“The best way to eat crabs, as everyone knows, is off newspaper at a large table with a large number of people.” Laurie Colwin
A crab boil is one of the easiest summer entertaining parties to host. Low on stress and high on fun, I make mine even easier by ordering the crabs already cooked, encrusted in Old-Bay style seasoning and picked up piping hot, right before guests arrive. Where we live these red-shelled beauties are Maryland blue crabs from the Chesapeake. Their Latin name, Callinectes sapidus, means beautiful swimmer. Their flesh is sweet and succulent and they are in season now. Aren’t they gorgeous? Continue reading
Treating you to lots of eye candy today to inspire your spring or Easter décor and entertaining! From the welcome of spring blooms on our front porch to Easter around the house and at the table, there are ideas galore to take away. Enjoy!
An ice cream parlor chair repurposed into a planter greets visitors with a chalkboard welcome sign. Tutorial here.
“Man cannot live on presents alone.” NYTimes
I love that quote! After the last present has been opened, your loved ones will be famished. Many of these brunch recipes can be made ahead, leaving you to savor the magic of the season too. From sweet to savory, all of these recipes are delicious and sure to please your peeps as you break the fast together on Christmas morn.
Cranberry Orange Scones
Festive with a wonderful orange glaze.
Did you know December 12th is National Poinsettia Day in the US? To celebrate, I’ve got a tutorial for creating a fun candy cane covered vase for a small poinsettia. The poinsettia is a member of the spurge family and is indigenous to Mexico. Its English name originated from the first US minister to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett, who introduced the plant to the US in 1825. In Mexico the plant is called Flor de Noche Buena or Christmas Eve Flower, which is such a pretty name. The Aztecs used the plant to produce red dye and as an anti pyretic. Today, the plant is mostly ornamental and beloved around the world. Did you know that the flowers of the poinsettia are really small and grouped in the yellowish center of the colored bracts? That’s right. The bright red “flowers” of the classic poinsettia are actually its leaves. The bracts can also be pink, cream, orange, pale green or marbled. Now let’s get to this fun project!
“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 manuscript
Apple may have launched the new iPhone 7 recently, but I’ve got apples of a different kind on my mind! 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!
“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.
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
“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.