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Early Autumn Soft Tone Farmhouse Tablescape

Hi friends!  I hope your weekend has been relaxing and fun.  

Yesterday our town held its annual fall street fair.  A fun event that I look to each year.  It’s always a great way to transition into fall, enjoy the pretty handmade crafts, food trucks and a wonderful time to get familiar with our cities colonial history.  This year, they even brought fresh flowers to the fair.  Boy, was I in my glory!!!  Such amazing gifts of nature.  

Thankfully, the temperatures are still in the 80’s here so we can still enjoy entertaining outdoors for a while longer.  Today, I am thrilled to bring you this softer take an autumn color palette.  This romantic and inviting fall table is simple yet bursting with lots of charm.  



There is nothing more beautiful and inspiring than nature.  For that reason, I often treat of our backyard as extension of our home.  And while the temperature allows, I set most of our dinners alfresco.  You just can’t beat the view and ambiance!!


A neutral color palette always adds an element of romance to a table.  It makes such a statement on its own.  Choose dinner plates, glassware, linens and flowers in neutral tones to keep the tone of your table soft and understated.






For this table, I went with mostly cream tones.  To add a bit of a farmhouse feel, I added a set of wood and galvanized metal candle sticks, cast iron pheasants and sign that I recently found at one of our local farms.  They have the best farmhouse decorative items!




Ruffled placemats add a subtle touch of romance while floral napkins with shades of green and pink bring a soft touch of color and loveliness.




Autumn offers some of the prettiest lush flowers and rich tones.  But in early fall, hydrangeas are at their finest. I often cut a few from our garden for drying. and preserving.  They are beautiful, unfussy and perfectly pleasing.  




Part of setting a table is the enjoyment that I get from the entire process.  From selecting the occasion, inviting guests, planning my theme, selecting a menu, choosing my linens, dinnerware, flowers.  You get it!  But beyond that, entertaining is about enjoying your guests and creating new memories.  Your family and friends will love you just for making the effort, so don’t fuss over the details – Relax and enjoy the moment.

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day with me.  I am so glad that you stopped by.
Wishing you a fantastic autumn season…  Happy entertaining friends!



Janet Collazo
Rosemary & Thyme





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Elegant and Chic Halloween Table

Hello everyone.  I hope you all had a restful Sunday!  Are you enjoying fall?  I have to tell you, it really doesn’t feel like autumn here yet.  The leaves are slowly turning but the temperatures are still fairly warm for October.  And to be honest, I don’t mind it at all.

With Halloween just a few weeks away, I wanted to bring you a little inspiration for a grown up Halloween Party.  I’m usually not into Halloween that much, it’s definitely out of my comfort zone, but I’ve been inspired by other bloggers this season! Some of my fellow creatives love Halloween and have styled truly beautiful tables this year.  To follow my friends, I decided to create my version of an Elegant Halloween Dinner Party and to offer you tips for creating your own.




TIPS FOR CREATING AN ELEGANT HALLOWEEN DINNER PARTY

Step One: The tablecloth. You’ll want to go bold!!!  Use a black and white  tablecloth to add drama and elegance.  The bold print instantly set the tone for my chic Halloween tablescape without too much fuss.  If you don’t have a black and white tablecloth, you can just get a piece of fabric from a store like Joann Fabrics.  That’s where I purchased mine and the fabric was 70% off.  It actually came to $18.00 for three yards.  The napkins are from Amazon and were $18.00 for a set of 4.  



Step Two: The centerpiece. I wanted the center of my table to be dramatic, yet simple. Instead of using flowers in the center of the table, I went with a bust.  It’s whimsical and by dressing her with a top hat, pearls and ribbon, it is in keeping with the “moodiness” of the table.
Step Three: The Place Setting.  Tie in your place setting with the theme of your table.  Use a mix of white and gold when setting the table.  I went with a gold charger, white plate, coupe champagne glasses with a gold trim, gold vintage flatware and black and white napkins.  I added a Masquerade masks for instant drama and a fun way to dress up the place setting.  The Masquerade masks I used are from Michael’s.  They were a good score at 50% off and are decorations that I will use for many festive occasions. I finished the place settings with pumpkins and a skeleton place card. 
Step Four: Add Something Unexpected.  Instead of using orange pumpkins, I had my husband spray paint a few orange pumpkins with black paint and added black glitter for an extra element of glam.  The stem got a gold paint to match the gold accents on the table. 







Step Five: Add Something Whimsical.  To create that conversation piece, I used skeletons as place card holders.  Would you believe that these cute skeletons came from the Dollar Store? I just simply sprayed them with gold paint to make them more glam.  They are so darling and glam up the place setting.






Step Five: Flowers. I think flowers should be a part of almost any tablescape, even for Halloween. Here’s the thing, with the tablecloth being so bold, you‘ll want to use a strong/vibrant flower with deep reds or pinks so it can stand out. I used faux red roses in small pink glass containers at the top of each place setting.  It adds a nice pop of color to the table!







Step Six: Candles.  The candles are such a major part of any tablescape.  I went with pillar candles to create height as well as tea lights placed in gold candle holders to add sparkle on the table.



I hope you are feeling inspired this Halloween!!!  I had a ton of fun creating this table.  

Let me know how your festive table turns out.


Thank you for your visit friends.  Glad you stopped by today!!


Hugs,


Janet


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Easy Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Dip

Today, I am excited to share an easy fall appetizer or quick snack.  This sweet and fluffy Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Dip is a delicious treat that you can put together in under five minutes. This dip is what every fall gathering needs!  Warning!!!  This dip it’s good.  The kind that you can’t stop eating.  And it could not be simpler to make. 









INGREDIENTS

  •  8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  •  1/2 cup (or more) caramel sauce (homemade or store-bought)
  •  1/2 cup (or to taste)  packed brown sugar
  •  1/2 cup whipped cream
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla
  •  1 teaspoon applespice
  •  2 medium apples
  •  2 tablespoons lemon juice
  •  2 tablespoons water
  •     toffee bits – for decorating (optional) 


INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, caramel sauce, brown sugar, vanilla and applespice until smooth; fold in whipped cream.
  2. Cut apples vertically into thin slices.
  3. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice and water, toss apples in lemon mixture.  Drain.
  4. Serve apple slices with dip.  To garnish, I sprinkled chopped toffee bits over dip.







Happy eating friends!!!


Janet

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Home decor

Fall Apple Harvest Farmhouse Tablescape

Happy Tuesday and welcome back!!!  It’s been a busy few months for me as I have been planning a few family events, deep cleaning around the house and trying to organize our basement.  I have so much china and glassware to donate and sell.  It’s really out of control and I need to refresh our home before the holidays!!!  When it comes to home organization, we know there’s a never-ending checklist of things to be done.

I love styling tables for gathering with family and friends.  Especially during the autumn season.  This year, I took advantage of the seasons favorite crop to bring you this casual apple-themed table that is budget friendly, beautiful and easy to put together.

Creating this farmhouse table look is simple. Stick with basic white plates and make your table pop by using a few copper accessories and runner.  You can add color to plain dishes with patterned cloth napkins.  A bushel basket filled with bright apples adds a playful touch and plays on the farmhouse theme.

The centerpiece is a combination of hydrangeas picked from our garden and flowers that I purchased from a local grower but your local market is a great source for buying inexpensive flowers.  For dressing your place setting, simply add an apple.  It doesn’t get easier than that sweet friends!!! 


There is nothing too fancy or complicated about this table. It is a look that anyone can put together in a matter of minutes.  So celebrate the season with a fun and cheerful farmhouse table that pays tribute to the season.

Happy Autumn sweet friends!!!



Janet






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Home decor

A Modern and Colorful Thanksgiving Table

Hello friends! Happy Monday to you all. Autumn kicks off the seasons for gatherings, spending time with family and friends around our tables. For that reason, fall is probably one of my favorite times of the year! Treating my guests to an inviting and welcoming table is just part of the experience when they come to dine at our home.

This weekend I put together this rich tone Thanksgiving table that balances natural elements with the gleam of a few metallic elements to give it a modern vibe.  

This beautiful and elegant Thanksgiving table was inspired by natures rich autumn palette.  The addition of gold and amber adds the perfect contrast and give this table its modern twist.  Deep tones and natural elements keep it comfortable and inviting.






Bring in a touch of nature to elevate your place setting.  Forgo the obvious choice like pumpkins!!  Pears, green apples or pomegranates can be part of your harvest decor.  For this table, I finished each place with a Bosc Pear an a thoughtful note.  A colorful floral napkin adds color and texture. 















This Thanksgiving, step outside of your comfort zone and experiment with bold colors, metal accents, and natural elements to give your holiday table some modern flair. 


Happy entertaining friends.


Janet




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Home decor

Elegant Thanksgiving Table

Hello everyone.  Happy Tuesday to you.  Welcome to our “We Gather Together Thanksgiving Blog Hop 2019″, if you are visiting for the first time, welcome to Rosemary & Thyme.  I am delighted to be teaming up with a group of fellow bloggers today to bring you this fun Thanksgiving Blog Hop hosted by our sweet friend, Amber Lyon Ferguson, of Follow The Yellow Brick Home.  If you’re coming from Coco’s beautiful home of The Crowned Goat, I’m thrilled to have you here! 

I hope you will take a few minutes to visit the full lineup of  talented creatives who are sharing the best inspiration to help you entertain this Thanksgiving season.  You will be able to link over to their blogs at the end of my post.  So sit back, relax, and grab a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy the overdose of pretty!  




Hosting family and friends always seems more special during Thanksgiving.  It always brings a feeling of warmth and comfort.  For that reason, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday to celebrate. It’s about gathering around the table, catching up with our families and being thankful for all of our blessings.  

The world just seems to be at a slower pace for those few hours that we’re all gathered around the dinner table when our only priorities are having a well-seasoned turkey, tasty gravy and plentiful sides. And it wouldn’t be a special occasion without my Mom’s flan, which no family gathering can be without!


Because Thanksgiving is such a special holiday for me, I like to make the occasion truly unforgettable.  This year, I decided to bring a bit of elegance and sophistication to my Thanksgiving table and went with lots of golds, amber and metallics.
Although this table looks luxe, it was put together using loads of entertaining essentials that I already own like the charger plates, white plates with gold rim, gold flatware, glassware and pumpkin tureens.  My only purchase for this table were the autumn themed napkins that I bought from Crate & Barrel and the fresh flowers.

The gold touches give this table an understated elegance and sophistication that I love without being too precious.

Nothing says this is a special occasion like a beautiful pressed tablecloth and napkins.  Don’t be afraid to bring out your pretty linens.  New or vintage, these will set the tone for your table.  In addition to the tablecloth, include a table runner for a pop of color.

Use charger plates!!!   These gold tone chargers dress up the place setting, add visual interest and texture.  

Add a unique and unexpected element to your place setting like the pretty pumpkin soup tureen pictured above.  It’s functional and adds a seasonal touch to the table.

Go the extra mile and tuck a personal flower bouquet at each place setting.  An element of surprise that will make every guests feel extra special.  


And don’t forget the centerpiece.  This can be as simple as using harvest vegetables with a few fresh flowers mixed in.  They will look beautiful, add color, are won’t break the bank.





This is definitely the time to bring out your pretty essentials….  Use your gold flatware, colored glassware, and candle holders.  Mix your metals!  They are all main characters at this table.





I hope I have inspired you to create your own Thanksgiving table.  It doesn’t have to be complicated!  Basic white plates, simple linens and fresh produce, can help you create your own little masterpiece.

Thank you for your visit.  May you all have a most beautiful and blessed Thanksgiving.  Next up on the blog hop is Paula of Sweet Pea.  Be sure to take a few minutes to give her a visit too.


Janet


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Holiday Cranberry Cake

Hello friends.  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

I apologize for being MIA, November was one busy month for us.  We had family visiting from out-of-state, my husband’s 60th birthday, our 35th wedding anniversary and a trip to New Orleans to celebrate both milestone events.  To say that November flew by it’s an understatement.  

Before leaving to New Orleans, we also surprised hubby with a small birthday party at my sister-in-law’s home at the Jersey Shore.  It turned out beautiful and most importantly, he was truly touched by it all.  I will share a few photos of that event this weekend.


But today, I am thrilled to be sharing my go to cake recipe for the holidays.  It never fails to impress and it’s always a hit with family and friends.
And who isn’t short on time during the holiday season?  I am one that loves to bake from scratch, but we all know that baking during the holiday season can get a little stressful.  Why not take a slight shortcut if you can!  Here is a little trick for impressing your guests this Christmas season with a show-stopping cake from a box mix.  And it will be our secret!!!  No one needs to know that this gorgeous cranberry cake started with a box of super moist yellow cake mix. 

I use this recipe whenever I am pressed for time and I need to whip up a quick cake for decorating.  I like the Betty Crocker Super Moist box mix because it’s a little more dense, has good flavor and is very moist.  And with a few fresh ingredients, it will taste almost home made.

INGREDIENTS

·         1 box yellow/white cake mix*
·         1 cup all-purpose flour
·         1/2 tsp salt
·         3 large eggs
·         1 1/3 cup water
·         2 tbsp vegetable oil
·         1 cup sour cream
·         2 tsp vanilla extract
·         1 Tbsp orange zest
·         1 1/2 ounce package fresh or frozen cranberries (plus 1 Tbsp flour)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
2. Butter and flour two 8″ bundt pan.
3. Combine all dry ingredients and whisk together.
4. Add wet ingredients and mix until combined.
5. Toss cranberries with flour (this helps keep the cranberries from sinking to
    the bottom of the pan) and gently fold them into the batter. 
6. Bake per instruction on the box for bundt pan.
7. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn cake out onto wire rack to
    cool completely.
Notes:  I use my KitchenAid on low for 2 minutes but you can also do this by hand.
TO DECORATE

SUGARED CRANBERRIES INGREDIENTS

1.   2 cups sugar, divided
2.   1 (12 ounce bag fresh cranberries)


INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, about 2-3 minutes,  Stir in until well coated and remove from heat quickly.  We only want them coated with the sugar.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for a few minutes

2.  Working in batches, roll cranberries in remaining sugar until well coated; let dry.
GLAZE

1.   1 cup confectioners’ sugar (sifted to remove any lumps)
2.   3 to 4 tablespoons milk
3.   1 teaspoon vanilla extract
INSTRUCTIONS

1.   In a bowl mix confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth
2.   With a spoon, spread all over top of the cake.  Letting it fall on the sides.
3.   Top cake with sugared cranberries
4.   Add a few fresh greens to add a holiday feel



Here’s another version of the same cake using a different cake mold.

I hope you are feeling inspired my friends.


Happy baking.


Janet




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COQUITO RECIPE – PUERTO RICAN EGGNOG

Thank you for stopping by to visit me today friends.  I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season.  Can you believe Christmas is just 10 days away?  I must confess, the thought of it makes me a bit nervous.  I still have some last minute shopping to do but I have to learn to take it one day at a time.  After all, Christmas should be a time to enjoy good food, family and friends, and binge watching movies in our favorite comfy pj’s.

Today, I want to share a favorite family holiday recipe – Coquito or Puerto Rican Eggnog.  This thick and creamy boozy Coquito recipe (Eggnog) is a  traditional Puerto Rican drink that no Puerto Rican home would be without during the holiday season.  This insanely good Coquito recipe is easy to make and it’s loaded with coconut cream, condensed milk, evaporated milk, and white rum for an extra thick and tasty coconut eggnog!

You can make this Coquito recipe and store it for up to a month in the fridge, but good luck making it last that long!











Ingredients

2 Cans of Evaporated Milk

1 Can Cream of Coconut

1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk

2 Egg yolks

½ cup white rum (optional)

1tsp. vanilla extract

Garnish with Cinnamon sticks and sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)



Directions


Step 1.   In bowl of blender, add evaporated milk, cream of coconut, sweetened condensed milk, rum (if using), vanilla extract and egg yolks. Blend on high until mixture is well combined, 1-2 minutes.

Step 2.  Pour coconut mixture into glass bottles; cover. Transfer to refrigerator. Chill until cold.

Step 3.  To serve, stir or shake bottle well to combine. Pour coquito into small serving glasses. Garnish with ground cinnamon and cinnamon sticks, if desired.





As I have found out through the years, many Puerto Ricans have different opinions on Coquito and what is an authentic recipe.   Some families use eggs, some leave them out.  Some like it thinner, some like it thicker.  And some like it with rum.   Like with any recipe, you can make it your own.  But I just love the way our family always made it – sweet, thick, creamy and with rum! 
You can pour it into large mason jars and add a gorgeous red bow on it to make an amazing gift for your friends or neighbors!

Cheers to the season!!!!

Janet



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Glitz and Glam New Year's Eve Table

Hello Friends!! I am so excited to share today’s post with you, because I am sharing a few elegant tables that I hope will provide a few ideas for your New Years Eve Celebration!

It’s almost time to bid farewell to 2019… Are you entertaining at home going out or welcoming the new year in your pj’s?? As much as we enjoy a good restaurant, New Year’s Eve is one holiday we prefer to spend at home. One thing is always certain, our table will be dressed in it’s finest to welcome the new year. Once again, our New Year’s Eve table will have lots of gold, glam and glitz. 

This year I combined gold with teal to create this Glitz and Glam New Year’s Eve Table. Our place setting has a combination of gold trimmed charger and salad plates that accentuate a teal dinner plate from Pier 1. To add a festive touch, I added seasonal ornaments to match the glitzy theme and a personalized gold place card on each place setting from Light Box Laser.  The place card not only looks beautiful, it also serves as a lasting and meaningful memento for years to come. 




Since I did not find a tablecloth to go with my theme, I just purchased a few yards of fabric from my local fabric store.  The fabric store is a great source when it comes to tabletop.  It is my go to spot when I can’t find the right tablecloth or napkin.  And they always have great sales going on.

The gold flatware is from Target.  I have their shiny and matte set of flatware.  Both are equally beautiful.








I set each place setting with its own mini bottle of bubbly, which lets everyone pour their own glass, and adds a fun personal touch.

I created the centerpiece by staggering various gold tone mercury glass Christmas Trees down the center of my table. (They are all from Home Goods.)  I tucked a silver and gold shimmery Christmas garland around the trees to add for a festive touch.
Here’s our New Year’s Table from last year.  




What a joy to gaze at the beauty before me!!! Truth is, I just love anything that sparkles and glitters on New Year’s eve.

It is a blessing and gift to have those we love gathered around our table to share a delicious meal.  And I can’t think of a better way to ring in the New Year than by giving this gift to family and friends.  May you have the same blessing!!!
I’m forever grateful for your continued support and look forward to what’s ahead in 2020! 
Cheers to a healthy and happy New Year sweet friends.

Janet






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Home decor

Glitz and Glam New Year's Eve Table

Hello Friends!! I am so excited to share today’s post with you, because I am sharing a few elegant tables that I hope will provide a few ideas for your New Years Eve Celebration!

It’s almost time to bid farewell to 2019… Are you entertaining at home going out or welcoming the new year in your pj’s?? As much as we enjoy a good restaurant, New Year’s Eve is one holiday we prefer to spend at home. One thing is always certain, our table will be dressed in it’s finest to welcome the new year. Once again, our New Year’s Eve table will have lots of gold, glam and glitz. 

This year I combined gold with teal to create this Glitz and Glam New Year’s Eve Table. Our place setting has a combination of gold trimmed charger and salad plates that accentuate a teal dinner plate from Pier 1. To add a festive touch, I added seasonal ornaments to match the glitzy theme and a personalized gold place card on each place setting from Light Box Laser.  The place card not only looks beautiful, it also serves as a lasting and meaningful memento for years to come. 




Since I did not find a tablecloth to go with my theme, I just purchased a few yards of fabric from my local fabric store.  The fabric store is a great source when it comes to tabletop.  It is my go to spot when I can’t find the right tablecloth or napkin.  And they always have great sales going on.

The gold flatware is from Target.  I have their shiny and matte set of flatware.  Both are equally beautiful.








I set each place setting with its own mini bottle of bubbly, which lets everyone pour their own glass, and adds a fun personal touch.

I created the centerpiece by staggering various gold tone mercury glass Christmas Trees down the center of my table. (They are all from Home Goods.)  I tucked a silver and gold shimmery Christmas garland around the trees to add for a festive touch.
Here’s our New Year’s Table from last year.  




What a joy to gaze at the beauty before me!!! Truth is, I just love anything that sparkles and glitters on New Year’s eve.

It is a blessing and gift to have those we love gathered around our table to share a delicious meal.  And I can’t think of a better way to ring in the New Year than by giving this gift to family and friends.  May you have the same blessing!!!
I’m forever grateful for your continued support and look forward to what’s ahead in 2020! 
Cheers to a healthy and happy New Year sweet friends.

Janet






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