman" birthday girl - I will have to save that fun, family story for another post!!

Poblano Corn Chowder

½  cup chopped onion                                                        ½ cup granulated sugar
3    ribs celery, chopped                                                      1 tablespoon lobster base (optional)
½  cup plus 2 Tablespoons                                                  ½ cup flour
      butter, divided
1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced                               1 (15-oz.) can creamed corn          
1 quart heavy cream (you truly can                                  1 (15-oz.) can whole corn kernels, drained  
   substitute skim milk for this)                                             
1 quart half-and-half                                                           1 to 1 ½ pounds raw shrimp, diced
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of ground chile de arbol (can                                   Salt and sugar to taste
 substitute cayenne pepper for this)

    Puree onion and celery in food processor.  Drain liquid.
    In large Dutch oven, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat.  When hot, add the puree and diced poblano pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until vegetables are soft but not brown, about 5 minutes.  Add cream (or skim milk), half-and-half, black pepper, chile de arbol, sugar and lobster base, if using.
    Bring to a boil (be careful, cream with rise quickly and overflow).
    Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, melt remaining butter.  Add flour.  Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Continue to cook for several minutes.  Remove from heat.  Gradually add the mixture to the  chowder, whisking constantly, until thickened.  Simmer 3 to 4 minutes.  Add corn and shrimp.  Simmer  1 to 2 minutes, until shrimp is cooked and turns pink.  Season to taste with additional salt and sugar. Makes 8 servings.  However, with skim milk, the soup is much thinner and makes more, than 8 servings.

Hope you love this, as much as I do!!



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