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Let’s Talk Melon

How to Create Melon Balls

I am on this strange diet where you eat a lot of fruits and¬†“obviously” its not really working well. ūüôā

But since its been so hot lately I have been trying to find different ways to cool down.

So my latest obsession is Melons…

  1. Wash your melons, cut in half and remove the seeds.
  2. Take the melon baller and cut out little balls. Try to make them as round and pretty as possible.
  3. Use a Tupperware container or a baking sheet to place the melon balls on to.
  4. Make sure the melon balls don’t touch teacher other, otherwise the will freeze attached to each other.
  5. Place the container or the baking sheet with the melon balls in the freezer for a couple of hours.
  6. After all the melon balls are frozen you can place them all in a zip log bag until you are ready to create you drinks on the “rocks” (once they are frozen the won’t stick together anymore)

How to Use:

You can use the melon balls to chill all your beverages or add ons to any dessert.

If you decide not to freeze all of your melon balls you can just use them as a beautiful decoration and flavor addition to your salads.melon_balls_ice_balls

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ENTERTAINING Featured

The Difference between China and Porcelain

chinavsporcelain

So what is the¬†difference between China and Porcelain? Not much! In fact, these different¬†terms are¬†used to¬†describe the same product: “porcelain” is more popular in Europe while “china” is more commonly used in America.

So what is china?

China is typically crafted from a combination of clay, kaolin, feldspar, and quartz. Unlike stoneware, china becomes very white and translucent when fired. Due to its delicate beauty, china is at the top of the list of ceramic products.

When describing dinnerware, the words porcelain and china are often used interchangeably. However, there is a slight difference between bone china and porcelain china.

Villeroy & Boch Old Luxembourg

 

Bone China

is made using translucent white ceramic clay and is known for a more delicate and refined look. In England, the percentage of bone ash must be at least 50% for a piece to be considered bone china.

Bone china is usually thinner with smoother glaze than porcelain china. Bone ash gives the body  a unique milky white color and adds a translucent quality to the body of the dinnerware.

To quickly test to see if your plate is porcelain or bone china, hold the plate up to the light or sunlight. You should be able to see the shadow of your hand behind the plate if it is true bone china.

Hermes MosaiqueMy Favorite China Brands

Popular brands known for high-quality china include Villeroy & Boch, Rosental, Hutschenreuther, Rosental meets Versace.

China patterns have even made their way to the runway.¬†Valentio, Roberto Cavalli and Naeem Khan’s Pre-fall Collection include gowns reminiscent of blue-and-white porcelain patterns of classic china.

China for All Occassions

BONE CHINA: is the strongest, most sophisticated of all china materials. Slightly translucent, milky white tone. A blend of bone ashes and porcelain. Use this for fancy dinner parties, important guests, and holidays.

PORCELAIN: High firing temperatures give this opulent favorite durability and a glowing, non-porous surface. Sometimes decorated or hand painted with gold or silver accents. Porcelain is perfect to elevate everyday uses, dinner parties, and luncheons.

IRONSTONE: This is a highly durable alternative to porcelain. While sharing many of the characteristics of porcelain, ironstone is more casual and reasonable and in some cases a better alternative for everyday dining, breakfast, and lunch.

How to Care for Your China

While Porcelain and Bone China are generally safe to use in the dishwasher, consult the manufacturer before running them through. Gentle hand-washing and drying is often recommended.

Be careful near the microwave! Metallic details including gold or silver rims are never microwave safe and will cause a mini lighting scenario in your kitchen. Heat up and prepare food on a different platter than you serve them to be safe.

Pictured: Valentino Dress, Hermes Mosaic Collection Presentation plate, Rosental mets Versace The Butterfly Garden.

Versace jardin

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What is your favorite China Collection? Comment below!

ENTERTAINING FOOD

Napkin Etiquette

Napkin Etiquette is an actual thing… Yes..!

Let’s talk about some Napkins Basics. Typically in a formal setting, your napkin will be located on the left side of your plate, or sometime in your plate.

There are many informal setting when you will find your napkin folded in your water glass, wine glass, or under your plate or inside of your soup bowl.

Now lets move forward…

Placing:
Typically, place your napkin in your lap as soon as you sit down. If you find yourself at a very formal dinner setting or a black tie event, you will follow the lead of the hostess and place your napkin in your lap when the hostess does.

You will leave your napkin in your lap during the entire meal.

Napkin Rings:
Napkin rings are not used for formal dining, you will find the napkin rings in more casual dining setting, where the napkin ring is a decorative accessory, used to add fun or highlight the theme of the table. I personally love napkin rings just to give the table setting more color.

Do not shake or pop out your napkin out of control. It looks really bad and makes you look bad. If the napkin is napkin etiquette blog post ddda dinner napkin, it should be remain folded in half lengthwise. Now on the other hand if your napkin is a lunch or breakfast size napkin, unfold it completely and place it in your lap.

Color:
In a formal setting, the napkins should match the color of the tablecloth, which typically would be off-white, ivory or beige. Fun colors and patterns are used for informal dinners. If you are wearing black attired it will be proposed to you if you would like a black napkin

Leaving the table:

If you leave the table during dinner it’s a faux pas and a sign of bad etiquette.

Do not leave the table during the meal unless absolutely necessary.

Now if you still decide to leave the table (hopefully for a good reason) You should place your napkin on your chair, or leave the napkin face down on the left side of your dinner plate.

In some fine establishments they might have replaced your napkin while you left the table.

Sometimes it‚Äôs hard to tell ‚Äúare we still eating or is it time to leave?‚ÄĚ The hostess will signal the end of the meal by placing her napkin on the left side of her dinner plate.

In that event the dinner is officially over and you can place your napkin in the center of your setting. But obviously never place your napkin in your plate.

Don’t Do:

  • Never tuck a napkin to your shirt (that‚Äôs probably the worst thing ever) or waistband.
  • And most importantly don‚Äôt wipe your mouth with your napkin! You might think that‚Äôs the strangest thing ever.
  • Blot your mouth but don‚Äôt wipe it.
  • Don‚Äôt dip your napkin or your fingers in your water glass! Obviously…!!
  • Ultimately you can do what you want of course, but if you want to make a good impression, you should probably at least follow some of these tips …

xoxolisa

ENTERTAINING Featured FOOD

9 Do’s & Dont’s for Afternoon Tea Etiquette

Taking part in the tea time tradition is a lovely pastime to share with friends and family to relax at near the end of the day. Now that you know the difference between high tea and afternoon tea, I will share my 9 etiquette tips for afternoon tea:

  1. After sitting down, don’t put¬†your purse on the table. Rather, place¬†your purse on your lap or behind you against your chair back to keep it out of the way.
  2. Be aware of proper napkin placement: unfold napkin on your lap upon sitting. If you must leave your seat temporarily, place your napkin on your chair or soiled side down to the left of your plate.
  3. When preparing your tea, place sugar in the cup first, then add thinly sliced lemon. Remember,  never mix milk and lemon together!
  4. If you take milk in your tea, add it in last.¬†The habit of pouring¬†milk into tea came from the French. As the superstition goes, ‚ÄúTo put milk in your tea before sugar is to cross the path of love, perhaps never to marry.‚ÄĚ
  5. When eating on a tea tray,  enjoy the scones first while they are hot. Once finished, move to savories, then to sweets last.
  6. Split your scone horizontally with a knife. Curd and cream is placed on plate. Use your knife to put cream/curd onto each bite, eating neatly with your fingers.
  7. The spoon always goes behind your teacup on its saucer. Never leave your spoon in the cup.
  8. When drinking from your teacup, look into the teacup rather than looking over it.
  9. As for your finger,¬†don’t put your pinky “up”! It’s not correct.
ENTERTAINING Featured Tutorial

5 Simple Ways to Fold Napkins

Summer time is here! Long, warm nights are the perfect excuse to have friends and family over for garden parties, luncheons, and dinners on the patio.

When preparing for guests, I always like my table to have a special touch. Napkins are small details that can perfectly tie together your place settings for a fun, sophisticated, and unique tablescape.

Here are 5 simple ways to fold napkins for your next gathering.

1. The Baguette

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2. The Roll Up

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3. Rose Garden

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4. Versaille

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5. The “Basic”

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Table tip: Don’t be afraid to use bright or patterned¬†napkins to add spark your summer table. Accessorizing your table with colorful elements adds visual interest, especially if your porcelain or china set is very simple. (Similar to your clothing wardrobe: if you wear all black you can make a statement with a fun clutch and, of course, drop-dead gorgeous stilettos).

Napkins pictured above are from Pottery Barn:

ISA IKAT NAPKIN, SET OF 4

WINNIE NAPKIN, SET OF 4

EVERYDAY COLORFUL BELGIAN FLAX LINEN NAPKIN, SET OF 4

 

Napkin Pottery Barn

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ENTERTAINING Featured

Burn Notice : Tips to Burn Your Favorite Candle Properly

Lighting a candle is the perfect way to create a warm and inviting home for guests or wind down your day and relax. Now that you have found your favorite home fragrance to give your space the perfect touch, you want to make sure you get the most out of your scented candle.

Have you ever experienced a candle that had its own personality and just burned sideways or unevenly?¬†You’re not alone. While most high-quality candles are perfectly designed for a proper, clean burn,¬†our user errors can leave the tops smokey and uneven.

candle

With a few steps and proper care on your side, you can ensure a safe and long-lasting burn. Follow these tips to make the most of your candle so it burns clean and bright for hours.

Candle Care Tips:
  1. Trim your wix to 1/8‚ÄĚ at all times.
  2. ¬†The first burn is your most important burn: don’t burn your candle¬†less than 2 hours the first time you light it.
  3. Make sure the wax gets liquid to the rim of the glass
  4. Don’t burn your candle for more than 4 hours at a time
Candle Safety Tips:
  1. Always burn your candles away from drafts and anything flammable
  2. Make sure burning candles are out of reach of children and pets
  3. Never leave a burning candle unattended!
Some of my favorite candles are:
How do you burn your favorite candle?
Candle lovers, share your tips with us….

xoxolisa

ENTERTAINING Featured FOOD

Tea Time Traditions Explained

With our fascination with the British Royal Family and the welcoming of Prince William and Kate’s baby, Princess Charlotte, I have noticed aspects of British culture making its way across the pond.¬†In particular, I¬†frequently hear the term “high tea” by friends and see it¬†on menus offered by five star establishments.

I decided to take a deeper look into the origin of high tea and other tea traditions.

High tea¬†originated¬†in the UK as the British working¬†class’ meal before dinner. Typically the meal was enjoyed on a high table and stool, hence the name,¬†“high tea”. The meal would usually consist of meats, custard, and tea.

On the other hand, afternoon tea became popular about one hundred and fifty years ago, when ladies invited their friends to their houses for an afternoon cup of tea. This tradition included light sandwiches, sweets, cakes and of course, tea.

Our modern tea tradition is more closely related to afternoon tea. When serving afternoon tea, light sandwiches, like watercress or fish paste or butter, are popular offerings. Scones and clotted cream are also common, and cakes, pastries, petit fours, and other assorted pastries satisfy sweet tooths. When scones and clotted cream are served, the meal might also be called cream tea.

Even in England, where the tradition of afternoon tea still remains a part of daily life, an elaborate cream tea is typically reserved for special events only. Sometimes, afternoon tea is a weekend meal, or one might attend an afternoon tea at a restaurant, teashop, or hotel. When restaurants outside of the UK feature high tea, they are usually referring to afternoon or cream tea.

One casual teatime tradition is a cup of tea at 4pm as a restorative. When children arrive home from school at about this time, an afternoon snack is usually fairly desirable.

Attending afternoon tea? Be sure to brush up on these teatime etiquette tips.

What teatime traditions do you enjoy? Leave a comment below.

xoxolisa