What better way to begin a table than with bunches of fall blooms arranged in bottles from the Dollar Tree and surrounded by a few pumpkins on a paisley runner from TJ Maxx? Together they become a centerpiece reflecting the warmth and texture of the season.
Whatever centerpiece is on the table always influences how it is set as well as what will be served. This one makes me think of cioppino, a hearty seafood stew made with all local ingredients and perfect for a chilly night. (You can find the recipe here.)
Now, this doesn’t happen too often, but we had back to back dinner guests, and I saw no reason to reinvent the wheel. Centerpiece, placemats, glasses and napkins (clean, of course!) stayed the same and worked perfectly with different dishes and flatware.
The textures and patterns in these pieces gave the table a totally different look to say nothing about how easy the transition was. I’m thinking that if the flowers last long enough, there could be a third change to this table!
For this dinner, we had pasta topped with a tomato based sauce full of lobster and mussels. I do love the bounty of Maine!
This is apple picking time, so a dessert made with apples plucked right from the tree is a must this time of year. This one is an upside down pie made with apples cooked in chai tea. The taste is delightfully different, one you might want to try.
- 1/3 c. butter, melted
- 1/2 c packed brown sugar
- 2 pie crusts (I use Pillsbury ones to save a little time)
- 3 c. peeled, cored and sliced apples
- 3 T. butter
- 2/3 c. chai tea latte concentrate
- Dash each of ground cinnamon and ground cloves
- 2 T. packed brown sugar
Heat oven to 375°F.
In 9-inch pie plate, combine pecans, melted butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Place 1 pie crust on top of pecan mixture in pie plate.
In 10-inch skillet, cook apples with 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat 2 minutes; add the chai tea. Cover; cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add cinnamon and cloves. Drain apples and place in the pie crust; sprinkle 2 tablespoons brown sugar on top.
Cover filling with second crust; seal edges and cut a few slits in top crust to allow for venting.
Place pie on middle oven rack; place sheet of foil on rack below pie in case of spillover. Bake at 375°F 35 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven; immediately turn pie upside down onto serving plate.