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July 28, 2018

A Dinner at The School House

Last weekend we hosted a dinner at The School House.  My Aunt and Uncle were visiting, so we treated everyone to a dinner (mostly) from our garden.  Dinner at the school house is a unique setting - it feels sort of like a country house, but also a little like a store.  We had plenty of wine and music and a delicious fresh menu that tasted like summer.

It was mostly adults (except for Emma and her baby cousin), so I took the opportunity to set a pretty table using the new linens from the Classic Collection - Navy Fleur Block Print.

I took these photos in the afternoon, but we didn't have dinner until 8pm, so you'll have to imagine the candles flickering and the sun setting over the field against the huge wall of windows.

I design all of the runners in my store to be extra wide and extra long.  I love big, rustic farmhouse tables - I love to see the patina and character of the wood.  I'm not much of a placemat person, so this extra long, extra wide runner provides a little padding, color and protection to the table, without overing it up completely.  Also, it helps to visually scale down the huge table and makes it feel a little more cozy.

When we got up the next morning, I took my camera out and in my barefeet, walked around the property to take photos.  The light is so warm and pretty coming in from across the fields.

I used hydrangeas from the hydrangea standard tree we planted out front in my collection of creamware creamers and tea lights.  Such a simple, but pretty setting.  I love the look of the coordinating napkins and runner for a cohesive look on the table.

The Menu

Heirloom Tomato Sauce with Rigatoni

Pesto Shrimp Skewers

Butter Lettuce & Firm Ricotta Salad with Lemon Shallot Vinegrette

Peaches & Vanilla Whipped Cream

I designed this menu to feature the best of the summer season, but to not be a typical "summer dinner."  It was fresh, flavorful and so delish.  Everything is easily prepped ahead of time.  The only thing to do just before dinner was cook the pasta, dress the salad and put the shrimp in the oven.

Pesto Shrimp Skewers

I tossed the shrimp in pesto, then skewered them.  For dinner, I put about 6 large shrimp on each.  I put the skewered shrimp on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, then roasted them in the oven for 8 minutes.  You can also grill them, but we don't have a grill at the school house and it is much easier to just stick them in the oven!

Pesto Recipe >
I wanted dessert to be very light and taste like the essence of a summer peach.  So, I sliced fresh peaches (with fuzz and skin on - my favorite way) and topped them with a big dollop of vanilla whipped cream.  It would also be so yummy with a cookie... maybe a warm snickerdoodle or gingersnap.

Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream >

We love spending time at The School House on the weekends.  I still haven't decided on a color for the front doors (just primed now) - my instincts tells me to keep it white on white, but I feel like I should do something a little more fun.  Thoughts?

For those of you that are new, The School House is the home of my online store.  The products are stored, packaged and shipped from here.  You can learn more, here >

Here is our garden that is starting to produce tons of tomatoes... which is mostly what we planted.  It has been a tough year to establish trees, grass and a garden due to the extreme heat and lack of rain.  We'll be doing more plantings this fall and will share our plan with you.

One of the garden quadrants is planted with zinnias.  So pretty and fun!  They are just starting.

I planted lilac bushes along the fence line.  I can't wait until they start growing big and filling in.  They will perfume the entire property.

The School House Team is busy packing orders from The Classic Collection.  Shop >

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