I have been dying to use this TJ Maxx tablecloth for something pretty on the porch, but the pollen and weather are not cooperating. I was too impatient to wait, so tonight we dined on new thrifty finds in the kitchen.
Oh, where to start?
Well, the bargain on the table is the sherberts. I found them on eBay for less than $1 a piece! I can't even believe I almost passed them up!
And the china was another eBay find. It is the Carlotta pattern made by Eternal Stone. While it wasn't quite the deal of a $1 per piece, it was still a bargain.
There is some crazing on a few pieces, but I adore the pattern and the two shades of blue. It is at least 75 years old and so chic! I love, love, love the way it looks with the sherberts and blue in the tablecloth!
I could kick myself for not buying napkins in Homegoods that would have matched! I am one of those shoppers who (sometimes but not often enough) walks around with all the things I want, and gradually put most of them back only to regret it later! Do you do that, too?
The tablecloth is a good example of that very thing. I found four placemats and a runner in this same pattern at a TJ Maxx in Atlanta, walked around with them, and decided I didn't want just four placements. I left them there only to find the tablecloth in a different TJ Maxx a week later. This time, leaving the first stash behind was a good decision!
The Azaleas in the ice bucket are from the yard. I have one plant with a few flowers. The rest are still budding. The other green comes from camellia and honeysuckle leaves.
So, what's the menu?
Frozen and thawed from the supermarket (easy recipe, huh?) Serve with dipping sauces
Mandarin Orange Salad
Salad: 1 head of lettuce, washed and torn 4-5 green onions, chopped fine 3 stalks celery, chopped fine 1 11oz can mandarin oranges Combine and chill.
Dressing: 1/4 vegetable oil 1 T white vinegar 5 drops hot sauce 2 T sugar 1/2 t salt 1/2 t pepper
Topping: 1/2 c slivered almonds 2-3T sugar Caramelize on stove. Spread on wax paper to dry. Can be stored in an airtight container for a snack.
Combine salad and dressing. Toss. Top with almonds. Mmmmm. :)
Easiest Poppyseed Chicken
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Casserole: 1-2 lb of shredded or cut up chicken, whatever you have on hand 1 can of mushroom soup (10 3/4 oz) 8 oz sour cream 1/4 c. milk Combine so that the chicken is covered, even if just barely.
Topping: Place 1-2 stacks of Ritz crackers in a freezer bag and crush add 1 stick of melted butter or margarine add 2 T poppy seeds (if you have them) Shake.
Spread over chicken mixture.
Bake until bubbly, (about 30 minutes).
Easy Rice Pilaf
Prepare 3 c. quick rice.
Melt a tablespoon or so of butter in a large skillet. Add 1/2 c. green onions (chopped), 1/3 c. slivered almonds, and 1 crushed clove of garlic.
When almonds are lightly browned (3-5 minutes), add rice and seasonings to taste such as salt, pepper, thyme, etc. Blend and serve.
I also served a can of corn. Another easy recipe. :)