Thursday, August 30, 2012

An Anniversary Dinner

This week my husband and I celebrated our 43rd wedding anniversary, I'm not sure where the time went?  Because of all the bad weather thanks to Hurricane Isaac we chose to have a quiet dinner at home.

This was a last minute decision since we had reservations at our favorite restaurant but it had been raining on and off all day. We live way to the west of where Hurricane Isaac landed but it was such a huge storm with outer bands of rain for miles and miles. We have had so much rain lately that I was fearful that we would lose power because of a toppled tree which is not unusual.


I most always have an orchid blooming so that served as our centerpiece. It also gave me the opportunity to use my new blue bowls, faux depression glass.

Since I am an avid bird watcher and also a collector of birds I always enjoy adding some birds to my table arrangement. I have lots and lots of silver birds and these napkin rings are iron. I love these little napkin rings.

No anniversary celebration would be complete without a bottle of champagne and it even has a rose on the label.

It was a good decision to not go out in the bad weather but enjoy a nice quiet dinner at home even if it was a last minute decision. I managed to prepare for dinner some of my husband's favorite, it's a good thing he has simple tastes.

Today I am sharing my post at BNOP for Tablescape Thursday. There are some beautiful ideas for table settings shared .

Monday, August 13, 2012

Summer Mantle

My mantle changes with the seasons especially since this room is just off from my kitchen and can be viewed from my kitchen. I have recently had a renewed interest in collecting blue and white because of the influence of another blogging friend. Martha at Lines from Linderhof often shares her love of blue and white and I have admired her vast collection for a very long time.

I had decided to add more blue and white to my Reading Room/Breakfast Room and have been very pleased with the way it looks. This particular day it was storming outside and so very dark that I had to turn my flash on.

The larger white wooden candle holders on each end I ordered in early Spring from Pottery Barn and I can see me using these no matter what the season. The long piece with the wee candles I bought from a friend's gift shop and I think this purchase inspired me to add even more blue and white throughout my house. That little candle piece was one I saw and just couldn't live without, don't we all come across those types of things from time to time?  The other three pieces grouped together came from a fairly new gift shop that has popped up in our area and owners of the shop are always on the look out for me during their travels to add to my collection.

My daughter in law who has always had a fondness for blue and white was very pleased that I had been adding more pieces to my decor. I found it very difficult to find the right color of candles and I didn't want to use white but these candles on the taller pieces, I just love that color.

Soon I will be changing to a more Fallish scheme but for now I am truly enjoying the blue and white pieces I have added to my summer mantle.

I am sharing my Summer Mantle post at Marty's blogging party Tabletop Tuesday.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Shrimp Scampi with Linguini

This was a recipe that was shared by a friend and I believe it was a Tyler Florence recipe. Since I have had some recent health issues I am now trying to stay with a lighter diet. The moment I saw this recipe I knew it would definitely work well with my new diet. It is a quick, easy and light recipe with lots and lots of flavor.

Shrimp Scampi with Linguini

Serves 4-6

1 pound linguini
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 large shallots, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil. When it has come to a boil add a couple of tablespoons of salt and the linguini. Stir to make sure the pasta separates. When the water returns to a boil, cook for about 6 to 8 minutes or until the pasta is al dente. Drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute' the shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes until the shallots are translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper; add them to the pan and cook until they have turned pink, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan; set aside and keep warm. Add wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil. When the butter has melted, return the shrimp to the pan along with the parsley and cooked pasta. Stir well and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over a bit more olive oil and serve immediately.


I always prep all of my ingredients which made this recipe go together even quicker. Actually it is necessary because this is truly a ten minute dinner. Does it get any better than that?

The shallots with the red pepper flakes smelled amazing. I used an Italian peperoncino that I think has a more intense flavor.

In Ina Garten fashion, I added some lemon slices so one would know that there is lemon in the dish.

This was an easy but yet elegant entree and delicious as well. I will definately make this again and again. Pared with a good bottle of white wine and a mixed green salad it makes for a wonderful summer time dinner.

I am sharing this post at Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday.

Crewel Embroidery Furniture

Several years ago I was on a Christmas tour of homes in our area. One of the homes was owned by a friend of mine, she had recently moved into her new home and I was going to my friends home for the first time. It was a gorgeous Europeon style home and she had help from an excellent interior designer. One of the things that caught my eye immediately was a pair of chairs that were covered in a crewel embroidery fabric, the fabric was a white linen with yellow pears embroidered on it, done by hand of course. They were the most stunning chairs I had ever seen. I couldn't get them out of my head so I was on a quest to find some beautiful hand embroidered fabric.

Thankfully this fabric was coming back into vogue. As a matter of fact, I recently read an article in one of my favorite magazines talking about how these fabrics were made. One day I spotted a bolt of fabric that caught my eye. I did not have a chair to cover but I HAD to have this fabric.

When I took this photo it was storming outside so I did not have much light but this little slipper chair is one in our master bedroom. There is a story behind this chair, keeping in mind the yardage I had bought my husband and I were in Hickory, NC buying some new furniture. Of course, I had to look for a chair that I could cover with my embroidered fabric and I found this in a sale room of one of the furniture outlets in Hickory. I dearly love this little chair and think it is timeless.

My furry friend, Huey loves to curl up next to it especially when I am sitting there reading.

I turned my flash on so you could see the pattern more clearly.

One of my favorite things to do is browse in upholstry fabric shops. I often feel the need to recover furniture. I never know when I am going to find a piece of fabric that I MUST have in my house. Actually, I happened upon another crewel embroidered fabric and this one is my favorite because it is covered in the gorgeous cabbage roses.

This one sits in the bay window of our family room. When I saw this fabric there was only five yards on the bolt but since I loved it so I bought it. Then I had the challange of finding a chair that only needed five yards. Such a dilemma because most chairs require far more yardage. I looked for about two years. An interior decorator friend of mine knew of my dilemma and had found this sweet little French Bergere' chair made by Joe Ruggerio.

The colors worked perfectly in my family and I have so enjoyed my two crewel embroidered chairs. Crewel embroidered chairs were very popular during my mother's generation but so many things even in interior decorating make a come back and this is definitely one of them. I love the textural feel to my two chairs and there is something very pleasurable that I enjoy something from my own mother's generation.

Thank you for visiting my blog and please do come again. I cherish all your comments as well.

I am also sharing this post at Bernideen's Open House Party and to see other lovely shared posts you may click HERE.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Great Pasta Salad

A few weeks ago one of my favorite blogs, From a Writer's Kitchen posted a recipe for her mother's Pasta Salad. I love a good pasta salad especially during the summer. I like to keep a pasta salad in the refrigerator over the weekends so I have a "go to" lunch, light dinner or even a mid day snack already prepared. I saw this recipe and it was very different from how I usually make a pasta salad. I almost always use just mayonaise, Hellman's only, in mine and I do admit, it tastes so much heavier. I also add everything I have in the refrigerator but the kitchen sink and think that all the different flavors are competing. After seeing this I thought it sounded fantastic and wanted to give it a try.

Pasta Salad

2 cups small elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/2 cup minced red onion
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 cup of mixed cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3/4 tsp dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp superfine sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp cider vinegar
3 Tbsp sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine the first five ingredients in a large bowl.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until well blended. Toss with the pasta.

Refrigerate, covered, for several hours before serving.


This was absolutely delicious and I loved having fewer ingredients. Less mayonaise than I would have normally used and the sour cream gave it a nice little tang. Strangely enough I always keep superfine sugar in my pantry because I use it in summer cocktails and using just that little bit of sugar offset the bite of the vinegar.

An excellent Pasta Salad and I plan to make it again for the weekend. I highly recommend this salad and I am so appreciative that this recipe was shared. I think that often the simpliest of things are the BEST.

I am linking my post to Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum. You can click HERE to see a wealth of tried and true recipes that have been shared.