Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Another Fiesta Dinner

I used two Romanian tapestry runners, a couple Talavera vases, and a handful of serving pieces. Enjoy!!!
 Click on any of the pictures to make it larger.
I used four different dinner plates with my beautiful new rattan chargers from Walmart (they're 50% off right now)! This plate was my mom's.

This plate was also in my mom's stash
This is probably my favorite plate...ever... Something about the rustic-ness in the blue painted border that juxtaposes with the brilliant colors of the flowers in the middle. I traded plates with my mom a couple years ago...a Romanian plate for this one.

Sorry for the glare. I got this from a garage sale. Another lady was going to break it to use in mosaics. When I said I'd actually use it, she gave it to me.

My wine stems are old clearance items from Pier One and the water goblets are our everyday glasses from a Mexican Import store. I just bought these vintage napkins from an estate sale. I got a set of 12! They are really sweet with a small white stitched flower on each. The napkin rings are from our wedding registry, Bed Bath and Beyond I think.

I put my collection of European eggs in my grandmother's silver dish on top of another blue and white Talavera platter. The glass and beaded eggs were from an art store in Romania, the solid wooden eggs were from a rustic culture store in Romania and the carved wooden eggs were from Poland. I bought them when I was there for a conference.  I bought all of these more than 10 years ago...

I love the details in each of these eggs. In Romanian culture, since it is predominately Orthodox, many families only dye Easter eggs red using red onion skins to make the dye. It is supposed to represent the blood of Jesus on the cross.
One of my first Talavera purchases in Mexico...I was in college or just out and drove to Mexico with two of my girlfriends. I bought this tortilla warmer and a mirror.

Apparently I got my love for Talavera from my grandmother. This was hers. I vaguely remember this sitting on their coffee table. My grandfather had great taste. He made several tiled tables. I have one of them in my living room. They traveled everywhere and I love that I have some of their treasures and the memories to go along with it. A lot of the silver serving pieces I have of hers were also from Mexico.
Wish I could share a gorgeous meal with all of you!

I'm linking up with Susan from Between Naps on the Porch for 
Tablescape Thursdays! You must check out all the beautiful tables!!!
Smiling Sally

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Happy Spring Muffin Tin Monday!!!

Breakfast Muffin Tin ---filled with cinnamon rolls cut in half, sausage bites, strawberries, Spring cheese cut outs, and blackberries

cute cute cute froggy muffin tin cups from HEB---Colby Jack cheese cut outs in Spring shapes, cutters from Hobby Lobby (half off in the Easter cooking section!) see where I wrote about my finds here!
cute cute cute blue butterfly muffin tin cups from HEB---green mini bunny fork from Japan (eBay)

***I saw some bunny picks at Party City and a bunny pick tic tac toe game at Dollar Tree that could be used as picks. Since I already had pastel bunnies picks and forks from Japan I didn't get any. Dollar Tree also had cute chick and carrot shaped 'eggs' that make great containers for Muffin Tins or bento lunches. Target had the chicks, but they were a little more in price.***
 I'm linking up with Muffin Tin Mom for Muffin Tin Monday! Enjoy all the meals!
Muffin Tin Monday at

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sarmale...Cabbage Rolls

Romanian cabbage rolls are one of my husband's favorite foods and his birthday was this week, so I made them. They are an adventure to make. I did discover a huge 'cheat' on how to make the cabbage leaves come off easily and whole. I think I saw a cook do it on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives on the Food Network. I honestly can't remember, but I know I saw it done! Freeze the head of cabbage the day before you make it! Thaw it in a big soup pot of water and amazingly the cabbage leaves came off effortlessly...
Blue runner, blue plates, blue pedestal bowl with a blue bottle of wine!

I made two casserole dishes of sarmale with one head of cabbage. 
1 head of cabbage
2 cups cooked rice
1 lb ground sirloin
1/2 lb Italian sausage
onion flakes
salt & pepper
Tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
Chicken Stock

Season and saute beef and sausage mixture til brown and then add rice and a little tomato sauce.
Assemble each cabbage roll by stuffing a spoonful of the rice mixture into the roll and folding it up like a burrito. layer the assembled rolls into the casserole dish (Pour some tomato and chicken stock into the bottom of the dish). Add more tomato and chicken stock on the top of the assembled sarmale. Cover with cabbage leaves and cook on 325 for 45 minutes or until cabbage is soft. Serve with sour cream and dill.
first roll of the day
all rolled together and ready for the oven
covering the sarmale with extra leaves keeps them moist!

I'm linking up to

Smiling Sally

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Viva Fiesta Tablescape!!!

I hope this post is a feast for your sense of color! I love blue and white, I ALWAYS will, notice the ode to blue and white in this post, but this's all about color!!! Fiesta is a 10 day celebration in San Antonio. I already have my Fiesta wreath on my door!
I told you last week, my mom was cleaning out her kitchen. I got a lot of this from her. A couple years ago, a local Mexican import store was going out of business and we reaped the benefits. Most of the talavera plates, saucers, bowls and salt and pepper shakers are from there at 50 - 75% off retail! And since San Antonio is so close to the border anyway, the prices are much lower here than in other parts of the US.
I played around with a couple vase and flowers from Romania...layered on top of a Romanian doily, Mexican plate and my painted plate.
the yellow napkins and place mats are from my mom's stash!
I used my cobalt plates and off white salad plates to ground the settings
I used six different soup bowls...because that's what my mom had!

the goblets are mine. I have a collection of blue glasses...2 of each...with the exception of my Pottery Barn goblets that y'all have seen before. These are from Ross, Pier One and Marshall's....years ago.

the tall brown rimmed glasses were a friend's. She was putting them in her garage sale...years ago

beautiful tortilla warmer on top of a Romanian tapestry...this one is my mom's. I have one that I picked up in Mexico more than 10 years ago.
bird's eye view
candlelight and a tiled mirror for the centerpiece

Click here for more information about FIESTA, NIOSA, and Battle of flowers
I'm linking up with Susan from Between Naps on the Porch for
Tablescape Thursdays!!!! Enjoy all the fun!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I love a good find!!!

Seriously cute muffin cups for only $2!!!!
 There are a lot of things I don't like about living in Texas...(South Texas) snow..or at least not a LOT of it, I know many of you don't like snow..., seasonal allergies, the summer heat for 9 months out of the year:), but I must say I LOVE LOVE LOVE my HEB. HEB is a Texas grocery store. I didn't realize that it is not in the whole state, so sorry for you Dallas folks. I could easily go to more than 10 different ones in my city, so I am blessed! The one I frequent the most is a huge store with a great culinary section, great breads, cheeses, meats etc and a lot of organic produce. 
I found these today! I went on my regular grocery run because we were out of everything and yes it takes me more than an hour to do my shopping especially with my boys. We get a banana, weigh it, price it, then eat it. We look at the live lobsters on our way to the deli counter. We get our turkey, Havarti and colby Jack...along with samples...
We go look at the Mommy section...the cooking section...and today I found a whole row of new muffin cups!!! These are made by Chef Style. I just couldn't resist. I love Spring and I love muffin tin meals. The portion sizes are just right for my picky 3 year old to 'try' something and get enough nutrition along with treats. These easily fit in a plain muffin tin and make it that much cuter!!!
I only bought the green frogs and blue butterflies...the most boyish cups I could find. I know I saw pink flowers and yellow somethings..but I was so stuck on those little frogs...look at his feet! and I have TWO when I show something to one boy the other one wants this mommy got TWO bc, well, I needed to shop for another 30 minutes! and I had $50 left on my HEB rewards card:)  I also bought four Iced tea goblets for $1.97 each, but they're in the dish washer!
Hobby Lobby mini Easter cookie cutters 50% off
 You probably already know that Hobby Lobby has their own line of cookie cutters and silicone bakeware. I didn't see any muffin cups, but I did see a silicone Easter egg shaped muffin tin for $6, 50% off this week...but it was pink. This set of cutters is the HL Sunny Side Up brand and it was only $2.99, and 50% off as well.
 I love Wilton, but most of their sets start at $7  for cutters and $10 for muffin cups. I was pleasantly surprised at the prices I saw today for such cute items! I was also happy to see that I don't have any of these shapes in mini cutters, so it made buying the set worth it.
I can't wait to make lunch!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday!!!

we're getting stitches out today, so this is a special feel better lunch!
fruit snacks and marshmallows, veggie chips, apple sauce, short bread cookies in a cute chick container from Dollar Tree (Easter section), butterfly PB& J, and colby jack cheese. I used Easter paper liners from Target and a couple mini animal forks from Japan.
 I'm linking up with
Muffin Tin Monday at

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Garden Roses

My plans for Foodie Friday, Friday potluck and Miz Helen's were ruined by a bad cold that took over our entire family. I barely cooked breakfast for the last 3 days. Since we are feeling a little better today, and I went outside to cut some flowers. 

I used my favorite blue pitcher from Marshall's

red roses and Autumn sage
I'm linking up with Smiling Sally for 

Smiling Sally

***For all my tablescaping friends, Walmart has their rattan chargers on 50% off!!! You'll see mine in a tablescape very soon!***

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Dinner

Dinner is set for St. Patrick's Day
A little green for luck
My centerpiece this week is a sentimental find...a beautiful artisan vase from Romania and a bouquet of corn husk roses from Romania. The vase was one of my first purchases when I lived there. The price was written in pencil on the bottom. I paid barely over a dollar at the time. I bought the roses when my parents came to visit me. I have a couple bouquets.

The doily is also from Romania. I thought the bowl and the vase were too busy without it. The bowl is a 'made in Italy' find from Home Goods last year.

The sun was coming in...

I almost put these green dishes in a garage sale. I never use them anymore. They are very heavy and I made use of them as chargers.

Because they are so large, my salad plates sunk, so I nestled a JB Indies Blue dinner plate in between. My salad plates have a lovely scroll pattern that echoes the scrolls and curves in the centerpiece vase and bowl and also in the coffee cups and saucers and the green tossed tablecloth. I just read on Entertaining Women that this is soothing! Maybe I am trying to relieve some of my own stress from this weekend!
I'm using my Marshall's finds from years ago (made in Romania) goblets. I love these. I love the big tear drop in the stem and the character in the glass. I can't believe they were less than $4 each. The cups and saucers are also from Marshall's several years ago.
The scroll pattern in the napkins also echoes the pattern in the salad plate.

I used a clearance white tablecloth and layered it with a green tablecloth for a little texture.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you and yours! May the luck of the Irish be with you always!

White tablecloth...Target clearance years ago
Green tablecloth...Bed Bath and Beyond years ago
Green dishes...Ross
JB Indies Blue plates...eBay
Salad plates...World Market years ago
goblets...Marshall's years ago
cups and saucers...Marshall's years ago
Candle holders...Pier One years ago
Salt and Pepper birds...Pier One
Centerpiece bowl...Home Goods
Vase and flowers...Romania
Flatware...Target years ago gift from Target

for Tablescape Thursday
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