The Modern Relish Tray

The New Relish Tray by @KraylFunch


What exactly is a relish tray? Why should I serve a relish tray at my next entertaining opportunity?

{speaking of entertaining… Let’s connect on instagram and share our entertaining images!}

If you were born in the last 20 years, you may not have had the experience of Grandmom’s relish tray, but this vegetable filled pre-dinner plate, once popular, is making its way back into our gatherings, especially for entertaining during the holiday season.

The beauty of this tray is the combination of flavors, the fresh crisp vegetables {carrots, radish}, the pickled { gherkins, cucumbers} and the brine {olives} . It’s a great starter for any meal and it resists being to rich and spoiling your appetite.


baked pita chips

Also classically served on a relish tray, is a spread or dip of some sort such as creamy pimento cheese, herb veggie or in this case my Arugula Green Goddess.



5 cups arugula, cleaned and packed
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped


In a food processor combine arugula and sour cream. Combine until completely blended. Add salt, lemon juice, garlic and thyme. Blend for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes or overnight to let the flavors combine.

Serve cold.

Did you have a relish tray in your house growing up? Have you served one lately? Tell me about it in the comments.


Visit the other Sunday Supper contributors to this week’s recipes all inspired by trays.

Savory Bites:

Sweet Treats:

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Chilled Spring Pea +Mint Soup

Springtime is all about fresh ingredients. This chilled soup recipe combines two spring favorites Peas and Mint to one tasty chilled soup. It’s time to forget what you think about pea soup. The bright color and garden fresh flavors of this Spring Pea and Mint soup will make even the biggest doubters come around.

chilled spring pea soup on An Appealing Plan by Krayl Funch




2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups coarsely chopped onion
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
6 cups fresh peas
3 cups packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 cup packed mint leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup crème fraiche, for garnish
Pea shoots, for garnish


Melt butter in a large pot uncovered over medium heat. Add onion and 2 teaspoons salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add broth and water, bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in peas and return to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in rough chopped parsley and mint. Puree soup in a blender or using an immersion blender, until very smooth. Transfer to a clean bowl and stir in lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Chill soup in refrigerator for 1-2 hours or overnight.

Serve chilled in soup bowls and garnish with crème fraiche, and pea shoots.

This recipe is one of my absolute favorites and is actually a sneak peak since it will also be included in my upcoming book. We are shooting the tablescapes and recipes weekly and I am getting more and more excited for the launch everyday.  Learn more here + have a chance to win a copy. Or learn more about hosting a launch event here. The book has launched!!

An-Appealing-Plan-the book by Krayl Funch Cover Image


Be sure to visit all the other fantastic recipes and blogs included in this week’s event. They have really gone all out with the food and mom love. It is an honor to be apart of this group as well as this week’s Sunday Supper Super Star!! Read the full article here and check out all the previous Super Stars.

Mother’s Day Breakfast:

Mother’s Day Appetizers:

Mother’s Day Soups, Salads and Sides:

Mother’s Day Main Dishes:

Mother’s Day Desserts:

Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

A Classic Blue + Silver Centerpiece

One of my favorite entertaining tips is for every host to have a “go-to” centerpiece or arrangement that they can easily pull together in a moments notice when friends or family give the word that they will be stopping by, or simply to have on your kitchen table to welcome you home each day. This classic Blue and Silver centerpiece using Hydrangeas is at the top of my list as it is a fantastic combination of simplicity and elegance.

themed centerpiece @AnAppealingPlan  #hydrangea #silver #DerbyParty

To watch this video click on the image below.

My favorite silver vase to use is similar to the mint julep cups found at the Kentucky Derby. I love to mix and match different sizes to create a centerpiece. For this centerpiece we’re going to use julep cups, one taller and one smaller as well as two different size Hydrangea.





  • Tall Silver Julep Cup
  • 2 Blue Hydrangea Blooms
  • Kitchen Shears
  • Water



Fill julep cups with water approximately half full.

Cut your hydrangea stems to the correct height by placing your cups on a table and measuring the height of the stem so the bloom will sit in the cup just above the rim. For this particular floral centerpiece you will want them to rest just above the top. Cut off the appropriate amount off the bottom of the stem.

Pull the two vases together to create small centerpiece or create a larger version by grouping several julep cups.

Silver and blue is a perfect classic combination for gatherings throughout the year but particularly during the spring and summer months, this arrangement is perfect for a Kentucky Derby gathering or Garden Party.

Read more by visiting eHow.

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Easy Spring Jelly Bean + Birds Nest Centerpiece

Is it me, or are jelly beans a sure sign of spring and that Easter is on it’s way! Create these fun jelly bean bird nest centerpieces using green moss, and other hints of spring, such as bunnies and butterflies.  In this short video for I show you how to easily make a jelly bean centerpiece for your spring tablescape.




For this centerpiece you will need:

  • Tall Cake Plate
  • Moss
  • Moss Runner
  • Jelly Beans
  • Small Birds Nests – two sizes
  • Faux Butterflies

Begin with two different size bird’s nests. I like to use different sizes because they add a little bit of variety and also are great cups for the jelly beans. You’re then going to have two different types of moss, one is a flat moss and is actually a live moss, and the second is a table runner that you can cut into two different sizes. You’re going to spread out the table runner, the length of your table or just right in the center. Place the cake plate right on top. We’re going to next put the singular moss piece right on the top of the cake plate to start to create a moss bed.

Bring in the small and large bird’s nests. Layer them slightly and put them on an angle to add a little variety. You can also add one to the base right on top of your table. Begin placing the jelly beans inside of the nests. Each nest will hold a variety of colors and amount. Once you have the jelly beans in place in their nests, you can start to add in the different elements. Here we’re going to add in a little butterfly. You can then bring in other items that are spring themed, such as a larger bunny or any other items found around your house.

This centerpiece will be perfect for a baby shower, Mother’s Day or Easter brunch tablescape.

Just for you! My Spring Entertaining Checklist. Download, print out and make your next gathering as enjoyable as a spring breeze.

Read more about creating jelly bean centerpieces and search my other videos on my YouTube Channel.


DIY Garden Themed Centerpieces

Garden themed centerpiece @AnAppealingPlan #garden #floral #entertaining 403

Garden theme centerpieces are perfect any time of the year as they can reflect what’s going on in your own garden so they can be used summer, spring, winter or fall.

To view the video click on the image or click here.



  • floral oasis
  • fishing line
  • water
  • sheet moss
  • floral sticks
  • garden sheers
  • dried craft mushrooms
  • decorative butterflies
  • 3-4 flowers stems

To cut the oasis, use the fishing line to draw a straight line down the center. Once you have this cut it will fit nicely into your container. If you need to take additional off the sides, just use your fishing line to make it the size that works for your container. Place the moss on top.

Once you have your moss in place use your floral sticks to place the mushrooms. Your floral sticks come in varying lengths. Cut them to size depending upon the height of your container. Place them in the oasis, leaving a little bit on top sticking out. Start to place the mushrooms on top of the sticks. The mushrooms should have a hollow center which allows them to sit right on top of the sticks.

Fluff up the moss as needed then continue to place the different colored mushrooms on top of the sticks. Push them down a little bit further if needed.

Once the mushrooms are in, use the floral sticks to create a hole to push your flowers into. The sharp end works really well. I also recommend using flowers that have a stronger stem. They will push easily into the oasis as opposed to a loose stem which will not. Start to place your flowers into the wet oasis and then move the box around filling in.

Create a natural look by grouping the flowers together. Once that is done you can start to bring in other woodland or garden items.

This garden inspired centerpiece will bring the garden into your home and table.


Like this video? Subscriber to my YouTube Channel and SHARE with the links below. 


Cinco vs Derby. Lime vs Mint. The battle continues.

Kentucky Derby or Cinco de Mayo? Mint Julep or Margarita? It is an age-old question leading up to the first weekend in May. Well OK, maybe not age-old but still, a question that I  have asked every year in May during my adult entertaining years.

Living in the North East most of my life Cinco de Mayo was my excuse to have a party and my kick off to summer. One month before the traditional Memorial Day weekend, I would send out the invite and pray for a warm sunny day to host friends for guacamole, salsa, margaritas and the always popular “Cinco Brownies” outside on the patio. Then one year, two friends RSVP’d to the invite that they would be late arriving due to a Derby Party! “What is this Derby you speak of? “ I asked. “The Kentucky Derby of course!” They quickly responded. Now of course I had heard of the Derby but never having attended an official party I had no idea it was such a big deal.

When they showed up dressed to the nine’s in their summer whites and fancy hats, I was suddenly torn. An excuse to get overly dressed up in summer attire, and then to also find out there is even a special drink with the main ingredient of Mint served in a fancy silver cup! Could there be a better way to kick off the summer entertaining season? It was too much for my hostess brain to handle.

This year, as it happens every so many years, the two fall on the exact same weekend and we are once again asked to choose. Cinco or Derby? Margarita or Julep? How can one decide? Perhaps we can create Derby de Mayo? Which one will YOU celebrate? In the comments below share which one if your favorite and how you will be celebrating this year.

In the meantime, as a good hostess would, I leave you with two cocktails. One recipe for the classic Mint Julep and the other my favorite twist on a Margarita, the Prickly Pear Margarita. Whichever  you choose please enjoy Safely!

{BONUS: looking for an arrangement for your Derby Celebration? Give you Julep cups double use with this classic centerpiece.}



Ingredients {serves 1}

  • 1 ounce minted simple syrup
  • 2 cups crushed ice
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • Fresh mint sprig, for garnish


In a silver Julep cup, add minted simple syrup, then 1 cup crushed ice, bourbon, and splash of water. Add enough of remaining ice to fill glass. Stir well, garnish with mint sprig and proper straw.



Ingredients {serves 4}

  • 8 ounces white tequila
  • 4 ounces Cointreau
  • 4 ounces cactus pear syrup
  • 2 ounces fresh lime juice
  • Crushed ice
  • Lime wedge, for garnish
  • Coarse salt, optional


Combine tequila, orange-flavored liqueur, cactus pear syrup, lime juice and ice in a shaker. Serve over ice in rocks glass and garnish with lime.

Celebrating Mom. Mother’s Day Solutions.

“I want to show Mom I really love her but due to my work schedule and family obligations, I really don’t have time to prepare for a brunch or lunch. What should I do?”

Sound familiar?

This was a recent panicked email from a client. I quickly responded to calm her nerves and we have since coordinated the entire brunch for 10 family members. Menu, drink selections, table décor, everything; Even scheduling the cleaning team for the Friday before so that she no longer needs to worry, simply needs to relax and enjoy.

This situation can come up for any type of occasion or person you would like to show “a little love” for, so I thought I would share an idea that she and I discussed that can be prepared the night before and allows you to spend more time with your guests.

A Self-Service Champagne Table:

Cover a small table with a white linen cloth; add a second layer with a natural linen napkin overlay.

Select a silver tray {polish a week in advance} to place your champagne flutes on. Mix-and-Match the glassware, most of us have been given pairs of flutes over the years rather than a full set, they all work together no matter the size or shape.

Select a dozen of your favorite flower and place in a vase on the table to add life.


Linen hemstitched cocktail napkins elevate the display but beautiful paper napkins can be used as well.

An ice bucket filled with ice to keep the champagne cold can be set out at the last-minute. {Be sure to chill your champagne over night to ensure it is at the perfect temperature.}  

As guests arrive pop the cork and celebrate!


Now tell me in the comments below what your top 3 concerns are about entertaining at home? What would be your dream solution to those concerns?

~ Krayl ~


Last Minute Easter Entertaining & Tablescape Ideas

Entertaining friends and family for Easter Brunch or Dinner is a wonderful way to kick off the spring entertaining season. incorporating just a few easy tips you will feel confident about your hostess skills and head into a stress free holiday.

Just for you! My Spring Entertaining Checklist. Download, print out and make your next gathering as enjoyable as a spring breeze.

#1: You Can’t Go Wrong with Flowers.

Pick up a few bunches from your corner grocery. Stick to all one variety for more impact. Place them on your entranceway table, dining table, bathroom and in your bedroom.

#2: Choose a Theme and Run with It.

Love green? Find green spring accessories to add to the table. Use green ribbon as a napkin ring. Place white flowers in a green glass vase. Pour water into your favorite green glassware. Keeping with one theme helps unify a table.

#3: Pretty Doesn’t Have to Feel Formal.

Many people fear that is they set a beautiful table guests will feel uptight. Untrue, guests feel uptight when you feel uptight. Set a lovely table and let your easy-going graciousness set the tone for the gathering. Using casual colors, materials and wildflowers help create a less formal feel.

#4: Have a Plan. And Share It.

This applies to getting ready for as well as during the gathering.


* Creating a list of items you need; to set the table; from the grocery store; serving the meal, Then delegate. Sharing these duties takes the pressure off of you to “do it all”.

* Let guests know what time they should arrive AND what time you expect the meal will be served. Everyone’s version of a timetable is different.


* Create place cards if you prefer guests sit in a particular seat or to help ease tension when its is time to be seated.

* Menu cards can help let guests know what they will be eating and helps answer any awkward dietary restriction questions in advance.

#5: Enlist Support If You Need It.

Support can come in the form of family members or in an outside service. For some hiring a professional to set the table, cook the meal or even help serve can alleviate much of the stress of entertaining and allow for a more pleasant holiday.

Just for you! My Spring Entertaining Checklist. Download, print out and make your next gathering as enjoyable as a spring breeze.

Anniversary Gathering :: Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberries

It has been a while since I was able to participate in the Sunday Supper weekly posting but when Isabel, The Family Foodie, reached out and asked if I would be interested in adding a tablescape portion to the weekly blog posting, I was thrilled. {For those of you unfamiliar with the term; Tablescape, it is a word used to describe “the artistic arrangement of articles on a table”. It may be plates, napkins, flowers or other decor. It can relate to a table where food will be served or to an arrangement of items on a side table in a living room with out food.} It may not work for every topic but when it does we will try to bring a fresh idea and look to the Sunday Supper table.  Tables may be a buffet, a children’s birthday party, or some, like today, are a private table to celebrate an  Anniversary of a special couple.

An Appealing Plan. #SundaySupper. Tablescapes. Cheesecake. Anniversary Gathering.

This tablescape was designed to be a special breakfast for two {My Grandparents} but could be used for a desert table for the a large family get together, or Valentines Day celebration. As with cooking & baking, by first learning the proper way to set the table you can then play with moving items around to create the look you are going for.

Placing a photo of the couple in an aged silver frame on the table is an immediate reminder of why you are here and celebrates the love of a happy couple of many years. Metallic votives mirror the frame and give the table a classy festive touch.

An Appealing Plan. #SundaySupper. Tablescapes. Strawberries. Champagne. Valentines Day Breakfast.

Use cakestands to raise the cheesecake and bowl of strawberries off the lower table surface. This creates not only the effect of showcasing these items but also allows for additional space on the table for oversized plates. Clear flutes filled with Proseco keep the look clean and allow the bubbles to be the star. The “OFF DUTY” section of the morning paper again reminds you to slow down and enjoy this celebration.

An Appealing Plan. Tablescapes. Barbara Barry Chair Collection. Wedgwood Dinnerware. Black & WHite. China. Anniversary Gathering.

 Use oversized dinner plates as chargers, then place a smaller decorative salad plate on top to be used as the service plate. I love this chair plate and am feeling that a Chair theme table will be coming soon….  A dark brown linen tablecloth adds richness to the color scheme and allows the white plates and red strawberries to be the pop of color. Crisp tan linen napkins topped with polished silverware add additional layers of texture.


An Appealing Plan. #SundaySupper. Tablescapes. Cheesecake. Anniversary Gathering. White Hydrangea. Red Gerber Daisy.


Recipe adapted from Cristina Ferrare The Messy Baker



  • 1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, halved and arranged on top of the cake
  • 1/4 cup strawberry jam


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

To make the crust: In the bowl of a food processor, add 1 cup of pecans. Pulse the pecans until they become a fine crumb. In a medium-size bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, pecan crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and butter until moistened. Using the bottom of a glass, press the crumbs into the bottom of a 10-inch by 3-inch springform pan. Bake for 15 minutes, and cool completely.

To make the filling: In a mixer using the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese for two minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add 1 cup of sugar in an even stream, and mix for 2 more minutes, until light and fluffy, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition to incorporate thoroughly, and scrape down the sides of the bowl each time. Add the of sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla. Process until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Pour the filling into the cooled crust, and spread evenly in the pan. Lift the pan and tap it on the counter several times to release any bubbles in the batter. Bake for 1 hour, or until the top is set. If it wiggles slightly, that’s okay. Do not overbake.

Cool the cake completely in the pan overnight. On the next day, release the springform pan from the cake. Arrange the halved strawberries attractively on top of the cake. Heat 1/4 cup of strawberry jam in the microwave for about 40 seconds. Using a pastry brush, brush the strawberries with the jam to give it a sweet, shiny coating. Slice and serve. Enjoy!


We are celebrating this week’s birthday event by choosing recipes from contributors that have inspired us in the past year.  Boy was this a tough week… how do you choose just one recipe from 52 weeks of fabulous Sunday Supper Recipes?

Sunday Supper Appetizers:

Sunday Supper Soups and Breads:

Sunday Supper Main Dishes:

Sunday Supper Veggies:

SundaySupper Desserts and Snacks:

Sunday Supper Breakfast Faves:

Sunday Supper Wine Pairings by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

An exciting to announce a New AdditionTablescape by An Appealing Plan, Anniversay Dinner featuring Cheesecake with Fresh Berries orginally posted by The Messy Baker Blog

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the#SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

What if your favorite way to celebrate an anniversary? Let me know in the comments below, SHARE with your friends and sign up for Free Updates.

Placesettings Explained

Although we live in a less formal world where pretty much anything goes when it comes to setting your table, it is always best to start with a knowledge of the proper way to do anything. Once you understand the proper etiquette of how to set each place setting you can manipulate it to achieve your preferred style.

This image is a fantastic straight forward approach to learning the Formal and Informal versions.


This biggest change most people make to the Formal setting is reducing the number of glasses. Most do not have enough glasses or table space to allow for three per guest. In most situations one wine glass and a water glass will work just fine.

Next change would be the bread and butter plate & knife, and for similar reasons as the glassware, quantity and lack of space.

A tradition that is often skipped which will actually save you time and space in the long run is the dessert fork and coffee spoon placed above the plate. By placing these two pieces right from the start you have saved a step in between courses. After dinner simply clear all flatware on the sides of the plate, slide the dessert course flatware down to each side and you are ready to serve your pie!

As mentioned, our society is becoming less and less formal on a daily basis however, during the holidays I find it is nice to take a tip from the past and set the table with a slightly more formal touch.

My advice? Learn the rules first then bend them, do it well with purpose & beauty and your guests will not question you. {or at least you will have the knowledge to respond correctly if they do!}

Most important, Enjoy~ krayl