Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Benvenuto! (Welcome!)

Welcome to my virtual dinner, held in honor of tonight's theme at Let's Dish, hosted by Kathleen of Cuisine Kathleen.  All you need to bring is....your appetite.  Virtual, of course!

Kathleen suggested a destination theme for a tablescape.  I decided to go with Italy

I purchased these place mats from a very talented seamstress, Millie, mom to Ahrisha at Joyously Living Life blog.  I just love them.

This is an American rooster, but he makes me think of his Tuscan cousins.  These plates will hold our antipasto of prosciutto and melon or maybe freshly made mozzarella and roasted peppers. 

There will be pasta served at this dinner.  The set includes six bowls and a huge serving bowl.  They are by Pamela Gladding for Certified International.  

Stemless wine glasses from Pier I, about four years ago.  In addition to Italy, glasses represent wine from Spain, France and Napa Valley.   

This candle smells exactly like a fresh-picked tomato from the vine.  Made by Milkhouse Candles.

Pasta in great colors presented in a clear vase or cylinder  makes a nice centerpiece.  The pasta shells, conchiglie , are from Home Goods.

moppine (dish cloth), can help with hot plates and cleaning up those saucy spills.  

This dipping bowl will be filled with extra-virgin olive oil and seasoned with  herbs and a pinch of red pepper flakes.

Green checkered napkins from Home Goods.  

Would you like a white wine spritzer?  Pinot Grigio from Venezia and a lemon sparkling water from Italy.  Perhaps with a twist?

My centerpiece is from my fruit and veggie bins.  

I will have a recipe using something from this bowl later this week.  

This artichoke will hold freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.  It was made by my mother when we did weekly ceramics.

The paint, when fired, gave this finish which is really close to the shades in a fresh artichoke.  

Thirty-three years ago!

Apologies for the glare, it was sunny, then cloudy, then overcast, and my lighting is terrible.  This is the huge serving bowl.  I once had three pounds of spaghetti in it with a couple dozen meat balls and there was still room.  

Now a word or two about dishes that is not fun, washing them!  

First, these tablets for the dishwasher smell so great, and they leave it sweet smelling for a while, Mediterranean Lavender by Cascade.  I only seem to find it in Wal-Mart.

Sometimes I enjoy washing dishes by hand, especially in the summer.  With this dish soap, it is downright spa like.  Basil Lemon dish soap, and in hand soap, too.  Both purchased at Home Goods.  

I hope you enjoyed my virtual dinner.  I would love to entertain each of my followers and blogging friends. 

Stop by Cuisine Kathleen for Let's Dish and Between Naps On the Porch for Tablescape Thursday for really beautiful tables. Thanks to Kathleen and Susan for hosting each week.  

Pasta bowl set, Wegman's in NJ, 5 yrs ago
Stemless wine glasses, Pier I, 4 yrs ago
Flatware, CTS
Water glasses, Libby, many years ago
Pedestal bowl centerpiece, Home Goods two yrs ago
Dish towels, Stein Mart, several years ago
Napkins, pasta, dish soaps all Home Goods and purchased with a gift card I won from The Tablescaper.  A few other goodies will be in future posts and I can still shop some more!  Thank you, Alma



  1. Dear Barbara, your mediterranean menu is very tasteful. I like your tablescape and i love mozzarella!
    Kissses from Italy.

  2. Barbara, I think this is my favorite tablescape that you've done so far. I LOVE it!!! Of course, I'm sure the fact that I love Italian food has nothing to do with my reaction. :)

    This is so perfect and colorful, it makes me want to hop on a plane for Destination Italy. I love everything on your table. The place mats are so pretty and your centerpiece is great. I love your mom's artichoke, the green checked napkins, and the pasta shells in the glass cylinder. The one thing that especially caught my eye was the little bowl for EVOO -- love the little painted olives in the center. And your dishwashing products even look pretty; that would help make a dirty task more pleasant.

    Two thumbs up for this one Barbara. Thanks for sharing!


    Denise at Forest Manor

  3. Dearest Barbara,
    Wow, thank you for inviting us for your Italian type virtual dinner♡♡♡ 
    I am SO impressed with your whole work; so stunning!!! The pictures showed us every detail; well, if I have to chose I was fascinated by the place mats and the light green artichoke your mother made☆☆☆
    Great Tablescape, my dear friend!
    Oh, to tell the truth I have trouble with dish soap since late 30's and have to use gloves (haha, really bothersome). It sure sounds nice that yours leave it sweet smelling for a while.

    Again, only if we live closer :)))

    Sending you lots of love and hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

  4. Everything looks amazing collection of beautiful dishes and an amazing description of the foods. I'd love to sit down to your table.

  5. I love your table, Barbara. I would feel right at home there! Your collection of dishes are beautiful and I love that artichoke!

  6. Who needs Italy when you can dine at Barbara's!!! I just adore that artichoke dish that you made with your mom. And you know that I love that Heirloom Tomato candle along with all those dishes and placemats that are on your table. And you've got my appetite raging because...I started a diet yesterday!

  7. Pure delight Barbara! You make it so warm and welcoming. Your place settings are wonderful, but I think it is your SPIRIT that makes it something special.

  8. A very fun table! Makes me want to sit down, have a glass of wine and enjoy some pasta! Great details! Hugs, Linda

  9. Well, you've done a great job, Barbara, because now I want Italian food and lots of Italian bread! How sweet the little artichoke dish is, and that your mom made it.

  10. What a pretty table! You really caught the Italian theme perfectly! I love those stemless glasses, I have always wanted a set and your little artichoke is so cute. You did a great job on it.

    Hope you are surviving the heat!


  11. Hi Barbara~ ~ ~
    Thanks for the plug for my Mom's sewing. She really does a great job doesn't she? She has always been meticulous with her sewing and tatting. At 91 years I taught her to knit shawls and she is doing prayer shawls for the church.

    I have never seen a tomato scented candle. How cool.
    I love your china and was not surprised to see that it is Pamela Gladding. Her pieces are so different.

    Beautiful table and I'll bet your spaghetti and meatball recipe is a killer!

    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  12. Love your tablescape, Barbara! The dishes are great and so is the artichoke. Your menu sounds tasty too. Enjoyed your little trip to Italy!

  13. This is just so beautiful! Love everything you have done....and I learned you can buy a candle that smells like a tomato!

  14. What a fun fabric for the placemats, great wine glasses and that's the first time I've seen a tomato scented candle! Love it! And yes, I'd love to enjoy a spritzer with you-thanks:@)

  15. I'm always up for a little trip to Italy. Thanks for a delightful trip.......Sarah

  16. I enjoyed going to Italy with you tonight! It's my dream to travel there...some day! I'll look for that know I would love it!

  17. Barb, I'd love to join you for an Italian feast. I am intrigued by the tomato candle! Your new placemats are wonderful.

  18. You certainly made Italia come to life! Your bowls are so pretty. Roosters do fit with most tables.. so perfect. Thank you so much for letting us visit virtually! You're the best.. xo marlis

  19. Barbara,
    That was so much fun and all the visuals were beautiful. I swear I even was smelling the lavender and basil.
    Happy summer...and hugs~

  20. Thanks for taki g me on a trip to Italy. I especially loved your colorful pasta centerpiece and your ceramic artichoke.

  21. I love your table, and your artichoke! So happy that you're having fun with your winnings.

    - The Tablescaper

  22. Lovely tablescape, I like how you used your pasta in your decor. I have never heard of those candles before and I will definitely be checking Home Goods for that dish soap!!

    Thanks so much for sharing with us and I hope you have a wonderful night!

    Aledia @ Plum Perfect

  23. This makes me yearn to be in Italy again. We were there just a bit more than a year ago. I would get on a plane tomorrow and head straight for Sorrento. Thanks for the virtual journey. Cherry Kay

  24. Barbara~ I love the addition of the dried pasta at your table! Your artichoke by your mother is so dear and perfect for ladling parm! Thanks for the tip for the lavender Cascade, I'll be on the look out :)

  25. Lovely Tuscan setting. I will have a spritzer please!

  26. Bravo, or brava, Barbara! You carried out the theme beautifully, right down to your soap! Loved the description of everything too! Beautiful placemats and pasta bowl!
    Thanks so much for taking us to Italy, and for linking to Let's Dish!

  27. Bravo, or brava, Barbara! You carried out the theme beautifully, right down to your soap! Loved the description of everything too! Beautiful placemats and pasta bowl!
    Thanks so much for taking us to Italy, and for linking to Let's Dish!

  28. What a fun post this was -- so full of beautiful colors! I could almost smell the lovely aroma!! Oh fun, fun stuff! :)

  29. I just KNEW you were going to take us to Italy, and I'm so glad you did! We took a trip on Dad's side of the family instead. (Frankly, the food would be better in Italy. LOL)

    I think everything you put together is just perfect. The colored pastas in the cylinder are an inspiration to me and now I want to copy that.

    When you first said that your mom made the artichoke, I thought you meant that she made her own parmigiano reggiano. (blonde... blonde...) I was just as impressed at the cermamics when I realized my mistake.

    Great post!

  30. che bel pranzetto italiano!Con le tue origini italiane,certo la pasta e il pomodoro non potevano mancare!Che buoni gli spaghetti!!!Baci,Rosetta

  31. Barbara F.,
    This is a great table. I love that artichoke too. Parmigiano Reggiano would be wonderful in it.

  32. Hi, Barbara! What a fun virtual trip to Italy! Very cool to use the pasta as part of your decor. Those colored pasta shells are HUGE!!! I've never seen any of those! I love the way wine is consumed from a drinking glass rather than the haughtier (and harder to wash!) stemmed glassware we use here in America! It reminds me of "The Godfather" every time! Heirloom tomato fragrance? Really??? I wonder how that smells. Now you have piqued my curiosity! I'm going to have to go into town where they sell the Milkhouse brand candles to get a whiff!

  33. Thanks for stopping by The 2 Seasons. My grandmother's plates are by Homer Laughlin, but I don't know the pattern. Hope this helps.

  34. Beautiful tablescape! I did not know about tomato scented candles...can't wait to try one! I am now following you! Penny

  35. Barbara, You really got this one perfect. I love every element. Love the rooster dishes. As far as I am concerned, any rooster can be American barnyard, Italian or French. We just call it and that's the fact.
    My favorite item is your mom's artichoke dish. That is so precious to have.
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful table.
    Have a great weekend, Ginger :)

  36. This was such a fun post, Barbara! I imagined all the delicious food you descrived so well and then when I came to your description of three pounds of spaghetti and meatballs ...well, Momma Mia!!!!

    Your dishes, glssware, placemats, napkins and accesspries are all lovely!

  37. Barb~ I'm coming to your home for a taste of Italy! What an enchanting story you have spun through your beautiful tablescape!
    Very clever centerpiece!

  38. I'm loving this table and all it's elements, as I hear Italian and I get hungry inmediatelly!! I adore Italian food, almost my very fav..or is it?! I love your story while visiting and the centerpiece is lovely. Your dishes, place mats and all your elements for this destination are perfect!

  39. Beautiful! I love the plates and all your decor, really. Would love to join you for a spritzer and chat!


  40. The roster plates are fabulous, plus----really the whole table is great! (I am a chicken girl so if you get tired of them let me know)

    Cathy <;)

  41. morning! I enjoy reading your blog! I actually have the same stemless wine glasses at the one you posted. One of mine resently broke :( do you remember where you might have bought them?

    thank so much!

  42. Hi Sandra, I bought them in Pier 1 about five years ago.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...