Thursday, March 26, 2009

On the Fly Oriental Dining

Let's start with Susan's Tablescape Thursday...

"Contemporary Asian"

Roscher "Tara Gres (Gray)" Square dinnerware and chopsticks

This set was a lot harder to work with than I thought after I bought it for my daughter. Since I'm always on a tight budget, I buy something for my daughters' Hope Chests when I can. Anyway, it never occured to me that the square shape and the chunkiness would be a great contemporary Asian set I can use for tablescaping (I've only been able to use this set once). I'm glad I tried. Also, in the spirit of our project, we were more ready to look for ways to use what we find in the house. Well, my husband found the collection of wooden chopsticks that his father collected over the years from going to this Pho (Noodle) restaurant in San Jose, California.

Since last Tuesday, we put our whole family on a 10-day "Being Self-Reliant" project where we only ate and used what was in our apartment. The only exception to the rule were the necessities like milk, eggs, bread and veggies. We started out by cleaning and reorganizing our food pantry. Then we tweaked our menu to according to what we have on hand. To make it more interesting, I would also make tablescapes to make the foods more appealing. Thank goodness to our Costco run and my neurotic way of stocking up, we had tons of dishes to choose from without the hassle. The hassle came from figuring out which dish to do on what day. :-)

So, on one of these days, I found some beef ribs in the freezer and using my crockpot, I cooked it with only hickory barbecue sauce for 4 hours. As the hour neared, the idea to do an Asian meal came together, but also because while I was trying to figure what to accompany the ribs with, I was looking at the direction of my daughter's plates (it would be hers...) So using that with my "Blossom" serveware, the table came together. It was also the time I made the Asian vignette for the cookie party at Cielo's blog, "The House in the Roses" for last Sunday. I purposely did not use any tablecloth to show off the beautiful dark chocolate color of our new table. Do you see the graceful lines of the bench? My table set is aptly named, "Pagoda" collection from Cost Plus. I scattered the green through my placemats and only used very little candlelight to add romance and a more country feel since all the pieces are obviously contemporary. Luckily for me, I had some chinese vase stands that I was able to use to give different heights to the pieces in the center. In most Asian tables, simplicity and harmony reign... Just like in restaurants, we placed spoons for the soup included in the menu.

There's the pulled bbq beef rib meat that literally fell off the bones after 4 hours in the slow cooker. See the red capped bottle? That's Ponzu soy sauce, the Japanese equivalent of lemons. It is so good on meats. Lisa's boyfriend, Daniel joined us again this dinner and he loved the whole menu! We had a great time eating and talking about how wonderful of an evening it was.

I made this oriental soup called, "Nido with lobster balls and Eggs". I spinkled cut green onions to again capture the green on the table.

(Doesn't the dish make the soup more appetizing?)

Plates & Bowls- Roscher "Tara", Marshall's; $3 each
Serveware- "Blossom", Ross; 50-75% off each
Glassware- Anchor Hocking "Fire and Ice", Walmart; $9/16
Placemats- Yellow green round, Ross; $5.99/4
Celadon vase- Chinese water jug, Ross; $3.49
Candle-short pillar, pale yellow, Walmart; 50 cents
Chopsticks- wooden; FREE from FIL
Spoons- Soup/Dessert, Walmart; $3/6
Single Stem White Agapanthus (Recycled), Costco

Jasmine Rice, steamed
Hickory BBQ Pulled Beef Ribs
Ponzu soy sauce
Nido Oriental Soup with Lobster Balls and Eggs
Grapefruit/Pineapple juice
Ice Water
Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies


For Thrifty Thursday with Leigh... (Actually, I think I already qualify every week with my inexpensive tablescapes, but I also like to feature my great finds...)

Hosted by "Tales from Bloggeritaville"

I present to you my Heritage Mint, Ltd. "Royal Alister" 18/10 Stainless Flatware!

Back in 2006, while living in Mesa, Arizona, a few Albertson's grocery stores closed down near us, and towards the end, one of them, brought out all of their housewares or "general merchandise" and we managed to complete a set of twelve settings plus serving pieces for 50 cents a place setting! Each service sets were also priced down to 50 cents! ("Brain's" happy level went through the roof! How can she not? She was in clearance paradise accompanied by a hunk, no combo is better than that, do you agree?)
But the most memorable of all these wonderful finds, were the times that my husband got so excited with me that he would plan when we can and should go. We went for almost 6 weeks in a row! Gotta love him for that! We also found placemats, tablecloths, steak knives, and Christmas decor. We even grabbed tons of canned grapefruit juice for 8 cents each!

If you click on the flatware name above the first photo, you will see that the equivalent of all the flatware we got on this closeout is worth $239.00 for 69 pieces with the case, but we got them all plus more, including the case, for $15.00! We got two sets of the serving and salad servers.

Doesn't it look beautiful?

I can't wait to dig them out of the storage someday soon; I have an idea for where I can use them... Let's just say, you'll like it when you see it... :-)

I hope you all found some great ideas in this week's Thrifty Tablescape Thursday post edition in my blog. Thanks a bunch Susan and Leigh for hosting! I love these memes, they are so fun! Now go see how many other beautiful tablescapes were done by creative, thrifty ladies! Thanks for peeking!


  1. I cannot get over the deal you got on the flatware. That is absolutely amazing!!

    Your tablescape is very pretty.

  2. Jennifer: Thank you and welcome! I'm still "geeking out" about it as my teen would say. LOL

  3. Wow! What a great bargain and the flatware is so pretty too! You really lucked out on that one, Chandy! Your soup and beef dish look delicious. You should give us the recipe for the soup. Beautiful Asian tablescape! I love the vase you used for the centerpiece too....Christine

  4. Chandy,
    I love this tablescape. The round green placemats make the perfect background for your dishes, and contrasts dramatically with your Pagoda table. I am in awe you created this meal from things found in your pantry. I want to make your Nido Oriental Soup with Lobster Balls and Eggs it look delicious. I didn’t see the recipe but maybe it is on one of your other pages? Cathy

  5. Chandy, the table is beautiful and the menu is wonderful!!

  6. Cathy and Christine: I'll look up the recipe so I don't leave out anything... I'll share it tomorrow for Foodie Friday.

  7. HI there,
    Newbie here. I'm enthralled with this blog. I love dishes. I can't decide if I want to come back--kinda feel like a heroin-addict...the first bit is free, the next one is gonna cost me! lol
    I just pruged myself of 2 sets of very-loved dishes when we moved last summer, reasoning it's just more "Stuff" of which I don't need.
    And yet, my pulse is rising just looking at this blog. I may need counselling after this.
    Is there a help-group I am unaware of?
    Great Blog!

  8. Hi Chandy! Your tablescape is so the dishes! The meal looks wonderful! I love ribs! And the flatware...what a deal!!!...Debbie

  9. Lovely! And so Zen! Love the menu also! Deb

  10. What a lovely table and such unique pieces.
    So to hear you can't make the sure does get in the way of fun sometimes. Good luck on the test.
    Blessings, Candy

  11. Ladies: Thank you, I love how you all have sweet things to say...

  12. I love that shade of green and what a creative menu! You have a lovely selection of dinnerware.
    Happy Twirls

  13. Your table looks great and I can't get over your flatware find. Lucky you! Have a great day

  14. What a gorgeous table setting, and now you have made me hungry as well. Ponzu soy sauce: I must try to find that. An Asian market perhaps? Chandy I would make you the best virgin mimosa from my very best oranges anytime!

  15. Libby: Thank you, I love them; that's for sure!

    DD: Hello, I know me, too! :-)

    Sue: I look forward to that! Try Safeway also, but we found ours on clearance at Albertson's here in Texas!

  16. Hi mouth is watering & I'm not sure if it's over the tablescape or the delicious food...LOL. The deal you got on the flatware is were in the right place at the right time that's for sure! ;-) Bo

  17. Chandy,
    Love those funky square plates! Your dinner looked delicious too! You really got a buy on that flatware. I can see where your brain would go into shopping over-load on that deal!

  18. The menu sounds so yummy, and I love the dishes. I like the thicker chuckiness of them and the beautiful color. What a fabulous deal on the flatware. Unbelievable. Good for you. Hugs, Marty

  19. You are definately starting your daughter off in the right direction. How fun that she already has a great set of dishes. Everything looked fabulous for your tablescape!

  20. My goodness,you were fabulous today.These are great.The TT is outstanding and that flatware what can I say?That you kept going back wk after wk.tha'ts commitment.And $15.00/.wow.And young lady if you get any better a TT,you'll have to start charging us to see it...Ann

  21. Beautiful flatware and beautiful tablescape, you have some really awesome pieces, the food looks delicios too. Happy TT, Kathy

  22. Sweet Chandy,

    What a beautiful tablescape! I LOVE the colors! And I love how they echo your blog! You weren't kidding about the deal on the flatware. WHAT A bargain! WOW!

    I have craved hot and sour soup all day! Do you have a good recipe for that?

    Thanks for participating in Thrifty Thursday, friend.
    Tales from Bloggeritaville

  23. Bo, I tell you I had a hard time not digging into that meat and soup before everyone else! ;-)

    Kate, I know! I'm somewhat upset that it's buried in the storage right now!

    Marty, thanks! I think that's why my daughter liked it, too! I can't wait to get at those flatware!

    Janie, I'm glad she loves them! Though I'm also sad she loves them. ;-)

    Ann, you are so sweet, but I'm totally taking that compliment! LOL

    Kathy, thank you, I'm finding that out slowly but surely... ;-)

    Leigh, I love that set! Love, love it! It's the replacement of my wedding silverware since we can't afford Oneida Belcourt. :-( I used the recipe on I sent the link to your blog. ;-)

    Ladies, thank you all so much for leaving such sweet comments!

  24. Lovely tablescape Chandy! The dishes are so unique and the food looks divine! A very classy setting! ~CC Catherine ;)

  25. CC, thank you so much! That is so wonderful of you to say!

  26. Chandy,
    This is so gorgeous and the food looks terrific! Now, the flatware is an incredible bargain and so very lovely. Cindy

  27. Chandy, what a lovely table and delicious food! And great finds on the flatware!

    I'm utterly in love with your plates!


    Sheila :-)

  28. Hi Chandy! I cannot wait to see your travel post and I am so excited that you are joining me! I thought you posted your Nido soup recipe. How come I cannot find it?..Christine

  29. A beautiful and exotic tablesetting -- fabulous colors and composition!

    And -- wow, what a deal on that lovely flatware!

  30. Cass, thanks! I do love that flatware! The pictures were done by dh. I'm glad he did such a good job with it!

  31. Cindy and Sheila: Thank you, I love that table, too!

    Christine: Sorry, I meant Friday post... LOL

  32. Chandy,
    This tablescape is sooo elegant...I love all the clean's really beautiful! Your daughter is one lucky girl that her Mom is building such a great hope chest! Your food looks sooo yummy and what a great deal of your gorgeous flatware! Susan


If you like this blog, let me know. If you really like this blog, let me know. The key is let me know. Thanks for peeking!

Niceties first

HELLO AND WELCOME to this blog dedicated to my obsession of tablescapes, and ONLY TABLESCAPES!
That means that whatever I post will be redirected to tablescapes or you will see tablescapes or the dishes and glassware that I used AND wish to use.
I hope you like you what you see; but you can't do that unless you take the tour- the TABLESCAPE TOUR that's on the side bar! I'd also love to take you on my adventures on finding great dinnerwares to display and use while leaving some serious change in your pocket, so stay a while and see all of my great deals!
Wanna know the reason behind the madness, too? Then make sure to read, Why this blog for my philosophy.