All About Apples

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“It is remarkable how closely the history of the apple is connected to that of man.”

Henry David Thoreau, Wild Fruits:  Thoreau’s Rediscovered last manuscrip

 

 Apple season is upon us and I’ve searched the archives to compile readers’ favorite apple recipes.  From a tasty maple cauliflower apple soup to company-worthy turkey medallions in a flavorful curried apple-shallot wine sauce, there are many recipes to showcase apples in their glory.  Of course apple desserts abound and one of my favorites is a butternut squash-apple Bundt cake with a cider glaze.  If you want to take the apple theme right down to the table setting, I’ve got you covered with a centerpiece featuring votive candles set right into, you guessed it, apples!  Click on the highlighted titles for the recipes.  Enjoy!

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6 Wine Crate Centerpieces

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“Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.”
― Ernest Hemingway

Wine crates are one of my favorite containers for displaying flowers.  They are available for free from most wine stores and come in many different sizes.  They can be painted or stained if desired to coordinate with a décor theme.  Because of their generous size, they make an imposing centerpiece once filled with flowers.

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This wine crate was filled with pots of annual flowers.  I ran a string of whimsical dragonfly lights through the flowers to light up the centerpiece for an evening party.  Magical!  For detailed instructions on how-to, please click here. Continue reading

Beach-Themed Table Setting

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“Gather a shell…And listen at its lips:  they sigh…The echo of the whole sea’s speech.” Dante Gabriel Rossetti

The sea for me is rejuvenating and its majesty always awe-inspiring. This table setting recalls the breathtaking beauty of the beach and conjures up favorite seashore vacations.  I started designing this tablescape with a piece of driftwood recently found on a windswept beach and our family collection of shells. I kept the table setting casual and carefree.   An irridescent scarf in many shades of ocean blues shimmers across the table.

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Bucks County Designer House and Garden Tour

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Long before ‘Fixer Upper’ shows brought design ideas into our home, designer showhouses were providing inspiration and making us dream. The 41st Bucks County Designer House and Garden’s team of talented designers has transformed the Foxwood Manor house into a showhouse that dazzles and inspires at every turn.  Situated on an expansive property in Jamison, PA, in beautiful Bucks County,  the showhouse is open to visitors until May 29th.  Along with the spectacular home and outdoor spaces, there are six delightful boutiques in the charming carriage houses providing quality and unique shopping. Much of the house’s furniture and art is for sale too!  A café offers tasty lunches.  All proceeds benefit Dowylestown Health.  The showhouse is organized by The Village Improvement Association of Doylestown and the show is nothing short of spectacular this year.  I have been to my fair share of showhouses and this one delivers major inspiration inside and out!

Please join me for a tour through this year’s 41st Bucks County Designer House and Garden and be wowed.  This is a post bursting with eye candy photography that I hope will energize your own decor.

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Spring Luncheon: Niçoise Salad with Planked Salmon Fillet

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Spring has finally sprung!   The garden is in full glorious bloom, the birds are singing their little hearts out and the kitchen is switching gears to produce lighter meals with spring flavors.  To celebrate spring’s arrival,  I made a gorgeous niçoise salad dressed with a citrusy Meyer lemon vinaigrette and served it with spice-rubbed salmon, grilled on a cedar plank.  A Meyer lemon ricotta cake I featured last week made for a light springtime dessert.  A simple fresh menu, all gluten free, complete with a centerpiece from my garden.

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Colorful spring arrangement from my garden: red tulips, daffodils, leucojum, Virginia bluebells, pink hellebores, viburnum branches still in bud. Do you recognize the trellis bread basket standing in as a vase?

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Spring Tablescape in Green and White

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“Spring has returned.  The earth is like a child that knows poems.”  Rainer Maria Rilke

 

The garden is slowly awakening after its long winter’s sleep. Everywhere shoots of new life are bursting out of the ground, reaching for the sky.  I love everything  about this time of year.   One of my favorite color palettes is tonal greens and whites, symbols of new life and the colors of spring for me.  The subtle variations in the greens and whites are brought out by texture.  And there is no better place than in nature to appreciate greens especially.

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“January Blues” Luncheon Tablescape

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“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.” William Blake

Readers have requested more table settings and I am happy to oblige!  The inspiration for this tablescape was a gorgeous potted orchid I had in a sweet vase with a bluebird and a French inscription that I love.image image Continue reading