Although things in life aren’t often black and white – they were at my dinner table the other night. I hosted a post-birthday dinner for a friend visiting from out-of-town and used black and white as the theme – just for the fun of it!
Black and White Table Decor
The table setting included black placemats, white dinner plates, black salad plates, black marble napkin rings around black napkins and black place card holders. The glassware stems were black and clear, tall acrylic grinders showcased black peppercorns and white rock salt. To add some glitz and fun, oversized, black glittered, faux candelabra with white candles stood on either side of a large glass dish filled with shiny and matte finished ball ornaments.
Decking the table in black and white was easy since I already owned all the necessary items – I just needed to shop my kitchen and mix and match items. Planning an interesting black and white menu proved to be the challenge.
Black and White Food
While searching through recipes for ideas to support the theme it became clear that black food is not plentiful – and an all white meal seemed so bland and boring. I finally patched together a menu that worked well:
- Appetizer: Black and white pizza – white pizza crust topped with a puree of black beans, garlic, olive oil and spices, then a layer of shredded, white Mozzarella cheese, and finally a sprinkling of small, whole black beans and sliced Kalamata olives.
- Entree: Halibut Dijonnaise: Baked halibut topped with Dijonnaise suace, artichoke hearts and Havarti cheese.
- Starch: Wild rice – I used an all black variety for high contrast against the fish but you could opt for the usual, black and white mixed version .
- Vegetable: Eggplant (the purple skin was so dark purple it almost looked black when fresh – and was black when cooked!) – round slices marinated in balsamic vinegar, garlic and olive oil and then grilled.
- Desert: Dark chocolate ganache torte.
- Wine: White wine paired with the halibut but you could use a very dark red.
Black and White Gifts
After dinner the birthday girl unwrapped one gift covered in black paper and tied with a white ribbon – a cookbook for creating wonderful chocolate goodies. The second gift in white paper and black ribbon contained Trader Joe’s dark chocolate French truffles (because I didn’t have time to make the truffle recipe on page 9 of the cookbook as intended!).
Plan a Colorful Celebration
There’s no need to wait for a birthday in order to create a colorful celebration. Consider a pre-Christmas luncheon for friends and do everything in red and green (you’ll have an easier time building the menu than I did!). When your favorite sports team plays a televised game invite friends over to cheer them on while munching on snacks inspired by the team’s colors. Plan a party for your kids using their school’s colors. You get the idea – put your imagination in high gear and find a reason to colorfully celebrate with friends and family.
Make Any Meal A Celebration
Turn an everday dinner into a celebration and make your family smile! Simply add a few decor touches to your table and tie them to your menu when possible. Chili for dinner? Match the color of the chili with a red bandana at each place as a napkin. Light a plate full of white pillar candles on a snowy night and dine by candlelight (even in the middle of the week!) - anything you serve will taste speical and your kids may amaze you with their grownup behavior. Finish the meal with white coconut cake or roll scoops of vanilla ice cream in coconut and serve these sweet snowballs as a grand finale. Add a vase of fresh cut flowers, autumn leaves or interesting branches to your everyday table. Small touches make a big difference to the ambience of a meal.
Share Your Table Decor Ideas
Do you have a standard table decor you turn to often? Do you create special table settings for the holidays? How have you used color to spice up a meal? Share your ideas and pictures – we’re hungry for your input!
I’m participating in Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch – check it out for tons of other table decorating ideas.