Host an Outdoor Seafood Party

Warm days and lazy weekends call for hosting outdoor parties!  Today’s post gives an outline and menu for an outdoor seafood party….complete with dessert!  Drawing inspiration from a 1956 New England Cookbook (see source at end of post) this party will sure to be a hit whether you live on the east coast or the midwest!

Lets start with the menu – all recipes/ideas follow menu outline:

Seafood bake or Boil

Parker House Rolls         Mustard Pickles

Marble Cake

Watermelon Refresher

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Old Fashioned French Dressing Recipe

I truly admire individuals who live their truth 100% of the time….whatever that truth is!  When it comes to living a lifestyle akin to the 1800’s, I can think of no better example than Tasha Tudor.  Although she passed away in 2008, her way of living, gardening, and yes, even historical sewing, still captures the imaginations and hearts of kindred spirits today.  While this post is not meant to be an overview of her life, you can be sure that I will be sharing more about her in the future.  To learn more about this little spark plug of a woman, I highly recommend checking out the family website or the fabulous book The Private World of Tasha Tudor. 

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A Touch of the 1920’s

Today’s post is all about appreciating the various aspects of life during the 1920’s.  From recipes to fashion and a bit in between, I hope you enjoy these reflections of the past.  And of course, I hope you will try one of the delicious recipes provided below…I know I will! 🙂

Spring weddings are the perfect time to choose something bright and cheerful!  I love the cut of the green dress!

Finding the perfect wave and bob is such an eternal struggle.  Maybe these images will help spark some ideas!

Upcoming rainy days mean bringing out the old reliable rain coat!  This stylish lady has both a matching hat and jacket in a happy shade of blue!

This lady is not only impeccably dressed, she is also in a stunning location!

Host a spring tea party and make a few of these little treats to serve!

I adore house plans, and this little bungalow is equal parts quaint and charming!

Happy 1920’s my friends!


Vintage Thanksgiving Advertisements

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I’m pretty sure I have said this before, and will most probably say it again, but I adore vintage advertisements.  I love the catch phrases, the corny promises, and the super happy people just grinning from ear to ear over the product.  But when you add in anything to do with a holiday, I just go wild!  Commercials have the same effect on me.  Whenever a holiday commercial comes on, especially if its one that gets played every year, I just get that much more excited!  So with Thanksgiving coming up this week, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some vintage advertisements featuring products that one must just simply have …or at least within reason!

Turkey, or in this case, ham is the foundation for the meal.  I can’t say I have ever had ham on Thanksgiving…but if it was put out there next to the turkey, I’m sure I would indulge!

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Okay, I personally do not care for sweet potatoes or yam..but I know many in my family do.  Especially if it has little tiny marshmallows melted on top.  So this advert is for them!

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Can’t have Thanksgiving dinner without the cranberry sauce or jelly!  I love how this Ocean Spray advert includes recipes!

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A proper Thanksgiving meal wouldn’t be complete without the dessert.  Here is one featuring Dinah Shore and her pumpkin pie recipe!

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And for those of you out there who can’t decided between pumpkin or pecan….why not try this pumpkin pecan pie!

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I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving where the times with friends and family are as delicious as the food!

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Having a Harvest Feast

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I have several vintage cookbooks that are my absolutely favorite things to read on a rainy day.  There is something so relaxing about reading recipes, table setting ideas, and ways to wow your guests all from the comfort of your couch.  And it seems the older the book, the more descriptive and detailed the ideas become.  How to set a table for different meals throughout the day using the same centerpiece tickles some domestic part of me.  The proper way to serve coffee following a buffet dinner or how to greet guests right when they walk in the door while making sure your dinner doesn’t burn in the oven are all fascinating tidbits to learn.  So when it comes to having friends or family over, even if I don’t serve one recipe mentioned, I will always start by reading one of my vintage cookbooks.  It puts me in the right frame of mind and ensures I plan the most perfect meal.

Today I wanted to share with you one fabulous meal entitled Harvest Feast.  This comes from my Betty Crocker Hostess Cookbook from 1967.  I adore this cookbook and am pretty sure I have read it at least 20 times with no signs of getting bored of it yet! While I have to be honest and say that I can’t see myself cooking any of these recipes (except maybe the cake), I absolutely adore the idea of having a meal focused on harvest.  Not a Thanksgiving meal mind you, but a dinner that embraces all things warm, cozy, and autumn.  Here are the two pages from the cookbook which outline exactly how to create your own Harvest Feast:

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Any proper Harvest Feast must have the proper table setting.  Here are few of my favorite pieces:

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Natural Leaves Placement from Pier One

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Cream Leaf Pitcher from Kohls

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Pumpkin Soup Tureen from Macys

So whether its a harvest feast for two or twenty, embrace the tones, textures, and flavors this season has to offer!

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All Things Apple Pie

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I think I have eaten apple pie at least once a week for the past month and a half….I can’t get enough of it!  I love every warm, soft, gooey, delicious bite.  So nothing would do but take some time to fully appreciate all things apple pie!

To start with, here is one of my go-to recipes from my 1950’s Betty Crocker Cookbook:

1 recipe for Double-Crust Pastry
1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (8 medium)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 Heat oven to 425ºF. Prepare Double-Crust Pastry.
2 Mix sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Stir in apples. Turn into pastry-lined pie plate. Dot with butter. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1/2 inch from rim of plate.
3 Roll other round of pastry. Fold into fourths and cut slits so steam can escape. Unfold top pastry over filling; trim overhanging edge 1 inch from rim of plate. Fold and roll top edge under lower edge, pressing on rim to seal; flute as desired. Cover edge with 3-inch strip of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning. Remove foil during last 15 minutes of baking.
4 Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust. Serve warm if desired.

Now that you have the perfect recipe, you need the perfect accessories!  

Every good pie deserves a careful companion to ensure a deliciously flaky crust…and that perfect buddy comes in the form of a pie bird.  This one is sold by Le Creuset and is simply adorable!

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And any fall pie would look even more appetizing on an autumn themed plate like this:

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Plates from William and Sonoma

But if all else fails, you can always enjoy the scent of an apple pie from a lovely candle like this:

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Apple Pie Candle from Candlelit Desserts

I hope you are able to take advantage of fall’s delicious bounty…in the form a pie! 🙂

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“Let’s Eat Outdoors”

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For many Americans (especially those up north) today marks the end of summer.  Even though the actual day may still be a few weeks away, Labor Day seems to be the “unofficial, official” end.  With school starting this week, along with football season, the overwhelming desire to put out pumpkins, mums, and bales of hay can become very strong.  However, Labor Day weekend is the last hurrah where families get together for one last outdoor BBQ.  At this particular meal, everyone is very careful to avoid mentioning the leaves changing, or that they brought out their winter sweaters from storage…and above all, no one, I mean NO ONE is to dare breath a word indicating that a school bus will be showing up at one’s house tomorrow morning.  It is sort of an unspoken code of honor between parents and students ….eh…I mean, children!

So even though tomorrow means fall, school, and sweaters….today is all about summer picnic eating!  To celebrate, I have collected some of my favorite vintage images of picnics, camping, and BBQ’s.  So after you enjoy today’s post, go enjoy a delicious BBQ burger!!

Who wouldn’t love to chow down on a delicious spread like this!!

846-03164282 © ClassicStock / Masterfile Model Release: No Property Release: No 1950s PICNIC TABLE TOP FULL OF FOOD CORN HOT DOGS HAMBURGERS WATERMELON SALAD THERMOS CONDIMENTS BACKYARD SUMMER MEAL

I adore all things thermos and plaid…and even though this advertisement may be fore Christmas…I can’t help but imagine this spread out on a picnic blanket!

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Okay, I am not exactly sure I know what is being served here….the olive checkerboard dish is sort of weirding me out.  However, I would totally dig into those tasty little pies!

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I love the casualness of this set up.  A small little patio BBQ is perfect for just a few friends to enjoy!

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Camping is also a very popular activity to do Labor Day weekend as the heat has mostly dissipated. While I never looked as put together as this family does following a night sleeping in a tent, I love their view!

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Ahh….a picnic by the water…with dad taking another picture! 🙂

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Happy Labor Day everyone!  Take sometime to enjoy the last hurrah of summer….and make sure to set those alarms extra early for tomorrow!

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Petite Fruit Pies

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When the Autumn season rolls around, I am all about making pies.  Huge pies overflowing with fruits, spices, and lots of sugar.  But during the summer months, I prefer to create smaller, more delicate pies.  I am not quite sure of the reason, but there it is nonetheless.  I try to find fruits that are in season and make only one or two small pies at a time.  This is not only affordable, it is also a time saver, as I make a large amount of pie curst once and then freeze it in small batches.

So whether I want a little pie for myself, for a party, or simply to drop off to a friend, these small creations are the way to go!

Some of the best recipes I have, comes from the Better Homes and Garden Pies and Cakes Cookbook from 1966.  The recipes range from normal fruit pies to cold and tasty creations in a variety of crusts. I have the two pages below for you to peruse and try out as your wish!  I really like the cherry pie recipes myself! 🙂

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Happy Baking!!

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