The Everyday Occasions Store:
m28
our new kitchen details
tour of our home
browse my recipes
Shop the store
the everyday occasions store
ClassicHomeCollection1
ClassicShot1 IMG9
botanical prints, $4-6
cozy fall essentials
IMG11
NP1
le pens,
block print
TC1
IMG17
block print tablecloth, $48-65
block print
IMG7 IMG8
The Softest throws, $80-90 cozy home ideas
IMG12
cookiesandcreampie1
petite tart pans, 10 for
baking baskets, 6 for $14.50
IMG14
IMG13
the softest throws, $90
natural parchment, 100 for $10
IMG5
IMG10
grocery list tablet, $8
classic tablet + lepens, $14
IMG16
IMG15
dinner planning tablet, $14
weekly planning tablet, $14
m8
m11
kitchen essentials
clean bottles collection
m17 m12
pastry bag roll of 100 baking sheets & parchment
m21
m18
platter collection, $150
baking supplies
m23 m24
baking supplies bread board collection

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart with Brown Sugar Whipped Cream




This is one of those fancy looking desserts that is actually very easy.  It is just a simple chocolate cream pie that I made in a Rectangle Tart Pan (available in my store, here).  I updated it for Fall by adding brown sugar to the whipped cream and chopped caramel corn on top.  I would've used toffee, had I had it... but we were being resourceful!   I used store-bought pie crust, but next time I might do a graham cracker crust for more of that salty/sweet crumbly texture.  Emma and I had a great time after school one afternoon and made this together.  I piped half and she piped the other half... in case you are nervous about the piping, now you can see that a 4-year-old can do it : )

Products Used : 




Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart with Brown Sugar Whipped Cream

Pastry Crust :
store bought, or this recipe
or graham cracker crust

Chocolate Filling : 

2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup of cornstarch
1 teaspoon of sea salt
2 1/2 cups of milk
4 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla
1 tablespoon of butter

Topping :
2 cups of heavy cream
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste...
caramel corn
or toffee

Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan.  Bake for 12-14 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

For the chocolate filling, combine sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan.  Whisk in milk.  Cook over medium-high, stirring constantly.  Cook for 5-7 minutes until it is bubbly and thick.  In a separate large bowl, whisk egg yolks together.  Add a small amount of the chocolate mixture to the eggs and stir.  Stirring constantly, continue to add small amounts of the chocolate mixture to the egg yolks until completely combined.  Return to the saucepan and cook over medium heat just until it begins to boil.  Stir in vanilla and butter until smooth.  Pour into the crust.  Chill in the refrigerator.

Beat together cream, brown sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form.  Pipe on the top of the chocolate layer with the Starburst Tip.   Chop caramel corn or toffee pieces and sprinkle on top.


I used a store bought pie crust and pressed it into the form.  I used my pie weights (thanks, Granny!) while it baked to keep it from bubbling up and losing shape.



I poured the chocolate filling (basically thick pudding) in to the shell when it was cool.


I loved the Brown Sugar Whipped Cream.  We put in extra Vanilla Bean Paste so it had so much warm flavor.


See somebody licking the whisk in the background while I'm filling the pastry bag?


I like to use the 18" disposable pastry bags for whipped cream since it is usually a large quantity.  This is the starburst tip that looks very fancy : )





This is what it looks like to have a mouth full of whipped cream straight from the piping bag.



Typical.


More licking, also typical.



You can see Emma's half in this one!  She's getting it down : )


See all of the vanilla beans and brown sugar?


Chopped up the Caramel Corn with a knife.  It added great texture and crunch.









Can't wait to do a pumpkin tart in this for Thanksgiving!







Thursday, September 22, 2016

Welcome Autumn Collection


Welcome, Autumn.  Finally, what we yearn for all year long.  The first dewy, crisp mornings that require a jacket for an early walk.  Golden autumn sunlight through the trees while the first leaves are fluttering down on the way to the store.  Warm soups for family dinners, with bubbling apple crisp for dessert.  Those dreamy chilly evenings on the back porch under a blanket with hot tea.  I'm so ready and so thankful that Autumn is here.



Classic Sunburst Wreath, $30

I first spotted this wreath at the Verrill Farm Stand when we lived in Concord, Massachusetts.  I instantly loved it.  It felt classic and welcoming, but a little primitive and country.  There aren't many farmhouses in New England without one.


























Gold Leaf Frames & Creamy Mat Boards

After receiving so many requests for these frames (and needing to buy more for my own home...) I decided to track them down and carry them in the store.  They've worked in every room I've use them and always add an element of sophistication.  They aren't too ornate, but definitely feel more classic than contemporary.  I use them with a creamy photo mat, I've also added to the store.


Shop Frames, here
Solid Wood Frame with black edges and gold leaf front.
8"x10" frame + 8"x10" mat, for 5"x7" prints
11"x14" fram + 11"x14" mat, for 8"x10" prints
Botanical Prints : The frames are pictured here with my Fall Botanical Collection $4-6/print, found here.  
Creamy Photo Mats : The creamy white mats are available here.

Warm Velvet Ribbon

This ribbon is so luscious.  The colors are warm and perfect for this season right through the holidays.  I've been tying it on baked goods, around bottles of wine and anything else that needs a little warmth or dressing up.  
1/4" velvet ribbon x 25 yards, $12 


Indigo Stripe Potholder & Oven Mitt

Sold separately.

You know I love seasonal accents, but sometimes I just need something classic and season-less when it comes to things like potholders.  I love elements like this for my kitchen that feel utilitarian and simple, yet beautifully designed.

$10-12

Indigo Stripe Apron

This is another kitchen classic that coordinates with the Oven Mitts and Potholders.  Utilitarian and beautiful design get me every time.

$30

Fluted Tart Pan, Rectangle, $24

I've coveted this shape of tart pan for so long.  It seems that anything made in it looks more chic and elegant.  Here, I've made a simple puff pastry (frozen) topped with sliced apples and brie.  It was so simple and yummy - and looked fabulous because it was made in this long elegant pan.

I also made a salted chocolate & caramel tart with brown sugar whipped cream and toffee crumbles... so. good.  I'll be sharing later.


I received our 9" Round Tart pan as a wedding gift and have used it countless times - truly an essential in my kitchen.  I use it for savory quiches, chocolate cream tarts and this caramel pecan tart.  Anything made in this tart pan turns out elegant and beautiful.
I'm planning to make an apple and cranberry crisp this weekend - I'll be sure to share.


Willow Serving Baskets, $32

These have been around for a while and are still so popular.  I use mine all of the time to turn very ordinary elements into something special looking.  They are great for transforming cheese and cracker appetizers to a company worthy display.



Olive Meena Print Napkins, Set of 4, $32

These warm toned block print napkins will be on our table every night this fall.  They also go perfectly with my Spode Woodland china pattern : )



Autumn Candles are back in every size - 6", 12" & 18" tapers.  It is the simplest way to update your home for Autumn.

Shop all candles, here.
































Brown & White, $16-18 for set of 3

The Brown & White Ceramic containers are back, too.  Last year I planted paperwhite bulbs for friends and gave them as hotess gifts.  They also make great centerpieces and vessels for anything from potted herbs to clementines.

Small Set of 3, $16
Medium Set of 2, $14
Square Set of 3, $28.50

My Everyday Candles, $24

I had a batch of my Everyday Candles poured into brown & white containers - the perfect transition to autumn.




Cozy Wraps

I'm entering an different realm here and a little out of my normal zone here on the blog : )

I'm not much of a style expert when it comes to trends, as I usually stick with simple classics.  I bought this new leather bag (Madewell) and it will be my daily companion for a couple of years.

The other essential that I will also ways have with me is a cozy wrap.  Because my outfits are pretty basic, I always have a wrap to change it up.  Last year my friend had this particular herringbone wrap and I was in love, so I tracked it down.  I also loved it because they were super affordable.  I bought several versions because I always need a varied supply : )

Deep Charcoal Herringbone, $32
Fawn Tan Herringbone, $32
Plaid Brown Blanket Scarf, $32 

This huge and heavy wrap could even be used as a throw over a side chair or a runner down the table - I've done both!


Plaid Camel, Cranberry & Brown Scarf, $18

This scarf has a touch of reddish cranberry/raspberry along with camel, brown and cream.  It looks great with my light blue chambray shirts.
And, for some restocks of the Classic Home Collection :

The LePens and Tablets have been restocked : )
And the very popular Grocery Tablets.
The Wheat Bundles are back from last year - so great for adding a natural element on your mantle or down the center of your table.
Finally, the Softest Throws Collection has been completely restocked, too.



Happy Autumn, Friends : )


Browse the entire Welcome, Autumn Collection, here >



Saturday, September 17, 2016

Orange Chicken | Fast & Easy Dinner


As you might remember, I'm a member of Martha's Circle.  This gives me special access to sponsorship programs through Martha Stewart Living advertisers.  This opportunity especially intrigued me as it is about making an easy dinner at home with real ingredients.  Thanks for joining me today and supporting my sponsor, Success® Rice.


For the last couple of weeks I've been talking all about Family Dinners.  I've shared some quick comfort food favorites of ours, ways we make family dinners special and some shortcuts to getting a yummy dinner on the table about 4 nights a week.  In addition to a great, quick recipe for dinner, the Martha team provided me with the supplies to create a simple DIY setting inspired by the menu.  These little touches are what turn an ordinary meal into an "everyday occasion" for your family.  And, when dinner only takes 15 minutes, I'm happy to spend 3 more minutes to make the table look cute :)

I have never had much success with making Chinese food at home.  Even my simple stir-fry doesn't turn out up-to-snuff with takeout from a Chinese restaurant.  When the team at Martha Stewart approached me about this Success® Rice opportunity, I was a bit skeptical that the recipe would stand up to Mike's favorite takeout meal, Orange Chicken.  I have to tell you, I am so impressed with this recipe - it really does do justice to the takeout version and I'm sure it is much healthier + it took all of 15 minutes to make start to finish.  

Express Orange Chicken

servings: 4 to 6

2 bags of Success® Rice  (I used Basmati)
1 cup orange marmalade
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon Asian hot sauce
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 package frozen broccoli florets (or fresh steamed)*
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts,
1-inch pieces
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
vegetable oil for frying
*green onions, chopped

Prepare rice according to package directions.

In medium bowl, combine marmalade, vinegar, hot sauce, ginger and soy sauce.  Mix thoroughly and set aside.  (*I heated the sauce in the microwave for 2 minutes to help the sauce meld together.) Prepare broccoli according to package directions and set aside.*
  
In a small bowl, combine chicken with egg and coat thoroughly.  In a separate bowl, combine cornstarch, flour, salt and pepper.  Remove chicken from egg and coat with cornstarch mixture.  Heat 1 inch of oil in 4 quart saucepan to 375 degrees F.  Fry chicken pieces in batches until light brown on all sides.  Remove cooked chicken and place on paper towels.  In large bowl, toss chicken with broccoli and marmalade mixture. 


Serve over hot rice.

*So, I totally forgot the broccoli.  I did want to add some green, though, so I added green onions at the end.  They added great color and flavor.  In the future, I will definitely add steamed broccoli and maybe even carrots, too, just to up the nutritional value.


The Success® Rice was a breeze and turned out perfectly... not usually the case at my house.  I didn't even have to scrub my pot after scorching the rice like I usually do : )  The boil-in-bag concept makes cooking the rice much easier than steaming.  



This is my marmalade sauce prepared.  I also microwaved it for about 2 minutes to thoroughly meld the ingredients together.  I think it made it much more sauce-like and helped it coat the chicken.


Cooking the rice.




I chunked the chicken into 1-inch pieces, them put them in a bowl, salted them and then added the egg.  I tossed the chicken around until coated.


In another bowl, I mixed the dry ingredients.  Then, I added the chicken one by one and turned to coat them.


I cooked the chicken in vegetable oil for about 3-4 minutes on each side.


Make sure you get them a little golden before you flip.




All of the ingredients are ready.  The next step is to add the chicken to the sauce (that I heated up).


Doesn't this really look like the real thing?  I have to say, I'm so impressed with this recipe.



Of course, this wouldn't be a Martha Stewart Living project if there wasn't a little DIY place setting involved.  The team sent along the supplies to make these Chinese inspired settings.  There are coins inside the envelope - which thrilled Emma.  I think she thought the tooth fairy had set the table.











The experience wouldn't be complete without takeout boxes for leftovers.  I packed these up for Mike's lunch the next day.


I'm so glad I tried this recipe - completely surprised by it.  Do you have any shortcut recipes like this that make it easier to cook quick family dinners?

Thanks to Martha's Circle and Success® Rice  for sponsoring this post.  All opinions are my own.

Home
fallpillows1
m47
home entertaining and ifestyle expert
pinterest
twitter
instagram
join the
contact
facebook
m56
m61
m62
m68
The Everyday Occasions Store: m46 m45 classichomedecor1 home m59 m57 recipe m65 m63 how we designed our classic IMG1660