Plus Recipes and Table Ideas
You have a small space and plan on a lot of guests for Thanksgiving Dinner. Where do you put them and where do you put all the food? Here are a few tips.
1) Swap out your living room and dining room or move your living room furniture back so that you can accommodate a large folding table (or two). Find all the chairs in your space and ask friends to borrow what they may have. Rearranging your living room and dining room for the day should give you the space you need. You will be spending most of the time at the table eating and chatting.
2) I don’t have enough plates, flatware and glasses that match! No problem, mixing and matching is fine. Again, you can borrow from friends. As long as you have a nice table cloth and centerpiece it will all go together and look great.
3) Where do I put all the food? If you don’t have enough space on the table, use your countertop. Add a nice centerpiece or decorations to your counter and it will look great. I heard of one person who put a table cloth on an ironing board and used that to serve the food on. You can put your end tables and coffee table side by side and that can be used for serving as well. Placing food at different heights gives you more space. You can use flower pots, cake stands even plastic containers to place your serving pieces.
Remember, your guests are there to enjoy the holiday with you, family, and friends and of course the food!
Grilled Kale and Radicchio with Almonds and Balsamic-Orange Glaze
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice, plus 2 large strips zest
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 pounds lacinato kale (3 to 4 bunches), thickest stems trimmed
- 2 heads radicchio, each cut into 6 wedges, core left intact
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/3 cup whole almonds, toasted and very coarsely chopped
- Cold-pressed orange olive oil (such as O blood-orange olive oil for drizzling
- Bring vinegar, juice, and zest to a rapid simmer in a small saucepan, and cook until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly; remove zest, and discard. Whisk in 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil.
- Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium heat. Toss kale and radicchio with remaining 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil and 2 teaspoons salt; season with pepper. Separate out radicchio, and grill, turning occasionally, until tender and lightly charred in places, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, and toss with 1 tablespoon dressing. In 2 or 3 batches, grill kale, keeping it piled on grill and turning often to prevent too much charring, until wilted, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer each batch as grilled to bowl with radicchio, and toss each batch with 1 tablespoon dressing. When all kale has been added, toss with any remaining dressing and the almonds until thoroughly coated. Transfer to a large platter, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon orange olive oil or more to taste.
Source: Martha Stewart Living 2012
Eggplant Parmesan with Crisp Bread Crumb Topping
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus about 2 cups for frying
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
- Two 28-ounce cans whole, peeled Italian tomatoes, drained
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 8 small eggplants (1/2 pound each), cut lengthwise 1/2 inch thick
- 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped basil
- 1 pound lightly salted fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced and torn into small pieces
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 3 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
- In a large skillet, heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Using your hands, crush the whole tomatoes into the skillet. Bring to a simmer and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is very thick, about 25 minutes. Transfer the tomato sauce to a food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, in a very large skillet, heat 1/4 inch of olive oil. Season the eggplant slices with salt and pepper. Working in several batches, cook the eggplant over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden on both sides, about 8 minutes per batch; add more olive oil to the skillet between batches. Drain the eggplant slices on paper towels.
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce in a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Arrange one-third of the fried eggplant slices in the baking dish and sprinkle all over with 1 tablespoon of the chopped basil. Top with one-third of the torn mozzarella and sprinkle with 1/3 cup of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Repeat this layering twice. Sprinkle the bread crumbs all over the top of the eggplant Parmesan. Bake in the upper third of the oven for about 45 minutes, until the top of the eggplant Parmesan is golden and the tomato sauce is bubbling. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.
Make Ahead. The assembled eggplant Parmesan can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 1 day. Bring the eggplant Parmesan to room temperature before baking. Notes: This dish is extremely versatile. The eggplant can be sliced lengthwise or crosswise before it’s fried. In addition, the eggplant Parmesan can be baked in a glass or ceramic baking dish that is round, oval, rectangular or square. Serve with Green salad and crusty Italian or peasant bread.
Source: Food & Wine
Asparagus with Toasted Almonds and Garlic
- 3/4 pound pencil-thin asparagus
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Scant 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large nonreactive skillet. Add the asparagus and cook just until tender and bright green, about 3 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
- Wipe out the skillet and set it over high heat. Add the oil and heat. Add the almonds and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the asparagus and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the garlic and almonds are golden and the asparagus is just beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in the sherry vinegar and butter and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a platter and serve.
Jenny’s Pumpkin Roll
Jenny makes this every year and it is the BEST!
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 cup pecans or walnuts; finely chopped
• 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese
• 1 cup powdered sugar
• 1 stick of butter (room temperature)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Powdered sugar (optional for decoration)
Cake: PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with baking parchment paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.
COMBINE flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs 3-5 minutes on medium speed. Add granulated sugar in large mixer bowl to eggs and combine until thick. Beat in pumpkin and lemon juice. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared jellyroll pan. Sprinkle with nuts.
BAKE for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. (If using a dark-colored pan, begin checking for doneness at 11 minutes.) Do not over bake. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.
Filling: BEAT cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.
Be sure to put enough powdered sugar on the towel when rolling up the cake so it will not stick.
Thanksgiving Table Ideas
Plates. The dinner plate goes, of course, in the center of a place setting while bread plates are often placed left of the dinner plate. A charger, a larger plate that is placed underneath the dinner plate sometimes, is generally used as a decoration so it’s never actually used
Forks. Forks should always be placed left of the dinner plate. A lot of times there are separate forks for the salad and the main course. When that’s the case, the fork farthest from the dinner plate is the salad fork. You would start there and work your way in. Dessert forks should be placed above the dinner plate, however.
Knives. Knives should be place to the right of the dinner plate and just like forks, there are (apparently) salad knives. The same rules apply. Work your way from the outside.
Spoons. Soup spoons tend to go with knives to the right of the dinner plate while dessert and coffee spoons are usually placed just above the dinner plate.
Glasses. Glasses and stemware should be placed just above the knives to the right of the dinner plate. Smaller glasses are usually used for water whereas the larger ones are for wine
Napkins. Napkins often are place in one of two places: On top of the dinner plate or under the forks to the left hand side of the plate.
Thanksgiving Table Setting Ideas
Now that you have the guidelines for setting your Holiday table. Here are some Thanksgiving table settings we love!
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Simplicity Sofas – Floor Planning for Your Small Space
In our August newsletter we talked about a few floor plans for small spaces, here are a few more ideas that we hope will help you decided.
Remember, if you send us your room measurements and few other helpful items, we will be happy to sketch out a floor plan to show you how our pieces will fit in your space and we do it all for FREE!
There are a few free floor planner websites that you can use, but they will most likely only feature larger scale furniture.
A few things to remember when deciding on furniture pieces and placement:
Hallways – need 4’
Route where two people can pass each other
Conversation area 8’ to 12’
Seating for minimum of 4 (most 4-6)
Most sofas will be 36” and deeper and 84” wide
(Example Simplicity Sofas are 34” deep and up to 80” wide)
Coffee Tables 30”w c 48”L
End Tables 24” x 24” & 24”w x 28L
Mid-Size sofa faces the TV, dining area is to left of sofa. This is a nice seating area for conversations, but could use another chair.
This floor plan is great for a corner fireplace (which can give most a major headache) two Mid-Size or Apartment sofas on an angle. Another great piece would be a sectional.
Here we have two Full Size sofas and a chair, small coffee table or large storage ottoman as a coffee table. TV is above the fireplace. The area rug defines the space.
The Right Size Sofa for You & Your Space
You go out to find your new sofa, once at the store you see something you like, order it, when it gets delivered it won’t fit through the door, elevator, hallway or stairway.
If you’re lucky, the furniture store will take it back and you’re told to go home and measure. If they won’t take it back you’re stuck with it, maybe you can cut it up and try to put it back together? Don’t laugh, many customers have told me they had to do this. They decided to just give it away.
Doorway: Knowing the height and width of the door will help you to know whether the sofa will fit through.• Measure the height (H) and width (W) from the top left or right to the opposite bottom corner
• Ensure there is a clear and unobstructed path around the doorway
• Take into account any fixtures and fittings and immovable objects such as gas meters and radiators
• If the depth of your sofa is greater than the width of your door then you may be able to get the sofa through at an angle. Measure the diagonal depth of the sofa, which needs to be smaller than the width of the door. Please see the section ‘How do I measure my sofa?’ for how to measure the diagonal depth.
Hallway : Measure the distance (L) between the access wall in the hallway and the interior wall in the room where the sofa will be placed. This must be greater than the width of the sofa
For tight corners, it may be easier to stand the sofa upright so you should measure the ceiling height. This needs to be greater than the diagonal height (DH) of the sofa, so as to avoid catching the ceiling
Stairwells: Measure the height (H), width (W) and depth (D) of the stairwell to allow turning on the stairs
Take into account that different floors may have different stairwell heights and note if there are any doors or turns in the stairwell
This is a lot to measure!
We have the answer and there is NO need for those instructions!
We hear about so many people who have downsized or small beach homes and can’t find sofas, sectionals or pull out sofa beds that can easily fit their doorway let alone their space. Another problem was the beach house with LOTS of steps! The great design of our sofas is that they come unassembled. Don’t let that scare you, all you do is screw the legs on, attach the arms and tighten by hand, yes by hand NO TOOLS, then the back flips up, locks into the arms.
Throw on your cushions and about 15 minutes from start to finish ENJOY!
Now you can fit a full size sofa, sectional, or pull out sofa bed without the headaches! It’s as simple as 1, 2, and 3!
So, that is why it is so easy to get any of our sofas, sectionals and sofa beds in those problem areas.
Our monthly newsletter talked about the various sizes of sofas and sectionals so I wanted to talk about pull out sofa beds, space planning, and options.
You no longer need to settle for a something you don’t want or something that is uncomfortable.
If you do not receive our monthly newsletter you can sign up at https://simplicitysofas.com/contact-us/
Do you need that extra sleeping space for guests?
Our Pull Out Sofa Beds can even fit through an opening of 16” and NO tools are required for assembly as well!
Timothy Collection – Available in Queen or Full Size Mattress
Queen Size 74”w x 34”d x 37”h Mattress 60” x 72” (short queen)
Full Size 67”w x 34”d x 37”h Mattress 52” x 72”
Christy Collection – Available in Queen and Full Size Mattress
Queen Size 78”w x 34”d x 35”h Mattress 60” x 72” (short queen)
Full Size 72”w x 34”d x 35”h Mattress 52” x 72”
Sofa Beds have a hybrid mattress, the mattress has about 3 inches of foam and another 3 inch air chamber (best of both worlds) and it rests on a trampoline type material and has NO MIDDLE BARS to hit you in the back!
If you don’t want a tradional pull out sofa we have the Endura Ease Air Sleep System which is great for those that rarely have guests. It folds up and stores in a closet and uses standard queen sheets.
Endura Ease Air Sleep System:
The EnduraEase is an innovative air sleep system that turns any of our 3-seat full-size sofas or 2 seat mid-size sofas into a luxurious guest bed. Our sleeper sofas offer your guests a great night’s rest and will measure 89 x 60 x 20 on our full and mid-size sofas when inflated. This remarkable queen size air bed mattress comes with its own electric air pump that inflates in 3 minutes and stores away in minutes with no tools required.
Space planning can be a headache, and so many people think a sofa and loveseat or chair would work best in their space because all they ever see are oversized sofas and sectionals. In many rooms a small sectional works better than a sofa and loveseat or chair even though you may think you don’t have room. In narrow rooms the sectional actually takes up less space and can give you more seating.
A lot also depends on what you have to work with in the room, fireplace, hallways, low windows, heat vents, etc. If you’re looking for a sofa to put in your RV or boat we can help with that too.
What about color and fabric types, we can help you to pick out the right colors for your space as well as help with fabric types. Pick out what type of fabric best fits your needs isn’t always that easy. Pets, kids, sunlight, moisture and many other issues need to be factored in.
If you’re not sure what size sofa best fits you and your space , need help with arm styles, not sure what colors best match your walls, rugs, drapes, and other pieces or not sure which fabric works best for your needs? We are happy to assist you with space planning, so feel free to email or call us.
Because we have several sofa sizes, and a sectional that can be made small or extremely large gives you many ways to furnish your space so that it is spacious, comfortable and have lots of appeal.
Styles: Bullnose, Bullnose T-Cushion, Boxed, Boxed T-Cushion
Construction: Standard 1.8 density Ultracel foam cushions with a 5 year warranty
or our upgraded 2.5 density Ultracel Foam and our Spring Down both with lifetime warranties.
Over 250 in stock fabrics and we also use COM (Customer Own Material)
Cottons, Microfibers, Cotton/Linen, many to choose from!
If you want to change the color of your sofa from summer to winter you can do it. Pick the fabric you want your sofa upholstered in and then pick a fabric for your slipcover. When you remove the slipcover you still have a fully upholstered sofa!
It looks like we covered it all, if you have any questions please feel free to contact us!
Simplicity Sofas Talks Spring!
Let’s brighten up our spaces for spring and summer!
In our April newsletter we talked about adding slipcovers, changing out your throw pillows, curtains and area rugs to brighten up our space. Here are a few more ideas that can make a difference.
Have a fireplace? Clean it out and put a vase with flowers or candles in it.
Put away the fireplace tools and wood carriers and add plants, flowers or even candles to brighten that dark space.
You can add a colorful fireplace screen, you can purchase one or make one out of old interior window shutters or window. You can just paint it white or if you’re crafty paint some flowers or plants on it.
Pinterest has lots of DIY ideas on these.
Bring in some cut flowers or even branches, put them in a vase and you have a fresh spring look.
Rearrange the furniture and swap pieces from other rooms.
Swap out your picture frames for a white, cream or natural color. If you don’t want to swap out the frames, change out the picture mat. Rearrange your bookshelves.
A little spring cleaning and maybe freshen up the paint and you have a new room, ready for spring and summer!
You can sign up for our monthly newsletter at https://simplicitysofas.com/contact-us
Where you place your furniture in a room will instantly set the tone for how you’ll live in that room.
First Rule – Get Out the Tape Measure!
The first step in arranging a space is determining its size. Measure the dimensions of a room as well as the hallways, stairs and door widths leading to the space. This is the most challenging for a homeowner, making sure the entrance and curves of the entryways and stairs as well as the room are large enough for potential purchases.
Mix Furnishings of Various Sizes
Every object has a height, depth and width. To add visual interest to any space, incorporate a variety of furniture with different characteristics. If you’re going for a serene, unchallenging area for rest or recovery, keep the furnishing volumes in a room similar. This rustic living space uses an extra-large sectional with small armchairs and side tables to create an energetic space with various volumes.
HGTV Dream Home 2011
Use Scaled Pieces to Create Balance
The size of pieces relative to one another and the size of the space is their scale. Similarly scaled pieces are more serene when used together, but a nice balance of pieces creates a harmonious atmosphere, utilizing the differing physical qualities of height, depth and width throughout a room. When furnishings are out of scale, you’ll notice that it just won’t feel comfortable or right.
Design by Sarah Richardson
High ceilings do wonders for a living room. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer spectacular natural light, and help to open the space visually. Photograph by Trevor Tondro
A Sectional makes the perfect space for entertaining.
By angling furniture into the room, designer Sandy Kozar, used more of the space and created an intimate conversation grouping. Photography by Edie Ellison
The shape of the taller Wingback chairs works with the lower sofa because of a shared commonality of curved forms — in the chairs’ rolled outer edges and the sofa’s rolled arms. Photography by Edie Ellison (Similar to our Ashton Sofa available in Full, Mid and Apartment Size Sofas)
The fireplace serves as a focal point in this casually elegant living room. The monochromatic color scheme unites all the elements. (Similar to our Megan Small Sofa and Chair is perfect for this living room setting.