NEW DRAWING!! MammaRo 2 Quart Casserole

2-Quart Covered Casserole
La Vita Vera
Made in Italy!

Great news!  

The people at Wayfair (formerly CSN Stores) recently asked if I would like to host a giveaway for Once Upon a Plate followers ~

I jumped at the chance ~ I LOVE giveaways!

If you haven't checked out Wayfair's fabulous website, you're in for a treat ~ 
You'll find over 4.5 million items of merchandise from over 5,000 brands!*

Including Furniture (for both home & office), Kitchen & Dining, Patio & Garden, Things for your Pet, Tools, Exercise & Fitness Equipment, Luggage and Bags, Health & Wellness, Bed and Bath, Baby and Kids and much more . . . 

Speaking of kids ~ do you have an aspiring young kiddie cook/chef in your life??

 Well, you might want to consider kid's kitchen playsets.

 And a huge bonus ~ many of their products ship for free.
 How can you beat that? Hassle-free shopping and free shipping. 

With the holidays right around the corner, I especially LOVE that!
From personal experience I know orders are fulfilled quickly and on time.

So ~ On to the Giveaway, sponsored by Wayfair.com 

 2-quart covered casserole
by La Vita Vera

- Handmade Italian earthenware pottery
- Provides steady, even cooking that brings out the natural flavors of food
- Made from all natural material
- For oven use only, do not use on stovetop

And, if red isn't your color, you can opt for this pretty "Marigold" ~
Your choice!

(These retail elsewhere for $70.00) 

*Wayfair recently surpassed Crate and Barrel to become the internet's second largest retailer of home furnishings and housewares in the U.S., based on annual sales. Congratulations Wayfair!


The Drawing Details

To enter:

1.) Just leave a comment here, and mention if you would rather have the Red or Marigold casserole.

2.)  Extra Chances to Win:

If you are a 

-Google Friend follower

-Face book friend


-If you follow OUaP by RSS feed

state so in your post and you'll increase your chances of winning

Sorry, contest is open to continental USA only.

Entries will be accepted until Saturday, December 3, 2011 at 9PM (Pacific Time)

Winner will be announced Monday, December 5th.

Best of luck to all who enter!


Edited: 12/03/2011

Saturday 9:23 PM  (Pacific time)

Thank you for participating!

Entries now closed.

Our drawing winner will be announced Monday



Happy Thanksgiving 2011

Happy Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating on Thursday!

Pictures but not too much verbiage today ~ lots to do in preparation . . .

I never go far from the traditional menu ~ because it only seems right to keep memories of past Thanksgivings alive, and comfort close at this time of year.

My wishes for you . . .

A casual table, with warm fall colors.

Detail of Salad plate.

Detail of Hay Ride Dinner plate

Little individual soup tureens ~

And detail of the dinner and salad plate rims.

The big soup tureen aka The Great Pumpkin!

Have a wonderful celebration ~
and thank you for stopping by.

I'm joining everybody over at Between Naps on the Porch,
click the link and come on over!

Tablescape Thursday ~ An Autumn Gathering & A GIVEAWAY!!

Welcome to an Autumn Gathering on this Thursday before U.S. Thanksgiving 2011.  

(And scroll down for the GIVEAWAY information!!)

The table is set with traditional fall colors ~

Using things gathered from around the house (and garden)

I went for the 'organic' feel this time. Earthy tones and natural textures, they especially remind me of autumn.

The Dogwood trees flower in the spring, but their foliage is beautiful in fall, so before they all fell off the trees I gathered a few to make a casual wreath for the centerpiece. Around an acorn filled pedestal hurricane glass. 

And arranged a few sweet apples here and there among the leaves.

Details of the napkins, napkin rings, charger, dinner and salad plates.

Both sets of salt and peppers are from Arthur Court Designs. I've had them for several years, but many of his pieces become classics so they may still be available.

I love the pear and pomegranate theme of this set, I live in a historic pear growing area here in Oregon, so I collect a lot of 'pear' things.

I love Fall . . . but the winter weather which is right around the corner? 
Not so much . . . so we'll enjoy this while it is here.

The glass leaf plates are from a dear, dear friend.  I admired them in one of her beautiful photos ~ and shortly thereafter she sent me a set!
Thank you sweet friend.  I'm thinking of you. xoxo

The internet can be a cold place at times, but there are some good and true friendships formed here too!  I'm grateful for that.

I'm more of a "green" person, and usually prefer cool colors (unless it's RED!)
So I accented with lots of green in this table setting.

Well, this isn't  the traditional Thanksgiving turkey, but a stylized exotic bird, so let's just pretend. ;)

The other salt and pepper set on the table tonight is also by Arthur Court Designs,
a bird sitting on a grape vine among leaves and grapes.
I think it fits well with the Fall theme.

Of course acorns remind us of Fall, too.

Thank you so much for visiting today!

Please leave a comment if you wish,  I'd love to know you've come by to take a look.  And I would love to come by and visit your blog as well.

And last but not least!

Here is the current  GIVEAWAY  at Once Upon a Plate.

Please come enter . . .

Click HERE for the details!  There are several chances for each entrant to win.

 Contest closes Saturday November 26th. Winner announced on the 27th. 

Click to read my review  of this fabulous little coffee & espresso maker.

If you drink coffee (or know a coffee lover),  you will want to WIN this giveaway! 

Psst... makes a great gift, too.


Tabletop Information:

Round place mats:  Crate & Barrel (last year)
Woven chargers:  World Market (I still call it Cost Plus, from it's origins in San Francisco years and years ago)
Faux Horn flatware: Neiman Marcus/Horchow
Napkins: April Cornell 
Pedestal Hurricane:  Williams-Sonoma
Dinner Plates and salad plates: Made by Varages ~ France
Green goblets ~ either Target or amazon.com (I've forgotten)
Napkin Rings ~ Pottery Barn (last season)

I'm linking to Tablescape Thursday, please come visit the party there!

GIVEAWAY!! Come smell the (delicious) coffee . . .

Recently I was asked by a representative from the Aerobie Company to try out and share my opinions of their Aero Press 1 to 4 cup Coffee and Espresso Maker.

I was a little skeptical at first ~ because over the years, like many of you who drink and make your own coffee ~ I've had all kinds of coffee makers; electric coffee makers, French Presses, etc. Then about 5 years ago or so we invested heavily in a completely automatic Italian Saeco espresso machine (it cost a bit under two thousand dollars at the time.) We live miles away from town, out in the country side so taking a quick jaunt to the coffee house is not an option. We wanted GREAT coffee and espresso at home. The Saeco is an impressive machine and works like a champ turning out very good coffee and espresso, we've been very happy with it.
But it is huge and takes up a lot of valuable counter space.

So I was curious by the simplicity and size of the AeroPress® especially after reading the fabulous reviews over on amazon.com.  Over 700 POSITIVE (5 star) reviews ~ those numbers are mind boggling compared to other products on amazon. You can take a look at the reviews HERE.
The AeroPress is THE highest rated coffee maker on the internet.

The good news?

One lucky winner of our drawing will have a chance to win an AeroPress!

The AeroPress arrived in this neat box ~

Look at that ~  simple instructions; and Made in the U.S.A.! 
(Sadly, you don't see that on many products anymore.)

So here's what comes in the box (everything except the coffee & the background cups/spoons):

There is also a stand included, which I did not picture here . . . oops.

Filter receptacle, filter screen and micro filters.

You'll want the grind of coffee to be anywhere between drip and espresso grind.

You can grind yourself at the grocery store or have your favorite barista at your coffee shop grind it to order for you.

But you know what?

I grind my own at home using this compact Krups® grinder:

Because they are so small, easy to store, and inexpensive I actually have two.*
I use the black one for coffee exclusively and the white one 

is used for grinding herbs and spices. 

*This is a  brilliant tip I learned from Julia Child years ago, gotta have two of these! :)

They are workhorses ~ I've had them for years, they do a marvelous job of grinding in just seconds. They can handle whole coffee beans with no problem ~ and if you have regular ground coffee ~you can grind it even finer (espresso grind) by whirring it for a moment in the Krups.

Here is how simple it is to make perfect cup(s) using the AeroPress:

To make from 1 to 4 cups of  American coffee or Italian style espresso ~

Place the filter chamber with filter in place over your cup or mug,
add the ground coffee.

Pour boiling water into the chamber . . .
and stir with the provided stirrer for a few seconds, if necessary.

We find that simply the process of pouring the water into the chamber aerates the ground coffee really well ~  see what works best for you.

Insert plunger into the chamber and press gently for 20 seconds:

You can add more hot water for American-style coffee,
or add milk for a latte.

Our evaluation?

We were both remarkably impressed with the AeroPress ~
a quick and easy way to make an amazingly rich, smooth cup of American coffee or  deep, strong espresso style coffee. I recommend it, and can see why it has received over 700 excellent (5-star) reviews on amazon.com

Other reasons to love your AeroPress . . .

 As long as you can boil water you can have an excellent cup of coffee. 

1.) Dependable ~ This is especially important to me as my house is "all electric", power losses are frequent in the winter. Electric coffee makers (including the mammoth Saeco) are useless with no electricity. However I have an inexpensive butane powered, single burner stove for use during those times ~ I can boil water, so we can still have excellent coffee, anytime.

2.) Simple to use, and no mechanical parts. And the units are DURABLE, they will not break like the glass French coffee presses are apt to do.

3.)  Portable ~ For travel, camping, backpacking, etc.

4.)  Economical ~  Save the money you spend at the coffee shop. Makes even bargain brand coffee taste like a million bucks ~ smooth, with no bitterness.

5.) Easy to clean!

6.)  Takes up virtually no countertop "real estate", as most other coffee makers do.

Important note: The questions have been asked an answered ~ the material the from which the AeroPress is made contains no harmful plastics

You know what else?
The $$$$ Saeco has been on 'vacation' since the AeroPress arrived at out house about a month ago. That's how good a cup of java the AeroPress produces. I sure would like to have the counter top free of that monster . . . and after using the AeroPress that seems like it could be a real possibility!  Believe me, I'm ready.

Drawing details ~

Entries will be accepted until Saturday, November 26th at 9 PM Pacific time.)

YAY! This contest is open to entrants in the USA as well as our friends in Canada!!

Here are the rules:

1.) Just leave a comment here stating that you'd like a chance to win an AeroPress.

2.) Double your chances by being a Google friend follower (side bar at the top), and say so in your comment.

3.) Be, (or become) a Once Upon a Plate follower on facebook for another chance to win (and please state so in your comment so your name can be entered again.)

Winner will be announced Sunday, November 27th.

Good luck to everyone who enters!

Psst . . . If you're not feeling so lucky ~ 

You can secure your own AeroPress right here

I can highly recommend it!

A most excellent cup of coffee ~ I agree with those 700+ 5 star ratings on amazon.com.  AeroPress easily gets 5 stars at my house, too.


Thank you for entering everyone ~ Entries are now closed.

Winner will be announced shortly!  :) 

A Sampling of my food . . .


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