Monday, September 23, 2013

How Do You Like Them Apples?

The theme for this week's Let's Dish at Cuisine Kathleen is apples!  Alas, I don't have any apple-themed dishes -- yet -- so I'd have to bring apples in another way.  I decided to use my Castleton Gloria dishes that my mama surprised me with last year.  So, Saturday morning I pulled out a plate and went to the closet where I keep table linens and tried it with several different colors.  I finally settled on layering my twig placemats over some green ones. 
With the green background, Granny Smith apples were called for.  I piled a bag of small ones into my trifle bowl, added water, then stuck in carefully arranged some mums.  So easy, but I really like the look!
 I wanted to add some more color, so I used the handy tool my son gave me and cut out the tops of some larger Granny Smiths, then used it again to cut some soaked floral foam to fit the opening.  The tool makes holes the right size for tealights, but I wanted to use flowers this time.
I inserted some mums and they turned out pretty cute!
Here's another view.
The placesetting:
And a few photos of the table. . .

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Brie and Crab Bisque

Well, this is a first!  I have never posted a recipe on my blog before today.  I have probably mentioned that my husband is the chef in our household, doing ALL the daily cooking, as well as all the grocery shopping.  Yes, I am spoiled!  I am also the envy of my friends, and a few of them have told me that they have dibs on him -- if I am, say, hit by a bus. He truly loves to cook and try new recipes. 

Anyway, after my tablescape post this week that listed brie and crab bisque on the menu for my father-in-law's birthday dinner, several asked for that recipe.  My husband supplied it and gave me a few notes to include.

Here is the recipe as it originally appeared in the Baton Rouge paper back when we lived there (1992-2000).  Mansur's was our "fancy" restaurant, the one we chose when lavish luncheons or celebratory dinners were called for.  My husband visits Baton Rouge regularly and always tries to have dinner there at least once. If you get to go, you might also try the warm crawfish salad, my fave!
Here are a few notes my husband shared about the menu.
  • Do not use processed brie, as it doesn't blend well.  Imported is best.
  • Any vegetable oil may be substituted for the cottonseed oil.
  • Pasteurized fresh crab from Sam's Club is what he uses.
  • Bottled crab (or seafood) boil works well as the crab base or stock mentioned in the recipe.
The bisque is very rich, so you may want to serve small portions as an appetizer.  I hope some of you will give it a try! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Table for a 91st Birthday Dinner

When my father-in-law turned 90 last September, we had a big dinner party for his friends and our family at a restaurant, but for the 91st, we had a small family party at our house. Our daughter's family drove up from Houston, so we had four generations around the table -- always a treat!

I knew I wanted to use my late mother-in-law's Wedgwood Potpourri dishes, because I love the pattern, and it always brings a sweet remembrance of her to the gathering. Her collection includes these darling demitasse cups, which were perfect for serving the first course, a tiny serving of rich brie and crab bisque.  The demitasse spoons are also from her collection, in the Gorham Chantilly pattern.  My daughter and son have the rest of her silver, but I held onto the demitasse spoons for now, figuring they don't need them yet!
Here's a "diner's view" across the table.  The blue water goblet is Villeroy & Boch's My Garden pattern.
Dark red alstroemeria work well with the Potpourri pattern, and I used a single blossom in the bud vase napkin rings my daughter gave me for Christmas one year.  I use these a lot!  They are perfect for adding a little more color to the table.
I cut the flower stems short and arranged them in two julep cups.
Here's how the placesetting looked.  I think the dark blue hemstitched linen placemats make a good backdrop for these dishes.  The silver pattern is Lunt Belvedere, chosen 41 years ago -- now vintage, I guess!
Here's a look at the table, set for seven in the dining room.  The candelabra was a surprise from my husband earlier this year, and when the candles are all lit, it really looks pretty.  Alas, this bad blogger failed to get a photo!  Besides the bisque, the menu included ham, cheese grits, green beans, yeast rolls, and the birthday boy's favorite dessert, chocolate meringue pie.
Thank you for stopping by!  I will be joining the Let's Dish party at Cuisine Kathleen, so be sure to check there for all the pretty tablescapes.