...family, friends, home and other tidbits of a blessed life

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Le petit déjeuner à deux tablescape

Bonjour! Bienvenue chez nous. C'est Lundi matin et nous mangeons dans la cuisine. 
Good morning! Welcome. It's Monday morning and we are eating in the kitchen.

Adding a tablecloth makes dining so much more festive and relaxed.

Don't these colors remind you of sunny Provence? Down to the cutest little abeilles on the napkin rings.

One soft boiled egg, some oatmeal with blueberries and a fresh, homemade croissant.

 I love using our antique boiled egg warmer. Add a bit of warm water to the bottom of the
egg shaped container, light a tealight and put the warm eggs in the container.

Un petit pot des fines herbes.

The yellow bowls are some new favorites. The darling salt and peppers were my grandmother's.

Our favorite handmade coffee cups made by my sister-in-law Becky.

I love drinking orange juice out of stems!

My mother made this tablecloth as a child. I do love how primitive the cross-stitch motifs are. 

Tablecloth - antique, made by my mom
Blue Napkins - Cancun, Mexico
Yellow napkins - Villeroy n Boch, from Linda at More Fun Less Laundry
Flatware - faux bamboo, Horchow's
Yellow bowls - Arteflorum from Horchow's
Dinner plates - Calico by Queen's
Pasta bowls - Toscana Versilia Made In Itally
Egg Cups - Arzberg, belonged to my grandmother
Berry strainer bowl - Hand made by a local artist
Salt and Pepper - Hand painted, Germany
Glasses - estate sale
Coffee cups - made by sister in law
Herb pot - Albany, Texas
 Egg warmer - antique

OOOh, I just realized that this is post #499! Who would ever have thought this... I guess we will have to have a giveaway later this week! Stay tuned.
Thank you so much for joining me. I so appreciate your visit and love your comments. I'll be partying at 
Would love to see you there.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Poor Innocent Regan

Oh boy. I think I got in trouble today. The missus never said anything. But I think the "Oh, Regan" gave it away. Speaking of, I'd better get down before the blasted spray bottle finds me.

I don't know why this made her yelp! Well maybe I do. This is what she saw this morning when she came into the kitchen. Maybe things are a bit askew? Well maybe. The silver lid belongs on the crystal bowl. The pokey thing is supposed to be on the marble slab. Oh and there are supposed to be treats in the bowl. Well, what's a guy to do when he gets hungry in the middle of the night? I figured out how to lift the lid and then they were all mine. Mine. All of them.  Now she has a spray bottle or two on the counter. I think I forgot I wasn't supposed to get up there.

What this devil is not telling you.... he knocked it all the way to the floor two nights ago. the sweet handle on the silver lid is a bit bent now, I think the bowl fell on the lid. But luckily with wooden kitchen floors nothign was broken. Just lots of treats all over the floor. Step on that barefoot, early in the morning!! All the spray bottles are out again and we are back to "reminding" Houdini that he has limits in the house....

Happy Weekend. Happy Memorial Day. Be blessed...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Julia's Moules Marinière on the patio

Last week I took you to Tuscany, this week I had planned on taking you to Provence. However, life got in the way. So I thought I'd bring an older, semi-tablescape to the forefront. I hope you enjoy the short sojourn into one of our favorite Sunday afternoon activities.

We practically live on the patio in the spring, cool summer mornings and evenings, and in the fall. Sunday was no different. After cleaning up a bit, shopping a bit, it was time for eating a bit! I married a man who, bless his heart, grew up on chicken fried steak , mashed potatoes with paste gravy, green beans and iceberg lettuce. While there is nothing wrong with that, in the 35 38 years we've been married, I've taken his taste buds on a never ending journey.

When I was a young girl living in France, I was lucky enough to get to go with friends to the Atlantic coast where we picked Moules off the rocks early in the mornings while the tide was still out. I can remember wearing heavy, thick gloves because those rascals were stuck "real good" on those rocks. Then we would cook them on the beach, eat them and then drain down the liquid in which they were cooked. Yummy. So Sunday we had Moules for lunch. I am so thankful for United Market Street and their knowledgeable fish mongers who pay careful attention when selecting mussels. When you purchase them, they must be closed! Bring them home, place them in a bowl of either salted, cold water or water into which you've added some cornmeal. Both the cornmeal and the salt agitate the mussels to cleanse themselves. Remove any barbs and leave them in the water until you are ready for the cooking step. Then drain well before adding to the pot.

Mussels Steamed in White Wine
Moules Marinière

4 tbs butter
1 cup minced onions
1 large clove of garlic, pureed, optional
a large handful of chopped fresh parsley
4 quarts fine fresh mussels
2 cups dry white wine or dry white French Vermouth

Melt the butter in a kettle, stir in the onions and optional garlic, and cook slowly for several minutes until limp. Then add the parsley and the mussels, cover the kettle and shake once to mix all the ingredients. Pour in the vermouth or wine and shake once again. Turn heat to high, cover tightly, and let steam for 3 to 4 minutes (without shaking), just until the mussels have opened.

Dip the mussels out, shells and all, into the soup bowls. Tip the kettle and ladle the fragrant cooking liquor into each serving bowl. Serve with a fresh baguette, real butter, and a bottle of wine.

Merci milles fois, Julia Child. Bon Appetit!

Old tablecloth, Wedgewood white bowl, Bordallo Pinheiro salad plates, unknown wine glasses,
Vietri butter dish.
I'm linking up to two fabulous parties - Let's Dish on Wednesday evenings over at Cuisine Kathleen's, and then to the weekly Thursday party, Tablescape Thursday over at Susan's Between Naps on the Porch. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Musings

Life has simply been busy around here.
How about for you?

Get up.
Start fixin' lunch.
Take a shower.
Get dressed for church.
Pick up the boy child.
Have breakfast.
Go to church.
Hear a great sermon about being spectator Christians. 
(you know we aren't supposed to sit on the sidelines and wait for someone else to do the work)

Drop off the child.
(yes, at 30 he's still my baby)
Get everyone together for lunch.
Steak, baked potatoes, salad, chocolate cake, blackberry cobbler ice-cream- Blue Bell.
Clean up.
Do another load of laundry.
Catch up on some of the "list".
Wait on solar eclipse.

 Thanked God for everyday blessings.

Praying that you had a wonderful weekend.
For what have you thanked God today?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Dining in Tuscany Tablescape

I welcome you to a bit of Tuscany on the table this evening! Some of you might know that I received a fabulous box of gifts from Linda at More Fun Less Laundry last Saturday. So this weekend, It was my chance to put this box of goodies to work!

So I popped "Under the Tuscan Sun" into the player. Now, that I'm into the book, well let's just say things are a bit different in there!

I started with the new lovely placemats and napkins from the 'box'. Added a vintage wooden charger, a dinner plate from the kitchen and the handmade pasta bowls made by my very talented and gifted sister-in-law Becky. Also brought out a patterned napkin and the napkin rings from Pottery Barn.

Can you believe I had all this stuff? Yep... there was no shopping involved in this tablescape. Seriously, it can happen - and often does.

Must have a water pitcher on the table if you want to avoid trips to refill glasses.

A bowl and wooden spoon for the freshly shaved parmesan that will grace the table later on.

A wine decanter helps a red breathe and come to it's most perfect state.

When it's only 4, I avoid setting the end seats.. so much more intimate this way. I thought about putting some rosemary on the table, but the pops of red from the kitchen window geraniums just added the unexpected.

The amber goblet had a deep, wide bowl that also lets a red breathe. My favorite water goblets are back for an encore presentation.

A fresh loaf of bread, some dipping oils to pour into the little yellow bowls. Ooh, I can just taste it now. For those of a less spicy set of taste buds.. the new Frances Mayes olive oil stands at the ready. It's going to be used on the pasta, too.

The dining scenes in the movie had tables laden with food. And more food. Do you see any table in this scene? When my oldest half-brother got married in Provence, dinner was just about 6 hours long! So, I can relate to this table....

So what's a poor girl to do? I pulled out my golden vase, stuffed it with newspaper and piled the kitchen goodies up high.

I also put the bamboo flatware to use today. It gave the table the rustic feel I wanted.

See the ridges in my pasta bowls? Those were created by my sweet sister-in-law's fingers.The wooden chargers were new in 1974. They happened to survive the fire and we sanded and refinished them.

As the sun is setting, I have a pot of pasta ready to cook. Will serve some fresh, homemade spaghetti topped with tomatoes, basil, a bit of garlic and lots of olive oil.

Placemats, yellow napkins - Villeroy and Boch (More Fun Less Laundry)
Plaid napkins - Williams Sonoma
Napkin rings - Pottery Barn
Dinner plates - Passaro, World Market
Pasta Bowls - handmade by my sister-in-law
Yellow dipping bowls - Tuesday Morning
Butter dish - Vietri
Dark Bamboo Flatware - available at Horchows on line
Gold goblets - Stein Mart?
Water goblets - French, handblown, Santa Fe, NM
Barley Twist candlesticks - auction
Golden jug/vase - One King's Lane
Wine Decanter - World Market
Water pitcher - Fitz and Floyd

I hope you've enjoyed your short sojourn to Tuscany today. Let's drop on over to Cuisine Kathleen's for Let's Dish on Wednesday and then see what's happening over at Susan's Between Naps on the Porch on Thursday... great parties. Hope to see you there.


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