ll Cibo é L'essenza Della Vita....

"The rooms that you use on a daily basis are the rooms people will always want to sit in, because they have soul." --Bunny Williams


"If you want to live forever and ever, drink wine and eat maccheroni." ~~~Sicilian Proverb

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Parent's Cure-All and a Tablescape Thursday Celebration!!

Happy Thursday! 
         And it’s a very special Thursday- Susan at Between Naps on the Porch is celebrating 100 Tablescape Thursdays! How fabulous is that for all us dish and china lovers!
Happy 100th Susan and thank you so much for hosting this wonderful party
I actually had quite an outdoor dinner party spread planned, but somehow a few things got in the way and tonight’s table ended up being quite a simple one. It’s been a bit chaotic at Casa Bramasole lately and though we just arrived home from 3 weeks away, we are off again this weekend to the Carolina shore. House and job hunting has taken over our lives and all the decisions are taking a toll
Being a parent is my greatest joy in life, but sometimes it’s so very hard. This week has been difficult for Mr B and I as we deal with some sad children who are nervous at the thought of moving and some teenage heartbreak. My way of dealing with the hard times is to talk- a LOT (according to my kids probably too much). And of course, being Italian, coping with stress always involves food
In this case homemade ice cream!

A shady spot on the porch with a breezy fan blowing...

Blue and red for Nick

Multi and green for Timmy

And red and blue for our Allie

A comfy seat...

MUST have sprinkles....

farmer's market cherries are perfect with ice cream

And blood orange Italian soda- YUM!!

Cheery bandanas make great napkins for sometimes messy kids

Summer color and polka dots are great mood lifters

but the star of the show would have to be....

sometimes you need chocolate AND vanilla... (sorry for the blur- our camera went wonky tonight)

I adapted a chocolate ice cream recipe from A Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz. My chocoholic hubby and daughter have proclaimed it MUCH more chocolatey than store bought- exceptionally rich and creamy. Remember- the end result will depend tremendously on the quality of your ingredients- go for the GOOD chocolate! And if you want to take this over the top for a grown-up crowd, substitute some raspberry Chambord for the vanilla :)

Basic Chocolate Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons excellent quality unsweetened cocoa
5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
5 large egg whites
3/4 tsp vanilla

Heat 1 cup of cream with the cocoa, whisking thoroughly to blend. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 seconds whisking constantly. Remove from heat, add chopped chocolate, and stir till smooth. Stir in the remaining 1 cup cream. Pour into a large bowl scraping the saucepan as thoroughly as possible and set a mesh strainer on top of the bowl. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks.
 In the same pan, warm the milk, sugar, and salt till the sugar dissolves, stirring. Pour some of the warm mixture into the egg yolks while whisking well, then pour yolk mix back into the saucepan. Stir constantly over medium heat with heatproof spatula till mixture thickens a bit and coats the spatula- no more than 175-180 degrees. Pour the custard through the strainer scraping the pan well. Stir in the vanilla and refrigerate, stirring occasionally till very cold. Freeze in your ice cream maker following the manufacturer's directions. Scrape into a covered container and put into the freezer for a few hours to firm up. Mmmmmmm.....

Join us tomorrow for Foodie Friday at Gollum's and a review of our new ice cream maker from CSN Stores- we LOVE this one!

As Always,

Buon Cibo, Buon Amici,

Pattie and Allie


  1. Pattie, YOur life does sound hetic right now! I will be praying for you. Nothing helps like a big dose of prayer!
    YOur "sweet" table is perfect for this heat wave. It is happy and sunny and yummy! The bright yellow bandannas are a wonderful and creative idea!
    Give Allie a hug for me!

  2. Looks like a festive little celebration. Ice cream is always a good cure all. Love the colorful bandanas tied in a knot. Good luck with all the activities, and have a safe, enjoyable trip to the shore. ~ Sarah

  3. I love the bandanas for serviettes and the polka-dot plates are cute. Your tablescape looks like so much fun!

  4. Pattie- I'm drooling! There are few things I love more than chocolate and ice cream! lol
    The addition of the chambord sounds fabulous!

  5. The pic of the cherries is so colorful and cheerful-enjoy!

  6. Oh Patti, I have been there. You'll be okay. On one of our few moves, our youngest would disappear, we would find her in her closet. To this day, they have all thanked us for the moves, it enriched their lives, even with the pain of leaving their old was a good thing. They do find it out! It'll be okay, you just hang in there. And coping with stress always involves food, I agree, go for it! Comfort is good.


  7. Oh how fun. An ice cream sundae would be just perfect now. Love the tablesetting and the colors are so happy. Looks so inviting. Hugs, Marty

  8. Pattie, I am thinking of you and praying that things will all turn out well for you and your family. Big hugs.

    And speaking of well... I love your table. It looks so festive with all the cute colors. And that ice cream looks yummy. I could use some to help cool off right about now. Today was HOT.

    Love you...


    Sheila :-)

  9. love the table on the patio.. so cheerful with the yellow bandannas. love the look you created!

  10. The bandana's and masons jars are so much fun! Wish I was there!

  11. Good luck with your move -- Love your fun and cheerful table setting - ice cream! YUM!

  12. So sorry for the all the stress you are having! This table is so much fun - colorful and has ice cream! It doesn't get better than that!

  13. Welcome back!
    Your table is so festive and cheery.
    You have so much on your plate right prayers that all works out for you and your family!

  14. Beautiful table settings for ice cream! So colorful and festive. Have a restful wknd at the beach and I look forward to your CSN ice cream maker review. By the way, I know you made pizzelle and blogged about it. Since I now have a pizzelle maker, I'd like your recipe. Could you direct me to your link if you have a spare moment? I know now is super busy for you, so if you don't have time, don't worry about it. I have recipes off the internet - tried 5 already and there are more out there. Have a good one.
    Hugs and blessings, Beth

  15. Pattie, I know exactly how you all feel because my parents mooved a lot when I was child. But in the end at every place lives some nice people and you will surely find them. Your "simple" table is so cute, I am happy that you participate this event although you are so busy. Love the idea to treat yourself with yummy icecream at this pretty table. I wish you all the best for all your activities.
    Greetings, Johanna

  16. Your ice cream feast would be perfect for children from 2 - 92. You have a wonderful eye for color...such a marvelous design. I pray that the Lord will pour His favor on you during your move and fill you with His peace. Your children are blessed to have a mom whose heart is so filled with love and concern for them. Thank you for sharing your tablescape with us. Cherry Kay

  17. Happy 100th week of TT to you! Hope your stresses work themselves out soon. I'm sure us parents can all relate to difficulties with children/teenagers as well. What a great way to "soothe" things with your treats and a cute tablescape! Yummy ice-cream!


  18. I love the polka dot plates. I used red ones this week too. It must be contagious! Really nice table and the recipe sounds good too!

  19. Pattie,
    What a fun tablescape! Love the colors!! You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Hoping brighter days are on your horizon!

  20. your table is so cheerful and I can understand why you need that right now. Moving is tough on kids but with you as their Mom, I'm sure they'll get through it ok..


  21. Hi Pattie, Although you say your table is simple I think it is perfect, and I would love to be there! I feel your stress. We have moved several times, also with teenagers. Try to focus on the new adventures awaiting you! And remember, make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold! That has kept me going. Linda

  22. Pattie, This is perfect I bet this helped the kids feel a little bit better. We moved our oldest daughter for her senior year! It was tough but..... many great things opened up for her that might not have happened if we hadn't moved. Hang in there it will all work out.


  23. Yellow has got to be about the happiest color and I love the bandanas. How fun to have different colored plates for each person, I wonder if my family would know which one was for them. I think I would sit at the blue polka dot spot. Hope things go well the rest of the week. LOL

  24. I see that your blog design is disappearing, too. I ranted about it on my blog today and have a list of other sites to find more backgrounds.

    I love those polka dotted plates! Ice cream is so much fun; especially with sprinkles. As always, you set a lovely table!!!

  25. Allie,

    We love setting up little ice cream bars at our house with all the toppings so everyone can do as they please with their ice cream. Yum! I agree, it's a cure all! ;-)
    I love the bright colors in your table accessories. The bandanas are so cute!


  26. You sure know how to cheer up your family! Just looking at your setting is making me smile :)

  27. Your table is, as always, perfect for the occasion and that ice cream....well that's to die for. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary.

  28. Fun, colorful post. It makes even the simple things into a memory when you put such care into it.
    I understand your stress about moving teens, I moved my twin girls their senior year - and one with a new boyfriend! 12 years later - she is married to that boy {8yrs} They do get through, although I know that isn't much help when you are in the midst of everything.

  29. There is nothing like ice cream to ease the stress of our lives. Sorry things are a bit chaotic for you right now....I understand--I have four grown kids and they all still make me worry/stress. That's why we create tablescapes and blog, right?

  30. That looks like one fun time! And this definitely makes me want to get out the ice cream maker! Love your background, cool for summer!

  31. Ice cream with sprinkles cures everything!

  32. Hi Pattie!

    Well this is a fun and yummy little relaxing table setting! Everything looks very cute!

    So, are you guys planning on staying in N.C. when you move? No plans to move back to NY?

  33. What a fun and festive setting for some ice cream sundaes! Your children are blessed to have you creating such a warm and wonderful home for them, wherever it is located. Best wishes as you embrace all the changes!

  34. Moving is hectic and I have no idea when a "good" time would be to move kids. We moved when ours were in grade school and it seemed to go fairly well. We moved again 1 week after my youngest graduated from high school and her brother was in his second year of college. This town has never been home to them because they didn't go to school here. just go with the flow and hope everyone survives.

    I love the polka dots and I love ice cream. I also love how you are talking to your is the best thing you can do.


  35. Moving is certainly stressful but I know you will all love your new home. LBT was 8 when we moved across country. Kids make friends fast, just make the neighbourhood kids some ice cream and it will all be well:D

  36. Pattie it all looks so Yumolicious!!! The bandanas are a perfect, colorful touch. I just read your comment about the sofas. That is a bit of a bone of contention with hubby and my self but it is no different than the angle that the sofa is at the moment so I am not sure where that is coming from. I think he just wants a larger TV. We have a 42" in the armoire but I think he wants a larger one on the wall, even better of a reason to have it on the back wall. I am just not a big fan of TV so I like it hidden and not the focal point of the room.

  37. Pretty pops of color in your fun, festive tablescape. Lots of eye candy for someone with a sweet tooth. Your recipes always sound so delicious.

    Excerpt from Psalm 37:7, NIV: "Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret...". For I know that you will have a testimony in God's perfect timing. I remind myself of the same.

    All the Best,


  38. Beautiful porch table settings, and I love the polka plates and woven bright yellow mats! Praying you find what you all are looking for and a smooth transition for family, especially the children. Take care and safe travels,~Emelia~

  39. I love an ice cream social! Your table is so bright and cheery. Hope you have a great week ahead, it is hard moving to a new place, but even harder when you are a teen.

  40. Hi Pattie,
    What a cute, cute all the bright colors! The food looked yummy...thanks for the recipe! I will pray your move goes super well for you and the children. Hope life gets much less stressful reallll soon!

  41. Your bold yellow just makes me smile from ear to ear. I think I need to go out and find an array of colorful bandannas! While I am at it, I'll cheat and buy some ice cream for the weekend! Stay cool!


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