Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Best Pie EVER!! It's Spiked too!

Ok, so, if you know me at all you know that I don't enjoy pie very much, especially apple pie. Well, my very talented friend Shauna introduced me to this incredible pie recipe that is like a mix of apple crisp/ crumble/ pie/ strudel smothered in the most delicious frosting. It is so much more than just an apple pie, it is heaven in my mouth. After tasting it all day (We had to keep testing it to make sure it wasn't just an illusion of goodness) hot, warm, and cold, we discovered it is fantastical cold!!!! SERIOUSLY, GO MAKE THIS NOW.........sooooo good. Your house will smell amazing afterwards too!
Here is the recipe, it's much easier than it looks. I don't do fussy.

Not your Regular Apple Pie:

-3 whole Large (4 Or 5 Small) Granny Smith Apples, Peeled, Cored, And Sliced Thin
-1/2 cup Brown Sugar
-1/2 cup Sugar
-1 Tablespoon All-purpose Flour
-1 cup Heavy Cream
-2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
-1/8 teaspoon Cinnamon

(I 1-1/2 this amount to make it even better!)
-7 Tablespoons Butter
-3/4 cups All-purpose Flour
-1/2 cup Brown Sugar
-1/4 cup Pecans (more To Taste)
-Dash Of Salt

Preparation Instructions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

-Roll out pie dough and place it in a pie pan. Decorate the edges as desired.

-Add apple slices to a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together cream, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, vanilla, and cinnamon. Pour over apples. Pour apples into pie shell.

-In the bowl of a food processor (or you can mix by hand) combine butter, flour, sugar, pecans (chop if you're not using a food processor), and salt. Mix until everything comes together in clumps. Pour topping over apples.

-Attach foil to the edges and lay a piece of flat foil loosely over the top of the pie. Place pie pan on top of a rimmed cookie sheet and bake for one hour. At the end, remove foil and allow to finish baking and browning. Can bake for up to 15 or 20 minutes more if necessary.

-Remove from oven when pie is bubbly and golden brown.
-MAKE SURE to chill in the fridge for several hours so it can set up. This is a pie that should be served chilled.
Hard Sauce:
-1 stick (1/2 Cup) Softened (not Room Temperature) Butter
- 1-1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
-2 Tablespoons Whiskey, More Or Less To Taste
Preparation Instructions
Beat butter in mixer with paddle attachment until fluffy. Add powdered sugar gradually until incorporated, scraping sides of the bowl twice during the process. Add whiskey and beat again, scraping the bowl to make sure everything gets mixed together.
Spoon into a bowl and serve, or keep in the fridge (it will last for days covered in plastic wrap) until you need it. NOTE: The hard sauce will harden in the fridge, so be sure to remove it at least a couple of hours before you want to serve. Hard sauce
should be smooth and easily spooned onto desserts.

Pie Crust:
{I just buy the store bought pre-made dough but here is a recipe to make your own dough.}

Ingredients1-1/2 cup Crisco (vegetable Shortening)
3 cups All-purpose Flour
1 whole Egg
5 Tablespoons Cold Water
1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
1 teaspoon Salt

Preparation Instructions
In a large bowl, with a pastry cutter, gradually work the Crisco into the flour for about 3 or 4 minutes until it resembles a coarse meal. In a small bowl, beat an egg with a fork and then pour it into the flour/shortening mixture. Add 5 tablespoons of cold water, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir together gently until all of the ingredients are incorporated.

Separate the dough into thirds. Form 3 evenly sized balls of dough and place each dough into a large Ziploc bag. Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten each ball of dough (about ½ inch thick) to make rolling easier later. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. (If you will be using it immediately it’s still a good idea to put in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes to chill.)
When you are ready to use the dough to make a crust, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for 15 minutes. On a floured surface roll the dough, starting at the center and working your way out. (Sprinkle some flour over top of the dough if it’s a bit too moist.) If the dough is sticking to the counter top use a metal spatula and carefully scrape it up and flip it over and continue rolling until it’s about ½ inch larger in diameter than your pie pan.

With a spatula, lift the dough carefully from the surface of the counter into the pie pan. Gently press the dough against the corner of the pan. Go around the pie pan pinching and tucking the dough to make a clean edge.
Pour yourself a glass of milk or throw on a scoop of ice cream and you will have yourself a very happy tummy.
This is Shauna! Thanks for sharing your incredible recipe with us!!!  Below is a picture of her hiking through caves to find the perfect apples for this pie...just kidding.

Coming next, how to make knock off Anthropologie mason jar snow globes!

Linking up to:

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Re-vamp your ikea furniture!

I am so thrilled! I was introduced to two fantastic sites that sell items to customize your Ikea furniture. I am so in love! I am going to redo everything I have for almost nothing! The first site is called Overlays by Danika and Cheryle. They have created the most beautiful, inexpensive and lightweight overlays to go over almost any Ikea furniture and many of your other pieces that need new life. The finished products look extremely high end. Here are some picture from their site. Go check them out for more inspiring ideas.

Courtney also had a fabulous idea to add nail head trim to his Ikea nightstands. I just love the way this looks! So sophisticated and masculine.

The other site is a place that does slipcovers for Ikea sofas at a very low price. It is called Comfort Works.
I will be ordering things from this fantastic company as well!

All of the pictures above were taken from the sites I mentioned.

Use the things you have and make them work for you and your home!

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas Vignettes Part 2

Good Afternoon! I hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday! What a gorgeous day it is! I wanted to share a few more Christmas vignettes today!
I set up a small tree on my vintage stack of luggage to raise it up and give it height, it is one of three trees in the room. I wanted the room to look like a wintery forest when I am all done, I still have a lot more to do!
One of the other trees is next to the front door on my green chippy fruit crate which is filled with Christmas goodies. The fruit crate is a perfect place to fill with party favors for people to grab when they head out after an evening of fun!

Look how it sparkles at night!
Like 99% of the furniture in my apartment, that wicker chair was a throw away that I painted. I love free!
I added a beautiful bird to the top. It's amazing how stacking this tree on luggage and a crate can make it seem much more grand than it normally would be on the floor. I purchased these trees a couple years back at Big Lots. They were 2 for $30 and they have this deal almost every year. They look fantastic on either side of a front door, that's where I will put them at our future villa!
I don't have a lot of space in my kitchen to do much decorating but I found some candied fruit in my stash and put them in my pedestal. It kind of reminds me of an oil painting. In the picture below I placed the antique decanter set from Turkey in front. It looked festive to me.

These darling little pots and poinsettias above are from the 99 cent store! I just love the things that place has! If mixed with nicer things, you'd never know it was from there! I will be placing my large tree in the back corner where the palm tree is. What are your decorating and baking plans?
I hope you enjoyed your weekend!

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

It's only just begun...Christmas Vignettes Part One

Hello everyone! I hope ya'll had a fantastic and safe Thanksgiving with your family and friends! Mine was quite lovely! Did everyone survive the Black Friday hustle and bustle? I avoid going out on that day like the plague! I don't enjoy the mean and pushy crowds and I kinda have a phobia of Santa hats (and by kinda, I mean they really make me upset) haha!
I decided I was going to stay in this weekend and start setting up my apartment using mostly things I already had instead of trying to fight the "friendly" Christmas shoppers. I'll be doing my major things later. I figured I'd let this whole Christmas set up be a drawn out production, since I enjoy decorating, baking etc. I thought I'd share a few pictures of what I have done so far. My home is usually bursting with bold color however, I decided I wanted a soft, snowy, Christmasy (is that a word?) look. I am sure it all will change a zillion times over the next few weeks since I enjoy too many different styles and colors.

Here is a portion of the area around my fireplace.

This is what it looks like lit up at night. I also wanted to show it unlit so you can see the details on the mantle.
I love mercury glass, silver and throwing in some natural elements like the starfish as well. I layered the candles at different heights and added sparkly berries, crystals and french newspaper cutouts to add some graphics. Stack books to add height and put mismatched items in the same color scheme to create interest.

I am kinda obsessed with birds this week.

I love putting candles in cages!
This arrangement above is made with a charger from the 99 cent store covered with greenery, berries and candles. I topped it off with a cage. It is sitting on an awesome green and silver snowflake place mat from Walmart (don't go there this weekend I hear it's scarier than normal).
Above, I filled a giant lantern with greenery and pine cones (lower than the candle so it doesn't catch fire) to create a little wonderland in there. By the way, isn't wonderland such a majestic word?
And now, for my unfinished bar area!
I added garland, berries and sheet music around my cafe chalkboard to change things up a bit. Ok, so it's not really sheet music, it's this beautiful wrapping paper I found at Homegood's that looked like sheet music.I tore the edges to give it an aged look and put them in the garland.
I also sprinkled some snow around the winner's cup and decanter. In arrangements, try to use different things for containers. Here I used a goblet for bottle stoppers and a winners cup for a wine bucket.
Look how cute this little bird is.

I just love baskets with greenery, pine cones and berries. It  looks woodsy and rustic.
I also added some ornaments and greenery to my "B"ee wall to Christmas it up a bit!
(By the way, it's hard to see but that is a print of a bee not a spider, it's wings are very faint.)
Now, on a different note.... I ended up painting the frame over my t.v. stand that used to be black, white. I love it! The white looks great with the fresh snowy Christmas look too. I'll show you pics of the gazelle head decorated for Christmas later :)

More Christmas decor ideas and recipes to come!! I hope you all have a fabulous and productive weekend! Please send me pictures of what you have done! I would love to show them off! Until next time

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