Snowy days….

I was finishing up the chore of placing outdoor lights and wreaths! but the question is are we really ever done? Are you done?…

…..sigh……

So now I have to finish gift shopping and then food shopping, then start baking & cooking……..

I promised myself not another Christmas ornament will be hung!

In the midst of all that, I finally hung my heirloom mirror over the mantle in the Dining Room…….I couldn’t wait to see it up…..lovely isn’t it? I’ve had the mirror for almost forty years and my mom had it long before that…its gold leafed and is circa 1900’s…. It has survived three moves, has fallen off the wall twice and my mom hit it with her vacuum……it was leaning up against the wall while my dad was painting!

 

miror 9

There are few hairline cracks and chips but I don’t care……I love this piece……for the history it has been part of long before my family owned it……

miror 8

miror 10

Finally got the center hall tree up……Whew! it was a job this year……but it’s done……here are a few of my favorite pieces….I collected Denise Calla for years and always put them on the front of the tree…..all my Santa’s stay out during the year, but not these pieces…maybe I should make room somewhere….seems a shame to only appreciate them at  Christmas…….

tree 17tree 18tree 21It was so miserable out yesterday I decided to try this recipe, Chocolate-Caramel Tart, from an old Christmas book I have….it came out great and tastes wonderful….I think it will be on the menu for Christmas Eve!  (Recipe at the end of this post).

 tart blog 1

CHOCOLATE-CARMEL TART

(This can be made a few days ahead)

CRUST

1 cup of all purpose flour

3 tbs. sugar

1 tsp.. grated lemon peel

1/8 tsp. salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 large egg

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

CHOCOLATE FILLING

1/4 cup whipping cream

6 oz. bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

CARAMEL FILLING

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup whipping cream

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 teasp. vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

FOR CRUST:                       (IF YOUR DEATHLY AFRAID OF MAKING A CRUST LIKE I AM – HAVE A GLASS OF WINE FIRST!)

Blend flour, sugar, lemon peel and salt in processor for five seconds.  Add butter, yolk and vanilla and process until large moist clumps form.  Gather dough into a ball; knead briefly to combine well.  Flatten into a disk.  Wrap in plastic; refrigerate dough until firm enough to roll, about thirty minutes.

Roll out dough between sheets of plastic wrap to 11-12 inch round.  Peel off top sheet of plastic.  Turn dough over; press into 9″ tart pan with removable bottom.  Peel off plastic.  Fold in any access dough, forming double-thick sides.  Pierce all over with a fork.  FREEZE 15 mins. (Can be prepared one week ahead; keep frozen).       (STILL AFRAID? HAVE MORE WINE….)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bake crust 10 minutes.  Using back side of fork, press crust flat if bottom bubbles.  Continue to bake crust until it is golden, about ten minutes (Crust sides may shrink slightly).  Transfer to rack until cool.

FOR CHOCOLATE FILLING:

Bring cream to boil in heavy medium saucepan.  Remove pan from heat.  Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Spread 1 cup chocolate filing in prepared crust.  Refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes.  Reserve remaining filling in saucepan.

FOR CARAMEL FILLING:

stir sugar and 1/3 c of water in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves.  Increase heat and boil until syrup is amber color, brushing down sides with wet pastry brush and swirling pan occasionally, about 8 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add cream, butter, vanilla and salt (mixture will bubble up).  Return pan to very low heat; stir until caramel is smooth and color deepens, about five minutes.  Refrigerate uncovered until cool but not firm, about 20 minutes.

Spoon caramel filling over chocolate filling.  Pipe or drizzle reserved chocolate filling decoratively over caramel (If chocolate is too firm to pour, warm slightly over low heat).  Refrigerate tart until caramel is firm, at least 1 hour.  (Can be made 2 days ahead.  Cover; keep chilled).

So what have you accomplished so far? Please share!!!!!!!

Have a wonderful day……..

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Comments

  1. Your mirror is perfect, even if it has a few nicks from over the years! It’s like the center point of your other gold touches in the room and looks wonderful on the new gray walls. And I’d find a place for those Denise Calla ornaments. I’ve never seen anything like them.

    • Thanks Dewena…..I love my Denise Calla pieces……I have the whole set of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, and at least ten of her Santa’s…..maybe I’ll do a post before Christmas and showcase these pieces…..Hope your well, and not snowed in!
      L.

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