Chocolates that spell, “I LOVE YOU”, pink Carnations blossoms in a Kenilworth U.S.A. vintage pottery beverage carafe. Spode caramanian red and white dinner plates layered on pewter chargers make the foundation for this table. The table is scattered with hearts made of sparkling beads and red berries.
For the past few days we have had on and off heavy rain and strong winds in the DMV area. Grey, wet, and gloomy looks like soup weather to me. I search my pantry for a can of soup, but to my surprise there is none! All I found were onions, chicken broth, and baguettes. These ingredients call for homemade French Onion Soup. I’m pressed for time with needing to put away Christmas decorations so I’ll fall back on one of my old recipes that is quick and easy (recipe to be listed at the end of the post).
Even in a hurry I always set my table! This is my Onion soup plated with classic blue and white Johnson Brothers salad plate. I anchored the plates with my white Studio Nova soup bowl.Blue cotton napkins serve as a charger for the soup setting. Cheese melted beautifully on the baguettes form a lovely brown crust.
Dark blue napkins complements the blue Johnson Brothers soup set. Mini Dutch Oven Cocottes are perfect to serve soup from oven to table.The baguettes were also the perfect size for the Mini Cocottes.
I accompanied the baguettes with Extra Virgin Olive oil dipping sauce.This dipping sauce is served in a white ceramic long handle sauce dish making it easy to handle.
My rainy day French Onion soup is served!
Village set and glass bulbs awaiting to be packed away.
Recipe for the French Onion Soup with a few variation from the traditional soup. Vegetarians can substitute vegetable broth.
In this recipe I substituted beef broth with chicken broth
Preparation time 15 minutes cooking time 40 minutes
1/2 cup unsalted butter (I used 1tsp)
2 tablespoon of olive oil
4 cups sliced onions
4.cups beef broth (I used chicken broth)
1 teaspoon dried thyme (I used Italian seasoning)
Dry Sherry 2 tablespoon (I used dry red wine)
salt and pepper to taste
French Bread 4 to 6 slices
Provolone cheese 4 to 6 slices
2 slices Swiss cheese diced
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Melt butter with olive oil in a thick bottom stock pot 8 quart on low heat.Add onions and stir until tender and translucent. Do not brown the onions.
Add broth, sherry and thyme. Add salt and pepper as needed. Let it simmer for 30 minutes on the stove top.
Heat the oven broiler, Ladle soup into oven safe soup bowls,place bread on top. Layer with a slice of provolone cheese and half slice of swiss cheese.
Place soup bowls on a baking sheet and leave it in the oven till cheese bubbles and browns. ( this happens in few seconds)
Remove from oven and serve . Soup is extremely hot.
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.
Poem by: Clement Clarke Moore (1779 – 1863) wrote the poem, “Twas The Night Before Christmas,” also called, “A Visit from St. Nicholas” in 1822.
The Dickens village collection I started twenty plus years back. In this particular picture I have a combination of Lenox, Dickens, and some antique houses in this collection.I have placed two lighted pine trees on either side to balance the village setting. I did decorate the tree with apples and winter berries.
The outdoor porch invites guest with an old vintage sleigh, grouped with lanterns and winter snow boots. I filled the boots with winter evergreens and berries (they were frozen from the ice rain we had last night).
A lone nutcracker watches over the village church. Dressed for the occasion, he has gemstones adorning his crown, a velvet cape, and his polished wooden boots. Mr. Nutcracker is ready for duty!
The Soup Tureen I used for thanksgiving is transformed to a centerpiece for the Christmas candy cane tablescape. I pulled out my green Christmas balls to fill the tureen and incorporated long-tailed birds. The golden long-tails offered to be part of the tablescape before flying off to the south to escape the bitter cold of the East Coast. Fresh cranberries and golden stars brightens the tureen and adds a dash of holiday color.
Winter birds were part of the tablescape. Mr. Cardinal stopped by before leaving for his Xmas vacation.
Autumn is the most beautiful time of the year. It can be described as a transition period from the sweltering of hot summer days to crispy cool days. It is a time when Mother Nature paints her final mural with colors of red, gold, brown, and yellow before it is erased by the clean slate of winter. It brings with it memories and anticipation of roaring fires, hot piping cider, bountiful harvests, and the holiday of thanksgiving with family.
I have laid out a Thanksgiving tablescape with a homemade table runner. The foundation for my runner is branches of Red Honeysuckle Berries. I layered this with American Bittersweet Berries and Lady Apples cupped in cabbage leaves. Not to forget a sprinkling of gala apples and miniature yellow and orange pumpkins. I used a variety of nuts to give the table a more rustic appeal.
After creating the runner, I added my center piece – an Asian clay planter filled with ornamental grass and leftovers from the mantel. I placed my Queen’s turkey plates on top of cobalt charger and for splash of color I incorporated my pumpkin dessert plates. I like to mix and match different types of plates to create a unique plate setting. The setting was completed by ceramic Queen’s turkeys (salt and pepper shakers).
Thanksgiving is a celebration of all the blessings we have received, blessings we have, and blessings we will receive. The best way to celebrate is for the whole family to come together to share a meal and give thanks.