Thursday, July 26, 2012

Nearly No-Calorie Pasta

Let me set the stage:
1. I'm visiting an especially dear friend who has recently lost weight and looks terrific.
2.  We love to cook together.
3.  We love to eat together.
4.  She and her husband love cooking gadgets.

Enter the Spirolizer!

This box just arrived from Amazon.  You can find a link to order it here.  It is under $30 and we had the best time fixing our lunch and playing with this new toy.

T'is the season for zucchini and Barb had four lovely ones in her veggie basket. We gave them a quick wash, removed the ends and were ready to go!  

This was sooo easy to set up.  It was very well made and comes with three different sized blades.  We chose the smallest cut to make "spaghetti" out of the zucchini.  The machine has suction that keeps it in place as you cut.  We played with potatoes and all of the blades.  Holy smokes, it was fun!

Here we go!

Just a few simple, easy twists and here it comes!

Here's our plate of spirals. 

Into a skillet with a small amount of pesto.  Barb had some delicious home made pesto that she makes with very little oil and no nuts.  It worked perfectly.  We threw in some home grown heirloom tomatoes fresh picked from the vine and after just a few minutes on the heat, we had an absolutely wonderful meal.  You could cook it as long as you want, but we elected to just barely heat it through, so it would be crisp.  We actually smacked our lips as we ate!  We thought of lots of ways to use this and lots of "recipes" to use with the veggies you could cut with this new toy. 
NOW.....could eating like this make me look like Barb?  I'm ordering one just in case! 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Blue and White Hydrangeas with Asiatic Pheasant


Jennifer at the Pink Pagoda is having another Blue and White Party!  Be sure to visit and enjoy the many faces of Blue and White.
This is a post I did last summer with some beautiful, old Asiatic Pheasant dishes.  Boy, that summer foliage and those flowers sure look good!  I'm sooooo ready for that.

I've been thinking about having a small breakfast for some friends while the hydrangeas are blooming.  So, when I walked in the cutting garden last night, I was sad to see that there were only a handful of blue blooms still fresh.  There are lots of white ones, though.

I picked a small handful this morning and put this tray together.  Since I'm going to be busy for the next couple of days and then out of town for a while, this "breakfast" is pretend, and, alas, there are no friends coming to share it.

I put it on the stone area we like to use as a buffet out on the terrace.  There are no candles in this old candelabra, as they would melt as fast as I put them out.  When it cools down in the fall, I'll insert some tapers. 

The colors of the hydrangeas called for this pattern that I love called Asiatic Pheasant.  Actually, I love a lot of blue and white dishes, but these are high on the list, for sure.

I used this old embroidered napkin and the matching placemat.  I did a post this winter with these dishes and these linens when my mom was visiting.  You can see it here.

My favorite mis-matched silverplate was the flatware of choice.

And I used this mother-of-pearl handled knife.  This little fluted dish has butter in it and I pressed a tiny hydrangea blossem into it.  I had to photograph fast before this butter melted in the heat!

This simple footed glass brought a bit more blue to the tray.

Here's the tray.  It's beautiful and graceful, but, boy is it heavy!  I wish it could talk and tell about some of the entertaining it has seen in it's days.

Just a simple tray that celebrates the colors of summer.

I think he was happy for the company!

Posting at:

Wow Us Wednesday

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Great Day at ADAC!!!!

As a design professional, I'm lucky to be able to use the Atlanta Decoratiave Arts Center for "to the trade" business.  It is filled with a multitude of heavenly showrooms and offers some really lovely events.  I've heard so many great designers such as Bunny Williams, Nina Campbell, Carolyne Roehm and Charles Faudree there, just to name drop a bit.
But TODAY they hit a home run with their ADAC in Bloom Event!
It was co-sponsored by  flower magazine, and wow.....did they ever do a great job!
It was billed as a chance to "celebrate and explore nature's influence on the world of design with a talent-packed day of lectures, book signings, and demonstrations".  That sounds like a lot to deliver, but deliver they did!!!!

This photo is from the event sign-up area of the website, advertising ADAC in Bloom.  I'm wild about how the hydrangeas reflect in the antiqued mirror of the tabletop.

First, we were welcomed by Margot Shaw, the Editor-in-Chief of  flower magazine.  What a firecracker she is!  She's a thoroughly Southern girl from Birmingham, Alabamba who founded this magazine five years ago to educate and inspire flower enthusiasts while showcasing the many talented floral professionals within this thriving, diverse industry. 

Spring 2012 Cover
 Go to http://www.flowermag.com/archives/ to review what she's been up to.  I could do an entire post about Margot and flower magazine (and I might another time), but wait until you see who was on the panel:


Yep!  That's Karen Carroll, Barry Dixon, Tara Guerard, and Jon Carloftis.  (Tara's last name should have a little French accent over the e, but I can't figure out how to do it!)

Karen Carroll
First up was Karen Carroll, Vice President and Editor in chief of Southern Accents before it's sad demise.  She's now a freelance editor and writer for flower magazine.  She has been a guest blogger at The Skirted Roundtable.  She had a great outlook on the perfection of nature and how we, as flower arrangers or florists, could never improve on it, but rather edit it to our specific needs for each event or arrangement.  She also gave a very nice nod to bloggers for being a resource to learn, learn, learn.  

Do I need to tell you anything about Barry Dixon???????  He's a well known, well published, well admired interior designer.  His interior books are beautiful and a great resource for anyone who loves great design.  His childhood provided the chance to live in several exotic foreign countries and yet, his heart is in his 400 acre farm in the countryside of Virginia, near Washington, D. C.  He was definitely the clown of the panel, but that didn't stop him from giving us a great panel discussion.  I remember that he said "if God made it, it's good enough for me to use it".  I love that!  What a charmer.

Can you say "tastemaker"?????  Tara Guerard is all that and more!  She owns Soiree, which just might just be the premiere event design company in the South.  (the world?)  She's funny, irreverent, and oh, sooooo talented.  She did a presentation which featured several of her incredible weddings and spoke about the details of each.  Man, I love the details!  Even if you can't use Sylvia Weinstock for your cake, you can still use some of Tara's fresh and tailored look. She has a great blog which you can see here.

And then there was this cutie!  Jon Carlotis, gardener to the stars!  Jon specializes in rooftop gardens and does a lot of work on those dreamy roofs and balconies in NYC for some really big deal people.  He just finished doing four gardens for the rooftop of Google's headquarters in NYC.  It is the third largest office building in the city.  But he's a Kentucky boy through and through.  I'm going to be in Ky next week and I'm jumping off of I-75 to see Welcome Hill, his childhood home where his retail business, Rockcastle River Trading Company is located.  He also has a presence in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  Well, wherever he is working or living, he is one great speaker with charm and wit and lots of love for his dogs and family.  He's "doing God's work" when he's planting, he says.  

And who didn't love the talk by James Farmer?  This thirty year old charmer had every woman there falling in love with him.  He had the best stories about his Mama, his Meemaw, his days at Auburn, and his life long home in middle Georgia.  I could have listened to him talk all day.  I love that he takes a responsibility to bring landscape, architecture, food and gardening to the people of his generation. Go to www.jamesfarmer.com to check him and his books out. 


Here's a handful of photos from the demo that Margot gave in the Ernest Gaspard showroom:



I'm inspired beyond belief and grateful for flower and ADAC.  I drove home (in Atlanta rush-hour traffic, no less) with visions of flowers and tablescapes swirling around in my head.  Let's see where this takes me in the next few weeks.  I may not be able to sleep tonight.  I'll probably be on my computer checking out what all of you are up to!






Sunday, July 8, 2012

Shrimp Shooters



Need a supper simple appetizer to take to a party?  Here ya go.....shrimp shooters.  These are just shrimp cocktail a little bit gussied up.  I used square plastic cups from Party City.  They were about $10 for 40 of them and I've re-used them several times, even washing them in the dishwasher.  Everyone loves individual servings and this is particularly nice, because you don't have to stand beside the table dipping and dripping.

I wiped the edges with a cut lime and immediately dipped them into a saucer holding a mixture of kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, and celery seed.

I played around with bottled cocktail sauce a bit.  Adding fresh lime juice seemed to perk it up a bit.  I also added canned crushed pineapple, but I don't think it added too much.  I'll skip that next time.  Then the boiled, cleaned shrimp with the tail on, a thin slice of lime and a sprig of cilantro.  (You cilantro haters can leave this out.)

And here it is.....sort of Margarita, sort of Carribean, sort of Bloody Mary, and sort of classic. Just keep it cold and you've got a home run, I promise! 

Joining:

Yvonne's Stone Gable
and
Cuisine Kathleen's


Monday, July 2, 2012

Ants at the Picnic

I've been wanting to do this table for a long time.  I love the combo of red/white gingham and ants, but I find a lot of  this type of collection rather cheezy.  Can you imagine my glee when I found this set of linens at the floral wholesaler in early spring?

I've been dying to bring it out to the cutting garden and set it up on the dining platform.

Look at this closely.  It's a polyester dupioni tan and black and white plaid edged with red and white gingham embroidered with ants.  Perfect!  Unusual, and whimsical but not too trite.  I put it over a cream burlap table skirt on our unfinished dining table that I keep in the potting shed.  You can see that here.

I bought four embroidered napkins to go with the topper.

The dish combination was easy.  Cream dinner plate from Pottery Barn, black salad plate from Target, and a red bowl from Ballard Design.

Then I chose this black handled flatware.  I think it came from Target, too.

I easily decided on these vintage red stems.

And I had a bit of fun with the Fiesta-style butter pat.  These ants are tablecloth weights from Michael's, but I unscrewed and removed the clips.

I went to several nurseries for red geraniums, but they were all out.  It's too late in the season for much planting here.  I toyed with the idea of red roses but they seemed way too fancy.  Carnations were considered, too, but I really wanted geraniums.  So, I bought a faux spray at Michael's and stuck it in this heavy black iron urn.

Here's the overhead of the whole table for four.

This dappled sun wasn't the best for pictures, but it really was charming.  I removed the chairs to take better pictures.  They were on the pathway past the gardenia bush.

The only bugs welcome here are those darling little embroidered ones.  They make me smile.



Joining:

Tabletop Tuesday

Wow Us Wednesday

Open House Thursday

Tablescape Thursday

Inspiration Friday

Feathered Nest Friday

Fridays Unfold

Seasonal Sundays

Let's Dish




Patriotic Tablescapes

We're not doing any entertaining for the Fourth since we're traveling the next day.  However, these red/white/blue tables are some of my favorite to do, so I thought I'd do a simple retrospective of several tables that I have featured in the past.  I'll give you the link to each whole post and then shut up!

You can see this entire post here.




This post can be seen here.




Find this post is here.



You may find this table post here.


I wish all of you a happy and safe holiday!  My hats are off to all of the former or present military.  Please accept my heartfelt and sincere thanks and undying gratitude.

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