Hi Girls! Come dine with me alfresco style! What a beautiful weekend it was, the sun was out , the evenings long and the cool breeze now and then made the 80 degrees feel like 75, just perfect! Summer is almost here!...eating outside, bbq's, and late nights by the outdoor fire place with the kids making S'mores, yummy! I also love squeezing in those girls nights when the food is more gourmet and the wine flows , and the eating doesn't include hot dogs and hamburgers :) Which was the idea behind this post...I made a table cloth out of one of my favorite farmhouse patterns and it became a great backdrop for all things delicious!
I like to put a few unusual things on the outdoor table to give it that cozy feel, and for me, that's bringing a bit of the inside, to the outside. Just grab a few of your favorite indoor things and bring them outside for a fresh look. I couldn't decide between the old "women harvesting" painting or the "french chicken" painting, so I brought both out and after a few minutes pondering , I chose the french chicken one :) I thought the girls might feel guilty about enjoying a meal while staring at women working in the field :) or maybe they would appreciate the meal knowing that someone worked so hard to bring it to the table?? lol, ok, that is just too much thought put into something, so that's why I opted for the french chicken :)
~ If I have a busy patterned table cloth, I try and keep the china basic and simple, but of course a little pop of color helps to pull it together, so for the 2nd course I used the blue and white china... ~
If you're wondering why the tea cup in the middle ?, I'll show you a great way to fill it with a delicious soup at the end of the post ...and the tea cup makes for a nice portion size in the summer :)
As you all know Inspiration is everywhere, I get tons of it from all the wonderful blogs out there and also from fabulous magazines . But , I also get Inspiration from those gorgeous catalogs the mail man drops off :) This is the summer issue of Williams Sonoma ( below ) and this particular color scheme was picked partly by the farmhouse print on my table cloth , and also from the "All American" feel that this summer issue has!
~ Before I set a table, I lay out a bunch of things and play a bit ....seeing which pieces and colors "speak" to me :) ~
Then it's time to set it all up and start cooking! I love serving chilled soups as a first course, they are so fresh and filled with garden goodies that delight the senses. This one below is a chilled vegetable soup, perfect in a small tea cup so my guests don't get too full, too early :)
One of my all time favorites is this one below...Cucumber-Avocado soup! and what a sweet way to serve it too... The good thing about cold soups is, you can prepare them ahead of time, set them out in ice and ladle them in when you are ready ...
~ If you click on the picture below , it will enlarge enough to get this delicious recipe!~
~ Happy Dining alfresco ~
A nice Summer menu: ~ Chilled soup and crusty french bread~ Clams on the half shell ~ Goat cheese salad with grilled chicken and fresh beets ~( serve with iced tea and fresh mint, or a nicely chilled Pino Grigio ) Simple and delicious!
Before I go, I had to let you know, My sweet and talented friend Elyse over at " Cottage" is having a gorgeous give-away!, so stop on over and see her pretties! But mind you, I want to win them! :) Aren't they so cottage perfect!?!
I hope you all enjoy a wonderfully delicious and beautiful week ahead!
Much love and Thanks,
~ Cynthia ~