Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall Treats

My parents live on an apple orchard that is about 25 acres. Much of it is leased to a commercial company that uses them for cider but there are still plenty of apple left over in the fall for yummy treats. While on the hunt for something new, I found the above, mini apple pies, baked in muffin tins! Both the picture and the recipe come from here. I haven't made this yet but it is on my list for this weekend!.

Muffin Tin Apple PiesMakes 6 pies in a Texas muffin pan 
Pastry dough

  • 2½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 sticks frozen butter (1 cup)
  • 10 Tbsp. ice-cold water

  • 6 large Granny Smith apples
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, plus more for greasing
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. maple sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Coarse sugar, for sprinkling
In a food processor, pulse the flour, salt and brown sugar several times. Cut the frozen butter into 8 pieces, add it to the flour mixture, and pulse until the butter is combined and the mixture is the consistency of coarse bread crumbs.
With the food processor on low, add the water 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together. 
Place the dough on a floured surface, knead a few times and form it into a ball. Cut the dough in half, flatten it into two disks, wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or overnight). 
While the dough is chilling, peel the apples and cut them into ½-inch dice. In a pan on medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the apples, cinnamon and sugar and toss to combine.
Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the apples are still firm, but can be just pierced with a fork. Set the apples aside to cool slightly. 
Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a muffin tin liberally with butter.
Place the chilled dough on a well-floured surface and roll it out to about ¼-inch thickness, and set it aside. Repeat with the second piece of dough. 
Cut out 6 circles of dough to fit the muffin tins, then press each one evenly into the tin to fill the base and line the sides; the dough should be even with the top of the tin.
Cut the dough for the top crusts (they suggest a drinking glass works as a size gauge), and cut a small opening in each.
Fill the pies to the brim with apples.
Use a finger to lightly moisten the edges of the top crusts and bottom crusts with the beaten egg wash to help the pies stay together.
Place the top crusts on—egg wash side down—and press each down gently to connect with the bottom crusts. Brush the tops of the pies with egg wash, and sprinkle with coarse sugar. 
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the crusts are nice and golden. Allow the pies to cool for 10 minutes before removing them from the muffin tin. 

Serve with vanilla ice cream. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Fun Find, Paper Source

In my rambling around the internet I found a cool company called Paper Source and ordered this fun craft kit from them for the upcoming Christmas season. The kit comes with all the supplies necessary to make this neat poinsettia wreath. Click here to go to the page.
They also have this beautiful peony one which you can find here. It looks a little harder than the poinsettia one so I think I am going to wait until I complete the first one before ordering but I am already picturing how perfect it will be on my front door at Easter! They also have cards and stationary and a bunch of other cool craft kits. I'll report back once I complete the wreath above and let you know how it goes but I think they are well worth taking a look! Happy Monday to everyone!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Proper Table Settings

I know, I know, once again I have been gone for ages. If you are still out there checking in, my humblest apologies. Life has been insane but I keep finding that something pulls me back to this blog so here I am. I've been doing a lot of thinking and fine tuning bits and pieces of my life recently so I have lots to share. In the mean time, as the holiday season approaches, I saw this on Pinterest and thought it seemed like a good thing to share. I have been working hard on the manners of the three kids in my life and table setting has been a recent focus. My  biggest weaknesses has always been remembering whether the spoon goes inside the knife or vice versa. I'm not hosting Thanksgiving this year, my mom is but I'm sure I will be setting the table (not to mention doing dishes!)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Monday Dress Boutique

I've been a fan of Marley Lilly for some time and consider it on of my go to places for monogramed gifts and cute looks. The same folks have launched The Monday Dress Boutique and there's some cute stuff. I am really liking the red and white striped skirt and the sailboat tunic below. Click here to check it out. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Wardrobe Workhorse - The White Shirt

Time for another look at a "wardrobe workhorse" - the white button down shirt. My personal favorite in this category are the no-iron slim fit version from Brooks Brothers. They wear like iron and I never have to use the iron! (pun intended). I also like the ones from Banana Republic but I find they yellow around the collar and under the arms more rapidly than the ones from Brooks Brothers. If you aren't going to go the no-iron route, then the Haberdashery shirts from J Crew are nice and wear fairly well. I seriously can't get enough of these. I wear then during the week to my business casual office with wool trousers and pencil skirts and on the weekends with jeans or capris. I always have at least 2 in my rotation. Truly a must have. Agreed? or disagree? Discuss!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Love This!

One of my favorite preppy bloggers is the lovely Carley over at College Prepster. She featured this blazer on her blog last week. Click here to see the post. It is the Cambridge blazer in Chambray by Two Penny Blue. Check out the monogram under the popped collar. I can totally see this with white jeans on a cool summer night! The Two Penny Blue web site described the blazer as follows:
"Inspired by the traditional British schoolboy jacket, this heritage piece is the perfect classic updated with a flattering fit, and a luxurious cotton blend. Impeccable tailoring and detail. Slightly fitted through sleeve and nipped in at the waist for a flattering and feminine silhouette. Notched lapel. Small handkerchief pocket at chest. Flap pockets slightly slanted at waist. Beautiful crested gold buttons add a heritage feel. Two gold buttons on front and three functional buttons on each cuff.  Back of collar and inside of sleeves lined a with cotton tan and white stripe fabric so sleeves can easily be rolled and collar popped to create a different look. Coral piping detail along lining of blazer. Optional monogram to match coral piping, see detais below. Double vent in back for comfort. A piece so perfect you'll reach for it everyday!
The Cambridge Blazer is a one-of-a-kind, Limited Edition piece.
Proudly made with quality and care in the USA."

The best part is the for every blazer sold, the donate a school uniform to a girl in need in Africa.  

Monday, June 9, 2014

In the Pursuit of Polish

If I had to chose a word that represents how I present myself to the outside it would be polished. I've always been a classic dresser and not trendy in the least but I've always felt that polish eludes me.
This top outfit is my favorite casual look. Dark jeans, nice top, usually white but often striped, blazer (either black or navy), flats and a big tote. I might swap the blazer for a draped cardi but this is pretty much my casual uniform. 

And this is pretty much my work uniform. Nice trousers, pretty top, jewelry and nice bag. I have foot issues so I mostly wear flats. My color scheme tends towards black, gray and camel with red and forest green as my accent colors.
For years it's felt like I have all the pieces but somehow they don't add up. I've finally decided that the piece of polish that I've been missing is the confident attitude that goes with it. My clothes and accessories are fine, it's the me inside them that's the final piece. How about you? What word best describes you and how did you figure it out?