Dining Alfresco- tablesetting-lizbushong.com

Dining Alfresco

Whether your table is set for two or twenty, dining on your patio or in a grassy field next to your garden, your guests at this dinner party will be filled with joy, laughter and fabulous food.  As the summer garden winds down sun-ripened tomatoes are in abundance and play a vital role in this dinner party menu.  The fine flavors of heirloom and cherry tomatoes makes every dish even dessert one to savor.

To set the scene for a relaxing outdoor dinner, a round table for four is set with a casual white table cloth and brown craft paper as runners under each place setting.

Dining Alfresco- rhododendron placesetting-lizbushong.com

Simple Napkin Fold for Utensils

Assigned seating can be noted with individual names written with a chalk paint pen.   At each setting hand-crafted rhododendron leaf place mats serve as the charger for the white dinner plate and solid green napkin fold.  Eating utensils are held together in one place inside the simple folded napkin that compliments the living green place mat.

Dining Alfresco- capresse galette 2- lizbushong.com

Dining Alfresco- Capresse Galette as Centerpiece

As an appetizer and pretty centerpiece, Caprese Galette is served on a large food-safe log slice.  The tomato themed rustic tart provides a colorful focus to the table.  For Dessert try Fig Balsamic-Tomato, Strawberry & Peach Topping served over vanilla ice cream. Unique flavor as it is sweet and savory, tart and tangy.  The fig balsamic balances the tart and sweet flavors.

Dining Alfresco-triple fruit ice cream-lizbushong.com

Fig Balsamic, Tomato, Strawberry & Peach Topping served over Vanilla Ice Cream

To help with the ambiance of the evening and to provide soft lighting, glass globes with green peas and tea lights are hanging on branches of a cherry tree.   As the sun sets the tree lights up like fireflies in the darkness of a summer night. This table setting is simple décor that looks to nature for inspiration.

Dining Alfresco

This dinner party was featured in VIP Seen Magazine September Issue 2017. 

Dining Alfresco-Caprese Galette|

Yield: 6-8 servings


  • Crust
  • ½ cup cold diced butter-not margarine
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 4 Tablespoons cold water
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • Filling
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon ground thyme, garlic powder, salt
  • Egg Wash
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • Caprese
  • 4 medium heirloom tomatoes, cored and sliced ¼”
  • 10 small cherry tomatoes, red & yellow, sliced
  • ½ cup Basil leaves finely cut
  • 1 Basil leaf for garnish
  • 5 small Mozzarella Balls, sliced
  • 5 small Mozzarella Balls, whole as garnish
  • Olive oil to drizzle


  1. In food processor with steel blade, add flour, salt, garlic powder and butter.
  2. Cover and process until pieces are pea-size.
  3. Add Parmesan cheese process with on/off turns to combine.
  4. Add cold water and olive oil process until dough forms a ball.
  5. Remove and flatten dough into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, slice tomatoes and sprinkle with salt, drain on paper towel.
  6. Set aside 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 375.
  8. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  9. On lightly floured surface, roll out chilled dough into a 13” circle.
  10. If dough is too wet, roll into a ball and add more flour, roll into a circle.
  11. Transfer dough onto baking sheet.
  12. Using a large round cookie cutter, cut half moons around edge of crust, remove excess dough.
  13. Prepare filling: In microwave glass bowl, melt ¼ -cup butter add bread crumbs
  14. Parmesan cheese and spices.
  15. Spread crumb mixture over center of crust.
  16. Gently lift edges of crust over the crumbs.
  17. Mix egg and water together and brush edges of crust with egg wash.
  18. Bake 30 minutes or until crust is brown and crisp.
  19. Remove from oven, cool crust.
  20. Alternate sliced mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes in circular fashion over baked crust, follow with cherry tomatoes and thinly sliced basil leaves.
  21. Drizzle with olive oil before serving.
  22. Garnish with basil leaf in center of tart.

Additional recipes will be posted on new website launched October 2017.

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