October’s Color of the Month

We’re excited to give you our second installment of our Fiesta Color of the Month series with October’s shade: Poppy! Poppy was introduced in 2014, and made a splash as one of our most vibrant colors to date. Poppy is reminiscent of our original Red, which was released back in 1936, but bolder and brighter. 

October is one of our favorite months at Fiesta Dinnerware, and if you’ve seen our vast Halloween collection, you’ve probably already guessed that! We love playing around with different colors this season as well, most notably Poppy. You can see our bright orange hue everywhere this time of the year. We pass poppy leaves falling from trees, poppy pumpkins adorning doorsteps, and even Poppy colored candy on store shelves. This color seems like it was made for the cool mornings and crisp evenings of the autumn season. Mix it with green, yellow, and red decor for a fall masterpiece right in your home.

To help you set your table with our Color of the Month, we’ve provided five of our favorite color combos that are ideal for October. Enjoy!

Halloween Eve – Poppy, Lemongrass, Daffodil, Claret, Slate

Harvest – Poppy, Sage, Daffodil, Sunflower, Slate

 

Candy Corn – Poppy, Daffodil, Tangerine, White,

Sienna Sunset – Poppy, Lapis, Daffodil, Turquoise, Sage, Scarlet

New West – Poppy, Scarlet, Tangerine, Sunflower, Lemongrass, Daffodil

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The Fiesta Guide to Setting a Thanksgiving Buffet Table

The Fiesta Guide to Setting a Thanksgiving Buffet Table

Are you hosting Thanksgiving, or perhaps a “Friendsgiving” this year? Planning, delegating and cooking can be quite stressful! Something that’s often neglected in the midst of all the Thanksgiving prep is how to set your buffet table.

Well, we have your back with a “Guide to Setting a Thanksgiving Buffet Table” that is pretty, colorful and provides a simple flow as your guests load up their plates.

It all starts with the buffet table itself. We used a basic six-foot folding table covered with a tablecloth that complemented our color scheme. To add visual interest and height to the dishes toward the back of the table, we placed two boxes underneath the tablecloth. This not only looks more pleasing to the eye, but it makes it easier for people to reach the food that isn’t right up front.

The Fiesta Guide to Setting a Thanksgiving Buffet Table

Next, we outlined our menu and pulled the serving pieces we’d be using for each dish.

We started with a stack of dinner plates in a variety of seasonal colors: (from top to bottom) Poppy, Turquoise, Sunflower, Scarlet, Shamrock, Tangerine, Claret, and Lemongrass. It’s a good idea to place the dinner plates in the front corner where the buffet line will start.

The Fiesta Guide to Setting a Thanksgiving Buffet Table

Then we used a 3 Tier Server for rolls and other breads, followed by salad, a side dish and casserole. The salad and side dish will be served in our multipurpose Bistro Bowls in Medium and Large sizes. And the casserole is featured in a traditional 9×13” Rectangular Baker. (PS: All of our dishes can be heated safely in the oven up to 350 degree and bakeware can go up to 500 degrees.)

At the center of the feast is the star of the day: turkey! Depending on how large your bird is, we have a variety of serving platters in sizes Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large. We’re planning for a lot of leftovers, so we used the Extra Large Oval Platter.

The Fiesta Guide to Setting a Thanksgiving Buffet Table

Condiments like cranberries and butter are next. We used the Individual Casserole for our cranberries and the Extra Large Covered Butter for the butter.

Napkins and flatware are best placed at the end of the line so your guests aren’t juggling them while piling up their plates.

The Fiesta Guide to Setting a Thanksgiving Buffet Table

Finally, it’s time for dessert. Yum! We made room for a pie and a cake. For the pie, we used the Deep Dish Pie Baker. For the cake, we spiced it up with a little Fiesta hack to create a “plate stand.” We turned a Hostess Serving Bowl upside down and placed a Baking/Pizza Tray on top. To serve dessert, a stack of Salad Plates finishes off the assortment of dishes.

Fiesta Dinnerware Hostess Bowl in Turquoise

http://www.fiestafactorydirect.com/c-72-hostess-serving-bowl.aspx

We sprinkled in some mini pumpkins, flowers and greenery to decorate and soften the tablescape. With the buffet table set, we’re ready for full bellies and naps!

The Fiesta Guide to Setting a Thanksgiving Buffet Table

We’d love to see how you like to set your buffet and dining tables for Thanksgiving. On Facebook, feel free to send us pictures or post them in the comments.

Fiesta Dinnerware wishes you and your your loved ones a very Happy Thanksgiving and we hope you take this opportunity to count your blessings. We certainly are thankful for you!

 

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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/

 

 

 

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A Sugary Halloween With Fiesta Dinnerware

Full-TableScape

Hi! I’m Julia Murphy and I’m crazy excited to be guest blogging here for Fiesta Dinnerware. My family has been using Fiesta Dinnerware for generations. My grandmother had a Fiesta teapot on her shelf for decades and I’ve been using Fiesta on a daily basis since 1997.

My husband and I currently live in Heidelberg, Germany. We love to travel, try new things, make new friends, and explore. I’m a self-taught home baker. A few YouTube videos on the magic of buttercream plus work on the science of baking has brought me to a place where I like the look of what I create and how it tastes. New projects and techniques are labeled ‘test kitchen’ on my blog, The Sugary Shrink, so I can remind myself that nothing has to be perfect. My goal is for the outside design to match the inside deliciousness.

I hope you like what I have prepared for you this month.

At the first hint of autumn, I get excited for my favorite holiday season.  It begins with Halloween and continues through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. This year is no different. We love to invite our friends over for fun and spooky-good times!  After an easy dinner of chili and cornbread, a costume contest, and maybe a talent show – we’ll attack the dessert table before settling in for an evening of classic board games.

The Dessert Table

This dessert table was inspired my all-time favorite – Candy Corn! I love the colors, the look and the flavor.

 

Full-TableScape

When I prepare a dessert table, I like to offer popular choices so everyone’s happy. It’s also important to appeal all the senses. The scent of the Granny Smith apples, hot cocoa, and fresh fruit kabobs is an additional draw because it mingles with the scent of cupcakes and buttercream.

Combining textures is another great technique to keep things visually interesting. The Fiesta Dinnerware paired with a wooden box next to a wire cake stand allows these different textures to play off one another.

Varying the height of displays helps break up any sense of visual monotony. I aim for visual balance, for example the box with the Slate Large Disc Pitcher on the left is at the same level as the Baking Tray of Jumbo Mugs on the right.  The Appetizer Plates are balanced with the candy corn candle holder while the Bread Trays and Omni Trays establish a solid base.

 

Floral-Arrangement

I’ve stacked the Shamrock Witch Appetizer plate with a Lemongrass Dessert plate to add color and fun. The black and white paper straws are in a Poppy tapered Mug.  This combination, with three different levels, keeps a nice visual balance.

The Desserts!

Omni-Tray-Final

 

I am in love with this omni tray! An omni tray means it’s a party and this time was no exception. I combined two Poppy and two Slate omni trays and added a Poppy ramekin for the center and finished with a Slate 15” Round baking tray. The combination is a real showstopper.

The center is filled with a chocolate, peanut butter, and cream cheese dip to compliment the other dessert items of yogurt covered pretzels, graham crackers, Oreos and Clementine’s.

How about a few Monster Cupcakes?

Cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes are perfect for a design like these. I tint the batter to match the cupcake liner. I tinted the FrankenCupcake green, the Purple Periscope is tinted purple and the Chocolate Orange Rose tinted orange to match their respective colored cupcake liners. Monster cupcakes might be the perfect party activity for guests of all ages.

If you make these cupcakes for your party guests this season, consider topping cupcakes with crushed pretzels or nuts, flaked coconut, swirls of caramel, and always remember to add eyes for the monster effect.

Orange Ombre Cake

OMbre-Cake-Final

 

This chocolate layer cake is three layers of delicious! The design is forgiving and approachable for the home baker. A Sunflower 12” cake plate is ideal for the 8” round cake and the colors pair very well. The frosting is vanilla buttercream in a light orange ombré finish. I cut out a construction paper Scary Boo Cat, to echo the Lemongrass Boo Cat, and taped a coffee stir stick on the back then gently set him down off-center.

When I first started decorating cakes, I tried to make each and every cake perfect. No lines, no smears, no flaws. But that’s not real life and that’s certainly not me. Now I embrace a more relaxed style when it comes to buttercream and cake and I hope you do too.

I don’t know if I can celebrate Halloween without a candied apple and I’m not willing to find out! These Granny Smith apples are a generous size and not for the faint of heart. The white bread tray is a wonderful showcase for these treats and is perfect for taking from refrigerator to the table.

Candy-Apples-on-Omi-Tray

These candy apples have natural sticks that I cleaned, blanched, and then twisted into the center of the cleaned, dried apple until firmly in place. After the apple was dipped in caramel sauce, I rolled it around several different kinds of coating. This is where the fun begins!

Though peanuts are a traditional choice, not all my guests can eat nuts – so I crushed a few pretzels instead.  It’s a terrific crunch and is a flavor buddy to caramel and apples; the candy corn screams party. Other options to be included next time could be cupcake sprinkles, mini-chocolate morsels, toasted coconut and toffee chips.

Bread-Trays-

These three Bread Trays: White, Poppy, and Sunflower continue the theme of candy corn and Halloween.

The Poppy bread tray has two different kinds of treat, fresh fruit kabobs of dark grapes and kiwi chunks. The color of the fruit supports the Halloween theme and is a wonderful alternative to baked goods and is a beautiful contrast to the Poppy.

Sugary Shrink tip: After completing kabobs, go back and cut away the pointed end of the stick to reduce the risk that anyone is harmed with a kabob skewer.

On the other half of the Poppy bread tray is a chocolate mocha ball with coconut. I bought this at the store because it looked festive and offered a different flavor.  When it comes to dessert tables– it’s about the hosts’ comfort level and reduced anxiety. If baking at home is too much, consider attempting one item. If that’s still too much, buy all the things! It’s a party and what matters is time spent with family and friends.

Rice krisp Candy Corn Wedges

RK-candy-corn

You didn’t know how badly you needed these in your life until this very moment. They are as fun and easy they look. For this dessert table, I used my 10” cake round, which required about one and a half times the standard marshmallow treat recipe. Add color just at the very end of the marshmallows melting, remove from heat, stir in cereal, and press into pan. Placing a round of parchment paper at the bottom of the pan and liberally butter the sides made for a very easy release onto the cutting board.  I scored the entire round with my cake slicer and sliced the wedges apart with a heavy knife.

These Jumbo Mugs are the hit of the party!  They’re so much fun and it seems everyone has their favorite. Halloween is a perfect time for hot cocoa with marshmallows and this mug can handle anything you throw at it.

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Five jumbo mugs fit very nicely on the White 15” round baking tray sitting on an upended Poppy Hostess Bowl.  This combination adds color, height, and provides a great base for these hot mugs. Watch as your guests match their mug to their appetizer or luncheon plate, adults and children alike.

Quite frankly, this Jumbo Mug is one of my favorite, go-to mugs.  I might turn right around and have cereal or oatmeal in one or later in the day, a bit of soup. It’s like a bowl with a handle.

Cake-side-shot

Once the cake is sliced, the plates fill up.  There are very few rules when it comes to party guests serving themselves.  It’s about creating a welcoming atmosphere filled with love and acceptance and fun. Fiesta Dinnerware does that, it brings fun and says, “You’re family here.”

The best part of Fiesta and Halloween is the amusement and the memories. So many years of helping our kids get dressed up for Halloween, the occasional family costume (In 2005 we went as Yahtzee) or those drizzly nights my life partner dressed up as a mummy to hand out candy. Halloween has nostalgia and traditions.These are the same words I use when it comes to Fiesta Dinnerware. Fiesta is fun and each family has unique traditions that keep time anchored. This year as I add the Halloween Bats and Whoo Owl design to my party, I will also be adding a new tradition that extends the good memories of past years with the new memories of today.

Cake-Slice-and-Fruit-Kabob-Final

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