My Elegant Yesterday

January 06, 2013

My elegant yesterday started with watching numerous episodes of season one Downton Abbey, a very elegant way to spend some industrious knitting and cooking hours.  The wait is almost over, season three begins tonight, but I'm sure you already know that!  I moved my streaming laptop from room to room as I was getting ready for a dinner party.   I managed to watch quite a few and feel all prepped for tonight!  I see also that season two is going to be on all day today and I'll try to catch a few of those too!  Never too much Downton Abbey, right?

I loved my table so much and I've included shopping links are at the end of the post.  I loved the menu too, with Coq au Riesling as the main course.  Everyone seemed to like it, but I think I prefer the traditional recipe made with Burgundy. 

I bought the sparkly trees on the buffet just a few days ago in a "half price after Christmas sale".  I need not one more Christmas decoration, but could not resist these.  Everything else is packed away but I plan on keeping these up through January.  In the picture you can't tell, but one is bronze, another silver and the last is gold.  They are beautiful.


My winter garden is pretty sparse, but I did find some paperwhites, leeks and the first of the dill.  I think leeks get a bad rap for being so messy and sandy, but it doesn't take that much time to get them ready for roasting, the very best way to serve them.

Roasted Pencil Leeks
Slice off root and most of the green part of the leeks.  Cut leek lengthwise to within one inch of the white tip.  Fan out the leaves and rinse thoroughly to remove grit and sand.  Pat dry.  Douse with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 425 deg. F for about 15 minutes.

 Smoked Chicken and Celery Root in Endive
I've been making this appetizer for years and it's always popular!

 I'm sorry I don't know the original source of this recipe.  I've altered it slightly for simplicity's sake.

1 celery root, peeled and grated
juice of 1 lime
1 cup shredded smoked chicken (must be smoked, I find it at a local German butcher shop)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
a few drops Tabasco sauce
3 or 4 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 to 3 heads Belgium endive

Mix together first 7 ingredients.  Fill each endive leaf with mixture, sprinkle with minced cilantro.  (I used dill because I had it)

It's light and fresh, just a lovely appetizer.

We were six for dinner, and you know I love six for dinner mainly because we can all be in the same conversation, makes it more lively!  Our guests are very dear long time friends and I wanted to spend as much time with them as I could, NOT in the kitchen working away.  The table setting and the food was planned to pamper and to spend minimum time in the kitchen.  I made everything ahead, and what I couldn't make ahead, I at least prepped it.  All cooking and prep dishes were washed and put away long before the doorbell rang.  Before bed the dishwasher was loaded and the linens spotted and in the washer and we were able to wake up to a clean house with only a dishwasher to unload.

It's raining today and I hope it rains all day!  I plan to wile away my afternoon with knitting and season two reruns.  Total bliss.

Glass tortoise shell salad plate by Vietri here.
Alabaster glass charger by Vietri here.
Pewter candle sticks from Arte Italica here.
Damask tablecloth from Le Jaquard Francais here.
My favorite dinner candle, Root 5" candles in ivory here.

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  1. Beautiful! Did you get a new camera? The colors look so vivid....thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you! Pictures were taken with my iPhone 5! Amazing for a phone, right?

    2. a lovely post, as usual. Thanks so much for the candles link--they look great.

  2. Your dinner party looks lovely. Sounds like a fun time. I adore leeks, but have never had them roasted so need to try that stat! Thanks for the recipe.

  3. Good Evening Kristen, Happy New Year to you.
    Your table looked beautiful and thank you for the information, although I will probably have to source the candlesticks here in England as the postage would be too expensive. The price of silver and gold has gone through the roof over the past few years.....hence the cost of the flatware.
    Living in the North of England, leeks are a traditionally grown vegetable and are eaten a lot.
    Thank you for the recipe it looked beautiful.
    Best Wishes, Daphne

  4. Oh I think leeks are always worth the effort! The table looks just beautiful. I too like to leave a bit of sparkle (some white, silver,twinkle lights) up after the Christmas decorations come down. It's very wintery and festive. Your appetizer sounds yummy!

  5. Kristen, what a beautiful post! I always get inspired by your photos and lifestyle!
    Wishing you and your family a wonderful Year and may all your dreams come true!

  6. I hear everyone talking about "Donwton Abbey", and I'm SO mad I didn't get in on it from the very beginning!!! I hate to join shows midway, so I guess I'll have to figure something out. It's nice to see the show has sparked a lot of creativity, though, and you have put elegance right on out here front & center for all to see!!! Beautiful table! The Vietri salad plates are scrumptious!!! It's good that you were able to set up in a leisurely fashion, enjoying the show as you went along. That makes it so much nicer! I hope you enjoy this season!

  7. Hi Kristen - I am just blog surfing and I think I got here through Lines from Linderhof. I loved the table-scape so much and after seeing other posts thought I would join your blog. Your home is lovely and I can most likely learn a bit about knitting from you. I used to knit when my kids were young but gave it up. Nice to meet you. I'll be popping by. Deb (Ontario, Canada)

  8. Those salad plates are really something - I have never seen those previously. Wow! Everything is lovely and, after seeing the name of your blog, I may just have to go find my knitting needles and get started on a project. Well, maybe, after I finish putting away all of the Christmas decorations - lol!!

  9. Kristen, it's beautiful! You have such a knack for entertaining. I can just feel how lovely and hospitable everything was. Thanks for sharing with us!

  10. Wow, gorgeous. I love the tablescape, stunning and the buffet looks so beautiful. The trees add so much to the display. Thanks so much for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

  11. Kristen, beautiful as usual. Love Leeks but will have to have them at your home. Who did you have for dinner?? Trees look like fun as well as those salad plates.....

  12. A truly elegant table setting. Downton Abby...I cried when Mary came down the stairs in her wedding gown. I'm looking forward to
    Episode two. Thanks for inviting us for a peak. Cherry Kay

  13. Kristen I love the beautiful pictures of your home and entertaining that you share!!! I also appreciate the links and the recipe as I'm always struggling to think of what to serve for company meals :)))

  14. Kristen, I'm a little slow on catching up on blogs after being gone since November, but I thought you were roasting your Paperwhites!!!!! Honest!


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