Holiday Tablescape Inspired by Mixed Metallics

I absolutely love to create beautiful tablescapes, especially for my clients, the holidays and family gatherings. It’s something about eating at a beautifully decorated table that is just perfect and inviting. This year I decided to mix metallic and texture. I used  gold and silver as my primary colors and for texture, I used burlap and printed napkins with raised gold imprints.

To keep it simple and clean, I started with white china. I know, at this point you are probably thinking this is really neutral, but the white will actually  enhance the metallic colors by making them pop. I folded the silver napkins into a tri-fold, allowing the gold printed design to show. Then I added a sparkly gold ornament for texture and color. I alternated the napkins using silver with gold prints and silver with a white floral print.


For the main centerpiece, I used a speckled silver candelabra with a hurricane vase top and faux greenery. For accent, I used Southern Living at Home tall Chelsea Candle sticks with candles and small candles  to add in variations of height and lighting. The gold burlap table runner is the perfect backdrop for this centerpiece because it adds texture and color to my dining room table as well as being the base for this design.


The key to this tablescape is sticking to a simple palette and using two to three colors. I used gold, silver and white. for the ambiance I used candle light, it’s flattering, simple and elegant. I just love the look of candle light,so much so, I carry that through out my home adding groups of candles to my buffet, side tables and my mantle. To give my festive holiday themed tablescape that holiday season feel, I also use scented candles. It just adds that extra special touch or should I say smell.

I like using pieces that I have around my home, such as mismatched plates, lanterns, fabric and glass or mirrors. It’s really simple to dress your table if you think along the lines of seasonal and festive versus using holiday specific. When you dress your table as festive and seasonal, you can use it through the holidays and not worry about changing it from Thanksgiving to Christmas….as a bonus it saves you time and it doesn’t break the bank!


Creating a beautiful tablescape does not have to complicated or expensive. There are so many ways to make them fun and festive. Start by keeping it simple. Use pieces that you have around your home such as china, serving trays and fabric. Bring the winter foliage inside by using, berry branches and pine cones as centerpieces. Use mismatched pieces that compliment your color scheme. If color is your thing, try using colors that are non traditional such as jewel tones and color combinations such as blue and white. Use candles and lots of them. Using them in different heights and scents adds a special ambiance. Get creative, have fun and no time you will have your tables dressed and ready for the holidays.

Merry Christmas!


Turkey Salad with Celery and Cranberries

Thanksgiving by far is one of my favorite holidays. Thanksgiving day is one of those days where you are allowed to eat as much as you want, enjoy your family, watch football, take a nap and then repeat. After a couple of days of eating leftovers, my family is ready for something a little different…. but we ALWAYS have turkey left…and lots of it! This year I decided to make turkey salad with celery and cranberries.  This is one of those meals that you can prepare and refrigerate over night and serve the next day for lunch or dinner on your favorite bread, crackers or with lettuce.

To begin I start by shredding my turkey, then I chop up some celery, a few roasted pecans, sweet dried cranberries, green onions and parsley. Then I mix it all with organic Greek yogurt, a little bit of mayonnaise, salt and black pepper to taste.

In a bowl mix ingredients
In a bowl mix ingredients

Adding cranberries gives this salad that extra little kick. In the summer when I make chicken salad, I add in dried apricots, green apples and dried cherries… So why not cranberries in the fall and winter? They are in season, they provide a beautiful color contrast, as well as a sweet and tangy flavor.

Turkey Salad with Celery and Cranberries on Whole Wheat Bread
Turkey Salad with Celery and Cranberries on Whole Wheat Bread

Personally, I like my turkey salad on top of crackers.. yeah right, who am I kidding? Give me whole wheat bread with lettuce and tomatoes…….. okay so I’m a sandwich geek, but simplicity is the key after working all week and preparing a delicious wonderful feast for your family.


3 cups finely chopped or diced celery

4 cups of cooked chopped/shredded turkey

1/2 cup minced flat leaf parsley ( fresh)

4 green onion, chopped or minced

1/2 cup roasted pecans, rough chop

1/2 cup dried cranberries

2 Tbs of mayonnaise

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt ( can use low fat)

2 tsp salt

2 tsp freshly ground pepper

In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the salt and pepper. Mix well or until all of the ingredients are combined. Add in the salt and pepper and mix. Let the salad sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or refrigerate  up to 3-4 hour or over night to blend flavors.

Serves 8

Roasted Pork Chops with a Dijon Mutard Rub

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There’s something to be said  about a well cooked pork chop… not just any old pork chop, but one that is full of flavor and juicy. In the south, we like them just about any way they can be served, smothered, fried, grilled or baked. Personally, I  love them roasted… I really do… one of my many love affairs.  With just a few ingredients that you have in your pantry you can make this delicious peppery spicy rub which is a perfect pairing for the pork chops. Add your favorite sides or salad and you will have dinner in no time.

1/4 cup of Dijon mustard or spicy mustard

1 tbsp olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4  tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp dried thyme

1/4 tsp dried rosemary

4-6 pork loin chops. about 1/2 inch  to 3/4 inch thick

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In bowl, whisk together the mustard, garlic, oil, salt, black pepper, rosemary and thyme.  Place chops in glass dish or roasting pan. Pour the rub mixture over the pork chops and spread. Let them stand for 30 minutes. Can let them marinate over night. Roast the pork chops in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until desired temperature is met.

Pan Roasted Chicken with Lemon Garlic Green Beans


This delicious dish is not only one of my signature dishes, but it’s also one of my go to meals. It has the best of both worlds, meat and veggies all in a serving. Just pop some of your favorite dinners rolls in the oven and voila! You have a complete meal.  Now there is a warning that comes along with this, it’s HIGHLY ADDICTIVE. Eat at your own risk!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

6 tablespoons of olive oil

2 lemon, one thinly sliced and 1 juiced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

3/4 pound of trimmed green beans

8-10 small red potatoes, quartered

4 chicken breast, bone left in and skin on. Can also substitute for legs/thighs

Coat a large baking dish or cast iron skillet with 1-2 tbsp of olive oil. Arrange lemon slices in the bottom of the dish or skillet. In a large bowl, add the remaining oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and green beans, toss to coat.

After coating the green beans, arrange them on top of the lemon slices. Add the potatoes to the same olive oil mixture, tossing to coat. Arrange the potatoes along the inside edge of the dish on top of the green beans.

Place the chicken in the same olive oil mixture, tossing to coat. Place the chicken skin side up in the dish, on top of the green beans. Pour the remaining olive oil mixture over the chicken.

Roast for 50 minutes. Remove the chicken from the dish and place dish back in the oven with just the green beans and potatoes for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Then remove the dish from the oven and place the chicken back on top. Serve warm.

Serves 4-6


Roasted Fingerlings with Baby Carrots and Parsnips

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Thanksgiving is just around the corner. We all know that the turkey is the star attraction… but what about the side dishes? If you are like me you want traditional and non traditional dishes. I want my feast flavorful! ( that’s the chef in me). When choosing side dishes I often times will choose simplicity. That is why I love this savory dish of hearty potatoes with a hint of sweetness. It’s a simple dish that packs lot of flavor and it’s easy to make.

Roasted Fingerlings with Baby Carrots and Parsnip:

Preheat oven to 375

11/2 lbs fingerling potatoes

1lb of parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

1/2 lb-3/4 lb of baby carrots

2 tbs of olive oil

1 tbsp of dark brown sugar ( or honey)

1/2 tsp of salt

1/2 of Italian seasoning

1 tsp of black pepper

In a large bowl, toss potatoes, carrots and parsnips with the olive oil. Season the tossed potatoes with the brown sugar, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Roast for hour at 375.