Sunday, March 29, 2020

Napkins, Napkins and Napkins.....

I enjoy setting a pretty table and especially using fabric napkins.  My mother always set a pretty table and I often was in charge of the "place cards" when I was little.  This tradition was carried into my own family and now I enjoy seeing how my daughter set the table for special dinners.

Napkin folding has always been a fun way for me to dress up a table.  My Mom gave me this book in the early 90's.....


...and I keep this is tucked inside:


I store my napkins in fabric boxes I purchased at the Christmas Tree Shop.  I keep them in the guest linen closet:



There are so many napkin folding videos online and clever ideas found on Pinterest.

Here are a few of my ideas to inspire you:


This bunny fold is very popular and easy to create - fold your napkin into a triangle and roll it from the fold to the point.  Tuck and egg inside and tie tight with a ribbon or twine.


You can use a hard boiled egg and write a name on it as a 'place card'.


This is another bunny fold, a bit more detailed:


A hard boiled egg can also be ticked in for a face:


A simple knotted napkin holds flatware, great idea for a buffet:


Rose Fold is perfect for a spring table setting:


Another idea for spring is to create a bird's nest out of your napkin:


Fleur de Lis is a common fold and works well with a paper napkin, too:


This is a cute Rose Fold:


This is another cute fold to hold Easter eggs, or candy treats:


This is perfect for a beach or pool party - fold your napkin into a boat.  


Sometimes just simply tucking it into a glass, bowl or cup can add some fun to your table:


 Here are a few Napkin folding videos to inspire you;
 Many of these folds can be created with paper napkins, too.

Here are some cute ways to use NAPKIN RINGS:


Use a simple tassel, or a felt flower to wrap around a rolled napkin:


These are ceramic rings from Pottery Barn:



Think outside the box - this is a hair tie:


This ribbon is attached to the placemat and it ties around the napkin, silverware can be tucked inside and all rolled up - perfect for dining al fresco:


These are simple to make:



A napkin rolled into a bow is perfect for any occasion:


Large leaves or florals can wrap around a napkin to make it festive....


...any item that has a wired stem works well:




POCKETS:
These are perfect for buffets and dining al fresco:


 I found these at the dollar store, the 3 little slits hold plastic silverware and are perfect for picnics:


This napkin fold creates pockets:


These pockets are created from wired burlap ribbon:




So, why use cloth napkins?
They hold up better and are not wasteful, and they are more environmentally friendly. They are decorative and add flair to a table setting. A family of 4, using 2 paper napkins a day can cost over $100 a year.   Fabric napkins are inexpensive and you will have them forever.

Teaching your child the art of napkin folding might make table setting a fun chore for them!




Do you use fabric napkins?

Friday, March 20, 2020

Leftover chicken? Make Chicken Cashew Casserole!....

If you are looking for ways to stretch meals during this difficult time of self-quarantining and trying to stay healthy, here is a meal that I made recently and we really enjoyed it!

All you need is 2 cups of leftover chicken to make this delicious casserole!


Its made in an 8x8" pan...


and is quick and easy to make!


Chicken Cashew Casserole
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 T butter
1 can cream of celery soup
1/3 cup chicken broth
1T La Choy soy sauce
3 drops tabasco sauce
black pepper
2 cups cooked, diced chicken
1 cup La Choy Noodles
1/2 cup cashews

Saute onion and celery in butter until soft.  Blend in soup, broth, soy sauce, tabasco and dash of black pepper.  Add chicken and pour into buttered casserole dish.  Top with noodles and cashews.  Bake at 350' until hot and bubbly (20-30 min). 
** If you prepare ahead of time, do not add noodles and nuts until just before heating









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Thursday, March 12, 2020

Cake Pop Bouquet....


I am not much of a baker, but I love sweets.  This is a quick little bouquet of cake balls that I make every now and then for a party or to take to a hostess:


I have two cake pop makers.  I find these much easier to make than the cake pops you make by smashing a cake and mixing it with frosting, rolling in a ball, etc.  
My two makers can make 18 cake balls in 5 minutes!



Once the balls have cooled, I stick a lollipop stick into each one and dip them into melted chocolate, adding some sprinkles:


I like to wrap them individually and simply tie with a twistie-tie.....


I also add a leaf cut out of cardstock - you can slide it up the lollipop stick or tie it onto the twistie tie.


I buy a little flower pot, a square of styrofoam and some excelsior at the Dollar Tree to use as a base to stick the cake pops into:


I added some greenery for height, tied on a bow and it was ready to deliver!






At the last minute I decided to add a dozen chocolate dipped strawberries...


...and they were all delish!





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