Fatten up your regular old Tuesday routine this Mardi Gras!

Mardi Gras table linens cotton green gold purple

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Fatten up your regular old Tuesday routine this Mardi Gras, March 4th.

Set a table with rich purples, golds and greens.

Throw some Mardi Gras beads in a glass vase or bowl.  (I can always find a fine selection of broken beads in my kid’s toy chest!)  Fold your napkins into this fleur-de-lis shape.  Light candles and don some gold, green and purple lone Ranger masks!  Voila!

cloth napkin folding gold and white
cloth napkin folding gold and white
gold cotton dinner napkins napkin folding
gold cotton dinner napkins napkin folding

Now for the Gras to your Mardi!  Here is our menu fit for a King!

Mardi Gras place setting cotton table linens green purple
Mardi Gras place setting cotton table linens green purple

Thank you to Este for providing these delicious recipes!

Sausage-and-Shrimp-Jambalaya Hen House Linens
Sausage-and-Shrimp-Jambalaya Hen House Linens
King Cake Hen House Linens
King Cake Hen House Linens

Reservation at the best table in the house | Valentine's Day | Hen House Linens

This Valentine's Day why not make a reservation at the best table in the house.  Yours!  You are open breakfast, lunch and dinner. Set a beautiful table and love on the ones you love best.

SUGAR FOR YOUR SUGARS | Valentine's Baking | Hen House Linens

Okay, so basically this is just food porn, because it ain't no lie that the way to a sweetie's heart is through the stomach.  And there is no reason why that stomach cannot be your own.  

If it brings you pleasure, bake or bakery your way into someone's heart this Valentine's Day.

Cookie Exchange

Each year a few neighbors gather to share in an Annual Cookie Exchange.  The event is one of our families favorite traditions as we each set out to make our favorite cookie recipe and then have an excuse to get together and share and swap.  We then come home with an assortment of goodies to share with extended family who may be visiting for the holidays for unexpected visitors stopping by baring gifts.  (And our intentions are usually to leave a little something for the man the big red suit...but he/she may have already had a few samplings before the big night!)

Here is the recipe for the cookies I will be making this year:

christmas tree forest cookies

makes about 20 large cookies

recipe adapted from elisabeth fülscher's (a swiss legend) cookbook

 

ingredients:

125 g butter, room temperature
1 pinch salt
80 g sugar
2 yolks
1 organic orange, zest
1 tbsp. orange juice
250 g flour

confectioners' sugar and a little milk for the glaze

green food coloring, colored sugar, sprinkles, edible pearls etc.

ingredients:

cream the butter with a mixer. add sugar and yolks and mix for 10 minutes, until the mixture is fluffy. sieve in the flour, add the orange zest and juice and combine everything until a dough forms. this might be a little hard, as the dough is awfully crumbly. but don't despair! simply press it together again and again. cover with cling film and let cool for at least 1 hour or overnight. roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 1 cm thickness and cut out cookies. bake at 160 degrees c / 320 f for about 20 minutes. let cool on a wire rack.

make differently colored glazes, then decorate to your heart's content.

12 Days of Christmas | Inspired Tablescapes | Hen House Linens

On the 12th day of Christmas…  I always unpack a set of vintage Danish tiles depicting said days.  I inherited these funky mid-century treasures from my grandmother.  I normally display them in the corner cupboard in my dining room.  However, the beautiful blue, ginger and gold tones absolutely screamed “TABLESCAPE ME” this year.  And as we have introduced new patterns in the gorgeous trio of Vixen/miidnight blue, Fandango/camel and (12 drummers drum roll please) Turtledove/ginger, I could not NOT.  Turtledove, quite right.

Here are five golden rings to help you build your own inspired tablescape.  

  1. Start with a treasure.  A collection of special ornaments.  Beloved Christmas china. Advent wreath.  Nutcrackers.  Porcelain figurines.  Let these pieces be your inspiration.  I took cues off my tiles for color, style and theme.  Above all, your treasure on the table instantly makes your tablescape feel personal and inviting.  It will make people want to linger, swap stories and enjoy time together.  Really!

  2. Layer in real linens for texture and visual interest.  Nothing is more special.  I don’t care how cute the paper napkins and table runners are, they cannot match the tactile richness of cloth.  

  3. Pull in other elements as “supporting players” on the table.  Nutcracker collection?  Put out small silver bowls of whole pecans or walnuts.  For this table, I got literal.  I added a silver tree and mercury glass bird that normally reside on my mantel.  To reflect the gold shimmer, I added more vintage looking mercury glass votives.  

  4. Keep floral easy to add or swap out.  I keep my table set for all of Christmas (not just the 24th and 25th); therefore fancy floral as a centerpiece is not going to keep up.  To add the all important element of nature, consider preserved greenery or a live plant arrangement.  Orchids, poinsettias, ivy topiary or small evergreens are all lovely and long lasting.  (Just don’t put anything on the table that has a scent--ugh!)  For this table, I simply cut some nandina branches that I can easily replace throughout the holiday.

  5. Don’t go crazy over the top.  Set a table that makes people want to gather around it.  If it is too fancy, it will look too nice for sharing a meal, which is NOT THE POINT.  

 

An inspired tablescape has style + substance and when you can make it your own WITHOUT MUCH EFFORT then you can dedicate more time to those people that really make the season bright and a partridge in a pear tree.

 

The Holiday Hit List | Hen House Linens

THE HOLIDAY HIT LIST

I am making a list.  I am checking it twice.  And frankly, I am feeling naughtier than nice.  Because let’s face it, finding the perfect gift for every-single-body turns the brain to a bowl full of jelly. It’s the “just the right gift” of it all that gets me…  Personal.  Unexpected.  Enjoyed time and again.  Let me save your brain with my spin on it.  Hope it inspires you and checks a few names off your own list.

THE CATCH-ALLS

This category covers neighbors, co-workers, teachers, yoga instructors (you know she is too skinny) and dear old Aunt Irma.  Cook up something tasty and wrap it in reusable packaging.

Roll it up with a dinner napkin...

Present it with a potholder...

Wrap it in a guest towel...