Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Let's Dish ~ Melamine






Just look at this beautiful table setting. 

Would you ever guess that these

  dishes are actually melamine?

Seems melamine is making a come back.




These Italian inspired dishes 

certainly aren't the retro melamine of my youth.




Each of these charming dishes are by Le Cadeaux.  

The Rustica sage green rimmed in red 

truly looks like Italian ceramics.

Layer in a Louis sage salad plate with a

Rustica cream cereal bowl to create  

an amazingly beautiful place setting.




Add some colorful floral napkin rings




With crisp white linens.




Doesn't this look yummy?




The added detail on the 

napkins is a nice touch.




Pretty green stems




Real ceramic fish bowls



Add to the elegance





Each a delicious color from the sea.





Friday, April 20, 2012

AMARYLLIS IN BLUEBERRY by Christina Meldrum






AMARYLLIS IN BLUEBERRY

By Christina Meldrum

Available here on Amazon

A book review for 

Food for Thought

a delicious blog for readers with 

an appetite for the written word.




Amaryllis symbolizes 

success that comes from struggle.  

The beauty of an amaryllis comes 

from deep within the bloom and

 thus represents beauty from within.




"The word "amaryllis" 

comes from the Greek word "amaryssein," 

which means to sparkle,"  referring to the bloom.  

Today, the amaryllis symbolizes 

pride, determination and radiant beauty 

- the kind that emanates from 

an inner source and flowers outward."




"In Greek mythology, Amaryllis was a shepherdess who loved Alteo, a shepherd with Hercules' strength and apollo's beauty.  However, Alteo only loved flowers.  He'd often said that he would only love a girl who brought him a new flower.  So, Amaryllis dressed in maiden's white and appeared at Alto's door for 30 nights, each time piercing her heart with a golden arrow.  When Alteo finally opened his door, he found a crimson flower, sprung from the blood of Amaryllis's heart."

Meaning and information above quoted from ehow.com 




Set in the mid 1970s, this is the story of a dysfunctional family, "a head-in-the-fog family" that lives with a life of deception. The father is obsessed with his catholic faith, and the mother is obsessed with the world of Greek Mythology.  Their three oldest daughters are named for the Virgin Mary, and the youngest named, Amaryllis, after the shepherdess who loved Alteo.   


~ Love ~ betrayal ~ faith ~ disbelief ~ redemption ~ 

fill the pages of this book.  



The Slepy Family

~ Dick ~
 the father, a physician, a devout catholic 

~ Senna ~
 the selfish mother, steeped in a world of Greek Mythology

~ Mary Grace ~
eldest daughter, both beautiful and ambitious

~ Mary Catherine ~
overtly pios, insecure, vain

~ Mary Tessa ~
headstrong, rebellious, eager to live for the moment

~ Amaryllis ~
youngest child who was born in a blueberry patch
a synesthete 
"who sees what can't be seen, 
smells what can't be smelled,
 and knows what can't be known"





"In a West African village, Seena Slepy stands trial for the murder of her husband, Dick, a doctor who brought his family from their home in the United States to do humanitarian work.  How Seena got to the crossroads, with her fate hanging in the balance, is told in a series of flashbacks.  Richly atmospheric, Amaryllis in Blueberry is a stirring, soulful novel about the intricacies of human relationships and the haunting nature of secrecy."    Christiana Meldrum



I read this book over a two day period, at times having difficulty sticking with it while at the same time mesmerized by Meldrum's dynamic writing style and the complex emotional drama that each new page offered.   Christiana Meldrum is a talented author.  If you are looking for a book that will stir your emotions, pick up a copy of AMARYLLIS IN BLUEBERRY.


You can find more reviews of this book below:


Thursday, April 19, 2012

A TEENY BIT OF TROUBLE, by Michael Lee West



A TEENY BIT OF TROUBLE

By 
Michael Lee West

Available here on Amazon.



A delicious peach of a book, this latest installment of Teeny Templeton's hilarious adventures hit the bookstores April 10th.  My copy arrived the following Friday, so I spent an enjoyable weekend with the zany Charleston pastry chef who is forever cooking up something in the kitchen and attracting trouble.




Michael Lee's GONE WITH A HANDSOMER MAN, introduced us to Teeny Templeton, a tiny Georgia peach of a trouble magnet who makes up recipes to suit her mood or situation. At the conclusion of  GONE WITH A HANDSOMER MAN,  Teeny had been cleared of murder charges, was in love and reunited with her childhood crush, and had just discovered an unexplained 10 year old from said boyfriend's past.





Raised by her Aunt Bluette, Teeny grew up on a peach orchard in the fictional Bonaventure, Georgia.  Now that Aunt Bluette is deceased, the home and orchard belong to Teeny.  It's no surprise  that peaches are a huge part of Teeny's cooking repertoire.




And Teeny's faithful bulldog, Sir, is right beside her.





"All I had left was the memory of romance.  It reminded me of the perfect peach pie, where your fork breaks through the flaky, top crust into the sweet, amber-colored filling and the flavors of summer melt on your tongue. "







Aunt Bluette's Fresh Peach Pie
(A procedure, not a recipe)

Buy or make two pie crusts.  Put the bottom crust into a 9" pie pan.  Peel and slice a dozen ripe Elbertas.  Arrange the slices in the bottom of the pie shell.  In a bowl, mix 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 cup peach preserves, and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour.  Mix and pour over peaches.  Dot the mixture with pieces of cold butter.  Roll out the second crust.  Using a pastry wheel, cut the pastry into strips.  Lay strips on top of peaches and make a lattice design.  Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.  Serve with vanilla ice cram.  Garnish with sugared pecans.






"Teeny Templeton witnesses a murder, she discovers that her lawyer-boyfriend, Coop O'Malley, has been keeping secrets.  And then even more trouble comes knocking at her door ~ trouble in the form of a precocious ten-year-old girl who might just be Coop's daughter.  As more lies explode, Teeny finds herself trapped in Bonaventure, Georgia, a zany "little Savannah," where she must gather DNA from a child genius as she tries to outwit a stalker, decode an encrypted diary, and fend off the advances of an ex-beau.  is forced to return to her hometown, and begins to uncover a heap of secrets about Coop." Book jacket ~ A TEENY BIT OF TROUBLE



Will Coop and Teeny survive this latest trouble? 

If you don't already have your copy, 

rush right out and pick up 



A TEENY BIT OF TROUBLE 

to see where all this leads.  

You can bet Teeny is 

stirring up new recipes 

in the kitchen and stirring up 

TROUBLE 


in her life. 




Click the links below to view 


previous reviews of Michael Lee West's novels.


GONE WITH A HANDSOMER MAN


Cooking w/ Teeny



Don't forget to join Michael Lee for Foodie Friday! 







Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Let's Dish ~ Earth Day Colors





"It's not that easy being Green.
Having to spend each day the color of the leaves.
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things,
And people tend to pass you over . . . "

Words taken from Kermit's Famous Song IT'S NOT THAT EASY BEING GREEN





No, it's not that easy being green, 

especially in the world of Quimper French pottery. 

The color green is found on many pieces as an accent, 

but for the primary color of this pottery to be green is most unusual.  

This tea set is one of my favorites, 

and I thought them the perfect dishes to share for this week's 

Let's Dish with Cuisine Kathleen.  






Green Hydrangeas and Yoko Ono Green Land Mums

This week's topic is The Good Earth 

in celebration of Earth Day 2012

I shared the story of this tea service 

and how we came to own it in a post several years ago, 

but with many new readers and followers 

I thought it appropriate to share once again.  




Others might have passed this 

coffee/tea service by without much thought, 

but it was love at first sight for "the chef" and me. 

It's a complete service for twelve: 

dessert plates, cups and saucers, 

creamer, sugar, and coffee/tea pot.






A friend contacted me in the summer of 2006. 

She knew of a couple who were downsizing 

and wanted to sell a complete tea/coffee service. 

Jacqueline, who is French and the original owner, 

included a note with the special story of this set.




Soon after WWII, she and her American soldier husband, 

traveled to the United States to begin a life together here. 

In the summer of 1946, on a trip back to France 

to visit her parents, Jacqueline and her mother visited 

Brittany and the atelier of Paul Fouillen. 

It was on this trip that Jacqueline's mother 

purchased this set as a gift for Jacqueline.






There were actually two sets purchased at the time. 

The other very different in color and design 

was enjoyed by Jacqueline's mother during her lifetime. 

Jacqueline's daughter now treasures the set that had been her 

grandmother's, so she didn't need this set. 

Lucky us!






Jacqueline told me that she carefully packed this set in her suitcase 

and carried it with her on the return journey, crossing the Atlantic 

by ship and then traveling by train on to Texas.




Paul Fouillen opened his atelier in the late 1920s. 

He is well known for his unique designs 

with both Celtic and Art Deco influences.  

The wonderful hand crimped handles on each of 

these pieces are glazed with a sponge technique. 

Though each piece includes the concentric bands 

of green color and the green checks, 

there are different designs painted on 

each side of the various pieces.







This magnificent tray 

matches our service!





A very thoughtful friend and 

fellow member in the Quimper Club International 

sent me this tray as a surprise one Christmas.




It was a piece from 

her own collection.





When she learned that I had purchased the dessert service, 

she felt the tray should be reunited with the set.






See, it has the darling dragonfly 

that is on the tea/coffee pot.





I've talked enough. 

Won't you join me for a cup of tea?




Sugar?




Cream?




How about a 

little something sweet?  




Help yourself to a plate 

and one of these little cake forks.





These beautiful linen napkins were gifts from 


I'd say these are perfect for Earth Day.



"I'm green, and it'll do fine, it's beautiful!"

At times I repurpose the tea service when I want to serve a glass of ice tea.  I fill the teapot with flowers, and use the creamer to hold spoons.  Don't you agree that the colors and motifs of flowers and dragonflies are the perfect compliment to celebrate The Earth?


Happy Earth Day 2012

Joining