Sunday, December 9, 2018

Our Holiday Dining Room.....

Our dining room only has 2 walls and is open to the living room.  We rarely use this space but it is always fun to decorate.

A few years ago I painted this inexpensive gold tray and it sits on the table in the dining room.  It was the inspiration for my tree this year

I painted a few ornaments to match and tied some greenery picks to plaid bows:

Our 25 year old "pencil" tree  fits perfectly in the corner and I only had to move one chair!  I bought the large gold pinecones at the "Barn Sale" for only $5 ea this past summer!

The tray is simply decorated with a Santa, a large checked floral Mackenzie-Childs pick and some mercury glass lights:

I added lots of gold ornaments, some Parchment bows, and gold curly-Qs:

I wanted to "lighten up" the area a little more .... I added a table runner to the side table and a table cloth....

...and the reversible table band I made a few years ago (original post HERE):

And this Santa greets all my guests!

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Friday, December 7, 2018

My Holiday Mantel...

My Mantel is always a challenge for me to decorate as it is quite deep and the sun beats in through the window.  In the summer everything fades, candles melt and plants wilt!

During the holiday season I decorate it with silver, mercury glass and crystal 
(while drinking hot cocoa from my new Molly Hatch mug)!

It's also a challenge to get a good photo of my mantel....

...but in the sunlight it glistens and in the night the lights reflect off of all the crystal and glass!

The Swarovski Crystal tree is a special collection of yearly issued crystal stars and snow flakes.  This collection began over 20 years ago....

...and this is the 2018 snowflake.  The odd years are stars and the even years are snowflakes!

Battery operated candles are in the mercury glass vases:

The metal trees in the window are from Neiman Marcus and were a brown metal that I spray painted silver:

Silver bifold trees are sitting in front for more reflection:

In the sunlight there are "sparkles" all over the room from the sun and the crystal!  But sadly,  we don't get a lot of sun in Central NY during the winter.

On each side of the mantel are our Christmas stockings that I made quite a few years ago...

...and each year they are filled with lottery tickets, socks and candy!

These are a few I made for gifts in 2012:

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.....

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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Pesto Chicken Kiev....

When I graduated from college my 2 signature dishes to make were Chicken Kiev and Beef Stew.  I am not sure why that was so, but my friends came by quite often for dinners - then I discovered quiche and added that to my repertoire!  And that is pretty much what I lived on for a year or two!

I have made Chicken Kiev a variety of ways and recently I served it for a dinner party.  It's quite easy to make:

I sliced chicken breasts in half and pounded them to death with a meat tenderizer:

I spread home made pesto and butter over each breast...

...and rolled the chicken up tightly:

I dipped each piece into a beaten egg and then into bread crumbs mixed with parmesan cheese...

They went into a 350" oven for about 40 min....

...and they came out delish!

An easy and tasty way to serve chicken!

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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Cranberry Pineapple Salad

One of my favorite side dishes is Cranberry Pineapple Salad, especially during the holidays!

It is so colorful and tasty and looks so festive when served in Waterford Martini glasses....

...or cup cake liners...

...or paper party cups!

My guests have always enjoyed this salad....

...especially with a dollop of whipped cream...

...and it is so easy to prepare.

Cranberry Pineapple Salad
20 can crushed pineapple
2 boxes 3 oz raspberry jello
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1 chopped apple
2/3 c chopped walnuts

Drain pineapple and set aside liquid and add enough water to this liquid to make 2 1/2 cups.  Bring this liquid to a boil and mix with the 2 boxes of jello, stirring for 2 minutes to dissolve well.  Add crushed pineapple, cranberry sauce, walnuts and apple, stirring well.   Refrigerate until set.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Sonnenberg Gardens, Canandaigua, NY

The drive down this neighborhood road with trees that have shed their bark....

...led us to the entry of Sonnenberg Mansion grounds...

.... A quarter mile tree lined walk led us to the mansion

In the main room we watched the dancers.... their historic costumes.

The dining room table was set in china and crystal....

...and holiday music played!

There was a violinist on the second floor....

...outside this bedroom that was decked out for the holidays...

Who wouldn't enjoy a "sewing room" attached to their bedroom?

The living Room had 3 festive trees and a huge fireplace!

The grounds have huge gardens and are well visited in the warmer months... 

...there are fountains...

...baths, arbors, pathways...

....and fountains!

And by the reflecting pond there was a S'mores Pit - a yummy way to end the tour!

Sadly, the mansion needs a lot of repair....the paint on the walls and ceilings was peeling, windows needed cleaning, the decorations and trees were a bit sad, but it was interesting to see the vintage furnishings and read the history of the land!

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