5 Ways to Make Dining at Home More Exciting
Dining out used to be a fun bonding activity for families and friends. These days, unfortunately, the idea of venturing out to eat at your favorite restaurant seems like a huge risk given the threat of coronavirus.
Sharing meals at home is still the safest way to dine. Sure, it can be a mundane routine, but you can always shake things up. Prepare a pretty table setting with these tips and make even the simplest meals special.
1. Pick a theme. Go for something charming and festive, like a rustic-Mediterranean setup. This will dictate the color scheme of your table arrangement and décor. Choose bright colors, like blue and yellow, for the plates, glassware, and table runner or tablecloth. Throw in some Machuca tile-inspired prints for a truly Mediterranean vibe. To balance out all these elements, keep serving bowls and placemats in neutral hues.
2. Decorate with nature. You don’t have to buy new décor to pull off a chic table setting at home. All you need is a handful of found objects and a few items you may already have.
For your centerpiece, gather a bunch of flowers or branches of leaves from your garden. Complement these with a few bowls of fruits, like lemons and oranges, to add more happy colors. For a personal touch, tie hand-written place cards to clean twigs.
Decorating with foliage is a fool-proof way to bring the outdoors in if you don’t have the luxury of an outdoor space or if the rainy weather is in the way. When preparing a dinner spread, place a few lanterns around the dining table for a truly cozy ambiance.
3. Use upcycled items. No extra vases for your centerpiece? No problem: Reuse empty bottles of wine or any clear jars you have stashed in your cupboard. Afterwards, feel free to use these DIY vases to decorate your space.
4. Play with textures. Incorporate organic materials in your setup for a homier feel. Go for wooden bread boards and cheeseboards. Woven placemats will also add warmth to your lively tablescape.
5. Have a playlist ready. Complete the dining experience with some background music. Spotify has several playlists that will set the mood for a perfect brunch, lunch, or dinner. You’ll definitely find one that will go with whatever theme you choose.
Once in a while, it’s nice to turn an ordinary mealtime into a special occasion, especially when family members linger at the dining table long after the dishes have already been cleared away.
Potato Chowder Soup Recipe
This creamy potato soup pairs well with the rainy weather.
Cut six strips of bacon into pieces and cook in a pot until brown and crispy. Remove bacon but leave fat in the pot. Add 3 tbsps of butter and sauté a cup of chopped onion. Cook for 3 minutes. Add 3 cloves of minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, then mix in 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour. Stir until smooth.
Next, pour in 4 cups of chicken broth and 4 to 5 large potatoes, peeled and diced. Add 2 cups of low-fat milk and ½ cup of heavy cream. Bring to a boil. Once potatoes are tender, lower the heat and puree the potatoes until smooth (be careful as the soup is hot). Add a pinch of salt and ½ tsp of Spanish paprika to taste. Stir in bacon. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Top with extra bacon pieces and grated cheddar cheese before serving. Serves 4 to 5.