Football Season Tiger Talk: Tailgating Tablescapes Ideas

Conversations, estimations, and prognostications for the upcoming LSU Tigers football season has gone from a meow to a roar.

Norman-Catwell

Football fans- this is not a drill.  If you haven’t scouted the recipes, planned the menus, decorations and tailgating tablescapes ideas we’ve got something to talk about as well.  Football fans and the tailgating nation from conference to conference, division to division take their football and tailgating times serious.  Football fans here in the South surely do, and come rain, sunshine, humidity or hurricane, we let the good tailgating times roll.

LSU_Stadium_night

Tiger Stadium

Tailgating planning and execution is a process that rivals that of an elaborate dinner party.  The selection of a tailgating tablescapes theme and  the perfect decor accessories and tablewares can be an entertaining success from parking to parting.

LSU-tailgatingThe Local Palate

Tailgating has come along way from the hibachi and red Solo cup days, not that there’s anything wrong with that.  Tailgaters decked out in team attire and colors believe in getting the party started early in game day style.

lsu-dooney-bourke

Dooney & Bourke NCAA LSU Handbag

The old adage football is a religion in the South has a lot of truth to it.  The shall we gather at the stadium loyal gather together to get the pregame ritual kicked off in true Tiger style.  Game day chic includes both a pregame bag and a clear bag compliant with stadium policy.

 

Vince Camuto Aryna Clear Cross-Body BagVince Camuto Aryna Clear Cross-Body Bag

Team logo and tiger chic flats and sandals bring style and comfort to the look.  For the away games to college towns where fall is actually fall, gold metallic espadrille slip-on sneakers or warm lined suede boots fit the bill.

 

lsu-sandals

NCAA Women’s Louisiana State University Tigers Purple/Gold Sandal

 

Crossband Leather Slide Sandals

Coconuts by Matisse Crossband Leather Slide Sandals

 

gold-espadrille

Espadrille Slip-On Sneakers

 

Warm Lined Suede BootsWarm Lined Suede Boots

 

Military Anorak Safari Jacket CoatMilitary Anorak Safari Jacket Coat

D&Y-Black-Tiger-Print-Infinity-Scarf

Eye of the Tiger

Tortoise Cutout Drop EarringsTortoise Cutout Drop Earrings

tiger tailgating

Tiger Tailgating

To every sport there is a season, and to every tailgating tablescape there is a reason.   If real estate is all about location, location, location tailgating tablescapes is all about display, display, display.  Pitch your tailgating tent in a prime location, hang a focal point chandelier, and proceed to impress the crowd with your tailgating tablescapes skills and style.

Sonoma Natural Beaded Brown 8-light Chandelier

Sonoma Natural Beaded Brown 8-light Chandelier

I begin by dressing the table in whatever choice of table linens fits this weeks theme.  Burlap is the tailgating accessory that consistently tops the tailgating tablescapes must have table linens list because of its durability and inexpensive price tag.  Versatile for table covers and table runners, burlap, the on-trend farmhouse chic fabric, is a very forgiving fabric.

natural-burlap

Online Fabric Store

There’s no crying in football or spilled chili, dip, gumbo, cocktails, etc…

Spills happen.

If a stain should occur, cover it up with a serving tray or platter for the duration of your tailgating soiree (a hosting trick).  Between tailgating times, head over to a fabric store or online retailer to pick up or order a couple of more yards of this tailgating friendly fabric.

artificial-grass-table-runner

Artificial Grass Table Runner

I really like this artificial grass table runner option.  Dress it up or dress it down style on the field.

burlap-jute-football-field-table-runner

Football Field Burlap Jute 96″ Table Runner

Decorating your tailgating tablescapes with pieces in team colors, seasonal accents, and holiday du jour decor never fails to impress the crowd.  My game changer tablescape works with a casual yet elegant theme.  It brings a bit of juxtaposition to the tailgating tablescapes mix with stoneware plates paired with inexpensive faux wood chargers.

gold-faux-wood-chargerGold Faux Wood Charger

faux-magnolia-wreath

Magnolia Leaves Wreath

Wreaths make fantastic candle rings for tailgating tablescapes, and when  football season is over you can use these for home for the holidays decorating.

STONEBRIAR COLLECTION Medium Rustic Metal Hurricane Lantern

Stonebriar Collection Rustic Metal Hurricane Lantern

silver-candlesticks-vintage

Treasure Chest

Louisiana tailgating must include several lanterns in the New Orleans architectural styles design .

lantern-candle-holders

Dark Metal Lantern

Birch slab round tree slices, woven trays, and baskets make the extra point as serving pieces and decorative additions for the fall football tailgating tablescape of it all.

Birch Slab Round Tree Slices

Birch Slab Round Tree Slices

woven-serving-tray

Woven Rectangle Tray

baskets-for-tailgating

Woven Baskets

Natural Wheat Stacks make the starting lineup for fabulous tailgating tablescapes accessories.

Good look, great height.

Natural Wheat Stack With Ribbon

Natural Wheat Stack With Ribbon

Easy to work with centerpiece options include a team mascot figurine, collectible helmet, and a bronze poly-stone football player sculpture.

 

tailgating tablescapes

collectible-helmet

football-player-statue-sculpture

Arrangements of fresh or faux flowers and plants of the season set a festive and colorful scene.  Crotons, hydrangeas, garden mums, marigolds, branches, decorative feathers, dried lotus pods, magnolia leaves and sunflowers give a festive nod to fall and transport well.

Chrysanthemums

Fir0002/Flagstaffotos

Vases and containers can be as simple as a collection of empty vegetable-sauce-bean cans to dollar store metal vases with rope accents to craft pumpkins to a football cut to accommodate a can in which to house fresh flowers.  When selecting vases and containers, I keep ease of transport, the unique factor, and avoid breakage at all times in mind.

creole-canned-food

metal-vases

Bulk Metal Vases with Rope Accents

birch-bark-pots-vases

Natural Birch Bark Zinc Planter Pots

Boston ferns hanging baskets placed in plastic urns or simply placed tabletop add a touch of casual elegance.

Boston-fern-in-urn

Pumpkin time is coming.   Fresh, decorative, painted, carved or football- the pumpkin is a decorative powerhouse.

Football-Pumpkin-fall

Hobby Lobby

Copper Glitter-Dipped Pumpkin

Hobby Lobby

white-decorative-pumpkin

Hobby Lobby

Silver Galvanized Metal Pumpkin

Hobby Lobby

Simple serves a purpose, a hungry crowd, and an easy cleanup detail.  I keep my eye of the tiger on these 5 gallon college buckets from Home Depot.  I like to pick up several of these tailgating gotta have it staples to use as a carry all, cool all and basic catchall.

LSU-5-gallon-bucket

Tailgating tablescapes wow factor serveware suggestions include cake stands stacked for a tiered effect.  Stacked cake stands work great as serving pieces and chic displays for cheeses, fruits, crackers, breads, muffins and of course, cake.

marble-wood-pedestal-stand

Marble Cake Stand

chocolate-pumpkin-butter

Nordic Ware Pumpkin Wheat Loaf Pan

wood-ellis-stand

Petite Ellis Stand

quick-ranch-bread-sliced

Be sure to shop end of season sales and clearance sections for all your tailgating tablescapes needs.  The very fall and Halloween color choice appropriate Corin melamine serving collection in spice orange is on clearance at Crate & Barrel.

Corin Melamine Long Spice Orange Serving Platter

Corin Melamine Long Spice Orange Serving Platter

The Lodge cast iron bowl is a tailgating must have when serving chili, soup, stew or Frito chili pie.

Lodge 12-Ounce Cast Iron Mini Serving Bowl

Lodge 12-Ounce Cast Iron Mini Serving Bowl 

Vintage wares make chic tablescape pieces.

vintage-wooden-crates-boxes

Treasure Chest

The vintage wood crate is a tailgate tablescapes dream to work with as a flatware caddy, wrapped food holder, cocktail garnishes, or condiment holder.

bread-bags

Bread Bags 

purple-gold-raffia

bloody-mary-garnishes

Stainless Steel Garnish Branches

cajun-garnishes

sauces

coke-crate

Antique Shoppes At 1100 Barksdale

These versatile and sturdy crates add just the right amount of vintage to the look and ease to tote, travel, and tablescape.

Threshold MidTone Large Milk Crate Dark TaupeThreshold MidTone Large Milk Crate Dark Taupe

Chili and chilly is a delicious tailgating combination for fall game days.

hot-chocolate-bar

enamel-latte-mug

Golden Rabbit Enamel Swirl Latte Mug

A woven crate basket can pull triple duty as a tailgate supply tote for a hot chocolate with all the fixings, turned upside down and used as the aforementioned fixings display, and holder of fleece throws in seasonal or team colors.

fleece-throw

I like items that pull double tableware duty.

plastic-urn

Grecian Urn – Bloem

Is it an urn for a fall foliage centerpiece or is it a stylish beverage tub?

plastic-solo-cups-clear

LSU-college-town-glasses

LSU College Town Glass

Tailgating recipes for barbecued anything, Creole seasoned popcorn and lemonade with a kick, cold or hot dips, salads, sandwiches, soups, stews or chili, and tasty tailgating appropriate desserts always satisfy a hungry tailgating group.

galvanized-burger-holderGalvanized Burger Basket

LSU-sauces

sugar-moldSugar Mold

A sugar mold also makes an excellent condiment holder.

whiskey-barrel-burgers

Whiskey Barrel Burgers ~ Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens

pumpkin_sheet_cake

Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Regional cuisine ranks high in taste and popularity with hungry fans, and the cook friendly one pot principal scores extra points for easy.

slow-cooker

boiling-gumbo

Places In The Home Chicken and Sausage Gumbo 

Gumbo or deer chili served with homemade buttermilk cornbread with pork cracklin’s has Louisiana c’est si bon written all over it.

cracklins

Toups’ Cracklin’s

Ingredients

5 pounds skin-on pork belly

4 cups lard

Peanut oil, for frying

Cracklin’ Spice (recipe follows)

Directions

Place pork belly skin side up on a cutting board, and cut into 1-inch pieces.
In a large Dutch oven, place lard and pork belly.  Do not layer pork belly in more than 3 layers.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently; reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, until skin blisters and turns golden brown.  Transfer pork belly to rimmed baking sheets, and refrigerate until cold.*

In a large Dutch oven, pour oil to a depth of 4 inches, and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 380°.  Add pork belly in batches, and fry until puffed and golden brown, about 2 minutes. Let drain on paper towels, and liberally sprinkle or toss with Cracklin’ Spice.

Cracklin’ Spice

Ingredients

½ cup ground chile de árbol

½ cup popcorn salt*

¼ cup ground white pepper

¼ cup minced garlic

¼ cup celery salt

¼ cup sugar

Directions

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.

-Isaac Toups, Toups’ Meatery, New Orleans as featured in Louisiana Cookin’

shop-style

Fans are always looking for a way to celebrate their team(s).  Tailgating gives us a great excuse to get to the stadium early for pregame food, fun and fantastic times.  Fire up the grills and set the tailgating tablescapes, football fans.  It’s tailgating season!

love your style

Grand Old Flag Pop and Splash Style 4th of July Bash

Plans for our grand old flag pop and splash style 4th of July bash are coming together.

charles-faudree-blue-bedroom

Traditional Home

You would think color palette inspiration is what I gleaned from the country French aesthetic of this Charles Faudree decorated bedroom.  Oh, it catches my eye and pops the patriotic palette, but what speaks 4th of July to me is the blue and white plates on the wall.

More on that further down the post.

4th of July bash

Old Glory proudly welcomes visitors and the 4th of July to Places In The Home.  I never shy away from an opportunity to add a pop of color to interiors or exteriors.

red-white-blue-pillowsDisplaying the American flag and decorative throw pillows in red, white, and blue brilliantly colors my world in true patriotic style.

LBR

Our usual cast of characters made an executive holiday decision to hold our 4th of July bash at my brother’s house.

I voted for our 4th of July holiday to look a bit more like this,

Margaritaville

but the majority ruled for our grand old flag pop and splash style 4th of July bash to be a home for the holiday celebration.

boats-on-river-1

Relocating our 4th of July bash to my brother’s house puts us closer to the lake and his pool.

Now that’s smart party planning.

LB-pool-1

My new waterproof bluetooth speaker will make its inaugural debut.  It’s not a party without the grooves and tunes of summer.

bose-speaker-poolBose SoundLink Micro Speaker

red-white-stripes

My Dad was a Veteran and a proud American.  His love of country was rooted in the American flag.  He fought for it, he never shied from his pride in it, and at the end of his life the American flag honored him.  In honor of my Dad, Veterans, and the military servicemen and women who serve our country, our flag flies for you.

stars-flag

What would a 4th of July tablescape be without a red, white and blue centerpiece?   I’m supplying the vase which is actually a cookie jar sans lid and the American flags.

flags-in-jar

Whatever greenery or flower I can find in blooming abundance in nature’s floral department (the yard) will be the center of centerpiece attention.  I happened to notice how full our neighbor’s magnolia tree is at present, and with their permission to “get all you want whenever you want” I’m thinking a bouquet of magnolias is where this centerpiece is going.

magnolia

I’m staying true red, white, and blue  with the party palette, but the 4th of July patio table will be set with vintage blue and white plates in various china patterns.

blue-white-plates

Real china plates?

white-flour-sack-towels

4pk White Flour Sack Kitchen Towels – Room Essentials™

Real china plates, white flour sack dish towels for napkins, and plastic red Solo cups.

A pop of color, a splash of farmhouse style, and a party staple.

potatoes-corn

Summer sweet corn grown in the fields along the bayou is on the menu.  Some want it roasted, some want it cut off the cob and Southern fried with home grown tomatoes and sauteed Vidalia onions, and some want it boiled or as it was put to me the way nature and the farm to table gods intended.

popcorn-chocolateSummer sips, snacks, sweets, sides and sizzle simple is on the menu.  Dave the Builder will lead the barbecue pit crew, I’ll handle the sides, my brother is in charge of beverages and appetizers, and Mama Places In The Home is on dessert detail.

patriotic-parfait

From planning to preparing to plating, our grand old flag pop and splash style 4th of July bash is a family affair.   We’re ready to go 4th, color our world and our holiday, and party in patriotic style.  We hope you all have a fantastic 4th of July and if things don’t get planning and preparing crazy around here, I’ll pop in with a post next week.

Until next time.

love your style

 

 

 

Summer Simple Suggestions In Chic Summer Style

Note to summer:  We’ve got a lot of irons in the summer campfire.  Summer simple suggestions in chic summer style for bedecking interior and exterior settings, entertaining, dishing up summer fare, and outdoor living it up easy peasy is greatly appreciated.

summer simple suggestions

Southern, Northern, Eastern or Western Living- regardless of geographical location, summer living and loving decoristas have got the memo, and it’s all about keeping it summer simple and summer simple suggestions.

best-of-summer-Southern-Living

It’s kinda sorta tough to kick back, relax and savor the season when you notice heavy equipment sitting on the sidewalk in front of your house and you, the homeowner, have no earthly idea what it is doing there.

heavy-equipment

Seems our city water department has a little curb appeal water line improvement of their own in mind.  This does not make my summer simple suggestions list.

dug-up-sidewalk

Progress isn’t always a pretty process, and the installation of a new water lines makes it difficult to achieve summer curb appeal style, but we forge on.

sago-palm

We trimmed the unattractive dead sago palm fronds and within a week new green growth emerged.  Here’s a trick in my simple summer suggestions repertoire for getting your Sago palm(s) summer curb appeal ready.

Sago Palm Care

Outdoor planted Sago palm care involves watering the plant regularly until it takes root.  I like the look and the drought tolerant aspect of the mature Sago palm.  Fertilize at least once a month beginning in spring to aid in active growth.  Covering the base of the plant with mulch will help to protect the roots from cold snaps.  In inclement winter weather or fall freeze, we cover the exposed Sago palm with a heavy duty extra large black trash bag to protect it.

shattered

If it’s not one thing, it’s this.

Cue The Rolling Stones, cause it’s shattered.

The lawn and garden guy’s super duper heavy duty weed eater took aim at a loose piece of exposed aggregate, obliterating the exterior glass panel of the patio French garden door.  One simply can’t patio pretty with ugly on parade.  Thank goodness for the friend who frequents our summer patio soirees that just so happens to own a local glass company.

edison-string-lights

CB2 Edison String Lights

Did someone mention summer soiree?

Why, yes, I did.

It’s time once again to get your summer soiree on, and the ideas for fun in the sun or evening tiki torch, lantern or string light are flowing.  We’re working with what we’ve got in the front of the house, and if you are like us, you’re getting your porch, patio and deck hangin’ game plan down pat.  Comfortable, fun, relaxing, refreshing, simple, tasty and stylish as chic- this is my number one summer simple suggestions formula for a festive summer gathering.

If Ina Uses It

I read with interest an article listing the pros and cons of a charcoal grill.  The pros outnumber the cons, and personal preference trumps all however, the one pro of the charcoal grill worth mentioning is worth mentioning.  Grilling on a charcoal grill ups the flavor quotient and gives great grilled flavor.

grill

Better Homes & Gardens

Brushing the grate with oil helps to prevent food from sticking.  Take three or four paper towels and wad them up in a bunch.  Pick up the paper towels with tongs and dip into a bowl of peanut, Canola or vegetable oil.  Lightly coat the grate and proceed to grill.

charcoal-chimney-starter

Country Living

Ina is a huge fan of the charcoal chimney starter.  Using a charcoal chimney starter is both easy and a safe way to get things cooking.  I hate the taste of lighter fluid, and am leery of it as well.  When you use a charcoal chimney starter there is no need for lighter fluid.  Simply fill the chimney starter about ¾  full with charcoal and light it over several sheets of scrunched up newspaper over the bottom grill grate.

chimney-starter

Weber® Rapidfire® Chimney Starter

Allow the fire to catch and then burn for about 10-20 minutes or until the fire comes out of the top and the coals are glowing orange.  Carefully spread out the charcoal in a single layer across the bottom cooking grate, place the oiled grate on top, and you’re ready to grill.

As Ina Garten would say, how fabulous is that?

Speaking of Simple Summer Suggestions, Ina Garten, Summer Fare and Grilling

ina-garten-sliders

Sliders

Ingredients

2 pounds premium ground beef (80 percent lean and 20 percent fat)

1 tablespoon good Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons good olive oil, plus extra for brushing the grill

1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves

3 teaspoons chopped garlic

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 ounces grated Gruyere

12 small Brioche buns

4 ounces baby arugula

3 medium tomatoes, sliced in 1/8-inch-thick rounds

2 small red onions, sliced in 1/8-inch-thick rounds

Ketchup, for serving

Directions

Build a charcoal fire or heat a gas grill.

Place the ground beef in a large bowl and add the mustard, olive oil, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Mix gently with a fork to combine, taking care not to compress the ingredients.  Shape the meat into 12 (2-inch) patties of equal size and thickness.

When the grill is medium-hot, brush the grill grate with oil to keep the sliders from sticking.  Place the sliders on the grill and cook for 4 minutes. Turn the sliders over with a spatula and cook for another 4 to 6 minutes, until medium-rare, or cook longer if you prefer the sliders more well done. For the last 2 minutes of cooking time, place ½-ounce Gruyere on the top of each burger and close the grill lid.  Remove the sliders to a platter and cover with foil.

Slice the buns in half crosswise and toast the halves cut side down on the grill.

Divide the baby arugula among the 12 bottom buns, top each with a slider, and finish with a slice of tomato and red onion.  Cover with the top of the bun and serve hot with ketchup.

~ from Food Network

hot-dog-1

Culinary experiments put the taste and c’est si bon in the summer entertaining mix.  Summer menus require summer classics, new discoveries and improved additions.

fried-chicken

Fried chicken is practically required eating in the South and a mainstay of the summer dining and picnic table.  Once the Places In The Home gang discovered how good the fried chicken is from the deli at our local Kroger, frying chicken at home has become a thing of the past.

smores-fixins

Here’s my tip for simply summer impressive- it’s all in the presentation.  I go heavy on the presentation and simple with the preparation.  I picked up a pack of mini terra-cotta clay pots at the dollar store to use as individual s’mores supply pots.

Vintage Hershey's Milk Chocolate Metal Tray

Vintage Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Metal Tray

Chippy, rusty, and charming- this vintage Hershey’s Milk Chocolate metal tray would make a great serving tray or decorative accent for the s’mores table.

plum smoothie pop

Vintage ironstone and in the style of vintage table linens set a summer chic table.   A quick trip to an antique shop, garage sale or Goodwill store usually results in an ironstone serving piece find or two.  Vintage picnic wares and baskets bring memories to the table, and can be used for the actual purpose of food and beverage and/or as decorative accents.

basket-hydrangea

Woven Wood Picnic Basket

Dave the Builder and I bought a vintage picnic table from a fellow antiques dealer with the express purpose of featuring it in a summer display at Hopefully Classic.  I used a vintage picnic basket filled with hydrangeas for  a super easy, super cute centerpiece.  You can make quite the keep it summer simple statement with a collection of glass jars or melamine vegetable bowl and whatever flowers, greenery or veggies are growing fresh in your yard or garden.  No garden or flowers on the homestead?   Check out the floral department and produce section of your favorite grocery store.

mini-watermelon

Mini watermelons on a natural table runner of Pittosporum and Lemon Lime Nandina is summer simple and summer chic.

corn-centerpiece

Ears of fresh corn with the husks slightly peeled back in order to expose the corn kernels grouped in threes and tied with woven ribbon of your color, pattern and texture choice or metallic twisted rope is another fresh centerpiece idea.

ironstone-tureen

Antique White Ironstone Tureen Cookson Chetwynd Small Serving Dish Bowl 

summer-serving-pieces

4pc Indoor Outdoor Gingham Napkins  ||  Lyndsay Stripes Cotton Table Runner  ||  Design Imports 18″ Square Farm Fresh Stripe Napkin (Set of 4)   ||  Striped Fete Buffet Napkins in White (Set of 4)  ||  Chambray Fringe Napkins, Set of 4  ||  Basics Watercolor Check Napkins in Navy (Set of 4)

Watercolor Black Plaid Dinnerware

Gingham Napkin 4ct - Black/White - Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia

Gingham Napkin 4ct – Black/White – Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia

Summer Simple Suggestions for Refreshing Treats 

Summer is fun, but summer is hot.  Delicious and easy frozen treats of the leaded and unleaded type make a big splash with guests.

plums

Plums

Plum Smoothie Pops

Ingredients

¼ cup sugar

1 Tablespoon corn syrup

1 lb. assorted plums

8 tsp. fresh lime juice

6 oz. plain yogurt

Directions

Bring the sugar, corn syrup, and ¼ cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and cool.  Puree the plums, cooled syrup, and lime juice in two batches, using a blender, until smooth.  Stir the plum puree and yogurt together in a large mixing bowl.

Pour the mixture into popsicle molds, leaving about ½ inch at the top, as the mixture will expand when it freezes.  Follow popsicle mold manufacturer’s instructions and freeze until solid, about 4 hours.

~Country Living

popsicle-outdoor-throw-pillow

ENVOGUE Indoor/Outdoor Popsicle Pillow

Have you heard about these new scratch-and-sniff Frozen Treats stamps inspired by summer and the whimsical watercolor illustrations of Margaret Berg?   These will be great for those summer cookout-party-soiree snail mail invitations.

frozen-treats-postage-stamps

USPS

Pair your favorite frozen treat with a glass of sparkling wine for a little zing.  Dipping a frozen treat into a chilled glass of sparkling wine pops the flavor notes and takes summer treat to a whole new tasting dimension.  Prosecco grapes is another winner.  These frozen treats are super easy to make and quite refreshing.

prosecco-grapes

Prosecco Grapes

Ingredients

2 lb. green grapes

1 bottle prosecco

4 oz. vodka

½  cup granulated sugar

Directions

In a large bowl, pour prosecco and vodka over grapes.  Let them soak in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Drain in a colander and pat dry.  On a shallow plate, roll the grapes in sugar until fully coated, then serve.

~Delish

original-bomb-pop-frozen-treat

Inspiration is everywhere!

Huber+Popsicle+Throw+Pillow

Huber Popsicle Throw Pillow

I saw this VW Bus throw pillow and immediately my thoughts went to summers spent camping with my childhood friend and her family in their VW Bus.

VW-bus-summer-throw-pillow

Louisiana is a long way from the California coast, but the Gulf Coast is a fun place to sand, swim, sun and sing we’ve been having fun all summer long, Louisiana style.

The Beach Boys definitely make up the soundtrack of summer.

he-beach-boys-greatest-hitsThe Beach Boys – Greatest Hits (Capitol) (CD)

My final summer simple suggestions tip is as follows:

Don’t sweat the details.  The simplicity of summer is an easy theme to work with and makes a great backdrop for mixing and mingling with friends and family in the good old summertime.

love your style

 

 

 

I may earn a commission for purchases made through affiliate links

On The Patio, Porch, Terrace, Decked Out Summer Holidays

The on the patio, porch, terrace or deck on summer holidays season complete with summer ready spots of relaxation and entertaining decked out to impress is ready to a kick off.  Memorial Day is fast approaching with the 4th of July and Labor Day arriving sooner than later.  The Canadian snowbird couple celebrated Victoria Day this past Monday, and the snaps of their deck and yard getting summer ready mirrors what many of us are patio planning.

summer holidays

Ollie by Gollie and Caramel the Wonder Rescue love spending time outdoors soaking up the sun.   Winter is in the rearview mirror, and we are looking ahead to outdoor living, entertaining, and my favorite, decorating, with the full-on colors, patterns, and textures that visually convey the message summer has arrived.  The warm temps of spring every days and summer holidays is inspiration central for those who love decorating and celebrating their outdoor living life on the patio, porch, terrace or deck on summer holidays.

beach-style-porchHeather Garrett Design

Summer evenings set to a serene and tranquil scene usher in a leave the fast track behind and escape to relaxation destination.  I love an outdoor space that visually draws you in and stunningly communicates come for the style, stay for the view.

beach-style-deck

Peter Billiards

Crosshatch Weave Bamboo Lantern

Crosshatch Weave Bamboo Lantern

 

Glass+Lantern

Natural Fiber/Glass Lantern

 

Borin+Glass+Lantern

Borin Iron/Glass Lantern

 

Wood+Lantern

Bungalow Rose Wood Lantern

A patio or porch or terrace or deck is a great space to pattern play with a splash of style and a pop of color.  Color, pattern, and texture enhances the look and emphasizes chic summer style.

Orly Rectangle 4' X 5'7" Outdoor Rug - Red / Natural - Safavieh®Orly Rectangle 4′ X 5’7″ Outdoor Rug – Red / Natural – Safavieh®

Cambridge-outdoor-rug

Francia Rug – Dark Green/Beige – Safavieh®

Calypso Geometric Patio Rug Collection - Safavieh®

Calypso Geometric Patio Rug Collection – Safavieh®

Texture blends well with casual chic in this woven wicker pendant in soft gray.

Lanston Wide Pendant, Soft GrayLanston Wide Pendant, Soft Gray

Great lighting is an essential part of framing the space- indoors and outdoors.  I always suggest adding or at least consider adding a chandelier and/or table lamp(s) to your patio, porch, terrace or deck space. These lighting options inject a touch of casual elegance and make the space more intimate.

 

gold-outdoor-chandelier

Y Decor LZ3349-Sunburst 12 Light Chandelier

Mediterranean porch

Gil Walsh Interiors

Pair a table lamp or lamps with a stylish outdoor side table.  These examples are specifically rated for outdoor use.

Calla Indoor/Outdoor Table Lamp in White with Nylon Shade

Calla Indoor/Outdoor Table Lamp in White with Nylon Shade

outdoor-floor-lamp

Elliot Bay Outdoor Floor Lamp

 

Dimond Lighting Sandy Neck Oversized Outdoor Table Lamp in Distressed GreyDimond Lighting Sandy Neck Oversized Outdoor Table Lamp in Distressed Grey

 

Artichoke+Outdoor+Table+Lamp

Artichoke Outdoor Table Lamp

 

Curby Square Concrete Accent Table - Safavieh®

Curby Square Concrete Accent Table – Safavieh® 

 

Christopher Knight Home Puerta Wicker Side Table

Christopher Knight Home Puerta Wicker Side Table

 

Moroccan-Garden-Stool

Sagebrook Home Moroccan Garden

Paper lanterns make an affordable addition to your outdoor lighting scheme.

paper-lanterns-8-in-round-beige-3

Paper Lanterns

We use a fire pit as another form of lighting.

And for roasting marshmallows for summer s’mores.

And mosquito control aka natural buzz kill.

Hohman Firebowl Steel Wood Fire Pit with Handles and Spark Screen

Hohman Firebowl Steel Wood Fire Pit with Handles and Spark Screen

woodburning-fire-pit

Jamaica Woodburning Fire Pit 32″ x 15″ – Copper – Safavieh®

Celebrating the moments of your outdoor living life with a cool refreshing beverage is always a good idea.  Convenience makes a fabulous party guest, and a beverage station or bar cart sur le patio is as convenient as it is necessary.

Summon Outdoor Patio Beverage Cart

Summon Outdoor Patio Beverage Cart 

The image below reminds me of the vintage sewing machine stand I bought at a flea market when Dave the Builder and I were dating.  Dave found a scrap piece of marble to serve as the top and we were in business.

vintage-sewing-stand

I first used the marble top sewing machine stand as a bistro table, then a kitchen island, then a microwave stand, and eventually a poolside bar/beverage stand.   Nothing fancy by any means, but unique (at the time) and very versatile.

patio-decor-accessories

Domino

 

outdoor-throw-pillow-wovenOutdoor Throw Pillow Square – Woven Narrow Stripe Black – Project 62™

 

indoor-outdoor-flamingo-pillow

Indoor/Outdoor Flamingo Pillow

Gauthier~Stacy Inc.

Gauthier~Stacy Inc.

black-white-floor-pillow

Pillow Perfect Outdoor/Indoor Kirkland Black Floor Pillow

 

 

Andaman Fish SculptureAndaman Fish Sculpture

Now you know I will be adding this alligator lumbar pillow to the on the patio, porch, terrace or deck gotta have it list.

Outdoor Alligator Embroidered Lumbar Pillow, Gingko Green

Outdoor Alligator Embroidered Lumbar Pillow, Gingko Green

Are you familiar with the site Wish.com?  My niece-in-law introduced me to this online direct from China shopping site, and I have ordered several things from the site with no issues.  The merchandise quality is good, I have had no problems with shipping dates, and the items arrive as advertised.  I ordered this leaf linen throw pillow cover last summer, and I am so pleased with the product and the price.

Are you ready for the price?

$2.00  including shipping.

A quality look at a super inexpensive price.  That’s a summer style deal I can get on board with.

leaf-pillow

Leaf Linen Throw Pillow Cover

 

outdoor-indoor-decorative-throw-pillows

Russet Orange Pillow  ||  Faux Natural Beige Pillow  ||  Cabana Stripe Pom Pillow  ||  Herd Together Decorative Pillow  ||  St. Tropez Pillow  ||  Serene Sea Urchin Decorative Pillow

terrace-deck

Gunn Landscape Architecture

 

outdoor-wicker-club-chair

 

Pueblo Outdoor Wicker Club Chair With Water Resistant Cushions

 

outdoor-dining-table

Patio Dining Table – Beige – Signature Design by Ashley

I absolutely love the color, pattern and texture of this patio umbrella.  Green and black is a hot color combination of late, and goes quite nice with the look of summer and summer holidays.

round-patio-umbrella

 

9′ Round Patio Umbrella – Light Wood Pole – Threshold™ 

poolside-umbrellaDomino

Black and white stripes is a summer classic.

Safavieh Elsa Fashion Line 9 Ft. Umbrella

Safavieh Elsa Fashion Line 9 Ft. Umbrella

blue-purple-hydrangea

The vibrancy of summer blooms in seasonal colors is accentuated by color rich decorative planters.

Roped+Bell+Jar+Resin+Stone+Urn+Planter

Roped Bell Jar Resin Stone Urn Planter

 

Hendersonville Old World Floral Garden Ceramic Pot Planter

Hendersonville Old World Floral Garden Ceramic Pot Planter

 

red-pottery-planter

New England Pottery 17.25-in W x 17-in H Red Ceramic Classic Planter

 

Garden hose be gone, or at least housed in this beehive hose holder.

hose-holder

Beehive Hose Holder

 

Do you know what a summer day and this post have in common?

They’re both long.

Summer days, summer nights, and summer holidays- are you ready to show your summer style off on your stylishly decorated patio, porch, terrace or deck?

Love your style!

This post contains affiliate links.  I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

We’ll Always Have Paris French Themed Tablescape

The beauty of a French themed tablescape is found in the ooh la la factor, and this We’ll Always Have Paris French themed tablescape focuses attention on the it’s all in the details appeal of understated elegance.

La-Fregate-cafe

My soundtrack to French themed tablescape to.

Soft lighting, informal china and crystal, and benign neglect to formality describes the European sentiment.

Country-French-table-lamp

Agnes Table Lamp

Cote-table

El Mueble

French decor elements bring a palette of both deep and soft blue and green, crisp white, rich brown and citrine, soft gray and deep wine red to the table.  Below are tabletop and serveware accessories and thoughtful accoutrementto illustrate the point.

wood-charger

Aristocrat Brown Embossed Charger Plate

white-dinner-plate-Jay-Imports

Jay Import Set Of 4 Dinner Plates

“The service and mood should be informal, and the food, wine, and presentation extraordinary.” 

Tomas Maier

71BD5PqKkrL._SL1100_

Le Cadeaux Appetizer Plates




side-plate

Juliska Berry & Thread French Panel Stone Gray Crackle Side Plate, 7″

Vintage pieces make a wonderful contribution to tablecsapes, lending an air of distinction that exemplifies the art of classic French themed tablescape savoir faire. vintage-black-and-brown-china-plates-set-of-3

Vintage Black & Brown China Plates- Set of 3

Restaurant-de-la-tour

Restaurant De La Tour

Restaurant.

Bistro.

Home sweet home.

Ambiance is paramount to setting the scene and the table for the dining experience.  I call it an experience because dining should be exactly that- a social, sensory and scrumptious experience.  Sight (we eat first with our eyes) sound, touch, smell and taste anchor ambiance.

soup-tureen-green  French Transferware Soupiere Creil et Montereau

lions-head-bowl

Lion Head’s Bowl

Fleur+De+Lis+Square+Casserole+Platter

Fleur De Lis Square Casserole Platter

Oval+Platter

Oval Platter in Cobalt by Fiesta

blue-white-vegetable-bowl

Vintage Blue & White Vegetable Bowl, KINGSTON

French-white-serving-bowls

French Countryside Set of 5 Stackable Bowls

vintage-shabby-chic-terrine-with-raspberry-accents

Vintage Shabby Chic Terrine With Raspberry Accents

Burano+Platter

Burano Platter by Arte Italica

Five-Piece Fleur De Lis Flatware Place Setting

Five-Piece Fleur De Lis Flatware Place Setting

french linen napkins

French Linen Damask Napkins

 

french-stripe-napkins

DII Gray Chambray French Stripe Dinner Napkins, set of 6

 

Pitcher-Zentique

Zentique Pitcher

 

asparagus-salt-pepper-shaker-set

Carrington Collection, Asparagus Salt and Pepper Set

marble-tray

Bloomingville Round Marble Tray

french-bread-boards

Vintage French Bread Board Assortment

Brie

french-bread

Heather Bullard thoughtfully turns antique ephemera into these free printable French baguettes wraps perfect as take away party favors.

baguette-wraps

Click on the link below to see her post and download instructions.  Merci beaucoup, Heather.

bread-wraps

FrenchBaguetteWrap

French Baguette Wrap Printable

chipwood-basket

bistro-cheese-board

Wine Carafe

Wine Carafe

Libbey 719 8.5 oz. glass cocktail decanter

Libbey 8.5 oz. Cocktail Decanter 

stemmed-wine-glassStemmed Wine Glass

versailles-tumblers

La Rochere Versailles Tumblers, Set of 6

alpaca wine rack

El Mueble

The ooh la la of the French tablescape and copper accents.  Relaxed refinement is not an oxymoron.

C’est magnifique!

Robust+3+Bottle+Tabletop+Wine+Rack

Robust 3 Bottle Tabletop Wine Rack

vintage-etched-goblets

Williams Sonoma Vintage Etched Goblets

 

cake-dome

Metal Stand with Glass Cloche Bell

 

Gien-France-Rouen-Cake-Platter

Gien France Rouen Cake Platter

French-themed-tablescape

French-place-setting

Vintage Porcelain "Le Manoir" French Dessert Plates - Set of 8Vintage Porcelain “Le Manoir” French Dessert Plates – Set of 8

 

garland-blue-ironstone-creamer

Vintage James Kent Ltd. Garland Blue Ironstone Transferware Creamer

jute-tableclothJute Tablecloth

hemstitched-embroidered-table-runner

Fennco Styles Hand Hemstitched and Embroidered Swiss Dot Table Runner

 

French-themed-candle-holders

Distressed Ivory Candle Holder

faux-artichoke Resin Bloomed Artichoke Decor

artichoke=place=card

Pinterest

lemon-card-2

Grab a free place card template printable, pop over to your photo editor of choice, add your own favorite French themed embellishments, colors and fonts and voilà!

French themed tablescape

blue-frame-French-menu

Frame prints or printables such as this menu écrit en français as conversation pieces.

decorative-wall-shelf

These wall shelf-wall sconces plucked from the clearance shelves at Hobby Lobby have served as my go-to tabletop decor accessory at shop and at home.  The decorative duo immediately caught my eye as tabletop gotta have it rather than wall decor.  When you like the details, finish and presence of a decorative piece but not in the context of its original purpose, repurpose.  This Antique Cream Half-Circle Wall Shelf from Hobby Lobby X 2 is on my French themed tablescape gotta have it list.

french-wall-shelf

Antique Cream Half-Circle Wall Shelf

Fantastique color and price pairing on the Shadwick Cafe Bistro Stacking Patio Dining Chair by Brayden Studio.

cafe-bistro-chair

Cafe Bistro Chair

From place setting to ambiance, destination themed tablescapes travel well.  Part III of Themed Tablescapes Table Escapes features decorative accessories and accents of Chinoiserie chic to set a Far East Fabulous tablescape.

 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links

Travel Destination Themed Tablescapes: Turn Your Tablescapes Into Table Escapes

Like the relaxing powers of Calgon, this updated and improved post takes me away on a visual travel adventure through stylish place settings and tabletop accessories of themed tablescapes.  Themed tablescapes set the table for a visual experience of table escape destination presentation.

beach-style-dining-room

Kate Jackson Design

More people answer travel when asked what they would do if they won the lottery.  As my hopes for a lottery windfall and the endless travel funds it would bring eludes me, I rely on themed tablescapes table escapes to destinations of sea, ooh la la land, and fabulous Far East to take me away.

sea-waves

Sea Waves

Destination decorating creates a passport to dining adventures, where the dining table top becomes an inspired canvas.  Stylish and affordable ideas run the gamut from elegant to casual, translating to themed tablescapes that visually take your fellow “travelers” on a journey to enchanted places.  The first seating of this three part themed tablescapes series is one inspired by the captivating beauty of the sea.

shell-placemat

Scalloped Placemat

themed tablescapes

Jay Imports Alabaster Glass Charger Plate With Silver-Tone Rim

Rimmed Dinner Plate

Denby Dinnerware, Halo Wide Rimmed Dinner Plate

blue-salad-plate

Rosenthal Junto Flat Salad Plate

ocean-round-dessert-plates

Ocean Round Sculpted Dessert Plate

Hampton-flatwareHampton Forge San Remo Silverware Set 20-pc.

Blenko-water-bottle  Blenko Ice Blue Water Bottle

blue-drinking-plates

TarHong Honeycomb Organic Jumbo Glass (Set of 4)

fish-plate-collection

Martha Stewart

vintage-fish-plate-set

Vintage Fish Platter Set Bavaria Schumann Germany S/12

Victorian Bone Handle Fish Knives - Set of 8

Victorian Bone Handle Fish Knives – Set of 8

 

Elrene Home Shell Season Napkins (Set of 4)

Elrene Home Shell Season Napkins (Set of 4)

Cenote-serving-bowls

L’Objet Cenote Bowls

baking-shell

Seafood Shell Baking Dish

VIETRI Earth Glass Large Serving Bowl

VIETRI Earth Glass Large Serving Bowl

Threshold Ashwood Round Serving Bowl Set 2-pc.

Threshold Ashwood Round Serving Bowl Set 2-pc.

 

Pfaltzgraff Expressions Set of 4 Bowls Capri

Pfaltzgraff Expressions Set of 4 Bowls Capri

Driftwood-Platter Driftwood Serving Platter

Mar_revolto

Sea Escape

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”  Henry Miller

 

pelican-shells-4

Fitz-Floyd-Pelican-figurine

Fitz and Floyd Cape Coral Collection Tall Pelican Figurine

The rule of kiss (keep is seaside simple) applies to centerpiece ideas.  Taper candles weaved throughout a piece of decorative coral placed atop a cluster of oyster shells is a guaranteed centerpiece showstopper.

candles-coral-oyster-shellsPinterest

Harris-gin

Isle of Harris Gin

clear-decanter

Mikasa® Maria Decanter

Iittala Kastehelmi Tumbler, Set of 2

Iittala Kastehelmi Tumbler, Set of 2

Coastal themed cocktail accessories make a stylish splash as the perfect mix and marvel bar accessories garnish.

 

sea-cocktail-accessories

Mediterranean Shell Pitcher  ||  Devanna Ombre Hobnail Double Old Fashioned Glass  ||  Shells of the Sea Cocktail Picks  ||  Shells of the Sea Paper Cocktail Napkins  || Murex Ramosus Decorative Shells  ||  Sea Shell Toothpicks

sea-creatures-bar-tools

Sea Creatures Bar Tools

Love these Oyster Grillers made by Oysteria exclusively for Mignon Faget.  Made of a red based clay, Oysteria Grillers will withstand the direct flame of a grill.

Mignon-Faget-oyster-grillers

Mignon Faget Oysteria Grillers

oyster-napkins

Katie Kime Oyster Cocktail Napkins

shell shaped salad bowl

Coastal Home Shell Serving Bowl

oyster-shell-decorative-serving-bowl

Oyster Shell Serving Bowl

aerin-sea-blue-geometric-platter AERIN Sea Blue Geometric Platter

starfish-divided-dish

Starfish Divided Serving Dish

 

Fish+Dessert+Server

Dessert Server

I could spend an entire afternoon on a dollar store run searching for affordable tabletop accessories that set a place for chic at the table.  

decorative-shells

Bulk shells, accent gems, decorative sand and river rocks make a decorative splash as anchor embellishments.  For a small amount of moolah you can create an impressive tabletop focal point or decorative companion piece to build your centerpiece upon.

clear-hurricane-candle-holderAn easy DIY project, coastal themed fabric paired with pearl trim, a decorative starfish, pendant or pin make great custom tablecloth, napkin and napkin ring options.  A seamstress I am not, but I can work a package of hem tape and a hot iron like nobody’s business.  Ornamental starfish tied with natural or coastal color rich raffia results in a tailored napkin ring.  Decorative pearl trim looped through a natural crystal pendant from Hobby Lobby results in a stylish napkin ring and “souvenir” to take home.

coastal-fabrics

Inside Fabric

Other table ideas range from various sized glass cylinders and decorative bowls filled with shells, sand, rocks and/or pillar candles.  

starfish

The Seashell Company

I like to use aquarium decor because it is significantly less expensive than full size versions and the smaller sizes work to an individual place setting advantage.  Aquarium coral or dry rock makes a highly decorative and inexpensive place card or individual menu holders-easels.

 

reed-saver

Reef Saver Dry  Aquarium Rock

The decorative versatility of the dough bowl is the themed tablescapes gift that keeps on giving.

 

Rectangle+Dough+Decorative+Bowl

Rectangle Dough Decorative Bowl

From place setting to ambiance, destination themed tablescapes travel well.  Part II of Themed Tablescapes Table Escapes focuses on the très chic ooh la la factor of the We’ll Always Have Paris tablescape.

love your style

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Southern Sweet Potato Puffs

Culinary contemplation over how I could up my holiday side dish game brought me to a delicious conclusion.  How ’bout pairing the highly holiday requested Southern Sweet Potato Casserole with the OMG as in oh my goodness of puff pastry.   Southern Sweet Potato Puffs it is!

southern sweet potato puffs

Impressing the palates of those who gather together is a part of the holiday dinner and entertaining equation.   As someone who puts stock in the you eat with your eyes first approach to dining, the looks so good has to match up to the tastes so good.  Let’s begin with the recipe for Southern Sweet Potato Casserole.

sweet-potatoes-pecans-flour-brown-sugar

Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

Ingredients

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ cup milk

¼ cup Southern Comfort whiskey

1/3 cup butter, melted

For Topping:

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup flour

1 cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup butter, melted

Directions

Preheat oven to 350° F.   Lightly spray a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray.  Boil  sweet potatoes under tender.  Carefully remove from heat, drain, peel and mash sweet potatoes. 

sweet-potatoes-vanilla

In mixing bowl, mix together the mashed sweet potatoes, brown sugar, eggs, melted butter, milk, vanilla extract, Southern Comfort, ground cloves and ground nutmeg.  Spread mixture evenly in prepared baking dish. 

stirring-sweet-potatoesIn a separate mixing bowl, mix together brown sugar, chopped pecans, flour, and melted butter.  

sweet-potato-toppings

Spoon over sweet potato mixture.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.  

Southern-sweet-potato-casserole

Southern Sweet Potato Puffs

Ingredients

southern sweet potato casserole for filling

1 box puff pastry sheets

1 egg

flour

Directions

Allow the casserole to cool before using as the filling for the puffs.  The reason I elect to fill the puff pastry with cooked sweet potato casserole is to work with a dryer filling.  Baking off the casserole absorbs the liquids into the baked casserole, and makes it easier to work with a firmer filling.  The next step in the making of Southern Sweet Potatoes Puffs brings puff pastry into the mix.  I used the defrost in the refrigerator overnight method of thawing the puff pastry sheets.  Unfold 1 puff pastry sheet and place on  lightly floured countertop or large baking sheet.  Roll puff pastry out using a lightly floured rolling pin.  Lightly dust pastry sheet with flour.  Using a knife, cut the pastry sheet into six (6) squares.

sweet-potato-puff-pastry

Spoon 1 tablespoon of the Southern Sweet Potato Casserole mixture in the center of each pastry square.

floured-puff-pastry

Pull corners of each square up over the filling and twist at top to seal.  Repeat with the remaining pastry sheet.  Place the pastry squares onto a large baking sheet that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray.

sweet-potato-twist-puff-pastry

Beat 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of water together in a small bowl with a fork.  Brush each puff with the egg mixture.

southern-sweet-potato-puffsBake for 20 minutes or until puffs are golden brown.

Note:  Southern Sweet Potato Puffs make an excellent small bite appetizer for the holiday cocktail hour.

enjoy

What’s Cooking For Super Bowl Sunday? Super Bowl Simmer Set Serve Dishes

Super Bowl Simmer Set Serve Dishes serve up delicious game day eats. Regardless of regular season team allegiance, the football loyal gather together to get the Super Bowl party started.  Football is the reason for the season, but what’ll have them talking is the food, the commercials and the half time entertainment.  The Super Bowl is all about the more, more, more.

super-bowl-LII

The following video is disco divine!  Flashback to the 70s at your leisure suit.

disco ball

When the New Orleans Saints won Super Bowl XLIV,  I could not talk for three days.  We indulged in Super Bowl Simmer Set Serve Dishes filled with Louisiana heat and flavor.

We screamed.

We cheered.

We made the Who Dat Nation proud!

It was a wild ride- a Super Bowl memory for the books.

new orleans saints super bowl champs1

Easy Super Bowl simmer set serve dishes top the menu roster on game day. Delicious and crowd pleasing, it’s the one pot or slow cooker recipes that please both chef and guests.  Soup’s on soups.  C’est si bon gumbos.  Chili with or without beans bowls.  Speaking of beans- how about a pot of red beans and rice?   Stuffed (or not) bell pepper dressing.  Easy works well in the game day kitchen.   Allow me to share with you these Super Bowl Simmer Set Serve dishes recipes for your Super Bowl party menu consideration.

Super Bowl Simmer Set Serve Dishes

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo 

Ingredients

8  cups water

3  chicken bouillon cubes

4  boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 lb. package smoked sausage

1  12 ounce bag frozen chopped onions

1  12 ounce bag frozen chopped bell peppers

3 bay leaves

2  Tablespoons minced garlic

1  teaspoon celery salt

1  teaspoon fine black pepper, or to taste*

OR in place of salt and pepper season with 1 teaspoon Créole seasoning, or to taste*

1  cup white wine

cooked rice

Directions

Slice sausage into ½ inch pieces. Using a seasoned skillet for optimum taste results, cook the sliced sausage over medium-high heat until browned.  Transfer cooked sausage to plate lined with paper towels, allowing excess grease to drain.  Set aside.

Place chicken breasts in Dutch oven or stock pot, add water, and bring to a boil.  Season for broth with ½ teaspoon celery salt ½ black pepper.  Stir and reduce heat to medium low, cooking chicken breasts until done, about 1 hour. Transfer chicken breasts from pot to large mixing bowl.  Slice chicken breasts into strips and add back to broth.

Turn heat back to high and bring to boil.  Add prepared roux to broth and chicken mixture, whisking until roux dissolves.  Reduce heat to medium and add minced garlic, chopped onions, chopped bell pepper, bay leaves, chicken bouillon cubes, remaining celery salt and pepper (or Créole seasoning).   Carefully pour in white wine.  Stir to blend and incorporate.

Reduce heat to simmer. Simmer uncovered for approximately 2 hours, allowing all flavors to marry.  Remove bay leaves and skim any fat off the top of gumbo.  Add chopped green onions and continue to simmer for additional 5 minutes.  Serve gumbo over rice.  Top with a sprinkle of filé, more green onions, and hot sauce to taste, if desired.

RedBeansRice

Red beans and rice is a Louisiana tradition.  The Places In The Home gang considers gumbos and beans and rice combinations hearty soups of sorts, and this slow cooker red beans and rice recipe has Super Bowl party menu star stirred and served all over it.

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

Ingredients

1  pound dry red kidney beans
12  cups water
1  tablespoon vegetable oil
1  pound andouille sausage, sliced in ¼-inch rounds
5  cups chicken broth, divided
3  cups diced yellow onion
2  cups diced celery
1  cup diced green bell pepper
1  cup diced red bell pepper
5 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 pound tasso ham, sliced into 1 x ¼-inch strips
1 tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (see French Onion soup recipe below)
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
¼ teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup chopped green onion
Hot cooked jasmine rice
Garnish: chopped parsley

Directions

In a 4-quart container, soak red beans in 12 cups water; leave uncovered overnight.  After soaking, discard soaking water, and rinse beans with fresh water.  Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add sausage, and cook until browned, 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove sausage from pan, and set aside. Deglaze skillet with 2 tablespoons chicken broth, add onion, and cook until softened and beginning to brown, 7 to 9 minutes.  Add celery and bell peppers to skillet, and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes.

Transfer mixture to a 4-quart slow cooker.  Add garlic, remaining broth, tasso, brown sugar, bay leaves, salt, hot sauce, black pepper, Cajun seasoning, sage, chipotle pepper, cayenne pepper, reserved beans, and cooked sausage, stirring to combine.

Cover, and cook on high until beans are softened and cooked through, 3 to 4 hours.

Add chopped parsley and green onion to red bean mixture.  Serve over rice. Garnish with additional parsley, if desired.  Serves 6.

~Louisiana Cookin’

red chili no beans

Bowl ‘O Red

Ingredients

1 ¼ pounds ground beef chuck
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground pasilla or ancho chile pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1  14 ½ ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1  14 ½ ounce can beef broth
1  12 ounce bottle lager beer or 1 ½ cup beef broth
1 tablespoon yellow mustard

Directions

In a Dutch oven cook ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium-high heat until meat is brown, breaking up meat.  Drain off fat.  Stir in pasilla pepper, cumin, paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper, cloves, and salt. Cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until fragrant.

Stir in tomatoes, broth, beer, and mustard. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 40 minutes.

Slow Cooker: Prepare as directed in Step 1. Transfer to a 4-qt. slow cooker. Stir in tomatoes, broth, ½ cup of the beer, and the mustard.  Cover.  Cook on low 8 to 10 hours or on high 4 to 5 hours.

~Better Homes and Gardens

Queso Soup

Creamy Queso Soup

Ingredients

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)

1 jar (16 ounces) Pace® Mexican Four Cheese Salsa con Queso

2 cups Swanson® Chicken Broth (Regular, Natural Goodness® or Certified Organic)

¼ cup milk

crushed tortilla chips

chopped green onions

Directions

Heat the oil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes or until the onion is tender.Reduce the heat to low. Stir the queso, broth and milk in the saucepan and cook for 3 minutes or until the queso mixture is hot.  Serve topped with the tortilla chips and green onions.

~ Campbell’s Kitchen

rice scoopStuffed (or not) Pepper Dressing

1 lb. ground beef

1 bag frozen chopped onions

1 bag frozen chopped green peppers

1  teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

½ teaspoon minced garlic

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon basil

½ teaspoon thyme

1 24 ounce can spaghetti sauce

1 cup cooked rice

6 bell peppers

8 ounce package shredded cheese of choice

bellpeppers

Cut the tops and stem off of each pepper.  Remove the core and seeds from inside each pepper.  Cook the bell peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes or until desired softness is reached.  Remove peppers from water and set aside.

rice-dressing

Place ground beef, onions and peppers in a large skillet.  Cook together over high heat until ground beef is browned.  Pour or spoon off excess fat.  Reduce heat to medium.  Season mixture with salt and pepper, stirring to incorporate.  Stir in spaghetti sauce and Worcestershire sauce.   Add basil and garlic, stirring to incorporate.

garlic-basil

Reduce heat to low, cover with lid and simmer dressing for 10 minutes. Remove lid and spoon in cooked rice.  Sprinkle with thyme.  Stir rice into beef mixture to incorporate.  That’s it!  Serves 6.

For Filled Peppers:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Generously stuff (fill) each pepper with the dressing.  Place stuffed peppers open side up in a baking dish.  Top each pepper with shredded cheese of your choice.  Bake covered for 25 to 30 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted.

onion soup

French Onion Soup

Ingredients

2  Tablespoon butter

2  teaspoons olive oil

6  medium onions thinly sliced

1  teaspoon Creole seasoning

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

2 bay leaves

½ cup white white or sherry

2 quarts (8 cups) low sodium beef broth

French bread baguette

8 slices Gruyère cheese

Creole-Cajun Seasoning

1/3  cup paprika

3 tablespoons dried oregano

3 tablespoons ground black pepper

2 tablespoons dried basil

1 tablespoon dried thyme

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 tablespoons cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon granulated onion

4 teaspoons dried thyme

4 teaspoons granulated garlic

Directions

Heat butter and olive oil in a Dutch oven over a medium- high heat.  Add sliced onions and bay leaves to the pan, saute for 5 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle sugar and Creole seasoning over onions, stir to incorporate.

sliced-onion-rings

Cook onions and company for 30 minutes or until softened and reaching a caramelized stage.  Add sherry and bay leaves to onions.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.   Turn heat back up to medium-high and add beef broth.  Allowing broth to heat through, reduce to simmer, and continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes in order for ingredients to marry and live happily ever after.  Remove bay leaves.

rosemary bread

french bread loaves

Slice French bread baguette and place on a baking sheet.  Place under broiler until slices reach a light golden brown.

soup-crockOnion Soup Crock

Place crocks, ramekins, or oven proof bowls on a large cookie sheet.  Fill each with 1 cup soup.  Place one slice French bread in each bowl and top with 1 cheese slice.  Broil on high until cheese is melted and browned.  Serves 8.

Directions for Creole~Cajun Seasoning

In a medium bowl combine paprika, dried oregano, dried thyme, ground black pepper, dried basil, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, granulated onion, dried thyme and granulated garlic.  Stir to combine.  Can be stored in an airtight container for up to three months.

Creole-seasoning

One week until Super Bowl Sunday.  Can you taste Super Bowl Simmer Set Serve Dishes victory?

enjoy