I was given very short notice of a mini business dinner meeting my husband sprung on me today. I needed to do a quick clean up around the house, but before that I wanted to get the table ready so I could focus on what I needed to do.
I just finished a craft project which is the burlap wrapped vase shown in the center here. I rambled through some of my candlesticks and decided on these.
I used my new mirrored tray to add a little glam and reflection. I chose a mix of mercury glass and the rustic finish on the candle holders to go with the burlap wrapped vase that I topped with a boxwood ball.
Not too much fuss here, but the Fleur-de-lis Coffee mugs worked beautifully with these scroll designed dishes. The olive green napkins pulled on the centerpiece colors and the hint of green that's in the dish pattern. I kept the neutral tones going with the off white flatware.
These people love their coffee so I will be serving plenty of that and if they want some wine the stemware will come into play or I will simply use them for water!
After Some quick menu planning, I've decided on a Chopped Salad,
Baked Zitti and Ciabtta Bread.
I do believe I'm ready.... now off to finish my prepping!
Dishes by Noble Excellence called Sugar Plum (Dillards)
Flatware called Sophia (Neiman Marcus/Horchow)
Stemware from T.J. Maxx
Fleur-de-lis coffee mugs made by Evergreen, pattern name simply says "B" -from One Kings Lane
The other day I decided to make homemade chocolate chip cookies.
Once I started gathering my ingredients I realized I had run out of light brown sugar. I didn't want to run to the grocery store and was going to trash the idea. Then I remembered reading that you can make your own!
So I Googled it and sure enough there were lots recipes for making your own light and dark brown sugar. I didn't think to look it up in my cookbook but it's probably there too!
I used my mini chopper to spin the sugar and molasses together. It worked quite well! You could smell the molasses but it didn't taste any different.
The recipe I used was right off the package of Ghirardelli's semi-sweet
chocolate chips package. I also used the same mini chopper to chop up the pecans for the recipe.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
4 dozen cookies
11 1/2 ounces Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup butter or margarine, softened 3/4 cup sugar 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cups unsifted flour
1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)
Heat oven to 375ºF.
Stir flour with baking soda and salt; set aside. In large mixing bowl, beat butter with sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until creamy and lightened in color. Add eggs and vanilla, one at a time. Mix on low speed until incorporated. Gradually blend dry mixture into creamed mixture. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.
They turned out a little flatter than I wanted (the kitchen was very warm- I think if I had put the batch in the fridge for a half hour it would have made a difference) but the taste is great- I put 1/2 of them into a the freezer. This way they won't go stale and I might think twice about eating yet another one! HA!
Tablescape ThursdayWith summer's end nearing I decided it was time for a garden party...most of my flowers are still blooming nicely and the temperatures are perfect- It's time!
(I also just realized that today is my 2 year anniversary with blogging! I've come a long way since then!)
Please join me
I set up my table on our patio...
A feminine summery table was my goal...
Let's look at the details....
The tablecloth is by Vera (not Vera Wang)
I fell in love with the colors and the artistically designed flowers ....doesn't this just say summer!
The flowers are a combination of my Limelight hydrangeas, some very large dahlias and sunflowers that my daughter brought home from the farmers market...
The candlesticks I chose are are cut glass
with a pair of candles I bought at Yellowstone
National Park in 1979...Yep 1979...I didn't really
need candles but I like the flair it gives a table!
We went out there on a delayed honeymoon and I couldn't afford much but I was intrigued with these dried flowers encased on the wax candles and have kept them ever since... I slipped a napkin ring holder around the base to jazz them up...
I used my green stemware to add to the profusion of color I wanted to on this table.
My goose statues made an appearance too!
The salad bowls helped punch up the color
a bit more and I dressed up the napkins with two napkin rings like a pair of bracelets!
I folded the napkins to showcase the pearl like beads...
I layered some my favorite pink German dessert glass plates on top of the floral china pattern. I used my gold flatware to pick up on the gold edge of the china
Plain white dinner plates with a softly scalloped edge were my first layer...
These Spode salad plates help carry the summery look with their bouquets of flowers
I softened their look with these pink glass dessert plates I've had for a long time.
I waited for the late afternoon sun to
cast it's glow....
It's 4 o'clock and the bell has rung...let's begin!
I glad you could join me for my garden tea party
and I hope we can do it again!
Things I used:
Spode Meadowbrook China
German etched glass dessert plates (from a catalog purchase in the late 90's)
Salad bowls are by Maxcera , Group Floral
The plain white dishes say Palm Restaurant on the back, Home Goods purchase
Green Swirl Goblets glasses were called Roma, purchased from One Kings Lane
Gold flatware by Wallace called Euro Beads, purchased from Neiman Marcus
First I'd like to show you my Annabelle Hydrangea shrub that was blooming like this July 25th- This picture shows a good variance of the colors and how it changes. The most white coloring is how they start out- then they fade to a soft green- then it becomes a bit deeper and deeper eventually going to brown. *see additional information on drying hydrangeas
August 8th I cut them and hung them to dry...I stored them in the garage until the 17th....
They shifted a little more in color but I'm happy they still have the green color.
I found this pot on my garden bench that I purchased from Wisteria last year. I stuffed a block of styrofoam into it and began gently placing the stems.
I chose the tallest for the center. I positioned the heads the way I felt they should be displayed and poked the stem into the styrofoam- often on angles.
I put everyone of them in there!
I also tucked moss in to fill in between the stems for a little more finished look.
I'd like to dry some of my Limelights which are a white and stick some in there but that will be weeks away- so for now this is it!
I like the detail of the pot. I tried to get another one after I received it but they were all sold out... go figure!
First I set them on the kitchen table which looked good but I knew they'd be getting moved off the table too often so I decided to put them out on the dining table.
I decided to try out this new mirrored tray to set them on.
Reflection is always nice...
Then I decided I had to embellish it a bit more...
A pair of glass candlesticks and my goose statues added some flair...
I wanted something new on the table and I unexpectedly got it! I really never had this in mind....but as I'm learning those are the
things I end up liking best!
*Additional information on drying hydrangeas.
They have to be allowed to go "past prime" on the shrub- so you can't cut the fresh perfect blooms. Otherwise they just shrivel up and don't look very good.
This picture shows some real fresh ones- and some older ones that can be cut.
You can still put them in a vase of water.......When they aren't drinking anymore just dump out any extra water...you can leave them in the vase or dry them like I did. These are Endless Summer Hydrangeas and they are really easy to dry.
Once they start to shift and look a little more papery you can cut them to dry.
Here is a closeup of how they look when they shift...they do lose color a bit
but that can't be helped.
This is a bunch from last year that I clustered together and dried. These were still in a vase of water but soon after I removed the water.