It’s Pizza Night!

I recently posted a decidedly austere, slightly more upscale Italian dinner setting for visiting friends, one of whom is actually from Italy. Born and raised. The same friends back in KC this week on their way home wanted a pizza party. To be specific, a Godfather’s Pizza pizza party!🤷🏽‍♀️🤷🏽‍♀️🤷🏽‍♀️ Wait. What?!?!?!? You’re from Italy and while in the States you prefer, of all things, Godfather’s Pizza?!?!? Whatever, dude.🤦🏽‍♀️

I’m no pizza snob (that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!😇🍕), but I would have thought with all the choices out there we might have done a little different. I love it, too (it takes me back to the 80s and all the fun!), but that just surprises me. Again…my friend is from Italy where pizza was born. Anyhoooooo…still pics in case you missed something in the little video.🙂

I drew inspiration for the table from a guest spot I did on “Better Kansas City” back in 2017 called “An Offer You Can’t Refuse” where, along with a TV trayscape, I even reenacted the whole horse’s head in the bed scene!

The general request from our guests was to make the setting akin to our American 4th of July celebration. Uh-huh!🤔 OK…but it’s too hot to do this outside. We’ll just use lots of bright color and add a truckload of flags. Cool?

I bought this iron tiered plate stand on clearance somewhere years ago. It came in handy for appetizer plates (thrift store find!) on the food & wine centerpiece. Herbs were the only “flowers” handy for this quickly assembled soirée.

This will sound quite gruesome, but I treasure these cheese service pieces because they were a gift from a friend who was terrorized over many hours and then murdered. This happened the year after she gave them to me. In her own home in a gated community by a burglar!!! Who does that?!?!? She was utterly defenseless, in a wheelchair…living in a gated community for the elderly. Who does that?!?!?🤬😭 (The coward was caught and prosecuted, but oddly only got 30 years for beating and stabbing a helpless, innocent woman!😡)

On a much lighter and less frightening note, I bought these cute wine covers with mustaches a few years ago. They add a playful little touch.

Limoncello has become a staple as an after-dinner sip around here. It’s really good when chilled to within an inch of its little life! Throw in whole or muddle a raspberry in there for a little extra somethin’-somethin’,

A deliciously dense lemon cheesecake (not made by me!) with fresh raspberries for dessert! One of my favorites!!!

My wrists and arthritic little fingers have had a workout the past couple of weeks with all the grating of fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano. This week I added freshly crushed dried red pepper to the misery. All totally worth it for the fun we all had!🍕🍕🍕

If you’d like to see other Italian-themed tablescapes on this site, check these out:

That’s it for now! Just remember: 🎶”When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore!”🎶Ciao, bella!

Cena Italiana con Gli Amici

We recently hosted two lovely young couples for an authentic (as close as I could get it!) Italian meal. As one of our guests is a native Italian🇮🇹, I wanted the setting to reflect the unfussy style of their region of birth…with my own twist, of course!😉

White on white with wisps of green was the perfect palette to allow the food to look its best. I made copycat Garozzo’s Restaurant dipping oil (you Kansas City area folk know what’s up!😋) and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for each place setting.

Individual wine carafes at each place setting so each person could enjoy their favorite. And we drank A LOT of wine that night!🍷🍷🍷🍷😵‍💫

The faux olive branch centerpiece was a showstopper as guests arrived. It was later moved to a side surface and replaced with a massive platter of pasta for family-style self-service. I sure wish I would’ve had time to photograph that thing! I had meatballs the size of my fist on there!😜

I was tempted to buy plain white cups and saucers for after dinner espresso, but my Mom’s gold & white Dresden won out in the end. Turns out it was a hit as it precipitated deep conversation about world affairs and deceased parents.

I’m pretty sure I ate my weight in bread that night!🥖🥖🥖 Fresh herbs from my own deck garden (and oregano pilfered from my neighbor, Barbara!😇) were used for everything I cooked.

This was the starter that was placed on the table once the centerpiece was moved. Bowls of nuts went alongside the olives already on the table.

If you’d like to see a couple of other posts on this blog with an Italian theme, check these out:

I’m so glad you stopped by! Please drop me a “Ciao!” below if you’d like! And I’d be pleased as pink punch if you would follow me on Instagram! Have a great week!!!!

This post dedication the memory of actor James Caan who passed away last week.

Italian Honeysuckle

INSPIRATION: Our neighbors' fabulous honeysuckle arbor!

INSPIRATION: Our neighbors’ fabulous honeysuckle arbor!

Hello, and welcome to my neighbors’ backyard! This past summer when the honeysuckle on their arbor was in full bloom, they phoned to say get over there and get a tablescape done. You don’t have to tell me twice! The beautiful color in the blooms, though, reminded me more of a fall day. So I created this tablescape (way back in late June!) to bring to you this autumn season. That’s REALLY thinking ahead, huh? 😉
(Click on any photo, and then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Italian Honeysuckle: Table set up in yardThis is the view from our deck. They’ve got so many beautiful trees! I did another fall tablescape in their yard a couple of years ago, September Wine, that is still one of my all-time favorites.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Italian Honeysuckle: Full table in front of honeysuckle arborI wanted the table to convey a bit of elegance, so I started with a flowing, full-length ivory tablecloth from

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Italian Honeysuckle: Multiple place settings

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Italian Honeysuckle: Single place settingI loved how the sun cast long shadows and danced around the table! The time of day this was photographed caught just the effect I wanted! Each place setting started with a mustard gold dinner plate from Pier 1 Imports that I bought at the clearance store years ago. The olive green bowl (for the mostaccioli!) is also a long ago purchase from Pier 1 and is a part of our everyday collection at home.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Italian Honeysuckle: Flatware, oil dip bowl, napkin overhang collageThe tea towel napkins were purchased at Dollar Tree. They really have a pretty decent selection, and I like to use these for napkins when messy food is served. I hung the napkin off the side of the table to add a little color at that level. You will notice how the olive branch motif mimics the centerpiece. The bright red-orange bowls are for my copycat version of Zio’s Italian Restaurant dipping oil. You can find how to make it on my recipe page HERE. This will become a staple in your pantry!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Italian Honeysuckle: Stemware and personal wine carafeThe glassware is standard from Old Time Pottery. The personal wine carafe at each place setting is something I like to do sometimes instead of sitting the actual bottles on the table. Each person can refill their own wine glass at their discretion.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Italian Honeysuckle: Green ceramic water pitcher and condiments collageCrushed red pepper and grated parmigiano-reggiano are in bowls that match the dinner plates. The green ceramic water pitcher was a Home Goods purchase from a couple of years back.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Italian Honeysuckle: Wicker chair with toss pillowRamon brought a couple of wicker chairs from our master suite for the ends of the table. I plopped in a comfy toss pillow from Home Goods. (This same pillow was used in a recent Asian-inspired tablescape, Chinese Takeout.) The colors work so nicely in this setting!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Italian Honeysuckle: Olive branch centerpiece

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Italian Honeysuckle: Olive branchesI arranged a mass of faux olive branches in a towering stoneware vase from Pier 1 that usually sits in Ramon’s dressing area in our master suite.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Italian Honeysuckle: Honeysuckle arbor

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Italian Honeysuckle: Honeysuckle collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, Italian Honeysuckle: View of sky through branchesThanks to my neighbors for letting me invade their backyard space once again. It really is beautiful with all the trees (just look at that view through the branches!) and flowers and that gorgeous arbor!

More autumn tables on this site:
Autumn” page (10 fabulous fall posts on this page!)
Casual Fall Harvest Dinner
September Harvest Breakfast
“Quick & Casual Plaid & Paisley Fall Dinner”

Pumpkins & Peacocks
Wondrous Wheat
Pheasants & Peacocks
Best Laid Plans
Serape High Style
Sunflower Simple
Raining Orchids
September Wine
Autumn Blues
“Autumn White Wedding”
“Copper Zen”

Other posts on this site using towels as napkins include:
Popsicle Party
Black & White Barnyard Breakfast

Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast
Grill It Up!
Italian Honeysuckle
Picnic Ants


Blog parties I’m linking up with this week:
Christine at Rustic & Refined for “Table It!”
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch “Tablescape Thursday”