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Posts Tagged ‘Martha Stewart’

8 ITEMS TO HELP MAKE YOUR HOUSE GUESTS FEEL COMFORTABLE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

The Guest Room

A good reading lamp, soft sheets and a cozy blanket provide a sense of comfort for those traveling far from home. Adding a box of chocolates and good reading material is also a nice touch depending how long you wish your guests to actually stay. For those of you living in smaller quarters, with a little imagination almost any part of your home could become a guest room. Once, I turned the dining room of our tiny Venice bungalow into a guest room for a friend staying for a week.

Whether your home is large or small the 8 items suggested below could apply to any size abode. It’s all about one’s attitude — being flexible and working with what you have.

A task lamp to give the perfect light for late night reading. This one is from Restoration Hardware but Target and Lamps Plus have similar ones as well.

A small bedside tray to house your guests jewelry, coins and spent candy wrappers. This “Dot Tray” is from Jayson Home & Garden.

A bedside carafe for water — from Crate & Barrel

A nice smelling candle for the dresser. The Fedora Patch Candle is from Jayson Home & Garden.

A throw for chilly days/nights

Slip on slippers to fit any foot size

Fresh flowers or anything green from your garden (or supermarket).

Another great thing to have when guest arrive is the aroma of something special on the stove or in the oven. So, I have also included my favorite comfort dish recipe, Braised Chicken with Shallots. It’s great because you can make it the day before and just reheat when you are ready.

Ingredients

8- Bone-in skinless chicken thighs (about 2 1/2 pounds total)

coarse salt and ground pepper

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound small shallots (about 12), peeled and halved

5 garlic cloves, peeled and halved

1/2 cup dry white wine

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 pint cherry tomatoes halved

Fresh tarragon leaves for garnish (optional)

Directions

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper; coat with flour, shaking off excess.

2. In a Dutch oven or 5-quart pot with a tight-fitting lid heat oil over medium-high. Cook chicken until browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove and set aside.

3. Add shallots and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add wine; cook until evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in mustard and 1 1/2 cups water; bring to a boil.

4. Return chicken, bone side down, to pot. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until chicken is tender and cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate; loosely tent with aluminum foil to keep warm. Add tomatoes to pot; season with salt and pepper. Cook on high until sauce has thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and return chicken to pot; cook until heated through. Serve, garnished with tarragon, if desired.

Serves 4

The recipe (and photo) for Braised Chicken with Shallots are from Martha Stewart.com

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For those of you, like myself, who are just getting started on Halloween decorations, I have collected a couple of ideas to inspire the child in all of us.

These are quite amazing and beautiful. If you have the tenacity for one of these they would be lovely to have around. From MarthaStewart.com.

Love these spiders. A fun craft project from Country LivingClick here for the details.

A slithery serpent wreath from Martha Stewart.com

This one is my favorite, and if I run out of time or patience to do the owls, I can at least spray paint some twigs black and call it a day. This is also from Martha Stewart. com.

Only 14 days away!

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