Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Limelight Hydrangeas

In most of the warmer climates around the country we're seeing our hydrangeas  putting on a summer show. I have many hydrangeas planted in my garden and I have some favorites. My favorite blooms to bring indoors to enjoy are Limelight Hydrangeas.

About two years ago I had an area in my garden that I needed to do some replanting. I chose to plant Limelight hydrangeas. These look very much like an Oak Leaf Hydrangea with it's pointed blooms but the Limelight's are a longer lasting bloom opening up a chartreuse green and the longer it remains on the bush it will turn white. Both work magnificently in an arrangement or just several in a vase of water. And, of course, the color goes in any room of my house.

They just cover themselves in blooms. I have three planted directly behind my house mixed in with some Heirloom Roses, antique daylilies and various other plant material. Limelights will provide me with several months of blooms to bring inside.
If your area is zoned for Limelight Hydrangeas I would suggest that you plant some in your garden. They will bring you a great deal of pleasure.
It's been a while since I have participated at this blogging party but today I am sharing this post at Outdoor Wednesday. To view other inspiring posts click HERE.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Spring Tablesetting

Earlier in the Spring, we are now in the heat of our North Florida summer, I did a table setting that I have never shared. I often like to mix patterns in terms of table cloths, china patterns, etc. but now enjoy a more simplistic table. There is a certain elegance and sophistication about "simple".
 I most always do my own flower arrangements. It's is a source of relaxation for me that I enjoy so much.
Over the years I have collected many containers for my flower arranging and the table wouldn't be complete without fresh flowers or some of my silver birds.
 Using the colors of the tablecloth I used a mixture of roses, carnations, lilies, snapdragons, and mums. Most all my greenery is cut from my garden. Most often my flowers would be cut from my garden but this particular time of year it was a little early for garden blooms.
Another collection I have used on this table are my antique silver napkin rings. I have collected these for several years, always sterling and most often European with a couple being from the USA.
 I most often choose ones with intricate designs with a lot of detail and those are usually from France but often from England.
 This one from Czarist Russia and my husbands favorite. I always place it where he would be sitting. The red enamel banded with seed pearls was a most unusual "find" and I could not pass it up. It's also gold over sterling silver as well.

 I often will choose to buy more masculine napkin rings to place where male dinner guests would be sitting. This one is English and English napkin rings usually don't have the more ornate designs that I gravitate to. These are just a few that I took photos of but I always have enjoyed adding to this collection. It's the "hunt" to find that perfect one that intrigues me at the many antique shows I attend.

 This salt cellar is one of two that I placed at each end of the table. Antiques also, sterling with original cobalt blue inserts, French and came from a New Orleans plantation.
The placemats are a hot pink woven mat, wine glasses are Varga with each a different color and have butterflies and bees etched on them. Perfect for a Spring table.
I am sharing this post for Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch. To see other beautiful table settings just click HERE.


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A Refreshing Sangria

Not too long ago I took a cooking class at a local kitchen shop. The guest instructor is a blogging friend who lives in my area and I have taken several of her classes which I have enjoyed tremendously. Not only is she so very witty and shares some great recipes but the conversations that come up in her classes I have learned so many things as well. She always serves us some kind of fabulous liquid refreshment and I wanted to share one here that I have enjoyed over and over again.

This Sangria is so light, refreshing and with a lighter wine the fruit comes through more clearly. I have been making this ever since this recipe was shared. I find it absolutely delicious.

I used a sauvignon blanc as was suggested and found this to be perfect. If you steep it in the refrigerator for several hours you really do taste the fruit so much more than with a heavier wine.

You ask yourself, "What makes this Sangria so different?" Good question and the orange infused simple syrup.

The recipe is not really a recipe but I used a 1.5 L of sauvignon blanc, orange infused simple syrup to taste (1/2 C water to 1/2 C sugar and the rind of one navel orange) simmered just until the sugar melts, and fruit (sliced lemon, sliced strawberries, and sliced orange). You could add any other fruit you happen to have on hand but this is what I used. You taste the sweetness of the strawberries and orange and the lemon gives it a needed crispness. Mix all the ingredients together in a large pitcher and chill before serving. This will keep in the refrigerator for several days with the fruit infusing even more.

As you add the ingredients of the Sangria together taste it because some may want more sweetness than others. I happened to add in the whole amount of simple syrup that I made and found it to be perfect for my tastes.

I think it's important also to the taste to place it in an elegant glass, yes you did read that right. I served mine in a Waterford wine glass, made it even more delicious with a touch of elegance. Don't forget that orange infused simple syrup, it makes all the difference in the world. Opened me up to a new way of making Sangria and BTW, just to kick it up a notch I added a splash or two or three of Grand Marnier to the pitcher. Everything tastes better with Grand Marnier IMO.
The simple syrup will keep for several days in the refrigerator as well if you decide not to use all of it. Just place it in a jar with a tight fitting lid. This syrup tastes super in iced tea too with a slice of orange.
Give this a try for a refreshing summer cocktail. You won't be disappointed.

Have a good evening, Carolyn

I am linking this post to Foodie Friday.