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FOOD + DRINK FOOD presentation

Cute Presentation for a Rustic Flatbread

rustic flatbread

rustic flatbread

Whether you serve a homemade or a bakery bread, how you serve it could make a statement at a party or a picnic. I love the idea of wrapping pieces. There is no special skills necessary to assemble your own pile. And the best thing is that these are made with supplies you should always have at home.

You will find the Flatbread with Olive Oil and Sea Salt recipe on The Kitchn. If you never bake your own bread, flatbread is the perfect introduction to this fabulous world. And you will find a whole chapter on flatbreads in the Bread in 5 minutes a day cookbook series by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. I owned both cookbooks.

+ Flatbread with Olive Oil and Sea Salt recipe
+ photo by Rebekah Peppler for the Kitchn

USA [affiliate links]
+ Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day $14.77 USD
+ Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day $18.28 USD

Canada [affiliate links]
+ Artisan Bread in 5 Minute a Day $22.56 CAD
+ Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day $22.56 CAD


Chanel-inspired Equestrian Wedding

rustic Chanel inspired wedding shoot by the stylish soiree and studio 28 photo

rustic Chanel inspired wedding shoot by the stylish soiree and studio 28 photo

The concept behind this wedding photo shoot is to apply the latest Chanel runway show, which I enjoyed, to design a wedding. The event took place under a wooden barn with an equestrian feel. The Stylish Soiree created this rustic chic event. The brides wore three dresses. I wish I have done that.

The tablescape uses the popular red, black and white palette. Since it is still in the morning, I was more inspired by image of the milk glasses.

+ Details on Style Me Pretty – photo by Studio 28 Photo


How to Create a French Rustic Holiday Decor

french rustic holiday decor

I will talk about how you can integrate Holiday decorations within your home decor. It is about created a sophisticated room. I like how the stylists on the above photo marry rustic elements to a traditional French style room. The mood is soothing but definitely festive. Except for the Christmas baubles, you could keep most of the items all winter.

Winter and Cottage Feel

white reindeer sculptures at home sense

The idea is to add a layer of festive decorations to your rooms. Adding vignettes here and there, achieve that goal. Since you do not wish to recreate the same look every Christmas, explore how you can rearrange the elements by removing and adding some pieces. Look at how you can display them differently.

With smaller urban homes and unit condos, many people do not have the space to keep tons of decorations that they use one month a year. Look at items that you can reuse instead. Simply replace the white and red candle on the twig lantern and enjoy it all summer at the cottage. The silver twig vase, I saw similar ones at William Ashley by the way, could be used any time you entertain to add sparkle to your dining room. I might keep one or two white deer statutes on a shelf after Christmas.

Build your Tabletop on What You Have

mixing tableware at home sense

Take cues from the little black dress when designing your tabletop. The accessories you put on give personality to the little black dress. You can do the same with your tableware. Look at how you can use what you already have, add a plate or a bowl, make sure you get a little sparkle, use ornaments as your centerpieces and voilà, you create a festive tabletop!

Again, I am surprised that you can find those at Home Sense. I should shop there more often.

+ photos: Home Sense


Rustic Tables for the End of Summer Cottage Season

rustic meets vintage tabletop rustic table inspiration :: menu wheel by anna of rifle design

Fall officially arrived. In a few weeks, the cottage on the lake season will close for many of us that live North. Wood slice trays are nothing new but I still like them. Plus, using handcrafted organic elements to contrast modern pieces is one of the 4 trends for Christmas 2009 (more on that later).

serving meat pie at sugar shack pied de cochon

Wood slices are beloved because they are versatile. Tree slices fit in from a shack style to the modern rustic. You can use them to serve savory pies, or as a natural cheese board.  They can also support your floral centerpieces as you can see on this charming table by the crafty Anna of Rifle Design. Anna took that picture as part of her DIY menu wheel craft project.

Rustic Tree Cake Stands

diy tree slice cake stands :: rustic cake stands

What I like the most is how you can transform a tree slice and a short thick branch into your own cake stands. Make a least three stands. Ideally, you wish to vary their heights and surface size. They are not complicated to make. See the instructions of Laurie Cinotto. Remember to put a paper between the food and the tree slice, unless you applied a food-safe wood sealer.

If crafting is not your thing, go to Hens in Daisies’ Etsy shop to find large and extra large cake stands. They are ready to use. Simply wipe clean with damp cloth these food-safe sealed cake plates.

+ DIY Tree Pedestal Cake Stand by Laurie Cinotto on Once Wed
+ DIY Wedding Menu Wheel on Design*Sponge
+ Large Rustic Cake Stand by Hens in Daisies $45 USD on Etsy
+ Extra Large Rustic Cake Stand by Hens in Daisies $75 USD on Etsy


Rustic Metal Letters and Decanters

rustic metal letters

You probably noticed that alphabet is a recurring theme on my blog. What can I say, I am inspired by the views of letters and words. I am inclined to introduce new sources when they add something new.

At West End specializes in rustic and recycled home decor. They carry a beautiful line of rustic metal lowercase letters and popular symbols. Their letters and symbols are 11-inch tall. They also have an enormous “THE” letter set on sale at $99 USD.

home accessories in soft hues and jewel tones

You could built a nursery decor around the metal fish symbols. Or you could infuse a Mediterranean mood to your kitchen. They are versatile. You can place it on a surface or you can hang the fish symbol on the wall.

The jewel tone decanters has a gypsy vibe. These decanters carry a strong decorative element. They come in 4 harmonizing colors and in a clear glass. Plus you will feel good knowing that they contain some recycled glass.

+ enormous “THE” letters on sale $99 USD
+ Metal letter $20 USD
+ Metal Fish Symbol soft aqua, green or rust $26 USD
+ Jewel Tone decanter green, turquoise, violet, amber or clear glass $42 USD
+ organic 6-inch tall bloom vases $85 USD for set of 4
+ Via Ohdeedoh


Rustic Decor Ideas from Starbucks 15th Ave. Coffee & Tea

Starbucks New Stealth Store

Many people, including couples who are getting married, opt for a rustic party theme. These are good reasons for that. It is style that is inviting, that feels warm and cozy.

You may have heard that Starbucks opened a new store concept, the 15th Ave. Coffee & Tea. Despite the design controversy, there are decor ideas that you can reclaim for your next rustic decor party. What caught my attention are in details. As you know, details are what transform an ordinary party into an extraordinary adventure.

The first item that I noticed is the old style teakettle. I think it is gorgeous. Setting an area outside for guest dogs to drink water is a nice touch when you are having a barbecue at the cottage or a long drive from home.

Mercantile Counter at Starbucks 15th Ave. Coffee and Tea

Another design idea that is worth recycling for a big party is the self-served counter. It has the charm of the general stores. Think how you could use that concept to serve food instead of setting a predictable buffet table. It is simple to reproduce the look. Visit flea markets to get your hands on vintage wood boxes. Secure them at an angle.

+ Via PSFK – they took the photos with a phone
+ Press Release of 15th Ave. Coffee & Tea


The Art of Food Styling and Rustic Tabletop

leesa o\'reilly :: australian food stylist :: picnic and outdoor dinner party

My entertaining philosophy has always been to pay attention to how I present food and set up my table instead of passing hours cooking in the kitchen. I cook but I opt for delicious dishes that are simple to make. I often serve dishes I am used to do.  The key is to serve the entire meal in a more refined way. Adding a few details goes a long way. The idea is to make it looks special, to show that you care.

Any time you have guess over, always make sure the table is ready before your guests arrive. It sends the message that they are thrilled to have them over. Pay attention to how you dress your table. These pictures styled by the Australian-based stylist Leesa O’Reilly are perfect examples that modern rustic can be elegant and inviting. To speed up the process, practice how you can set up the table on weekend for your family brunch or dinner.

leesa o\'reilly :: cheese platters and french bistro style

Get inspired by how Leesa O’Reilly arranged her cheese platters. You can mix and match the classic linen with hemstitch detail to add interest to a bistro style tabletop. Assembling this table will take you 5 to 10 minutes. Remember it the next time you are in a hurry.

Notice that most photos were taken by Melbourne based photographer Mark Roper. Karen Martini and George Calombaris are Melbourne-based internationally renowned chefs. Their food is represented in a selection of the images.

+ Portfolio of Leesa O’Reilly – photos for Vogue Entertaining & Travel (photography by Andrew McCornell and food by George Colomboris), Donna Hay, Sunday Life Magazine (food by Karen Martini) – most photographs are by Mark Roper
+ Table Linen Collection by Linen & Moore napkin $13.20 AUD, tablecloth $130-$185 AUD
+ Via Oh Joy!


My Christmas Eve Tablescape

christmas eve tabletop

The tradition continues. I am showing you my Christmas tablescapes. Last night theme was built around winter wilderness. Since we celebrated Christmas Eve at the ski cottage, that theme fits the surroundings.

The Making of My Theme

A special thank to Canadian Tire for giving me several accessories to make my table come true. The rest of the table was assembled with items from last year’s tablescapes (see also). My idea was to illustrate how you can update your table by replacing a few elements. I like to create vignette for my centerpiece.

christmas eve centerpiece

The Christmas theme dinnerware set was bought many years ago. It is a classic at our holiday table. I reused my birch cachepots, the pinecones, and the bauble place card holders of last year. The red tablecloth and napkin set was bought two or three years ago. Canadian Tire donated two birch pillar candles, the rustic winterscape lanterns, the two brown twig trees, and the black aluminum reindeer.

A last minute find was the red wood pieces, discovered at an art craft store. There were some natural wood pieces. I think the natural wood would have been nicer. I forgot that the tablecloth was red when I bought the wood pieces.

I like to put snow under my centerpiece. I mixed two kinds of artificial snow for a more realistic effect. On the bottom, I dropped a white paper snow. On the top, I sprinkled a more icy type of artificial snow. I enjoyed the glittering effect. The lanterns were hanged with fishing line on the existing pendants.

christmas eve tablescape details

Christmas crackers add fun during dinner. Ours came from Neiman Marcus. Crackers add a festive touch to the table.

I have fun styling my table. It is almost time to prepare the Christmas dinner table. I will improvise the table theme; I am still undecided. Tonight’s menu is the traditional turkey ragout with a piece of tourtière (i.e. French-Canadian meat pie) and homemade ketchup.


Labor Day Weekend Party Theme

labor day weekend party at the lake :: festa dinneware :: wood tray :: camping 1960s style cards :: colorful glasswareThe psychological indicator that marks the end of summer is Labor Day. It is a time where many people host one last big party at the cabin by the lake.

Setting the Decor

Last July, Gourmet inspired their readers with a delicious summer menu realized in a dreamy setting. I fall in love with the vintage canoe table.

Set the tone of the party with Camping Circa 1960s note cards by Old School Stationers. To set the tone of your table, go for the vintage style dinnerware. One great choice is the Festa Dinnerware at Fortunata.

DIY Wood Tray

Serving burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and toasts on home made wood tray is not just cute, it is very practical.

A friend of mine sent me this picture of the wood board made by her father. To reproduce, you simply cut a 2×6 or 2 by 8 in 8-inch long tray. A fancier version, shown here, is to carve a space to put the knife.

The story goes that her father was tired of the stream on the china plate that we all experienced with toasts. But if you use instead an untreated wood tray, the wood would absorb the humidity and deliver the best toasts you ever taste.

+ Recipes of Rollin’ on the River Menu
+ Get the Look featured Rollin’ on the River
+ Festa Dinnerware at Fortunata
+ Camping Circa 1960s by Old School Stationers
+ Baja Barware at Pottery Barn – price: $45 USD for 6 double old-fashioned, $54 for 6 highball glasses
+ Top pictures photographed by Quentin Bacon for the Rollin’ on the River article on Gourmet, July 2008 – right reserved


Cool Gift Ideas from Simplemente Blanco

oval wooden tray ::  Gardeners Knee Pad :: flower carrier by simplementeblanco_kitchen

I felt in love with the work of Fernanda Bourlot, an artist from Buenos Aires, Argentina who now lived in Boston, Massachusetts. She likes simple things that feel luxurious. As suggested by the name, everything at Simplemente Blanco is from the white palette.

The Design Philosophy

Her collection carries a modern rustic charm. Simplemente Blanco believes in balance, symmetry, calmness and pureness. Fernanda Boulot design brings us peace via the simplicity of the forms and the serenity of the spaces. Simplemente Blanco loves fresh interiors and I would add: comfort.

I compiled two lists of outstanding gift ideas. You bring on any of them as a housewarming gift or as a hostess gift that you are staying over for a few days.

For the Kitchen

The Oval Wooden Tray is perfect for the upcoming summer cottage season. From the Eating section, check out the Special China section and the dandelion table linens.

Gardeners Knee Pad is a must for anyone who enjoys gardening. It can be practical and decorative. You may question the wisdom of a white textile if you wish to use the object. But if you can wash in the machine, this knee pad will stay clean. Unfortunately, the Web site contains no product details.

The flower carrier is wonderful. You can also use it as a shopping bag when you buy bunches of flowers at the flower market. A message to my friends and family: this flower carrier is on my wish list for my upcoming birthday.

For the Bathroom

soap box :: golf ball soap :: simplemento blanco bathroom Fernanda Bourlot thinks that a home must contains just what they need and nothing else. You do not need to forgo style and beauty to live by this philosophy. Her bathroom collection is a proof of that.

You can decorate your bathroom with pleasing bathroom products. The irresistible Assorted Soap Boxes certainly qualify.

The Golf Ball Soap is a set that any hostess can provide to her stay over guests. Mark the Golf Ball Soap Bag on your Father’s Day gift ideas. The linen farmer bag is a wonderful packaging. I think it looks more precious this way.

Where to shop

These were my favorites but there are more to see of their Web site. The showroom is a by-appointment only. Consumers can visit Simplemente Blanco retail place called On the Side located at 40 Waltham Street in South End, Boston. On my next trip to Boston, I will schedule a visit for sure.

Learn more: Simplemente Blanco
Via: What To Do… Fernanda Bourlot on decor8