Our Christmas day dinner was one of my favorite parts of our holiday week - family gathering together to create new memories. This year I cooked dinner for our family, which is something I love to do. I love the planning, setting the table, cooking, and then enjoying time with family or friends.
This year I wanted to create a table that reflected the beauty of the holidays, but in a style I'm comfortable with: simple and pretty with just a touch of rustic. I also wanted to incorporate a few ideas that could be used year-round, not just for the holidays.
The dinnerware is Antique White by Mikasa. About a month ago Mikasa contacted me and asked if I would be interested in trying some of their dinnerware. When I saw this pattern, I was instantly smitten and even more so when it arrived. I'm simply in love with it... a perfect white that easily transitions from casual to elegant and also coordinates perfectly with my antique dishes, yet is sturdy and dishwasher friendly.
I loved the way each place setting came together. My mom saw the name tag idea in the Southern Living magazine this past month and we both just adored the idea. It's simply a piece of velvet ribbon wrapped around the plate with a tag made out of scrapbook paper. I sewed the napkins with some fabric I purchased at our local fabric store. I already had a few burlap runners that I placed underneath each place setting.
The centerpiece is very simple and also short. In the case of having a family meal, I can't imagine having to look over a tall centerpiece (smile).
I used the reclaimed wood bread board my husband recently made for me as the base. I love adding the warmth of wood, especially with white.
As is typical with me, I simply went outside and gathered some cypress and berries to make wreaths with and wrapped them around a creamer and sugar filled with pecans and cinnamon sticks. The creamer and sugar are antique but paired perfectly with the new white dishes.
Because I knew I would be busy cooking the next day, I set the table the day beforehand. That evening we lit the candles in the dining room and I kept finding excuses to walk by and look at the table (smile).
Christmas day was cold and rainy here - perfect for spending time in the warm kitchen with the scents of holiday food coming from the oven. I cooked a very traditional holiday meal: ham, rolls, glazed carrots, roasted potatoes and a green salad.
The majority of the serving pieces are also from Mikasa's Antique White collection. For drinks, I mixed together cranberry juice and ginger ale for a holiday treat. You can find the icebox rolls recipe here; they were melt-in-your-mouth wonderful and best of all, the dough can be made the day before.
My family were all great sports about me taking pictures while the dishes were being passed around... I think they're getting used to this blog (smile).
(I assure you I only took a few photos though... I was hungry and ready to enjoy the meal!)
Here's a photo of us all (minus myself) gathered together at the table. I have to say that photos of our family at the table are some of my favorites. I don't have that many of them but the few I do always bring back such lovely memories.
Later that afternoon we enjoyed cake and fresh apple cider. When the packages from Mikasa arrived a couple weeks ago, they also included these holiday accent plates from the Antique White collection. (I'm sure you can imagine my gasping as I opened everything and wondering why I was so lucky.) They were so much fun to use. Next Christmas I'll probably display them too.
I simmered the cider on the stove for a while and it smelled amazing. Is there anything better than the smell of cinnamon and cloves?
The cake was a chocolate velvet (batter recipe here) and although I've never made a perfect looking cake (and probably never will - laugh), it tasted divine. Unfortunately, we had some leftovers and all week I have not been able to resist sampling a bite here and there (smile).
Happy New Year!