Tuesday, April 21, 2015

50 Shades of Lavender

My friend, Katha and I went shopping last Friday and it was very apparent that soft purples and lilacs are very trendy right now!  From a handbag in the Burberry window to a cast iron skillet in the Le Creuset store, shades of purple were the rage.  But the most glorious shade of purple was the magnificent magnolia tree that was in full bloom in Katha's yard.   I was treated to a magnolia tree branch to take home and enjoy! 

 This is a very hard choice- but I think the darker one is for me.  Makes you want to cook, doesn't it?

Attending the Chicago Botanic Garden and Antique Show last week, we spotted this
lavender shade in KEW pottery from the Royal Botanic Gardens in London.
Imagine  these filled with lavender!

I am noticing many rooms with shades of lavender.

I love when lavender is used as the only color in a neutral room.

Anthropologie's tufted lavender settee- adorable.

Bella Notte- mixing various shades of lavender, pinks and purples.

A masterful mix of colors to create this bed.

Shades of lavender - a great mixture of plates. 

A lavender wedding gown!

Beautiful wedding gowns by Samuelle with hints of lavender.
Walking thru Joanne's fabrics on Saturday, I spotted this romantic bolt of crushed antique tulle
with just a hint of lavender to it's color and I could not resist it! 

Placing the fresh magnolia branches on the tulle enhanced the soft pale color of the tulle.

Should I make curtains- so airy when flowing from open windows!

Or a ruffled tableskirt-  maybe cover a dressing table-

( Off  the subject, but another fabulous find at Joannes Fabrics .  Embroidered and sequined fabric by
David Tutera. and only $39.99 a yard.   It will make a gorgeous tablecloth.)
Oh the possibilities for this fabric are endless! 

 New paint  shades of lavenders- love the names- Fig Preserves, Duchess Lilac, Opera

I think Mother Nature provides the best color inspiration. 
 Imagine a bedroom in the colors of this magnolia blossom.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Fun Finds on Amazon and Ebay

My husband just returned from Istanbul and was telling me about  trying Turkish coffee.  I was curious about this method of brewing and serving coffee, so I started searching the internet .  And to my surprise, I found these amazing Turkish coffee cups on Amazon.  Even if I never make a cup of Turkish coffee, I knew I could find some delightful uses for these amazing little jewels.  Costing only $20 each, I was thrilled to find a ceramic insert in the cup.  So custards, pot de cremes, sorbets - your serving dish awaits!    The perfect little  sized  vessel to end a meal.

They shipped directly from Istanbul, Turkey and arrived within just a couple of days.

Each one comes with  a rhinestone embellished saucer.

Another adorable find from Ebay- a reproduction egg  cup in silver plate!

His head comes off, so you can fill the egg with whatever you desire-  egg, sorbet, mousse!

An exact copy of an egg cup made by Sampson Mordan at the turn of the last  century.
Sampson Mordan died in 1843.

The cost to purchase it and have it shipped from the UK was about $35.00. 
It is truly adorable!

For spring, I placed the egg cup under a glass cloche with the new velvet strawberries from Hot Skwash!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Brunch

Serving Easter Brunch at Noon was perfect timing.  Fill up on good food, take a walk to the beach, and then come home for a good old nap! 

I love planning the flowers for an Easter table. 

This year, I ordered Aiden Gray's wire mesh eggs in 3 graduated sizes filled with spring flowers
from my favorite florist,  Twigs.

And as a extra delightful surprise, one of my dear friends sent me the gorgeous lavender and chartreuse flower arrangement.

I spotted these beautiful  heads of butter lettuce at our local grocery store and I knew they would be a pretty addition to the tablescape.

Just look at this sweet wire egg filled with some of my favorite flowers. The hand dyed silk ribbon adds a romantic element  to the Easter arrangement.

Time to pull out the old German rabbit candy containers.

Another sweet treat from Twigs-  the new velvet strawberries from Hot Skwash!  Could not resist a couple of them   for the table.
Handmade flavors for each place setting- made by spray painting a seed starting pot gold and filling with small candies. 

The Lindt chocolate carrots get a doily and rhinestone for the holiday table.

I decide to use one of my favorite china plates - gold and turquoise with a chartreuse napkin and blue French opaline glasses.


A decadent chocolate egg from Vosges Chocolate for every place setting.

The table needs a little sparkle, so crystal and gold  Bayel Palais  stems are added to the mix.
The menu is prepared- with many new recipes this year!

Crab Eggs Benedict

Blueberry Croissant Puff

Baked Ham

Baked Potato Casserole

Roasted Rainbow Carrots


Orange Tarragon Sauce

Roasted Spring Asparagus

Pickled Southern Beets

Baked Cinnamon Apples

Blackberry Farm Angel Biscuits


 Peach and Blackberry Preserves

Coconut Crème Cake

Meyer Lemon Semifreddo


Fresh Summer Berries


Blueberry Croissant Puff -  yummy!

Rainbow carrots with tarragon citrus vinaigrette.

Coconut Poke Cake -  so easy and so good!  Recipe follows!


Blueberry Croissant Puff
Serves: 10 servings
  • 3 large croissants, cut up (about 5 to 5½ cups)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place croissant pieces in a 9 inch square pan. Sprinkle with blueberries.
  3. Beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla in medium bowl with electric mixer until well blended. Gradually add milk, beating well after each addition. Pour evenly over croissant pieces. Let stand 20 minutes.
  4. Bake at 350°F for 35 to 40 minutes or until set in center and golden brown. You may want to cover it with foil for the last 10 minutes if the tops are getting too browned.
  5. Serve warm sprinkled with powdered sugar.
  6. Variation: Instead of baking in a square pan bake individually. Place croissant pieces evenly in 10 (1/2-cup) ramekins; sprinkle with blueberries and pour cream cheese mixture evenly over croissant pieces. Let stand 20 minutes. Bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes or until set in center and golden brown.


Coconut Poke Cake
recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: Leslie
Photo By: Dianne
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour
Ready In: 2 Hours
Servings: 24
"White cake soaked in sweet creamy coconut milk and smothered in whipped topping and flaked coconut. A real treat for those with a sweet tooth."
1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
1 (14 ounce) can cream of coconut
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed
1 (16 ounce) package frozen whipped
topping, thawed
1 (8 ounce) package flaked coconut
1.Prepare and bake white cake mix according to package directions. Remove cake from oven. While still hot, using a utility fork, poke holes all over the top of the cake.
2.Mix cream of coconut and sweetened condensed milk together. Pour over the top of the still hot cake. Let cake cool completely then frost with the whipped topping and top with the flaked coconut. Keep cake refrigerated.