Mix-and-Match Table Settings

6 Nov

My favorite pieces of china happen to look great together

I definitely tend towards a more eclectic feel in my decorating and my tabletop is no exception.  I love the whimsy of a mix-and-match table setting – not only is it a feast for the eyes and a happy way to enjoy a meal, but the use of pattern diverts the eye from any spills or splatter on the table.  Here I used my favorite teacups, a vintage set found at an antique store, and various patterned and printed place from my favorite home store – TJ Maxx!  The napkins are pretty and hide stains after wiping your mouth.  While it’s a work in progress, I hope to collect enough trinkets to have fabulous settings like the master, Tony Duquette (image below)!

I placed little hand-written notes into the bowls, plates and cups in my setting so that guests can get a hint of what’s to come.

I think I am going to stock up on the books pictured in the collage above for even more inspiration!  Would you try a mix-and-match table setting?

Yours-

The Domestic Diva in Training

Absolutely Perfect Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

6 Nov

The actual results – my new fave cookie!

With the weather changing here in Manhattan, I have been craving delicious fall flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, and most deliciously, butterscotch.  There’s something so comforting about its unabashed sweetness that I just can’t resist.  Lately I’ve really fallen in love with baking cookies from scratch – it’s cathartic after a long day at work.  I tried this recipe and couldn’t have been happier with the results.

You will need:

  • 3/4 cup margarine, softened (leave it onthe counter while you pull out all of your ingredients and this will do the job nicely)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups of rolled oats
  • 1 & 2/3 cups butterscotch chips

Step One: Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Step Two: In a large bowl, beat the margarine, white sugar, and packed brown sugar together.  Add in the eggs and vanilla, beating well.

Step Three: Stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a separate bowl.  Gradually add the flour mixture to the margarine mixture and stir until blended.

Step Four: Stir in the oats and butterscotch chips.  Drop by the spoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  I prefer a larger cookie.

Step Five: Bake 10-12 minutes, or until the edges begin to turn brown.  The baking time will depend on how big you made your cookies.

In my experience, it is a bit tricky to tell when oatmeal cookies are ready to come out of the oven.  After all, they are gooey in the middle even when finished, and take some time to set.  I had to take my cookies out a few times and do a taste test to see if they were ready.  If the dough tastes raw in the middle, pop them back in the oven for 1 minute intervals until done.  Lay out on the counter and allow to thoroughly cool and set, or they will break apart.  The result is a perfect cookie that’s slightly crunchy on the outside and super soft in the middle. YUM!

This recipe makes quite a few cookies, so if you’re not feeding many mouths make sure you have a tupperware clean and ready to store some in the freezer.  These will make a perfect Christmas cookie…I’m going to wrap them, give them a gift tag and include in all of my gift bags for friends!

Yours –

The Domestic Diva in Training

Welcome to the Diva Den!

6 Nov

Image via Domino Magazine

Something very strange has come over me in the last few months.  I’ve become absolutely obsessed with all things homelife.  I’m more than sure that it has everything to do with the fact that I am living in my very first apartment apres college.  Suddenly I can’t get enough of interior decorating books, Real Simple and Martha Stewart Living, and cooking up a storm.  It’s a whole side of life I was never in touch with before and I am so inspired, I figured I should chronicle it all here – on the Diva Den.  I’ll be sharing some fab (and easy) recipes, decorating, party planning, etc.  So come along for the ride and welcome to the Diva Den!

Yours –

The Domestic Diva In Training