Comfort · Family life · refreshment at home · Tablescapes

Mealtime Is What YOU Make It

Every Monday I share a recipe or two with you because I love to cook good food for my family and those I serve in my home. I enjoy it because of what a good meal does for a family. It makes memories and traditions. It binds us together. As our stomachs are nourished, so are our hearts. But there’s a whole other dimension to food that plays into each of those blessings. It’s the whole presentation.

At Christmas, Thanksgiving or Easter our dinner tables look like they’re competing for front cover of Southern Living Magazine. The tablecloth is spread out with careful, smoothing strokes. Everyone gets a matching napkin and the centerpiece is well thought out and gorgeous. But what did your lunch look like this past Saturday? Maybe it was just the leftover pizza from your family time the night before, but how was it served? Or even think about Sunday dinner…

  • Did everyone have a real plate?
  • Were there napkins for messy fingers?
  • Where did you sit?
  • If you sat at the table, did you have any kind of covering on it, like a placemat or tablecloth?
  • Was the blessing said?
  • Did you use glasses?
    In regards to the evening meal…
  • Did you add anything special to the dinner table like candles or flowers?
  • Did you all eat at the same time?
  • How was the conversation during the meal?

Good, nourishing, healthy, delicious food is important, but just as important is the way we share it together. I’m not talking about the Pinterest Perfect Presentation of holiday meals – I’m just speaking about making it obvious to the ones we’re serving that we put thought into it. It’s doesn’t have to be fancy or fussy. We don’t have to pull out the china for Sloppy Joes, but I’d encourage you to consider…

  • Plates – Give everyone a real plate – not paper, not a paper towel, but a plate. It doesn’t take that much more effort to wash the plate and they’re more economical, as well as easier to cut on. Pull out those pretty dishes! Use them, rather than saving them for special events. Make today special by putting them on the table for your family!
  • Silverware – For supper, put out a knife, fork and spoon. At lunch you can just make sure the adequate silverware is out.
  • Napkins – I love to use cloth napkins at every meal. One reason is because they’re so much sturdier! They’re also pretty AND economical. I have a collection I’ve gathered over the years, but you can make them easily if you have a machine, or find good deals at places like TJ Maxx.
  • Table cloth or place mats – Eating on a bare table feels cold, in my opinion. You can add a cute place mat or a cloth tablecloth to add a layer of decor and warmth to the table.
  • Centerpiece – For something pretty in the center of the table, you could add fresh flowers from the grocery store in a simple white pitcher or make a seasonal display on a tiered stand.
I have a base platter and outdoor greens from my yard on it, then a small cake stand and a lit candle for a simple centerpiece for a recent Sunday dinner.
  • Glasses – Call me snobbish, but I prefer to use glasses on the table, rather than water bottles. There is one exception, and that’s our favorite carbonated beverage that tastes best in glass bottles! So, everyone has their own preferences, but if I want the table to be a little more special, I like everyone to have a pretty glass.
  • Serving bowls – Putting the food into bowls, rather than setting pots and pans on the dinner table is another way to keep things a little more special.
  • Atmosphere – Playing some soft music in the background is a way to set the tone. Keep conversation pleasant and encouraging. Maybe a “Please leave your phone on the counter” rule would help. ūüėČ Call everyone to the meal by giving them a heads-up about ten minutes beforehand so they can finish what they’re doing, get washed and to the table.
  • Blessing – We have so much to thank the Lord for! My grandsons pray for the meal by telling God thank you for what they see on their plates. It’s so sweet. Every meal should start with our gratitude for God’s provisions.

Mealtime is a time to gather, to nourish hungry hearts as well as hungry bellies. In this unsettling, strange time, how blessed is the family who can look forward to a simple, yet special time together at your table. The atmosphere is truly up to us, ladies. It will be what we make it. Let’s take the high road and the extra work to create a place where people are thankful to gather for yet another meal.

What area challenges you the most?

Refresh others at your table,

Dinner · Pasta · Tablescapes

Spaghetti Pie & Daily Table Setting

When you love lasagna but:

  1. You don’t need a whole 9 x 13″ pan…
  2. You don’t have the time to fuss with the assembly…

here’s what you need to do:¬† Make Spaghetti Pie!¬† This recipe was introduced to me almost ten years ago and it has become a staple in our house (meaning I make it a couple times a year, due to my love for fixing new recipes!).¬† Recently I made it as I’m trying to thumb through my blog recipe file and make some of the dishes we loved. Take a look at this fork-full!

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Family life · Tablescapes · Thanksgiving

An Early Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving for my family!

We are having an early celebration and our big meal is today at 1:00.¬† The reason is that my precious mom is having major surgery the day before the¬†official holiday and I will be there to help care for my parent’s needs. I’m so thankful I can go be with them. Who¬† says you have to celebrate¬†on the official Thanksgiving day?¬†¬†My girls were more than happy to celebrate a Continue reading “An Early Thanksgiving”

Tablescapes · Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Ideas

I’m planning on hosting Thanksgiving for my family this year. I’m not going all out with decorations and table decor, but I want it to be special, memorable and fun.

I also want it to be stress-free as possible!  For that reason this week I plan on getting some things done ahead of time.  Here’s this week’s list:

  • Iron Tablecloths and napkins
  • Make pie crusts
  • Make Butterhorns
  • Make menu
  • Get centerpiece ideas ready

Let me share some of my ideas with you, in case you could use a little inspiration, too!

Mini Pumpkin Pie Slice Cookies
One year I made these with sugar cookie dough and piped names on them to use as place cards.  So easy!

Thanksgiving Cheese Ball
Why not turn the cheese ball appetizer into a cute turkey?

Thanksgiving Table Setting - Rocky Hedge Farm
Gathering leaves from outside to add a touch to a napkin is so pretty!

Home Style Saturdays: A Place To Be Inspired For All Things Home | On Sutton Place
So easy yet so elegant!

Beautiful & Simple Thanksgiving Table by House of Harper. #thanksgiving #holidaytable #holiday #tablescape
If you don’t have a tablecloth or if you have children dining at the table, a roll of brown paper is a great alternative! 

Why not try a little un-traditional color combo?

Thanksgiving table with assorted turkey plates, plaid tablecloth and easy centerpiece with pumpkins, oak leaves, nuts and votives | #thanksgiving #centerpiece #table #Decor
I love the simple beauty of the pumpkins, nuts and greenery as the centerpiece.

These cheap and easy Thanksgiving decorations will√ā¬†spruce up your home and your Thanksgiving table. There are Thanksgiving centerpieces, mantel displays, candles, wreaths, table settings and much more! These festive decorations are sure to impress your guests. The trick to affordable Thanksgiving decorations is to use your natural surroundings. Do you have pine trees and maple √ʬĬ¶
Simple and inexpensive idea!  Use the same flower in canning jars and line them up down the center of the table!

 

{HOLIDAY} thanksgiving thankful tree - Creative Juice | @Mindy Burton Burton Burton CREATIVE JUICE
Here’s an idea to start even this week!  What a great collection of gratitude you’ll have by the time Thanksgiving arrives!

Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year?  What could you be working on now so you’ll be less stressed when the holiday arrives?

With love from my country kitchen,

denise a

grilling · hospitality · salad · Tablescapes · Uncategorized

Do Ahead Italian-Themed Entertaining Menu

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Crispy, char-grilled pizza crust, savory sauce, melted  cheese and toppings of choice were part of our menu for Apples of Gold this week! We added an Olive Garden Salad, and we finished with Brown Sugar Glazed Pineapple slices topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It was heavenly. I love this menu because most of it can be done ahead of time, so that dinner can be ready in minutes!!

AOG43

If you’re saying, “Grilled Pizza?” you’ve missed my former posts about this grilled delight!¬† It sounds intimidating to grill a pizza, but it’s SO simple!! As I told the ladies at our Apples of Gold meeting, you can have this finished before Pizza Hut could deliver to your door! This recipe makes 8 individual pizzas that are hearty in size!

AOG44

 

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