Neutral Header

Neutral Header

Friday, June 24, 2011

Look What's New!

I've found some fabulous European treasures recently at the flea markets! All of these goodies can be found in my booth at Merchant Square Antiques in Chandler,AZ.
 I can't resist Italian pottery.It's sunny bright colors remind me of our trip to Tuscany a few years ago.
 I love these wonderful wire photo frames! I've put a vintage style postcard in them , but you can put in your own favorite photos.

 Burlap is so trendy right now.I've got some darling wine bottle/gift bags with a French label for your hostess gift needs.  And don't you love these blown glass candleholders? They sure remind me of Venetian glass.
 This is a charming piece of Portuguese pottery, with a bouquet of hand painted flowers.
 I got these antique linen dishtowels at the famous Marche aux Puce flea market in Paris. They still have their original French price tag! 

I always have something new (or should I say old?)  at  Merchant Square so come and find a little piece of Europe for your home.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sundried Tomatoes

It's now officially Summer, but here in Arizona we've already been having "summer" for months. My garden is bursting with tomatoes and zucchini and I wanted to share one of my new methods for preserving Summer's harvest. I love sundried tomatoes for adding in to salads and pasta dishes and it's so easy to make your own!

 Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper. I have used a Silpat sheet but found that the tomatoes stained it a bit.
 Some of the tomatoes I cut into slices about 1/4" thick.  Another batch I cut into wedges and seasoned with basil.
 Now for the twist! I usually place my sheets of tomatoes in the backyard covered with an old (but clean!) screen to keep the bugs off. This time I placed the tomatoes on the dashboard in my car with the windows all rolled up. My car acted like a giant solar oven! With the temps in the triple digits outside you know things were  plenty hot in the car.
 It took a day and half for the tomatoes to become properly dehydrated, so I picked a couple of days when I didn't have any errands to run or could borrow my husbands car. My friends teased me that I'd be driving around with big sheets of tomatoes on the dashboard! No, not a good idea!
I then packed the tomatoes in clean jars. You can leave them as is and keep them on your pantry shelf for at least 6 months. To reconstitute, soak in hot water for 10 minutes.One batch I covered with olive oil, but those should be kept refrigerated and used within a couple of months.

This is the label I used for the jars, I love the vintage look.
And here is a recipe I created to use those yummy, flavorful, sundried tomatoes.

Under the Tuscan Sun Salad
8 ounces shaped pasta - penne, rotini, shells or farfalle
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes cut into pieces
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1 zucchini sliced and grilled
2 scallions sliced
2-3 precooked chicken and basil sausages (I buy the Emeril Lagasse brand at Costco) grilled then sliced
1/2 cup Kraft sundried tomato salad dressing
1/4 cup fresh basil

Boil pasta acording to directions on package and drain. Meanwhile grill or saute zucchini and sausages.Combine everything in large bowl and chill. Toss with basil right before serving. Serves 6.
Feel free to substitute your favorite ingredients such as mushrooms, mozarella balls, grilled chicken, asparagus etc.

Buon Appetito!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Table Setting

A few weeks ago I brought my lovely French terracotta children inside and placed them on my dining room table. Today I decided to add a summery table setting and share a couple of my recent finds.

  The dishes are the classic Spode Buttercup pattern. My mom passed these on to me a couple of years ago when she was doing some "closet cleaning". Actually I inherited my love of dishes from my mother who must have at least 20 different sets!
 I layered them  on an April Cornell tablecloth and sage green woven placemat.

A flat of multi-colored zinnias makes a pretty centerpiece.

I found this fabulous set of vintage Wm. Rogers silverplate flatware on craigslist. It's a neoclassic design in perfect condition. I only paid $25 for 48 pieces plus the silverware box! I've been searching for some vintage silver to use for the tablescape I'll be doing for my women's club's annual Christmas Idea House. I think I found it!

The Fostoria company used to make some of America's most popular stemware. The factory was only a couple of hours away from our home in Pittsburgh, PA. Every so often my mom and her girlfriends would take a day trip and go shopping to one of the original factory outlets. Sadly the company shut down in the 1980's. This is the Jamestown pattern and yes, my mom has this too. I found 4 of these last week at the Goodwill for $1.99 each.

I hope you like my summer table setting. It reminds me of Sunday dinners growing up. We aways used good china, silver and crystal and of course a Sunday roast!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

English Sideboard and Table

I can't resist antique English furniture. It's solid and sturdy yet has elegance and grace.

 This beautiful sideboard has paneled doors, barley twist columns and a fabulous lock made of ivory. I also have the key!
 This Tudor style draw leaf dining table seats 6 comfortably but has 2 leaves that pull out from underneath accommodating 8 or even 10. Doesn't it look pretty all set for Spring?
Both pieces are currently in my antique store. The sideboard is $599 and the table is only $359.Come check them out!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Roosters Galore!

Look what showed up today!  My shipment from the Atlanta Gift Show has finally arrived - well at least part of it. If you're a rooster fan I've got lots of new home decor items for you. Plus I've got some charming vintage items that I'm bringing in this weekend  including French Quimper and some Italian glass canisters.

 I went crazy for these rooster canisters,
 and this fabulous French burlap bulletin board.

 Little rooster buckets...and big rooster baskets.
This is just a small sampling of what's new!
Come see me at Merchant Square booth #20