Thursday, November 1, 2012

Rustic Thanksgiving Table w/ Clarice Cliff Autumn Foliage Turkey Plates

This table actually began with the Etsy filming done here at my home.  It started out more spartan because Tara Young wanted the turkey plates to really stand alone since, after all, the documentary is more about the transferware than table settings. all know me....I don't do 'minimalist' too well so after they left I went to changing up the table.
 I added this, and added that, and added those....
  I changed this table three different times after the filming ended so you'll probably see glimpses of them all!

Starring at the table are these highly collected turkey plates by Clarice Cliff  of Royal Staffordshire.  This pattern is commonly called Autumn Foliage for the beautiful border that frames the turkey.  
   Here's a funny story about these very plates.  I bought six of these plates from a lady who bought them from a dealer for $295 EACH (yes $295 each) that I sold to the dealer for $150 each just five or six years ago.  Now they are back in my hands and in my shop for $99 each. How funny is that?  And, hopefully a good deal for somebody looking for them!  These are one of the more popular of the turkey themed English wares.

For a more casual, rustic feel I swapped out the linen cloth

with its beautiful hand work,

 for a big piece of burlap that offered a more rustic, relaxed feel.  

I placed raffia instead of placemats under the plates for added texture and to further enhance the feel of casual.

I mingled hand carved antler handled knives right along with traditional to mix and match!  

Pressed glasses in one of my favorite colors, amber, along with vintage Candlewick glasses (I think that's what you all told me these are) with little bubble like feet stand next to one another.  More mix and match = more texture = more interesting table top.

Brown transferware napkin rings...Tonquin pattern....with jacquard napkins.

I really like the centerpiece I created from a wreath of Autumn grasses, berries and foliage, 
facorns (fake acorns), a cake stand and a bark pillar candle.  I will do a post on this centerpiece tomorrow or the next day, and then will wrap up with the 3rd day of the Etsy filming.  

A pair of pheasants flanks the centerpiece, further adding to  the rustically refined look.

At one point I started missing color at the table and added plaid napkins under the wreath to create the illusion of a larger, wider centerpiece and under each of the plates to add a pop of color.  I randomly placed some pears around the centerpiece as well.

I kept looking at the table, thinking something wasn't right.  It was only after I'd taken pictures and put everything away that I realized what it was.  Sometimes, I spot things in photos that I'd never have noticed in person.  Here, it was that I had two napkins out! One was under the plates and the other to the sides of them.  Oh well...around here, sometimes two napkins are a good thing...a necessary thing!
As much as I love color, I do think this table looked best without adding more of it.

Do you? 

Which table setting do you like best?


Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground 
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Home and Garden Thursday  at A Delightsome Life 
Inspiration Friday  at The Picket Fence
Fridays Unfolded at Stuff and Nonsense 
Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps On The Porch

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Poppy Sesame Vinaigrette Tossed with Greens, Cranberries, Chicken and More!

This salad has quickly become a favorite around here.  
 It's now my go to salad when I am asked to bring a salad to any kind of get together.  I serve it with pan roasted chicken as a meal in itself.  It really is as good as it looks.  

And, it looks even better served in Tonquin purple transferware salad bowls.

The vinaigrette is gorgeous by itself.   After several experiments this is what I came up with that my entire family really likes.   Look.  After it settles, it separates and looks like this....pretty enough to give as a gift, don't you think?  Just shake it well to blend before serving.  The last batch of this I made, we used up over about a month and the flavor remained consistent.  So, if you're wondering about shelf least a month but I would think maybe longer since it contains vinegar.  I do keep it refrigerated.

On a serious note, I've discovered that Trevor has a serious drinking problem....drinking dressing that is!

Nancy's Poppy Sesame Vinaigrette 

4 Tblsp roasted Sesame seeds
2 Tblsp Poppy seeds
1/2 Cup Olive oil
1/2 Cup Vegetable oil
1/2 Cup White Wine Vinegar
1/2 Cup Cider Vinegar
1/2 Tsp Paprika
4 Tsp minced dried Onion
1 Tsp dried Orange Peel
3/4 Cup Sugar

Combine all ingredients in leak proof container or bottle and shake well to dissolve sugar.  Shake well before serving.

Candied Nuts

1 1/2 Cups Walnut halves or pieces
1 1/2 Cups Pecan halves or pieces
1 1/2 Cups Almond Slivers 
1 Tblsp (appx) honey
1 Tblsp (appx) butter
1 tsp dried orange peel 

Melt butter and honey in sauce pan over medium heat.  Add nuts.  Toss to coat in honey butter mixture and cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes or until they have browned a bit and become sample them along the way!  If you are going to make chicken right away, leave a couple of tablespoons of nuts in the pan.  Store in an airtight container or ziploc bag.  They will be a tad sticky due to the honey.

When I make this salad I will often make the vinaigrette, chicken and nuts ahead and then we will have enough to make a couple of meals from it. 

Pan Roasted Chicken Breasts
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks, pieces or strips ( I do this as they are cooking)
2-3 Tblsp candied nuts (recipe above)
1-2 Tblsp olive oil or butter (or a little of each)
Salt and Pepper to taste

After preparing the nuts, I leave a couple of tablespoons of them in the pan and smash them with the back of a wooden spoon.  I add about a tablespoon of olive oil and/or butter to the pan and cook about 3 chicken breasts in the pan until golden brown.  The nuts give the chicken the best flavor, but you can easily use leftover chicken whether it is grilled or roasted if you prefer.  


Mixed Greens of your choice (I use Romaine, Iceberg, Spinach with a little shredded carrots and red cabbage)
Pan roasted chicken breast 
Apple slices, thin - I am loving New Zealand, Jazz and Honey Crisp apples right now...perfect combo of sweet, tangy and crisp.  I hate gritty apples!
Blue Cheese Crumbles
Bacon Crumbles
Candied Nuts
Dried Cranberries

Stone Gable
Funky Junk Interiors
Savvy Southern Style
Rattlebridge Farm
Foodie Friday