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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Florentine Gold Table & Tortellini Caesar Salad

(Picture from Wikipedia)

Florence is the capitol city of Tuscany in Italy.
It is known for Ponte Vecchio one of the many
bridges crossing the River Arno. 
Ponte Vecchio has always been filled with
vendors shops, but now those shops are
mostly filled with gold, beautiful displays
of expensive jewelry, art and souveneirs.

Florence is known for being the birthplace
of the Renaissance as it housed many famous
Italian Renaissance geniuses - Da Vinci,
Botticelli, Machiavelli, Michelangelo, Galileo,
and many more.

This tablescape was inspired by the gold displays
of jewelry along Ponte Vecchio.
We were able to stay for a few days in Florence
after our cooking class in Tuscany.
What a beautiful city filled with history,
art, gardens and architecture.

Florentines reinvented money - the gold florin so gold
has a long history in Florence.

These gold edged free form plates
and large soup/salad bowls
are bubbled and
extremely heavy.  They sit atop a heavy ceramic charger
that is gold leafed and on a gold beaded place mat.

Gold wine and water goblets are added.
They are not exactly matching as the
larger water goblet is a mat finish and
the wine goblet is a shiny finish but
the patterns are very close.

A sheer cream and gold napkin is tucked into the
water goblet.

The weather is still lovely so we are out in our
garden gazebo that has a hand painted Italianate
canvas in the back for privacy.

After completing the gazebo and feeling like
the back canvas that we had installed for
privacy was boring, we called our friend
Paula and she brought over books of
Italian Renaissance art.  I chose a
piece from the books that was the
inspiration for the canvas.  It has been
up for 7 years and has gone through rain,
snow and shine in our Utah weather.

These lovely carved wax candles are
battery operated.

The cherry tree shrouds the gazebo.

We usually host a dinner party here in the month of
September with the cooler evenings.

These gold plates are very versatile and I always
choose them for one of my holiday tables.

One disadvantage to all of the gold ware is that
everything has to be hand washed.  But the rule in
our family is if you cook, you don't have to clean.

Florence was established by Julius Caesar in 59 BC so
a Caesar salad served in a Romanesc serving bowl
seems only appropriate.

I created this salad as a heartier version of a
Caesar Salad
for my son's wedding reception.

Tortellini Caesar Salad Recipe

2 heads romaine lettuce, washed, chopped and chilled
8 oz. cheese filled tortellini, cooked according to pkg.
2 C. chunky croutons (packaged or homemade)
1/2 C. grated parmesano reggiano cheese
(from Costco)
additional shaved pieces of cheese
favorite Caesar dressing
( we love Cardini's Original Caesar - the
flavor is great and the kids aren't grossed
out by sardines!)

Toss everything together and top with
shaved parmesano reggiano.

The table was finished off with a few pink edged
Peace roses that are loving the cool weather too
and some fabulous carved candles.

This is so easy to make for a crowd and is loved
by both young and old.

Hope you enjoyed our little trip to

I will be posting this

Gold rimmed plates and bowls - Target - 15 years ago
Gold chargers - Target - 15 years ago
(I don't think they have had anything this
fabulous since!)
Beaded place mats - Pier 1
Gold flatware - Best
Gold water goblets - Horchow catalog - 15 years ago
Gold wine goblets - TJ Maxx/Homegoods
Italianate Serving bowl - Tai Pan - 2010
Carved wax electric candles - TJ Maxx/Homegoods - 2010
Salad tongs - Tuesday Morning - 2010


Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

What a pretty setting, gold always makes a statement! I didn't get the plates or bowls but I do have a great oval serving platter from this set! Your dinner looks really good too:@)

Sue said...

With your wonderful pizza oven, beautiful gazebo, gorgeous table settings and delicious food, you never have to leave home for an elegant restaurant meal:)

Ashley Hasty said...

So rich and luxurious!!

Allie and Pattie said...

LOVELY! And Firenza was always a favorite destination for our family- so much beauty and history. A wonderful inspiration
xoxo Pattie

Marlis said...

Oh so pretty, it took me all the way back to Italy, the colors, the feel, the design. Beautiful. I can't wait to try the recipe! thanks for sharing with us.

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh this was like taking a mini trip to Italy. I would so love to really go. Your tablesetting and the background are stunning. Fabulous recipe too. I will have to try it. Hugs, Marty

Shel said...

The gold tablesetting is magnificent! You truely have some beautiful spots in your home! Just love that recipe... Caesar Salad, a firm favourite in our home, will definately try this version. What a lovely little lesson on Italy too.
Warm South African Blessings

Kristen said...

It all looks so rich and beautiful. The food goes perfectly with the theme. What a lovely setting.

Meri Wiley said...

Oh Jacqueline,

All I can say is WOWEEEE. That's a lot of gold in them thar hills! I'd be afraid to use those dishes. Thanks for sharing such a sumptuous setting, and I'm gettin' kind of hungry now seeing that salad......LOL


Gypsy Heart said...

I love this! So elegant and relaxing...and the salad is to die for. Thanks so much for sharing.

Hope you're having a great week!

Debbie said...

I've never been to Italy, but this is what I imagine a table setting there to look like. You couldn't have picked a better setting for it than your gazebo.

It's all really lovely, and I have never seen anything like it! I absolutely LOVE those dishes. Awesome.

food for thought said...

such beautiful pieces, love your salad bowl too~


I love every single thing about Italy so you know I love this post.
Beautiful table setting. Cannot wait to try your recipe when I cook, which is about 2x a year. xx's

Beth said...

Jacqueline, The gold chargers and dinnerware are fabulous! Love the goblets too! This is a a very elegant and beautiful tablescape. I enjoyed the history too, Jacqueline and we hope to visit Italy someday too.
Hugs, Beth

Sandy said...

Beautiful chargers and dinnerware. The table and surroundings looked very relaxing an peaceful. Loved the gazebo.

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

What a pretty golden table you've set for us today. The food looks wonderful too!

Tess said...

Absolutely beautiful!! That tablecloth is gorgeous!!! The whole effect is elegant and inviting and your salad looks delicious!

Tess said...

Absolutely beautiful!! That tablecloth is gorgeous!!! The whole effect is elegant and inviting and your salad looks delicious!

Alycia Nichols said...

Can you feel the earth shaking from me jumping up and down for joy in praise of those free form dishes?!! Wow!!! You're right that they've not produced anything quite so elegant since. And the stemware...SO pretty!!! Very nice all 'round!

Diann said...

How beautiful! Everything is just stunning. And the salad looks delish!

Red Couch Recipes said...

What a rich beautiful setting. I love the goblets and the free form plates. I do think Target used to have better stuff years ago. Joni

Entertaining Women said...

The Florentine tablescape is gorgeous. Great call on the Italian Renaissance canvas. Thank you for sharing your charming design. Cherry Kay

Deanne said...

All I can say is wow, it just looks so beautiful and rich!

Mary said...

Lovely! Your gazebo is such a beautiful setting~ love your privacy canvas with your own Italian Renaissance art... Your salad looks delish, I need to remember to add tortellini! Thanks for my visit to Florence :-)

Celly B said...

Such a luxe table setting! I'll have to try the caesar salad recipe. Thanks for sharing!

Frog Hollow Farm Girl said...

Sending a sweet hello from Frog Hollow Farm. OMG, I was so excited to see your post about Florence, Italy - one of my many goals, but I think the most important one for me, is to live in Florence for a year. I absolutely love everything about the city - and have visited many times~! Your tablescape is just wonderful, truly - and that backdrop is to die for - you gave me an idea for a closet wall in my living room! The caeser salad with the tortellini looks absolutely delicious and I can't wait to make it. Ciao, bella!

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

Such a lovely setting for a romantic dinner. Your table is stunning too and thanks for sharing your recipe.
~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

kayellen said...

What a golden delight to see!

Nice to meet you:)

Kay Ellen

Table Escapes said...

How gorgeous the gold!! Unusual plates make this table setting so intriguing..also love those glasses..I like to mix & match also. Thanks Sharon

Tricia@The Dull and the Dutiful said...

What stunning gold plates! I've never seen anything like them, and you've shown them off to perfection with this pretty table. I'll be eager to see one of your holiday tables featuring them, too!

Kathleen Ellis said...

Hi Jacqueline!
I love the elegance of the gold and is stunning! What a beautiful setting!
The salad looks yummie!
What a great idea for the has held up very well!
Have a beautiful weekend!
;-D Kathleen

Mimi said...

Jacqueline, your table is beautiful.
I may be the one cooking, but I sure wouldn't trust anyone but myself to wash and dry all those gorgeous gold pieces!
The salad sounds delicious, thank for the recipe.

Barb Elder said...

We loved the salad!! So yummy. Thanks for the recipe!

Linda Q said...

Stunning table in a gorgeous setting, what more can I say! Love your table cloth.

Sarah said...

Reading your description of Florence took me right back to Ponte Vecchio and the glow of all that gold. The setting of this table is gorgeous as is the food and your wonderful gazebo. What a special treat! Thank you ~ Sarah

Mrs. White said...

Such beautiful, elegant place settings!

Thank you for visiting and following my blog. I am following you back!

Have a lovely day!


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