Simply Fall

shades of fall

When leaves begin wearing their rich fall colors, they inspire many a table setting at our house.

No dishes with their deep red orange tone and  leaf outlines are better complements to fall than these. They are right not only because of their color but because they always make me think of the sweet friend who gave them to me.

Playing off the black, these plates are chosen for salad,  

and for a first course of soup they are topped with cups that are companion pieces to the larger plates. The contrasting shapes of all the pieces are playful and interesting.

Add to the place setting a napkin tucked into a simple black napkin ring, and all is done, and I’m liking the way the setting brings out the richness of the table’s wood tones.

Several years ago, a daughter gave me candle holders that fit into bottles.  Somewhere along the line I put them away so well I forgot where they were.  Something made me think of them, and after searching high and low, they reappeared to become part of a fun centerpiece.

Laugh if you will, but I buy many wines because of their label.  It was fun going through the empty bottles and finding ones that would add a playful touch to the table.

Except for the time it took to recover the candle holders, this table went together in a matter of minutes which leaves plenty of time to play in the kitchen.  That’s the way I like it!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind


Tablescape Thursday


Same But Different

It’s no secret that I like setting tables, but that doesn’t mean every one has to be completely different. It’s not unusual for me to leave a centerpiece in place for days, and with a few simple changes give a table an entirely different look.

This time of year I’m crazy about using pumpkin and gourds. Last week’s table showed them mixed with twigs for a natural fall look.

This time around, a couple of pumpkins were removed, a black raven and candles added.

The candle holders are in my trusty green bottles which blend right in. I’m chuckling as I remember how the candle holders came to be. A friend’s husband came home with an antique Bingo set so she decided to have a Bingo party. Everyone brought a white elephant gift that went into a basket of prizes for lucky winners. When it came my time to choose, I took the candle holders from a guy who seemed very happy to have a chance at another prize!

Back to the table. It was simple to add yellow plates that picked up the tone in the runner and the gourds and patterned napkins in the same fall colors.

The napkin fold couldn’t be easier….quarter, fold on the diagonal, turn back the corners.

pa044451.jpgFor fun, I put a little cauldron with a miniature fake pomegranate on the plate and called the table setting done.

Next day, late afternoon sun gave the centerpiece a dramatic glow which set me to thinking about the next change.  Suggestions?

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind


Tablescape Thursday

Food, Tablescapes

Changing It Up

Never is a dining table bare in our house.  To see an empty surface is one of those things that makes me feel out of sync.  Yep, that’s an idiosyncrasy, but we all have them… least I hope that’s true!

fall tableWalking in  the Houston house after being absent for several months, the first thing I noticed was a table that had passed its season.  Before I unpacked my suitcase, I got to work on the table replacing the warmer weather runner  with a embroidered one that speaks more of nippy fall days which Houston is actually having.

fall tablePlacemats turned lengthwise to drape off the round table complete the linens.

fall tableA few pumpkins and paper turkeys from Michaels and this table is ready for dinner with friends in a couple of days.

fall tableTypically, these dishes don’t see the light of day until Thanksgiving day, but I’m cheating a little because the bowls are just the right size for the soup I’m thinking of making.

fall tableA salad plate, green Fostoria glasses, silverware, a napkin and all is done in a flash once again proving that every day tablescapes are nothing but easy.  Oh, those clementines?  Our friends are off sugar so they will be dessert, not a great replacement for a caramel/rum glazed spice cake or apple dapple cake

Not only are they off sugar, this couple is vegetarian.  Luckily, there are lots of good soups to satisfy that dietary need, and I’ll share one of my favorites from a Moosewood Restaurant cookbook.

potato kale soupCreamy Potato Kale Soup

1 c. finely chopped onions

2/3 c. finely chopped leeks

1/2 t. salt

1 T. canola or vegetable oil

4 c. vegetable stock

4 c. coarsely chopped potatoes

1/4 t. fennel, seeds or ground

1/2 c. finely chopped celery

2 T. while wine

1/2 t. dried dill

2 t. Dijon mustard

2 T. minced scallions

1 1/2 T. fined fresh basil

1/2 c. milk or half and half

4 c. loosely packed shredded kale

salt and pepper to taste, a squeeze of lemon if desired.

In a large soup pot, saute onions, leeks and salt in the oil on low heat until tender.  Add the stock and bring to a boil.  Add potatoes, fennel, celery, wine and dill. Simmer covered for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender.  Puree the soup until smooth. (This is where a handheld immersion blender comes in very handy.)  Stir in mustard, scallions, basil, milk.

In a separate pot, gently boil kale in just enough water to cover.  When it is barely tender, drain and stir into the soup.  Add salt and pepper, lemon juice if desired and gently heat until all is hot.  Makes 4-6 servings.

When I make this soup, I always hope for leftovers because it’s mighty good the next day for lunch.  Should you want to modify if for meat eaters, all you have to do is add slices of Polish sausage.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind


Full Plate Thursday

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Tablescape Thursday

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