Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Little Italian Please

It's Tablescape Thursday again over at Susan's place. Be sure to drop by today and check out all the beautiful tablescapes.

As for my we're going Italian and I'll tell you why. This time of year we always go Italian! The first of March is the anniversary of our first date.....and you guessed it..... we went Italian. The restaurant was a little place called Caesar's was a classic in San Diego for many years. This year we had already made plans to celebrate, just the two of us, at a favorite place here in town. However, late Monday, after talking with some of the family we realized that Sunday evening was the only time we could all get together for my father-in-law's 89th birthday. Every birthday we can spend with him is important to all of us now, so obviously we'd have to change our date plans this year. But when? It had to be Tuesday....the next evening. This was an unusually busy week and every other night was already taken. So at the last minute we decided to just celebrate here at home. We were busy all day so I had very little time to prepare.....but sometimes those "hurry up put something together with what you have times" can turn out extra special.

I started out by setting the table in the diningroom using placemats and napkins I had purchased in Old Town San Diego many years ago. The lime green plates are stoneware from a little kitchen shop in Tulsa and the stemware is from an Arby's ( yes I said Arby's) Christmas giveaway in 1994. I used my flatware with the shell pattern because the beach had also played a part in that first date . That's whats so nice about being with someone you love for so many years.......there are all these little things that mean absolutely nothing to anyone but
the two of you.

The stoneware pasta platter and the individual pasta bowls are from Bed Bath and Beyond, made by Himark of Italy.

Next I added a small round of Italian bread and a decanter of extra virgin olive oil for dipping. Nothing goes better with an Italian salad and grated Parmesan cheese.

The soup is Tuscany Basil Tomato......its so simple to make but it
tastes as if it took all day.

The main dish was Angel Hair Spaghetti covered with a Vegetable
Sauce and Italian Sausage. A side of broccoli rounded out the meal.

Our beverage of choice was Strawberry Pomegranate
Italian Soda over crushed ice.

Over the years Jim has gotten used to me taking pictures all the time......
of anything and everything......and now he's having to get used to me taking
pictures of our meals! detail! I guess that's true love.

This is how everything looked when we finally sat down to eat! I think
we were both glad that our plans had changed at the last minute.
We finished off our meal with delicious fresh fruit and lingered at the table
just a little longer than usual. You know you shouldn't rush a first date.

Our original first date ended with a walk on the beach. We didn't have a
beach to walk on this year,but we did do a lot of remembering about this special
little stretch of ocean in La Jolla called "Wind and Sea".

So here's to all the first dates in our future.


Becca said...

Wow, Elaine. I wish I could remember the exact day of our first date. I know it was in July, or was that August! LOL No matter. I loved your story and your tablescape. It certainly makes me want Italian food. And I think I'll go wake up Mark, give him a big kiss, and ask if he remembers what day we first went out!

Sherri S said...

Oh how neat! I love all the colors and the fact that you revisit your first date. Romantic, sentimental and wonderful!

KBeau said...

Everything is so colorful, and I love the pasta bowls.

Debbie @ said...

Hi Elaine! What a lovely and colorful table. I love the dishes and placemats...all the colors look wonderful together! Wow and I love Italian food! It looks yummy!

YayaOrchid said...

What an absolutely wonderful post! And I love your table setting, and that fruit bowl looks awesome! What a wonderful way to reminisce and celebrate. Congratulations on your 'first date' anniversary. The food looks so good too. Maybe you could share your recipe for that soup, sure looks good!

Scribbler said...

Your dinner looks scrumptious!

What I really love is the black/white/bows "wallpaper" of your blog! It looks so chic!


LuLu said...

So romantic! I loved seeing the detail you put into your dinner date! Memories are so wonderful and taking the time to remember special dates is so important! I remember the first date and time i met my hubby! so fun to think back to. thanks for sharing your story,
P.S. When I met my husband he was living in a town home he owned in Carlsbad, on the golf course of La Costa!

Laura said...

I think you did it again. How pretty and how romantic your story was. I just keep wanting to see some of these recipes on your blog. :)

Debbie said...


I loved this! You are so blessed in blogging!!
Thank you for sharing,

Peggy said...

Elaine, that Italian dinner looks great. Would you be willing to share your recipe for the Tomato Soup...looks delicious. Thanks, Peggy from PA

Belinda said...

Sometimes, I just love staying at home, and creating a special dinner even more than going out, and in this case, I'd say you two made the right decision...a romantic dinner, right in your very own home. Everything looks perfect for your Italian themed setting, and I loved reading about the memories from your first date...such fun! :-)

ellen b said...

That's really sweet that you celebrate the anniversary of your first date! Your table is very Italian and I'm glad you had a nice time at home...
I understand having to be flexible with your FIL's birthday. 89 is great and it's good that it was celebrated together. My parents are turning 86 this year and we love every gathering we can have around them :0)

Shelia said...

HI Elaine! How very sweet to celebrate your first date! Your table looks very nice and the food looks and sounds delicious!
I'll be glad to enter your name in my giveaway!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

jerseygirl211 said...

Hi Elaine,

We always have our Italian dinner on Thursday, but my husband said "Lets go out for dinner" so no way was I going to turn him down. Guess he was feeling good because he had our taxes done yesterday and we are getting money back this year. LOL

Enjoyed your post, and your table setting looks very Italian. :)Just like what I grew up with.

The tray that you liked on my blog is available on line at, I have another one that is larger and I do use them often. They also have other designs, holly shaped for Christmas and leaves and pumpkins for the fall, among others. Hope this helps.


Susan said...

Running late this week visiting blogs....again...YUMMY table!
Hope you had a great Tablescape Thursday

Kathleen said...

Loved that romantic! Great table, great food, and someone to love...what could be better!
Here's to many more dates!

Susie said...

I love a good tablescape!! Yours is awesome!!

Thanks for stopping by my blog today and leaving such sweet comments! I hope to see you back there soon:-)

Cass said...

When a meal is that good, how can a husband complain about a few pictures? :-)

Lovely table, lovely food! Great post, and I wish I could remember the date of my first date with my husband; just know it was in September. I think.

I've got a giveaway today on my blog, if you'd like to participate!

Chandy said...

Such festive colors! Lovely table...

Carolyn of What Now? Tablescapes

Lady Katherine said...

I love your first date! I known Hubby since we were 8 years old, sweetheart since we were 11 years old. Do not remember just when we got to date! lol Love your table, the napkins are great in the Arby's glasses, love the platter, love the dishes, love love love the food! Oh and the bread thats was great!

Lonna said...

What a beautiful table setting!!! Everything you do is awesome!! I love your blog, as I've said before. The best one I've ever read!
The dinner looks absolutely delicious too!!! Yummm!

Eve said...

Ohh that looks amazing and sounds amazing also!! I love Italian food!

Jane said...

Awwww! I love this!

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

Hi Elaine~ ~ ~
What a nicely written post I just loved it. You table looks lovely!
Thanks for stopping by for a visit.
~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

I can't believe I missed this post. Happy first date anniversary. You're so right, when you've been with someone for a long time it's those little things that you've shared over time that really solidfy your relationship and make it special.

Sue said...

Excellent choice...nothing is better then Italian food!!

xinex said...

Happy date anniversary! How romantic! The table setting is so pretty and I love the past bowls. The menu sounds yummy too!...Christine

Vintage Girl said...

How romantic. You did an awesome job of setting the table just right, great touches! Thanks so much for posting on my blog, I appreciate that. I had to chuckle as I was the same way as a child checking out the books wherever I went. Have a wonderful day! Heather

Lisa said...

I would love your soup recipe!
what a fun memory and celebration!

Fifi Flowers said...

YUM! Love the pasta plate and that BREAD looks DIVINE!!!