Feasting on Apple & Honey Galette with Pomegranate Seeds


 The Novel Bakers have been foraging and feasting this week with inspiration from The Forest Feast: Simple Vegetarian Recipes from My Cabin in the Woods by Erin Gleeson.

I’m ending this week on a sweet note, Apple & Honey Galette with Brie and Pomegranate Seeds. This is another easy and delicious recipe you can whip up using store-bought pie dough and just a few ingredients.


Galettes are easy, free-form, rustic tarts made with a single crust of pastry.


Along with a slice of Galette, I thought I’d serve up some behind the scenes photo tips and The Forest Feast cover photo shoot.

Erin Gleeson took the cover photo standing on a chair in her backyard. A blank canvas was surrounded with flowers from the farmers market and dishes from the cookbook. The watercolor title was later scanned and Photoshopped onto the layout.

Photographing Ingredients The Forest Feast

I’ve had several emails and comments recently about sharing my camera and photo tips. Here’s a little behind the scenes of photographing ingredients and my secret and tip that I’ve learned from 4 years of blogging:

Tip:  Take LOTS of photos

Secret:  It’s ALL about the light.


I prefer to take food photos with the natural light on our screened porch. This time of the year the light is unpredictable, so I’m either chasing it when it’s too dark or trying to avoid it since it’s lower in the horizon and it comes in at a strange angle making things look harsh and washing them out. Taking photos of a table outdoors is always challenging, too much sunlight or not enough, but morning is usually the best time of day.


I don’t use a tripod, but I usually always use a step stool to stand on, either a little collapsible one that’s easily portable, about 9 inches tall or a taller 3-step version to shoot down from. Sometimes just standing on the first step of a stool is enough height to change the perspective of what you’re shooting, so you’re looking down rather than across your subject, and improves your photo.

I have an older Nikon D60 and use Picasa (free download) and PicMonkey (free, no download) for editing my photos. Sometimes you have to boost the light and edit the exposure and a little cropping or a little straightening helps too.

The Forest Feast Apple & Honey Galette Ingredients

I moved a small table outside to take advantage of the filtered light from under the tree. I took the tabletop off the my small side table on the porch for a solid surface to sit on top the other table, along with a wooden board and took several test shots to see which I liked .


I ended up preferring a wooden board on the ground among the leaves for the ingredient shot, no step stool required :)

Apple & Honey Galette Ingredients


Apple & Honey Galette with Brie and Pomegranate Seeds

1 Refrigerated Pie Crust

4 oz. of Brie

1 tablespoon Brown Sugar

3 tablespoons Sliced Almonds

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

2 Apples, thinly sliced

Honey, Butter & Pomegranate Seeds

Apple Gallette with Brie & Honey

Top your pie crust with Brie, brown sugar, sliced almonds and cinnamon. Top next with thinly sliced apples (peeled or unpeeled). Next drizzle the top with honey, dot with butter, and fold edges over to form your crust.


I brushed the crust with egg wash (egg beaten with a little water) and sprinkled a little sugar on the pie crust edge. Bake at 350 degrees 20 -25 minutes until crust is golden. Allow to cool and firm up slightly before cutting and garnish with pomegranate seeds.



Apple & Honey Galette with Pomegranate Seeds

Feast with Jain and Michael Lee. . .

The Novel Bakers

Jain, a quiet life

Michael Lee, Rattlebridge Farm

Novel Bakers The Forest Feast

Thank you for your visit, also sharing with:

 Metamorphosis MondayThe Scoop,

Inspire Me TuesdayWow Us Wednesdays,

Home Sweet Home,

 Tablescape ThursdayFoodie Friday

Follow NB on Pinterest

The Forest Feast: Savoring the Flavors and Colors of Fall

The Forest Feast Savoring the Flavor & Colors of Fall

I’m savoring the flavors and colors of fall,

joining The Novel Bakers for

The Forest Feast by Erin Gleeson.

There was plenty to tempt my taste buds in The Forest Feast along with inspiration for a little foraging outdoors, enjoying the fleeting fall color before the arrival of the artic blast.

The Forest Feast

I took a few liberties with a couple of The Forest Feast recipes for novel baking this week. The first recipe that caught my eye was a Butternut Caprese Salad, a fall and California twist on the Italian classic!


Butternut squash, mozzarella (smoked or regular), grape or cherry tomatoes, basil, and avocado for a little buttery and creamy flavor and texture.

Butternut Caprese Salad Ingredients

Cube and roast your butternut squash at 425 degrees with some olive oil, salt and pepper for 20 – 25 minutes. Allow to cool.

Butternut Caprese

Arrange tomatoes, cheese, chopped basil, butternut, and avocado on a serving platter, sprinkle with desired amount of salt and pepper.

My Southern twist on a California version of this Italian classic, was the addition of a hot bacon dressing, which I’m pretty sure is a no-no with a vegetarian cookbook and recipe. . .but everything is better with bacon :)


Hot Bacon Dressing

4  - 6 bacon slices, coarsely chopped

3  Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

 kosher salt

 freshly ground black pepper


Saute bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove from heat, reserving bacon and 2 Tbsp. drippings in skillet. Let stand 1 minute. Add vinegar and oil, stirring to loosen browned bits from bottom of skillet. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Drizzle warm bacon mixture over salad.


Serve immediately.

Beautiful colors and flavors for fall! You can find a printable recipe, here.


The other recipe that caught my eye was a Winter Citrus Sangria,

a red wine sangria with brandy, orange juice and assorted citrus fruits.


With Thanksgiving and the holidays on the horizon, I mixed up a fall batch of sangria, you can serve your guests or family for easy entertaining.


 Pomegranate and Pear Sangria, delicious and beautiful!

A red wine is the base of this sangria but you could easily substitute a sparkling wine for the holidays.


I used a handy Anatomy of Sangria chart, courtesy of Wine Enthusiast Magazine  for mixing my Pear and Pomegranate Sangria for a quick reference for easy mixing.

The sangria combinations are endless with this chart as a guideline. Pick and choose your mixers, fruit, juice, wine & liquor, adjusting the flavors and quantities to your taste.



 I started with an inexpensive Pinot Noir since I was adding juice and mixers to it for this Thanksgiving version of sangria.


 Pomegranate and Pear Sangria


2 – 3 pears, sliced

Pomegranate Seeds

1 bottle Pinot Noir, or red wine of choice

1/2 cup Pomegranate Juice

1/2 cup Absolut Orient Apple Vodka

1 can Ginger Ale (I used diet) 


I used apple vodka with a hint of ginger flavor that I had a bottle from mixing my Apple Cider Sangria.


Slice pears and add to a large pitcher along with pomegranate seeds.


Add wine, pomegranate juice and vodka. Refrigerate until serving, 1 – 2 hours or up to 24.



Just before serving, add chilled ginger ale to pitcher and mix well.




Fill glasses half full with ice. Add sangria, sliced pears and pomegranate seeds to garnish glasses.






Happy Sipping and Savoring!

You can find a printable recipe here.


The Novel Bakers return on Friday, November 21st with more Forest Feast!


Autumn Pomegranate & Pear Sangria

Feast and sip with Jain and Michael Lee . . .

Jain, a quiet life

Michael Lee, Rattlebridge Farm

Pomegranate and Pear Sangria

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

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Inspire Me TuesdayWow Us Wednesdays,

Home Sweet Home,

 Tablescape ThursdayFoodie Friday

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Foraging, Feasting and Chocolate Ricotta Mousse!


I’m joining the The Novel Bakers with The Forest Feast: Simple Vegetarian Recipes from My Cabin in the Woods by Erin Gleeson

The Novel Bakers

Join us this week as we step into the magical world of Erin Gleeson, food blogger, artist, photographer and cookbook author of The Forest Feast. . .


Jain found this cookbook for The Novel Bakers to play with this week! I’m a sucker for cookbooks with lots of beautiful photos and this one fits the bill, since every recipe has a full-page photo along with an easy to follow format, with the ingredients and directions on the opposite page with minimal text.

“Erin Gleeson made her dream a reality when she left New York City and moved into a tiny cabin in a California forest in order to be closer to nature. The natural beauty of her surroundings and the abundance of local produce serve as the inspiration for The Forest Feast, based on her popular blog.”

“Most of the book’s 100 wholly vegetarian recipes call for only three or four ingredients and require very few steps, resulting in dishes that are fresh, wholesome, delicious, and stunning. Vibrant photographs, complemented by Erin’s own fanciful watercolor illustrations and hand lettering, showcase the rustic simplicity of the dishes. Part cookbook, part art book, The Forest Feast will be as comfortable in the kitchen as on the coffee table.”

This cookbook is a feast for the eyes with its deliciously photographed recipes and hand-painted illustrations added for a dash of artistry and a pinch of whimsy!

And would make a great gift for a new cook with the easy to follow directions and recipes with a minimal ingredients.

 While the recipes are vegetarian, many would work as sides for an entrée and are designed for entertaining that can be served at room temperature.

Appetizers, cocktails, salads, vegetable dishes and sweets with emphasis on fresh, colorful produce and ingredients.


There was plenty to choose from and for novel baking in this cookbook, but I have to admit that I did more foraging than feasting this week. . . (oops ;) 


Searching for leaves, moss, ferns, and acorns for this book as inspiration rather than ingredients.


It gave me the excuse to play outdoors and enjoy the fleeting fall color in our wee bit of woods . . .


And to harvest some fall foliage to enjoy. . .


Along with some crisp fall weather before the artic blast arrived.



We feasted on one of the recipes in the ‘sweets’ category,

 Chocolate Ricotta Mousse Cups.


4 Ingredients and easy to make and that satisfies your inner chocoholic!

Chocolate Ricotta Mousse Ingredients

Melt 4 oz of chocolate (dark, milk or semi-sweet) using your preferred methodin a double boiler over hot water or in the microwave. If using the microwave, break into small pieces and heat chocolate at 50 percent power for 1 to 11/2 minutes. Remove and stir, returning to microwave and repeat, stirring every 20 seconds to avoid scorching. When only small bits of chocolate remain, remove and continue to stir until completely melted.


 Add 2 cups ricotta cheese, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 tablespoon brown sugar and melted chocolate to a food processor.


Blend everything together in the processor for about 30 seconds. Chill in refrigerator several hours. It’s even better refrigerated overnight.


 Serves 4, along with most of the recipes in the The Forest Feast.


Serve with whipped cream, chocolate shavings, slivered almonds,

a pirouline wafer cookie if desired. . .


And maybe a bird or two :)








Foraging & Feasting Details:

Bird Tray, HomeGoods

Transferware Plate / Bountiful-Brown by Ridgway

White Bird Dish/ Gracie Teaware, HomeGoods

Twig & Leaf Spoons / Tuesday Morning, several years ago

Bird Cup & Saucer / Williamsburg Aviary by Wedgwood

Tree Slice Server / Bed, Bath & Beyond

Pumpkin Pillow / Pottery Barn

Leaf Pillow / Hobby Lobby


The Novel Bakers return on Wednesday, November 19th with more Forest Feast!


Feast with Jain and Michael Lee. . .

Jain, a quiet life

Michael Lee, Rattlebridge Farm

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

 Metamorphosis MondayThe Scoop,

Inspire Me TuesdayWow Us Wednesdays,

Home Sweet Home,

 Tablescape ThursdayFoodie Friday

Follow NB on Pinterest

A Just Because Arrangement


A Just Because Arrangement. . .


Because the hydrangeas are moments away from being frost nipped . . .



Because pumpkin season is coming to a close. . .


Because I found a missing urn. . .


Because the light was exceptional. . .


Because I had some leftover flowers. . .


Because fall leaf beauty is fleeting. . .


 Because the lowly seed pod needs celebrating. . .



Because The Novel Bakers return on

Monday, November 17th with The Forest Feast!

The Forest Feast

Here’s the teaser cookbook trailer:

Hope to see you then!


Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

 Metamorphosis Monday

Keep Calm and Bundt On: Pumpkin-Chocolate Harvest Bundt Cake!

Pumpkin Chocolate Harvest Bundt Cake

In anticipation of National Bundt Day, November 15th,

I baked a Pumpkin-Chocolate Harvest Bundt Cake~

a cake lover’s Thanksgiving alternative to pumpkin pie

with the added bonus of chocolate!


And I’m joining Cuisine Kathleen, for a Bundt Cake Challenge

sharing pans, cakes and recipes, along with a little tabletop fun.

I have The Original Bundt Pan, a classic. No fancy design is required for a Cranberry-Apple-Pumpkin Bundt Cake, the flavors of fall in a cake!

The base flavor of the cake is pumpkin with a filling of apple, cranberry and toasted pecans. If that’s not enough to tempt your taste buds, it’s topped with maple glaze and sugared pecans and pepitas!

You can find the recipe here.

Cinnamon Streusel Bundt Cake

I also have a Holiday Bundt Tree Pan, ideal to accompany a sweet story, The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree. Cinnamon Streusel Bundt Cake is quick and easy to make with Cinnamon Streusel Bundt Mix, then sprinkled with drifts of snowy confectioners sugar.

 You can find boxes of Nordic Ware Bundt Mixes at bargain prices at HomeGoods on occasion and I always check the baking/food section when I’m there.

Brown Sugar Sand Castle with Nordic Ware Castle Bundt Pan

In case you need to sculpt a brown sugar sand castle (doesn’t everyone? ;) a Nordic Ware Castle Bundt Pan is a perfect mold. I have yet to bake a cake in it, but have seen it used for adorable gingerbread houses and a haunted mansions for Halloween.

Fairy Little Christmas Stump de Noel Cake

And last but not least I have a Nordic Ware Stump de Noël Pan that was a Williams-Sonoma exclusive. Perfect for celebrating a Fairy Little Christmas with a Stump de Noël Cake, complete with Tootsie Roll Poinsettias and Enchanted Forest Confections!

Stump de Noel Cake

The pan is no longer available but you could use a tube pan or classic bundt pan, sculpting and carving a cake stump while nibbling on the cake scraps, bonus ;)

How to create Tootsie Roll Poinsettias and Flower Fairy lore, here.

Nordic Ware Autumn Wreath Bundt Pan

I added an Autumn Wreath Bundt Pan to my collection,

also referred to as a Fall Harvest Bundt Pan.

Pumpkin Chocolate Harvest Cake

I used Nordic Ware’s recipe for Pumpkin-Chocolate Harvest Cake, with the addition of a Bourbon-Pecan Glaze and served with some Nutter Butter and Hersey Kisses Acorns to wreath the cake!


Pumpkin-Chocolate Harvest Cake with Bourbon-Pecan Glaze

Cake Ingredients

2/3 cups butter, softened

2 cups sugar

1 egg

2 egg whites

2 1/3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 (15 oz. can) pure pumpkin

1/2 cup water

3 Tablespoons cocoa powder

1 Tablespoon water



Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour bundt pan, set aside. (I used Baker’s Joy)

In a large bowl, beat softened butter and sugar until creamy.

Add egg and egg whites, mix well.


Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin and a 1/2 cup water. Mix on low speed until blended, scraping sides of bowl often. Increase speed to medium for another 2 minutes.

Remove about 3/4 cup of the batter, place in small bowl, set aside.

Spoon remaining batter into bundt pan.


To reserved batter add cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon water. Stir to combine.

*Place spoonfuls of chocolate batter on top of pumpkin batter.

Using a knife, swirl chocolate batter into pumpkin batter to marble.

Bake 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes in pan, remove from pan to invert onto wire rack and let cool completely.

*Next time I would pour half the pumpkin batter in the pan, spoon in the chocolate batter, add the remaining pumpkin batter, then swirl for better marbling.


Bourbon-Pecan Glaze

Makes about ½ cup

¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon maple syrup

*2 teaspoons bourbon (substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla if preferred)

In small saucepan, stir together brown sugar, butter and maple syrup. Bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in pecans. Remove from heat and stir in bourbon (or vanilla). Pour warm glaze over cake immediately.


 Hersey Kisses Acorns are an easy fall treat!

I couldn’t find with mini vanilla wafers, so I used Mini Nutter Butter Bites as the acorn caps.


They’re topped with Butterscotch Morsels. Instead of using frosting or melted chips to attach the Nutter Butter caps and morsels, I used peanut butter as the ‘glue’ for more peanut butter flavor.


You can find a printable recipe for

Pumpkin-Chocolate Harvest Cake with Bourbon-Pecan Glaze, here.


Keep Calm and Bundt On!


You can generate your own Keep Calm poster, here.


You’re invited to join me at A Proud Tom Turkey Table, here.

Keep Calm and Bundt On: Pumpkin Chocolate Harvest Bundt Cake!

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

Cuisine Kathleen Bundt Cake Challenge,

 Metamorphosis MondayThe Scoop,  Inspire Me Tuesday,

Wow Us WednesdaysTablescape Thursday,

 Home Sweet Home,  Feathered Nest Friday, Foodie Friday

A Proud Tom Turkey Table


A Proud Tom Turkey provided little table inspiration

 with Thanksgiving a couple of weeks away!


Along with new Fresco Turkey Plates on sale from Pottery Barn.


This table came together by happenstance rather than by design.


I found embossed leaf plates in four assorted colors at HomeGoods back in September.

Thanksgiving Fresco Turkey Plates

The teal embossed plate was in the category of ‘one of these things is not like the other’, but I picked it up, along with the gold, pumpkin and ivory color plates.


Then a couple of weeks ago, I spied this Tom Turkey strutting his stuff at HomeGoods, at a price of less than half of one online, too good not to gobble up!


He has shades of blue along with a bit of teal in his feathers.


A little table top serendipity, as satisfying as discovering that last piece of pumpkin pie :)








Tom Turkey Table Details:

Fresco Turkey plates, Runner & Patterned Napkins /  Pottery Barn

Flatware / Towle Seville

Amber Goblets / Mikasa French Countryside

Napkin Rings & Teal Gold Beaded Napkins /  Pier 1

Matelasse Coverlet / Bed, Bath & Beyond

Tom Turkey / Kaldun & Bogle Hunt Harvest Cookie Jar, HomeGoods

Gold Chargers & Olfaire Leaf Plates / HomeGoods


Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

 Metamorphosis Monday,

The Scoop,  Inspire Me Tuesday,

Wow Us WednesdaysTablescape Thursday,

 Home Sweet Home,  Feathered Nest Friday

Christmas Cheer: Trains, Candy Canes, Plaid and Pfaltzgraff Holiday Heritage


While I don’t want to rush the Thanksgiving season, I made a shift from harvest to holiday, long enough to pull out the red and green for a little pre-season holiday fun and to set and photograph a Christmas table!


In anticipation of the Christmas season,

I’m at the table with Pfaltzgraff Holiday Heritage Dinnerware

along with candy canes, trains, trees, greenery, garland and plaid!


 A Christmas tree with all the trimmings on Pfaltzgraff Holiday Heritage stoneware,

and the iconic symbol of the season, provides the inspiration for the table.


And Mikasa French Countryside Ruby goblets add a graceful silhouette

and pop of seasonal red color at the table for holiday beverages.


I’ve had several emails and comments recently about how to dress

 and layer a table so here a few photos and my process step by step. . .


A red and green plaid tablecloth provides the foundation for the table. Plaid equals Christmas cheer for me, so I used a coordinating pair of napkins in red and green checks and plaid, for double the cheer and plaid tidings! An assortment of pewter napkin rings coordinate with octagonal chargers.


Christmas stars and evergreen branches border the tree on Holiday Heritage plates, so I decked the table with boughs of Leyland cypress to rim the edges of the stoneware plates. . .


Along with some beaded garland that hangs on our tree for a little plate trimming! My beaded garland is about 7 feet long so I draped it around the plates twice, but you could use any length of beaded garland, winding it around your plates and on top of chargers or placemats, tucking in the bits of greenery.


If you have access to Leyland cypress, it’s an ideal evergreen to Deck the Halls or the table, since it won’t leave a sticky, sappy residue behind like cedar, pine or other evergreens.


I wanted to find a train for a centerpiece to match the train under the tree on the dinnerware but thought it might be a long shot. . .


 I found one waiting for me at Kohl’s to board my table,

complete with a tree in the caboose!


I’m not affiliated with Kohl’s but stop in to check regularly for linens and table top inspiration, since there’s always a sale in progress along coupons available to use for an additional discount.


I added sprigs of greenery and candy canes to decorate the smokestack or chimney of the train.


The little elves at Kohl’s conveniently stocked the shelves nearby the trains with metal Christmas trees, complete with red votives to match the French Countryside ruby goblets!

‘Tis the Season for Giving Thanks, and I’m thankful for those busy and hard-working retail elves and doubly thankful that I am no longer one of them :)


 I elevated the tree votive holder with a cake plate for some height for the table and added some candy canes.


 A Round Bake and Serve Food Warmer from Towle Livingfilled with an assortment of Christmas ornaments, moves from oven to table for year round entertaining.


And a Holiday Wishes Tree Salad Serving Set by Towle includes a serving spoon topped with Santa, and a serving fork topped with a Christmas tree.

Towle Holiday Wishes Salad Serving Set


 And a Holiday Wishes Christmas Tree and Candy Cane Spreaders by Towle, provide a festive way to serve dips or condiments for Christmas entertaining.


Holiday Heritage Table Details:

*Dinnerware /  Pfaltzgraff Holiday Heritage Dinnerware

*Flatware / Pfaltzgraff Linden

 *Goblets / Mikasa French Countryside, Ruby

Chargers & Napkin Rings / Pottery Barn, several years ago

Napkins & Tablecloth / HomeGoods, several years ago

Train & Tree Tealight Holder / Kohl’s, recently

*Christmas Tree and Candy Cane Spreader Set / Towle Holiday Wishes

* Santa and Christmas Tree Salad Serving Set / Towle Holiday Wishes

*Round Bake and Serve Food Warmer / Towle Living


Enjoy 20% off one Holiday Heritage item through December 7th with the link below (some exclusions may apply):



*Lifetime Brands’ products have been provided free of charge in exchange for promotional consideration.

Christmas tablescape with Pfaltzgraff Holiday Heritage

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

 Metamorphosis Monday,

The Scoop,  Inspire Me Tuesday,

Wow Us WednesdaysTablescape Thursday,

 Home Sweet Home,  Feathered Nest Friday

Oh Yes! White Dish Love and Pecan and Goat Cheese Covered Grapes


Playing with dishes and with food are two of my favorite things!


I came across a recipe for a make-ahead appetizer with 3 ingredients,

easy for entertaining or enjoying with a glass of wine.


And just for fun, I corralled some dishes in a grape-producing fruit crate,

 ripe for the picking at an antique mall, to celebrate the grape!


{Berry and grape embossed plates, Mikasa English Countryside}


 Pecan and Goat Cheese Covered Grapes


~ Red Seedless Grapes
~ Goat Cheese (I used a mixture of half Neufchatel / half goat cheese. Boursin would be good also or soft cheese of choice)
~ Chopped Nuts, pecans, walnuts, or pistachios, I used pecans



Wash the grapes and dry thoroughly. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of the cheese mixture around each grape, rolling between your hands to coat evenly. Roll cheese-covered grapes in chopped nuts. Chill before serving.


Stack Cheese Covered Grapes in a cluster for a fun way to serve. . .


 I was able to pick some grape leaves and tendrils from some

wild grapevine growing nearby for a little grape cluster fun.



Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

 Metamorphosis Monday,

The Scoop,  Inspire Me Tuesday,

Wow Us Wednesdays,  Foodie Friday

Harvest Waldorf Kale Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

Harvest Waldorf Kale Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

Harvest Waldorf Kale Salad with Maple Vinaigrette is a lightened up and filling salad recipe for fall with a harvest of dark leafy greens, fresh seasonal produce and lean protein that makes an entrée salad with nutritious ingredients and satisfying flavors!


It was among one of Bobby Deen’s lightened up recipes for fall

 in the Sept/Oct 2014 issue of Cooking with Paula Deen magazine.

My grocery store sells bags of triple washed chopped kale that makes assembling the salad extra quick and easy.


The slightly bitter kale is a delicious counterpoint to crisp sweetness of the apples, creamy dressing, and the crunch of the toasted walnuts. I made a couple of changes to the salad, substituting blue cheese for goat cheese, and adapted the dressing to our taste; adding maple syrup for the sweet note instead of molasses, a bit of Dijon mustard and substituting balsamic for sherry vinegar.

Massaged Kale

To make the kale in your salad more palatable, give it a massage!

Remove the fibrous ribs of the kale, chop or shred your kale then gather your bunches in your hands and massage them, rubbing the leaves and pieces together. Do this for 2 – 5 minutes until you notice the leaves begin to darken, soften, and shrink in size. You don’t need to add anything to the kale to break them down, but you can add a bit of olive oil and salt to speed up the process.


Harvest Waldorf Kale Salad with Maple Vinaigrette,

 adapted from Cooking with Paula Deen, Sept/Oct 2014

Vinaigrette Ingredients

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons Maple syrup

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


Salad Ingredients:

4 Gala or Fuji apples, chopped (I used Honeycrisp)

3 carrots, shaved into ribbons

3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken

3 cups shredded or chopped kale

1 cup toasted walnuts

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Salt & pepper to taste


For dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for up to two days.


For salad: In large bowl, toss together all ingredients. Divide among serving plates, and drizzle with dressing; serve immediately.

Makes 4 – 6 servings


You can find a printable recipe here.

Harvest Waldorf Kale Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

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The Scoop,  Inspire Me Tuesday,

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At the Table: An Early Snowfall and Mikasa Belmont Red


I’m at the table with an early snowfall

and Mikasa Belmont Red Dinnerware!


I had the fun challenge and assignment of using these dishes in a

  Christmas or winter setting to photograph for Lifetime Brands this week.


And photographed them in a fall setting with

pumpkins, mums, and Indian corn for a

Delicious Autumn Table that I shared last week.


Timely, since the NC mountains received an early snowfall on Saturday and parts of South Carolina had the earliest snow in decades, with Columbia, SC, receiving the earliest snowfall in recorded history!


We had howling winds and rain here with the only snow accumulation on my table, to join snowmen, cardinals, and add a light dusting on bird houses and trees!


 Mikasa Belmont Gourmet Basics stoneware is available in an array of colors~

blue, green, black, and red.


Plates are available in a round, traditional shape, or a

 square shape for a more modern interpretation for dining.


Belmont Red is a warm russet or brick hue, the same shade

 as cardinals, nesting on top of excelsior in cereal bowls.


And warm paisley and plaid checked napkins that are paired

with a snowy pine cone and jingle bell napkin rings.


A brown matelasse coverlet, used for my Belmont Red fall table,

is layered with a jute runner for easy snow removal :)


Snowflake-adorned red Christmas ornaments

and pine cones are sprinkled on the table. . .


Along with rock salt and a light dusting of faux snowflakes for a snowy accumulation and wintry mix.


Mr. Cardinal has a light dusting of snow on his wings,

and snowflakes and a sprig of holly adorns his cap!


Pedestals elevate birdhouses for some height on the table. . .


Along with a stack of Belmont Red fruit bowls and provide

a surface for sprinkling rock salt for a snowy landscape.


Belmont Red Table Details:

*Dinnerware /  Mikasa Belmont Red Dinnerware

*Flatware / Mikasa Gourmet Basics Contempo

Snowy Goblets / Kohl’s, several years ago

Placemats / World Market, several years ago

Napkin Rings / Kohl’s, several years ago

 Napkins & Jute Runner / Pottery Barn, several years ago

Matelasse Coverlet / Bed, Bath & Beyond

Birdhouses, Snowmen, Pedestals / Hobby Lobby


Enjoy 20% off one Belmont Red item through November 23rd with the link below:



You’re welcome to join me at the table for a Delicious Autumn here.


*Lifetime Brands’ products have been provided free of charge in exchange for promotional consideration.

Christmas Snowfall Table with Mikasa Belmont Red Dinnerware

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

 Metamorphosis Monday,

The Scoop,  Inspire Me Tuesday,

Wow Us WednesdaysTablescape Thursday,

 Home Sweet Home,  Feathered Nest Friday


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