Sunday, July 28, 2013

BLACK & WHITE DAMASK for Cuisine Kathleen

black & white damask table 018

Cuisine Kathleen has issued a challenge for this week's 
"Let's Dish" party, using just white & one other color for our 
tablescapes.  I decided to use all black & white damask.
 I love damask & seem to have a great deal of it around The Gazebo House.

 Aprons, oven mitts, pillows...One of these days, I plan to completely re-do the guest room with it, even!

black & white damask table 001

I combined a variety of patterns for this table...polka-dots, stripes, florals & LOTS of damask!  I have several gift containers on the table for decoration, as well, since my daughter's birthday is this coming week & they just happened to fit the theme beautifully. 

black & white damask table 013

black & white damask table 002
I started out with the flowers in a juice glass that I inserted into the decorative wine tote, but then I changed my mind & decided to use this pretty vase that usually sits on my piano in the den.

black & white damask table 016black & white damask table 019

black & white damask table 003

 I intend to fill the polka-dot tin with my daughter's favorite cookies, as one of her gifts.  She rarely has time to bake these days.
 black & white damask table 004

You've seen my little teapot & cup combo before, HERE.  Since I cracked it, I have to just use it for decoration now. 
~insert sad face~
black & white damask table 006

This book actually opens into a trinket box, to hold special mementos for her.  I'll have to think of something special to tuck inside of it.

black & white damask table 007
black & white damask table 011

black & white damask table 008

The little monogrammed "L" plates are from Tuesday Morning, last year, as well as the napkins & damask plates beneath.  The white cups & saucers go with my American Antilier, 'Bianca Leaf' set of dishes.

black & white damask table 009

 The flatware is my 'American Harmony' by Oneida.

black & white damask table 010

 Even the cupcakes are BLACK & WHITE!
Devils food CHOCOLATE cupcakes with WHITE frosting.

black & white damask table 015

 I found these edible papers in the damask pattern (Tuesday Morning, again) & just had to try them out.

black & white damask table 014

At first, I cut them out with one of my stamping punches, but that wasn't working out too well.  Precise positioning was a problem.  I ended up using kitchen shears to just do round circles. 

black & white damask table 016

 I know that Shelia, of the precious blog "Note Songs" has this same music themed vase, as I've seen it on her blog several times.  
Mine was a gift from my dear FL friend, Barb L. & sits on my piano most of the time.  "Hi Barb...and thank you again!"

black & white damask table 019

black & white damask table 020

I turned it a wee bit so you could see some of what is on the other sides. 

black & white damask table 022

Every time I look at it, I remember the fun times Barb & I had together, golfing & shopping, when we lived in Florida.  She has her black belt in bargain hunting...I miss my shopping buddy!  

Obviously, I'll be linking to Cuisine Kathleen's Let's Dish party on Wednesday, as well as Yvonne's Tutorials, Tips & Tidbits & Susan's Tablescape Thursday & The Tablescaper's Season Sundays parties.

I've had some *issues* with my 10 year old computer this month & have not been able to visit these gals as much as I'd like, nor respond to comments left on my last post.  I fear it is time to bite the bullet & upgrade.  I hate change! 
I hope to do some catching up real soon!

Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House.  Help yourself to a cupcake to take with you as you leave!

Friday, July 05, 2013

Blue Cheese Spread

 July 4th 2013 003 labeled

 This past weekend, we had guests in from Chicago.  The gal is gluten intolerant, so I served a tray of fruit & cheese upon their arrival.  I struggle with what to make for them.

I really like these gluten free, rice crackers, made by Blue Diamond.  They have several other flavors, such a hazelnut as well as pecan.

They go well with my blue cheese spread, that I make the day before, so it can chill in the refrigerator overnight.  I try doing as much ahead of time as I can, so I am able to relax & visit with folks!

July 4th 2013 001

Blue Cheese Spread

3/4#  Blue Cheese, crumbled (I use 3 containers of Blue Cave)
1 small red onion, finely diced
1/2 Cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
2-3 cloves of crushed garlic
1 Teaspoon of dry mustard
Salt & Pepper, to taste
a handful of fresh parsley, chopped & one sprig left whole, for garnishing the top, if you like
Place crumbled blue cheese in a shallow dish, like a pie pan.  Sprinkle diced red onion & chopped parsley over the top evenly.
Mix together olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, mustard & S&P.  Pour over blue cheese mixture & cover with plastic wrap.
Refrigerate several hours, overnight, if possible.
You may serve it directly in the pie pan or transfer to a prettier container, such as a colorful crock.

EDIT to add:  You should probably mix the parsley in a bit before serving, if you allow it to remain in the pie plate.  It would happen naturally if you transfer the mixture to a different serving container. 

Be sure to provide a spreader type knife for self serve.
It will soften a bit, upon standing at room temperature, but still needs a sturdy cracker to enjoy with it.

 Print recipe HERE.

By the way, the amount shown in the little red ramekin in my photo is only 1/2 the recipe, as written.  If you like Blue Cheese, I promise, you will ♥♥♥ this recipe!

I'm joining Michael Lee at Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday, as well as The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays &
StoneGable for Tutorials, Tips & Tidbits on Thursday.
For the first time, I'm joining "The Scoop" party via Debbie at
Confessions of a Plate Addict.  

July 4th 2013 003

Please visit these other blogs for some wonderful inspirations & thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House
I hope you had a wonderfully patriotic July 4th celebration.


Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Happy Birthday, America!! *♥*♥*♥*

Fourth of July 007

We're ready for the 4th of July celebrations!!

parade 006

There will be parades with all of

America's Armed Forces represented.

parade 017

parade 030

Lots of FUN for all ages!

parade 052

parade 063

  My son-in-love made the go-cart, above.
All these parade photos are from
our town's Memorial Day this year.

parade 068

parade 069

parade 073

Inside The Gazebo House
we are fully decorated in RED, White & BLUE!

July 4th 2013 001

My pretty cobalt Galaxy Blue plates with 14K gold stars & rims (made by Sakura--hand wash only) join forces with all my red polka-dot items & lots of my white milkglass collection.

July 4th 2013 004

Little spreaders, with gold stars on the handles, are ready for appetizers of hummus & cheese.

July 4th 2013 005

The battery operated tea light inside this teapot
will get turned on at dusk,
to add a pretty, warm glow to the bakers rack.

July 4th 2013 004

 My FLAG tray that I found at Sur La Table
(half price sale when I went shopping HERE)
will be put to good use, carrying treats in & out of the gazebo.
 Fourth of July 018

I found these cute, star shaped pretzels,
coated in white chocolate. 
I bought every bag I could find!
They are YUMMO!

Fourth of July 020

The Libby star shaped candy dishes are from the Dollar Tree.
  They come out for ALL patriotic holidays,
as well as Christmas time, too.

Fourth of July 023

 Ms. C. loves to use the little scoop
from my sugar shuttle to
serve herself a small handful of M&M's.

Fourth of July 024

More stars appear on some serving pieces,
along with more spreaders. 
The felt stars are just for decoration
at the moment & will be removed
prior to the placement of food.

Fourth of July 025 framed
July 4th 2013 009
I put this little ceramic 
Navy Sailor, (made by NAPCO)
 that belonged to my Mom,
beneath a cloche, to give him a proper 
place of honor.

Thanks Sis, for passing it on to me, 
especially since my sweet hubby 
was in the Navy during WWII. 

Little tip:  I used my document shredder
to slice a piece of RED tissue paper
into shreds to surround him.
July 4th 2013 010
I was only able to find one other like it, online.
I think he is called a "smoker"
but I don't know the history or value, 
except to say he is priceless to me!

A quilt is being used for the tablecloth inside the gazebo.

It will serve double duty later on, once the fireworks start.

Fourth of July 005

It can get a little chilly out there once the sun goes down!
We have other quilts with STARS,
hanging around the house.
Indigo Stars quilt 015

Can you tell I ♥♥♥ STARS?!

We have a GREAT view of 3 different communities
with fireworks displays from our perch in the gazebo &
will open the great room windows &
turn up the stereo, 
with Tchaikovsky's famous 1812 Overture playing annual tradition.   

There will be several cheeses & assorted fruits,
again, keeping with the RED, WHITE & BLUE theme.
(well, okay, grapes are PURPLE not BLUE,
but work with me here, k?)

I'll share my recipe for
on Friday.
Click HERE to find it.
If you ♥ LOVE Blue Cheese,
you won't want to miss it!

 July 4th 2013 003

 My wrought iron silverware caddy
has both RED & BLUE flatware,
as well as patriotic napkins, at the ready.
 July 4th 2013 012

 Desserts for the grandkidlets are always easy...
♥♥♥ CUPCAKES!! ♥♥♥
July 4th 2013 016

The adults will, hopefully, enjoy these cherry cheesecake parfaits,made with crushed graham crackers,
Dream Whip & cream cheese filling & tart CHERRY RED pie filling.

cherry cheesecake parfaits 010

 The full recipe can be found HERE
They are not hard at all. 
Putting them into individual little dishes
makes it so much easier than
trying to serve pie slices.

cherry cheesecake parfaits 012

I hope you have a WONDERFUL
celebration of our Nation's Birthday &
remember, be SAFE!!

Thanks to
for this wonderful hint to prevent sparkler burns!

I'm joining Cuisine Kathleen's meme, Let's Dish,
Yvonne at StoneGable for Tutorials, Tips & Tidbits as well as
Susan at BNOTP for Tablescape Thursday &
Michael Lee at Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday & 
The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays

Thank you, Ladies, for hosting
such wonderful parties each week!