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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Individual Chocolate Chip Bread Puddings with Vanilla Bean Sauce


I always forget about bread pudding.  Except when we are out at restaurants and they read it off of the dessert menu - always met with oohs and ahhs.  I've officially put it back into rotation.  Especially as cooler months are approaching, a warm goey dessert with coffee after dinner is all anyone could dream of.  It is so simple to make.  It maybe takes 5 minutes to put together, then can bake before you serve it (or just reheat!).  It was a great hands on kids dessert - Emma basically was able to help with each step.  I made a "vanilla bean sauce" by heating up cream on the stove, then adding some sugar and vanilla bean paste.  It keeps in the refrigerator and can he drizzled over anything.

Of course, these can be made in a casserole, but they are so cute (and convenient) in my Small (disposable) Tart Pans (10 for $5).  

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding
4 servings
2 large croissants
1 whole egg
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 cup of half and half
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
1/3 cup of chocolate chips of chopped chocolate
...
1 cup of cream
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste
Cut croissants into cubes and place them into a mixing bowl.  Stir together half and half, egg, yolks, sugar rand vanilla.  Pour half and half mixture over cubes of croissants.  Add chocolate and fold in until well mixed.

Spoon into small tart pans.  Place tart pans on parchment lined baking sheet.  They will bubble over slightly, so it makes for easy cleanup.

Keep in refrigerator for 10 min - overnight.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until liquid mixture seems set and bread has browned on top.  

For vanilla bean sauce, simmer cream in a saucepan.  Add sugar and vanilla bean paste.  Let cook on low until slightly thicken, stirring constantly.  Serve warm over bread puddings.







Baking alongside Apple Cake.


Yay for parchment sheets!



Monday, August 31, 2015

Fall-ish Table Setting | DIY Coral & Peach Roses with Privet Berries | Provence Beige Linens

Setting a pretty table is so much fun.  During Summer months our entertaining is very casual and usually takes on the form of very simple table settings... or none at all.  As Fall rolls in I'm getting excited for more cozy dinner parties leading into full on entertaining during the Holiday season.

I'll walk you through the elements I used to create this table below.  While this is pretty fancy for a typical dinner, just using one or two elements for your table would be a great way to recreate the look at your home without being over the top.

As always, creating the very simple DIY flower arrangements is my favorite part.  So many get intimidated by creating florals, but it really is fun so simple.  I'll take you through step-by-step at the end of the post.
The candles are really what make this setting so special - they instantly upgrade your table.  They are 18" and come in the five colors below plus ivory, not pictured.  For $15/pair, they are an inexpensive way to make a big impact.  I have them on my bare table right now and even on an empty table they look special.

Shop 18" Very Tall Tapers, here.

I used the Falmouth Grey on this table.



I use the Provence Beige Linen Tablecloth with the Tuscany Napkins for a bit of a mix and match look.  They colors are the same, just the patterns of the stripes are swapped.

I always order 54" square tablecloths because I like to see some of the wood peaking through.  If you have a longer table, it will be help bring the eye to the center of the table.  It also works perfectly on round tables.  I just love how versatile the size is.  I'll be using them this weekend for my brother's engagement party... stay tuned next week for lots and lots of photos of that!
I used the Oak Tree Folded Cards for place cards at each setting.  I love doing this for even small parties.  Each person feels special, and it helps to make sure that everyone is seated by someone that they'll enjoy.


This is the first version of  the arrangements that I made - only with the peach spray roses.  After setting the table, I decided that it looked a little too sweet for a fall setting and added the orange roses, too, to make it feel a little more fall-ish.

I made them in my favorite "vases" the Fleur de Lys Tumblers that I also used as water glasses at the table.  They are the perfect size shape for a small grouping of flowers.

You can find very pretty spray roses at Trader Joe's or your grocery store.  Both of these colors are fairly standard.  They do a great job of opening up, too.

I started by trimming each the privet berries into little sprigs and put them around the base of the glass to create a "collar."




 Then, I trimmed the roses to be just taller than the berries and put them in groupings in the middle.

Too easy, right?  But very pretty.  I love this type of arrangement for the table because it is not too structured or overly fancy, and they are low enough to easily talk over during dinner.
I also made orange versions, which I eventually mixed together with the peach to give more of a fall-ish look.   This would also be a great arrangement to do with mums later in the season.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Leftovers | Bolognese with Rigatoni, Cream, Peas & Parmesan

The best leftover creations are those that become recipes of their own, worthy of making solely on their own merit. I typically make huge batches of Bolognese (meat sauce for us normal folk... here is my recipe), I always tuck some away in the freezer.  So, this isn't really a next night leftover meal for us, but a "hey, I can pull it plus some peas out of the freezer and have a yummy dinner in about 15 minutes without going to the store" type of dinner.  We all need one of those to fall back on.

Leftover Bolognese
with rigatoni, cream & peas

1 lb. of rigatoni (or penne) pasta
sea salt
...
2 cups of bolognese sauce
*mushrooms - if I had had some on hand!
1/3 cup of cream
1 cup of frozen peas
1/4 cup of parmesan

Cook pasta in large pot of salted boiling water.  Meanwhile, reheat bolognese in a large saute pan.  Once bubbly, add cream and simmer for about 3 minutes.  Drain pasta and add to bolognese, tossing to coat.  Add peas and fold in.  Finish with parmesan.







This was inspired by a local Italian bistro that we love (Bella Napoli, for locals).  Restaurants have to be great at utilizing leftovers to survive.  I'm always looking for inspiration from restaurant menus.  Next up is a classic minestrone from this same Italian spot.  They stop offering their soups during the warmer months, so I had to figure it out for myself.  It sounds especially good on this rainy day : )


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Truffled Mac & Cheese in Idividual Gratin Dishes




Well, it is no wonder that the Creamware Gratin Dishes (and Tart Pans) were the first things to go last Friday for the launch of my Fall products.  We all love the idea of something simple to add fresh inspiration to our kitchen and menus.  I also think it had something to do with the fact that they were filled with Truffled Mac & Cheese.  Now that so many of you have these on the way to your house (most were sent yesterday, some today!) I thought it best to post the recipe... because this is the first thing you're going to make, right?  I also think they'll make perfect individual apple cobblers topped with ice cream... or banana split bowls.

Creamware Gratin Dishes, Set of 6, $30

For those of you that missed them last Friday, I've reordered another shipment (of Creamware Tart Pans & Gratin Dishes!), expected to arrive here on Friday.  You can order them from my store now, but be aware that they are not able to ship until next Monday.



These are great along side a steak for a comfy dinner at home, or a fancy dinner party.  They can be made a day or two in advance, making them great for entertaining.

The best news about this recipe is that it is a very simple tweak to any existing Mac and Cheese recipe you like.  The basic idea is to add the flavor of White Truffles (from butter or oil) and to make it look as truffly as possible by using tiny pieces of mushrooms.  Truffle oil is easier to find than truffle butter, but both can be found at Whole Foods.  Be sure to get the White Truffle products instead of black, for the better flavor.

Truffled Mac & Cheese
makes 4-5 side servings

1/2 box of shaped pasta (shells or cavatapi)
sea salt
...
1/2 stick of butter
3 mushrooms, minced
1 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup of flour
2 cups of milk
1 cup of white cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup of monterey jack cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons of truffle oil OR 4 tablespoons of truffle butter
salt & pepper, as needed

Cook pasta in boiling, salted water.  Strain.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter, add minced mushrooms and saute for 3-4 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add flour, stir to coat mushrooms and garlic until flour is absorbed into the butter.  Cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add milk immediately, then stir constantly until all flour is mixed into the milk.  Continue to cook on medium until it thickens and is bubbly.  Remove from heat and add most of the shredded cheese, but reserve some for the top.  Stir cheese in until smooth, then fold is pasta until it is all coated.  Add truffle oil or butter in and stir until melted or mixed in.

Spoon pasta into small baking dishes and top each with shredded cheese and set aside.

If serving immediately, place under hot broiler in oven for 2-3 minutes until cheese on top is bubbly and slightly browned.

If you are making them ahead, keep in the refrigerator, then bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, just until heated through and slightly browned on top.


Get the mushrooms as small as possible.  They should look like flakes or bits in the sauce.


For making cheese sauce, I always shred my own cheese.  Pre-shredded cheese is usually coated with something to keep the shreds from sticking, but prohibits smooth melting.


After sautéing mushrooms and garlic, add flour.


Then mix in flour, immediately.


Then add milk while stirring - whisking helps too - until smooth.  When it bubbles and starts to thicken, remove from heat.


Add cheese into the milk and stir until smooth, then fold in pasta.


Top with cheese - or breadcrumbs, if you'd like.


This is our favorite dinner - balsamic vinaigrette tossed greens, seared steaks and truffled mac and cheese.


Hope you try it soon!  Here is the link for the Creamware Gratin Dishes, $30 for a Set of 6.  I can't wait to play with more ideas for these this Fall.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Fall Collection | Baskets, Gratin Dishes, Pillows, Throws & Linens



Welcome to the Fall Collection!

I almost contemplated calling this collection Home Sweet Home, as it is full of those little (and some big) things that fill our homes with warm a cozy moments.  The new baking and cooking items have me re-inspired for Back-to-School dinners and desserts, the throws and pillows have transformed my hearth room into a cozy spot to curl up, my linen drawers are brimming with warm colors of Fall and my mudroom is now stocked with "House Stationery" in the form of a classic Oak Tree and everything I need for a beautiful gift.


This table features some new things, and some old things taking on a new role.  My favorite Tumblers are doubling as vases, and my favorite wooden candle holders have been sprayed gold for the occasion.  Don't they look totally different?

Shop the entire Fall Collection, here.

Provence Linen Collection

Classic natural linen accented with cream white stripes - this might be my favorite yet.  It looks great with these peach and orange roses, but will look equally elegant with pumpkins at Thanksgiving and evergreen sprigs at Christmas.  The natural background will feel fresh in the spring and summer, and cozy in the cooler months - a great investment.
Available in : Tablecloth : 54" Square, Runner : 53" Long x 20" Wide, Napkins : Set of 4, & Tea Towels, Set of 2.
Smaller Brown Tart Pans

This is the little sister to last year's super popular Petite Brown Tart Pans.  I still love the original size about (5.5" x 1"), but this smaller size (4" x 1") is just a bit smaller making it better proportioned for individual desserts, like these Chocolate Chip Bread Puddings.  The recipe will be coming soon.

Shop Smaller Brown Tart Pans, here.



Creamware Petite Gratin Dish
I have a very long list of all of the plans I have for these little guys.  The top of the list was this Truffled Macaroni & Cheese.  I'm sure you understand why.  I also plan to make individual shrimp scampi or scallop gratin ala Barefoot Contessa.  I'm sure they would make lovely little creme brûlée dishes as well... especially because it more shallow and longer than a typical ramekin, giving more room for the caramelized sugar on top.  Sometimes, just a little new kitchen goodie like this will provide fresh inspiration.
Truffled Mac and Cheese recipe is coming soon. 

Shop the Gratin Dish, here.




Pillows

I use pillows and throws each season to evolve the feel of our home.  This collection, in such warm, rich hues will take your home right into Autumn. 
Shop all of the pillows, here.

Double-Sided Heathered Grey & Camel Throws

This is the classic "cashmere sweater set" of throws.  They are absolutely timeless, luxurious and rich.  Each throw is double-sided, giving you options to change the look and feel instantly.  The Grey blanket's opposing side is a light heathered grey.  The Camel blanket's opposite side is a classic ivory cream.  Right now I have both in my living room.  And the camel in our bedroom.  I couldn't choose.  I'm sure you'll have the same problem. 

Shop Throws, here.









Herringbone Throws
These Herringbone Throws are back for another season in new colors because they are absolutely luscious.  The softest thing you've ever felt.  They are so so so soft, heavy and cozy - a blanket that you'll love curling up with in your favorite chair.  
Colors Available Top to Bottom :

- Lexington Wheat
- Edgartown Sand
- Molten Chocolate
- Falmouth Grey



Large Basket Tray Set of 2
About 10 years ago I bought a basket that lived on our coffee table for the last 10 years.  On occasion it made an appearance as an appetizer platter with dips and chips, or as a way to display sugar cookie favors at a party.  After three moves it was no longer looking dapper enough to be in the center of our new family room, so I've upgraded to this dark wood set.  
The beauty of this set is that, well, it is a set.  Of two.  A smaller that will live in my kitchen to hold everything from stacks of linen tea towels to bread and fruit.  The larger will be on our ottoman filled with books, magazines and remotes.  They are sturdy and the perfect scale.  
Harvest Basket, Set of 2

A couple of weeks ago I made a housewarming gift for my friend.  The gift was a set of my kitchen bottles (filled with my favorites) and brushes.  I had everything I needed for the gift except the basket - I had to go on a hunt for the basket.  I ended up at Target and found a basket that was the right size, but I didn't love it.  The next day I went to my own basket source where I've purchased my berry and apple baskets before.  I wanted it to be a little bigger than I'd carried in the past, as it seems my gifts always need a bigger size.  I also wanted a warm wood tone.  Done.  They made this perfect harvest basket for me.
I plan to use it for so many things.  It fits my kitchen bottles and brushes perfectly, but would also be a great size for a homemade (large) banana bread or a big arrangement of cookies during the holidays.  Look forward to seeing all of the different ways I find to use this basket.  


House Warming Gift : 
Here is my gift all wrapped up and ready for giving!  I attached an Oak Tree Tag from my "House Stationery" collection, below.

Oak Tree "House" Stationery : 

When we moved in our house I really wanted us to have "house stationery."  I decided on this oak tree because we have a massive, massive oak tree right in the middle of our front yard.  This is the first time I've included a Note & Envelop Set, as well.  I plan to use it for everything from writing thank you's to inviting friends for dinner.

Shop Oak Tree Collection, here.



Above : My linen drawers looking very cozy... and full : )

I brought back many of my favorite linens from last Fall, but I've also added a few new favorites.  This Natural & Cream Check is such a classic.  I am sure I will use it all year long.

Shop Natural & Cream Check Tea Towels, here
Provence Tea Towels

Another favorite this year is the Provence collection, which you might recognize from the table setting at the beginning of the post. It is utterly classic and will probably be my go-to for the next couple of months.

Shop the Provence Linen Tea Towels, here.  
Creamware Tart Pan


This is a new item in my baking arsenal that has already gotten a lot of use.  A little different from a pie plate, a tart pan is not as deep, but has a larger diameter.  It works great for country cakes like this French Apple Cake, or for quiche or frittatas.  I also love it for baked dips like a hot Spinach or Crab Dip.
I love how inexpensive these are so you can afford to buy them in multiples to use for large groups for brunch or dessert.  
Shop the Tart Pan, here.
...
I hope you enjoyed browsing and are in the mood to cozy-up your house for Autumn.  I'm off to coffee with Emma.  Happy Friday : )
Jenny

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