Dianne's Creative Table

I am inspired by light, all things natural, reusing previously loved items, and bargains!

Monday, June 25, 2012

O Solo Mio!

It's so great when you have good friends that love a lot of the same things you love.  Maybe that's what actually makes people friends in the first place.  One of those dear friends and I love to take classes.  We have taken photography, bread making, tablescaping, computer, exercise, and our latest; a cheese making class.  The class began with a visit to the Nubian goats. 

Their owner had a basket of animal crackers, their favorite treat, to help us make friends with the goats.  Goats don't share very well and the big ones pushed the little ones out of the way.  
Paula Butler from Standing Stone Farm, our instructor, did not use goat milk for this class, but instead, used regular store-bought whole milk.  She showed us how to make mozzarella and ricotta.  We were then able to purchase kits with the supplies needed to make our own.  
We decided this was a great excuse to have an Italian Dinner Party! 
You might remember this place setting posted HERE.  I quickly realized with just a few changes, I could transform my semi-country table into my version of an Italian Cafe.  
 I found the cute little chefs at Ross.  
Their little cake plate perch came from the Classy Flea in Marietta, GA on our recent Atlanta trip to see Neil Diamond!  

I really wanted candle-dripped Chianti bottles, but I discovered you can't just go out and buy a ready-made, dripped bottle, so I decided to make my own.  I called around to several local liquor stores and found one that had two matching Chianti bottles in stock.   I learned that there are special "dripping" candles, but I didn't have time to order those on-line, so I called all my friends and begged for colored candle stubs.  I just held them side-ways and despite a few burns from dripped hot wax, I was able to make my own! 
 The day of the party, I added the fresh grapes to the table.  

Several months ago, during a pizza making class, I learned how to make infused olive oil which is so delicious! 
 My antique crystal salt cellars with grey salt.  
My friend and I made both Mozzarella and Ricotta the night before the party.  I used both cheeses and put together a unique and delicious lasagna.  The day of the party, I made two large pans of Foccacia for dipping.

One of our guests brought an awesome antipasto tray. 
The dessert maker putting together the blackberry tart. 
Made with fresh mint and blackberries from our bushes.  Even more delicious than it looks!
Fred, I think the antipasto was a hit!  Two seconds after this shot, the tray was completely empty. 
Red sauce, lasagna, and Suzanne's Ceasar salad.   Not the prettiest lasagna pan, but I needed a really deep pan.  Vanderbilt Dining to the rescue with the loan of a commercial pan.  
Lasagna made with chicken, mushrooms, spinach, white sauce, and our cheese of course.
Sorry for the blurry shot, but I was in a hurry to eat!  Needless to say after some wine and food, there were no more photos.  
I will be joining the following parties:


  1. The table is so cute and I would sit down and enjoy a meal with you anytime. Now that food....Oh my goodness, hand me a plate please!!!! Hugs, Linda

  2. The color combinations are perfect! I love the way how you pulled all things together to make this wonderful tablescape. Well done!

    Satin Tablecloths

  3. Fun table! You now have me longing for a piece of blackberry tart.

  4. Perfect tAble for an Italian feast! Love those glasses, and the chefs are adorable! Dinner sounds great!
    Thanks so much for linking this to Let's Dish!

  5. What a happy tablescape. My daughter married an Italian so is cooking a lot of Italian food. I have one of those little chefs but different. I thought French.Could he pass for a french tablescapelolI love the checked placemats and the use of red and white.

  6. I think you did a perfect table, Dianne! All the food looks amazing, especially that blackberry tart.
    I remember doing wine bottles with crayons, years ago!

  7. Wow, Dianne! This is really cool!!! I am just in awe of all the work you put into making this table work so well with your theme! I remember making those candle bottles back in grade school. Really easy and fun, but if that wax drips on you...look out!!! You did a really great job with those! I'm not even gonna ask who drank all the Chianti out of the bottles so you could use them! :-) So cool that you actually took a cheese making course! My best friend would have loved doing something like that! She would have love meeting the goats, too. You did a slam dunk job of creating a great Italian table for the fabulous food!!! You guys really know how to party!!!!!!! Or should I say par-tay? :-)

  8. What a great party... I love the Italian theme and it really sounds Italian with your menu.

    Looks everyone had a great time and that matters.

    Happy w/end.

  9. Yummy post! And what a darling table! Looks like such a fun party.

  10. Oh My Goodness...
    I would have been stuffed to the gills and my tummy would have been doing a happy dance.... Yum,Yum... that antipaste tray looked amazing as did the Blackberry Tart... I just planted a blackberry and a raspberry plant up here and they have taken off. Your lasagna sounds VeRy UnIqUe...... never had chicken lasagna before!