We've had a few days to digest the "white" food and carbs so I feel it just might be okay to talk about food...mainly, the delicious dishes we had at our Thanksgiving celebration. I'm not so good at photographing food; you faithful longtime readers know that, so I'll keep those pictures at a minimum. I decided to start with something pretty and that's the table I did that was just a bit different than the one I did for "practice" a few posts ago. I had to make room for more guests so I just made a few changes. The salad plates were removed at the last minute to become dessert plates. I'm sneaky like that. The napkins were on the plates. Still pretty...just more practical.
I changed the centerpiece out so we could see one another (Ha!). I lit the candles early, too, (not seen here) so it was more comfortable when they burned lower, I was able to get my hands on a big bouquet of flowers for $11 the day before and made several bouquets with them. I forgot to take pictures of the others. :(
I knew my silver was bad, but I kept plugging along with the idea that it was the patina that mattered, I got wise, asked for advice and finally did the old soak in aluminum foil and baking soda. Oh yes, a few splashes of white vinegar helps. And then I polished each and every piece, all 80 of them, with Wright's Silver Polish (thank you, Mary). You can see the difference from the top picture to the bottom. I was just so happy, but boy, my hands were not happy at all. I'm foolish. I was just going to do enough for my place settings, then I thought it was crazy not to do it all since I was soaking them in big pans. Well, whatever, I've recovered somewhat. :)
I made the ever elusive apple pie (for me), and it turned out scrumptious. Just not so pretty. I think I'm going to move on to cakes. If you turn your head to the right, that's a little heart I cut out. :}
I absolutely adored this recipe. Not too many people like Brussels sprouts but I do and it wasn't until recently that I learned of all the ways you can prepare them. This recipe seems involved but don't let the steps fool you. Bits of panchetta, Gruyere cheese, all melted in a smooth white sauce and poured over blanched Brussels sprouts. Seconds anyone? Here's the link...keep this in mind for a Christmas side dish. We loved it!
I went last minute shopping at a new grocery store that has a great cheese and wine department. I decided to choose a few cheeses, some I've never tried. This is a goat cheese with Bosc pears in the center. Heavenly! It really is cool for me when my family tries new things. And they did! In addition, my son's fiancee, Deirdre brought a plate of cheese stuffed dates wrapped in bacon...seriously delicious!! Just neat to try different foods.
I had a nice variety of cheeses...Wisconsin Farmhouse Cheddar, Provolone, Blue cheese...and a few more. An assortment of crackers and some fruit; pears, apples and red grapes. I really loved how our guests stood around the island and tried different combinations. It made me happy that something so simple and easy made them smile. :)
This is a recipe that I have to share...it really was a great hit and so simple. You can do it ahead and it makes a pretty presentation.
1) Cook 7 pieces of bacon. Drain and set aside.
2) Drain off all but 1 T. of drippings and saute 2 T chopped garlic cloves for one minute.
3) Beat 2 8 oz. cream cheese (softened) until smooth. 4) Beat in 1/3 c Half & Half.
Stir in bacon, 1 t garlic, 4 oz. blue cheese, and 2 T chopped chives.
5) Spoon into a small baking dish and bake at 350 for 15 minutes (you can refrigerate and do this prior to serving). Sprinkle the top with 2 T chopped walnuts before serving with crackers and/or fruit.
It never ceases to amaze me when I win a giveaway. In my six years of blogging, I've been so fortunate to win so many. And I recently won this bounty after joining in at Top This Top That blog. Sponsored by Mary Kay Cosmetics and BlogHer, I won a bunch of Mary Kay products, from make up brushes to lipsticks. And the big one was a $100 Visa card. I am beyond belief!! How did I get so lucky? I love the cosmetics of course, and it's going to take me awhile to figure out how to use the card. Thank you so much, Laura!!
The last time I posted I mentioned a blogger whose photography I so much admire. And I also admire so many of you ladies that love the photography/writing connection...I think you know who you are. Sylvia not only takes the most stunning photos, her writing is outstanding and I totally get "lost" in her posts. I am absolutely mesmerized by the way she weaves within her photos... her stories. Please pay her a visit. And have a look at her cards, all graced with her beautiful, rustic pictures. I recently won a giveaway from her, five of her holiday cards Do me a favor...visit Sylvia, it would mean the world to me.
And that's all I have. Tomorrow I'm helping my daughter Emily get some of her Christmas decorations up, and on Monday she will help me. I'm just doing a bit at a time...our "live" tree won't come until the second week of December...that's when I get in the festive mood!
I'll get back to you on the bathroom and office reveal...The Husband is slow going on getting the office in order and I haven't had time to take photos of the bath. Much sleep needed here! :)