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

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Welcoming Spring Patio Tablescape Style!

How did you celebrate the first day of Spring? Did you do as I did, rejoice with sheer joy that winter is officially behind us? Knowing that spring in West Texas can be freezing one day, really hot the next and fraught with frequent dust storms, hail and tornadoes, we chose to take advantage of the day. We dined outside!

I laid down a Provencal blue tablecloth. It's debut was HERE.

I used handled woven twig placemats from World Market. On top, our new kitchen dishes. I went for more color this time - World Market's Passaro. Made in Portugal. Sturdy, colorful, happy. Replaceable. 

Topped with a pasta bowl purchased very, very long ago. Not quite in a galaxy far away, but it sure seems like it. I loved the blue rim, the hand-painted quality to the flowers and fruits, and the size. Not too large.

The Ralph Lauren napkins were casually placed through the left side handle.

Loving my new wine hocks, etched glass purchased from Cielo Tabletop, Santa Fe.

The centerpiece was our wrought iron votive cup candelabra (purchased in Mineral Wells, Texas).

Small vases (99 cents from Tuesday Morning!!) hold 3 stems of cheerful yellow daisies.

If you live in West Texas, and are not sitting at the table, you learn very quickly to lay the empty glasses on their sides, lest an unexpected wind gust comes through!

So what did we eat? Risotto. Once you get the hang of letting the rice absorb the liquid before you add more, it's pretty easy fare! A Risotto salad and fresh bread. Recipe follows! Here's a blooper photo! Can you spot it?

Tablecloth - Via Mediterranee
Placemats - World Market
Dinner Plates - World Market's Passaro
Pasta Bowls - Toscana Versilia Made In Itally
Flatware - Horchows
Napkins - Ralph Lauren
Wrought Iron votive candelabra - Mineral Wells, Texas
Mini vases - Tuesday Morning - 99 cents each!!

Insalata di Riso

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups (21 oz Baldo, Vialone Nano, or Arborio rice
1/2 cup diced zucchini
2/3 cup (5 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 package (6oz) oil packed tuna, drained and flaked
1 tomato, peeled and diced
1/2 cup diced celery
2 tablespoons salt cured capers, rinsed and drained
10 Mediterranean black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
8 large butter (Boston) or Bibb lettuce
4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered

In a large pot of boiling water over medium heat, cook the rice, stirring occasionally, until tender to the bite, but slightly firm in teh center, 15-20 minutes depending on variety. Add the zucchini and cook for 1 minute. Pour the rice and zuddhini into a colander and rinse with cold water until cool. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl. 

Stir in olive oil and lemon juice into the rice mixture. Add the tuna, tomato, celery, capers, olives and basil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss to mix.

Arrange lettuce leaves on a platter. Top with the rice mixture, garnish with the egg quarters and serve. Makes 6 servings. Courtesy Williams Sonoma, Risotto cookbook.

In a small pot cook the zucchini in boiling water for about 1 minute.

Thank you for dropping in and joining me. I treasure your visits and your comments provide sustenance! Be sure to check Susan's Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch for more inspiring table settings starting late Wednesday evenings! Also for more recipes, Drop in at Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday beginning Thursday evenings!  Thank you ladies for providing these lovely weekly events to keep us decorating and cooking!


xinex said...

What a great way to welcome spring, Marlis, dining al fresco with gorgeous dishes and beautiful crystals. I also like your placemats and the candle holder centerpiece....Christine

Dianne said...


I do believe we are cut from the same cloth! I just purchased a Provence tablecloth and I have the Ralph Lauren tablecloth that matches your napkins! Of course I love your table, the colors, the fruit (being a dietitian). Lovely.


A Hint of Home said...

Your dishes are very pretty! They are great for Spring!

Entertaining Women said...

Once again, you and I are traveling on the same brain wave. I've always liked that olive pattern tablecloth. I wish that it came in a 90" round. I've only seen it in the 70". Your new plates are wonderful. We're going to Italy in May, and I have a day trip to De Ruta scheduled. Can hardly wait! Thank you for sharing your beautiful design and the recipe. Cherry Kay

Miss Char said...

Marlis, this table is such a refreshing nod to spring. I love the tablecloth and your dish combination looks great. I saw the willow place mats at Cost Plus too and they were a little less expensive than what I paid at Nell Hills. Thanks for sharing your spring table as I sit here watching the snow and ice coat the trees.

Jacqueline said...

Marlis, I love the blue tablecloth and what a lovely table you put together with it in mind. That candle chandy is just wonderful. How fun to be eating outside already. Although I don't have to face too many tornadoes, we have had snow the first two days of spring - yuck. Today is a little nicer. I can't wait until it is really here - maybe April. Enjoy the gorgeous weather.

Entertaining Women said...

Thanks for stopping by my post. The eggs are designed with a paint brush. I've never had an affinity fir the paint pens. Cherry Kay

Martha said...

It's nice to see outside tables again! It's been a long winter!

Debbie said...

Love this! I am so fond of blue and yellow anyway, and the blue and yellow in this one is particularly beautiful.

I love your flatware. I would love some that color.

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

I can just feel the warm sun from here. You really put together a gorgeous outdoor table. The twig chargers/trays are fabulous! And the wrought iron candleabra on your table is a wonderful piece!
This is just what I needed... it is rainy and cold here.
xo Yvonne

Tess said...

How cheerful and beautiful this table is!!! I love your Portugese plates and your wine glasses are gorgeous!

Happy Spring!

Babs said...

Marlis, What a perfect setting for your Spring table! I almost bought those placemats at World Market. They are so versatile and add so much texture to your setting. I like how you placed the napkin in the handle. Great post and I'll try the rice salad. It sounds delicious.

Red Couch Recipes said...

I would love to jump in your photos and joing you for dinner. Such lovely dishes and great place mats. Everything is so fresh and appealing. Joni

Meredith said...

I love this! We've been eating outdoors too bc too soon it will be hot! I love your new glasses. I've seen something like those here at a local kitchen import store. Really beautiful!!

Sarah said...

Marlis, gorgeous dishes and linens. Yes, TX weather can be fickle. It was in the 90s here today, but this evening is very cool. Hope some of the cool air hangs around for tomorrow. Happy Spring to you! ~ Sarah

Marigene said...

Beautiful table, Marlis. I love the new dinner plates with that gorgeous tablecloth.
I couldn't figure out what the blooper was!

Jocelyn said...

What a beautiful Spring table. Perfect for being outside. So inviting!


Alycia Nichols said...

Yowza, Marlis!!!! This is an absolutely stunning creation!!! My goodness...just beautiful!!! Love the tablecloth, the dishes, the stemware which looks fantastic WITH the dishes...it's all just gorgeous. The wrought iron centerpiece is cool! I love stuff like that!!! Great buy on the vases! "Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flower?" (I stole that line from "You've Got Mail", one of my all-time favorite movies.) It has been warm here, too, in the KC area, but the high, gusty winds have kept us indoors. I could just imagine all my dishes flying off the deck like Frisbees in the wind! Glad spring has finally made it your way. I could see what looked like tulips trying to make their 2011 debut in the background of your photos. Enjoy!

jo said...

Adorable plates and I love those glasses. I am jealous as we are now heading into autumn now and you have all that lovely summer to look forward to. Jo x

Lynn said...

Such a pretty table Marlis! Lovin' your new plates, great colors, and how fun to be eating outside already-enjoy:@)


I love the al-fresco eating, so Italian, my favorite food! Love your portuguese dishes, glassware and all the ornaments of the patio, so springie...also, GREAT photography dear Marlis. Thanks for the recipe too. I love it all!

Red Door Home said...

So pretty! I am a wee bit envious of you being able to set up a table outside:) We still have snow covering the ground and spring seems so far away! Enjoy your beautiful outdoor setting and weather.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it wonderful to be celebrating spring and taking advantage of the opportunity to dine outside? I love this time of year. New dishes are very nice and perfect with the Provencal cloth.

Debbie@Mountain Breaths said...

I love how you tucked the cloth napkin through the handle of your charger! Lucky you being able to set up a table outside. It snowed here, and spring seems so far away. Your new dishes are wonderful and the Provencal cloth is just perfection!! Have a nice weekend!

Decor To Adore said...

Oh I adore your spring tablescape~ swoon!

I am currently hosting an auction of vintage and antique linen treasures on my blog. Stop by and take a peek.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Debby S. said...

Beautiful. I love your tablescape. The tablecloth and placemats are perfect for this setting. Thanks for sharing a piece of spring with us.

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

What a wnderful outdoor setting. Those etched glasses are gorgeous! It would be a shame to let the wind take them.

Sarah said...

Marlis, I'm back for another look at this gorgeous table. Happy weekend! ~ sarah


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