Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Big, Bold and Old!

It's that time of week again...Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps On The Porch. Thank you for hosting my favorite meme, Susan. Please stop by BNOTP so that you can see how everyone has set their table.

You may enlarge any picture by clicking on it.

The inspiration for my table this week was a piece of vintage fabric I found at the thrift store some time ago. The big, bold flowers in primary colors caught my eye. I know this isn't light and summery but our weather has gone from nice and warm to downright cold in the past few days.

I had all the dishes needed to do the table, most you have seen in other settings. I didn't have to buy anything, not even spending 1¢ this week; am so proud of myself! My daughter, once again, brought me tulips...thanks, Erin, you are a sweetie! The vasse is a thrift store find...the only thing on the bottom was a gold paper seal that said "Made in Italy".

I really like the boldness of this fabric and felt it would make a good table topper.

The flatware is Oneida Afterglow, 1956.

I really like the simplicity of the vivid colors layered. Each piece is a solid color with little or no design.

Vera Bradley charger plate from TJMaxx a few years ago, that I paid almost nothing for. They had only 2 and I think they cost around $3.50.

Red dinner plate is Waechtersbach on sale at TJMaxx for a couple dollars about 3 years ago.

Olive green salad plate is from WalMart about 6 years ago.

The soup bowl is Mancer, made in Italy, found at Goodwill for 37¢ each back in January. The chocolate napkins are from Savers a couple months ago, 4 for $1.99. The napkin rings were found at WalMart after Thanksgiving, 2 for $1.

The stemware is blue water goblets from TJMaxx a couple dollars each and 99¢ dark amber wine stems from Goodwill.

I have used the little salt/pepper shakers that my sister, Judy sent me last fall. The butter dish is Mikasa found at Savers and has been in other tablescapes.

Another view of the table. The candlesticks are Royal Crystal Rock from Italy from Savers, $3.99.

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. Don't forget to check out all the other tablescapes.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Are You An Olive Lover?

Thank you, Susan of Savoring Time In the Kitchen, we now have a new delicious cracker spread. I know, I know, Susan called it a sandwich spread, cracker or sandwich spread, it is delicious. I did have to make a substitution, no pecans on hand...walnuts, pistachios or almonds. I chose almonds, but think it would be better with the toasted pecans, which I will use the next time, as they have a more robust flavor. Another plus, it is simple to make!

If you are a lover of olives you might want to try this tasty recipe, which can be found on Susan's blog...just click on the link above.

P.S. Her photographs are fantastic!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

This Is For You, Tulla!

I made a decision yesterday, to make a Boston Cream Pie today for my daughter's friend, Tulla...not a very wise decision, considering it was rainy and damp today. I don't like baking certain things in damp weather...cream puffs is one and the other is a sponge cake. The basis for the Boston Cream Pie is a Hot Milk Sponge Cake...the top never did dry out, it was really too sticky when I poured the chocolate glaze over. I really should have waited for a nice dry sunny in eastern Kansas, who knows when that would be!

From this...

Hot Milk Sponge Cake

1 cup sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup half and half cream
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 eggs
1 cup sugar
Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease the bottom and sides of 2 9-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over low heat until the butter is melted and the cream is steaming. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract.
In the mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar until they are pale in color and about tripled in volume, this will take about 4-6 minutes. If the cream has cooled, reheat until steaming. With mixer on medium speed, slowly beat the hot cream into the egg mixture.
Sift or slowly sprinkle the flour mixture over the egg mixture while folding gently with a large spatula.
Divide the batter between the 2 prepared cake pans.
Bake 15-20 minutes, until the tops are golden and the cake springs back slightly when touched.
Cool the cakes in pans for about 15 minutes on racks. Run a knife around the edges and invert layers onto the wire rack. Cool completely.

Pastry Cream
1¼ cups half and half cream
4 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Pinch of salt
1½ tablespoons butter, unsalted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat 1 cup half and half cream in heavy pan over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges. Whisk the remaining ¼ cup cream with the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt until pale and light. Gradually whisk about half of the hot cream into the egg mixture and then return the mixture to the saucepan. Place over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens to pudding consistency and comes to a boil. Remove from heat and ad the butter and vanilla extract, whisking until butter melted. Transfer to bowl, cool to room temperature, place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until cold and firm.

Chocolate Glaze
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

Heat the cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until the mixture comes to a simmer. Remove pan from heat, add the chopped chocolate, set aside for a few minutes while chocolate melts. Stir until smooth.

To assemble:
place a layer on a cake plate, insert strips of waxed paper under the cake to catch drips.
Spread the pastry cream thickly and evenly over the cake, coming almost to the edges. Place the second layer on top.
Pour the glaze over the cake, spread it to the edges with a spatula, letting any excess flow down the sides.
Remove waxed paper strips and refrigerate cake for at least one hour to set the glaze.
Adapted from New England Cookbook

To this!

Tulla, will save you a piece, but you have to be here...SOON!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pink Delight

I will be joining Susan of Between Naps On the Porch for Tablescape Thursday. Thank you for hosting this fun meme, Susan. Please make sure you stop by BNOTP so you can see other fantastic tables.

To enlarge a picture, just click on it.

Y'all must know, by now, how I feel about the color pink! In case you missed it, pink is my least favorite color. Well, a few weeks ago I found pink dishes at the Goodwill I frequently haunt. A little voice kept whispering "buy me, buy me" and before I could turn and run away, they were in my cart. Actually, I really like them, they are a pretty shade of pink. They are Sasaki (fine china) 'Regency Pink' 1986. There were only 2 each, dinner, salad, soup, cup and saucer, all for just under $5.

My daughter brought me the tulips knowing how much I like the yellow ones...she said she almost bought pink or lavender ones but felt yellow would be a safer color. When I told her I was doing a pink table for this week's post she couldn't believe it. I told her the yellow looks great with all the pink.

Dinner plate.

Salad plate. Today I have chosen not to use the salad plate that is part of the set. I am using plates with my favorite flowers, hydrangeas. These were a gift from my sister, Jerry; Noritake ColorWave Gray.

Rimmed soup bowl.

Cup and saucer.

Flatware, Oneida 'Afterglow' 1956. The pink napkins and tablecloth were from Savers; $1.99 for 4 napkins and $2.99 for the tablecloth.

The water glasses are Noritake Sweet Swirl, lavender and the wine stems are pale pink that I picked up at Savers for 99¢ each quite some time ago.

The vase was found this past weekend at a yard sale. It is a Brush-McCoy 7¼ inch pale aqua made about 1940. The cost was a dollar.

The table with the candles inexpensive camera seems to distort the pictures with lit candles...maybe I should try a different setting.

***Update! My friend, Kathleen, wanted to know about the pink pedestal cake was $2.99 at HomeGoods, a few years ago.

Thank you for taking the time to visit my is very much appreciated.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Two Favorites...Blue and Green

My favorite time of the week, Tablescape Thursday with Susan at Between Naps On The Porch. Thank you, once again, Susan for hosting this fun meme.

You can enlarge any picture by clicking on it.

Today's table is using my very favorite color and green. I first tried lilacs on the table, but the the cat kept trying to get to them. I got sick of shooing her away...she had already knocked one vase over before I got started.

I changed to a smaller vase and used some viburnum, instead.

I started with my Liberty Blue dinner plates.

Then I added Wood & Son Glenwood salad plates.

And finally, little Blue Willow type dishes. The only marking on the back is an embossed "made in England".

All of you real collectors, please don't gasp that I am showcasing a cute, but damaged, little serving dish with a band of blue/white decoration around the outside. (Don't worry that I am using it to serve food in, because I am not!) There are no markings on the bottom so have no idea who made it or how old it is. It does seem to be fairly old, though. I found it at the local ARC Thrift Store for 50¢ and can't resist anything blue and white.

The band around the outside...and you can see this dish has many years of use on has been thoroughly washed a couple times since I bought it. I may try bleaching it.

This gravy boat was found in Fort Scott, Kansas is an Alfred Meakin Spray made in England, possibly between 1875-1897.

Don't you just love the blue and green together?

The flatware is Community Afterglow 1956.

Table overall. The linen tablecloth was a thrift store find some time ago.

Thank you for taking the time to visit, it is very much appreciated. Please stop by Between Naps On The Porch so you see other fabulous tablescapes.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Where Are The Knives...

It has been quite some time since I have joined Silver Sunday with Beth of Gypsy Fish Journal. Thank you for hosting this fun meme.

I haven't seen anything silver in quite some time at the thrift stores. I don't think I have shown these silverplate pieces made by R. C. Co./International in 1913, the pattern is Isabella. I found four each of the dinner forks, soup spoons and teaspoons. They have been well loved, as the plate has worn off in places on several of the pieces...just adds to the piece. There was not a knife to be seen. I don't know about your area, but...knives are very seldom available in any of the thrift stores I frequent. What's up with that, anyway? Do the kids take the knives, does the man of the house use them in place of a screwdriver, where are they hiding?

Thanks for taking the time to visit, it is always appreciated.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Apple Dumplings, Oh My Goodness!

While looking for a recipe for apple dumplings I came across one by The Pioneer Woman that sounded pretty simple. I amassed the ingredients and got busy making them. If you like apples, you really must try these.

According to the apple dessert expert in the house, these are one of the best things he has ever eaten. They are not only delicious, they are simple...but, these are definitely NOT for the diet conscience!

Dumplings ready to go into the oven.

Bubbling hot just out of the oven.

Ready to devour with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.