Friday, June 21, 2013

On the Homefront: Sunny Summer Table

Sunny the Dalmatian has graciously agreed to preside
over the deviled egg plate!

The first day of summer has arrived, and to celebrate I have set a sunny summer table!  Lots of bright orange and yellow dominate the color scheme, balanced out by white and a bit of brown to cool things down slightly.  And of course that quintessential summer bloom, the sunflower, makes an appearance as well.  The citrusy colors inspired an equally citrusy menu, while the whimsical crustacean centerpiece influenced the entrée selection.  Rather than escape the heat, I decided to embrace it, so be prepared to sizzle!

Croft and Barrow Checkerboard Tablecloth from Kohl's; dark brown wooden bead placemat from Target; orange round placemat from Kmart; white dinner plate (Tivoli by Studio Nova); orange salad plate (Waechtersbach) from Tuesday Morning; yellow napkin from HomeGoods; stainless flatware (Tripoli Sand by Cambridge) from HomeGoods; orange water glass from The Cupboard in Fort Collins, CO; can't remember where I got the wine glass.

I couldn't decide which set of napkin rings to use, so I ended up
doing something completely different instead.  The napkins
remained unadorned, and both sets of rings, along with a
scattering of Skittles and a big white candle, were
combined to create a fun centerpiece, a sort of
crustacean carousel!

The obvious menu choice for this celebration of summer is one featuring lots of citrus flavors.  I chose recipes which include either lemons or oranges, to match the color scheme of course!  The simple salad is one my husband has been making for years.  He simply tops baby spinach leaves with canned mandarin orange segments and tosses it all with a generous drizzle of sesame oil.  I decided to complicate things just a bit by making a dressing with the sesame oil (1/3 C. mandarin orange liquid, 1 T. each rice vinegar and sesame oil), so use your own imagination and taste preferences when dressing this salad!

Sunny Summer Menu:

Lemonade and/or White Wine
Lemon and Dill Deviled Eggs*
Mandarin Orange and Spinach Salad with Sesame Oil Dressing

From Closet Cooking

*Lemon and Dill Deviled Eggs

6 eggs
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 T. minced fresh dill
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 T. lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Place the eggs in a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil.  Turn off the heat and let sit for seven minutes.  Place the eggs in a large bowl filled with cold water and let cool.  Peel the eggs and cut them in half lengthwise.  Scoop the yolks into a bowl and combine with the remaining ingredients.  Spoon or pipe the yolk mixture into the halved egg whites and serve.  Serves 6.

Even the Lindt Lindor Truffles on the table are the tasty orange variety:

Happy Summer Solstice, everyone -- enjoy your summer!

A sunflower close-up!

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