Entertaining

March Table Refresh

MarchTableRefreshBaileyRaesKitchen

I don't know about you, but I am eagerly awaiting for Easter to give my table a refresh. This time of year there aren't many flowers blooming to cut, nor is there a big holiday gathering that helps justify buying fresh flowers.

My solution for this time of year = ORCHIDS!

I buy my orchids from trader joes for around $10 each, and with proper care orchids will last two to three months making it easy to justify their purchase. When Easter comes, and I want to use some fresh cut flowers, I will place an orchid in each bathroom for the day. They give an instant upgrade to whatever room you place them in.

During this time of year, I keep my eyes open for potted Spring bulbs. Tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths (my personal favorite) can be bought before they have started to bloom, allowing you the enjoy the entire life of the bloom.

At Trader Joes, you can pick them up for $2-$4 for a pot of bulbs. My tulips this year were $3.99 and had six blooms. Once the plant is one blooming, save the bulbs to plant outside in October/November bringing you years of spring blooms!

MarchTableRefreshBaileyRaesKitchen1

Friday Favorites: 5 Dinner Party Essentials

One of my favorites elements to hosting dinner parties is creating a beautiful place setting for each guest. Today I want to share with you a few of my favorite items!

-- Just for full transparency, an affiliate link is attached to each item when you click on the image, but this post isn't sponsored, it's simply my absolute tried and true, current favorite items! Happy shopping!  --

1) Dinner Plates

These Organic Shaped Dinner Plates are my absolute favorite, they are strikingly beautiful.

The imperfect shape of each dish adds a simple but unusually beautiful touch to each place setting. 

Often I hear guests comment that they love these plates when I use them.

A must buy if you are in the market for new dishes or wanting to add a few sets! 

2) Salad Plates

 

If you get the dinner plates, you must add on the salad plates - you can hold out of other items from the collection, but the salad plates really complete the look when placed on top of the dinner plates.

It is a dreamy set of dishes to own. I am collecting them set by set as I can afford them.

3) Linen Napkins

Linen immediately upgrades your table, the look and feel is luxurious. They get softer after each wash and hold up against stains immensely better than simple cotton napkins. 

These are also West Elm (no, they are not sponsoring this post) you just can't beat the quality and price on these napkins! They are on sale for $19 right now, with free shipping!

Again, I buy a set as they go on sale or as I can afford them, building my collection slowly. I have these in midnight and adore them! 

4) Linen Cocktail Napkins

Every dinner party I get asked multiple times about my cocktail napkins, and here they are! 

They are from Amazon, and at $17 for a dozen, they are a steal! 

Have no fear about the white, from red wine to lipstick, these napkins come out of the wash perfectly, and I swear are stain-proof. I do add in a scoop of oxy clean, but still so impressed by the affordability and durability.

I promise your guests will love them and ask you where they can get some! 

5) Hi-Ball Glasses

 

I am obsessed with these glasses - they are only $12 for a case of 12! 

Thanks to their slender profile, they feel dainty in your hand and are perfect for a signature cocktail or water.

These glasses are also extremely durable, after many dinner parties and daily use, I haven't broken one yet!

 

Comment below if you have any questions, suggestions, or need anything.

Thanks for reading, I hope this post inspired you to get a few new items to fancy up your dinner table!

xo - Bailey Rae

The Summer Soup Must!

What happens when you combine fresh sweet corn and velvety cashew cream? Just the best darn soup you'll make all summer long! 
 
Trust me on this one; this soup is one you need to make ASAP!  Sweet corn chowder is a silky smooth, unexpected way to enjoy the golden kernels of summer. 

Growing up in Iowa, sweet corn is a staple on the summer dinner table. When the days turn hot, I can't wait to enjoy the juicy golden kernels straight off the cob, dripping with salted butter, of course. However, this soup is almost tied for my favorite way to enjoy one of the best vegetables of summer.

This is a recipe you that is sure to impress your guests!

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Summer Sweet Corn Chowder

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 ears of fresh sweet corn
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped
  • 2 small ribs of celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow potato, cubed (with skin on)
  • 1 cup raw cashews, boiled for 15 minutes
  • 2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 cups of "no-chicken" stock
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 dashes of liquid smoke
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, julienned
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1.5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • optional: 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped

DIRECTIONS

  1. Shuck and cook the ears of corn in boiling water for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool, then cut the corn off each cob.
  2. In a large stockpot or dutch oven, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. 
  3. Add the onion, garlic, celery, and red bell pepper with a good pinch of salt. Saute for 8 minutes. 
  4. Add the cubed potato, and 2/3 of the corn. Saute for an additional 5 minutes. 
  5. While the vegetables are sauteeing, make the cashew cream. Drain and rinse the boiled cashews and place in a high-speed blender along with the almond milk. Blend on high until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes.
  6. Once the vegetables are done sauteeing, deglaze the bottom of the pot with a splash of stock, working up any brown bits. Add the rest of the stock, along with the cashew cream, stir to combine. 
  7. Blend the soup using an immersion blender**, making the soup as smooth or chunky as desired. I try to get the soup quite smooth eliminating all potato chunks.
  8. Add in the remaining corn, smoked paprika, soy sauce, and liquid smoke. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for 20 minutes. 
  9. After 20 minutes, stir in the basil and fresh lemon juice, then season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. I find the soup often needs a good few three-finger pinches of salt to bring the flavors alive!

** I believe every kitchen needs an immersion blender, click here for my favorite one.**