May 29, 2020

favorite table settings in blue

Blue tablescapes are my thing! I just love all the many shades of blue, and combining them together at a pretty table. I do have a little formula that I use when setting any table, and the good news is, it works with any color combination. 

You often see me layer plates of different sizes at a place setting, and my preferred way is to highlight a pretty plate or bowl right on top.  

Oftentimes, I use an interesting salad plate and place it on a plain white dinner plate. That way the pretty plate is framed out and sitting right on top where everyone can see it.  As you will see, vibrant blue goblets are my favorite accent!

Table runners are more versatile than tablecloths, and I love how they let a little bit of the table show through. It's also fun to sometimes add placemats or chargers with your choice of fabric for the table.

To further accentuate this look, I love using a natural texture as a base for the plates. I have a small collection of round and rectangular raffia placemats that work perfectly with the blue and white.  

This look turned out just how I envisioned it with the addition of these luxurious linen napkins in a sumptuous navy teal color that really highlights the blue plates. 

Blue and white pattern-on–pattern is a fun look. See how the stripe in the table runner, the intricate design in the plate and the scalloped edge of these vintage napkin all play off each other? 

This table setting is brought to life with the contrast of stripes and gingham. Teeny weeny bread and butter plates also look exquisite stacked on top of the larger plates. Don’t be afraid to layer, layer, layer! 

Utensils can be an unassuming accent, or really make a bold statement… it’s up to you!  

When I do change it up a bit, it’s fun to experiment with different blue and white patterns or mix in different colors of transferware. For the upcoming summer season, I love adding a dash of red to the table. This can easily be done with fresh flowers or fruit. 

I hope this has been a good week for you! I'm off to the garden to water my tomato plants now...

ciao! fabiana 

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May 24, 2020

3 lovely desserts for the weekend

As we observe the true meaning of Memorial Day this weekend, we are more than likely at home. With more and more of us spending quality time in the kitchen creating fabulous home-cooked meals, the tradition of this weekend also includes making a lovely dessert.

Here are three of my favorite ways to indulge my sweet tooth. Keep in mind, these are three very different recipes, but don’t fret, the last one is so easy, ANYONE can make it in a flash!

I found the Bob Hope Lemon Meringue Pie recipe years ago in this vintage cookbook, and it’s proven to be a simple, old-fashioned recipe that everyone loves! It's even very similar to the recipe on my vintage pie plate!

Bob Hope’s Lemon Meringue Pie  

  1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar 
  3 tablespoons corn starch 
  1 cup boiling water 
  4 egg yolks (slightly beaten) 
  4 tablespoons lemon juice 
  Zest of 1 lemon 
  2 tablespoons butter 
  Salt to taste 
  1 Pre-Baked 9" pie shell 

In a large saucepan combine corn starch and sugar. Slowly add water, stirring constantly, until thick and smooth. Add slightly beaten egg yolks, butter, lemon rind, lemon juice and salt. Cook for 3 minutes. Pour into baked pie shell. Let cool completely. 

Ingredients for the meringue: 

                 3 egg whites 
                 2 tablespoons sugar 
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Slowly whip egg whites in a large bowl until they begin to foam. Add sugar one tablespoon at a time. Whip mixture until stiff peaks form. Gently spread meringue mixture over cooled, filled pie. 

Bake in oven for 10 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown. Let cool completely. Chill pie until it is served. 

Who doesn’t love a yummy pound cake? 

Makes 1 (15-cup) Bundt cake  
1½ cups unsalted butter, softened 
1⅔ cups granulated sugar 
cup firmly packed dark brown sugar 
7 large eggs  
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract  
3¼ cups all-purpose flour  
1 teaspoon kosher salt 
1 cup sour cream 
1¼ cups pecan pieces*, divided  
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans, divided  
White Icing (recipe follows) 

Preheat oven to 300°F. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars at medium speed until fluffy, 6 to 7 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. 

In a medium bowl, sift together flour and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Add 1 cup pecan pieces and ½ cup chopped pecans, and beat until evenly distributed. 

Spray a 15-cup Bundt pan with baking spray with flour. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Tap pan on a kitchen towel-lined counter 5 to 6 times to release air bubbles. Smooth top. 

Bake until a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean, 1 hour and 35 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes. Invert cake onto a wire rack, and let cool completely. Spoon White Icing onto cooled cake.  

In a small bowl, combine remaining ¼ cup pecan pieces and remaining 2 tablespoons chopped pecans. Sprinkle on top of icing. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 
White Icing 

Makes about ⅔ cup  
1¼ cups confectioners’ sugar  
4½ tablespoons heavy whipping cream  
1 tablespoon light corn syrup  

In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients until smooth. 

Recipe courtesy of Bake from Scratch.

This berry topped cake is so easy you can delegate the hubby or kids to make it, but I secretly love putting it together because it’s fun!
All I did here was purchase a plain coffee cake from Trader Joe’s and top it with three kinds of berries, voila! Serve with whipped cream or ice cream for the full effect!   

wishing you a lovely holiday weekend!

ciao! fabiana 

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