“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.
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.
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.
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?