Thursday, March 5, 2009

Foodie Friday: A Winter Beach Party


I can't believe it's the 3rd "Foodie Friday."
Come on in and grab a drink. Welcome to the potluck!

Some of my foodie girlfriends were doing a winter beach party, so I dragged out the busts with shells (many of you may remember Helena and Hunk ). Their shell-heads remind me of old fashioned hair curlers; but H&H were available, so I recruited them for a centerpiece.

I went shopping behind curtains, under beds, and in dark crevices. I found shell napkin rings, starfish, napkins with a coral design.

Now the fun began: Ironstone, coral/twiggy flatware, coral placemats.

I played with the centerpiece. At first, I added twigs in a giant nautilus (oh, how I miss Hancocks!). I pulled out brown glassware. The little ones are Fostoria that I've had for decades; my mother gave me the taller ones for Christmas one year.

Helena says, "Yes, I admit it! I went back to Big Lots and bought two more blue dishes."
Hunk says, "You're killing me, woman! This is getting like Jackie Kennedy's crazed aunts at Grey Gables...but instead of cats, hundreds of dishes have taken over the house."

Oh, the joy of layering. :-)

The shells were bought after I posted a shopping trip, and I was urged (you know who you are, and so does Dr. Gollum) to return and buy the starfish. I also snapped up some blue-gray dishes. :-)

I need enabling, don't I? :-) But I'm digressing.



I swiped the faux orchid from the den. Yes, much better!



Now, let's get to the menu:
Crabcakes
Endive with Grainy Mustard
English Peas
French bread with herbs and Garlic butter
Peanut butter-chocolate cupcakes with Fluffy Icing
Assorted Chocolates and Coffee


Martha Stewart's Endive and Grainy Mustard Salad
Serves 4

  • 6 heads Belgian endive (this is a bitter green; to reduce *some* bitterness, remove the core from the stem. Martha says to buy it fresh=no green, just pale yellow. Also, it bitters up around sunlight).

  • 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped

  • 1 T. Italian parsley, chopped

  • 1 t. grainy mustard

  • 1 t. red-wine vinegar

  • 4 t. Extra virgin olive oil

  • salt, pepper--personally? I added honey to taste. It was still too bitter for Dr. G, so I added sugar.

Wash outer leaves and place in starfish pattern on the plate. Chop the remaining leaves (except for the bitter, bottom end). Add eggs & parsley. Make a vinaigrette with mustard, vinegar, and EVOO. Salt and pepper (and honey) to taste. Pour into eggs and chopped endive and stir. Heap in center of "starfish." Sprinkle with a bit of chopped parsley.

Crab cakes a la Gollum


  • canned crabmeat, drained

  • chopped onions, celery, red bell pepper

  • dry sherry

  • mayonnaise

  • bread crumbs

  • egg, beaten

  • salt, pepper, Tabasco

  • tiny bit of lemon juice


  • Mix crab with beaten egg. Sautee onions, celery, peppers in a little heart-stopping but delicious bacon drippings. Remove from pan. Add to crab mixture. Now add a little mayonnaise and sherry and other condiments. Add breadcrumbs until you have the right consistency (the cakes will hold together, yet they aren't soggy). Sautee in small amount of drippings, or a little butter (add a little olive oil...if you mix olive oil and butter into a pan, the food is less likely to burn).




    Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Fluffy Icing



    I added Reeses peanut butter cups (and peanut butter chips) to the batter.


    While they baked, the batter pulled away from the sides.

    I hid the damage with icing, of course. Dr. G said they were good.


    For those who are suspicious of my icing, try some chocolate shells.


    I'm late submitting this to Susan's Tablescape Thursday, but I was discombobulated. Forgive!
    If you are participating in Foodie Friday, add the permalink to your blog post, along with your name, to Mr. Linky. If you have any trouble, give me a shout.

    86 comments:

    1. its positively darling, beachy keen, i could hang 10 all day with your tidal wave of delights! thanks for hosting another ff!

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    2. Hi Gollum!! I love your winter beach party...been wishing for a trip to the beach myself! Those crabcakes look wonderful and so do your cupcakes!! My favorite is your H&H and their shells!! Still laughing from Saturday...Have a great weekend...hugs...Debbie

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    3. Michael...I love all the layering...gorgeous! Nice to see Helena and Hunk again...they must have been wintering in Florida and are back now for the spring. :-) Love the shells on the sugar sand beach. I've never attempted crab cakes...but you make them look so easy and delicious! :-) Susan

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    4. Gollum,
      your tablescape is absolutly stunning!!! The food looks sooooooo deliscious - I LOVE it all!!! Thank you so much for hosting Foodie Friday.
      Have a wonderful Friday,
      Tam

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    5. Gollum,
      your tablescape is absolutly stunning!!! The food looks sooooooo deliscious - I LOVE it all!!! Thank you so much for hosting Foodie Friday.
      Have a wonderful Friday,
      Tam

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    6. The tablescape is just gorgeous, and I especially love the shell dishes. The menu sounds wonderful and desert with coffee and cream would be the perfect finishing touch. Hugs, Marty

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    7. Oh girl your table is really so beachy...and yes I remember when you added the shells to the bust and your Copper mouth snake also YUK!! love your crab cakes..I made these alot this is all YUMMY Looking...and if Dr. G said the cup cake are good I'll take his word for it...after all he's a DR. and knows what's good for you right?? Hope I am all linky in here Gollum..love your FOODIE day you do..Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

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    8. Beautiful table..and the food...yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

      save me some I'm headed your way!

      Susan

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    9. This table just makes me long for the beach, and your menu's not helping! This is gorgeous, and I will definitely be trying the crabcakes. Thanks again for hosting this! Kathy

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    10. Hi Gollum...awesome post from you little lady! I'm so happy to join in the party this week...
      especially since you spelled out the "rules"...there are NO rules...LOL...how much fun this party will be! ;-) Bo

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    11. I just LOVE those two shell heads confiring and coniving on your kitchen table!! And the FOOD...get out!! Gorgeous, stylish, DElish!!

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    12. I love it! Beautiful setting and delicious food! Wonderful!

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    13. Beautiful table, fabulous food. How do you write, decorate, cook, tend the animals,blog... You are superwoman! Pam

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    14. Starfish always add that special touch!!

      M ^..^

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    15. Wow this table is amazing! You are one talented lady! The food looks great too!!

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    16. That's my kind of meal. Love those 3 plates (or is it 2 plates & a charger) stacked - too gorgeous! Of course, I love a beach theme. I think it's time you take us shopping again for some more dishes! It's been a while, you know! :O)

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    17. Gollum,I know you must get tired of my redundant comments.But...as usual,you have sheer perfection here.That tablescape is perfection by itself ,but then you have this awesome meal.I MUST try this...Ann

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    18. Everything is just perfect! I love all the layered dishes. I love the endive making a starfish! H&H are awesome - the shell heads do look like those old curler that turned back on themselves!!!! :D Jewel

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    19. This is absolutely stunning! I love it, all the details, to say nothing of the food. Thanks, I hope my dinner tonight looks and tastes half as good.
      xo Lidy

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    20. Oh dear me! This Foodie Friday stuff is gonna be the death of me! All this deliciousness is breaking my HEART! And your table....TO DIE FOR!!!!!!!!!!! The layering is gorgeous. I did miss H and H, glad to see they are back! I make crab cakes too....SOOOO good! YOur pictures are always gorgeous! Hugs, Pinky

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    21. Good evening Gollum, I love your beach themed tablescape. Your shell napkin ring holders are such a wonderful touch. Your layering of dishes is incredible. Thanks for sharing the recipes. Mr.P. would love the crabcakes.. I often make salmon patties...this will be a wonderful change for him..
      hugs ~lynne~

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    22. Wow! You just blew my socks off! Where do I start on this... I think with the great napkiins and placemats. They immediately made me fall in love. Where in the world did you find those? Love the layering and I used to be the proud owner of those same Fostoria goblets, circa 1975. Haven't seen those in ages... I must go exploring. The crabcakes look yummy. Can't wait to make those. And the Star Fish salad is inspired. Great post, Gollum!
      Carol

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    23. This tablescape is unbelievable! You have the magic, girl!
      Just loving everything, the beachy theme, the way you made your food mimic your inspiration, and those fantastic dishes! You get the prize!

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    24. GREAT BALLS OF FIRE, WOMAN...this is the most magnificent thing I have ever seen. It all looks so delicious and so pretty...you make it look and sound easy but we all know that...YOU ARE JUST GOOD !!
      Thanks so much for all this fun...
      hugs, bj

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    25. Good Evening Gollum,

      It's been a hectic week, but I managed to get my Foodie Friday posted.

      You've out-done yourself with your post today, everything looks lovely and delicious.

      Hugs
      'D'

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    26. Wow Gollum... How wonderful your Beach Scape was and all the food was to die for... Kinda fits my Outdoor Wednesday post... Just Beachy... LOL LOL Loved those cupcakes the best.... Thanks for hosting this fabulous event...

      HUGS,
      Donna

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    27. Gollum, your beach tablescape and menu are impeccable! Love this post SO much! Am sitting here with feet up from a loooooooong week (particularly the last 24 hours) of prepartion and execution of a large party. The party was a hit, but I'm too old to do this much work! LOL! And I accomplished almost nothing in blogging all week. I plan to post with you again next week...

      Happy Foodie Friday!


      XO,

      Sheila :-)

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    28. I love your beachy tablescape and dinner! Now I'm craving crabcakes! I make a dressing similar to yours only I use dijon mustard, olive oil, salt, pepper, and balsalmic vinegar. We all love it.

      Hey, I do live at the beach, and we may be getting some beachy weather this weekend (well, sort of). I'm ready for warmer weather!

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    29. All this time we thought you were at Big Lots!! This is truly breathtaking. Thanks!

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    30. I love all the layers! The shells the centerpiece! Wonderful! I love your crab cakes! I bought two plates in the shape of a crab last night, I went North, lol I know hubby will love these I have to try this recipe. My post is not about food, its my 100th post give away. I shall return to food next week. I love the chocolate shells! I bet Dr. G. is OK with your purchase, after this wonderful meal. Oh, that is the way, I can buy more dishes! Thank you! I've got to make crab cakes! lol

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    31. Evening, Dear Gollum. I'm telling you ~ this was worth the wait! I love it! H & H are so in love! They can't take their eyes off each other! Your dishes, shells and all are fantastic and the food! Oh, the food looks marvelous!! You're good! You're really good at this!
      Be a sweetie,
      Shelia ;)

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    32. What I wouldn't give to be a guest at this most gorgeous table, filled with wonderful food. ~~~~~Dreaming ~~~~~ :)

      The food is pictured as beautifully as the tablescape.

      I am participating (in a tiny way this week) in Foodie Friday. Thank you for this great new blogging theme!

      Donna

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    33. Your presentation is so good, your food sounds and looks so delicious, your tablescape is gorgeous and your dinnerware are so pretty!...Christine

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    34. This all looks and sounds amazing! I must try out the cupcakes very soon.
      Love those busts!

      That's great we have that in common. The Marines are a small group.

      Thanks for the kind visit and for hosting this lovely event for us.
      ~Melissa :)

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    35. WOW!!! Fabulous tablescape as always! The food looks scrumptious! You are definitly amazing. Kristen

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    36. First ... I love crabcakes. We lived in Maryland in the late 60's for two years and had them at least once a week! Thank you for serving them today .... your table looks so inviting, I have literally run out of superlatives this evening. I love visiting you.

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    37. What a fabulous beach themed party. Beautiful!

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    38. What a marvelous tablescape. Love H and H, the shells, the presentation of the salad. Worthy, certainly. of a mansion at the beach!

      I am in awe!

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    39. I commented about the tablescape before but this time I'm concentrating on your food. It all looks divine. You really make some good looking food Gollum!!

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    40. I love that crab cake! And your table is so gorgeous. H&H are lookin' good on top and they look like they are so proud to be hosting with you!

      Carolyn of What Now? Tablescapes

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    41. Wonderful, my parents live on the gulf, I am sending this to Mother it is breathtaking!

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    42. GG~~~ You just PROVED that "Life's a Beach", in the most beautiful way!!!

      ~~~Faaaaabulous "EVERYTHING", as ALWAYS!!! "GUAROOONNNNNTEEEED!!!"~~~

      ~ HUGS, Linda~

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    43. I should not have come here! Now I want crabcakes, chocolate and the beach even though it's 2:00AM in wintry PA!!! Everything looks luscious! Nancy

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    44. THE CURE!!! Oh that makes anything taste better!!

      M ^..^

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    45. Sorry, everyone #49 is wrong. #50 is the correct one!

      Love the shell dishes and the whole set up . I can't wait to try the crab cakes, it is my husband's secret desire to learn to make an unforgettable crab cake!

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    46. Another beauty Gollum and H&H are the star attraction and talking to each other lol, perfect table and perfect food, I love everything, but have to mention those table mats, napkins and glasses, beautiful, have a lovely Foodie Friday. Kathy.

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    47. Okay, this week I must say, screw the tablescape and bring on the crab cakes and cupcakes! OMG, if only I could eat sugar. Those cupcakes look so incredible I'm nearly crying here!

      Justine :o )

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    48. Double WOW! What a fabulous meal. From the crabcakes to those lovely cupcakes - mouth-watering! Linda

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    49. Just stopping back by to say I am having the time of my life with this wonderful food thingy. Just lovin' it...
      Only one problem...I have a bedroom half painted, a stack of laundry, dust an inch thick on all my furniture, pecans needing harvesting, need to go to the bathroom...I just can't get away from all this fun tho...and you know what, I spend half my time reading what YOU write on all these .....you are such a hoot and such a jewel...
      Happy day...

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    50. Hi Gollum! How about you! Foodie Friday! I think you may be able to inspire me to cook one day. LOL!!! Though I have to do it, I HATE IT! LOL!!! Your tablescape was oh so lovely too. And I will try your crab cakes. Deb

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    51. This is my first visit; you are an impressive decorator. I love crab cakes too!

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    52. My family are all well-trained -- when they set the table for dinner, they always ask: "What dishes are we using tonight?" So yes, I am a dish-a-holic, too. In fact, I have those salad plates...

      LOVE the layering, and all the little details -- beautiful!

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    53. What a lovely post! I love how you arranged the salad to resemble the star fish. Those cupcakes look wonderful!

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    54. Wow! I've never had crab cakes...now I want some...but just not any ol' crab cake ...I want yours!, along with that salad and I want to sit at that table and use that silverware and drink out of those glasses.....you do it to me eveytime!

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    55. After all this potluck this week, I need to take a swim and lose some of this weight. I just know my cholestrol is way out of wack.
      Is the pool ready yet? Really put me in the mood for a sandy beach swim and put my umbrella up sit my beach chair in the sand and sit down and enjoy the sun and one of your cook books. What a lovely day I am having.

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    56. Gollum, The winter beach theme looks fabulous! I Love the Busts included as the centerpiece, so Neo Classical...lovin it! Also...the recipes are to die for! May I have a bite of one of those Crab Cakes please? ;) ~CC Catherine

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    57. The whole thing is fabulous. I never would have thought about using browns with a beach setting, but it is beautiful.

      Scribbler

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    58. Forget the food (I can't believe I'm saying that), except for the cupcakes. Your table is just beautiful!!!!!

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    59. Beautiful! I'll be right over, lol. It looks so good.

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    60. Everything looks wonderful - the table and the food. Especially the crab cakes.
      Glenda

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    61. Judy, I have looked everywhere for your link and can't find it. Leave a message, and I will add your post to Mr. Linky.

      I've had emails about the placemats and napkins.
      They are made by Danica. Every purchase makes a donation to the "Giving World Foundation."

      www.danicaimports.com

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    62. I am so ready for a beach party and so beautifully displayed I might add. I love how you displayed your salad and I am going to steal, I mean borrow your idea. ~ Robyn

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    63. So beautiful!! No one does it better than you. And, crab cakes are my favorite. I ate a ton of them last May while on the east coast. Thanks for hosting this fun event. Sally

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    64. Wow, what a marvelous looking table.
      ~ingrid

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    65. You have such a neat display and so playful yet attractive and classy. I love everything, I'm hungry just looking at the pictures. My favorite however, are the crab cakes. I love, love, love crab cakes.

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    66. I gained 10 pounds just reading about your lovely dinner. I can't wait to try your crab cakes! I love crab cakes! And how/where did you get the cup cake cups with the sand dollars? Everything was so lovely! Thank you for sharing. And by the way, I AM SO GLAD I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE WITH DISHES TAKING OVER THE HOUSE.

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    67. goodness! what a great display, menu and presentation! I love your cupcake cups!
      have a great weekend!

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    68. Love what you did with those cupcakes! Lovely presentation.

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    69. I don't know which is prettier, the food or the plates!

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    70. I am in love! With your tablescape! It is breathtaking and so is the food!

      Have a great day, Denise

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    71. Wow. You should be in a magazine. Maybe you are? The whole blog post is just soooo impressive. I wish I could come and taste it all, except for the crab cakes. (allergies)

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    72. Fabulous, yummmy looking and especially with H& H looking on. What a great setting!

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    73. Okay as I'm a day late, is there any leftovers? I LOVE Crab and the C-Cakes sound 'n look delicious! I'll settle for just a mere morsel. "Please Sir may I have another....etc".)

      So nice to see Helena & Hunk again. They are such a charming couple. Beautiful table GG!

      HOPE YOU ARE HAVING A GREAT WEEKEND! {Brenda}

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    74. I have got to find some pretty cupcake holders! Yours always look so gorgeous! Your table is stunning. I always did like Helena and Hunk and I'm glad to see them back on your blog. All of the beach touches look so pretty. Now why, when I do beach, does it come off looking like a cartoon? Every week, I intend to participate, but Thursday night just seems to get it here before I know it! laurie

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    75. Looks delicious!!! Thanks for sharing. Love & blessings from NC!

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    76. Dear Gollum,
      when you get the chance come visit my blog I have a well deserved Award for you today.
      Have a wonderful Sunday,
      Tam

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    77. This was like reading a high end magazine! Your tablescape was gorgeous and it was nice to meet Helen and Hunk:) I have never made crabcakes, but think I am going to this week following your wonderful directions. The cupcakes
      looked divine!
      Thanks you for your sweet comments on my humble blog. Sorry it took me so long to comment. We were out of state helping our own 2nd (soon to be) doctor son and his new bride buy a home, for when he graduates from Dental school in May. Your post was incredible as they all are!

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    78. Gollum, everything is just gorgeous. Could you please tell me the manufacturer of the white scrolled service liner/charger? I think I'm in love.

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    79. Your dinner guests are fortunate indeed!

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    80. Being a beach lover.....that is THE MOST beautiful dishesI have seen. I LOVE those dishes!!!!!! Amazing.
      Speaking of the beach....as I sit and type while I dig my toes into the sand...my foodie post for this Friday is also a seafood dish! Come by, y'all and enjoy!

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    81. oh, this is enchanting! I love starfish and the light blue seashell, starfish with the gold napkin was my favorite! though i love the statue things too which look so mystical beloved! Thanks for this lovely post! What eye candy and enjoyment! ;) xx Jenn

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    82. Absolutely beautiful pictures! You've inspired me to try out a few new things for my Easter gathering tomorrow.

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    83. What a gorgeous tablescape this is--makes me wish for spring already!

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    84. I was looking at tablescapes on Pinterest and saw this tablescape. I was so glad the pictures came back to the original post. This is fabulous and the recipes are amazing. I am really going to have to pay more attention to the food oriented sites. Now I am starving (after 5 days with a stomach virus and misery, I am so hungry). I did bookmark this post to come back for the recipes in the future..... Candy

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