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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Individual Quiche Tarts | Make Ahead Easy Entertaining




I wish I had had thought of this when I had my catering business... my clients would've gone crazy for them.  I can't tell you how many brunches and ladies lunches I catered!  Baby shower brunches, wedding showers, holiday breakfasts, anniversary luncheons - all requesting quiche.  They would've loved these.

Not only would they be great for a party, but also great to keep in the freezer for holiday house guests.

When we have friends or family stay, I like breakfast to be a casual, help-yourself kind of thing - everyone can do their own thing while lounging and drinking coffee.  These would be perfect to make ahead of time and put out with scones (that you also made ahead and kept pre-baked in the freezer) and a bowl of berries.  Easy, and better than making everyone waffles or omelets.

I used basically the same recipe I use for a regular size, but divided it among my disposable Petite Tart Pans ($6 for 10).  They are naturally non-stick because they have a wax coating.





  They require quite a bit of filling, which is nice because it is a generous portion.  I recommend portioning 2 eggs for each pan.  Along with the classic egg, and half-and-half mixture you can add anything - here I did mushrooms, spinach, feta and chives.  

The other combo I made was ham, cheddar and chive (for Mike).


I love the idea of having a variety of combinations for people to choose from.  There were a couple of "everything" ones for me, and some veggie for Mike's Dad.




Here is the egg mixture recipe I used :

Basic Quiche Filling, for 6 Petite Quiche Tarts :
2 Pastry Crust = enough for 6 tart pans
12 eggs
1 1/4 cup of Half & Half
Salt & Pepper
1/4 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
*Cheese, Ham, Mushrooms, Peppers, Chives... etc!


Cut the crusts into circles, about 1 inch bigger than the pans, then press them in.  Fill with cheese, meats and veggies.  Pour egg mixture in.


Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until golden and puffed.  You need to bake them a little longer than you might think because the crust on the bottom needs time to brown.


Aren't they pretty!  Your guests will love them.






I served ours with Orange Cranberry Scones.  They are great to make ahead of time and keep in the freezer or refrigerator.  They bake for just 15 minutes, so they don't take much time at all in the morning.  You can also make the orange glaze for them ahead of time, or the morning of if you "need" something to do : )



















Products Featured :

Petite Tart Pans, $6 for 10

Red & Natural Gingham Plaid Tea Towel (under tart pan), 2 for $28

Red & Natural Striped Tea Towel (under plate), 2 for $28

Parchment Pan Liners, $8 for 100




Monday, November 24, 2014

All My Thanksgiving Recipes, Worksheets, Photos & Tables


This is a post I share every year, and each year I update it with some of the new recipes I've added  - Hello, Kale Salad and Petite Pecan Pies.  I've also included the link to my Thanksgiving Planning Worksheets (below) to help you with your scheduling for the week... it is "go" time for those of you hosting! 

It is always fun putting this post together - all of my Thanksgiving recipes and posts from the last 5 years.  I love seeing how my photography and style has evolved.  Somethings haven't changed, like Baked Brie with Pecans being the best appetizer for Thanksgiving, and the BEST Turkey recipe that starts with a bottle of white wine and a pound of butter : ) Hope you enjoy and it helps you prepare for the big day.

Even though we're not hosting this year (big house update coming tomorrow or wednesday!), we have a busy week making teachers' gifts for school, gifts for my work helpers, gathering flowers for centerpieces and getting ready for a holiday packed weekend.  This weekend marks the start of the most wonderful time of the year.  The old "kids" (as in me, my sister, brother and our husbands/girlfriends) going to the Mizzou football game, heading to the Christmas tree farm and Emma having fun with her "best" cousin, as she calls them.  I can't wait  :) 
Here is a link to download my Thanksgiving Worksheets.  They will help you go on autopilot for the day so you can enjoy yourself and know that everything will be perfectly timed... or at least most things.   You will be prompted to add your email before the lists download, just FYI.  This adds you to my email list so you can stay updated on new posts and specials I have for the store.  I'm trying to decide what I'll be doing for Black Friday... any ideas?!


Kale, Pumpkin Seed, Apple & Cranberry Salad

This is what I'm making for our Thanksgiving at Mike's parents house - we had it earlier this Fall (when this photo was taken...) and they've requested it for Thanksgiving.  Always nice to have something fresh and crunchy in addition to such an indulgent meal.

 

Thanksgiving Planner | Traditional Herb Stuffing Recipe | Sage & Thyme Dressing Recipe



 The Best Classic Mashed Potatoes | Potato Ricer

This is what I'm making for my Mom's Thanksgiving - I'm making them ahead of time and we'll bake them to reheat.   She's having a crowd of 14 Adults and 7 kids, so I think I'm going to make 15 pounds to make sure we have lots of leftovers... I better start peeling potatoes today.   She's having all of our cousins from her side of the family, just like we used to when we were kids, but haven't done in almost 5 years since we all started having kids.  I'm excited for the house to be buzzing and kids to be everywhere like old times.  

Holidays | Entertaining | Thanksgiving Planner | Countdown Day 9 | Roasted Turkey & Gravy Recipes

One thing that I highly recommend, is trying the Turkey recipe I have posted from Martha Stewart.  We stared using this method a couple of years ago and everyone goes crazy over it.  You stuff the bird with lemon, garlic, thyme, and sage, then baste it with a mixture of a bottle of chardonnay and 4 sticks of butter.  It makes the most unbelievable pan drippings for gravy.  Turkey is usually a little bland, but this recipe makes it amazing.





 

Pecan Tart | A New Twist on a Classic Pecan Pie Recipe


Petite Pecan Pies with Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream

 


Pumpkin Cream Tart


Chocolate Cream Tart with Pecan Shortbread Crust

 Thanksgiving Table Setting | DIY Flower Pumpkin Centerpiece, Woodland China, Hemstitch Linens, Pewter Flatware & Rustic Glassware

 

Thanksgiving Table : Pears, Bittersweet, Velvet & Linen


Holidays | Entertaining | Thanksgiving Planner | Countdown Day 3 | Table Setting Tools & Inspiration | Thanksgiving Table Setting & House Decor

Holidays | Entertaining | Thanksgiving Planner | Countdown Day 3 | Table Setting Tools & Inspiration | Thanksgiving Table Setting & House Decor



Thanksgiving & Holiday Products! Wheat Centerpiece | Grosgrain Ribbon | Stationary | Kraft Loaf Pans 

Enjoy this week of planning - my favorite part of Thanksgiving... getting everything ready!

Jenny

Friday, November 21, 2014

New Holiday Collection! Linens, Wreaths, Bulb Baskets, Tissue Paper...


Holiday Collection

Last week I came out with a few of my holiday products (handmade Copper Cookie Cutters!) for those of you who were ordering some items for Thanksgiving.  Today, all of my Holiday products are up and available.   I'm not going to go into great detail about each new product today, because I'll be doing that throughout the holiday season.

You'll find my favorite Preserved Boxwood Wreath, 4" Red Satin Ribbon, festive Linens, new Kraft Bags and Boxes, Tissue Paper and (one of my favorites) Bulb Baskets for Amaryllis and Paperwhites.  There are essentials for holiday baking (Monkey Bread Pans!), festive things for your home and gifts - for yourself and your favorite people.

Explore the entire Holiday Collection, here.

I'm taking a little bit of a different approach to the season - instead of jumping ahead and doing all of my baking and decorating for the season a month ahead of time so I can take photos for the store (like I've done for Easter, Summer, Fall and Halloween...), I'm going to take my time and enjoy my favorite season.  So, instead of all of my photos and baking projects coming out in one day, I'm spreading them throughout the holiday season- like a real person : )   I learned my lesson this Halloween when Oct. 31st rolled around and Emma and I didn't even decorate cookies together because I had done it back in September.

Because I know you are all creative and inspired readers, I know you'll have great ideas for the products, too.  So, fix yourself a cup of peppermint tea and enjoy exploring my entire Holiday Collection!

Happy Holidays!
Jenny

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Annual New England Trip | Concord, Ma. & Woodstock, Vt.


As most of you know, we lived in Concord, Ma. for a short time a couple of years ago.  It was where I was pregnant with Emma and where we lived until she was 10 months old.  We moved back home to the Kansas City area to be closer to family.  I am so glad we did move back "home" but there are a lot of things I miss about the New England area.  Mike still works for the same company and travels back to the Boston area almost monthly.  Each year his company has a week worth of budget meetings in mid-November, so Emma and I tag along.

Last year we visited Nantucket and stayed in Boston and piddled around the Public Garden and Beacon Hill.  Emma was really good at being content in her stroller then, and took frequent naps as I pushed her around, in and out of shops and cafes.  As I type it as a memory is sounds very lovely and nice, but I also remember some fits mid-lunch, candy bribery to stay in the stroller and an occasional boutique breakdown, too - don't worry.

This year I learned my lesson a bit and now as a very active almost 3-year-old she likes the stroller even less.   She likes to run and explore.  I can usually talk her into a stroller ride at home, so I can exercise, but usually have to dub it as a "treasure hunt."  Instead of fighting the stroller in the city for the entire week, I decided that we'd enjoy relaxing out in the country in Concord, just as we did when we lived there.  We spent our week visiting old friends and bopping from The Toy Store to the Barefoot Bookstore to the Main Street Cafe and all of our favorite old spots - living small town life.



I didn't take too many photos of Emma and I running around town during the week, because it was just the two of us - you may have seen some on Insta.  I have found that the older she gets, the harder it is for me to take those sweet, beautiful photos of her - because we're too busy moving and playing.   Am I the only one that has discovered this?   When she was tiny it was easy to keep up with her and snap photos, but now my time behind the camera seems less fun for her and too distracting.

These few photos of us were taken in the Concord Town Center by Mike on Friday morning before we all headed to Vermont for the weekend.



Taking Dad to her "New Favorite" Toy Store... and telling him all about the new Sleeping Beauty Lego Duplo she's got her eye on.  She can't stop talking about it. 


We set out at noon for Vermont - Woodstock is about a 2 and a half hour trip.  All beautiful.



I couldn't get enough of all of the charming farmhouses along the way - rural Mass and Vermont (and the entire New England area...) is filled with them.



Our first stop was Simon Pearce.  We've been there before, but it never gets old.




The "factory" and the store sits over a waterfall by this covered bridge.


Inside they have a showroom/store that carries their beautiful hand-blown glass and other local treasures.  And the most amazing cafe.  So, so good.

The cafe sits over the waterfall - It kept Emma mostly entertained during lunch... and yes, that is a cake pop.  I ordered a big glass of wine, so I needed to buy myself some time to enjoy it.  Life lessons.



The food was amazing.  So, soooo good.  This is what I had - roasted salmon with some sort of sweet mustard cream sauce.  I need to figure it out.


Emma's corn and ricotta ravioli - which she barely ate any of... I was happy to help her out : )


Downstairs they have the actual factory where each piece is made by hand.   This is not a sponsored post, I swear - I just really love this place :)





The holiday collection - do those candles look familiar?


Creative Candles, same maker of the candles I carry, also makes Simon Pearce candles (and lots of other private brands - Neimans, Martha Stewart, Williams-Sonoma, etc.).  These are all colors I have in my store, too, just with his label on them.  I don't have the silver metallic - should I consider?


I especially loved this ice bucket and the lantern with the pewter trim.  Love that they also have the wheat bundles, too... good taste ; )

I have another "factory" tour of a new find to share with you later - it deserves its own special post.


We continued down the road to Woodstock, Vt.  It is (in my humble opinion) the most charming little small town in the area.  It is just so quaint, small, but luxurious and special.


I love little towns like this that seem to be stuck in time.  The air is so clean and fresh - and laced with burning wood-smoke from everyone's chimneys.




The Rockefellers also loved Woodstock so much that they built The Woodstock Inn (where we stay).  They also had a farm here and helped keep the town so beautiful and authentic.  I told Mike that I'd also like to build a resort and also restore an entire small town.  He thinks I'm joking (or crazy).

This is not a photo (above) from this trip, but one from our trip two years ago (in February).  I forgot to take a photo of the exterior this time.  It is a sprawling, old style Inn that has been completely updated and restored.  Now it has a clean, farmhouse feel.  You can see more photos of the interior in the link above from our trip before.


Emma warmed her hands in the foyer by the largest wood fireplace in the I've ever seen.


We headed back outside for some exploring before it got dark, which it tends to do around 4pm.  Talk about good hibernating weather.


This is what Vermont looks like at every turn - I feel like there are little churches peaking through the woods, nestled on every hill.


This was one of my favorite farms.   Wood barn, tone-on-tone green/blue house, pond, stone walls...







It will definitely be going in my book of inspirational clips.

Emma loves a chocolate on the pillow - remember from our Bachelor Gulch trip last year?

The next morning we went to Billings Farm to see some dairy farm animals take a wagon ride.













This might be another framer for our "favorite spots" gallery wall in the new house.  I have no idea where it will be, though.

Sunbathing beauties.












Or this one?  I do love the sheep in this one.


We thought they looked like Mr. Darcy!




These two watching a movie as I was leaving for the spa...


Which was right outside our window.  It is glorious.  It has an outdoor whirlpool by a wood-burning fireplace, and a cedar sauna - being outside with the cold air, breathing in the wood smoke is my idea of a perfect spot.  We spent the rest of the weekend just "brelaxing" (as Emma would say) and taking turns at the spa and playing games with Emma.


When we woke up the last morning of our trip, Emma thought it was Christmas : )


Can't imagine why?


I wanted to turn back around and stay and "brelax" for the entire week.


I was trying to get a photo that showed how incredibly huge and fluffy the snowflakes were - like clumps falling.  Very Vermont-y.




Singing Jingle Bells.

It was the best way to end a really, really lovely weekend.  And the perfect way to head home and start the transition to the Holidays.   It is amazing what a relaxing trip can do for your spirit.  I am feeling so full, so thankful and so in love with my two favorite people.  We are officially ready for the Holidays : )
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