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The Perfect Fall Salad

October 12, 2017, posted by Gina – This Walnut and Roquefort Salad combines crisp romaine lettuce with creamy avocado, crunchy, rich walnuts and roquefort cheese (a sheep’s milk blue cheese). Top it with a fresh vinaigrette and you have a salad with the perfect combination of ingredients. This recipe is from the Come On In cookbook from the Junior League of Jackson, Mississippi.

 


What to Cook Wednesday: Pork Tenderloin with Apricots and Spinach

October 11, 2017, posted by Gina – We love pork tenderloin any time of year but this stuffed version seems to be the perfect offering for a Fall menu. It combines fresh spinach with sweet apricots for a very moist filling for the meat. Finish it off with a wine and beef stock sauce and you are sure to make your family or guests very happy. This recipe is from the Come On In cookbook from the Junior League of Jackson, Mississippi.

We are providing a bit of a tutorial as you will need to butterfly the tenderloin. We promise it is not hard and all you need is a sharp knife. Truly, good knives are the key to ease in the kitchen.


Fruit and Cheese Fall Appetizers 2 comments

October 10, 2017, posted by Gina – We are sharing two favorite crowd pleasing appetizers that are perfect for Fall.  Brie with Cranberry Marmalade is a delicious combination of sweet and savory. The sweet and tart cranberry marmalade provides a delicious contrast to the melty, nutty, creamy brie. The Apple and Harvarti Quesadilla combines a simple quesadilla with tart apples and melted Havarti cheese. The bell peppers and green onion add crunchiness while the cayenne pepper, cider vinegar and brown sugar mixture perfectly compliments the apples and cheese. Both recipes are from Come On In from the Junior League of Jackson, Mississippi.

 


The Great Pumpkin Tablescape 2 comments

October 9, 2017, posted by Gina – We absolutely LOVE Fall! From the rich colors to the cooler temperatures to the comfort foods. We try to celebrate this beautiful season every chance we get and we did just that last week. Gina hosted a luncheon and we are here to share all the details. We’ll begin with this tablescape that is an explosion of all things Fall. In the coming days we’ll also share some recipes from this luncheon.

Here we see an overhead view of the centerpiece. Filled with roses, tulips, hydrangeas and safflower it brings that Fall feeling to the table with intense color.

Below is a view of the centerpiece as the guests were able to enjoy it. It is low and long allowing for an unobstructed vis-à-vis.

Our place settings were composed of navy placemats, napkins by Kim Duease Designs,  wooden Rootworks chargers, Spode brown and white china, Wedgwood Majolica cabbage plates, Annieglass bowls, silver-plate, green crystal and Lenox crystal.

What says ‘Fall’ more than anything? Pumpkins, for sure! Beyond our mini pumpkins at each place setting, we placed a few odd shaped pumpkins and squash on either side of the floral arrangement.

We hope this table inspires you to create your own Fall tablescape for your guests.

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Fun Stuff on Friday 2 comments

October 6, 2017, posted by Gina – Happy Friday! We hope your week has been as nice as ours. We are here to share a few of the fun, memorable items from the past few days. We are in the process of getting things together for a tailgate this weekend. Our tailgates are a lot of fun but we always return home exhausted. Make sure to check back with us next week as we have some nice things to share including tablescapes, recipes and flowers. Until then, Happy Weekend!

|  ANNIE GLASS  |

This past week we noticed that Annieglass Inc. reposted our Fall tablescape on their Instagram profile. We were so thrilled that they shared our tablescape. We used the Annieglass ruffle bowls that added the bling our table needed. Annie Morhauser is the founder of Annie Glass and is a true artisan. She had a passion for working with glass and showed her first piece in 1983 and she was seemingly an instant success. As you can see from our table, the pieces are truly works of art that add class and sparkle. Click HERE find out more about Annie Glass.

 

|  WALKING ON THE WILD SIDE  |

I am just giddy about the nicer weather. My walks have gone from oppressive heat filled events to pleasurable walks in nature. This past week Emma, my black lab, we out for a walk. We came upon a beautiful fountain and suddenly found ourselves about 2 feet from a family of ducks. We both froze, although I am sure for different reasons. Emma was trained as a hunting dog and, sadly, her owner died and that’s how we ended up welcoming her into our family. She has not seen ducks in many years but judging from her body language she certainly remembered them. To her credit she stayed by my side as I instructed her. The ducks floated farther into the water and we all went about our day. Take time to enjoy the Fall weather and soak up every bit of the sun’s rays we have remaining because the dark dreary days will be here before we know it.

 

|  DINING ON THE LAKE  |

This past week Mr. GDFC and I attended a fundraiser dinner. We were among hundreds of people and enjoyed socializing. Upon taking our seats at our 20-foot-long table that was dressed beautifully, we found ourselves literally 1 foot from the water’s edge. It was a very beautiful setting and the meal was outstanding. We found this particularly impressive considering the large crowd. The home where the meal was staged was breathtaking. It was a very enjoyable evening.


Fun Stuff for Friday

September 29, 2017, posted by Gina – This week has been a busy one and next week is going to move at high speed as my calendar is full. Before things get crazy, I am sharing a few fun things to take you through the weekend and I’m sure you can relate to some of them. We should have lots to share after next week so make sure to check back. Have a great weekend!

|    PUMPKINS    |
This week I went to the farmer’s market close to my house and found more pumpkins and gourds than I could imagine. There is nothing like a robust pumpkin to usher in Fall. I purchased some mini pumpkins and can’t wait to share a recipe with you. I hope to prepare them this weekend, so make sure to check in often next week because you won’t want to miss it.

 

|   WORKOUT CLOTHES   |  

I guess I did not wash as frequently as I normally do this week. I have a strange habit of using our bed for a clothes line and this assortment of workout clothes that includes 5 pants and 5 tops gave me such a sense of accomplishment. Not on washing them but actually working out every day this week.

 

|   HIGH STAKES HORSEPLAY   |
Son 1 is getting married!!! He stumbled on a dilemma when trying to decide whether his Dad or brother should be the Best Man. He finally decided they could both be the Best Man but that in the end one had to be a Co-Best Man. So, the only Diamond Family way to solve the debate was to play a game of HORSE to determine the Co-Best Man. I know, sports are a sickness at my house but they sure had fun playing this game and I had fun filming them. By the way, Dad won! A tough pill to swallow for Son 2 but he took it like a champ.

 

|    KRAFT PAPER BLOOMS    |
I am not sure why flowers wrapped up nicely in Kraft paper gives me such joy. They are so fresh and the possibilities are so fun to think about. For me, it is like opening up a present. Inspiration and beauty all in one!


What to Cook Wednesday: Eggplant Parmesan 2 comments

September 27, 2017, posted by Gina – There are as many different recipes for Eggplant Parmesan as there are stars in the sky, well, maybe not that many but there are a lot. First, Eggplant Parmesan is said to have originated in Southern Italy. As you can imagine a dish this delicious was tried in many kitchens and so it spread through Italy with various versions. And then there is American Eggplant Parmesan. It turns out that the main difference between American and Italian is that Americans fry the eggplant. Figures! Here, I am sharing an American version with a twist but I think you will really enjoy it. Give it a try and let us know what you think.

Enjoy!

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Cathead Distillery Tour

September 26, 2017, posted by Gina – A few weekends ago we had the opportunity to visit the Cathead Distillery in Jackson, Mississippi. Cathead started out making vodka but have branched out to making bourbon and other spirits. The tour was followed up with a tasting and one of the most interesting things I tasted was Pecan Vodka. Initially, I thought I would not like it but boy was I wrong. It turned out to be my favorite as it has a wonderful pecan taste and is very smooth. If you think you may like something a little different but delicious, you should give this a try. They also have a wonderful honeysuckle vodka which has been a favorite of mine for a while. If you have a chance to visit Cathead Distillery, it makes for a fun afternoon. You can schedule a tour online.


Floral Workshop 2 comments

September 25, 2017, posted by Gina – Last week I had the opportunity to attend a very informative and inspiring floral design workshop at the wholesale florist in my city.  Florists from all around the area attended and I was the newest florist there. I even received a prize for that honor. It was a very humbling experience as florists with 20, 30, 40 and even 50 years of experience were there to learn right along with me. I was very impressed that after all of these years of creating floral designs they were still ready to learn. They were very welcoming and it made me feel really good.

A representative of Teleflora was the host of the presentation. We also discovered that he owns Surroundings Events & Floral in Wisconsin. He was very talented and I was amazed at how quickly he created the floral designs. I can only hope to be that fast one day. He presented Fall and Christmas creations and I am going to share them with you. Please know that the quality of these photos is not great. We were under fluorescent lighting and I was far away from the presenter.

This is a classic urn design with fall elements seems to flow so nicely.

Who says you can only use flowers? What a beautiful arrangement made with apples, cinnamon and pumpkin.

The presenter put this wonderful Fall door swag together so quickly it made my head spin. You could tell that he makes these in his sleep. I think this would be such a wonderful Fall welcome on a front door.


This is anice arrangement but what puts it over the top are the cob webs. He taught us how to create this look using glue. It’s quick, effective and perfect for goulish Halloween parties.


The rose you see in this arrangement was actually made from ribbon. I watched intently but am still not sure I can master this just yet. Practice makes perfect, right?

The presenter took a tinted cube vase and turned it into this! I’m not sure anything could say Fall better.
This is called a transitional design because the metallic pieces give you a hint of the coming holidays. It would be perfect for Thanksgiving.

And speaking of the holidays, we quickly moved from Fall to Christmas.


The cardinals in this arrangement give it a fun bit of interest.

Succulents are still BIG and I love this dark red one smack dab in the middle of this arrangement. Simple but high impact!

I LOVE this arrangement. These are fresh greens that have been sprayed gold and I love them. They are perfect for the shimmer of the holidays.

Here is another swag that he put together at warp speed. This is a monochromatic design that looks fabulous.

Hydrangeas and Roses. This would certainly brighten any spot and I love the combination of materials. The colors and textures give it that holiday feel.

74907 – These table toppers are new and so very pretty. They would take any event up a notch and I have the source. I am ready to order these but I really need an event before I go crazy!

This arrangement somehow makes me think of Dr. Seuss. Memorable and dramatic. I’m not sure he was thinking Dr. Seuss when he put this together.

Shiny, silver and simple. I love this design for high drama! This would be a fabulous welcome on an entry table.

This was one of my favorite designs. I love the antlers, cotton, berries, wood and greenery. It makes you feel like you are in the mountains.

This topiary would be a great companion to the mountain design. He lit it with a light box which truly made it shine.

This gold and green with a bit of frost invites winter in. This is a simple design with big impact.

I hope you enjoyed this tour of the latest in floral designs. Our presenter put together far more pieces than I have shown you. I hope one day to be able to work as fast. In the meantime, if anything has inspired you here or you would like something similar to these designs, I am your woman!


How to Layer a Table to Create a Beautiful Tablescape

September 23, 2017, posted by Gina – We thought it would be fun to deconstruct one of our tablescapes and let you see how we put everything together. The table we’re using here was set for a Fall luncheon.

Keeping the color of the dishes you would like to use in mind, choose a table runner or tablecloth as your starting piece. We chose this neutral, rustic table runner to coordinate with our Fall tablescape. This runner was from Homegoods.

Select a charger that will coordinate nicely with your dishes as well as set the mood. These wood chargers from Rootworks reminded us of Fall.

Next, we chose a napkin to coordinate with all the other elements. This fun leopard print from Split P really helped pull all the colors of our table together.

It’s always fun to add a place card. This magnetic acrylic place card is like magic. We printed names from our computer and cut them to size.

Next we added the plates and glasses. We used Spode brown and white as the base and layered it with a pheasant salad plate. The tortoise glasses complimented the brown and white plates and certainly says “Fall”. The pheasant salad plates are from Southern Living. Tortoise glasses are from Pier 1.

Add flowers, silverware and any other serve ware you will need for you meal. We added Annie Glass bowls for a soup course. Make sure your flowers are not obtrusive. You don’t want them so tall that people must look over them to enjoy a conversation.

And here is the finished table, fun, vibrant and Fall-like. We certainly hope this created a memory for those invited to our luncheon. We believe that making the extra effort to create a pretty table lets our guests know how much we enjoy their company and friendship.

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