Monday, June 8, 2009

~ Alfresco ~

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 ~


Crystal Rose Cottage said...

Beautiful table! Makes me want to sit down and enjoy that cold soup!

Jill said...

What a beautiful post. Love all those gorgeous summer colors and the whimsical dishes.

Love how you choose to serve your cold soup, precious! I am definitely going to have to print that recipe off ~ thank you!

Enjoy a beautiful week!

A Southern Rose said...

I love the way you decorated with all of those colors. I like to set up my table outside too and I love to eat dinner out there. I will have to take some pictures the next time I do that for a post. I love to mix up my dishes too. That rooster fabric is beautiful!

Thanks for the info about her giveaway. I will have to go and check it out.

Lee Laurie

Anita said...

What a charming tablescape! And thank-you for including such a yummy sounding recipe.

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

Thank you; the soup was delicious and the company supreme!

Feedsack Fantasy said...

Beautiful color combos, comfy summer table, dee-lish soups ... enjoyed our visit ... everything was just lovely. TTFN ~Marydon


simply beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

Stacey said...

Cynthia, what a beautiful post. Your table is lovely and the soup looks perfect for a hot summer day. I'd love to try that recipe.

Barb said...

Hi Cynthia, lovely pictures and the soup is tooo yummy looking!

Just a wonderful post, as always.

Many hugs, Barb

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What a lovely table and wonderful soup! I love this time of year! We had a beautiful pretty that I wasn't on my computer! I love summer!

Heartfelt living said...

Hello sweet friend,
It has been a busy spring here but I had to take a few moments to stop by and say hello. I love your table setting! I think the french rooster idea was perfect and the menu is wonderful!
I have been enjoying family time in the back yard as well. I love this perfect spring weather too. The hot days of summer are ahead but for now ... lets continue to enjoy those too few and precious times outdoors!
Have a lovely week.

Ирина Синицина said...

Turned out very nicely! I like rural pictures also.

Unknown said...

Just love that little tablecloth!!!
Congrats to Kathy on the give away. What a lucky gal! :)


Amelia said...

Nicely done place settings! I have never heard of cold soup before...I may just have to try out your recipe. Being from Canada, I have only had hot soup... :)

Anonymous said...

What a Beautiful Post!!
I just Love Summer with the BBQ's & Morning Breakfast on the screened-in Back Porch!!
A-h-h-h.... Summer is here & the livin' is easy!! :))

Anonymous said...

Absolutely gorgeous, as always when you work your magic! Sweetie you know I'm on the next plane, so keep the wine cool ; ) I too love to serve a cold cucumber soup in the summer, but I can't wait to try yours with the avocado..Yummy!! Also I would have never thought of serving it in a teacup, again what a sweet idea!! It's always a treat to stop by your Blog sweetie, you are the perfect hostess! Xoxo, Jannet

Elyse said...

hi cynthia,

your posts are so full of charm. i just love them and i'm always so touched when i am a part of them. thank you for mentioning my giveaway.

i love the w-s catalog. they are always so filled with inspiring ideas -- just like your blog!


Just a little something from Judy said...

New recipes for me to try, new beautiful tablescapes for me to sit and enjoy, and soft relaxing music to do it all by. Once again, thank you for taking time to share this with us. It is a blessing in my day.

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Again just beautiful my friend...I always love coming by here for great recipes and you inspire me so this table and your photos are wonderful...May you have a great day...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Kathleen Grace said...

Your table setting is simply beautiful! I especially love the table cloth you made. Perfect:>)

Suzann said...

Everything looks amazingly wonderful from start to finish. Now, off to check out cottage and order my own Williams Sonoma summer catalog (don't know why I don't get one automatically anymore).

Ginny said...

I have that same picture of the old women it at an antique store but had no idea about it, or who did it or anything!
Loved the table and all the yummy looking food!!

Terri said...

Ok, I know I'm tired, because I read the title of your post as "alfredo" and though you had either a new latin man OR a good chicken recipe to share. :)

Karen said...

Cynthia! You sound like me when I told everyone about your giveaway! "I want them!" Too funny!
Great post. If it would warm up a bit here (we are in the midst of June gloom) alfresco dining would sound wonderful again. IN the meantime - we are staying inside until we see the sun again.
HAGD!!!! Karen

Unknown said...

Such a lovely table!


Lisa said...

Love it all! Super yummy! Thanks for the recipes!

farmhouse wares said...

You sure make alfresco look elegant! I love it all. Thanks for all the tips and that great recipe. sounds refreshing.

Amy said...

Such a pretty table setting! The soup and the menu looks yummy. I'd like to try the cold soup recipe. I've never had cold soup.

Anonymous said...

Pretty, pretty table, Cynthia! ♥

(We might just have to share that give away!) ☺

Sandy said...

What a lovely blog you have! First time here.

Rhondi said...

Your table looks wonderful!!

Cindy said...

Beautiful and tasty looking too. You have a way with colors, everything you do is so pretty. Hugs, ~cindy s~

Anonymous said...

Hi Cynthia,

You are definitely the hostess with the mostess!! Seriously, your style just radiates in everything you do. I miss you stopping by. Come on over and see my porch makeover.


Debra Howard said...

Cynthia, you never disappoint with your beautiful cottagey posts. I love it.

Mrs. U said...

I LOVE your place setting with the white plate and cup and the blue toile saucer!! So lovely!!!

Your blog is just so pretty!!

Mrs. U

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Cynthia...I left a comment..but I don't see it..I am wondering if you hold them as some do. That sometimes gets confusing. No matter..I just wanted to compliment you on your outdoor ideas, wonderful luncheon idea...and news of a giveaway! A very nice I already made one...just delete this one...

Anonymous said...


You are amazing! Very inspirational and I am going to try that recipe. I luv that red floral fabric as well! THANKS for sharing!


Elizabeth and Gary said...

Hi Cynthia,
Wow! lovely fabric and a perfect presentation. You put a lot of thought and love into your table and dinner. Great job.
Enjoy your day,

Michelle, All Home and Love said...

Hi Cynthia!
What a pretty table! I've never made a cold soup before, looks like something I should try!

Brenda Pruitt said...

You have such style for display. I really like how you put all your proposed elements out before you chose the ones you'd use. Gives me inspiration. You are an inspiration!

Angie said...

Such a beautiful table setting! I love the rooster tablecloth and picture!

Michelle said...

Hi Cynthia!

I absolutely adore your farmhouse style tablecloth you made. So adorable..and of course everything else! I must try that cucumber avocado soup. I've never been a big fan of chilled soups but I haven't tried this one...have a feeling I would really like it. :) Thanks for your compliment on my header. My friend does such a great job!! I usually only give her two words for an idea and she can make it all up exactly the way I like it! :)

I'm posting my giveaway tonight so swing on by! I know you will love everything!

Have a wondeful day!


Michelle :)

Allidink said...

What a lovely tablescape! I really like the tablecloth! Great idea using the teacups for soup! They are exactly the size of a cup serving at a restaurant! Neat!

All the best,

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Hi Cynthia,
Your table looks so cozy and I love your pretty china. I also like to serve soup in a cup! I find, like you, it holds just enough. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day.


Jenny said...

Cynthia - just exquisite as always! Sorry for my absence ... been crazy 'round here as of late. Had to stop by to see what beautiful creations you have put together. I'll be trying that soup this summer - looks devine!


Mimi Sue said...

Gorgeous table. I'm gonna try that soup next week. Love chilled soup.

Warm Autumn Wishes said...

I wanna come eat at your house, LOL! Its beautiful. Im going to ad your button to my blog. Thanks for a wonderful blog! Erica

Anonymous said...

Everything is a feast and perfect! :-) You are an inspiration and thanks for sharing :-)


PattieJ said...

Gorgeous!!!!! Just like ALL of your photos!!! LOVE your blog! You're such an inspiration!! I just started a blog, I am going to put your button in my sidebar, I don't want anyone to miss out on visiting your blog!


cottage farm villa said...

Cynthia,. another gorgeous post!

Pretty, pretty table setting ... always something beautiful for us to look at. Good luck with the new shopping blog :) Have a wonderful summer .... ~ Cheryl

Miss Janice said...

This tablescape is just precious and though I've never been a fan of cold soup...this one looks so tempting and just what I'd love to have during this hot season. Thanks for making your table so beautiful and sharing it with us:)

Maryjane-The Beehive Cottage said...

Hello Darling Cynthia,

What a sweet post! So good to hear you are having some nice weather, as we are to! Love the picture in your backyard. I need to start pretting up mine.

Guess who I ran into today? Ruthann from Sugar Pie Farmhouse! (Also her Hubby and son) I was thrilled and she seemed to be also! She is soooo darling! She had a picture taken of the two of us that she will email me! They are visiting CA because her son just got engaged!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Love ya,