Friday, December 28, 2012

A Holiday Dinner


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! 

35 comments:

  1. Your holiday dinner looks delicious! Love your place settings, so simple yet beautiful!

    Happy New Year!

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  2. Your table was just perfection to me...simple, rustic and pretty! These dishes are beautiful and so versatile and I love the dessert plates. I know you had a lovely meal with your family!

    Happy New Year!

    XO,
    Jane

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  3. It all looks absolutely amazing - perfection in simplicity.

    I LOVE Mikasa and think they are SO classy sending you those amazing pieces. Lucky you! WOW! Treasures to love for years to come!

    But my fav is seeing your family at the table with knowing smiles family gives bloggers - I know that look, haha - and that turqoise blue sippy cup is priceless.

    Happy New Year hugs to you and yours!

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  4. How nice to get some pretty dishes from Mikasa. I use the French country ones they carry. That is a very pretty table and I love the simplicity of the centerpiece. The meal looks wonderful. Only thing I cooked on Christmas was a big breakfast.

    Hope you have a great weekend!

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  5. I love simply holiday dinners with family. Lovely table.

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  6. Your table looks beautiful, Andrea, and the food absolutely delicious!!
    Happy New Year, Mary Alice

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  7. Looks beautiful! Gotta love that handmade bread board! Oh my!

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  8. Your dining room is the perfect setting for Christmas dinner. I love the mix of the wood with the white china too. Everything looks so pretty and scrumptious!

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  9. Your meal looks perfect especially with the beautiful dishes. When I saw them I thought they were some old ones that are similar to some I found at an estate sale. Love the dessert plates too! Your table looks lovely and the food delicious but I know the best part is sharing with your family. :)

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  10. Hi Andrea,
    Everything looks so lovely. Did Mikasa send you them to showcase on your blog? Omgosh! How exciting that must be.
    I love your table setting. I adore burlap but I must say the velvet ribbon with the name tags were stunning. So beautiful!
    Happy New Year to you and your fam.
    xoxo
    Lisa
    Leeshideaway.blogspot.com

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  11. Wow, what a treat this post is to look at! Your photos are amazing, every one of them. I can just smell the simmering cider with the spices and wish I could take a bite of your gorgeous cake (it looks pretty awesome to me!). It looks like you had a wonderful Christmas. Have a happy New Year!
    Claudia

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  12. Your table looked beautiful, I love the Mikasa dishes; ALL of them! The food looks delicious and I am HUNGRY right now:) Love the simplicity of your centerpiece too. XO, pinky

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  13. Your holiday day dinner pictures are just beautiful. It all looks so lovely and warm and cozy- xo Diana

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  14. Just beautiful! I love your table setting, and the meal looks delicious, glad you had a great holiday dinner with family. I am looking for new dishes, and I love the pattern you chose, I will have to look at Mikasa's website to see what all they have. :)

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  15. What a great looking meal and everything looks so nice ! Happy new year

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  16. I'm bad! :) I love sweets for breakfast and that cake looks so good. Wish I could take it right off the screen. Love the family at the dinner table especially the little one in the high chair. I am like you, I am not fond of anything tall in the middle of the table unless it's on a buffet table. I always thought you were never supposed to have tall floral centerpieces on a dinner table but you see it all over blogland. Have a wonderful wonderful weekend and Happy New Year.

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  17. Everything looks incredible !!!

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  18. How wonderful to receive the Mikasa dishes! They are lovely as is your simple, yet elegant table. The biscuits look delicious and I'll check out your recipe. A shorter table setting is always my preference too:)

    Happy New Year!

    xxleslie

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  19. As I was reading this post I felt like I was actually there in your home. Beautifully done. I would die to have Mikasa contact me. :o) Happy New Year!

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  20. You have mixed all of these elements together so beautifully! Thank you for sharing the photos with us. You have such a lovely, edited down style.

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  21. Your table looks beautiful. Love your new dishes. The food looks pretty spectacular too!

    Judy

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  22. Love your new dishes and especially the little holiday dessert plates. They are lovely. I have some Red Cliff Ironstone in the Heirloom pattern. The edging is very similar. I love them. You made such a wonderful holiday dinner from the table settings to the dessert. Love the cutting board Justus made right there in the middle. Sweet post. Happy New Year to you and your family.

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  23. Hello sweet friend! Love your new dishes (and your photography)!

    Happy happy New Year to you and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

    blessings,
    karianne

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  24. Hello, I love your blog. Could you tell me where you got the drinking glasses? They are so lovely. Thank you Teresa Harris

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Teresa. The glasses came from Anthropologie.

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  25. It looks lovely and peaceful and best of all, it looks like you enjoyed being part of it all - which is the point, at the end of the day! Good idea to set the table the day before so you could enjoy the process and not be stressed about it while cooking.
    I love taking photos of family meals too. My family always thinks it strange, but I treasure those images of the times we are blessed to gather together and share a meal in peace.

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  26. Merry Christmas Andrea ( I am sure that most of us are just catching up as I am on visiting each others blogs )

    Lovely table setting : I am used to your style by now so my first thought was " thank goodness they sent her plain and white" :) It's just lovely

    Happy New Year to you and yours and don't forget I want a post about the homemade marshmallows lol...



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  27. Oh my...I so love your place settings...I love how you weaved the ribbon into the place card...so "simplistically elegant"....Your dinner looked so wonderful and your new dishes are beautiful....looks like you all had a most joyous day!!!
    Happy New Year!!!!

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  28. Hey, Andrea! Your table looks amazing! I love your new dishes too. Your meal and pics with family look priceless. It looks like you had a great Christmas and will also have a great new year. I'm revving up for making a big new year dinner here on the actual day. Wish me luck! Happy Holidays!! ~ Jamie

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  29. Oh your table looks so pretty and all of the food looks amazing!! I hope that the New Year brings you an abundance of God's blessings!!

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  30. Good morning! I had some extra time this morning to visit blogs and I discovered yours via Cedar Hill Ranch blog. Since I have always had an appreciation for farmhouses, cozy, tablescapes, and creativity...I was of course thrilled to find your blog. You definitely do "cozy" well. I look forward to more visits here.

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  31. Just wondering if you had a tree--curious as to what kind of tree you would have in the farmhouse. Love your other decorations and your beautiful table.
    Menu sounds and looks scrumptious.
    Best of holiday wishes, Sharon D

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  32. So pretty! I love the idea of the runners going across the table instead of down the middle! That is an new idea for me that will work perfect for my long harvest table.

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  33. I love your table, your dishes and your menu! I do not know how to roast potatoes or glaze carrots so a couple of recipes would be welcome (and thanks for the dinner roll recipe link!). Not quite sure how I found your blog but I am so glad I did. How fun to be contacted by Mikasa, too!

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