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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Indian Cuisine

Our friend Anita over at Cedar Hill Ranch is giving away a gorgeous hand-painted coffee/tea set. 
Go by and visit her wonderful blog.

We are partying with Sherry over at  No Minimalist Here. I am bringing to the party some of my most favorite Indian dishes. Please come join me.

One of my favorite cuisines is Indian cuisine. The smells, flavors, colors, textures, and of course tastes reminds me of an exotic summer. I find the use of various fresh spices, herbs, vegetables, and sometimes fruits to be absolutely intriguing. I usually cook Indian dishes on the weekends for my husband because I have more time to dedicate to such intricate dishes. However, every summer the entire family, asks me to put on a major spread of all of our favorite Indian dishes

I set these dishes out in preparation for the homemade chutneys I created.
Mango Chutney
Mint Chutney
Ginger Chutney
The dishes are set out on a beautiful coverlet made from vintage saris. In between the dishes is one of my favorite finds from an import antique store. I just love his turban.  

India is also known for its assortment of rich colorful textiles. I use them to adorn many a tablescape. In addition to the beautifully embroidered coverlet, I add vintage artifacts that I have collected through the years. I love to collect vintage Indian marionette dolls. They are usually a couple. One trick that I use in the tablescape is to vary the height of objects to add more interest. I grabbed a few books from the bookshelf and placed them under the cloth and voila! 

Now the bowls and plates are ready to receive the delicious food. 

Thanks to Amazon for supplying me with a variety of wonderful cookbooks, I was able to prepare these family favs. The majority of the recipes come from the book Complete Indian Cooking.

So pray tell what did I actually prepare you ask? Well this is what my family asks to be on the menu for the big summer family feast. I only do this once a year because everything is cooked from scratch and requires only the freshest ingredients. It takes me all day to prepare the following dishes:
Naan (Flat bread)
Chicken Makhani (Butter Chicken - My absolute fav)
Cachumber  (Cucumber Salad)
Bastmati Rice
Bhindi (Spicy Okra)
Beef Buffad (Beef in Coconut Milk)
Beef Kofta (Spicy Meatball in Yogurt Sauce)
Shrimp Curry
Cake from the Bakery (of course)

Now you see why I only do this spread but once a year. It takes a year to digest all that great food. :-) I hope you enjoyed our favorite summer spread. 
Thank you so much for stopping by! Show some love and leave us your thoughtful comments!

Thank you Sherry for hosting this wonderful summer blog party!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Sites

Hello, and welcome to my outdoor space. I'm joining Kim at Savvy Southern Style for the summer porch and patio party and Jenna at SAS Interiors for her summer spaces party.

This is my teeny little patio.

It’s just big enough for a couple of chairs to sit and watch the world go by.

There’s lots of rusty crusty wrought iron, yum!

My plants: some hanging

My jade plant

Some in planters

(Aren’t they gorgeous?)

And of course, in the yard.

Even my succulents in the birdcages have a sunny outlook!


Love them!

But that’s for another post.
See ya on the porch!


 Thanks to Kim & Jenna for hosting us.
Pop on over and join the fun!

You can also find us on A Southern Dreamer

Monday, June 20, 2011

Time for Summer Fun

It’s a Summer Block Blog Party
I am joining Vanessa from At The Picket Fence and sharing a cool summer project that can be done with big and little children that involves plants. At the end of the project, the adult supervising the project gets a pretty cool project to keep or share as a gift for the home and/or garden. Most importantly, just have fun!!! ~ Paula

My three year old son, Sebastian, will show you how to display fabulous succulents in wonderful silver.

Sebastian visits a local plant nursery and choses his favorite succulents
Summertime yields many opportunities for children to become involved with plants, gardens, or just plain being outdoors and appreciating nature. We visit our national, state, and community parks, as well as local botanical gardens and nurseries.

I actually polished them but Sebastian wiped them down afterwards :-)  

I collect silver and silver plated objects from various antique stores. I also followed Vanna’s, from Delusions of Grandeur, sage advice and started hitting local Goodwill stores. OMG...Jackpot! I cannot believe people just give a way these things because they are tarnished. Thank you fabulous folks! I have paid no more then $4.00 at the Goodwill.

We just found a little area in the backyard and set up the materials that we needed.

Silver Objects (i.e. bowl, creamer, dish, tray)
Planting Soil
Small Garden Hand shovel
(Orchids and Cactus would be great too)

1) Add a little gravel to the bottom of the silver object of your choice
2) Add soil to plant your succulents

Sebastian Chooses which succulent he wants to use

3) Plant the succulent in the soil (Since Sebastian is only three, it was best I do that part)
4) Add a wee bit of gravel carefully under the petals of the succulent

Sebastian is super excited about his project. He decides to give it to his grandmother. Maybe, I will get one next time.  :-)

We presented the gift in a beautiful gift bag with flowers, added a picture of Sebastian with the succulent in silver in a silver frame, and included several pictures showing each step Sebastian took in creating this gift for grandmother.

Thank you so much for stopping by! Show some love and leave us your thoughtful comments.

Thank you Vanessa for hosting this wonderful summer blog party!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mirrors, A Reflection of the Soul

Oh how we love a great party. We are joining Debra over at Common Ground for the Summer Block Blog Party

Mirrors have intrigued us since Narcissus first gazed into the river and caught a glimpse of his own reflection. We adorn our homes with them making sure every room affords us a stolen glance. Every manner of material and style are employed to produce them. They are strategically placed to bring in light and reflect beauty. No home is complete without one.

This hand-painted French half doll depicts a young mademoiselle checking her rosy cheeks as she perhaps awaits her amor. In the background is a vintage ormolu framed mirror, capturing it all. I’m simply mad for them, five so far and still hunting!

The antique stand mirror is one of my favs. I love the beautiful applied barbola flowers. The old mesh bag was a $5.00 find that I just couldn’t pass up. The clasp alone was worth that! I added some old cards, lace, gloves and a small ornate mirror. Can you see the cute cherub peeking out? Love him!

My favorite trick with mirrors is to place one on top of the other. Here in the half bath it adds some sense of style to an otherwise boring piece of builder grade glass.

This beautiful beveled edged stand mirror is hung outside the door. Feng Shui followers say it wards of evil spirits. I just think it’s pretty, and guests can give themselves the final once over before they enter! Since we’re outside let’s pop over to Paula’s and check out her mirrors.

When I was a little girl, this was the first mirror I fell in love with. It belonged to my maternal grandmother. This was her dresser as a child. I would spend hours looking into the mirror as if looking into the past, wondering what that little girl was thinking of when she looked in the mirror. 

Brass art deco mirrors are so wonderful. Just look at this diva forever gazing upon herself. 

Thanks to the French we have ormolu. In the 18th century it was all the rage in Paris and the UK. Now in the 21st century we clammer for it everywhere we go. It adds the perfect touch to this standing mirror.

This wonderful vintage cast iron mirror sits atop a jewelry armoire and reflects the morning sunlight. Just enough light to put on the day's baubles and bangles.

The pictures are stereographs which I like to display on a mini plate stand 
Tray mirrors on a dresser or dressing table add such a nice element to any room. Displaying all your favorites on it is an added bonus.

On the weekends we like to run to the market and get fresh flowers for the house. The reflections of the reddish-pink carnations look especially nice on top of the silver mirrored tray.

Vintage mirror from India
Imported antiques and vintage pieces are also fun to collect. Just the shear nature of the history behind these wonderful finds leads to fabulous conversations when friends and family stop by.

Antique mirror from Indonesia
Frequenting local import antique stores can yield some amazing deals. This amazing mirror bids you adieu when you are off for the day's travels and welcomes you home at the end of the day. 

We hope you enjoyed reflecting with us on the use of mirrors within the home. Consider the many images and events vintage mirrors have witnessed. If only they could reveal their vivid past. Mirrors truly are… “a reflection of the soul”.

We also joining the following this fabulous Friday:

Come and join us in the fun.

Next Post:
"Feeling Cagey"


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Gratitude is the Memory of the Heart ~ French Proverb ~ We are so grateful that you stopped by ~ Please visit again soon! ~ Much Love, Patricia and Paula