First off, I'm trying so hard to visit all of you. I've fallen off a pattern of spending time in the morning and evening on the blog circuit...it's hard lately. Know I'm trying. Keeping up with posting is so important to me, not for the visits back, just to be true about where it all starts.
I thought I'd be able to post a pretty "pre-tablescape" for Easter. That way you could steal, er...try some of my ideas. No way. I'm struggling to stay above water so I simply have here a little centerpiece I made for spring. Honestly, the table is going to be so crowded with dinnerware, I think all I will be able to fit is a simple vase of flowers, and a small one at best. I've heard, and I've done, pretty centerpieces that are removed once dinner is ready and that's wonderful. Go for it. Your guests love to admire a pretty table when they walk in, they feel special!
I thought you'd like this...it's so whimsical. The little gardener bunnies. I wonder what's eating their lettuce and carrots?? And the salt and pepper shakers..did you guess? Two peas in a pod? :)
I was rummaging through the linen closet and found this large pillow cover from Pottery Barn still in the plastic wrap. I ordered it about 3 years ago, they sent me the wrong size (24 x 24) and I always meant to get the right size, albeit huge, pillow form. I decided to try it on a Euro size pillow and I think it looks okay. Do you think the stripes clash with the floral? I know floral always clashes with the floral! And that's Layla's little "tuffet" blanket there that she likes to burrow under. Just not sure...
I had a little project the other day...don't cringe by the sight of this. So many of my switch plates may be 100 years old. Not even the smooth generic beige, just that sort of grainy type that soaks up all the grease, grime and horrible-ness of a kitchen that gets used. I looked at Home Depot at new switch plates and gosh, mine must be dinosaurs, I could barely find matches for all the different types I have, things have modernized for sure. And I didn't like so many of the styles. So....
...I popped them off with a handy screwdriver and out to the garage, on to some newspaper, and spray painted them. Yep, about the cost of a half can of the stuff...maybe $3.00? I feel like I have something brand new. And the kitchen looks a bit updated. Priceless.
Glad you loved the artichoke saga in my last post. I made them for The Husband and I after consulting a few cookbooks and recipe websites. Clipping and snipping and removing that prickly "choke" proved to be a little more involved for me than I anticipated. I ended up steaming/boiling the little monsters in a small pan after trimming all of those outer pointy parts. Then I cut them in half width-wise and cleaned them out (the purple leaves and the bristly little chokes near the stem...easy). Then I stuffed them with a concoction of breadcrumbs, butter, herbs and Parmesan and baked them for about 15 minutes. They were wonderful but it was quite a procedure that even I got a little "uninspired" with. If you'd like more details, just email me. No offense to the Artichoke Group, but I'd rather fuss with Brussels sprouts or asparagus...much less work and many more options. :)
I've always wanted to do a "signature" cocktail for a party but never had the opportunity. The winter holidays are simply perfect for wonderful red wines, Bailey's and coffee (or cocoa), and deep ales. Summer is all Margarita's and Bud Lite Lime. Easter is hard. It's spring so we want something light, maybe fruity. So, when I saw these pretty recycled glasses at Marshall's at just $1.99 each, the wheels started turning and I did a little searching for a refreshing afternoon cocktail to serve just before Easter dinner. Let me know what you think.
15 oz. Blanco tequila
15 oz. Pinio Grigio
15 oz. Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice
1 cup Simple Syrup
1 cup Fresh Lime Juice
2 cups ice
15 oz. Club Soda
Add all of the ingredients to a large pitcher or dispenser but for the Club Soda and ice. Stir. Add the last two and garnish each glass with sliced limes.
Ahhhhh....light and refreshing. Perfect for summer, too, don't you think?
Abigail is on her spring break from her teaching job (that's her in the forefront with her roomie, Nora). She comes to spend the night once in awhile for various reasons but I had the feeling she would be bored on her break. She came home from her new house north of the city yesterday and we had a great time doing some errands and shopping together. Last night the whole family met at an Asian restaurant a few blocks away for dinner. A great time. This morning she packed up her clean laundry (!!!) and was heading home. Why, I asked? It's supposed to be almost 70 degrees...why do you want to be cooped up in an apartment/city coach house? She texted me this picture about 2 hours later from the shores of Lake Michigan, a few blocks away from her place. The girl is happy, what more can I say. Oh...to be young and carefree again! I just miss her. :(
On the lakehouse front. Good news or bad? Well, we hired our contractor who will do the work. That's good. Not good, the house won't be "dried out" for about another two weeks. Good news? We've been picking and choosing new ways to do things, new ideas for flooring and walls and decor. Bad thing? The house will not be ready to move back into until about October. No summertime. Whatsoever. The first time in 24 years. It's so, so sad and depressing. I still have to remember, we have a roof over our heads here in Chicago, we didn't lose everything we owned, and that this is going to be chalked up as simply a bad time as the years go on. We had a lot of plans for sprucing up the house here once spring came along, so I'm glad that we can focus on that for the first time without all the business of getting the boats out, the patio ready, the spring cleaning and the beach fix-up. Oh yeah, even that sounds fun right now knowing we won't have it, but we'll survive.
I'm off tomorrow to get a few fresh ingredients for our Easter Feast. I found a gorgeous 11.63 lb ham yesterday. What a beast! I love holidays...the smell of food cooking, the laughter and happiness of being together, the gratefulness of a healthy and happy family. All worries put aside and hope for "New Beginnings". Symbolic for all, I think. Our problems are so insignificant in the realm of all things now.
Wishing all of you a wonderful and blessed Easter! Much love,