Candlelight Supper: March 2016

Friday, March 25, 2016

Aqua Bunny Tablescape

       Soft colors and sweet aqua Bunnies decorate this Easter table

Set for four.  We will have a wonderful sit-down brunch.  Aqua's and cream.  The vintage aqua blue basket centers the table.

My sweet little bunny is carrying her own little aqua basket on her back.  Inside she is holding a deep blue marble egg.  One of my precious grandson's gave this to me and said always remember me when you look at this egg.  I have and I do dear James.  He is now a teen but still as sweet.

Choosing a pearl napkin ring is a befitting choice, to match the banner that has a pearl cord for hanging.  I chose to wind the banner through my centerpiece.

Aqua blue mercury glass candlesticks from Pottery Barn with matching candles dripping with silver and aqua glitter.  Sold at PB several years ago.

One of my cutie pie granddaughter's helped me frost some vanilla cupcakes.  I made the cupcake's from a mix.  You probably know this, if you want your boxed mix to taste almost homemade, here is a hint.  In place of water use milk.  In place of oil melt the equivalent amount of butter melted and add to the mix.  Also add one teaspoon of vanilla and bake as usual.   Really a great improvement.  

For my buttercream I always use a lot of  fats.  The ratio I use is 60% butter and 40% cream cheese. Whip them together until smooth.  Then add your other ingredients that you would usually use.  Delicious.  

For chocolate frosting I do the same but for the chocolate flavoring I use 2 different kinds of cocoa.  I use an organic darker chocolate from Smith's marketplace (they have it in the area that has the bins, so self-serve).  Then I use any other kind.  Believe it or not to mix with Hershey's cocoa it is fabulous.  Decademt.  Every time I take this chocolate frosting anywhere people always ask who made this?  They really love it!


The hanging banner I have used for the table top.  I thought it was so striking with the pearls instead of some ribbon or string.  I found it at Home Goods this year.


I found some really adorable glasses this year at Home Goods.  A deeply embossed Bunny Rabbit design.  They came in several colors.  So charming.  Hope you can see the close-up detail.  

One of my favorite things for tablescapes are the beautiful glass bunny dishes you see around.  I have used my aqua ones for this tablescape.

Thank you for taking the time to look at my Blog Post today.  Please feel free to leave a comment below.  Comments are very much appreciated.

I will be sharing this with Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch.

This post was featured this week in Dishing It & Digging It on Life and Linda.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Chick-a-la-Queen Tablescape

I fell in love with this adorable Chick.  I am calling her Chick-a-la-Queen.  As opposed to chicken-a-la-king.  I don't know why but I like crowns.  So when I see something unique with a crown I really am drawn to it.  The plates are from Pier 1 this year.  Last year I purchased from Pier 1 their feathered chick with crown dolls.  I was glad they carried the plates this year.   

I have used a white feather placemat for the base of my plate stack.  I am finding the feathered placemats quite useful.  I have used them for Valentine's Day, Mardi Gras, Halloween, and Christmas Tablescapes.  If you would like to check out those tablescapes they are, Cupid Draw Back Your Bow Tablescape, Mardis Gras Tablescape, Mardi Gras Golden Tablescape, Halloween Angel... a Gothic Tale Tablescape, Seven Swans a Swimming Tablescape.

My Queen Chick is the centerpiece.  Nested in a crown, what else for her!  There are also 2 smaller little Queen chicks placed on the mirrored centerpiece base.  I used the mirror in my Cinderella Tablescape.

Sprinkled around the mirror are some glittering Easter eggs and tiny flowers.  I couldn't forget my yellow bottle brush Easter tree.

I haven't used the golden crown napkin rings on my blog before.  I was waiting for a special tablescape.

Under the Chick plate I have used a pink with a gold metallic dot dinner plate.  The golden dots remind me of the golden chocolate eggs sprinkled around the table.

     The crown makes a perfect nesting spot for the Queen Chick.

               Celebratory ribbons hanging from the chandelier

The goblets I am using are a deep pink tea glass and the golden goblet.

The golden flatware has deeply embossed golden roses.  The ribbon rose tablecloth is a light pink.  I like that the flatware and tablecloth compliment each other with the rose theme.

Wishing you all a wonderful Easter.  I hope that me and my family will remember the true season that this is.  That we will be truly grateful for our blessings.  Happy and Joyous Easter!

Please feel free to leave a comment below.  They make my day.  Thank you.

I will be posting this for Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Saint Patrick's Day Tablescape 2016 + Recipes

Wishing you a Happy St. Patrick's Day.  Celebrate whether you are Irish or not...

I am Irish, with the last name of McGuinness.  You couldn't get more Irish than that!

We always celebrated this day in my childhood home.  Having the Irish-American meal of Corned Beef and Cabbage.  I would make Shamrock shaped sugar cookies and take them to school each year from about 1st grade on.  It was a fun tradition for me.

My tablescape for this year was fun to do and I am featuring the meal as my centerpiece.  My St. Patrick's Day tablescape from last year you can see here was more decorative.  This year I have included 2 great recipes.

I plated up the corned beef, red potatoes, carrots, cabbage, and at the end of the plate some adorable multi-colored mini potatoes.  The corned beef is organic and naturally brined, so the beef when cooked doesn't turn out as pink as other commercially prepared corned beef.  I do know how to do my own brining but I purchased this one at Whole Foods.

I always enjoy Irish Soda Bread.  You wouldn't think that there wouldn't be much difference in taste but the recipe I now have is the best I have ever tried.  It melts in your mouth.  You can use raisins or currants, but I really really prefer currants in this bread.  They are smaller and you get a little bit of sweet in every bite.  You are not overwhelmed by the larger raisins.  You probably all know but if you keep about a Tablespoon of flour out of the recipe and sprinkle it over the currants or raisins and mix the flour with the fruit, the fruit won't glob up but spread around evenly in your recipe.

Irish Soda Bread (the best recipe I have found)
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder (higher altitudes may need a little less)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup raisins or currants (again I prefer currants, as I stated above)
1 1/2 cup fresh Buttermilk (must be buttermilk)

In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients (in the order listed), stirring until it forms a soft dough.  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead just until it's a smooth ball (don't do too much kneading).  
Flatten and place in a greased baking pan.  I prefer to shape it in a round loaf on a cookie sheet.  Slash the top with a sharp knife.  I do some diagonal slashes, not too many.  Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake 40-45 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing.  
If you want a sourdough flavor you can leave out the sugar, but I prefer the sugar, it is not a large amount at all.  Enjoy as it is delicious.  With butter on top it melts in your mouth.

Keeping true to my heritage my butter is from Ireland,  Kerrygold.  Irish butter has a higher fat content and smoke point.  The cattle are grazing grass fed cows.

Another of my favorite recipes for any cut of beef and great on baked potatoes or potato salad, as well as a great veggie dip.  You have to try this.  So delicious!  

Creamed Horseradish Sauce

2 Tablespoons Horseradish (not horseradish sauce, I used a prepared horseradish in a glass jar)
2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise (I prefer Kraft mayo and not the diet kind)
2 Tablespoons Sour Cream
1 Tablespoon Tarragon Wine Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon mustard (I like Grey Poupon)
1/8 teaspoon salt
Dash of cayenne pepper or red pepper
1/2 cup Heavy Cream, Whipped (DO NOT sweeten the cream)
Sweet Hungarian Paprika, (for garnish)

In a small mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients, EXCEPT the heavy cream and paprika.  Mix until smooth.  Whip the cream (again do not add anything to the cream).  Fold the whipped cream into the first mixture slowly-do not beat.  Place the sauce into a serving dish and then into the fridge to chill until ready to serve.  Just prior to serving, add a dash of paprika and or parsley flakes over the top for a garnish.
Makes 1 1/2 cups.
This really makes a wonderful sauce for any beef recipe or to top a baked potato, added to potato salad or a wonderful dip for vegetables.  The flavor is deep, rich, and oh so creamy.  The flavor of the horseradish is actually quite mild and not overpowering.   

A photo of my Daddy.  He was a Staff Sargent in World War II.  I was taking photos of my Tablescape today.  It was bright bright sun with a snow blizzard at the same time.  Amazing and beautiful to see but not good for photos.  So Daddy dear I am sorry.  He had a great sense of humor so I am not really serious.

Please feel free to leave a comment below.  Thanks for looking.
I will be posting this for Tablescape Thursday 
at Between Naps on the Porch.