My husband and I have been trying to eat a little healthier lately, sticking mostly to salads and light side dishes eaten together. Even though we aren’t eating a regular main course, I still like to set the table properly. It makes me feel like we are still eating a real supper (maybe a little reverse psychology makes me feel fuller with less!) Since the salad makes up the bulk of our meal, would I set my place with the smaller salad fork or with the large regular fork?
Thank you kindly,
Kudos to you for taking a healthier outlook! My family also enjoys the occasional meal made up of a main course salad and we are always happier (and less bloated!) by the time we have excused ourselves from the table.
When serving a heartier main course salad which can include some sort of fish or chicken in the recipe, the larger dinner fork would be placed alone at you place setting. The dinner fork would be used throughout your meal (except for dessert) since you have bypassed the smaller first course.
The smaller salad fork is always set at the table if you are partaking in some sort of appetizer and of course if a salad is preceding your main course. While the dinner fork usually stays at the setting throughout the meal, the smaller salad fork can be removed from the setting once the salad course has been completed and the dishes have been taken away.
With the mornings being as busy as they are at the Lemontree house, television never really factors into the schedule but I must admit that I will never give up a chance to catch a glimpse at the lovely Kelly Ripa and her enviable wardrobe!
Not since the legendary Lucille Ball has the small screen been blessed with an equally engaging, hilariously lovable and stylish on-screen presence like the talented Ms. Ripa. The gorgeous blonde half of one of television's most beloved morning show duos has the refined downtown with a touch of glam look down to a science. As a mother of three (and wife to one handsome devil!) she seems to favor classic pieces with just a hint of edge, beautifully showing off her ultra fit physique. Skinny jeans, fitted blazers and dresses nipped at the waist are regularly seen making their wardrobe rounds and of course, the 5'3 blonde seems to never be without her heels. I am always impressed by her color choices,whether bright bolds or sophisticated neutrals, she is one lady who knows what works for her and runs with it!
Beauty, brains, killer style and comedic timing bound to make you laugh your funny bone off, what is not to love about Kelly Ripa!
My dream of a relaxing Hawaiian vacation might have to stay on the back burner for a few more months but I will just pour myself one of these delights, close my eyes and start humming the tunes of the late, great Don Ho.
'Tiny Bubbles' anyone??
Hula Dancer's Delight
2/3 oz. SKYY Infusions Pineapple
1/2 oz. vanilla rum
1 oz. lychee puree
Splash of fresh lemon juice
3 oz. pineapple juice
(Orchid flowers for garnish)
Shake and strain into a rocks glass, then add a little grenadine for color.
Having a short summer season on the East Coast, we try to make the best of what Mother Nature so kindly hands to us. Spending as much time as we can outdoors helps us enjoy the warm weather and dining ‘al fresco’ whenever we can seems to be the ticket. As a family, we try to enjoy at least a couple meals throughout the week in the comfort of our backyard and of course since it seems to be the flavour of the season, we keep the meal simple and delicious. A light salad like Sweet Corn and Baby Arugula or a flavourful dish like Crispy Fingerling Potatoes with Pecorino starts our menu off on the right foot and we always follow with a scrumptious main course like Roasted Chicken or a divine Grilled Leg of Lamb done just right, always a welcomed combination on these lovely evenings. The fresh air and warm breezes seem to have a settling effect on the Lemontree household making for a more enjoyable meal, a definite plus when it comes to suppertime with fidgety little ones.
Of course once I get a taste of a good thing (and I love dining outdoors!), I have a hard time letting go so I try to incorporate the idea of outdoor dining whenever I can especially when it comes to entertaining company. Although I was a little hesitant at first (paranoia about my guests not enjoying themselves fully was at the route of my uncertainty!), I have come to find that entertaining guests outdoors is just as pleasurable for both host and guest as is the inside alternative when you incorporate some simple table etiquette elements to your meal.
Don’t forgo a proper table when you take it outside!
Setting your table outdoors should be no different than what you would deem appropriate for indoors. Some flowers and a pretty gingham or floral table cloth is just the thing to add a special touch to any table, indoors or out. Of course a pretty table should also be a welcoming table which just wouldn’t look right without a proper place for each and every one of your guests. You wouldn’t throw all you cutlery into a big cup and pass it around in your dining room and you shouldn’t do it outdoors either. A basic or informal place setting is all you need in the laid-back atmosphere of your backyard.
Save the plastic for the drive-thru!
Using your everyday flatware not only ups the style ante when dining outdoors but is the perfect way to incorporate a little ‘green living’ into your entertaining repertoire. (Flatware that will make its way back into the house for cleaning and storing sounds and looks so much better than cheap disposables that will make their way to the landfill) Want to give your guests an extra special treat? Take out your polished silverware and set your table in style. Grandma didn’t drag it here across the Atlantic from the old country for nothing. Make her proud and enjoy it every chance you get!
Gather your essential utensils!
Most of us plan our meals ahead of time when expecting company so take that lead and plan what serving utensils and special tableware you will need for your intended meal. Large bowls for serving salads and side dishes, a bread basket for those who indulge in the carbohydrates and the appropriate individual serving utensils for every dish placed on your table should be ready for service the moment your guests pass through your front door. To make it simple for me to round up what I need from my sideboard and drawers, a breakdown of the intended menu dish by dish is essential for the prepared hostess!
When a salad like the Sweet Corn and Baby Arugula dish is served as a first course, a proper salad fork should be used and positioned on the outer left of the place setting (see sample place setting diagram). This smaller fork should always be ushered away along with the plate the salad was served on, clearing the way for your next course.
A dish like the Crispy Fingerling Potatoes should be served in a large vegetable bowl or casserole dish. This should be served with a serving or casserole spoon. Tongs are another appropriate option when handling this type of food and are probably the easiest to use.
A main course like Roasted Chicken or Grilled Leg of Lamb it is often best to place it directly from your grill or cooking surface onto a wooden cutting board first, allowing it to rest before being carved. The use of a proper carving knife and fork make slicing easy and safe for whoever is doing the honours.
Any carved or portioned dish should then be placed on a serving platter and arranged in the most appetizing way possible. I love using proper serving platters when offering sliced meats, like the ones mentioned above for it gives me the opportunity to get a little creative with my presentation and it makes it easy for my guests to select just the right amount they want to eat.
Dessert is where I like to pull out the show stoppers and get a little fancy! When I dish up an après dinner delight like Panna Cotta, I like to serve it with an iced tea or soda spoon. This small, thin spoon with a longer handle allows your guests to keep their fingers clean while eating this divine dish.
These wonderful recipes, photos and more are courtesy of Oneida, one of our newest collaborators and we are thrilled to be working with such an esteemed bastion in fine wares for your table and home!
My brother is getting married in the summer to a really great girl that my entire family loves. My mother, older sister and I are hosting a bridal shower for her in a couple of months and we have run into a little problem. My future sister-in-law has been living on her own for a few years now and since she has most household items that you would get at a shower, she has suggested that she would prefer something she called a ‘money’ shower. Basically, instead of a bridal registry, it is added to the invitation wording that the guests bring gifts of cash instead of the usual toaster, iron, pots and pans, etc. The issue my family is having with this is that we don’t feel comfortable putting the word ‘money’ in the invitation (my mother is actually appalled by this suggestion, says that it is totally ill-mannered but has promised my brother that she won’t say anything to upset his fiancée). When we tried to bring up the shower subject with my future sister-in-law, she mentioned that she has gone to a few showers lately that were money showers and sees nothing wrong with having one herself. Before we speak to her about our discomfort with this again, I was wondering what the proper etiquette is on bridal showers, what you can and can’t say in an invitation and if this ‘money shower’ deal is in as bad taste as we think it is?
I can understand your discomfort with this touchy situation. Wanting to avoid any upset for your brother and his fiancée during what should be a happy and memorable time for them is very considerate of you and your family, not to mention how dear it is to welcome your brother’s fiancée into your family by hosting a bridal shower for her. Keeping that in mind, it is never appropriate to strongly impose upon your guests as to what they should or shouldn’t give as a gift, especially when the word money is involved, regardless of what some like to excuse as a current trend. What a guest chooses to bring as a gift to a bridal shower, wedding, etc., should solely be left up to their discretion. Mention of a bridal registry on a separate slip within the envelope is fine as long as it is not referred to within the main body of the invitation.
In this instance, to appease the hosts of the shower and the guest of honour, my suggestion would be to try and combine the two approaches. Since the bride-to-be would prefer gifts of cash and it has become quite common for guests to give money envelopes at bridal showers and weddings, there is nothing wrong with family members letting it be known subtly that the couple would probably prefer gifts of money as opposed to household items. Even then, these gift ‘suggestions’ should only be given to anyone who asks the question directly. Also, a bridal registry, traditional or otherwise, could be set up by the bride and groom with a variety of items in different price ranges for the guest who prefers to go that route over a monetary gift. A gift registry is still a great idea and quite helpful for guests who don’t know the
couple very well or don’t have the time and inclination to pick out the ‘perfect gift’.
We have taken on the daunting but enjoyable task of re-decorating our home this summer and I have had my eyes peeled lately for pieces that I can not live without! This darling armchair from Property, which is featured in the latest issue of Lonny magazine, is definitely one of those pieces!
Want to know a quick way to shave at least a few years off of that gorgeous mug of yours? A bright white smile is the key!
Dinghy, yellowish teeth can make you look a lot older than your youthful self should and can help cast a dull pallor to an otherwise bright complexion.
Smoking, age, consumption of staining foods (coffee, tea, wine, etc.), thin tooth enamel, medications, poor health and even pregnancy can effect the color of your teeth.
After my first pregnancy, I noticed that my once gleaming white teeth had started to look a little...well..less than gleaming. One quick trip to the dentist later and I had a kit in hand that bleached my choppers to their formal glory but whitening your teeth doesn't have to mean breaking the bank at the dentist with expensive bleaching products.
1. Baking soda has always been touted as a natural tooth whitener and can usually be found in most households. A little baking soda, just enough to make a paste when applied to a wet toothbrush, can keep slight yellowing at bay if done on a regular basis.
2. Eating strawberries will not only delight your tummy but has been said to brighten your smile. I have also read that if you mash up the strawberries and apply the mash to your teeth for about 5 minutes, it will leave you with whiter teeth. (Never tried it myself but only due to lack of will power, unfortunately I can't control myself in the face of those little red lovelies, gobbling them up seems so much smarter than smearing them on my teeth!)
3. While I swear by the kit I purchased from my dentist which I use about every two months for upkeep and a weekly scrub with a little baking soda, I have heard that some kits you can purchase at your local drugstore do a remarkable job (for a lot less money).
Do you have a favorite product when it comes to keeping your teeth white and bright?
The short period of time between the end of school and the beginning of camp is a mixed blessing in our house. No set schedule and ample opportunity to sleep in is always welcomed but the need to constantly entertain my children, leaves me exhausted and just a pinch irritable by the end of the day. My little ones are still at the stage where they expect mommy or daddy to join in on all the 'fun' (like the rousing and somewhat extended game of 'Musical Chairs' we enjoyed at 8:00am this morning or the marathon finger painting art lesson that lasted for three and a half hours yesterday!).
Before you knew it, I had packed a picnic basket with a delightful lunch and off we were to the nearest park! My children were fed and entertained in the warm, fresh air and my husband and I didn't get up off the picnic blanket once, a true success!
To say that I adore picnics is an understatement. When I was a child, whenever the weather was favorable, my parents would surprise us with a family picnic. A good meal, great weather and time spent with my family always made for a wonderful day and living in a country with a short and finicky summer season, we enjoyed every minute of it!
Later when my husband and I were first dating and then married without children, we enjoyed picnics all the time. We would alternate who would pack the lunch and relished in trying to surprise the other one with what we had packed. Our picnic lunches were always a romantic touch to our otherwise terribly busy weeks.
Fast forward a few years (and babies!) later and you could say a smidgen of laziness had gotten the best of me. Packing a light lunch, refreshments and a gingham blanket is one thing but packing diapers, baby bottles, strollers and the required toys along with everything else, is definitely another! Had I lost my love for the picnic? Well, no, not quite but as any mother of babies or toddlers will attest to, it just wasn't worth the hassle. My trusty picnic basket laid in wait gathering dust for a couple of years and I truly missed the simple pleasure of the picnic.
Last fall, just after the first week of school, my husband surprised me by coming home at lunch, the old picnic basket packed and ready to go. That afternoon spent enjoying a delicious lunch and a little vino was absolute bliss! How could I have gone so long without the pleasure of the picnic? A simple way to enjoy the fine weather and each other's company all while taking a deep breath and slowing down, if just for a couple of hours. I made a promise to myself not to let the dust gather again but as is life in Canada, before you knew it the chill of autumn had set in and the picnic basket went back into hibernation.
This morning's reminder and the wonderful time we enjoyed afterwards was just the thing to get me back into my love affair with the picnic, hopefully passing my picnic passion onto my children!
What is it that you love most about picnics?
Any inspiring elements you add to make your picnic outing extra special?
Need a little more inspiration??
Some fab links from a few of our lovely friends with their take on the picnic!
“I may sound old-fashioned, but I want to think all women should be treated like I want my wife, daughters, and granddaughters to be treated. I notice today that good manners—like standing up when a woman enters the room, helping a woman with her coat, letting her enter an elevator first, taking her arm to cross the street—are sometimes considered unnecessary or a throwback. These are habits I could never break, nor would I want to. I realize today a lot more women are taking care of themselves than in the past, but no woman is offended by politeness."