Beautiful, fanciful, playful tablescapes to share with you... and delectable dishes to inspire...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It Has to Be The Fifties!

The classic 50s lunch: a hamburger and french fries, served on a Melamine plate on a TV tray, with a checkered napkin and a chocolate milkshake served in one of those frosted highball glasses with a carousel motif.  The little girl brought her Tiny Tears doll to lunch, too!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


This is a collage of Easter through the last few years... it is fun to unpack those special decorations from years gone by and to add a few new ones.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Asian: New and Old

Blue on blue... a perfect setting for homemade egg drop soup.

 The wonderful  thing about this table setting is how it combines the new with the old.  The inspiration for this tablescape is the relatively new set of beautiful blue bowls, a gift from friends in Hawaii.  What I also love is the way I used old 1950s hand-sewn, hand-embroidered, hand-appliqued paper lantern motif tea towels as the place mats.   The Japanese decorative squares of red and blue were a gift to me in the 90s from a friend who had family and business ties to Japan. 

 The little Lladro figurine is marked on the bottom "1984" and was a gift from my husband to his mother who loved all things Asian.
Wonderful, delicious and hot chicken & vegetable egg rolls right out of the cooking oil complement perfectly the egg drop soup.  So tasty!  Like all things homemade, they take time but they are worth it!

 The hand-stitched napkins were my mother's, purchased in the late 1930s or early 1940s, imported to the Dutch West Indies, straight from China. 
 The small book about walking meditation was a very recent gift from my forever friend, Barbara.
The old Sake set was my husband's, purchased long ago, possibly in Viet Nam during the war or on a later business trip to Asia in the late 80s. 

The Asian-inspired table and chairs set, with it's inset of Chinese characters painted on tile, the cain-backed chairs and the real bamboo table and chair legs, were a favorite of my late mother-in-law.  The little blue Japanese dishes were a splurge of mine when I lived in Hawaii.  The orchid in the blue vase, a reminder of Hawaii, too.  Aloha `oe, lyrics and music by Queen Liliuokalani. 
Farewell to you, farewell to you

The charming one who dwells in the shaded bowers

One fond embrace,

'Ere I depart

Until we meet again

Sweet memories come back to me

Bringing fresh remembrances

Of the past

Dearest one, yes, you are mine own

From you, true love shall never depart

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Signature Salad and Polish Serving Dishes

This is a salad I make for friends that is requested again and again: Romaine lettuce, celery, green onions, cucumbers, mandarin orange slices, topped with roasted sliced almonds and served with a homemade slightly sweet and sour dressing.

Beautiful Polish serving dishes.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Delicious Chicken Enchiladas

...On the chopping block: The first ingredients of the sauce for some fabulous chicken enchiladas.  Add tender chicken breasts, cooked with celery, onion, garlic, salt and pepper.  Cooked till fork tender.  Then the sauce, the real star of the dish.

With my tiny mortar and pestle, I ground up some old corriander seeds, which were still very flavorful after many years.  Cooks have known for centuries that spices last a very long time.  The corriander was the perfect addition to the sauce, which included fresh green pepper, onion, celery, green chiles, cilantro, light sour cream and fresh chicken stock in a roux.  Layers of the freshest corn tortillas, shredded chicken, sauce, cheese, all baked to a bubbling goodness and served with homemade Sangria.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Pizza Fixins

What goes on a homemade pizza?  Chopped veggies from top center, clockwise: red bell pepper, green bell pepper, white onions, green onions, tomatoes and fresh mushrooms.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Breakfast For Two

I actually bought these hydrangea plates in Chile, spying them out of the corner of my eye as I was walking by a display in the china department of one of the more upscale stores.  Shipped them to my home in Hawaii.  Only one dinner plate was broken but it was impossible to tell if the breakage had occured in transit or if it was already broken because I bought the set of dishes, never having opened the box. Hydrangeas are one of my all-time favorite flowers.  The menu this morning included scrambled eggs, grits, cottage fries, toast, cereals, fresh fruit, fresh squeezed orange juice and coffee.  A good, hearty breakfast before we started our quest for fun.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Spring Lunch

 Tasty tacos... and corn
 A peach salad is quite refreshing.

On a hot day, who wouldn't love a bowl of cold zucchini soup?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Star Birthday Party

What is a star birthday party?  It is a party that is celebrated on the same day on the calendar that is your age.  For instance, if your birthday is on the 27th, your age on that date would be 27, then you can have a "Star Birthday Party."  So sorry that it will not apply to those older than 31.

All sorts of "star" themes for the birthday girls.  Specially decorated star boxes, star pony tail holders, and of course, birthday decor.

Even the chairs were decorated with stars and streamers and tule, as part of the theme.  Lots of fun and frivolity!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sterling Silver Tea

A friend of mine gave me a mystery book to read and at the back were some suggestions for teas.  I was intrigued by the one called "Sterling Silver Tea" and I set the table for some tea with friends.  All who attended adored it.

I learned to fold this intricate rose napkin from the house manager at our rented villa in Manzanillo, Mexico.  Every meal, he had a new napkin fold for the table place setting and the delicious meal to follow.

Everything silver for the Sterling Silver Tea, incluing twigs I spray painted silver and tied with an ethereal bow.  The silver bread dish beside it was a gift to me in 1967.  Still elegant.

The beautiful buffet with silver treasures from long ago, draped with a damask table cloth.  All old treasures that you rarely see today in our busy world, too busy to iron and polish old silver.