Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

 Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!  We hope that you are able to sit down at a beautiful table and revel in the company of your family and friends.
 Seasonally-appropriate acorn napkin rings
 The dinner plate will be filled with the Thanksgiving meal.

 Mismatched but complimentary water and wine glasses add a bit of flair.
 The salad plates atop the dinner plates and chargers.

 A simple centerpiece using an heirloom pumpkin on top of a fall wreath - easy and quick.
Another easy centerpiece is garland - here there are 2 flanking the candelabra.

The Ralph Lauren matching tablecloth and napkins set 
just the right tone and mood for a holiday feast.

For fun, you can mix and match the majolica and tie in the brown, earthy tones of the chargers.

Happy Thanksgiving to all, stay tuned as we go into hyper-drive for the upcoming Christmas season!
In the spirit of the season, we thank you for following the A Graceful Table blog.

Tablecloth and napkins - Ralph Lauren 'Bountiful Pumpkin'
Napkin rings - personal collection
Water glasses - Pier One
Brown pottery chargers - Pottery Barn
Majolica Cabbage chargers - Bordallo Pinheiro Portugal
Turkey dinner and salad plates - Queen's Myott Thanksgiving Turkey

Monday, November 18, 2013

Jungle Love

The hush-hush surprise proposal was planned for weeks. Now that the cat (leopard?) is out of the bag, we can share the tablescape that we did for my nephew and his new fiance's engagement party!  Picture
This was no ordinary proposal.  The question was 'popped' on top of the cliff in Miller's Bay, overlooking  the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Accessible only by water, they boated across the lake while snowflakes swirled and the temperature hovered at 32 degrees.  This girl is a trooper in my book!

Nephew Mitch and his lovely fiancee, Stephanie
 Animal magnetism!


We decided to use a "love birds" theme, so the cast iron bird sculptures and candelabras were pressed into service.  A quick clip art search resulted in the banner.

We chose an animal print theme for the party, using complimentary and contrasting textures and finishes. From the rustic, earthenware napkin rings and seagrass chargers to the
high gloss plates and goblets, we wanted a lot of texture and action.

PictureTortoise-shell wine goblets finished off our jungle themed table, as well as
leopard print shades for the chandelier.

And, because we were really celebrating, the menu was a fresh salad with pears and a tart cherry vinaigrette, grilled Filets Mignon, lobster tails, and a shredded zucchini/carrot medley.  
For dessert, a caramel chocolate ganache tart with a shortbread crust.  

Seagrass chargers and earthenware napkin rings - consignment shop scores
Architectural chargers - Pottery Barn
Zebra dinner and dessert plates - Pier One
Leopard salad plates - Steinmart
Flatware - Pottery Barn
Tortoise stemware - Pier One
Napkins and placemats - personal collection

Thanks for joining us for our jungle love post!  K and K

Pear Salads and Potato Leek Soup

 It's fall, and our bodies begin to crave the fruits and foods of the season.  Pears and blue cheese are a match made in heaven, throw in candied walnuts and it's swoon-worthy.  We made our constructed pear salads by coring the pears through the bottom, then slicing them in thirds horizontally.  Set the bottom section on the plate, layer with mixed lettuce (a combination of red and green lettuces is especially appealing), blue cheese, candied walnuts, and minced shallots tossed in a vinaigrette.
Proceed by layering until you have a reconstructed pear.  Drizzle with honey and prepare yourself for the round of applause.
Please DO try this at home.  We did this for a party of eight and didn't even break a sweat.  It's much easier than it looks, and the results are worth it.

 Our starter course was creamy leek and potato soup using fresh, organic leeks, potatoes, and dill out of Gracie's Garden.  No other allium can lend a soup the velvety delicious flavor of leeks.

Leek and Potato Soup
3 large leeks, cleaned well and sliced
3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
splash of extra virgin olive oil
Sauté leeks and potatoes in oil until leeks are transparent.
Add a 32oz carton of chicken stock and simmer until potatoes are tender.
Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender until smooth.
Return to heat and add heavy whipping cream to desired consistency.
We topped the soup off with a drizzle of dill-infused olive oil.
To infuse oil, heat oil in pan then add fresh dill and sauté until crisp, but not burned.
Discard dill and drizzle oil over soup just before serving.
Bon Appétit!

Welcome to A Graceful Table!

We are  two best friends, both passionate about enjoying the small things in life that make us happy!  We live in the northwoods of Minnesota, and in addition to our love for designing tablescapes, we are both self-taught gourmet cooks, and serious growers of organic, heirloom vegetables in several extensive gardens called Gracie's Garden.  Come along with us as we share our lives and lifestyle on our blog, "A Graceful Table".  You eat with your eyes, and a beautifully set table can bring the meal to an entirely new level.  Join us as we design, create, cook, and entertain......

Saturday, November 16, 2013


Let's get started with a tablescape for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

 For our debut tablescape, we're setting the table for the Thanksgiving feast.  The individual centerpieces are stunning and easy to make. Hollow out a sweet dumpling squash (use a melon baller), being careful not to pierce the bottom.  For this arrangement, we used parsley, flowering oregano, mountain ash berries, chive blossoms, and chokecherries.  You can use anything that you can find in your garden or backyard, the idea is to be seasonal, spontaneous, and colorful.  Fill the squash with water to keep the arrangement fresh.

 For this holiday tablescape, we're using Williams Sonoma 'botanical pumpkin' dinner and salad plates. The colors are perfect for a fall or Thanksgiving table. You can have fun with wine glasses by mixing and matching colors, as we've done here.  We also have mixed and matched linens.  Use what you have and be creative! The pumpkin centerpiece is filled with natural materials collected from the autumn woods that bring the fall indoors.

Pottery Barn chargers
Pier One wine glasses
Ralph Lauren dinner napkins
April Cornell tablecloth
Williams Sonoma 'Botanical Pumpkin' dinnerware

We're partying today with