Vase That Transforms Into Five Serving Dishes

A flower expert shows you how to turn trash into treasures | ABC7 San Francisco

Vase That Transforms Into Five Serving Dishes

Recycle with style! Turn those holiday gifts you've received in the past into works of art right now! Flower expert and owner of Twigsstudio in Danville, Ria Sim, shows you how.

Recycle with style: Turning trash into treasures

Ever wonder what to do with the many items you received from the holidays? Wonder why your “junk” closet is filling up? Or why is it that your recycling bin is over flowed with gift wrapping and boxes after Christmas? Here are simple and easy steps to eliminate issues we come across daily and contribute in saving our planet.

I started this concept after many years of keeping items for future use and in the back of my mind say, “I'll use it one day”… well it is time to use it!

In today's segment I utilized several boxes I've collected from the past, newly acquired boxes, wrapping paper, and containers that were given to me this past Christmas with the help of fresh flowers. Almost every item can have a second life or better yet is multipurpose. See beyond just the glass vase or box, take it to the next level and you will be amazed of the results.

Here is the list of items presented on today's show:

A Tiffany and Co. floral piece: As you know a Tiffany and Co. box is constructed magnificently and many of us who are able to have one cherishes it. Although we won't throw away items received from a Tiffany and Co. box, I've seen these boxes thrown away and ends up filling the trash containers. Here are steps to transform your Tiffany and Co. box into a floral vase.

  1. Measure the box and cut a standard floral foam to fit into the box ( purchase foam from any local craft supply)
  2. Soak the foam in water for a few minutes
  3. Line your box with a zip lock baggie or any heavy duty brand plastic baggies
  4. Insert the foam into the box
  5. Add flowers of your choice. I encourage you to go to your local grocery shop and see the array of flowers they have. The flowers I used for the floral arrangement shown are: white carnations and dusty miller.

In 5 easy steps you have just created a sophisticated floral piece. Other boxes I recommend in using are the following: Godiva chocolate box, Hermes, Louie Vuitton, Barney's gift box, many of the soap, perfume, and candle boxes.

Glass circular vase: I believe that each one of us have in their closet a glass vase from a previous floral arrangement. However, often we don't know what to do with it. How about covering it with either silk or taffeta fabric? Here are 5 easy steps to creating your very own custom floral bowl.

  1. Measure the bowl and cut the fabric accordingly to the size of the bowl (1 yard of fabric is enough to cover 2 or even 3 bowls.
  2. Place vase on center of fabric and use a hot glue gun to glue the bottom of the vase to the fabric. Also, add glue to the rim of the vase and place fabric to the edge of the vase.
  3. Cut/Trim fabric along the rim of the vase (does not have to be perfectly cut because the flowers will cover the imperfections)
  4. Fill the vase with water about half the volume of the bowl
  5. Add flowers of your choice. I encourage you to go to your local grocery shop and see the array of flowers they have.

    The flowers I used for the floral arrangement shown are: Green hydrangea, mums, billy balls

Hand Painted Bone China Bowl and Box: Do you ever wonder what to do with china or serving dishes besides using it for the obvious? Do you believe that you can create two floral arrangements using a china bowl and the box it comes in? Here are simple steps in helping you create a floral piece for not only your dining table but your entryway as well.

Box Arrangement:

  1. Insert heavy duty Ziplock baggie into the box to protect the box from water.
  2. Soak all purpose floral foam for a few minutes
  3. Cut/place presoaked floral foam according to the size of the box
  4. Trim the Ziplock baggie along the perimeter of the box
  5. Add floral of your choice and freely insert the flowers according to your design goal. The flowers I used for the floral arrangement shown are: Green hydrangea, billy balls, roses, dahlia, stock and dusty miller

China Bowl Arrangement:

  1. Soak all purpose floral foam for a few minutes
  2. Cut/place presoaked floral foam according to the size of the bowl
  3. Use floral tape to tape the floral foam in place ( due to the size and shape of the bowl, I recommend to secure the foam in place by using floral tape)
  4. Add floral of your choice and freely insert the flowers according to your design goal. The flowers I used for the floral arrangement shown are: white carnations, billy balls and dusty miller

Plastic Containers, old wrapping paper to vintage buttons: Do you have a plastic candy container somewhere in your home you purchased from your kids local fundraising or was given to you filled with colorful jelly beans or chocolate malt balls? Do you have wrapping paper from the holidays? How about that old button that you kept from a jacket or an old winter coat? Instead of throwing them away…why not do an arrangement with your kids and use all the elements mentioned and create a masterpiece? Here are 5 easy steps to creating your arrangement.

  1. Measure the plastic box and cut old wrapping paper to fit around the box
  2. Use double sided tape to attach the wrapping paper to the side of the box
  3. Use a hot glue gun to glue the button on the center of the box (as an added embellishment)
  4. Cut/place presoaked floral foam according to the size of the box
  5. Add floral of your choice and freely insert the flowers according to your design goal. The flowers I used for the floral arrangement shown are: white carnations, billy balls, and dusty miller.

Helpful Tips

Great boxes to keep:

Wrapping paper:

Invest in fun pattern wrapping paper that you can use the entire year and not just the holiday season.

Craft supply shops:

Richards Arts and Craft225 Alamo Plz # AAlamo, CA 94507

(925) 820-4731


Romi Ceramics currently offers the following signature pieces. Click a thumbnail image to view a full-size gallery (click the full-size image to return to this page). Be sure to check back in the future to see our newest designs.

This handmade serving ensemble was designed with versatility in mind. It provides beautiful presentation to complement any artisanal fare. The five items are available in five different colors, and can be displayed in an endless combinations of shapes and tones.

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These new and fresh bowls are the Ideal size and shape for serving ice cream, dessert, cereals and fruits. They can also be used for small salads, rice or noodles. Their elegant angular edge and fun bold colors will make any food presentation pop!

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A clean geometric design with a touch of personality. Each bowl is hand crafted and unique. The bowls make a visual statement on your dining table. A set of four nesting bowls that can be used for serving or for eating. The different sizes are appropriate for soups, salads, side dishes, noodles, rice, nuts and condiments.

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Torino and Adria are scaled up variations of the popular Spinners line. Their elegant presence and clean lines will complement any interior. They are great for flower arrangement, and they can also make a statement on their own.

The vases come in plain matte white, or with a bold vertical brushstroke in black, gray, or red. The stroke is made with stained porcelain as part of a precise casting process, creating a special and unexpected tactile effect.

The stroke is made by hand and slightly varies on each vase, adding character and uniqueness to each individual piece.

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Mini-Bowls are now available in new luscious and bright colors, to add a touch of playfulness to your home. Mini-Bowls in warm summer colors are perfect for spices, herbs, and condiments on your dining table or in your kitchen. When holding candles or tea lights, the Mini-Bowls shimmer and glow romantically.

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The long, narrow openings of the Envelope Vases allow the flowers to fan out, creating a sense of added volume even with a thin bouquet. The design is elegantly simple, and yet distinctly eye-catching. Choose from three distinct sizes and proportions to accommodate a variety of possible flower arrangements.

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Using a traditional material in a contemporary way, the Terracotta “Paper” Planters transform the ubiquitous planter form into an exciting and meaningful object in the home environment. The Planters were translated to terracotta from familiar paper bags, creating a visual dialog with the plants inside them.

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Mini Bowls add a sculptural and colorful touch to any space. Cast in various two-color combinations of stained porcelain, the Mini Bowls nest elegantly inside each other. They can be used to serve spices and sauces, or to hold small items such as jewelry.

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Spice up your dining experience with this elegant salt & pepper set. Inspired by the simple shapes of peppercorns and salt crystals, this set has clean and modern lines, combined with lots of personality. When not in use, it can be appreciated for its sculptural presence, created by the geometric shapes and the relations between them.

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The Spinners appear to always be in motion, playing off one another and their surroundings. Available in seven elegant solid colors, the spinners add a bold touch to any environment. Perfect as a gift or as a multipurpose tabletop accessory for your home, the Spinners can be mixed and matched to create “families” of various colors and sizes.

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These elegant and slender porcelain vases echo their origins as paper designs. Their delicate shape, wrapped around itself, complements and enhances any flower arrangement. The secret of their signature design is the extraordinary triangular base, as it curves and morphs into the round top.

The vases change their shape depending on your viewing angle, and can be arranged with one another to create a beautiful play of angles and shadows.

The folded vases were translated from paper into porcelain, and have retained the quality of the original material through their lines, color, texture and intricate details.

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These elegant Serving Bowls can be used at the dining table or as decorative pieces. The two bowls nest gracefully within each other, and can also be used separately. Each Serving Bowl has a double wall, cast in two different colors of stained porcelain, using the same technique as the Mini-Bowls line.

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Serving Ensemble

The serving ensemble consists of five serving pieces: vase, plate, flared bowl, inverted bowl, and a pinch bowl. Each piece is available in five different colors: white, black, blue, light sage, dark sage.

Vase:Bottom: 3″Top: 2 1/2″Height: 4″
Plate:Bottom: 5″Top: 4 1/2″Height: 3/4″
Flared Bowl:Diameter: 4″Height: 1 1/2″
Inverted Bowl:Diameter: 3 1/4″Height: 1 3/4″
Pinch Bowl:Diameter: 2 1/2″Height: 1″

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Summer Bowls

Cast in two layers, the outside is colored porcelain and the inside is white. The bowls are glazed on the inside for easy cleaning. Available in pea green, turquoise, orange and light red.

Summer Bowls:Top Diameter: 5″ Bottom Diameter: 2″Height: 3″

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Nesting Bowls

Available in white porcelain, with an optional hand applied brushstroke of stained porcelain in black or red. Clear glaze inside.

Large Nesting Bowl:Diameter: 8 1/2″Height: 3″
Medium Nesting Bowl:Diameter: 7″Height: 2 3/4″
Small Nesting Bowl:Diameter: 5 1/2″Height: 2 1/2″
Extra Small Nesting Bowl:Diameter: 4″Height: 2 1/4″

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Torino and Adria Vases

Torino and Adria Vases are available in white with a glossy clear glaze inside, with an optional hand-applied brushstroke in either black, gray, or red.

Torino Vase:Diameter: 5 1/2″ Height: 12 1/2″”
Adria Vase:Diameter: 5″ Height: 9 1/2″

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Envelope Vases

The Envelop Vases are available in white with a glossy glaze inside.

Tall Envelope Vase:Bottom diameter: 3″ Height: 11″ Top: 5″
Medium Envelope Vase:Bottom diameter: 5″ Height: 8″ Top: 8″
Wide Envelope Vase:Bottom: 8″ X 3″ Height: 5″ Top: 10″

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Terracotta “Paper” Planters

The planters are all made from terracotta. The Shopping Bag design comes in three different sizes. Currently the Paper Bag and the Wrapping Paper concepts come in the smaller size but can be made in the other two sizes upon request.

LG Shopping Bag Planter:Width: 7″ Height: 9 1/4″
MD Shopping Bag Planter:Width: 5 1/2″ Height: 7 1/4″
SM Shopping Bag Planter:Width: 4″ Height: 5 1/2″
SM Paper Bag Planter:Width: 5 1/4″ Height: 7 1/2″Custom order only
SM Wrapping Paper Planter:Width: 5 1/4″ Height: 5 1/4″Custom order only

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Mini-Bowls Product Details

Mini-Bowls are available in any two-color combination from the following options: black/white, light blue/gray, light green/dark green.

Mini-Bowls are now also available in two new combinations: yellow/white inside, and summer mix (red, dark orange and light orange)/white inside.

Mini-Bowl #1:Diameter: 3 1/2″ Height: 1 1/8″
Mini-Bowl #2:Diameter: 3 3/8″ Height: 1 3/8″
Mini-Bowl #3:Diameter: 2 5/8″ Height: 1 3/4″

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Salt & Pepper Product Details

Add an elegant touch to the dining table with these salt and pepper shakers. Choose a classic black and white set, or go with a single color for both. Bon appétit!

Salt Shaker:Width: 2″ X 2 1/4″ Height: 2 1/2″
Pepper Shaker:Diameter: 2 1/2″ Height: 2 1/4″

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Spinners Product Details

Available in a variety of colors, Spinners can be used as small vases or votives, or simply appreciated for their unique artistic design. Mix and match your own “family” of Spinners from the following colors: black, white, yellow, dark teal, pea green, turquoise, teal gray.

Two-color Spinners are available as custom orders only, featuring a whimsical stroke of any of the above colors over white.

Extra Large Spinner:Diameter: 6 1/4″ Height: 4 3/8″
Large Spinner:Diameter: 5″ Height: 3 3/8″
Medium Spinner:Diameter: 4″ Height: 2 7/8″
Small Spinner:Diameter: 3 1/8″ Height: 2 1/4″

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Folded Vases Product Details

Beautifully crafted from high quality porcelain, these vases almost seem as if they were folded into their unique shape. Available in white porcelain in the following sizes:

Large Folded “A” Vase:Diameter: 5 1/4″ (bottom) Height: 10 1/8″
Large Folded “V” Vase:Diameter: 4 1/2″ (top) Height: 8 1/4″
Medium Folded “V” Vase:Diameter: 4 1/4″ (top) Height: 5 3/8″

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Serving Bowls Custom order only

They bowls can be purchased individually or as a set. Available in five color combinations: black/white, orange/cream, pea green/turquoise, light blue/gray and light green/dark green. In each combination, either color can be applied to the interior or the exterior of the bowl, as desired.

High Bowl:Diameter: 9 5/8″ Height: 4″
Low Bowl:Diameter: 10 3/4″ Height: 1 3/4″

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7 Basics to Serving Wine and Glassware

Vase That Transforms Into Five Serving Dishes

The basics on serving wine including tips from picking the right wine glasses to pouring wine without spilling. Some of these tips will even improve the flavor of wine.

Serving & Glassware

Wine is a peculiar beverage. Serving it in different glasses can change the way it tastes. This simple guide aims to help with the basics of serving wine and picking glassware to ensure that your wine tastes the best it possibly can.

You don’t have to spend a million dollars to drink the high life.

1. A proper glass will make any wine taste better

In 1986, Georg Riedel, a 10th generation Austrian glass maker, came out with a line of affordable machine-made crystal glasses called Vinum. The line featured different glass shapes for different types of wine. It caused a lot of confusion.

Consumers were accustomed to using just one wine glass and the Vinum line seemed to be complete overkill. Georg Riedel had a clever solution, he started hosting “wine glass tastings” to prove first hand the difference it makes.

Regardless of his profit motives, Georg was right. Even novice wine tasters noticed a difference between certain glasses. Ten years later, Georg was awarded Decanter Man of The Year for his contribution to the wine world.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to buy the entire line of Riedel, Schott Zwiesel, or Zalto… it just means that you might want to figure out which wine glasses fit your drinking style because it will make your wine taste better.

Choosing Proper Glassware

Learn why certain wine glass shapes are better for certain types of wine than others. Use this knowledge to find the best 1 or 2 glass shapes for your own home collection.

2. Wine tastes better served slightly cool

Hopefully you’ve already experienced how wildly different your coffee, tea or soda (luke warm Coke anyone?) tastes at different temperatures. This same ideology applies to wine. Also, some of the more delicate floral aromatics in fine wines are completely subdued at overly cool temperatures or burn off too quickly when the wine is too warm.

  • RED WINE: tastes better when served slightly below room temperature from 53 °F – 69 °F (light red wines Pinot Noir taste better at the cooler end of the spectrum)
  • WHITE WINE: tastes great from about 44 °F – 57 °F. (zesty whites on the cool side and oak-aged whites on the warm side)
  • SPARKLING WINE: Affordable sparklers do great at 38 °F – 45 °F (serve high-quality Champagne and sparkling wines at white wine temperatures)

TIP: If you drink affordable wine most of the time, serving it slightly chilled will disguise most “off” aromas.

TIP: A wine above 70 °F will start to smell more alcoholic because of increased ethanol evaporation that occurs as the temperature rises.

3. Perfect the Ritual to Open a Bottle of Wine

There are many different types of wine openers and the most popular with pros is the waiter’s friend. Most of us instantly get the logic of inserting a corkscrew into a cork and using a lever arm to hoist the cork out, however it’s the little details that bewilder us.

Cutting the foil: top lip or bottom lip?

Wine sommeliers cut the foil at the bottom lip. This is the tradition because foils were previously made lead. Also, this method tends to reduce stray drips when pouring at the table. Foil cutters, on the other hand, are designed to cut the top of the lip. Cutting the top lip is more visually appealing and ideal for moments where the wine is on display ( at a wine tasting).

Where to poke the cork?

Poke the cork slightly off center. You want the radial diameter of the worm (the ‘worm’ is the curlycue part of a wine opener) to be centered so that it’s less ly to tear the cork.

Keep the cork from breaking

It takes about seven turns to insert the worm into the best spot, although wine openers vary. Basically, the corkscrew should be inserted into the cork about one turn less than all the way in. Some fine wines have long corks and you can go all the way in.

4. Nearly every red wine tastes better decanted

Decanting is the one thing we always forget to do that will greatly improve the flavor of red wine. The classic method is to pour wine into a glass pitcher or wine decanter and let it sit for about 30-45 minutes.

The faster way is to use a wine aerator which decants wine almost instantaneously.

With the exception of very old red and white wine, almost no wine will be harmed by decanting it (including sparkling), so it becomes a, “Why not?” question!

If you buy very affordable wine (sub-$10) on a regular basis, it’s not uncommon to smell rotten egg or cooked garlic. This happens even on some fine wines. Despite their sulfur- aroma, these smells are not from sulfites nor are they bad for you.

It’s a minor wine fault that is caused when wine yeast doesn’t get enough nutrients while fermenting, often during large, industrial-grade fermentations.

Decanting a cheap wine will often alter the chemical state of these stinky aroma compounds, making them more palatable.

TIP: Stinky rotten egg aromas in wines can also be removed by stirring the wine with an all silver spoon or, if you’re in a pinch, a piece of sterling silver jewelry. It’s the real deal!

5. Pouring a Standard Wine Serving

A bottle of wine contains just over 25 ounces so it’s common to see it portioned out into five servings (5 oz/150 ml). Fortunately, there are many US restaurants that pour a generous 6 oz (180 ml) serving, which is a nice gesture when you’re paying by the glass.

Of course, most glasses hold much more. A typical red wine glass is about 17–25 oz. The space in the glass is designed to hold aromas, so try your best not to overfill.

6. Holding a wine glass

So, now that your wine is in your glass, how are you supposed to handle the awkward top heavy glass? It seems logical to cup the bowl, however your hands will heat up your wine, so hold it by the stem.

It’s really the secret handshake of the wine elite.

7. How long does wine keep after opened?

Most wine won’t last through the night if the bottle is left open. Here are a few tips to preserve open wines for much longer:

  1. Wine preservers are awesome, use them
  2. Store open wines in the fridge (or wine fridge if you have one!). This cold storage will slow down any development of the wine, keeping it fresh.
  3. Keep wine away from direct sunlight and sources of heat ( above your fridge or oven.)


Your Old-School Dishes Could Be Worth Big $$

Vase That Transforms Into Five Serving Dishes

Home Kitchen Stuff We Love

Fiestaware Dinnerware via

We’re loving all things retro! Whether it’s grape salad, scalloped potatoes or lemon chiffon cake, it’s hard to get enough. The only thing that might make our most-shared vintage recipes even better is an authentic vintage Fiesta dish.

Fiestaware is known for its bright colors and solid design, plus it was in every kitchen of the ’40s and ’50s. It’s now “the most collected brand of china in the United States.” (There are people absolutely obsessed with it!) The real vintage Fiesta pieces can be spendy to get your hands on, but if you’re lucky, your mother (or grandmother) may have passed her set down to you.

What Is My Fiesta Worth?

The individual plates and bowls can be bought or sold for roughly $40-50 each, with some of the more unique pieces fetching even nicer prices. But the serving pieces are in serious demand by collectors:

  • Casserole Dish: $250-350
  • Fruit Bowl: $425
  • Salad Bowl: $525-600
  • Cake Plate: $1600
  • Gravy Boat: $85-95
  • Relish Tray: $50

What your Fiesta might be worth depends on the decades of wear and tear, as well as the color. Turquoise and Yellow are relatively common, where as a piece in Red or Medium Green is definitely worth a premium.

(How good would a Jell-O salad look on a brightly colored plate? Love!) You may not keep your Fiesta platters in the cupboard, but it’s never too late to check your attic to see what’s in storage.

While you’re searching, here are eight more kitchen items worth more than you’d think.

Quick Fiesta History

Fiestaware was originally made in West Virginia. (USA!) It started appearing on family tables in 1936, and the pieces didn’t change much until 1969. The company did some redesigns in ‘69 and then stopped production in 1973. But in 1986, the company introduced a new Fiesta line, which you’ve ly seen at your local department store today!

How Do I Know If I Have Vintage Fiesta?

Color: The original colors were Red, Cobalt, Yellow, Light Green, Old Ivory, and Turquoise. 1950s colors included Gray, Rose, Chartreuse, and Forest Green. The last –and rarest–color is Medium Green.

Markings: The vintage items will have an inkstamp on the bottom that says GENUINE fiesta, with Fiesta all lowercase. Look for a mold marking, too. It might say something Fiesta HLC USA or HLC Fiesta Made in USA. (Lots of variety!)

Glaze: The bottom of an old dish will be completely glazed, while a new Fiesta piece will show some un-colored clay.

Look here to see what your vintage Fiesta is worth to a collector. But we’ll be holding onto ours!

Psst: Your heirloom Pyrex might be worth a bundle, too.

Our Best Vintage Dinner Party Recipes Taste of HomeI make these tempting little tarts frequently for parties. They disappear at an astonishing speed, so I usually double or triple the recipe. The salmon-cream cheese filling and flaky crust will melt in your mouth. —Fran Rowland, Phoenix, Arizona Get RecipeTaste of HomeMy husband and I own and operate a busy farm. There are days when there's just no time left for cooking! It's really nice to be able to come into the house at night and smell this wonderful slow cooker chicken cacciatore. —Aggie Arnold-Norman, Liberty, PennsylvaniaGet RecipeTaste of HomeI've been making this recipe for years—everyone flips over the wonderful flavors. When cooled, this cheesy appetizer is also fantastic as a cracker spread. —Cleo Gonske, Redding, CaliforniaGet RecipeTaste of HomeI always get requests for the recipe for these canapes whenever I serve them. They're delicate finger sandwiches with a creamy herb spread and festive red and green garnishes. —Nadine Whittaker, South Plymouth, MassachusettsGet RecipeTaste of HomeMake these baked Alaskas ahead of time—you can torch the completed desserts and freeze them up to 24 hours before serving. —Kerry Dingwall, Ponte Vedra, FloridaGet RecipeTaste of HomeWe live on the Gulf Coast, where fresh seafood is plentiful. I adapted several recipes to come up with this rich bisque. It's great as a first course or an entree, and it can be made with just shrimp or crabmeat. —Pat Edwards, Dauphin Island, AlabamaGet RecipeTaste of HomeThe concept of an old-fashioned dates back to the early 1800s and includes whiskey, bitters, cherry juice, sugar and water. This version, which is extremely popular in Wisconsin, uses brandy in place of whiskey and lemon-lime soda instead of water for a milder cocktail. —Taste of Home Test KitchenGet RecipeTaste of HomeFor a change of pace, you can substitute fresh or frozen peach slices for the pineapple in this old-fashioned recipe. —Bernardine Melton, Paola, KansasGet RecipeTaste of HomeIt's up to you how to enjoy this cocktail—eat it with a spoon as a chilled soup, or use tortilla chips or crackers for scooping. —Erin Moreno, Arcadia, WisconsinGet RecipeTaste of HomeMy gelatin ring gets a tropical twist from coconut, pineapple and macadamia nuts. It's a wonderful anytime treat. Now that I'm retired from teaching, I have more time for kitchen experiments. —Carol Gillespie, Chambersburg, PennsylvaniaGet RecipeTaste of HomeThis is really easy to throw together, and I often use it when I am too tired to fix anything else. —Julia Bivens, Martinsburg, West VirginiaGet RecipeTaste of HomeI have served this recipe to people visiting the U.S. from all over the world and to dear friends, family and neighbors. It is enjoyed and raved about by all. It makes an excellent main dish for a Christmas feast. —Kelly Williams, Forked River, New JerseyGet RecipeTaste of HomeThis side dish is ideal when you’d to serve your vegetables in a different way for a special dinner. Cinnamon and nutmeg season baby carrots that are simmered with orange marmalade and brown sugar. —Barb Rudyk, Vermilion, AlbertaGet RecipeTaste of HomeOn holidays, a friend serves these creamy, cheesy potatoes when we gather together to celebrate with lifelong friends and grown children. —Carol Blue, Barnesville, Pennsylvania Get RecipeTaste of HomeA touch more lemon helped me trim the calories in our favorite shrimp scampi recipe. For those who want to indulge, pass around the Parmesan. —Ann Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts Get RecipeTaste of HomeMaking this salad is a lot putting in a garden. I “plant” everything in nice, neat sections, just as I do with seedlings. —Patricia Kile, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania Get RecipeTaste of HomeTart and delicious, this pretty cake roll will tickle any lemon lover's fancy. Its feathery, angel food texture enhances its guilt-free goodness. —Taste of Home Test KitchenGet RecipeTaste of HomeGrowing my own vegetables and herbs helps keep things fresh in the kitchen, but frozen peas make this side is a breeze to prepare. —Tanna Richard, Cedar Rapids, IowaGet RecipeTaste of HomeMartinis recipes can be made with either vodka or gin. Our taste panel's preference was for the gin, but try them both and decide for yourself. Be warned, this is a strong and serious drink. —Taste of Home Test KitchenGet RecipeTaste of HomeAdding white wine, lemon juice and garlic gives a little kick to green beans. It was enough to turn our old, traditional holiday side into a year-round favorite. —Shannon Reynoso, Bakersfield, CaliforniaGet RecipeTaste of HomeLooking for a wonderful way to impress guests? You’ve got it—and you need only five ingredients to make these tasty apps! —Josephine Piro, Easton, PennsylvaniaGet RecipeTaste of HomeWhen my wife is craving comfort food, I whip up this chicken pot pie with puff pastry. It's easy to make, sticks to your ribs and delivers soul-satisfying flavor. —Nick Iverson, Denver, ColoradoGet RecipeTaste of HomeI tried this egg salad at a luncheon and had to have it. I punched it up with pickled banana peppers. It’s a hit with my kids and picky mother. —Lisa Easley, Longview, Texas Get RecipeTaste of HomeFlaky puff pastry, savory beef tenderloin and tangy horseradish cream easily come together for positively holiday-worthy hors d'oeuvres. —Joan Cooper, Sussex, WisconsinGet RecipeTaste of HomeOnce you taste this fabulous dip, you'll never go back to store-bought french onion dip. While it takes a little longer to make, I promise it's worth every minute. —Kelly Gardner, Alton, IllinoisGet RecipeTaste of HomeIt's nice to surprise the family with special meals this during the week. I usually double the recipe so we can enjoy leftovers the next day. —Martha Stine, Johnstown, PennsylvaniaGet RecipeTaste of HomeMy grandmother made this rich, tempting trifle every year for our family’s Christmas Eve celebrations. Now I make it to carry on her special tradition. It’s an easy, delicious no-bake dessert everyone will love. —Ann-Marie Milano, Milton, MassachusettsGet RecipeTaste of HomeSave the money you’d spend on going out for surf and turf. Instead, treat your clan to thick-cut steaks stuffed with garlic-herb cheese spread and fresh crabmeat. It’s a home-cooked entree that looks and tastes it came from a four-star restaurant! —Taste of Home Test KitchenGet RecipeTaste of HomeI’ve cooked lobster “alla diavola” (devil’s style) since I was first married. We serve lobster at family celebrations, usually with linguine or capellini. —Marcia Whitney, Gainesville, FloridaGet RecipeTaste of HomeI came up with this appetizer for my son, who's big on delicious but healthy food. The lighter beans-and-dip combo has won over even finicky eaters. —Dinah Halterman, Harmony, North CarolinaGet RecipeTaste of HomeMarinated stuffed olives go over so well with company that I try to keep a batch of them in the fridge at all times. —Larissa Delk, Columbia, TennesseeGet RecipeTaste of HomeThis charming plate of piggies looks a holiday wreath when I drape fresh rosemary in the center. It’s a cute display for merry get-togethers. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland Get Recipe Originally Published on Recipes from real home cooks, tested in our kitchens and delivered right to your inbox! Taste of Home is America's #1 cooking magazine.


Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

Vase That Transforms Into Five Serving Dishes

Lead is a toxic substance that can affect people of any age. It is especially harmful to children, pregnant women and unborn babies. Lead accumulates in your body, so even small amounts can pose a health hazard over time.

Lead used in ceramic glazes or in decorative paints covering the surface of ceramics can be a health hazard for potters, and for people using their products.

This is because the lead can get into food and drink prepared, stored or served in the crockery.

Lead has long been used in ceramic ware, both in glazes and in decorations. When used in a glaze, lead gives a smooth, glass finish that allows bright colours and decorative patterns to show through. It is often associated with rich or intense colours.

There are many kinds of ceramics used for cooking, serving or storing foods and liquids. You cannot tell whether a dish has lead in it just by looking at it, however, some types of dishes are more ly to have lead:

  • Traditional glazed terra cotta (clay) dishware made in some Latin American countries, such as Mexican bean pots;
  • Highly decorated traditional dishes used in some Asian communities;
  • Homemade and hand-crafted tableware, unless you are sure that the maker has used a lead-free glaze;
  • Decorations on top of the glaze instead of beneath it. If the decorations are rough or raised, if you can feel the decoration when you rub your finger over the dish, or if you can see brush stroked above the glazed surface, the decoration is probably on top of the glaze. If the decoration has begun to wear away, there may be a greater lead hazard;
  • Antique tableware handed down in families or found in antique stores, markets and garage sales;
  • Corroded glaze, or a dusty or chalky grey residue on the glaze after a piece has been washed. Tableware in this condition may represent a serious lead hazard – stop using it at once.

Lead is rarely found in plain white dishes. Lead-containing glazes or decorations on the outside of dishes or non-food surfaces are generally safer to use. The only way to determine if certain crockery has lead is to test it. Home test kits can tell you if the dishes have leachable lead. These tests are most useful in detecting high levels of lead.

Home test kits use a “quick colour test” system and contain a chemical that turns a certain colour when applied to a surface that contains significant quantities of leachable lead. These test kits can usually be found at hardware stores.

These test kits are especially useful in detecting high levels of lead in crockery. However, they only detect the presence of lead, not the amount. The only way to determine the exact amount of lead that the crockery leaches is to send it to a laboratory for testing.

In addition to being expensive, this can also damage the item.

How to reduce exposure to lead from crockery

The safest practice is to not use crockery that you are unsure of. In particular, if you do not know whether a dish contains lead, do not use it in your everyday routine. This is especially important for crockery used by children, pregnant women, or nursing mothers.

Some guidelines to help you stay safe:

  • Do not heat food or drink in crockery that may contain lead. Cooking or microwaving speeds up the lead-leaching process.
  • Do not store food or drink in dishes that may contain lead. The longer the food/drink stays in contact with a surface that leaches lead, the more lead will be drawn into the food/drink.
  • Do not put highly acidic food or drink in crockery that may contain lead. Acidic food and drink leach lead dishes much faster than non-acid foods. Common acidic foods include citrus fruits, apples, tomatoes, soy sauce and salad dressing. Many drinks are also acidic; such as fruit juices, soft drinks (especially cola drinks), alcohol, coffee and tea.
  • If a dish contains lead, using the dishwasher can damage the glazed surface. This can make it more ly for lead to leach into food the next time it is used. In some cases, lead may also contaminate other dishes in the dishwasher.

Leaded crystal

Occasional use of leaded crystal will not expose you to large amounts of lead, unless liquids have been stored in a leaded crystal container. Children should never eat or drink leaded crystalware.

Do not store food or alcohol in leaded crystal decanters or containers. The longer the food or drink sits in crystalware, the greater the chances are that lead will leach into it.

In addition, the amount of lead that leaches into the food or drink will increase with time.

The dangers of lead in pottery-making

Handling glazes containing lead, even occasionally, can be harmful to human health if dust or fumes containing lead are swallowed or breathed in. When lead glazes are used, strict precautions are advised when mixing, applying or firing them. Where possible, it is better to avoid using glazes that contain lead.

Glazes containing lead

Lead is found in pottery glazes as lead bisilicate in frits. These glazes are mainly used on earthen and raku ware. If they are not properly formulated, applied and fired, it is possible that they could leach into food or drink.

Lead-free glazes and low-solubility lead-bisilicate glazes made with frits have lower lead-release figures that are well within international standards. These products are readily available from most major suppliers. Lead borosilicate frits have a higher lead-release figure and should be avoided.

Keep yourself and your family safe

It is important to avoid exposure to lead dust and fumes. You should:

  1. keep young children and pregnant women the work area and away from work clothes, supplies, equipment, tools or containers.
  2. refrain from eating or smoking in the work area.
  3. store supplies that contain lead safely and mark the labels with safety information.

In your work area

As a potter you should minimise your exposure to lead dust in the studio. Where possible, do as much of the glazing and firing process as possible at properly equipped institutions where the specialised equipment you need (e.g. kilns and casting moulds) is properly vented.

If you decide to work at home, make sure that your studio is adequately contained to prevent lead dust spreading and that it can be easily cleaned. This means working on carpets is not recommended; plastic sheeting is preferable.

Stay clean

Clean all surfaces in the work area, tools and equipment regularly by wet dusting, not dry brushing or sweeping. Clean walls and windows at least monthly. Use a high-phosphate solution (containing at least 5 per cent trisodium phosphate, also known as TSP) or other lead-specific cleaning agent.

TSP should be mixed at the ratio of at least 25g of 5 per cent TSP to each 5 litres of hot water. TSP can be bought from industrial cleaner stockists. Sugar soap that contains TSP is available from hardware stores and supermarkets.

Note: Not all brands of sugar soap contain TSP and ingredients are not required on the labels—users will need to check the manufacturer’s website to ensure TSP is present.

Vacuum only with vacuum cleaners equipped with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, which will remove fine lead dust from the workroom.

Wet mopping is the next best alternative if a vacuum cleaner fitted with a HEPA filter is unavailable.

Dispose of waste properly

Dispose of waste materials containing lead, including water contaminated by wet mopping, according to State/Territory or local government regulations. The water should be placed in a strong, securely sealed container. Do not pour water down drains or on to the garden.

Products using lead glazes

Lead-fluxed glazes and colours can be acid-resistant, provided that they are properly formulated, applied and fired. The main risk to your health occurs when unknown or incorrectly formulated products are used.

When mixing glazes, use a half-face particulate or air-purifying respirator that meets Australian Standard 1716. It should be fitted with a P1 (dust) or P2 (dust and fumes) filter, both of which capture small particles of lead. The respirator can be bought from major hardware stores. Replace the filter regularly.

Wear protective clothing and eye protection at all times. Wash clothes separately from the family wash and shower and wash your hair as soon as possible after your work. Clear glazes that are commercially available are safe when used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

When colouring oxides are added to glazes to create an effect, the fired product is less ly to be acid resistant. Indiscriminate mixing of glazes or glaze components should be avoided.

Follow these precautions

  • Use only ready-made glazes and decorative colours from a reputable source and read their metal release characteristics.
  • Additions to products are not recommended because they could alter the formulation and introduce unknown durability factors.
  • Fire the glazes to the recommended temperature. Under-firing to produce special effects could lead to poor durability.
  • Do not blister lead glazes on functional ware.
  • Remember the use of lead frits in glazes fired above 1170°C is hazardous because it forms lead fumes.
  • Make sure your kiln is safe. It should be designed, sited and operated according to statutory regulations and the recommendations of the manufacturers. Remember lead fumes are toxic.
  • Keep young children, pregnant women and women of childbearing age well away.
  • Avoid using raku-fired pottery for food or drink containers. The low-firing temperature reduces durability, particularly under acid conditions.