June 30, 2022

cute farmhouse style for the 4th

How about some red, white and blue inspiration today? I was feeling a little bit country while setting the table for dinner last night. 

Sometimes feeling nostalgic feels so good.


I like surrounding myself with sentimental things that remind me of childhood summers, like big bold daisies, little flags that are meant to be waved and vivid blue glasses that  used to hold Kool-Aid and Hawaiian Punch on those hot summer days.


That’s one of the reasons why I love setting tables that have specially selected elements that bring back fond memories from the past.


How fun are these vintage napkin rings?

I found these funny little piggy napkin rings last week at Antiques Cottage in Costa Mesa and thought they deserved some farmhouse style to make them feel right at home, and nothing does that better than gingham.

Big, bold gingham is perfect for that nostalgic look that I love so much. And to even the playing field, red transferware plates are used at each place setting.



I also found a few pieces of this pretty silverplate flatware at another favorite vintage shop for only 40¢ apiece. They shined up pretty nicely, don't you think?

In fact, there’s an extra set of these adorable farmhouse style piggies available here at my Ebay Store.

The rest of the tableware is mostly vintage stuff I've collected and loved over the years. I use the white plates and raffia placemats all the time, and they look timeless with just about any style at the table.

I recently found this cute stars and stripe pitcher on Ebay, and the tall blue Fostoria Whitehall glasses are from my collection of vintage colored glassware that I couldn't set tables without.  

The blue gingham check napkins were bought in 2019 on Amazon, and they've washed beautifully and still look new, even though I use them all the time. You can check them out here.


Well, the 4th is just around the corner. Do you have anything fun planned for the holiday weekend?



ciao! fabiana



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You can check out some of my favorites here at Tablescaping Essentials*. 


Please note that this post may contain affiliate links.


June 26, 2022

the best ranch dip recipe for summer


Summer Crudité with Home-Made Ranch Dressing

The warmer summer weather calls for something cool and refreshing to eat, that’s why I love indulging in fresh veggies and salads this time of year.


My favorite salad dressing has got to be Ranch. So today I’m sharing my favorite version of this delicious and luxuriously cool Ranch Dressing recipe.


It just so happens to be paleo as well, which simply means there’s no dairy in this version of Ranch Dressing. What I love about it, besides its yummy taste, is how versatile it is.


This weekend I put together a small platter of veggies on my new Arthur Court Chip and Dip Bowl

It’s called the Oyster with Pearl Chip and Dip, and it’s not only perfect for chips and salsa, but it’s also just stunning as a crudité server. And it's large. These are full sized carrots pictured.


I simply choose some of my favorite veggies, scrubbed them really well, and arranged them by variety on the chip and dip bowl. The smaller “pearl” bowl is just the right size for holding my favorite Ranch Dip.


By the way, this Ranch Dip is so easy to put together in the food processor or blender, and the best part is it’s loaded with fresh herbs, garlic and lemon, which are full of vitamins and goodness, not to mention flavor!

Bacon, Egg, Lettuce and Tomato Salad

I love this dressing so much that I also used it for my impromptu breakfast-lunch salad yesterday. I’m calling this my B.E.L.T. salad: Bacon, egg, lettuce and tomato. Avocado could also be thrown in as another yummy ingredient.


This cute vintage McCoy mixing bowl with the pink and blue stripes is a recent find, and I realized it’s the perfect size for my “loaded” salads.


My Ranch Dressing recipe is adapted from one by Danielle Walker, and I substituted some of the herbs for ones that I prefer and grow in my garden.



½ cup avocado oil mayonnaise  (or regular mayo for non paleo)

3 tablespoons coconut milk

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 tablespoon chopped chives

1 tablespoon chopped basil

2 teaspoons lemon juice

½ teaspoon onion powder

a pinch of sea salt

black pepper is optional


Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend. Keep ranch dressing nice and cold in the refrigerator.


Waldorf Salad photo via Danielle Walker

What's great about this recipe is that you can customize the herbs for herbs of your choice. Tender herbs like parsley, cilantro, basil, chives, dill and tarragon are all good options.

I originally found this Ranch Dressing recipe when it accompanied this Waldorf Salad recipe that I LOVE! You can find it here

Zucchini Fritters

It's also really tasty with these Paleo Zucchini Fritters.

If you’re interested in the gorgeous Arthur Court Oyster with Pearl Chip and Dip Bowl seen in the first picture, it’s available on the Arthur Court website, as well as on Amazon.


Not only is this a gorgeous piece for summer gatherings, it also would make and amazing wedding gift for a lucky bride and groom.



Wishing you a very lovely Sunday.




ciao! fabiana


Please note that this post may contain affiliate links.


June 23, 2022

one tablecloth, four looks

Mixing and matching table linens and tableware is my favorite way to set tables. It gives a tablescape that "je ne sais quoi", and keeps it from looking too staged. 

Stripes and checks are really the most fun to play around with, so when I recently received a gorgeous Capri Stripe Navy Blue tablecloth from Solino Home, I decided to style it 4 different ways, using 4 different Solino Home napkins.

Each individual napkin style was used in a unique way for each table. I had fun with flowers, different china patterns and themes for all four tables. Here’s a peek at the first one…


For the first look, I used the Jolie Fleur napkins with a variety of blue and white accents, like transferware dinner plates, French salad plates and Wedgwood Jasperware accessories.


Pink peonies make this whole look pop, as do the vintage raffia placemats that provide a pretty textural contrast.


A lot of vintage tableware adds to the “coastal grandmother” look of this table. The stem glasses are my favorite touch, as the etched flowers echo the pretty Jolie Fleur pattern of the napkins.

The second look features both the tablecloth and napkins in the Capri Stripe pattern, but in different colors.


We’re sticking with the navy-blue Capri Stripe for the tablecloth and adding the Capri Ticking Stripe in the Natural color way for the napkins.


I paired blue and white transferware with brown and white transferware for a nod to the color combination of the table linens. Each place setting has different china patterns and plate combinations.


Texture is again brought in with different placemats. This time it's my shell-trimmed placemats to which I add this pretty bamboo flatware that I love so much.


Whimsical Monarch butterflies and chamomile flowers add a sentimental touch to the table.


The third look is so perfect for summer and all the red, white and blue parties that go hand-in-hand with summer entertaining.


Big, bold Red Buffalo Check napkins pair perfectly with the navy stripes of the tablecloth. I chose fun Shasta daisies to brighten up the center of the table.


This is a fun brunch or breakfast look for summer. Casual, but still pretty. This time the texture comes in the form of my reliable Serena & Lily raffia placemats and my new set of wicker napkin rings.


A big bowl of strawberries, croissants, coffee and toast are the perfect ingredients for this setting.

The last napkin option that I chose is the navy and white French Stripe Napkin. Stripes on stripes? Why not? The color is the same, so it works here.


Blue transferware plates set on solid white farmhouse plates creates a clean and crisp look with the linens. 

Vintage placemats, bright pink hydrangeas from the garden and vibrant blue goblets round off the fourth look for this pretty linen tablecloth.


All-in-all, I’m really impressed by the quality and look of the 100% linen napkins and tablecloths from Solino Home.

The classic stripes and patterns they offer make it so easy to set a pretty table.


Be sure to check back soon for all the details and lots more pictures of how each one of these four tables came together. I'll be doing an individual blog post for each one of these unique tablescapes, so I hope to see you soon here on Ciao Newport Beach.


Shopping info for Solino Home:


Capri Stripe Navy Tablecloth

Jolie Fleur Napkins 

Natural Capri Stripe Napkins

Red Buffalo Check Napkins

French Stripe Napkins

Other shopping info:

Shell-Trimmed Placemats 

Bamboo Flatware

Monarch Butterflies

Wicker Napkin Rings

Blue Goblets


ciao! fabiana

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Please note that this post may contain affiliate links.



June 22, 2022

one amazing pasta recipe and more!

Over the last week, I’ve really had an inkling for cooking and baking, so when I came across this recipe for Baked Penne with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes, I thought I’d give it a go for dinner.


I just received this beautiful Pyrex Baking Dish with Shell Lid from Arthur Court, so it was the perfect time for trying out this Martha Stewart pasta casserole recipe.


It’s basically a creamy, cheesy, and utterly delicious sauce that whips up easily on the stove, and then you just add cooked chicken, mushrooms, and sun-dried tomatoes. Pop it in the oven, and let it cook for 25 minutes or so.


My family was head over heels about it, and one of my sons even rated it as a 10 out 10 in terms of taste out of all the pasta dishes I make, and I make a lot!


And even though pasta and cheese are out of my dietary realm, I couldn't help but have two tiny little bites, and I’m telling you… it was AH-mazing!


It’s not that hard to make, either. In fact, this recipe is enough to make two 3-quart casseroles

I halved the recipe, so I only made one, but next time I’ll be sure to make the whole recipe and freeze the extra one or bring it to a friend.

Baked Penne with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes


A recipe from Martha Stewart

6 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking dishes

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1 pound penne rigate

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (8 ounces each), halved horizontally

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)

4 garlic cloves, minced

6 cups whole milk

10 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced

1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced

1 1/2 cups shredded provolone (6 ounces)

1 cup finely grated Parmesan (4 ounces)

Step 1

Preheat oven to 400. Butter two shallow 2-quart baking dishes. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 3 minutes short of al dente; drain pasta, and return to pot.


Step 2

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper; cook until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Halve each piece lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise.


Step 3

In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, melt butter over medium. Add flour and garlic; cook, whisking, 1 minute. While whisking, gradually add milk; bring to a simmer, whisking frequently. Add mushrooms and tomatoes; cook 1 minute. Off heat, gradually stir in provolone and 1/2 cup Parmesan.


Step 4

Add chicken and pasta to pot; season with salt and pepper. Divide pasta mixture between baking dishes; sprinkle each with 1/4 cup Parmesan.

Step 5

Bake, uncovered, until top is golden and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

I garnished this with fresh cherry tomatoes that I cut in half and a few little sprigs of basil.

In addition to the Chicken & Penne dish, I also prepared a little antipasto of Cherry Tomato Bruschetta, Marinated Mini Mozzarella, and Marinated Olives, served with Italian breadsticks.


Can we talk about this gorgeous 3-Bowl Clam Server? Isn’t it so cute for summer? This is one of three beautiful coastal themed items I recently got from Arthur Court.


I’m calling this trio my “Summer Entertaining Essentials”. I’ll share the third piece with you very soon. It’s called the Oyster with Pearl Chip and Dip, and it’s just as pretty as these two serving pieces I’m sharing with you here today.


Now here’s the lowdown on the antipasti:


Cherry Tomato Bruschetta – Place halved cherry tomatoes in a bowl and generously drizzle with olive oil. Add a clove or two of minced garlic, chopped basil and finish off with salt and pepper.


Marinated Mini Mozzarella- Mozzarella balls can be enhanced with the addition of a little bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs. I used a little rosemary, thyme and oregano on these. Be sure to drain the mozzarella first. 


Marinated Olives – Bottled Greek, Italian or Spanish olives are the best to use for this. Drain all the liquid from the olives and then add flavorings of your choice. I used olive oil, ground fennel seeds, chopped oregano, minced garlic and little bit of lemon zest.


I hope you’ll check back again soon because I’ll have another yummy recipe to share with you, in addition to a few beautiful summer tablescapes that are easy to duplicate.




ciao! fabiana



Shopping info:


Pyrex Baking Dish with Shell Lid

3-Bowl Clam Server

Maison d’Hermine Napkins

Best Italian Breadsticks

Really Good Olives

White Starfish





 For lots of fun extras, follow me on instagram!


Please note that this post may contain affiliate links.


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