Last month, I hosted lunch for eight and I kept the menu really simple and it worked out so well. All of our guests said the soup was delicious. I was so happy!
I basically have one set of ‘dressy’ dishes: the china we registered for for our wedding. Nine years later, and I’ve managed not to break any of the place settings. The dishes are Mikasa’s Cameo Platinum setting and I like them because they are simple (white) and elegant (platinum edging). Since I pretty much always use the same dishes, it’s fun to create different looks with the other table decor. This time, I used silver chargers as well. I found them at Goodwill a few months back but I noticed Michael’s carries them too (and right now they are on sale!).
In the center of the table, I placed a glass vase of corks, disco ball, small bunches of fresh flowers, sparkly mini pumpkins, and a candle on top of a piece of burlap. I made sure there was still room for the two main food items: soup & salad.
I put the faux wood ceramic server on the table as a trivet to have a place for the hot pot of soup and the salad bowl was placed on the other side. I like using my faux apples for place card settings, but I changed it up and used fresh leaves from the yard as place cards instead. I wrote the names on the leaves with a gold Sharpie paint marker.
I made my own Shrimp & Corn soup, which warmed us up on a cold day, along with a chopped salad.
5 slices bacon
4 celery stalks diced
1 small yellow onion diced
2 parsnips (cut into pieces)
3 medium red potatoes (peeled and cut into pieces)
4 cups frozen corn
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
medium sized shelled, deveined shrimp (as much or as little as you prefer)
fresh crushed black pepper
Cook bacon in pan and set aside once cooked. In the same pan, using the oil from the bacon, saute celery and onion with salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer sauteed celery and onion to a pot large enough for the volume of soup and pour in chicken broth, water, and potatoes and parsnips. Cook until root vegetables are tender. Use an immersion blender to blend cooked parsnips and potatoes in liquid. Add in cream and then corn to the pot and continue cooking on medium. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Once seasoned and ready, add in shrimp and cook until pink and firm. Sprinkle served soup with crumbled bacon and a few slices of green onion. Bon Appetit!
We also enjoyed a wonderful dessert made by one of our guests. The blackberry tartlets were delicious and I’ll have to figure out the recipe to make them again: blackberries in a baked pie crust topped with cream cheese. Easy and yum!
Let me know if you have any other easy lunch menu suggestions or if you try out this soup!
Note: The Projects page has been updated to include a quick reference for recipes too!
I’ve heard the average worker carries at least three mobile devices. Even if you don’t actually have them all with you at once, it seems on average people own at least three devices (cell phone, tablet, and laptop). That means we all have to have some way to charge and connect those devices and therefore we are constantly dealing with wires and cables.
When I made over our home office, I made sure to buy special wire clips to keep all the wires organized and streamlined. But our wire situation wasn’t just confined to the office. I charge my cell phone, and sometimes my laptop, at night so the devices are plugged in at the outlet right next to my night table. I often had to root around on the floor for the end of the cable to plug in my phone. So, I was excited to try out the MOS. MOS stands for magnetic organization system and it’s an organizer which keeps cables neat on your surface, instead of in a mess on the floor, by using magnets.
The organizer is basically a magnetic triangular shaped device that comes in three finishes: white, black (heavy duty plastic), or aluminum. Each finish is scratch resistant and the bottom of the organizer has non-sticky micro suction tape to hold it firmly to your surface. It also comes with a round 3M double-sided adhesive in the middle so you can mount it to the wall and run your wires vertically.
I usually charge my tablet in the living room so I also used it there. My organizer came with 3 blue rubber magnetic cable ties and I used those for the cables that did not magnetically stick to the organizer. You wrap the cable tie around the cable and the magnet in the tie connects with the magnet in the base.
It’s a clever and sleek way to corral the cables and not have to worry about rooting around for them behind furniture or on the floor. And since it’s a magnet it can be used for other things as well. I like the idea of mounting it to the wall and using it as a spot for your keys!
Sewell Direct provided a MOS for my honest feedback and review. All expressed opinions are my own.
Paint Colors We’ve Used