Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mother's Day: Grandmother's Tablescape!

Because my parents always come up for the girl's dance recitals in late May, I can't think of the last time I saw my mom on Mother's Day (of course we speak or face-time). My MIL, who lives in town, loves Sunday morning yoga. While she does her thing in the morning, its ALL ABOUT ME! This always involves breakfast in bed and lots of sweet homemade gifts. This year, I put in a special request that I just get coffee and gifts and do the cooking myself. They did not disappoint! After a precious scavenger hunt prepared by the baby, I got ready for breakfast guests:
The tablescape was inspired by some of Mr. 31-derful's grandmother's china. She had oodles of sets. This one was set for the chopping block when she moved to a retirement home. The "fancier" stuff was allocated to various people, while this Wedgewood was in the Goodwill pile. To be honest it was very out of style in the clean-lined and silver-hued late 90's. BUT in my family, Wedgewood is the fancy stuff and I saw the potential. I have no shame and I took it right out of the pile. Same goes for this lime green, lace trimmed tablecloth that nobody wanted. Fast forward 15 years and its cool again (thanks Anthropologie)!
One of my grandmothers also provided inspiration via this beautiful cream and sugar set that she wanted me to have when she passed away. She was giving other grandchildren entire rooms of furniture and china sets (at the time I kept kosher and would not have wanted her dishes, so she thoughtfully gave me this which would have only been touched by "approved" food). Back then I was still all silver and Nambe, but the gold has turned out to be so lovely as our tastes have changed.
I love this gold pedestal vase! It originally held an orchid given to me by a friend in law school. The orchid lived a shockingly long time and the vase is still going strong 15 years later!
I made a simple breakfast of Fruit, Bread Basket--mini bagels and pitas, cream cheese, Trader Joe's pastrami style lox (so good!), coffee cake, and this amazing Shakshuka from the NY Times. My personal favorite flavor profile is tomato sauce plus cheesy or creamy (think: Pasta alla Vodka, Eggplant Parm, Tikka Masala). This may be my new favorite. Start by heating olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add 1 sliced onion and 1 sliced bell pepper. Cook gently until very soft, about 20 minutes. I added minced garlic about 1/2 way through, though the recipe calls for sliced:
I added cumin, paprika and cayenne, and cooked 1 minuted. The recipe called for diced tomatoes, but I went with crushed:
I simmered until the tomatoes had thickened, about 10 minutes. Then I turned it off until my guests arrived. (One of my besties from Law School came with her husband and son. She lost her mom this year and is expecting a second child--I figured she deserved to be pampered a bit.) When we were close to ready to eat, I turned the heat back on and stirred in crumbled feta. Next I gently cracked eggs into skillet over the sauce and transferred the skillet to oven. You are supposed to bake until the eggs are just set, 7 to 10 minutes, but I went longer for our expectant guest. Oh my--it was so, so good!!!

The rest of the day was devoted to lounging in my Lilly for Target Hammock and then topped off with dinner at our club with my MIL. It was just perfect!

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