Table Setting

Goldie’s Vintage Sheva Brochos Menu

Last week, I hosted Sheva Brochos for my cousin, Goldie and her chosson (groom),  Tuvia. The Sheva Brochos are seven blessings that are recited at the wedding and then again daily for the first week of marriage.  Typically, the tradition of Sheva Brochos includes a festive meal followed by the recitation of these seven blessings in the presence of a minyan (at least 10 men).  It is a wonderful way to bring family and friends together to usher the new couple into a lifetime of harmony, friendship, song and blessing.   It is an exhilarating way to extend the excitement of the wedding for the first week of a Jewish couple’s marriage. Many of the seven blessings are recited in song and we traditionally end each of the Sheva Brochos celebrations that we host in our home with dancing.

So that we could enjoy the party and our many guests, I chose appetizer, entree and dessert menu items that could be easily set up in advance without too much attention. That way, I could enjoy the guests, the atmosphere and the spirit of these Sheva Brochos.

Whenever I entertain guests, I try to first get an idea of their food allergies, likes and dislikes.  The word was that this couple likes meat and potatoes and very traditional food. I decided to nix the Spanish fiesta and Asian fusion theme options and opt instead for a vintage-themed party.

The menu was simple to prepare and assemble and was so well-received by our guests. The room-temperature tortilla shell appetizers were plated and served in advance of the start time.  They were colorful, beautiful and delicious.  The salads and entree selections were served buffet-style and the dessert selections were set up on a Viennese table.

To create the vintage-inspired theme, I gathered old pictures of my cousin and her family. I printed them in 4×6″ formats and scattered them in frames on tables throughout.

Mazel tov, Tuvia and Goldie!

So often, I am asked to share the menus that I use for entertaining.  So, here is the menu that I chose for this wonderful sheva brochos celebration:

Tortilla bowls filled with corn, avocado salad and grilled chicken garnished with Curly Scallions

Asian Red Cabbage Salad…Simple and Wow
Bok Choy and Craisin Salad
Apple, Beet and Pomegranate Slaw
Israeli Salad

Simply Reliable One Pan Roast Chicken Dinner
Low and Slow Oven Brisket: No Braising Necessary

Simply the Best Potato Kugel Ever
Vegetable Kugel with lattice and monogram

strawberry pomegranate daquiris with gooseberry garnish
chocolate mousse flowerpots
individual fresh fruit cups
Simply Delicious Baked Apples garnished with Chards of Colorful Chocolate Bark

A Dozen Roses Stretched to Fill the Shabbos Table

Don brings home roses every Friday in honor of Shabbos.  The roses are always of wonderful quality and it  a surprise to discover what color roses will adorn our Shabbos table.  Most Fridays, we enjoy all twelve roses in one traditional arrangement.

This week, Don brought home peach color roses, one of my favorites.  Our home is decorated in earth tones and peach works well in our dining room.  The roses were large and robust and I decided to stretch the twelve roses into four different arrangements.

I lined up different vases and spread out the roses.

One arrangement took five roses.

roses in a row

One took a single rose.

rose in single bud vase

One arrangement took two roses and that left four roses.

roses in a pair

The last arrangement was a collection of glass bottles set up in a grid-like formation (Upcycled Glass Jar Floral Arrangement: Simply Stunning).  I placed the last four roses into these vases, adorning them with the ferns that accompanied the dozen roses.

roses in glass bottles


Here is how they all look together:

roses-four different ways


roses-a dozen in different ways

roses-3 different ways

Good Shabbos!

Upcycled Glass Jar Floral Arrangement: Simply Stunning

My friend Marilyn, and her family joined us for a meal over Pesach (Passover). Since we were in a small apartment in Jerusalem with our extended family, we did not have enough room to host everyone in the dining room. Instead, we set up tables and ate in the courtyard. Marilyn sent flowers before Yom Tov (holiday) in the perfect arrangement. It was a gorgeous grouping of narrow clear bottles lined up side by side in a metal caddy spilling over with white garden roses. The arrangement was narrow and long, just perfect for our narrow outdoor tables.

It created a stunning visual impact without taking away from the table space needed for setting and serving. The white roses lasted for several days, but the centerpiece containers were so easy to fill that I refilled them for the last few days of our stay in Jerusalem with an array of other flowers. Both arrangements were simply stunning.

Over Pesach, I commented so many times about the beauty and the practicality of this centerpiece. I was determined to recreate it with upcycled materials for use back in the States. And….here it is!

upcycled square arrangement-top view (more…)

Seder Table Ideas and Inspirations

Every year, I try to set a majestic and unique seder table.  There is something magical about that first Pesach (Passover) meal: the anticipation, the new dishes and the silver wine goblets.

seder black tablecloth wide view

Over the years, I have tried all types of tablecloths and seder themes.  There are a few helpful tips that I have incorporated into my seder planning that have stuck and I’d love to share these tips with you.


seder table 2


Simply Summarized: Ju-Ju’s One Year Old Little Man Birthday Party

We celebrated Ju-Ju’s first birthday party earlier this week.  I have enclosed some pictures of the table setting, menu and props that we used to create a little man theme for the party.  Enjoy!

bowtie napkins on plate

Some table props with suitcase and photo propslittle man party signs 3


juju little man party 3 signs

Little Man Taco Bar Menu

little man menu

brownies shaped with mustache cookie cutter for goody bags

little man mustache brownies

Popcorn little man disguise bags and tuxedo candy boxes

little man popcorn and tuxedo boxes


decorated cupcakes baked in vintage-inspired cupcake papers

little man cupcakes.JPG

cigar-wrapped marshmallow sticks affixed with Ju-Ju’s picture and label


little man cigars

Cutlery and Napkin Buffet Stand


little man party-cigar boxes

Little Man Disguises in Cigar Box

little man party-disguises

Little Man Menu and Flowers

little man party-sign and flowers

Wet Your Whiskers Water Bottle Labels and Mustache Adornments

little man party-wet your whiskers water bottles

BowTie Napkins: Folded with DIY Napkin Rings

Our grandson, Yehuda, also known as JuJu, just celebrated his first birthday.  Whenever family members would meet him, they would remark that he looks like a “little man.” Those that knew his namesake, Yehuda (Leo) Schlusselberg a’H, would consider JuJu a pint-size clone of him.

For his birthday, therefore, we chose a vintage Little Man theme.  For the table setting, we chose antique gold, cream and light blue as the colors.  We found gold polka-dot napkins and decided to tie them into large bow-ties. (more…)