Sunday, December 14, 2008

Finally, the Dining Room

First, allow me to apologize for my extended blog absence, the season has provided us with a many long day, and even longer nights. One of those long nights - Friday - Scott and I had the pleasure of meeting a new couple and reconnecting with friends of ours who are often out of town. We spent the entire night, well into Saturday morning, talking about anything and almost everything, so we decided to invite the four of them to our home for dinner tonight.

I planned a white flower arrangement in a great planter Scott bought for me this fall in a summer clearance sale. So I went out and bought white roses, white carnations, white poms, and white mums, baby's breath and white Asian lilies - and for contrast a few lime poms, eucalyptus and pine winter greens.

An hour later...
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The table was set for 8, individual votive holders held floating Asian lilies, our new sage napkins resting behind them on the salad bowl. The arrangement of course was much too large for the table with the very elaborate menu Scott provided ... so it left before we all sat down to eat, but for at least a moment, it was the beautiful center of our dining room.

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Here you can see the Russian paintings Scott picked up in St. Petersburg a few years ago. I've left them unframed, as they're quite raw, and I think it adds to their character and charm.

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The shot, from the living room, provides a view of the tree topper: white magnolias and bronzed fern leaves.

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Our new curtains were a nice addition this year. I felt like they really lighten up the dining room, and work well into summer.

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This photo of the tree (no lights) was taken last night at a separate dinner party where we entertained our best friend "Margaret" and wonderful friends we haven't seen in ages. I cooked for that party, so the table setting was much less elaborate.

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A table shot of the arrangement. I like it low like this. If our food hadn't become the center piece once we all sat at the table, this would have been a good conversational height.

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And finally, the last photo. We certainly had a wonderful time, though fitting eight people in our dining room isn't an easy thing to do. Scott made a wonderful dinner:
  • Fresh spinach and mixed spring greens salad with honey raspberry vinaigrette dressing, topped with almonds, dried cranberries, and feta cheese
  • Spiral Cut ham, cooked in orange and pineapple juices, served with a warm cranberry and apple cobbler as garnish
  • Balsamic Bacon Green Beans and Red Peppers
  • Sweet Potatoes with Walnuts
  • Garlic Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
  • Spinach "No-Fall" Souffle
  • Vegetable Casserole (for our vegetarian guest) with mushrooms, peppers, potatoes and more
  • 7-Cheese Crusted Penne
  • And you can't forget those fresh yeast rolls

Our guests brought the wonderful dessert:

  • Homemade oatmeal-peanut butter cookies with and without trail mix
  • Chocolate Covered Pastry Puff with Bavarian Cream, served with coffee and a choice of Irish Cream or Mint-Chocolate flavored liquor
  • Baked Sampler, made especially for us by our first-time guest, Katie

We had a wonderful evening, and of course you all have a standing invitation - 7 at a time please!


44 comments:

  1. Hi Artie! Oh, how beautiful your dining room is! The floral arrangement is spectacular! You're very good at this, aren't you? ;)
    Beautiful table and the menu sounds so delicious! Someone must have cooked all day! Yummy! Your tree is abosolutely gorgoues! You're making me jealous! I don't even have my tree up yet due to waiting for a new floor to be installed! Thanks for the beautiful photos of your lovely home.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia;)

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  2. ~A-ma-zing!
    You did this in an hour. You need to share your secret and teach us all. Superb decor' and the meal sounds beyond fabulous.

    Your camera is really awesome. The photos of your Christmas tree look like paintings. So lovely.

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  3. Between that gorgeous tree...and the stunning table...You wouldn't even need food! But with Scott's scrumptious menu...it had to be a perfect evening! You sure know how to do things up right!

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  4. What a beautiful job you've done and the menu sounds out of this world!

    When you have a chance, please visit me to pick up a Christmas Spirit Award.

    ☺♥☺ Diane

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  5. Wow Artie all beautiful and sounds like a wonderful time! Thanks for sharing the moments with us. You and Scott have a wonderful home!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog too. Isn't that little wagon cute, actually that sets outside a favorite shopping spot. I know someday I want an antique childs wagon too!

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  6. Oh Artie- Everything is simply divine!! And Scott can make a souffle that doesn't fall! I need that recipe- I finally stopped trying as they fell every time!

    Oh thank you for sharing- it is gorgeous- I will have to come back and soak in more of the detail when I have a cup of coffee in hand- right now it's time for bed!!

    blessings
    mary

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  7. Artie, you are such weaver of magic! Everything is just gorgeous. Your tree came out just beautifully! I'm so glad you put it back up! I love the new curtains, they look even better than you described. Your table is spectacular -- You worked some serious magic with the flowers and I love the floating liles in the votive holders on each place setting, and the centerpiece is to die for. The menu is making me seriously hungry. You, sir, throw the best dinner parties, and I wish you lived closer!!
    You've been missed, I'm glad to "see" you, my little pull=apart.
    I'm glad to hear you've been in the fun-zone. xo Isa

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  8. I agree!! Everything IS divine!! Artie you are absolutely the host with the most!! Soooo beautifully presented!! Every time I see your "jack of all trades and master of none" I sure wonder what the heck you'd do if you did MASTER a trade! *winks* I'm thinkin' .....world domination!! Lol!! You are a master at virtually every thing you try!! Silly silly!! Thank you for sharing with all us novices! Vanna

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  9. I'll take a double order of the balsamic bacon green beans with red peppers!! A great menu in an absolute beautiful room! What a great chandelier. Very period and perfect with the house! Another stunning job by Scott and you. Thanks for sharing.

    G in CT

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  10. Wow, wow...and wowee! The dining room could/should be featured in a decor magazine...truly beautiful! I do love the centerpiece...and it must have been out of this world in reality...Menu sounds so gourmet, too... ;-) Bo

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  11. Artie,

    I guess my invitation got lost in the mail.;) LOL

    Your centerpiece is outstanding and the menu was mouth-watering.

    But I have to make comment on your great choice in dishes, Pfaltzgraff, Heritage pattern. :) As a Bridal Consultant for a Boscov's Store, Pfaltzgraff was our #1 seller. And the company was fantastic to deal with, so it has a special place in my heart. The Heritage pattern was one of my sets too. I think I had everything available in the pattern, and could always make a great looking table setting with them. I left them with my daughter when we moved here.

    Thanks for sharing with us.

    'D'

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  12. Artie, it's gorgeous! I love it all!

    The menu is fabulous.

    Wonderful post!

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  13. Artie, I used to entertain all the time. I just stopped for whatever reason. You are putting me back in the mood. Your table and scott's dishes were wonderful. 5* And the tree was perfect the scale was right on. You did everything right as always. Thanks for sharing. vickydarnell

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  14. 'The winner of Bloggville Tablescape Tuesday' is .... Artie!
    The centerpiece arrangement is amazing! (Looks much easier, than done.) The additions of the softly draped table runner and single flower votives add such elegant touches.

    The menu also sounds delicious. 'Move over Wolfgang, there is a new Chef taking over the kitchen.'

    What a creative team you and Scott make. Have a wonderful week.

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  15. Hey Artie, Thanks for warming up our morning (we have actual temp -7 degrees). Your dining room looks so welcoming and warm. What a beautiful centerpiece and with Scott's delicious menu it sounds like a great time was had by all. ~ Robyn

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  16. What truly wonderful hosts you both sound like! What a gorgeous evening with your fresh flowers and beautiful tree. lovely!

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  17. Wow! Everything is stunning! Your arrangement on the table, the tree, the place settings, Spectacular! The menu sounds wonderful too! Sounds like Scott is an awesome cook. You definitly know how to entertain! Kristen

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  18. Wow your table is amazing...I want to come to dinner especially after reading what you had. i can bake so I'll bring the dessert next time!

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  19. OMG Artie... You are incredible... I loved your table it was stunning and the arrangement... WOW is all I can say... The menu sounded yummy... How about a couple of those recipes... It all sounded good... Thanks for the great post... your holiday decorations in the picture were beautiful...

    (((HUGS)))
    Donna

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  20. Wow, does that menu look delicious or what??? Your guests were so lucky! Your home and table are beautiful too :-)

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  21. Oh!!!!! This is the most gorgeous, ambrosial setting I've ever seen in my life. The centerpiece is utterly perfect, I can smell the fresh greenery from my neck of the woods. Heaven!

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  22. Artie!!! You outdid yourself, seriously! Ouststanding! I just wish I were one of the guest with that menu too...wow, I'm very impressed indeed!

    Buffie :)

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  23. You had me at the chcolate covered!!!!!YUM!!! Kathy

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  24. Artie, I am a florist and I love your centerpiece. It is fabulous. So is the tree. You have wonderful style. That is the best picture of a Christmas tree that I have seen. What kind of camera are you using?
    Your menu sounds wonderful. I am in awe of everything!!

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  25. Oh no Artie! You got a great deal on a white tree, then gave it away!

    I like a traditional big tree, ours is a 9 ft Bethlehem Lights tree, with beaded garland, glass balls and special ornaments. It's my awwww tree located in the living room. I have a silver plated ornament holder tree on the dining table.

    I also love whimsical trees, so I have 3 small 3 ft trees decorated in various fun ornaments. The little white tree is also a Bethlehem Lights tree. It has snow people, dogs, little pedal cars & tricyles. There is a 3 ft green tree in the kitchen that has santas & other whimsical ornaments. Another 3 ft tree is located in a corner upstairs & was made with grape vine & artificial greenery & has a miscellaneous assortment of ornaments. I bought it about 15 years ago from a craft fair but have added ornaments to the original tree. I usually have a tree in the bedroom too but focused on other rooms this year.

    See, you should have kept that white tree.... ☺

    Diane

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  26. What a BEAUTIFUL place you have! I love the white and green decorations and flowers....really pretty! AND you can COOK too! You are a very talent man...and it doesn't hurt that you spent some time in TEXAS! Look forward to keeping up with your blog!

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  27. Hi Artie,

    Thanks for coming by again...I don't mind at all if you steal the lemon & lime idea! Your table looks fabulous...I had my rather large dinner party Friday night and my menu was similar but my tables were not nearly as pretty!

    Coco

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  28. Oooo, ahhhh, Artie! Beautiful pics of your tree & tablescape. What fun your guests must have had around that table. Thank you for sharing in my Christmas tour of homes! It's just stunning.

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  29. Beautiful! That tree and your centerpiece are gorgoues! And your menu sounds delicious! laurie

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  30. Artie - everything looks so perfect! Your tree is beautiful = I am so jealous of all these trees!!! I WANT ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  31. So beautiful! Such a lovely dinner party. Artie, you and Scott make a great team! :-) - SherylCanadianGirl

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  32. Evening,Artie! I just came back by to see if you had any leftovers from your dinner party! I'm hungry! lol
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  33. Artie! It is amazing what we can do when we ...
    A. Must
    B. Desire
    C. or both !
    (wink)
    It is very clean and elegant. I like it :)

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  34. Artie, this is incredible.. Your tablescape is devine..and that centerpiece is a piece of art..Your menus sounded delicious. I'm with Sheila are there any leftovers?? I'm going back for another look at your beautiful room..hugs ~lynne~

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  35. Artie...it looks lovely...enchanting. Dinner sounds yummy too.

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  36. Beautiful Tree and Table! Oh...and the menu looks like it must have been delectible!!!

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  37. You both know how to treat guests, like royalty. Between the decor and menu I don't think anyone would want to leave, ever.

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  38. Everything looks lovely and I'm sure your guests had a memorable night!! Your centerpiece and DR look lovely and the menu sounded good even to me and I'm a picky eater - LOL!!
    Enjoy the season ~
    Lynette

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  39. Thanks for the visit. You home is soooooo beautiful. Very festive looking. Keeping our mouths shut is a hard one, a sharp tongue can slit your throat!

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  40. Amazing decor..... where on earth did you find that coffee table? You have splendid taste....

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  41. Artie, it's all beautiful. You and Scott have such a pretty home. The menu sounds fabulous.

    I saw that you live in Western New York. I have a friend who now lives in Fairport. I love New York it's just gorgeous!! Never been to the city and that's OK with me. :)

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  42. Hi! I came back to check out the dining room pictures! Your tree is so beautifully decorated! The table settings are wonderful, and great job on the centerpiece. I bet you did have limited space with all of the wonderful food that you guys served!

    In response to your comment on my blog, you're right those antlers are expensive! I was lucky enough to have found mine in the woods! It was even both sides, which is kind of rare to find! Good luck, and thanks for popping over to my blog! Stop by anytime!

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  43. Artie, your dining room tablescape is just beautiful, I love the soothing natural colors of it all. The tree is beautiful too, you have outdone yourself.
    I think your idea that you are working on for over your fireplace sounds great, you have a great "minds-eye", I say go for it! Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier and leaving such a nice comment on my tablescapes too. Keep up the inspiring work!

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