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Recipes & Entertaining Ideas

Filtering by Tag: Flowers

Parisian Fresh Flower and Garden Herb Arrangement

Marc J. Sievers

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Contrary to what you may think, having a burst of beautiful blooms on your table does not have to be expensive or complicated. In fact, constructing a high-impact arrangement only requires a trip to your local grocery store! I think it is fun to get creative when it comes to florals and I love the idea of mixing in some fresh herbs with the flowers. There is something so modern and chic about bringing in edible, garden elements as part of the centerpiece for a table setting. Here, I have mixed in some bright green sage leaves with mint and aromatic rosemary. I placed all of the herbs in small drinking glasses filled with water to keep them happy and maintain their color!

The star of this arrangement are peonies that are in their full glory. When you buy peonies at the market, you want to make sure that you buy blooms that are still tight, so as to allow them to open up slowly over the course of a few days. I nestled the peonies in the glasses with the herbs and added a few loose tulip heads in for good measure! For a little mood lighting, I lit a few unscented candles. I mean, doesn’t everyone look better with a little candlelight?

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A Parisian Flower Arrangement with Tulips & Eucalyptus

Marc J. Sievers

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When I pick up my fresh flowers for the week, I love to mix them into interesting and modern arrangements that are simple, chic and completely unexpected. While in Paris working on my new book last month, I found these gorgeous, long-stemmed Dutch tulips and some fabulous eucalyptus branches at one of my favorite florists in the city, the incredibly stunning Adriane M Fleuriste in Saint-Germain-des-Près. You could easily find both of these at your local grocery store! Eucalyptus is a go-to of mine throughout the year, because I can get a voluminous, dramatic effect without spending a lot of money. Using the eucalyptus as a foundation, build the arrangement by placing the branches in a vase filled with warm water. There is no rhyme or reason for the placement of the branches, which is half of the fun (the more wild looking the better!). For the tulips, be sure to cut the stems on a diagonal, to allow the blooms to drink in as much water as possible. Then place the tulips around in the vase to complement the eucalyptus branches. Et voilà! A beautiful Grocery Store Flowers Made Fabulous arrangement, perfect for entertaining or for an earthy and elegant everyday moment just for you.

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Deconstructed Mixed Flower Bouquets

Marc J. Sievers

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Next up in my Grocery Store Flowers Made Fabulous series, is how to deconstruct a mixed flower bouquet to create several beautiful, monochromatic arrangements. I am not a fan of the typical mixed flower bouquets that are available in grocery stores - I love the all of the vibrant colors, but I find that they are not as elegant. It is quick and easy to take one of these bouquets and create gorgeous, one-of-a-kind arrangements!

First, when you are looking at all of the bouquets in the store, make sure to select the biggest bundle of flowers that is available. This will yield the widest variety of blooms to work with. Once you get the flowers home, find a large workspace that will give you enough room to spread out and separate the blooms into single-color groupings.

After you have divided all of the the flowers into groups, use a pair of shears to cut each stem on the diagonal. This will allow the flower to drink up as much water as possible. Use your desired vessel as a guide for trimming the stems. I like to use small bistro glasses with a bit of warm water for these arrangements, as they are perfect for scattering the bouquets around the house or down the center of a table. Regardless of the season, fresh blooms always add that “little something” to brighten up the day!

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Grocery Store Flowers Made Fabulous: Rose Cluster

Marc J. Sievers

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I absolutely love having fresh flowers at home. What I do not love is breaking the bank for a beautiful arrangement! It is entirely possible to assemble gorgeous floral moments with blooms from your favorite grocery store, and I want to show you how to make a classic rose cluster using roses that I bought from my neighborhood grocer!

For this cluster, I chose a similar color palette and three colors of roses: Pale pink with lime green, ivory, and a soft pink/peach. One of the varieties was a spray rose to add a different size and texture. All you need are flower shears, green floral wire, and a simple glass cylinder (my go-to vessel - they are easy to find, blend into any table setting, and are small enough to arrange multiples down the center of a table, place on a side table, etc.).

This is the perfect time to be creative! If you prefer a monochromatic story, as I have shown here, select blooms that are in a similar color palette. For a more daring arrangement, shake it up a bit and choose a variety of hues for an eclectic centerpiece. Happy arranging!

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A Few Simple Tips to Arrange the Cluster

  • For a table setting, I think flowers should not be taller than 8-10 inches.  Measure your arrangement using my technique in the video. 

  • Cut stems at a diagonal when arranging.  I like to change the water and re-cut the stems daily to ensure my flowers stay fresh.

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Copper Holiday Centerpiece

Marc J. Sievers

While you are planning your holiday soirée, remember the flowers! An earthy and elegant arrangement makes for the perfect centerpiece. I love the rustic charm of a small copper pot as the vessel for a French-inspired collection of roses and greenery, which creates an arrangement that is sophisticated and does not overwhelm the table.

The best part is that all of the fabulous flowers (and herbs!) can be found at most grocery stores. While you are out picking up a few last-minute ingredients, you can also bring home simple florals to recreate this arrangement. I used red roses, spray roses, seeded eucalyptus, and rosemary for this holiday-themed bouquet. To make the arrangement, use small pieces of floral foam that fit snuggly into the container to help stabilize the bouquet. Also, throughout the year, keep an eye out for interesting vessels to hold your other arrangements, like vintage copper pans, porcelain, and glass vases of varying sizes. Florals do not have to be complicated, so be creative and experiment with different blooms and containers. You can adapt them for any season or occasion!

 
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 A Few Simple Tips to Create an Arrangement

  • Fill a deep bowl or stock pot with warm water and place a piece of floral foam on top of the water, letting it fully submerge on its own. This is the best way to ensure it absorbs as much water as possible.

  • To help your arranging go more quickly, organize your florals and remove any undesirable petals, stems, or leaves prior to assembling the arrangement.

  • Cut the stems of the roses on the diagonal to allow the blooms to take in more water while in the arrangement.

  • Add the rosemary the day of your soirée to be sure it is fresh and vibrant in the arrangement. Also, be sure to shave off the tough outer bark at the base of the stem, and slice the stem up the center so that it can take in water more easily.

  • I like mixing spray roses and regular roses together in the same color. This adds contrast and visual interest from every vantage point around the table while maintaining a sophisticated look with a unified color palate.

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A Royal Wedding Breakfast!

Marc J. Sievers

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When WGN News asked me to design a segment for the ultimate watch party for the royal wedding of Price Harry & Megan Markle, I happily said "yes"!  Since the royal nuptials are being broadcast live from London, coverage begins in some TV-land markets as early as 2am - YIKES!  I thought A Royal Wedding Breakfast soireé was the perfect way to gather with friend on Saturday morning and watch the festivities unfold (and a perfect excuse to stay in your jammies!).  Below I have included detailed images, my WGN News segment, and shoppable links (all from behind the scenes!) so you can easily recreate my Royal Wedding Breakfast for yourself at home! 

Trader Joes

Toasted Crumpets with Mascarpone and Strawberry Preserves

Buttery Croissants filled with Scrambled Eggs & Spinach

Vanilla Bean Yogurt with Dehydrated Raspberries, Fresh Blackberries, & Granola

Vosges Chocolates

Lemon Raspberry Petit Gateaux

Rosé BonBons

Chocolate Truffles “Les Fleus” Collection

Loose Leaf Tea

Earl Grey Rose

Earl Grey Lavender

Offray Ribbon

1/8” in colors Wine, Lemongrass, Silver, Ivory, & Pink

Caspari

Paper Table Cover in “Gold”

Flower Tubes

Plastic Water Flower Tubes

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Festive & Fabulous Last-Minute Holiday Ideas

Marc J. Sievers

I love the last few days leading up to Christmas, there is a frenetic buzz in the air, everything seems to smell like peppermint and cloves, and the decorations on the streets and in the windows are like no other time of year!  I was asked by WGN Chicago for my top tips on some last-minute holiday ideas and I think I came up with a few you are going to absolutely love - and best of all you can find everything at your local grocery store!  Below is the clip for you to watch and hopefully get inspired to some festive cheer to your home this time of year!  Here are the recipes for my Cointreau Chocolate Ganache and Cointreau Winter Cider.  Sending love, hugs, and well wishes from my home to yours - Happy Holidays! 

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A Creative Approach to Everyday Tablescapes

Marc J. Sievers

Designing tablescapes is something I have been doing for clients for years.  The word “tablescape” sometimes scares people as it conjures images of towering floral arrangements, polished gleaming silver, and layers of fine China.  While that specific image is certainly an option—glorious in its own right—the word tablescape also can refer to everyday tabletop design that have well thought out concepts and choices to help accentuate your personal style, décor, and theme of your soirée, while also showcasing your everyday dishes, glassware, flatware, linens, and other casual pieces you may have.

This May, in celebration for Mother’s Day, I was asked by WGN Chicago to showcase a Mother’s Day brunch extravaganza!  Since Spring is in full swing (most of the days!), I wanted to create a colorful table filled with flowers, texture, thoughtful touches, and an easy and elegant main dish, my Eggs Provençal from my cookbook Entertaining with Love.  In addition to shopping for the ingredients I needed to prepare brunch, I also relied on my local Trader Joe’s for the best overnight croissants (they are available in plain, almond, or chocolate!), another favorite local grocer for an edible and over-the-top gift basket, and stunning flowers, all budget-friendly!

While this tablescape, menu, and basket were each created on the theme of Mother’s Day, they would be equally as fabulous and impressive for a birthday celebration, dinner party, weeknight dinner, or any other celebration with which you want to make a statement—easily using everyday ingredients that are readily available at your local grocery store!  Have fun entertaining!

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

 

Watch the clip below to get a video tour.

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A Perfect Place Setting – Casual or Formal

Marc J. Sievers

Setting a table for a brunch, luncheon, or dinner is one of my favorite things to do. It allows me to be creative with colors, textures, and style. While there are a few rules when it comes to laying a properly appointed place setting, there are also chic and easy ways to make a time-honored tradition both fresh and new without compromising on etiquette.

First, decide how informal or formal you want your table to be. I keep a printed version of the charts below tucked away with my napkin rings, making it easy to reference when it comes time to set the table.


Informal Table Setting


Formal Table Setting


Next, it is onto selecting my accoutrements for my tablescape. Here are a few of my most-used ideas and tips when it comes to selecting the details for the table.

Dinnerware, Glassware & Linens

  • Simple clean-lined white plates are the best for showing off your cuisine. Remember, expensive does not always mean better. You can find white dinnerware just about everywhere and on any budget, including discount stores, flea markets, and garage sales. Some of my most-treasured finds are from thrift stores and flea markets.

  • I also love collecting antique mismatched china! It’s perfect to incorporate with my all-white dinnerware for a touch of whimsical elegance.

  • Use different patterns of vintage flatware to create a more informal feel.

  • Simple clear glassware and stemware is perfect for all types of parties. It allows the colors of wine and cocktails to become part of the table’s décor. Of course, crystal stemware is also perfect. It will add a bit of sparkle and glamour to any party, even the most casual!

  • When hosting a cocktail party, buffet, or potluck choose one type of glass for all beverages, including water. I love using stemless flutes. They are elegant, add height to a table or buffet, and best of all fit into the dishwasher more easily than a traditional stemmed glass. Of course, stemless does not apply to coffee and tea service.

  • If you are planning to serve a full complement of beverages, plan to use 3 to 4 glasses per guest, including a glass each for a cocktail, red wine, white wine, and champagne.

  • Always choose a natural fiber like cotton or linen for napkins, tablecloths, and runners. When something has a stain or spill you can easily pre-treat and launder at home.

  • Choose colors like crisp white or a delicate cream or ivory for your main set of linens. You will always be prepared for any party no matter the theme or style. You can easily dress up plain linens with ribbons, flowers, and other adornments.

  • Table runners, patterned or colored napkins, and plate chargers are fabulous ways to add color (and glamour!) to your table. Having more than one set of linens is a great way to add vibrant color and interest to your table and will pair perfectly with monochromatic napkins, tablecloths, placemats, and plates.

  • Avoid unnecessary stress by pre-pressing linens as soon as they have been laundered. I have a dedicated drawer and a small shelf where I store my ready-to-use linens.

  • While you may have a desire to insert a perfumed sachet in with your clean stored linens, it is not ideal. Any added scent to your linens will interfere with the scent of your food.

  • Always plan on having available double the number of napkins per guest. After dinner give each guest a new napkin for dessert. Nobody enjoys wiping their mouth with a soiled napkin.

  • For a rustic feel use over-sized, new, clean dishtowels for napkins or placemats. Choose ones that will fit the theme of your food and colors.


Table, Flowers & Service

  • A fabulous host or hostess sets the table the night before! You can take your time to make sure all of your details are in place, and you will have time to fix or work around any problems you might discover (a torn tablecloth or wax-encrusted candle stick). Doing so the night before also allows extra time in case you are running a tad behind in the kitchen (we all do!).

  • Flowers are a must for any soiree! Buy flowers and arrange them one or two days in advance of your soirée with warm tap water. This allows the blooms to relax and open which will make your arrangements appear fuller and more natural the day of your gathering.

  • Cut the stems on the diagonal to allow them to drink the most water. Change the water daily to keep your arrangements fresh and vibrant.

  • Buy flowers with little to no scent for the dining table or sideboard. You never want the scent of flowers to compete with the aromas of your food. Keep heavily scented flowers for the guest bathroom or foyer.

  • A flower arrangement set on your dining room table during dinner should be no more than eight inches tall. You want to create a low-lying display, something that can easily be “peeked” over so guests can converse with one another naturally.

  • Instead of placing one flower arrangement in the center of the table try placing three or five (use odd numbers) smaller arrangements in a single row going that spans the entire length of the table.

  • If you only have taller vases place a larger arrangement at each end of the table and sit guests between them. Fill in the middle of the table with candles, rose petals, potted herbs, or big bowls fresh produce.

  • If your budget is a bit tight opt for hand-made tissue paper flowers that can be made in a variety of colors and sizes. They can also be stored and reused. Not only are you saving money, but being green as well!

  • Antique silver trays and bowls are my signature entertaining trick! Both useful and beautiful, you can find them at garage sales, flea markets, and online. I like to buy many different sizes and shapes enabling me to always have the perfect shape every time. It is amazing what they will do to elevate your party and add instant style and sophistication! Perfect for serving canapés to cocktails, side dishes to desserts, they will fast become your “go-to” soiree item!

  • Use small glass or silver serving bowls for all condiments. Never put plastic bottles on the table. Not only will they detract from your tablescape, but nobody wants to read labels during a party.

  • I love using beautiful wired edged satin ribbon for napkin rings. Simply tie it into a bow around the napkin, then place a sprig of fresh thyme, rosemary, or a small stemmed flower in between the ribbon and napkin.


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The City of Lights - Paris!

Marc J. Sievers

The City of Lights – Paris, France – in my opinion should be called “The City of Inspiration”!  Having just spent eight glorious days there eating, shopping, and of course enjoying some fabulous French wines, I brought home a million (and one!) food, décor, and style ideas.  The weather was mostly sunny, the air was filled with smells of freshly baked bread, and the gardens and trees were just starting to get their Spring buds—it was the perfect backdrop for my first trip with my husband Ryan to celebrate our third wedding anniversary with great friends. 

Since I have been home (for about 8 grueling American days) I have been going through the almost 1,200 photos that I took during my trip — everything from street vendors, patisseries, bistros, flowers and of course the Eiffel Tower and Versailles.  In the coming months, sprinkled amongst my regular posts, I will be sharing Paris-inspired posts, each filled with original recipes, décor ideas, and style concepts that will take you on a virtual vacation and impart some Parisian flair into your everyday living.  Grab your beret!  Our first stop is Ralph’s!

Ralph’s is Ralph Lauren’s second restaurant—the first was RL in Chicago—which opened in 2010 in the romantic Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood in Paris.  It was also the backdrop to our anniversary dinner!  RL in Chicago is our “go-to” restaurant whether we are grabbing a quick lunch, aperitif, or a cozy dinner, so the only place we could imagine creating a lasting memory for our anniversary dinner on our first trip to Paris was Ralph’s.  The moment we stepped out of the taxi (at a very un-Parisian early 7:00pm) we knew we were in for a stunningly beautiful evening.  As we walked through the heavy double outer doors, through the stone vestibule, and into the swoon-worthy inner courtyard, I couldn’t help but to stop and peak through the windows on the world-famous designer’s Paris flagship boutique.

The particular window I peek through first was the jewelry salon, where sitting atop a fireplace mantle were two ornate Chinese ginger jars filled with dozens of red roses.  They took my breath away.  These two simple components—materialized on a truly grand scale—were somehow going to come back to Chicago with me!  For months I had been struggling with just how to finish the sideboard in my dining room—no longer!  As I tucked that idea into the back of my mind, walked through the courtyard, and stepped into the “magazine worthy” restaurant, the simple and elegant theme of the red roses continued at the bar, on every table with small clusters in simple glass vases, and even fifteen feet in the air by way of towering mantle pieces crowned with velvety red roses.  I felt as though I was in a chic and fabulous dream!  The rest of the evening was filled with champagne, laughter with close friends, scrumptious food, and lasting memories that I will cherish for years to come.




Inspiration is about seeing something that impresses you in a way that you want to create your own interpretation of it and adapt into your own style, scale, and budget. Inspiration is about being inspired—motivated by something, based on a particular example, feeling, or flavor, and is not about copying or duplicating. Inspiration comes in many forms and from countless sources and well-executed inspirational experience will incorporate details you love and want to pay homage to. - MJS


TIP: When arranging small clusters of roses, arrange them at least 3 days before your soirée. This will allow each bloom to open up and become more full.  Change the water everyday and re-cut each stem ¼ inch to ensure the flowers stay fresh and drink as much water as possible.  

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

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Champagne Party - #BFF Style! for VRAI Magazine

Marc J. Sievers

Love is in the air at The Sievers!  Each year Ryan and I celebrate St. Valentine’s Day with a quiet home-cooked meal in an intimate vignette set up in our own home.  We typically watch a Disney movie (Cinderella is my all-time favorite!), enjoy a decedent dessert, and pop a bottle of really good wine.  We love being in love!  This year we are going to do something different by hosting a cocktail party to celebrating with our BFF’s.  It will be an evening filled with delicious nibbles, fabulous Champagne, and lots of laughter.  Not only will our soirée be memorable, it will be filled with completely store-bought items from my local grocery store.  This night will be about being with friends and not being in the kitchen (well, except to get more Champagne!).

A successful party is not measured by how many items you make from scratch, but rather how much laughter fills your home!  For my St. Valentine’s Day cocktail party I designed the evening around a completely over-the-top salty and sweet nibbles tray and glamorous rosé bubbles bar.  Let me walk you through the Champagne bar:


The Bubbles Bar

  1. Start by selecting your Champagne flutes. I like to use a different design for each guest to reflect their personality and to help them remember with flute is theirs. Use a tray—I chose silver—to set the flutes on. This will make even the simplest glassware feel more special, while also adding a bit of sophistication and sparkle to your bar area. A tray will also “contain” the flutes and help to visually organize your bar top and keep things from looking “strewn about all willy-nilly”—I use this professional entertaining phase all the time.

  2. Next, choose your favorite Champagne. I prefer a Brut Rosé which is flavorful, complex, and dry, making it both versatile with food and delicious by itself as an aperitif.

  3. I prefer to set out only one bottle of champagne at a time in a small ice-filled bucket. Opening a bottle of champagne has such a celebratory feel about it, so I like to do it in front of everyone. This also allows each bottle to stay as fresh as possible.

  4. Candles, candles, and more candles! I have a collection of candle holders that range in size. I love mixing them and using different heights to get a more dramatic feel.

  5. Paper cocktail napkins are the perfect way to help carry through a theme. I found the most “romantic” tray I had and used that to hold heart-themed napkins.

  6. Finally, I scatter crystals all around the flutes, Champagne chiller, and bar top. They really do add a depth of glamour, and they reflect the flames of the candles.


The Nibbles Tray

  1. Start by selecting your tray or platter. I love this silver spinning server for cocktail parties. It has many different sections which makes arranging food so simple. Guests can spin the tray for easy self-service regardless of where they are sitting on the sofa.

  2. Next, it’s time to shop! I went to my local grocery store and chose things that were different in texture, flavor, and color. For this party, I wanted to create a completely over-the-top selection of nibbles, while still trying to incorporate very recognizable St. Valentine’s Day-themed foods. I choose things that are salty, sweet, and savory. My go-to items are:

  • Gruyere

  • Freshly baked baguette

  • Strawberries

  • Chocolate Truffles

  • Salt & Pepper Potato Chips

  • Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar (for dipping)

      3.  Lastly, set out small plates and napkins.  A vase of scent-less flowers (as to not compete           with your food) finishes out the look.  Et voila—it’s party time!

Idea: If you don’t have a spinner server try using small bowls set atop a tray or just a large platter. 

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Soup Tureen Floral Arrangement for VRAI Magazine

Marc J. Sievers

Architects and designers call it “adaptive reuse”—I call it savvy uses for what you already own.

Did you make a New Year’s resolution?  I did, and for once I think I can actually stick to it (unlike that “use less butter” one I made two years ago).  This year, I have vowed to shop less for home décor and kitchen accoutrements and to find new and savvy uses for things I already own but that do not get used every day.  I have a complete and utter love (or obsession, if you ask my husband) for all things entertaining related.

Each day, as I walk by one of my china cabinets (I may have six—shhhh!), there is a beautiful French soup tureen that just begs to be used.  Pure white porcelain with lion head details and an elegant profile—it is probably one of my favorite pieces.  Upon a closer observation, it is just a bowl, a vessel that can hold anything, not just soup!  I was planning a dinner party a few days ahead and wanted to surprise my guests with an arrangement for the coffee table (where cocktails would be served) that wasn't my normal low-lying flower ball.  Since soup was not on the menu, I imagined my tureen could be my “vase”!  My thought wasn't even complete, but I bundled up and headed out to my local grocery store in search for my favorite flower—white hydrangeas.

  1. Cut a piece of floral foam (oasis) to fit the size of your tureen (or other vessel). It does not have to completely fill the interior, but should be large enough to rest securely on the base of your container.

  2. Fill your kitchen sink with tepid water. Place the foam on top of the water and allow it to gradually soak up water, until it is completely submerged. Gently remove the foam from the water and place it into your vessel.

  3. Cut the stems of your blooms, on a diagonal, to the desired length. This will ensure each bloom can drink the most water.

  4. Arrange flowers as you would in a vase, pushing each stem into the foam to the desired depth.

  5. Add small amounts of water to the foam daily to ensure flowers are kept as fresh as possible.

**TIP:  Floral foam is very forgiving.  If you don’t like the shape you created using the flowers, gently pull the flowers out and start again!

If flowers are too fussy, try these other ideas:

  • Line a tureen with a linen napkin and use as a bread basket

  • An elegant fruit bowl

  • A cache pot (think how elegant an orchid would look!)

  • An ice bucket with silver tongs for cocktail parties

  • A silver tray filled with canapés set on top adds height to a food table or buffet

  • As a punch bowl filled with my Pear and Orange Punch

  • As a serving bowl – pasta, mashed potatoes, and of course soup

My original article was on VRAI Magazine - January 2015

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

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Simply Fabulous - A Thanksgiving Table

Marc J. Sievers

Every year I dress my Thanksgiving table using everyday linens, plates, and glassware and add new design elements with flowers, candles, and colors.  This year I decided to try something new with textures and colors.  Instead of opting for traditional autumnal colors I experimented with lime, ivory, and purple and boy-oh-boy am I glad I did!  The color palette is fresh and clean and the pop of purple really adds a sophisticated touch. I love using simple round glass vases for arranging all types of flowers.  This year I wrapped them in burlap and ivory grosgrain ribbon.

The burlap adds a rustic element and the ribbon softens it, furthering my style of rustic-chic living.   Everything is held together with double-sided tape so after the holiday my vases can easily return to plain glass for another treatment (my mind is already wandering for Christmas!).  The ivory ribbon really pulls out the color in the flowers and adds a modern clean-line touch.


Tips for flower arranging:

  1. Flowers are a must for any soirée! Buy flowers and arrange them one or two days in advance of your soirée with warm tap water. This allows the blooms to relax and open which will make your arrangements appear fuller and more natural the day of your gathering.

  2. Buy flowers with little to no scent for the dining table or sideboard. You never want the scent of flowers to compete with the aromas of your food. Keep heavily scented flowers for the guest bathroom or foyer.

  3. Instead of placing one flower arrangement in the center of the table try placing three or five (use odd numbers) smaller arrangements in a single row that spans the entire length of the table.

  4. Cut the stems on the diagonal to allow them to drink the most water. Change the water daily to keep your arrangements fresh and vibrant.


Simple turnips have been transformed into tea light holders for my table this year!  I just love the earthy texture and pattern they have and they look fabulous with the purple tulips and pompom mums that I chose.  It almost looks as if they are made of clay.  I decided to place them down the center of my table but you can place them in clusters on silver trays, on a buffet, or even at each place setting if you are hosting a sit-down dinner.  Carve out a small hole on the top of each one just large enough to fit an unscented teal light in, then trim the root from the bottom so it can stand upright.  I added glass tea light holders amongst the turnips to add some elegance and sparkle.

Because I am hosting Thanksgiving this year potluck-style I need simple food markers to label each dish for my guests.  I will use simple green pears with brown tags, with each name written out in pencil (this also gives me flexibility in case a guest brings something different than what was planned).  The bright green pears will stand out nicely against the food and tablescape.  The little brown tags and twine can be used year after year!

I hope my tips, tricks, and photos bring you lots of inspiration!  Use them as a guide and create your own beautiful setting that reflects your personal tastes, favorite colors, and style.  Happy creating!

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