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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mikasa Daisy Place

You will scream with envy when I show you 
what I found yesterday at the thrift store!
Stacks of fine china by Mikasa! 
Twelve dinner plates, 12 soup bowls and 16 salad plates.

There was no price on the dishes and when I asked the price and was told $30 for the whole set I flipped! But wait, it gets better. When I took them to the counter there was a sign that said all dishes were 50% off. What?! That's right, I paid $15 for all 40 pieces! Are you screaming yet?

This is the Daisy Place pattern, it is scattered with charming soft pink and yellow English daisies .

 I'm on vacation and don't have access to my usual stash of linens so I've had to improvise a place setting.
(That's a throw rug as a placemat.)

 I think these will be perfect for Spring table settings!
 My luck with Mikasa continues. Remember the Mikasa dishes I found last spring? Check them out HERE.
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                   Seasonal Sundays @ The Tablescaper

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

To Market, To Market

Shopping in France is a feast for the senses.The colors and fragrances are intoxicating, and every town has its own market day with vendors hawking their wares. Our first day in Normandy we arrived in time for the market in 
Saint Mer Eglise.
 Here is the cathedral in the background with the infamous WWII parachutist hanging from the spires.

I love this French wine seller!

The fresh fruits and vegetables are mouth watering. 

 And the flowers! I wish I could have taken these home to my garden!

 Freshly caught fish and mouth watering nougat.

Of course, there is more to buy than fresh foods and flowers.  I hit the brocante markets in Versailles, Strasbourg and Colmar. It's such fun to roam the stalls finding everything from hats, shoes, books, pottery and silver. You never know what treasures you may find!

Here are a few of the treasures I brought home.

My travel tip - I only pack my suitcase half full and take plenty of bubble wrap to protect my purchases on a flight home.
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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Fabulous French Food

The French are known for their exquisite cooking and beautiful food presentation.  On our recent trip, we were not disappointed! 

 We awoke every morning to fresh crusty baguettes baked by the Sisters of La Joie Saint Benoît at the convent where we stayed.

The French LOVE their bread! And why not? Crusty on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside. In the movies you always see French people with a baguette sticking out of the top of a grocery bag. This is so true! It helps that there is a boulangerie on every corner.

One afternoon in Rouen I felt that I need something light for lunch and ordered a salad. It came loaded with thick slices of bacon and cubes of foie gras. A bit heartier than I had planned, but delicious!

While I ate my "healthy" salad, Scott indulged in veal chops in a mushroom sauce and 3 cheese baked pasta.

In Paris we had to have  bowls of steaming onion soup with freshly grated cheese.

In Strasbourg we were served this crispy flatbread with cheese, carmelized onions and smoked sausage as an appetizer.Each was plated up on an individual breadboard. 

 We were told a specialty in Alsace is a dish called baekoffen. While my photo may not make it look  very special, trust me, it is! This casserole is made of lamb, pork and sausage plus potatoes,onions, carrots and herbs slow cooked in a clay terrine. It was melt in your mouth tender and loaded with earthy flavors.

Of course, we didn't skimp on desserts.
 Our favorite waitress was Valentine. Here she is serving up some raspberries flambé over vanilla ice cream.

Just look at the colors in this strawberry torte with berry sorbet.

My favorite was the profiteroles with ice cream and chocolate sauce.

Confectionaire shops are almost as plentiful as boulangeries. This is a giant meringue  I happily munched on one afternoon.

Oooh, which would you choose?
Strasbourg was such a delightful mix of French and German!

Such a clever display of  cupcakes hanging in jars. 
Can you see the adorable poodle meringues?

And then there is the chocolate... 

 and cookies,
and jams  and preserves. 

A tower of macarons! 

At one market as we wandered the stalls we came upon this one that looked like cheese -

but it was different flavors of nougat! Fluffy and rich it melts in your mouth.

Now here's the cheese!

Eating well is one of the great pleasures while in France!
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                        Seasonal Sundays @ The Tablescaper