Home For The Holidays: Table Settings And Sideboards

Table settings and sideboard ideas are the topic of the final installment in the Places In The Home Home For The Holidays series.


Southern Living

It’s holiday time, joy is in the air, and help is here.

If you have followed this series I hope you have gathered helpful hints, tips and decorative ideas.

This Ivy House

Click on the Thanksgiving Etiquette Table Setting Guide image to enlarge.


Thanksgiving Etiquette Table Setting Guide

Mixing flatware patterns instantly puts a unique twist on old favorites.

Step away from conventional ideas of absolute matching and mix things up for the eye a bit.


Southern Living- Photo by Lauren Rubinstein

Napkin folding arrangements are a tablescape work of art.

Traditional Home

Tabletop space can become very limited when entertaining, especially at holiday time.

It need not be a problem if there is a sideboard or buffet available.

Begin by editing the existing accessories in order to free up the space.

I am practicing what I preach, and now our sideboard is set and ready for our Thanksgiving desserts.


Additional china, drinkware and table linens can be conveniently housed as well as flatware.

House to Home

Natural centerpieces of seasonal branches, nuts, or fruit dress the sideboard for the celebration.


Country Living

The always elegant sideboard bar serves as the perfect cocktail accessory for entertaining, especially festive holiday entertaining.

Eggnog anyone?


House Beautiful

It’s hard to argue the beauty of both this sideboard and gorgeous holiday decoration.



I have thoroughly enjoyed bringing you the Places In The Home Home for the Holidays series.

I hope the information proves useful during the holidays.

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Home For The Holidays Series Part Four: Holiday Desserts

Holiday desserts.

Oh Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Holiday dinners and holiday desserts make a delicious combination.

I stay true to tradition at Thanksgiving with the meal and dessert offerings.

A house full of family and friends gathered on a day centered around thankfulness and fullness is not the best time to experiment with new dishes, or at least it isn’t for me.

I save that stress for Christmas!

If you can make things easier by purchasing ready made items that pass the taste test and your approval, I highly suggest doing so.

I do make a mean pumpkin and sweet potato pie, but the local market puts mine to shame.

When I say good, I mean delicious with a capital Easy!

Dave the Builder has put his order in for both the pumpkin and the sweet potato pies, and just when I thought I was off the hook, Mama Places In The Home put in her order for a no crust coconut pie and my fresh apple nut cake.

With apron on and mixer in hand, I will make their holiday desserts wishes come true.

No Crust Coconut Pie


4  eggs

1 3⁄4  cups sugar

½  cup flour

¼  cup margarine, melted

2  cups milk

1 ½ cups shredded coconut

1  teaspoon vanilla


Heat oven to 350°F.  Grease 10-inch pie pan; set aside.

Combine ingredients in order given; mix well.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

Middle of pie will appear rather soft.

Properly done, the pie will have a delicate crust over the top.

Old-fashioned egg custard pie sits upon many a Southern dessert table at the holidays.


Paula Deen’s Southwest Georgia Pound Cake recipe is quite frankly the best pound cake I have ever baked.

My family loves a good pound cake, and they are not afraid to request one quite often.

Can you guess what I was doing last night at nine o’clock?

Baking a Paula Deen Southwest Georgia Pound Cake.

Southwest Georgia Pound Cake


2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup (4 ounces) heavy cream

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

3 cups all-purpose flour

6  eggs

3 cups sugar

2  sticks butter, softened


Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.  Do not preheat oven.

Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Begin by adding ¼ of the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture. Next, add 1/3 of the heavy cream into butter-sugar mixture. Repeat steps and end with flour.  Stir in flavoring by hand.  Pour batter into greased and floured pan.

Place in a cold oven, set oven temperature at 325, and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes without opening oven door.

Bake for an additional 15 minutes if necessary(it was for my pound cake).

Remove from oven and cool in pan for 15 minutes before plating.

Pumpkin Parfait

When our son is home for the holidays I prepare his all time favorite dessert, Pumpkin Parfaits.

Pumpkin Parfaits


15 Oz Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin

1 ½ Oz Instant Vanilla Pudding

1 Tsp McCormick Pumpkin Pie Spice

12 Oz evaporated milk

1 cup(s) H-E-B Select Ingredients Fat Free Milk

4 Oz fat free cream cheese

14 Oz fat free sweetened condensed milk

1 cup(s) whipped cream, reduced fat


In food processor blend together pumpkin, pudding, pie spice, evaporated milk, milk, cream cheese and condensed milk until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Place in parfait glasses, and chill until set; top with whipped cream.

Makes 12 servings.

– My H-E-B Texas Life Magazine

recipe apple nut cake 1

Speaking of holiday desserts favorites…

I have had more request for my Old Fashioned Apple Nut Cake recipe lately and am happy to list it again.


Old Fashioned Apple Nut Cake


1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cloves

½ teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup chopped pecans

½ cup applesauce

3 cups fresh apples, peeled and sliced


½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

¼ cup butter or margarine

3 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup powdered sugar

½ cup chopped pecans


Peel and slice apples.  Add brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon,  ground cloves and lemon juice to apples coating well; set aside.  Mix together sugar and oil.  Add eggs; beat until creamy.  Add vanilla.

Combine salt, baking powder, baking soda, and flour together.  Add dry ingredients in small amounts to sugar and oil mixture.

Next, add apples, apple sauce, and chopped pecans and mix by hand.   Bake in greased and floured Bundt pan in 350 degree oven for approximately 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


For the icing:

In a medium saucepan bring brown sugar, butter, and milk to a boil over medium heat, stirring or whisking constantly.  Boil for one minute continuing to stir or whisk constantly.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Add powdered sugar and stir or whisk until smooth and continue until it begins to thicken slightly.  Immediately drizzle over cooled cake.  Top with pecans.



Thanksgiving Tablescapes: The Table Is Set

Thanksgiving tablescapes and holiday ideas inspire this traditional setting.

Christmas came early last week when I relocated the silver candlesticks in the back of one of the sideboard drawers.

As I danced around the dining room in a state of decorating glee, my parents wedding china caught my attention.

The wheels of the creative train immediately began to turn.

Limoges berry bowls paired with amber depression glass saucers keep with the deep tones of the traditional fall color palette.

The Bareuther Waldsassen dessert plates are a Goodwill find- a very nice Goodwill find indeed.

I needed a decorative dish to house the dessert spoons in.  As soon as I found the carnival glass dish in the curio it was problem solved.

The heirloom sterling silver tray perfectly complements the hues in the carnival glass.

A gold and silver color palette never fails to impress at the holidays.


The gorgeous menu template can be found at Under the Table and Dreaming by Stephanie Lynn.

The vintage image captures a traditional formality.

Both the idea and presentation adds something special to the tablescape.


Our neighbors lovingly presented us with a gift bag overflowing with pecans, and we are ever thankful for their generosity and thoughtfulness.

My wish is for everyone to be blessed with the love and kindness of wonderful friends, neighbors and family.


Leyland cypress, red roses and magnolia leaves from our yard make a beautiful presentation for the centerpiece.


Pottery Barn had me at gravy when I saw this hotel silver ladle in their holiday catalog.

I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the matching gravy boat that is on back order.

Reminders of what I am thankful for.


The Noritake Winton china has been in our family longer than I have.

It’s my parents wedding china, and I use it several times a year.

Plastic dollar store chargers were introduced to one coat of Rust-Oleum plastic primer, one coat of Rust-Oleum chalkboard paint latte, one coat of Annie Sloan chalk paint old white, and one very light coat of dark wax.

The place cards are exactly what I had in mind and printable “gifts” from Martha Stewart, of course.

Martha also furnished the idea of using wishbones in a Thanksgiving tablescape.

Silver spray paint made the wishbones table ready.

Once again tradition comes to the Thanksgiving table.

The cut glass celery dish was a gift from my maternal grandmother and is perfect for the cranberry sauce.

The salad plate pattern is Buchanan by Lenox.  I paired it with a gold teaspoon I picked up in my rounds.

I love odd pieces and will find any excuse to incorporate them into a tablescape.

The parts come together and complete the place setting.

We set a place for our son, Jackson, even though he will not be home for the holidays this year.

Using fresh fruit of the season introduces instant color and smells wonderful.

The entire dining room is filled with the smell of pineapple, orange, and lemon.

So holiday!


Copper tipped pine cones reflect their natural beauty in the silver candlesticks.

The combination of metal colors blends well with the gold tones of the linens.


Dessert recipes are coming your way in the next installment of the Places In The Home Home for the Holidays series.

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