News

How to restyle your tableware at no cost for the upcoming season

How to restyle your tableware at no cost for the upcoming season

When entering in a new season, we all wish to renew our tableware. We look at our old dishes and glasses and we compare them with those glam table settings pictures seen on décor magazines, or on Instagram and Pinterest. Looking more carefully, you may not need a big budget to restyle your tableware.  Why? Have you ever tried to combine different styles and materials together? We have assembled for you, possible combinations to inspire your table décor. Some ideas came directly from our customers. We have also selected three “Jolly” items that will work out your dinner table in any season. Consider them as the Little Black Dress in your closet that fits for every occasion. Discover the potential of your tableware You probably have many different types of tableware: porcelain, glass, ceramic, wood. Each set is different, but it might work so perfectly together if you just break the “matching rule” that is in your mind. Try to create a less ordinary place setting for your next gathering, mixing together old style and modern style dishes, wood and porcelain, glasses of assorted colors and sizes. Even textile, tablecloth and napkins, can have different patterns and colors, as long as they are made of the same fabric (i.e. linen, cotton, …).  Kitchen towels are on trend now: use them as placemats for a casual twist.     Some tricks to restyle your tableware for a Fall/Winter look. These pieces of tableware can be considered as “Jolly items” for every season and occasion: Slates (rectangular or oval; black or red); Wood dinner plates; Tin chargers or tray.   For...

Read more >>
What’s in-season in September: fruits and tablescapes 🍇

What’s in-season in September: fruits and tablescapes 🍇

September brings a major season change. Fall harvest begins, and it looks like nature knows that we need nutrients to go back to work, or to school, after the summer vacations. In September we find a whole range of anti-stress and reinvigorating fruits and vegetables, full of vitamins and antioxidants.     Cabbage, snap beans, shelling beans, carrots are some of the in-season vegetables.     Although mass distribution and globalization have mixed things up, we still find seasonal produce in our local farmers’ markets. We love to pick fresh fruits and veggies to make our seasonal recipes. Find out which is our shopping list of the best fruit produce available in September. Naturally, produce peaks at different times in different areas, but you’ll likely find these fruits around this time of year. September fruits Blueberries have amazing health-supportive properties of our body systems. They have cardiovascular and cognitive benefits, as well as anti-cancer and eye health benefits.     Pomegranate is excellent for skin and hair health. It also strengthens our heart health, by keeping the arteries flexible and decreasing the inflammation in the blood vessels.   Pears are perfect for a snack. One medium-size pear has about 100 calories. Plus, they are full of fiber and packed with nutrients, such as vitamin C, potassium and folacin (a B-vitamin).   According to us, the queen of September fruits is grape. It has different varieties and colors: purple, red, green, blue, black. Besides other benefits, grapes are a powerhouse of antioxidants; they are a source of potassium, good for the eyes and for osteoarthritis.   As Italians we could...

Read more >>
5 essentials for a glam BBQ dinner 🔥

5 essentials for a glam BBQ dinner 🔥

A BBQ dinner is one of the reasons to love summer and to be hygge even in the heat. The Oxford Dictionary defines this trendy Danish lifestyle as “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or wellbeing.” You can be hygge any time as long as you set a cozy and relaxing mood and you enjoy the simple and good things in life. In Italy we adopted a slow-living approach, borrowing from the Slow Food movement  😉 So, hosting a BBQ dinner in your backyard, or on a terrace, or on a beach, and gathering your dearest friends, could be very “hoo-ga” (this is the correct pronunciation of hygge). Just follow these 5 simple rules. BBQ Dinner essentials 1. Light is the key Light is the most important factor to define an atmosphere and the character of a space, indoor as well as outdoor. Use string lights, candles, lanterns or tea lights. You can DIY hurricane candles holders or tea light centerpiece. 2. Fabrics matter To add charm and warmth to your space through around some pillows and throws (if it turns cold late at night) and use linen napkins on the table. Let them hang over from the place setting and choose a rustic pattern: best could be to use tea towels 3. Mise en place Choose your style, whether it is more rustic-chic (Materia or Latte dinner set) or rustic-classic  (Quadrati or Mondrian dinner set). Pair the dinner set with wooden knifes and forks or with black metal cutlery – paying attention to a sharp knife if is a meat BBQ...

Read more >>
Millennials Lifestyle and Design Trends: 📱& 🌱

Millennials Lifestyle and Design Trends: 📱& 🌱

Last week I hosted for dinner my niece and a couple of her friends. They are all in their twenties, the so called Millennials or Gen Y. We started talking about their lifestyle: what do they like, their favorites TV programs, the best singers, their hobbies. Apparently the three girls had contrasting preferences. They love science fiction and fantasy drama series such as Stranger Things, Sense8 or Games of Thrones . They are fans of Rihanna but also of a songwriter as Ed Sheeran  (which, by the way, I like too). They cannot stay away from their smart phones and social networks, but they prefer to travel with their friends around the world. A must in their bedroom is a PC but, guess what, it could not be missing a picture board with printed photos… the old way… . Even fashion style is an oxymoron: shorts and sneakers with long shirts on top as in the 70’s, as well as jeggings (a mix of leggings and skinny jeans), better if ripped 😉 .   The interesting thing for me is that these girls are able to manage direct opposites; they create harmony between old and new, combining together a sort of vintage charm and crazy patterns from the past, with simplicity and modern lines. They love nature, calmness and they pay attention to live the present and taking time to appreciate the moment. Design trends I was curious to ask them which were the DishesOnly collections they liked the most. The answer was coherent with the latest design trends: they adore the messy beauty of natural and organic shapes, as...

Read more >>
5 Secret Tips to Cook Pasta 🍝 🇮🇹

5 Secret Tips to Cook Pasta 🍝 🇮🇹

How to cook the perfect pasta?  If you really want to cook pasta as Italians do, here is what you need-to-know and the essential advice for cooking the perfect pasta. We take it for granted that the quality of the pasta should be excellent. We suggest Rummo , made with the best ingredients and in the traditional and artisan way. But, if you have time, and if you want to make your own fresh pasta, follow these steps on Sonia’s blog.   Photo on the left: Oggi pane e salame, domani.... Photo on the right: Valdirose Once you have bought, or done, your spaghetti, fill up a large pan with cold water and bring it to boil. Drop in the pan, only after the water is boiling, a handful of salt. Weight the spaghetti as our Grandmothers use to do, by holding a bunch of spaghetti in your fist for each portion (as you see Italians use their hands to talk and also to cook !! ). Drop the spaghetti in the boiling water and turn them a couple of times with a wooden spoon or fork. Check the cooking time on the package . Now, pull up a chair and read our 5 secret tips to cook the perfect pasta. “Al dente” Cook the pasta always 2 minutes less then what it is written on the package. It will stay “al dente” and will allow you to mix in the condiment or sauce that you have prepared.     “Risottata”: a chef touch! Get the sauce ready in a large flat pan. Add the spaghetti (or other pasta type) yet...

Read more >>
The art of “Easter Cake” in Italy: Colomba and Pastiera

The art of “Easter Cake” in Italy: Colomba and Pastiera

There are two traditional Easter cake which cannot be missed on any Italian Easter dining table: Colomba and Pastiera. Colomba has a dove shape topped with pearl sugar and almonds. This very popular easter cake was invented in Lombardy, probably in Milan, in the north of Italy.     Pastiera is a Neapolitan tart, from the South of Italy. The two ingredients that make it unique are the cooked wheat and the extract of orange flowers. The orange flower water flavor is a celebration of the just started spring season. According to a popular ancient legend, during the night the fishermen’s wives left on the beach some baskets filled with ricotta cheese, candied fruit, wheat, eggs and orange flowers as offerings for the “Sea”, to bring back safely their husbands to their houses. In the morning, when the wives went back to meet their husbands, they noticed that during the night the waves had mixed the ingredients together and that in the baskets of their returning husbands there was a cake: the Pastiera. Besides this legend, it is said that it was a nun that invented the modern Pastiera in the XVI century, in an ancient Neapolitan convent: San Gregorio Armeno. She wanted to bake a cake that had the same perfume of the orange flowers, which grew in the convent’s garden. Another story refers that Maria Theresa of Austria, King Ferdinand II of Bourbon’s wife, accepted to taste a slice of Pastiera smiling for the first time in public after she eat it. Having seen her smiling, Ferdinand said: “ To make my wife smile again I will...

Read more >>

Pin It on Pinterest