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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Is it Winter or Spring? (With recipes!)

For just a few hours here and there over the weekend, there was rain, wind, and falling temperatures. Only to be followed by a beautiful, bright sun! It was muddy enough that the kids could not play outside, and boring enough that they didn't want to stay in! Both the air conditioning and the heater ran Saturday!

As for me, I am eager for the brightness of spring, but the chill has put me in the mood for some homemade soup!

This table was an impromptu design bringing in the spring colors and my desire for some yummy soup. I have added a few of my recipes below.  

I really hadn't intended to do a tablescape. However, I was cleaning the kitchen and polishing the silver. First the tureen, then the goblets...I got carried away.

The tureen is a new treasure from eBay. This is the first time I have used it. It was a great find. This was the eBay description:

"This auction is for an antique English silverplate soup tureen by Henry Wilkinson & Co., circa 1850.  This beautifully styled piece measures 10 1/2" tall and 16" wide from handle to handle, and is marked as pictured below.  Structural condition is excellent, with no dents, dings or restorations what so ever.  There is however a small amount of pitting on the lid, visible in the photos, and on the interior of the tureen.  Still, nothing out of the ordinary for a 160 year old piece of silverplate."

This is a picture of the maker's mark:

This is the site where I verified the information:

The goblets are part of a dozen that were purchased on lay-away at an antique show in Savannah while I was in college.  That was before the price of silver soared. :) They were already engraved with the correct letter.

The butter paddles below are one of my favorite pieces of flatware. I am not a huge fan of passing butter around with a master butter knife balancing precariously. It is incredibly awkward, even for adults. I treasure these useful little items!

The dinner pattern that I chose fifteen years ago still goes with everything. I really wanted something with color, but I listened to my mother and selected a timeless pattern first. I will say, though, that not every silver pattern works perfectly with Tuxedo by Lenox. But my silver, Sir Christopher by Wallace does.

The soup bowls were a steal. I found them at a Lenox outlet and purchased the last six. I have eight now. They are the pattern Republic, and there are little red enamel dots around the rim. They blend with many patterns.

Let's see...what else ended up on the table?

The flower vases were another Lenox outlet find. The Jacquard Gold oval vegetable by Lenox was purchased for me by my mother as a gift many years ago in Las Vegas. Once upon a time, there were Lenox outlets everywhere! (Our pre-travel conversations go like this: "What do you want me to bring back as a souvenir for you from _______?" "China, silver, or crystal.")

You may recognize the thumbprint goblets from the Mardi Gras table. They are faux carnival glass and were one of my eBay bargains.

The yellow and rust embroidered placemats and the table runner were purchased at Target on sale a few weeks ago. The napkins are part of a set that were used in our very first post.

The crystal butter dish is an old TJ Maxx find.

The Alvin art deco silver bowl was a birthday present I picked out at an antique show as a teenager. Think of all of the things my friends received when they turned 13, 14, or 15! I wonder what happened to all of the clothes, cassette tapes, and curling irons, etc. I never asked for anything of the sort! I knew then I didn't want to waste money on things that wouldn't be around. :)

Finally, I have used a matching cloth napkin in a silverplate bread basket.

So, if you sat down at the table to join us, this would be your view:

Thank you for coming by! The recipes are below. :)

- Andrea

Fast and Easy Homemade Chili

This is another one of those "I don't measure" recipes that I throw together when short on ingredients.

Ground beef - 1-3 lbs.
1 can of tomato paste and water per pound OR I standard size can of Tomato sauce per pound OR both
(either way, you will may have to add enough water to cover and/or cornstarch to thicken if the sauce is too thin)
At least one can of kidney beans (or not if you don't have one!)
Spices on hand: salt, pepper, cumin, chili pepper, red pepper flakes, onion powder, and garlic salt.

Fry and drain meat. Mix in spices while cooking - in any combination of you have on hand.  (Whatever you end up with will taste great, even if it's not your dream chili.) I usually sprinkle each across the the entire top of the meat as it is cooking. Some I like to "see,", like the peppers. Some I go a little lighter on, like the cumin, until I get to taste-test stage.  I stir in the addition of each spice. I drain the meat and add to a pot, along with whatever tomato base I have and enough water to cover and the kidney beans. I bring the mixture to a boil, and taste test. I add whatever I think it needs - spices, cornstarch, sometimes a little flour, etc. A warning about the cornstarch and the flour: if will lump up if you aren't careful. You can always dissolve it in a small cup of water first and then add.  Or you can make a little roux and add it.

Easy Crock Pot Potato Soup

It is yummy!

  • 6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 (10.5 ounce) cans condensed chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 5 large potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk

  • Place bacon and onion in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until bacon is evenly brown and onions are soft. Drain off excess grease.
  • Transfer the bacon and onion to a slow cooker, and stir in chicken broth, water, potatoes, salt, dill weed, and white pepper. Cover, and cook on Low 6 to 7 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and half-and-half. Stir into the soup along with the evaporated milk. Cover, and cook another 30 minutes before serving.

Serves 6.

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  1. wow, love the vase and the silver goblets. Lovely table setting :)

  2. I saw a pretty blue wall. Thanks for sharing. Happy Blue Monday.

  3. What lovely pieces you have and that recipe looks great. I love to use the crockpot.

  4. Oh wow I am so impressed of all your dishes. Great shots too! Happy Monday!

  5. Merveilleuse soupière pour une bonne recette...
    Et quelle belle table!...
    Je vous envoie un beau rayon de soleil.

  6. Your china is lovely.. you set a beautiful table.. Your newest follower..

  7. Gorgeous tablescape...I love your silver and china, it's`marvelous! Yor dining room is very elegant and I like the whole thing, so, I'm your newest follower, I'll keep visiting, I like your style. I love your white porcelain flower bases, like it 2 in a table.


  8. I spotted the blue wall too. Happy Blue Monday.

  9. What a beautiful table. The soup tureen is elegant. I have always loved and collected table stuff since I was in my teens as well. Thanks for sharing your table and your recipes.


  10. All i can say is wow wonderful stuffs for Rednesday. Hope you visit mine.

    Mine is here

  11. The red napkins add dash and panache to the place settings!


    “Oh, my goodness, oh, my dear!
    Don’t you think it’s very clear
    That a red-less day’s a drag?”
    Said Ms. Foxy Scarlet Hag.

    © 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher

    Lazy Days

  12. Your table is absolutely beautiful, and I can't wait for Spring either! I stupidly put away my boots, when I should have remembered that it can snow here through April!
    Happy REDnesday!

  13. Lovely! I haunt the Lenox Outlet too. We used to have a Noritake outlet too, but they closed down, I miss it!
    Sweet story about your bday gift. I was one of the foolish ones!

  14. Very elegant...gorgeous soup bowls and tureen.

  15. Wonderful soup tureen to hold those great soups. Thanks for sharing your recipes. What a beautiful table -- how sweet that you were bitten by the tablescape collecting at such a young age.


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