Rosemary Sea Salt Skillet Bread

 

How many times have you been making dinner, a tasty pasta, or maybe a crisp salad, and realize the only thing to complete the meal would be a hot loaf of fresh bread? We know we’ve been there! Running out to the store is an option, but wouldn’t you rather have a steaming loaf straight from your own oven? Of course you would! Enter Sweet Paul Magazine’s Skillet Bread.

We’ve adapted the original Fennel Seed recipe that Sweet Paul posted, but the core is still the same (and still simple!). We found ourselves daydreaming about Rosemary Sea Salt bread whilst mixing ingredients, and we’re not ones to deny a good salty craving, so we went with it! We also kept to the same baking vessel (our Fiesta Skillet Baker), which is ideal for making this skillet bread.

For first timers, the key to making bread is giving your dough enough time to rise. A vital step is to check the expiration date on your yeast before adding it in. Expired yeast prevents the dough from rising properly, leaving your bread flat, instead of fluffy. And remember, yeast thrives in a warm, moist environment!

Are you planning on making our Rosemary Sea Salt Skillet Bread? If so, be sure to share your photos with us on Facebook or Instagram. Happy baking!

Rosemary Skillet Bread
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1½ tablespoons dry active yeast
  2. 1 tablespoon honey
  3. ½ cup+1 cup warm water
  4. 3½ cups all purpose flour
  5. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  6. oil for greasing the skillets
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. 4 teaspoons olive oil
  9. course sea salt
  10. 1 tablespoon rosemary
Instructions
  1. Mix yeast, honey, and ½ cup warm water in a large bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes. It should be frothy after 5 minutes, if not the yeast is dead and you have to start over.
  2. Add the rest of the water, flour, oil, and salt and mix until you have a smooth dough.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic and let it rise until double in size. This will take about 40 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  5. Divide the dough into 4 and place each dough into a well-greased skillet, top with oil, and use your fingers to flatten out the dough.
  6. Top with salt and rosemary.
  7. Bake them golden for about 18–20 minutes.
  8. Cool on a wire rack and serve in the skillet.
Adapted from Sweet Paul Magazine
Adapted from Sweet Paul Magazine
Fiesta Dinnerware, Always Festive http://alwaysfestive.com/
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

2017 New Color Announcement

We’re so proud to introduce our new color for 2017 – Daffodil!

https://www.pinterest.com/fiestadishes/Daffodil is a vibrant golden yellow that mixes beautifully with the full range of Fiesta colors. Daffodil lends itself to a wide assortment of creative color combinations, including the following:

New Fiesta Dinnerware 2017 color DAFFODIL highlighted in the Modern Serenity color palette - Daffodil, White, Foundry, Slate, with accents of Turquoise. | www.alwaysfestive.com

Modern Serenity color palette – Daffodil, White, Foundry, Slate, with accents of Turquoise.

 

Fiesta Dinnerware's new 2017 color is DAFFODIL, featured in the Field of Flowers color palette - Daffodil, White, Sage, Sunflower

Field of Flowers color palette – Daffodil, White, Sage, Sunflower

 

Fiesta Dinnerware announces the new 2017 color, DAFFODIL, featured in the Nautical color palette - Daffodil, Turquoise, Scarlet, Cobalt, Ivory | www.alwaysfestive.com

Nautical color palette – Daffodil, Turquoise, Scarlet, Cobalt, Ivory

Fiesta Dinnerware announces its new 2017 color, Daffodil, featured in the Wine Country color palette - Daffodil, Claret, Ivory, Sage | www.alwaysfestive.com

Wine Country color palette – Daffodil, Claret, Ivory, Sage

Fiesta Dinnerware announces its new color of 2017, Daffodil, as featured in the Field of Flowers color palette - Daffodil, Shamrock, White, Lapis | www.alwaysfestive.com

Field of Flowers color palette – Daffodil, Shamrock, White, Lapis

Fiesta Dinnerware announces its 2017 color, Daffodil, featured in the Harvest color palette - Daffodil, Poppy, Tangerine, Lapis, Shamrock, Ivory | www.alwaysfestive.com

Harvest color palette – Daffodil, Poppy, Tangerine, Lapis, Shamrock, Ivory

You might be wondering, how does Daffodil compare to other “yellows” throughout Fiesta history? We created this handy dandy graphic to show how it looks next to Sunflower and Marigold. Amazing how different they are, right?

Fiesta Dinnerware's new 2017 color is Daffodil!The addition of Daffodil makes it the 49th color in Fiesta’s history. Our complete color spectrum for 2017 includes the following:

  • Ivory
  • Slate
  • Sage
  • Claret
  • Scarlet
  • Poppy
  • Tangerine
  • Daffodil
  • Sunflower
  • Lemongrass
  • Shamrock
  • Turquoise
  • Lapis
  • Cobalt
  • White

Fiesta Dinnerware's 2017 Color Spectrum, including new color Daffodil!

At any given time, Fiesta has 15 colors. So as we add Daffodil, one of our old friends will retire – Paprika. Paprika was in production since 2010.

Fiesta retires Paprika as new color for 2017 is introduced - Daffodil!

Daffodil will be available at better department stores, independent retailers, .coms, and on www.fiestafactorydirect.com by mid-June 2017.

What color combinations would you suggest for our cheery new Daffodil? Share them on social media using #fiestanewcolor. PS: We’re on Instagram now @fiestadinnerware, so be sure to follow and share there in addition to Facebook and Pinterest. And be sure to check out our LIVE Pinterest party tonight, Jan. 10, at 7:00pm EST.

Fiesta Dinnerware's new 2017 color is Daffodil!

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Gourmet S’mores Skillet for National S’mores Day

Fiesta Dinnerware Gourmet S'mores Skillet recipe

When we noticed there was an entire day dedicated to s’mores, it didn’t take us long to grab our new Individual Skillet and try some sticky marshmallowy recipes.

We created a Gourmet S’mores Skillet that grownups and kids alike will devour. Warning: you might want to double or triple this recipe.

This spin on a campfire classic can be made right at home in the oven, which means it can be made any time of the year. And that’s just fine with us!

 

Fiesta Dinnerware Gourmet S'mores Skillet recipe

It starts with a layer of a buttery pretzel crust. We subbed pretzels for graham crackers because, let’s face it, sometimes after eating s’mores we’re left craving a bag of chips. And then you need something sweet again. It’s an endless cycle of salty/sweet. We figured, let’s just put the salt in the sweet and save all the trouble and extra calories.

Fiesta Dinnerware Gourmet S'mores Skillet recipe

Next is a layer of creamy dark chocolate fudgy goodness. We traded the milk chocolate that’s traditionally used in s’mores for decadent dark chocolate because here at Fiesta Dinnerware, we’re colorful and different. Our recipes are a little different too! The saltiness of the pretzels combined with the richness of the dark chocolate is completely divine.

Fiesta Dinnerware Gourmet S'mores Skillet recipe

The final layer is simply marshmallows. That’s what ultimately makes a s’more a s’more, right? We chose mini marshmallows, but you could use larger marshmallows if you’d like. The marshmallows toasted to a perfect golden brown under the broiler in our Individual Skillet, featured in the new Foundry cast iron-like finish.

Gourmet S'Mores Skillet
Write a review
Print
For the pretzel crust
  1. 1 cup finely crushed pretzels (about 3 handfuls)
  2. 4 tablespoons sugar
  3. 12 tablespoons melted butter
For the chocolate filling
  1. 12 ounces dark chocolate chips
  2. 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
For the marshmallow layer
  1. 1 (10.5 ounce) bag marshmallows
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease two Fiesta Individual Skillet Bakers or 1 8x8" baking pan with butter.
  2. Make the pretzel crust. In a medium bowl, stir together the pretzel crumbs, sugar and melted butter until all of the crumbs are evenly moistened. Pour half into the prepared Fiesta Individual Skillets or the full amount into an 8x8" pan and press evenly into a tight, compact layer. Bake until it is lightly browned and has a faint toasted smell, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  3. Make the chocolate filling. Place the chocolate and sweetened condensed milk in a heatproof bowl and set it over a small pan of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until it is completely melted and smooth. Immediately pour it over the pretzel crust and spread it into an even layer.
  4. Immediately place the marshmallows on top of the chocolate filling, pressing down slightly. When ready to serve, turn on your oven's broiler and place the pan on the center rack. Broil until the marshmallows are puffed and browned, 1-2 minutes. Removed from the oven and let cool briefly.
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Fiesta Dinnerware, Always Festive http://alwaysfestive.com/

Fiesta Dinnerware Gourmet S'mores Skillet recipe

While it’s still warm and melty, be sure to share this special treat with someone you really love. It’s a good thing this recipe makes enough to fill two Fiesta skillets! 

 

 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Just the Basics: Essential Dinnerware for a First House or Apartment

At the height of spring, graduation and wedding announcements abound. Many young people are on the verge of living on their own for the first time – or at least with a roommate or domestic partner.

That feeling can be overwhelming. What do they really need when they’re first starting out? Well, when it comes to their first dinnerware collection, Fiesta Dinnerware’s got ‘em covered!

When someone’s short on cupboard space, but big on style, durability and value, these are the first few pieces they’ll need to get going in their first home sweet home of their own.

Fiesta Dinnerware Sage Luncheon Plate - one of the perfect pieces for someone's first house or apartment. For more starter dinnerware ideas, visit the Fiesta blog at www.alwaysfestive.com.

The Fiesta Luncheon Plates are the perfect sized plates when there’s not much space for both dinner plates and salad plates on the shelves. Plus, here’s an extra benefit, they’re really good for portion control!

Fiesta Dinnerware Turquoise 3pc Bistro Set - one of the perfect pieces for someone's first house or apartment. For more starter dinnerware ideas, visit the Fiesta blog at www.alwaysfestive.com.

If there’s a little more space in the cupboards, might we suggest the NEW Fiesta 3pc Bistro Set? It comes with a Dinner Plate, Salad Plate and Small Bistro Bowl. The Dinner Plate and Salad Plate have a slightly different design than the traditional Fiesta Dinner and Salad Plates. They have a wider and flatter surface area and deeper rim, giving them more of a “bistro” or café look – hence the name!

Fiesta Dinnerware Scarlet Medium Bistro Bowl - one of the perfect pieces for someone's first house or apartment. For more starter dinnerware ideas, visit the Fiesta blog at www.alwaysfestive.com.

This Fiesta Medium Bistro Bowl is a great go-to bowl for nearly every meal. It’s pretty much ideal for everything from salad to pasta to stir fry to cereal. Trust us on this one.

Fiesta Dinnerware Sunflower Tapered Mug - one of the perfect pieces for someone's first house or apartment. For more starter dinnerware ideas, visit the Fiesta blog at www.alwaysfestive.com.

For any type of hot drink, the Tapered Mug should be on the list. At 15oz., it’s just the right size and it feels comfy to hold.

Fiesta Dinnerware Foundry Baking/Pizza Tray - one of the perfect pieces for someone's first house or apartment. For more starter dinnerware ideas, visit the Fiesta blog at www.alwaysfestive.com.

The Baking/Pizza Tray is a must-have. Yes, frozen pizza can be made on it, but that’s not the only thing. It can do double duty in place of a cookie sheet. We’ve shown it here above in our new Foundry finish (coming soon!). It has the look of cast iron with the ease of use of ceramic.

So, those are the basic Fiesta Dinnerware items we’d recommend to get started for anyone who’s moving into a place of their own for the first time. Fiesta’s a fun graduation, shower or wedding gift, especially for Fiesta enthusiasts who love to pass the passion down to a new generation!

And if you’re not the first person in your family to own Fiesta Dinnerware, or if you’re gifting Fiesta to someone just starting out on their own, then you’ll know the many benefits of using it as your starter dinnerware:

  • Even though it has a 5-year chip replacement warranty, it’s an investment you’ll most likely have for the rest of your life.
  • By using Fiesta Dinnerware, you’re supporting workers at a family owned factory in Newell, West Virginia, USA.
  • Fiesta is lead free and microwave, dishwasher, freezer, and oven proof.
  • Fiesta has a long history – 80 years – of timeless, classic design. It was as stylish in the kitchens of 1936 as it is in the modern homes of today.
  • If you’d like to add to your Fiesta Dinnerware collection, pieces are easy to find at thousands of retailers, including better department stores and specialty retailers nationwide, .coms, and fiestafactorydirect.com.

Essential Dinnerware Pieces for A First House or Apartment - learn more at the Fiesta Dinnerware blog at www.alwaysfestive.com

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Fiesta Spring Shelf Decor Ideas

Fiesta Dinnerware Spring Shelf Decor Ideas

Shelves are the perfect place to display your personal style, photos of loved ones and favorite collections. And if you’re browsing the Fiesta Dinnerware blog, we have a sneaking suspicion about what one of your favorite collections might be.

Spring is a great time to freshen your shelves up with a new look. We styled our shelves three different ways to give you some inspiration for the season.

Palm Springs

Fiesta Dinnerware Spring Shelf Decor Ideas

Palm Springs is having a comeback moment right now. What’s not to love about all the colorful architecture Palm Springs is known for? And so many interesting desert plants! We centered this design around a fun “Butterfly House” print we found on Etsy.*

Fiesta Dinnerware Spring Shelf Decor Ideas

We combined vibrant colors like Poppy, Tangerine, Sunflower, and Claret (available in June 2016), inspired by the whimsical colorful front doors sprinkled all throughout the neighborhoods of Palm Springs. Then we added Lemongrass and Shamrock in honor of the beautiful succulents of the desert. Don’t forget some touches of gold, because let’s face it, you can’t have Palm Springs without some bling.

Fiesta Dinnerware Spring Shelf Decor Ideas

Botanical

Fiesta Dinnerware Spring Shelf Decor Ideas

The botanical theme is one you might be seeing in all the design blogs and magazines this season. Why not try it out in your spring shelf design? To achieve this look, think lush greenery, jewel tones and natural wood.

Fiesta Dinnerware Spring Shelf Decor Ideas

We used a “Tropical Banana Leaf Art Print” from Etsy* combined with actual banana leaves and a banana leaf bowl. Then we added some basket weave items, a hand-carved wooden bowl and a pop of metallic with some copper Moscow mule mugs. Next, of course, we displayed a glorious range of rich hued Fiesta Dinnerware in Claret, Turquoise, Sage, Lapis, and Cobalt.

Retro Kitchen

Fiesta Dinnerware Spring Shelf Decor Ideas

Spring has us thinking ice cream and ice cream has us thinking vintage kitchens. So that’s the inspiration for our spring shelfie #3.

Fiesta Dinnerware Spring Shelf Decor Ideas

We found this cute replication ice cream sign at a hobby store. We combined Claret, Turquoise, Scarlet, Slate, and Ivory Fiesta Dinnerware for a classic retro kitchen look. A simple red tray holds a sweet little gingham trimmed basket filled with red and white paper straws and Fiesta flatware. A milkshake mixer and soda glasses complete the theme.

Need some more tips on how to get the perfect look when styling your shelves? Refer back to our former blog post How to Style the Perfect #Shelfie. Now, we want to see your Fiesta shelves. Be sure to share your photos on the Fiesta Facebook page.

*Art is published with permission from the artists. Please visit links to purchase and download prints.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Shrimp & Grits Recipe

Shrimp and Grits Recipe from Fiesta Dinnerware at the blog www.alwaysfestive.com.Mardi Gras is coming next Tuesday and to celebrate, we thought it only fitting to share a true southern classic recipe, Shrimp and Grits. We found a recipe posted by one of our favorite bloggers, David Leite, from the blog Leite’s Culinaria. One look at David’s many blog posts or Instagram page and you’ll see he’s an avid Fiesta collector, so we’re always happy to support one of our own! 

Shrimp and Grits Recipe from Fiesta Dinnerware at the blog www.alwaysfestive.com.This recipe David adapted from the true southern belle herself, Paula Deen, so you know it’s full of cheese, butter and bacon, y’all. And that just means it’s absolutely delicious! There’s a slight tang of lemon balanced out with some garlic, parsley and green onion. Trust us, this is how you want to celebrate your Fat Tuesday. It is the ultimate decadence. 

We filled our little Fiesta Ramekins with individual servings. And there’s plenty for seconds, or thirds, in the 90oz Large Covered Casserole

Shrimp and Grits Recipe from Fiesta Dinnerware at the blog www.alwaysfestive.com.So, run on over to Leite’s Culinaria and check out the recipe here. And if you make it yourself, let us know what you think! Also, be sure to share some recipes you like to make to celebrate Mardi Gras. We’d love to hear from you.

Shrimp and Grits Recipe from Fiesta Dinnerware at the blog www.alwaysfestive.com.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Healthy New Years Eve Appetizers

New Years Eve

The Holidays are no doubt a delicious time of year. It can be hard to not feel like the Grinch when your friends, family or co-workers offer you yummy treats and sweets during the holidays, especially if they are really proud of their creations, so of course we have to do the polite thing and try out that cookie, cake or casserole! But after almost two months of indulging (That’s a lot of cookies and cake!) ourselves, we thought that it would be fun to lighten up some of our favorite dishes for NYE.

Lasagna VS. Zucchini Lasagna Rolls

Zuchinni-Roll-Ups

 

Of course you love lasagna! What’s not to love? Cheese, noodles, more cheese and zesty tomato sauce…yum. So we decided to swap out the lasagna noodles for zucchini. Then we rolled them up and baked them making for the perfect bite sized treat to have either as an appetizer or several for a little dinner treat—perfect for a NYE appetizer. We kept the sauce on the side as well to cut out any additional calories or to control your own portions and taste.

The recipe is so easy, just prepare ricotta cheese and spices as you would for regular lasagna. Bake or grill slices of zucchini with salt, pepper and olive oil before you roll them and bake them. We made ours to be a bit like the recipe from Recipe Runner, except ours are bite sized meant for appetizers and we left out the turkey sausage. We used bread trays to serve the appetizers and appetizer plates due to their perfect portion size for individual plates.

Zuchinni-on-Appetizer-Plate

 

Sriracha Shrimp Taco VS. Sriracha Shrimp Taco Bites

Shrimp-Taco-Cups

Sometimes the most important thing about eating healthy is portion control. After all, we love the idea of still being able to eat what our heart desires, especially when socializing during the holiday season.

With this New Year’s Eve appetizer, we basically cut the portion in thirds compared to a regular shrimp taco by getting rid of the tortilla and switching out the sour cream for a nonfat greek yogurt and avocado sauce for the creaminess. Instead of the corn tortilla we used multigrain baked dip chips as our base to hold the ingredients. Then we assembled the little chip cup with some shredded lettuce, a small dollop of the avocado yogurt sauce (recipe at the end of this blog post) a single shrimp topped with cilantro, tomatoes and a little sriracha sauce for a kick. Trust us, it’s wonderful with the creaminess of the yogurt avocado sauce.

Shrimp-Taco-Cups-on-Bread-Tray

Italian Sodas

Italian-Soda-Bar

Aside from portion control, sometimes you can cut back on certain ingredients when making your favorite snack or in this case drink. Italian Sodas are a fun treat for a NYE party. They aren’t something that most people have everyday and they are so easy to make. We loosely followed this recipe from A Cozy Kitchen, but swapped out the fruit syrup for sugar free syrup and used coconut milk instead of half and half, then offered a low calorie whipped cream on the side to use at your own discretion.

Full-Soda-Bar

So, whether you decide to spike your Italian soda or drink it sans alcohol, we came up with a lighter version we hope you try and enjoy.

Enjoy-a-Soda-Bar

Dessert

Clementines-Dipped-in-Choclate-with-Sea-Salt

We know how it starts. One cookie, leads to a bite of fudge, which leads to a small slice of cake and then just like that you’ve had multiple servings of dessert. We love this idea of fresh fruit dipped in chocolate! Of course you’ve had chocolate covered strawberries plenty of times, but how about chocolate dipped clementines with a sprinkles of sea salt? They offer the indulgence of chocolate with a bit of the salty fix mixed with fresh fruit. These sweet little dare we say healthy treats are a wonderful way to cut calories while still enjoying dessert.

This dessert was simple to make. Melt, chocolate melting chips in the microwave and stir every 30 seconds as it melts, then dip half of a clementine in the chocolate. Sprinkle coarse sea salt over the tops then pop in the fridge to let the chocolate harden, then enjoy! We placed these beauties on a small Turquoise oval platter to compliment the orange color of the clementines.

Cheers to a happy and healthy 2016!

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

A Sweet New Years Eve

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

I can’t believe it’s almost 2016? Where did this year go!?

The life cycle of the New Year’s Eve celebration began with watching Dick Clark in Times Square and counting down for the ball drop, then it was all about the party which eventually gave way to sitting up with brave kids who couldn’t quite make it to midnight. Now, we love to gather with friends, play cards, and enjoy yummy food while we ring in the New Year. Does this sound like your NYE? How do you celebrate?

This year is especially exciting since we’ll have our family home. I hope the games run past midnight and the conversation even longer. No celebration at our house would be complete without a dessert table with a treat for everyone.

hlc-new-years-table-2015-921

 

When Fiesta Dinnerware introduced Slate, I fell in love! It’s classy and timeless and incredibly adaptive. It was very easy to reach for the White and Slate with an accent of Turquoise; it’s a classic combination that works every time, the unanticipated bonus? It was so much fun creating only black and white desserts! Establishing these parameters was a terrific exercise in producing a cohesive and delicious dessert table for a new years eve.

Without a doubt, the star of this dessert table is the Three Tier Server in Turquoise, and why not? It’s gorgeous. This dramatic piece can be used in so many ways. From all three plates to just one plate or combining different colors of servers makes this piece one of my favorites.

Choosing which sweets to place on each tier, I went by size: smaller items on top and the largest desserts on the bottom. It looks good and feels like a natural choice. Coconut and almond bonbons on the top shelf are creamy and delicious. I baked the brownies and piped on cream cheese frosting then paired them with white chocolate covered pretzels. Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream and Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream anchor the base.

The sparkly snowflake on top came from a local art supply shop; I love how it looks and compliments the piece.

hlc-new-years-2015-769

 

When I visit with friends, sometimes they tell me, they can’t make a dessert table for a party or say they just don’t have time to make all those sweets from scratch. Well, neither do I!

It’s totally acceptable to mix store bought favorites with homemade dishes. Hosting a party is more about genuinely welcoming guests and not standing in the stress of desserts.

Let’s take a look…

hlc-new-years-2015-770

I love the versatility of the Omni Serving Trays – I don’t have to present four sections if what I really need is two. Also, every component of this presentation is store bought – graham crackers, bonbons, and sandwich cookies. And each one is a favorite – that’s a win!

I wasn’t sure how the dark cookies would look in a dark tray, but it totally works. It was fun finding a bonbon wrapped in Turquoise and knew instantly it would be the star of the Omni trays.

As I shared before, popcorn balls are the hot hot hot dessert right now. A variation on that is caramel corn, but I wanted to stay with the color scheme of black and white, so what did I do?

Say hello to my Popcorn and Oreo Gooey Delight.

It was too easy. I popped about ¾ cup white popcorn kernels (I use a hot air popper) and poured onto a baking sheet (with 1” sides). It broke my heart to deliberately break 1 sleeve of cookies and scatter over the popcorn. I melted 4T of butter in a pan, added a bag of marshmallows. Working quickly, I poured the melted marshmallows over the popcorn/cookie mix and using my bare hands (coated liberally with butter – the mix is hot, give yourself permission to use a wooden spoon, wear gloves, wait a moment, etc), I stirred until I couldn’t effectively combine any longer.

Caution: Your mileage may vary, but contents are likely to disappear upon impact.

hlc-new-years-2015-780

The White Pie Plate is sitting on top of a White Bouillon Bowl – it’s a perfect way to raise something off the surface of the table to create visual balance. These two pieces go well together based on shape, size, and silhouette.

When thinking about a theme, clocks felt like a natural choice, to symbolize the passing of time. When I was visiting my BFF in Missouri, we spent the better part of a day visiting antique malls in the area. She took me to lunch and we never stopped laughing. We spotted this larger vintage clock and knew right away I need to bring it home with me. The tag was marked, “as is”, I didn’t need it to work and the price reflected its condition. Unfortunately, a clerk wound it up and it started to tick and was still ticking as I drove myself to the airport. How does this happen with a broken clock? I love my life!

If you don’t have a BFF, find one. My life partner is everything to me. And my best girlfriend tells me when my slip is showing.

hlc-new-years-2015-932

And why not add more clock faces? How about on a cake?! I love a fancy cake. Most of my layer cakes have a simple, rustic but appealing look to them. Rosettes are so lovely for special celebrations and New Year’s Eve is one such occasion.

This triple-layer Vanilla Bean Cake is filled with vanilla buttercream tinted black. Since I already had chocolate cupcakes on the table, I didn’t want to add another chocolate cake. The vanilla is crazy good and worth it to process the whole bean. And I’m in love with this cake!

The roses are made using a large open-star piping tip. I start in the center, draw the buttercream over to the 3 o’clock position, and then continue in a counter-clockwise circle until I reach the 4. Overlapping the roses just a wee bit ensures complete coverage of the crumb coat.

hlc-new-years-2015-777

 

Because things don’t always work out, my plan for Panda Cupcakes became Panda Inspired Cupcakes. I lost my panda googly eyes, which were found immediately upon completion of the photo shoot, of course. I’m sold on the look.You see pandas, right?

 

hlc-new-years-2015-952

I don’t always prepare party favors or take-home gifts, but I did this time. These little jars are stellar! There is 5.5 Tablespoons of M&Ms in each jar, which becomes the perfect snack for the bus/car/tram on the way home.

We were traveling recently and made it a point to stop in a candy store that offers every color of M&M candies. So an ombre of fun was designed.

After I got these made, I tried several different types of bows/ribbon/string – but nothing worked. I think the ombre look is bold enough and doesn’t need anything else.

How adorable is this for a wedding/shower/birthday party favor?

Go green – reuse it.

hlc-new-years-2015-786

 

All of the food – delicious! While your guests prepare their own plates, enjoy your own party. It’s a win having friends and family who like spending time together.

hlc-new-years-2015-874

How I use my Fiesta Dinnerware on a daily basis is influenced by what I’m doing – fancy or every day, the Medium Flared Vase is a staple. We have this vase on our Dining Room table almost all the time and certainly when we’re entertaining. It can anchor a dessert table without stealing limelight from the star. This vase is a workhorse and I love it.

hlc-new-years-2015-948

Celebrations mark the passing of time, seasons, change and growth. Traditions, like the NYC Times Square Ball Drop are cultural norms that bind us to a larger group. Or, family traditions like card night and ringing in the New Year cements us to our smaller, inclusive group, that says, “my people, my family”. Traditions and rituals draw us together.

When our kids started going out with friends for New Year’s Eve, I was afraid they’d make the same mistakes I had made as a young person. We’re so fortunate they haven’t done that; I’m grateful they learned from my mistakes. That’s part of change too, parenting adult kids, loving them and being present in their lives.

For now, I get to create and love and experience my little corner of the world. Time keeps on ticking…Happy New Year!

Vanilla Bean Layer Cake
A light and delicious Vanilla flavored cake
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1tsp Baking Soda
  2. 2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  3. 1tsp Salt
  4. 1 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  5. 2 2/3 Cup Cake Flower
  6. 1 Cup Vegetable Oil
  7. 1 Cup Buttermilk
  8. 2 tsp Clear Vanilla Extract
  9. 6 Egg Whites
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In medium sized mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients; set aside.
  3. Process Vanilla Beans - add seeds to milk, stir. Add vanilla pods to milk and gently warm up to slightly warmer than room temperature. Tend carefully if in the microwave.
  4. In large mixing bowl, beat egg whites. Add sugar – beat thoroughly until smooth. Add oil and vanilla – beat on high until frothy.
  5. Alternating…add flour mix and buttermilk; set mixer to low.
  6. Divide batter among cake pans.
  7. Bake for 22-25 minutes.
  8. Cool completely. Frost with luscious Vanilla Buttercream.
Notes
  1. Note: Batter will be thin
  2. Hot Tip: This doesn't lend itself to substituting half of the oil with applesauce - some of the sparkly vanilla flavor is lost. The cake turns out wonderfully, but the flavor is diminished a wee bit.
Fiesta Dinnerware, Always Festive http://alwaysfestive.com/

 

 

 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Thanksgiving Sweet Treats with The Sugary Shrink

Thanksgiving Sweet Treats

Thanksgiving is such a special time of year, at home in the Midwest or living abroad, this holiday remains an event at our house. The roots of our family traditions stem from my youth and the amazing holidays spent with my grandparents on their farm. And, I love how my little family has expanded those traditions and made them their own.

This year, I’ve planned a dessert table that can accommodate our friends here in Heidelberg. This is our fourth Thanksgiving as a group and it’s the usual suspects with a few extras mixed in. Our friends remind us that Thanksgiving is uniquely American and their exposure to a traditional dinner was brought to them only through sitcoms.

Many of our friends have said, “Every American sitcom has a Thanksgiving and Christmas episode.” Our hope the first year we hosted a Thanksgiving dinner was to simply avoid an international incident! A sit down dinner for 24 isn’t an easy task in the best of circumstances, but everything worked out wonderfully, as it usually always does.

Dietary restrictions of a few guests have prompted me to explore more types of desserts in ways I hadn’t considered before; allergies of all kinds have kept me on my toes. Offering every guest, several choices on the dessert table is important to me since most of the guests will have numerous choices as well.

Thanksgiving-Tablescape-with-Fiesta-Dinnerware

Mixing up textures inside a focused color palette helps me stay on point when designing a dessert table. Fiesta Dinnerware showcased against wood, metal, textiles, and glass highlights the beautiful lines and shapes I love. Balance is important, so I make sure I distribute these elements evenly across the presentation.

The Thanksgiving color combination was a simple and natural choice: Sage, Slate, Ivory, Paprika, and Poppy. These go seamlessly together and perfectly echo the colors right outside my window. Staying inside this chosen ensemble is critical for tablescape cohesion and design.

Sage Vase. Fiesta Dinnerware

I’ve anchored the table with a show-stopping arrangement in a Sage Medium Flower Vase. It’s stunning. I built this bouquet from silk flowers along with some other bits and baubles. I didn’t have any florist wire or tape, so I used a zip tie (we have plenty of those). All the colors from the table are represented in this design and the arching stem of flowers help frame the cake and draws focus to it.

The Triple-Layer Cake is made with two layers of carrot cake with a crust-less cheesecake middle layer, the frosting is a lightly tinted cream cheese buttercream garnished with a pair of petite-swirled Lollipops. Adding a small bow introduces another level of texture and elevates the textile component.

Nutmeg-and-Tapered-Mugs

Beginning on the left side of the table, in the Tapered Mugs I prepared a cranberry apple gluten-free crisp with a whipped cream topping. It’s as delicious as it sounds and even easier to prepare. This mug is quite generous in case you have two guests that just want a nibble, go ahead and share.

It is the case that I love the iconic shape of the Salt and Pepper Shakers, and I don’t have any desserts that required salt and pepper after everything is prepared. So, I thought about the best way to incorporate this steadfast piece and then it hit me; its possible guests would like a sprinkling of nutmeg or cinnamon on their after-dinner sweets or lattes etc. I love this idea and will sure include it from now on. Keeping the salt and pepper shakers near a tiny placard can help alleviate any confusion.

Pie-Baker-and-Omni-Tray

I’m happy with the results of staying inside traditions and having fun! These chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter buttercream are designed to mimic apple and blueberry pies, because offering real pies wasn’t enough. Using a tin foil cupcake liner is the small detail that mimics a traditional pie tin and piped-on latticework helps the candy-coated chocolates stay in place. Though the blue falls outside the color palette, I thought it would help convey the idea of blueberry pie. That choice falls to the baker, be your own best self on this decision.

Pecan-Pie-in-Slate-Pie-Baker

Because time is always a factor on Thanksgiving, I like to give myself permission to say, “I can’t do everything.” The pecan pie was bought frozen. Before baking, I popped it out of its tin and let it thaw a few minutes as it settled into the Slate Deep Dish Pie Baker. Just a few minutes less in the oven than recommended and this pie was good to go. Consider offering a warm vanilla cream sauce to pair with this pie. It’s a wonderful alternative to whipped cream and elevates the experience of this dessert. The Fiesta Mini-Disc Pitcher is a natural choice for pouring this delicate sauce.

pumpkin-pie-detail-448[2]

For this Pumpkin Pie, I needed to up my game by adding a decorative crust of pumpkin cutouts using a decorative pie crust cutter and I couldn’t have been happier with the results! Such a detail eliminates the question, “Is this pumpkin or sweet potato?” The Paprika Deep Dish Pie Baker looks wonderful sitting on an amber glass cake stand. Depending on your crowd, it might be a good idea to have an extra Pumpkin Pie or two on standby in the kitchen

Thanksgiving-Omni-tray-521[2]

An Omni Tray shining in the sun… let me just sit a little longer so I can enjoy this. Again, the five-part tray set is a great place to consider different types of desserts and sweet treats for easy snacking and serving. On the left is shortbread cut on the diagonal. I didn’t prepare these, but supported a local baker building her successful small business in a sustainable way. This was a smart decision considering shortbread isn’t in my wheelhouse yet and I love supporting my friend Claire as she launches something new.

The acorns consist of a chocolate kiss and a mini-Nilla wafer with a small dab of buttercream keeping them together. These are an ideal bite of something sweet and look fantastic on top of cakes and cupcakes.

Oatmeal raisin cream pies are my favorite (I ate one for lunch from the vending machine during all three years of middle school). I prefer my homemade cream pies to the store bought, but when time is a factor don’t be afraid to mix things up! Buy the cookies but make your own buttercream and then enlist some help putting them together.

Consider dried fruit or nuts for the Omni Tray, especially for guests that might be shying away from processed sugars, gluten, or dairy.

Banana-Cinnamon-in-Fiesta-Ramekins-462[2]

For an alternative dessert to all things baked, consider the classic Banana Nilla Wafer Pudding. It’s delicious and a perennial favorite. I chose to use Fiesta Ramekins to keep portion sizes consistent and the tables a bit tidy, but don’t forget about the Bouillon Bowls as a wonderful alternative. The whipped cream is a perfect topper for the pudding and if you’d like, maybe some cinnamon is the way to finish it, too.

Two gentle reminders, if your fridge has room, it’ll be easier to move the pudding in and out if you have a small tray or shallow dish the Ramekins can sit in. I love that the Fiesta Ramekins are just as functional and beautiful with a baked dessert or a cool one.

If cookies and graham crackers are off the list of approved foods, think about lining the bottom and sides of the dessert ramekin with banana slices. That opens up the possibility of using vanilla, banana, chocolate, or coconut pudding as the main attraction, because they all sound delicious with bananas and whipped cream!

Thanksgiving-Treats-on-Ivory-Fiesta

Dessert Plates! It’s like the floodgates of delicious open up when that first brave soul tackles slicing the pies and cakes. At our house, it usually sounds like, “Hon, can you come slice the pies and get things started?” Happy to. The Fiesta Dinnerware Salad plate is perfect for dessert portions and for handling the heavy load of the first round and returning for seconds. Are thirds a thing where you live? I’m just asking for a friend.

Thanksgiving-Pie-in-Slate-Pie-Baker

There is something about a sliced pie or cake at the holidays that anchors me to the people I love and call family. Perhaps it’s linked to the love that went into cooking and baking for this special meal. Or maybe, it’s the connection of remembering to give thanks for all I have and then demonstrating that in a really tangible manner.

I have clear memories of my grandmother lifting the flour sack tea towels that had covered the pies all afternoon and unveiling the long-awaited pumpkin or pecan or apple pie that would soon be in my tummy.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year and planning for it is terribly exciting. I think the anticipation of spending the day with family and friends is a key component to how I feel about it. Not only is it a day to laugh and share stories, it’s a day to welcome kind words of thanks and sharing that compassion among one another. Even when the baby cries, an adult steps on a toy, or the rolls are a little overdone– there is magic and meaning in community. Be brave and find your people. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Easy Halloween Entertaining

Halloween is always a fun, but busy day for families. Between getting kids in their costumes, making dinner and entertaining friends and neighbors who stop by for some pre-trick or treating fun, there is a lot to take care of. To make your night easier, we gathered some tried and true, easy, and delicious recipes for your Halloween evening.

Most parents agree that getting in a nutritious meal before eating candy well into the evening is  always the goal, especially on Halloween. Chili is a crowd pleaser, even for picky eaters. Plus, it’s a quick meal you can prepare hours ahead of time (we think it’s even better if you make it the day before!).

Final

We followed a very simple family recipe we like to call “Halloween Chili Brew” that can even be done in the crockpot if you want to prep ahead. Or you can make it in a large stock pot or Dutch oven. Both options are simple and require little time. (You will find the recipe towards the bottom.)

 

Hand,-Chip,-Chili

One of the best things about chili is that it’s an easy, casual meal that guests and kids can serve themselves with ease. Then you’re free to mingle with guests dropping by or tend to little ones. We set out the Jumbo Bowls in Shamrock for a nice easy-to-hold bowl for individual servings. We used the Large Bistro Bowl also in Shamrock for blue corn chips. The chili was cooked in a Dutch oven on the stove, then transferred to the Ivory Large Covered Casserole dish and kept in the oven to keep it warm. The Large Covered Casserole dish moves perfectly from the oven to the table and keeps food nice and warm.

Overhead-Serving-Chili-Final

Of course our meal wouldn’t be complete without a beverage and what better beverage to serve than hot apple cider? We kept it wine free so everyone could enjoy it, but we will give you the recipe with with wine or without.

White-Pumpkins-Over-the-Shoulder

 

Overhead-Serving-Hot-Cider-Final

The hot apple cider took about 60 seconds to prepare. It’s as easy as just pouring all the ingredients into the crockpot, slicing an apple and orange, turning the crockpot on low and waiting for it to get nice and warm.

 

Overhead-Final

 

We placed the crockpot on the buffet table so everything was in one accessible spot. The new Tapered Mugs are perfect for enjoying a warm beverage, especially on a crisp evening.

To dress up the buffet table, we used black burlap strips to create a fun texture in place of a tablecloth. That kept things simple and prevented some of the messes from little ones who would be serving themselves. White pumpkins in three different sizes made for a great addition to the color scheme on the buffet table. Behind the buffet table, market lights and a chalkboard banner hung in the background to add to the ambiance. Simple decor like this is perfect to leave up for the entire fall season, making it even easier to entertain guests at a later date or on a spur of the moment.

 

Final

Fiesta mixing bowls have so many uses outside of the kitchen. We filled the medium mixing bowl with candy for trick or treaters. Just imagine what a lovely fall evening you’ll have sitting on the porch with a delicious cup of hot apple cider warming your hands and passing out candy to the neighborhood kids.

Shamrock-Bowl-At-Door

Cider-Outside-Final

We hope you have a fun, safe, family filled day with lots of laughter this Halloween.

Shamrock-Mixing-Bowl-Holding-Candy

Halloween Chili Brew
Serves 12
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 lbs of Ground Beef
  2. 1 Medium white or yellow onion chopped
  3. 1 Medium Green Bell Pepper cut into strips
  4. 1 16oz can of Tomatoes
  5. 2 Cups of water
  6. 1 12oz can of Tomato Paste
  7. 1 cup black sliced olives
  8. 3/4 cup of oats, uncooked
  9. 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of Chili Powder
  10. 2 1/2 teaspoons of Salt
  11. 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  12. Tortilla Chips
  13. Cheddar Cheese Shredded
Instructions
  1. Brown meat, Bell pepper and Onion in large skillet, then drain
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to skillet and mix well
  3. Cover and let simmer for 30 min.
Notes
  1. Can also be cooked using a crockpot.
Fiesta Dinnerware, Always Festive http://alwaysfestive.com/
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS