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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Colorpalooza

"First things first...We are truly blessed to have the means to set a pretty table and invite our friends to join us for good food and fellowship. I am mindful that many are not so fortunate. My daughter has a passion for the work of the Food Bank. As a singer-songwriter, she has written and recorded a song that is the anthem for the world wide Crop Hunger Walk project. Her song, "Raise Your Voice" is featured in their video. I've included a link in the side margin of my blog. As you consider your own philanthropic opportunities, I hope that it will encourage you to support projects in your community that contribute to the effort to overcome hunger.
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Today we celebrated birthdays for the Garden Friends who were born in March and April.  From the moment that I grabbed the tablecloth that I wanted out of one of the linen closets, this table just seemed to tell me what element to add next...from start to finish...  I had so much fun putting this together to honor my sweet sisters in Christ.

Barb, one of the birthday girls and the friend who collaborates with me each year to create a table for the Theta Flaming Festival, adores what I call "high color."  As I worked, I could already see the giant smile on her face.

Are you shopping on eBay, yet?  Come on, people!  Of course, I really shouldn't encourage you because you'll end up bidding against me, and I'll lose something that I want.  This is one of the Williams Sonoma "Orleans Toile" tablecloths.  It was new, in perfect condition...and I would have never paid the full price to buy it in the store.  The hot pink hemstitch napkins were also an eBay purchase. eBay Tip:  Do a search for hemstitch napkins.  The seller is called sellnapkins, and they sell a dozen of these wonderful 20 x 20 napkins for $23.00.  Although I've found them with free shipping, tonight I noticed that some of their multitude of colors are now listed with a shipping charge...still a very good price.  They are a linen/cotton blend.  The napkin rings...another eBay find are Coalport, "Countryware".

I wanted to use something other than a plain white plate, but I needed to choose a pattern that didn't fight with the toile.  I chose the Coalport, "Old Coalport", and I rested it on the silver beaded charger to give it just a bit of separation from the cloth.  It made me happy.  It also made me giddy that I found a great deal on these plates on....wait for it...you've got it...eBay.  I always enjoy setting my table with my wedding silver flatware, Reed & Barton, "Grand Renaissance".

When I walked into the dining room early this morning, I immediately knew that the stars of this production were the crystal goblets...

The Vietri, Apple Green Optical Goblet is a new acquisition.  I adore this goblet...yep, you could say that...I've now bought it in three colors.  If you're looking for a lovely stem that is incredibly well priced, check out this one HERE!  In addition to the Amber and Smoke, which I've already shown you, it also comes in a lovely clear and a striking red.

The Garden Friends suggested that they should each get to take home one of the pink goblets as a party favor.  They were hands down the hit of the entire table!  Do you remember the story of this special pink stem?  I found 6 of them at Marshall's on a trip to Scottsdale, and I lamented that, although I had visited every Marshall's in my area, I was unable to find more.  About a week later, I went to the front door to find a package on the front porch.  Upon opening it, I discovered that an anonymous angel had sent me 4 more of these enchanting stems.  Today was the first opportunity that I've had to use all of them, and I was beyond thrilled!  If any of you have some of these that you are willing to sell, I'd love to visit with you.

The quartet of creamy Lenox Urns adorned with Hypericum Berries topiary balls have been holding court on the dining table since I used them for St. Patrick's Day.  Today I switched the tureen to the Mottahedeh, "Musee Des Arts Decoratifs" featuring the bird finial...as a nod to Spring.


Since Palm Sunday and Easter are just around the corner, I nestled four of these sweet "flower petal" bunnies around each urn.  I think that I'll use these for many years.  They are so cute!

I'm ready for the Garden Friends to start the birthday celebration and to give thanks as we approach our  most important holiday of each year.  I love the days when the sun dances through the window and softly kisses my table...

...I'm showing restraint...at least for this moment.  I snapped a number of these special shots.  I also caught some candlelight moments last night when I completed my design...


















...So much for restraint....I just couldn't resist.  I'm always so surprised when they turn out okay.

Pink and green....hard to beat...who knew?




Even the darling birthday treats fit right into the color story.

It was a grand day of good food, fellowship, and lots of blessed laughter.  Coming my way?...let me know, and we'll set a place for you!


Thank you, yet again, to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for hosting her magical meme, Tablescape Thursday.  I'll be linking my post to "TABLESCAPE THURSDAY."   Hop on over and check out the myriad of marvelous tablescape designs, after 10:00 AM on Thursdays.  You'll be glad that you made the trip...it's a wonderful adventure.

When I think of March, I think of the anticipation of Easter Sunday and entertaining friends with a delicious lunch.  How about you?  With thankfulness for her dedication and efforts, I'm joining the multi-talented Tablescaper for her fabulous meme SEASONAL SUNDAYS.  Hope to see you there!

Tonight is the second edition of Cuisine Kathleen's meme, "LET'S DISH!".  So excited to become a charter member.  Pop over (pun intended for the Chef Supreme Kathleen) and join the fun!


You can check out KC's music at www.kcclifford.com, on iTunes, and on YouTube.  I hope that you'll take a few minutes and give her a listen.  You'll also enjoy reading back through her blog on this site.  The girl can really write!  Her latest CD is called "Orchid."  It is available on iTunes or through her website.  I hope that you'll give her music a chance.  I know that I have zero objectivity where she is concerned, but I think that you'll fall in love with her music and her!










Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Anatomy of a Wild Game Dinner

"First things first...We are truly blessed to have the means to set a pretty table and invite our friends to join us for good food and fellowship. I am mindful that many are not so fortunate. My daughter has a passion for the work of the Food Bank. As a singer-songwriter, she has written and recorded a song that is the anthem for the world wide Crop Hunger Walk project. Her song, "Raise Your Voice" is featured in their video. I've included a link in the side margin of my blog. As you consider your own philanthropic opportunities, I hope that it will encourage you to support projects in your community that contribute to the effort to overcome hunger.

Tonight is the premier edition of Cuisine Kathleen's meme, "Let's Dish".  So excited to become a charter member.  Pop over (pun intended for the Chef Supreme Kathleen) and join the fun!

On March 9, we were one pair of 9 host couples who sponsored a wild game dinner for about 130-150 guests.  Our dinner was held in the home of one of the couples, and we gathered on the prior Thursday to set up for our party.  Have china, will travel...

Linens and silver...



Menu cards, Votives...check.




Sterling Flatware... 

...and china...

 ...Check.

Handpainted flutes for Brandy Ice Dessert...

Tablescloths... 

...more silver...

...and extra chairs...Check.  Ready to roll.

Things are unloaded, and we're ready to organize for our evening of fun.

 



Tablecloths are in place, and we've begun to place the centerpieces....this is a magnificent home for a party!

 The long breakfast room table has been moved to the dining room, and a large round table has been set up in its place.  It will hold silverware/napkins, appetizers, and breads.

I ordered the camo cocktail napkins online.  What do you think?...Camo and toile...I'm thinking that it's the new trend look for Spring.

This gorgeous loggia will be closed to the night air once the party starts...and a roaring fire will welcome more guests to dine at the tables.  They'll also be covered with the toile cloths.  There was more seating in the family room, but I didn't end up with any pics to share...sigh.


 I can't remember who made these.  One of the other hostesses provided them for our dinner.  Aren't they beautiful!




I made another run to bring back the Heron and other decoys for the tables....Check.

 Waiting for the game entrees to arrive tomorrow evening.

 Friday evening, at last. The guests will arrive in just over an hour.  The hostesses are beginning to bring in their contributions to our Wild Game Dinner.  

What a dining room!! 
 
Additional seating in the living room...

Some guests gathered on the couches and chairs to visit while dining...


Check.

The long table that you see in the center is the breakfast room table...

The three square tables are actually the dining room table.  They can be used as one long table for 16, or broken up for more intimate seating.  Each square table will seat 8 people.  This is one of my favorite ideas for a dining table...so many great options for seating guests.

We're ready for our friends to come through the door...

The office has been converted into a wet bar for the evening.

 Big Bird is ready for the fun to commence!

So many amazing Wild Game recipes.
 
   I shared my "signature salad" recipe for one of the hostesses to prepare.


Some appetizers...on the bar in the family room.



...More appetizers on the table in the breakfast room...the empty dish to the left will soon hold Duck Eggrolls.  The pedestal will be filled with bread.


The hunters thought that this was really cool....I could have lived quite well without it.



Making last minute preparations.  That's Sweet Mister across the room in his "Camo" grilling apron.  He's just finished grilling his Dove Diablo.  He makes me smile!



Italian Venison Stew was passed to guests as an appetizer...Cups and demitasse spoons were the perfect combination...Easy to eat while standing and visiting.


Sweet Mister's "Dove Diablo"...


Here's the Venison Stew.  I don't even like venison, and this was fantastic!  I asked for the recipe.




Enthusiastic guests...
...Plus hard working hostesses...and an abundance of delicious food...

My Creamy Baked Pheasant Spaghetti.




Pun intended.


What's a wild game dinner without Wild Rice...lots of Wild Rice!


Pheasant Paprikash


No one went home hungry!


The Cuban Roasted Pig was one of my favorites!  So tender and tasty.




..And the fun has begun!!



Everyone had Brandy Ice for dessert...and then we found out that one of the gentlemen guests had made and brought a double batch of incredibly delicious Bread Pudding with a delectable Brandy Sauce...
Who could resist?  There was a whole lot of "straightening the edges" going on after dinner.  Have you ever done that ?

The last of the guests left after midnight.  It was a great party, and I "napped" much of Saturday!  We all agreed that we look forward to inviting friends for another Game Dinner next year.  Let me know if you're passing through, and I'll put you on our list.






Thank you, yet again, to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for hosting her magical meme, Tablescape Thursday.  I'll be linking my post to "TABLESCAPE THURSDAY."   Hop on over and check out the myriad of marvelous tablescape designs, after 10:00 AM on Thursdays.  You'll be glad that you made the trip...it's a wonderful adventure.

When I think of March, I think of early Spring evenings that are perfect for entertaining friends with a sumptuous dinner.  How about you?  With thankfulness for her dedication and efforts, I'm joining the multi-talented Tablescaper for her fabulous meme SEASONAL SUNDAYS.  Hope to see you there!



You can check out KC's music at www.kcclifford.com, on iTunes, and on YouTube.  I hope that you'll take a few minutes and give her a listen.  You'll also enjoy reading back through her blog on this site.  The girl can really write!  Her latest CD is called "Orchid."  It is available on iTunes or through her website.  I hope that you'll give her music a chance.  I know that I have zero objectivity where she is concerned, but I think that you'll fall in love with her music and her!