Here’s another masterpiece from Carter and Cook, an event and design company based in Southern California. I love their work. I posted another tablescape from them a while ago. If you haven’t seen it, you should check it at Shimmer + Bold. In this tablescape I’m featuring today, persimmons, birch wood and yarn were the inspiration for this beautiful natural and cozy, succulent-filled tablescape. The versatility of this table could be used for a Fall or Winter wedding, Thanksgiving Feast or dinner party. So, now is the time to start planning the details! Carter and Cook wanted to achieve a cozy and comfy look with the use of natural elements. They added an arrangement of bright flowers to give the table a pop of color. The various textures, height and color all add to the overall look, and it’s gorgeous!
Carter and Cook created these DIY cupcake liner ruffle flowers and placed them strategically on the table runner. Click on the link to follow their super easy steps to create this super cheap DIY. Besides the ruffle flowers, how beautiful is this table! I know it’s a little Fall-inspired, but you can certainly change the color of the flowers to make it more Spring-like and change the fruit so it’s more in season.
The orange piece of fruit scattered around the table is called a persimmon. They’re delicious! They also used pears and pomegranates.
They also have a DIY for these cozy yarn covered chargers! I mean, seriously. Who thinks of that? I think it’s a nice touch to any tablescape whether it’s for a wedding, dinner party or brunch! It certainly can add a punch of color and softness against a white plate.
From the kitchen of: Guy Fieri
I think Guy Fieri is ridiculous. I mean, really. Just watch one of his shows on the Food Network. He’s a little too much with his spiked bleach-blonde hair and Mr. T jewelry, but you’ve got to hand it to him. He has certainly blossomed after winning the Next Food Network Star. Since then, he’s been the host of several different food shows on the Food Network and was even a game show host on NBC’s Minute to Win It. Needless to say, I was a little hesitant to make this recipe since I’m not a huge fan of his cooking, but we gave it a shot and boy were we wrong. The bacon is definitely the star in this dish. With every bite, it added saltiness and a crunchy texture. The tomato sauce was not heavy and made perfectly from scratch with the freshest ingredients. We were both pleasantly surprised with this dish, so maybe we’ll just put aside our dislike for Guy’s ridiculous hair and jewelry…for now.
salt + pepper
1 package of spaghetti pasta
1 package of thick-cut bacon
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup red onion, diced
1 teaspoon of chili flakes
3 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 cups Roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup red wine
4 tablespoons basil, chiffonade
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1. Boil water and prep the ingredients. In a large pot, boil about 3 quarts of water with 1 tablespoon of salt to flavor the pasta water. Meanwhile, prep the ingredients by mincing the garlic, dicing the onions and tomatoes, and chopping the bacon in large chunks.
2. Fry the bacon. In a large saute pan over medium heat, add bacon and saute until bacon is crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and place it on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain. At this time, add the spaghetti pasta to the boiling water and cook until pasta is al dente.
3. Make the tomato sauce. In the same saute pan you cooked the bacon, you’ll cook the tomato sauce. Place the pan back on medium heat and add the olive oil. Saute onions with chili peppers until translucent. Add garlic and continue to saute for a few more minutes. Add tomatoes and let it simmer for 5 minutes. At this point, you can use your wooden spoon to push the tomatoes down to release the juices. Add wine to the sauce and continue to cook for 10 minutes.
From fine dining to casual fare, this past weekend for us was pretty tasty. Saturday morning was filled with art and culture. We finally saw the Picasso exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and ate lunch at Amuse. VMFA is the only East coast venue to host Picasso masterpieces from the Museé National Picasso in Paris. If you haven’t had a chance to see it, you must! It’s ongoing until May 15. Later that day, we watched the Richmond Flying Squirrels beat Pennsylvania Altoona Curve at the Diamond. We indulged in beer and corndogs. The perfect combo. Lastly, we ended things off with good Southern barbecue from Buz and Neds with my family for Easter. All-in-all, it was a very delicious weekend. I was so sad to see it go.
After walking through the Picasso exhibit that started at 10am, we needed some coffee, stat. The Best Café located inside the museum offers light fare with sandwiches and salads, soups, snacks and beverages such as coffee, beer and wine!
Our reservations at Amuse, the fine dining restaurant in VMFA, were scheduled for 11:30am. We were hungry!
My sister, Sharon, helped herself to some morning cocktails, which included a champagne rose and a pomegranate cocktail with gin. The fresh bread was offered table-side. It literally smelled like fresh baked pizza.
My sister Sharon, brother-in-law Seamus and I ordered the jumbo lump crabcake with saffron calasparra and lolla rossa with a spicy tartar sauce. The crabcake was cooked perfectly. It was more crab than bread mixture, which is what I prefer. The tartar sauce was a great accompaniment to the crabcake, spicy and lemony with the capers. The rice aka saffron calasparra was very sad and disappointing though. I love my rice and this version was bland and dry! Bad news.
Jared’s dish was the roasted local chicken breast with gin and juice endive served with sun dried cherries in quinoa. He thought the chicken was cooked very well because it came out very juicy. The quinoa was something new to him and I. It’s like a grain, so it had that seed-like consistency. He thought it was paired well with the cherries, giving the dish some sweetness and texture.
Sheila’s dish was the grilled flank steak with polenta fries and garlic rapini with ancho barbecue sauce. I tried her dish too and I was a little disappointed with the flank steak. It was cooked perfectly to our medium request, but it was served cold. How sad. The polenta fries, though, were amazing! I am so learning how to make those.
Last, but not least, dessert! A very happy decision, we ordered the chocolate mousse and it was outstanding. The mousse was incredibly airy. The cookie was so delicate and a good combination to the mousse. It was a nice ending to a pretty good meal.
Adventures of Jared:
The first weekend in April, I made a trip to Pottsville, Pennsylvania for a rockin’ bachelor party weekend. My buddy, Scott, is getting married at the end of May, so the Best Man, I’ll call him Awesome planned a wild and crazy weekend in Pottsville, PA. Now, you’re all probably wondering what the heck is in Pottsville, PA. I’ll give you couple of hints: It’s not Las Vegas (duh), it’s not Atlantic City (remember we went to PA), it’s the D.G. Yuengling and & Sons original Yuengling Brewery! Wooo everyone get excited! This weekend wasn’t anything close to the Hangover, so get your minds out of the gutter, my PTTR’s (Pretty Tasty Things readers); it was just a fun weekend touring, learning, and definitely drinking our fair share of guess what? Yuengling Beer. Now don’t expect much from this walk through (like specific dates and descriptions of what you see; I went on this tour several weeks ago, and I’m lazy…I didn’t write anything down…we’re going off the memory my parents gave me…YIKES!)
The Original Brewery built in 1829. This site still makes the tasty Yuengling beverages, but at a reduced volume. They recently built a ginormous manufacturing center near Pottsville, PA.
Our tour guide, Sharon, mentioned that when the original Yuengling settled in Pottsville, his goal was to build a brewery. For some reason, he decided to build it 8 inches away from the only other building in Pottsville, a Catholic Church. The exact reason, I don’t remember, but I think it has something to do with Pottsville mainly being an Irish settlement. Yuengling is from Germany. Maybe there was some bad blood there?……..wait, I just remembered why they chose this sight. There is a natural spring in the hillside beyond the brewery. To make beer, you need water. Don’t forget that.
See I told you it was America’s Oldest Brewery. The sign says so.
The tour starts here.
Down in the underground dwellings of the brewery, we listen to our tour guide, Sharon, tell the story of speak of “I once caught a fish this big”…haha.
Actually, she was talking about the the original keg filling process. The items in the crates are made of cork. Back in the day, they plugged the kegs with these. Everyone on the tour got one as a free souvenir.
Original wooden kegs on the left and futuristic metal kegs on the right.
Since they made beer prior to refrigeration, the Yuenglings had to find land with caves. The caves would allow for a cool, constant temperature year round. Also, I think the real reason they chose this area was due to the natural spring.
This brick wall was constructed by the federal government during prohibition (1920 – 1933, look how smart I am). I think it cut off the natural spring preventing any beer from being made.
Old and rusty ladders that led to a couple of areas. I think the natural spring and maybe the manufacturing floor.
I just had to showcase this bridal shower on Pretty Tasty Things because the details were just perfect for the occasion. Korie Lynn of Korie Lynn Photography photographed Amanda’s day as a bride-to-be. Her beautiful DIY bridal shower took place at the Ladysmith Village Residents Club in Ladysmith, VA. The food was catered by the family, cupcakes from a local market and the papergoods were made by the bride’s sister-in-law, Jannah. Touches of bright color were utilized in the decor. The colorful straws, dessert pedestals and tablecloths added some funkiness and personality to the bridal shower. I hope you enjoy the details and maybe get inspired to add some personal touches to your next event!
I am in LOVE with these straws. I just want them in every color. The bold colors are ideal for any type of event. They’re definitely fun and whimsical. Here they placed the stars in mason jars. Rafia was used to tie a name card around the lip of the jar.
Here’s a photo of the beautiful bride-to-be. She’s a spitting image of a Barbie!
Cupcakes galore! This bride loved her cupcakes. There were probably five different flavors of cupcakes. And guess where she got them? Wegmans! They look like million-dollar cupcakes, too. I am a huge fan of cupcakes especially Frostings in Richmond, Virginia. We had cupcakes for our wedding cake and it was a hit. We served three different flavors. Read more about it in “ABOUT US.”
Not only did Jannah present the cupcakes on several different vintage pedestals, but she also created created labels placed in colorful frames. She also inserted circular and flag labels into some of the cupcakes. She could have just plated the cupcakes, but she took the extra time to add some personality and color to each cupcake. Love it!
Here is a closeup of the “Chocolate Vanilla Peanut Butter” cupcake label. OMG. That sounds amazing. Just look at how the frosting was piped on the top of the cupcake. That drizzle of chocolate with a peanut butter cup just completes it all. Must drop everything and go Wegmans. Ugh, if only I Richmond had one.