Tomato Season Begins

My daughter knows me pretty darn well. When she went to Rome on vacation, she brought me a beautiful tea towel to be used for staging still life food and tableware photos.

GotMyReservations Roma Tomatoes

When I saw my first ripe Italian plum tomatoes on the vine, I knew just how to use her beautiful gift.

Now I have to figure out what to do with those heirloom purple cherry tomatoes that are almost ready!

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French Peasant Beets Recipe

Fresh beets from a friend’s garden. Organically grown. Just picked. Priceless.

GotMyReservations French Peasant Beets 2

We love fresh beets here at GMR, and I spent a little time looking for a recipe that included both the beets and some greens — we had a big bunch of kale that needed to be cooked. I found a recipe for French Peasant Beets and just a quick browse through the Food 52 site gives me a lot more food for thought. :) Continue reading

It’s a Cow Parade

Last week’s cow photo was fun for me to share, and you liked it too.

GotMyReservations Cow 2

I’ve been learning how to shoot animals with their personality showing

Given the cow’s popularity, I’ve decided to do a series with the animals with personality I shot with my photo class. Just remember, you asked for it! Continue reading

Birthday Reflections

It’s hard to believe that another year has passed and I’m deeper into aging and retirement.

Yet it’s also such an overwhelming feeling of grace and gratitude with which I face this day and the inevitable.

GotMyReservations Happy Birthday Centerpiece 2

Birthday present — Nora Fleming design

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Stars and Stripes Tablescape

GotMyReservations Stars and Stripes Tablescape Intro

Normally here at Got My Reservations, I feature a family heirloom or at least a vintage piece that inspires a tablescape. For this year’s Fourth of July tablescape, I’m pretty sure there’s absolutely nothing old or inherited on this table! Continue reading

The Sunday Review: Books for Foodies

18167006I grabbed Delicious!:A Novel from my bookstore soon after its release and was very eager to read the debut novel of one of my favorite food writers. It was good….but. The concept was interesting, with the main character working in food magazine publishing and then losing her job when the magazine closes(sounds eerily like Ruth Reichl, right?). They say an author should write what she knows, and Reichl has created a pastiche of a mystery with bunches of interesting characters and lots of food references. Even with all that going for it, I wasn’t blown away as I have been with Reichl’s memoirs. The writing felt stiff and the story line involving the hidden letters was convoluted, at best. We know that Reichl can spin a great tale, but she may have bitten off more that she can chew with this first novel. If you are a foodie, it’s still worth reading — just not a five out of five.

For more Ruth Reichl at her best in a memoir rather than a novel, you should try Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise. Exactly what the title says it is, Reichl’s stories of being a food critic for The New York Times are charming and funny.

For a little more salt in your foodie memoir, Anthony Bourdain is as flavorful as they get. I’ve read Kitchen Confidential and Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook, and both are very good. I’ve blogged about Tony B three times over the years, and I’m as much of a fan of his current show on CNN (Parts Unknown) as I was of No Reservations.

I’ve been on a foodie book tear in the last few months — there will be more reviews coming soon!

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Biltmore Part II: Biltmore Estate Landscaping

What pairs well with the biggest private home in the United States? Why, one’s own forest and mountain, of course.

On our visit to the Biltmore Estate we marveled at the beautiful landscape surrounding George Washington Vanderbilt’s mansion. It is even more amazing when you realize that most of this landscape was immature during Vanderbilt’s lifetime. He and his very famous landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, both died before really being able to appreciate the glory of what they designed.

GotMyReservations Biltmore View of Mt Pisgah

Biltmore Estate forests with view of Blue Ridge Mountains

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Floral Fantasy Tablescape

I don’t want to jinx it, but my garden has never looked better! Even with the plant loss from our crazy winter, this rainy June has rejuvenated all of my sad plants. It seemed a perfect week to feature a flowery tablescape.

GotMyReservations Floral Fantasy  Intro

It all started with my inspiration piece –a Nippon Rose pattern vase. I traced its history here. The greens of the piece combined with the yellow and red roses reminded me of English country gardens, overflowing with colorful flowers. The base of the centerpiece is a distressed green wooden tray found on the sale rack at Joann Fabrics. I created a floral centerpiece with faux flowers picking up the yellow, red, lavender, and greens in the vase and the linens. Continue reading

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