Sunday, September 29, 2013

crunch top apple pie


dough and filling:

  • dough for a double crust 9-inch pie (homemade, or refrigerated)
homemade really flaky pie crust   (or buy pillsbury)
makes enough dough for one double or two single-crust pies.
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks  unsalted butter,  cold
  • (keep a cup of ice water on the side)
in a large bowl whisk together 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of salt. dice two sticks cold unsalted butter into 1/2-inch pieces.
sprinkle the butter cubes over the flour and begin working them in with the pastry blender, using it to scoop and redistribute the mixture as needed so all parts are worked evenly. when all of the butter pieces are the size of tiny peas  this won’t take long — stop.  even if it looks uneven.
start by drizzling 1/2 cup of the ice-cold water over the butter and flour mixture. using a rubber  spatula, gather the dough together. you’ll probably need an additional 1/4 cup  of cold water to bring it together, but add it a tablespoon as a time. once you’re pulling large clumps with the spatula, take it out and get your hands in there.  gather the clumps together into one mound, kneading them together.
divide the dough in half, and place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap.
let the dough chill in the fridge for one hour, before rolling it out.
dough will keep in the fridge for about a week, and in the freezer longer.
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • dash salt
  • 4 1/2 cups peeled, chopped cooking apples
  • 8 oz apple sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter, chopped into small pieces
crunch topping:
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • dash salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature


preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

line a 9-inch pie pan with half of dough.  combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. stir in apples, applesauce, and lemon juice. spoon apple mixture into pie plate and dot with butter. cut remaining crust into strips; arrange in a lattice design over top of pie. for crunch topping, combine flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. using a fork, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. sprinkle over top of crust. bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees F and continue to bake for about 50 minutes, or until crust and topping are golden brown.

enjoy, xo

Friday, September 27, 2013

accentuate the positive.

was there something that  happened this week that made you feel a deep appreciation for someone?  or something that really connected you to someone or made you feel energized?  maybe it was a surprise encounter with a person or nature or spirit.  maybe you intentionally changed your thoughts and created feelings of freedom, love, courage, feeling sexy,  or brave.  
perhaps you found beauty or beauty found you and it blew you away.   (via danielle laporte).
remember it and document it. 
it totally helps you see the beauty in your life.
mine was a beautiful necklace received in the mail engraved with a fortune of "magic is something you make" 
it's everywhere.
love sent, xo

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

late september...

it's early morning.

i close my eyes and wish for another hour of sleep.
there is a hot shower and coffee.
a chill in the air and a bed to be made.
a buzzing black berry and a chock- full in box.
a desire to just sit and watch the morning light on the grass.
there are your eyes and the safety they harbor.
the lifetime they speak.
a slow ride to work and a reminder of patience.
an unanswered phone call and a txt with some dinner plans.
thoughts of new ideas for the house and a vacation on the horizon.
may i remember today to say yes to laughter.
today is tuesday.  an ordinary day.
filled with everything and nothing.

love sent, xo

Monday, September 23, 2013

happy monday...

some of my favorite things this month

  • the beautiful fall weather.  warm days,  cool nights
  • my new fall mantle
  • the promise of wearing cozy socks soon
  • long walks
  • football
  • the new restaurant we have been frequenting
  • making homemade pasta

  • making all sorts of things from the abundance of garden produce
  • coconut shampoo and conditioner
  • less coffee and more tea with honey

the sky is blue and all is quiet at the moment.

love sent, xo

Sunday, September 22, 2013

baked eggs in stuffed peppers.

makes 6 servings     ( as you will see i made 4 so i cut the amounts down just a bit)

3 sweet bell peppers, red, orange and yellow
2 T. butter
1 t. olive oil
1/2 cup onion diced
1 can of hash (or you can make your own)
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
2 T. ricotta cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
6 eggs
2 cups prepared marinara sauce

preheat oven to 400 degrees

cut peppers in half and remove ribs and seeds. place cut side up in a microwave bowl
add 1/3 c water to bowl.  sprinkle peppers with kosher salt and cover with plastic wrap. 
microwave on high for 5 minutes.  remove and set aside.
heat large skillet over medium heat add butter and olive oil .  add garlic and cook for 1 minute
add onion and sauté for 2 -3 minutes.  add hash mixture to pan and heat through about 5 minutes.  remove from heat and stir in ricotta.  taste and season with salt and pepper.
pour marinara sauce on the bottom of a baking dish.  place peppers cut side up into dish. 
spoon 1/2 cup of hash mixture into each pepper.  carefully break egg into a small ramekin and slowly pour each egg into pepper being careful not to overflow egg. repeat with each remaining peppers.
season with salt and pepper and bake for 12 minutes or until whites of eggs are set. 
serve each pepper with sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

great for brunch.

love sent, xo

cinnamon swirls

leftover pie dough
softened butter
cinnamon and sugar

 roll out pie dough scraps into a rectangle. spread with a layer of butter. sprinkle generously with cinnamon and sugar. roll into a spiral. cut crosswise into slices.
bake at 375º for 10 to 15 minutes
keep an eye on them; they brown quickly at the end.

love sent, xo

Saturday, September 21, 2013

saturday morning breakfast...

apple pancake
2 tablespoons butter
3 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 large eggs
1/2 cup almond milk (or regular milk)
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)

preheat oven to 375.
combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
whisk together eggs and milk.
mix together flour and baking powder and stir it into the egg/milk mixture.
in a skillet, heat butter, add the apple slices and 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar mixture and cook, stirring, until soft. about 5 minutes.
pour the batter over the apples and sprinkle the remaining brown sugar on top.
bake until it puffs up, about 18-20 minutes.
dust with a little powdered sugar.

love sent, xo

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

blueberry, almond, banana bread with sugared almond topping

2 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
4 ripe bananas,  mashed
4 tbsp. unsalted butter melted and cooled to room temperature
1/3 c plain greek yogurt
1 egg slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c blueberries
1/2 c sliced almonds
1/2 c white chocolate chunks

1/4 c sliced almonds
1 tbsp. unsalted butter melted and cooled to room temperature
1 tbsp. sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

preheat oven to 350 line a loaf pan with parchment paper grease the pan and the parchment paper well.
in a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. set aside.
in another bowl stir together the topping ingredients until the almonds are evenly coated. set aside.

in a bowl mix together the mashed bananas, melted and cooled butter, greek yogurt, egg, extracts, and sugar until combined well.  fold in the flour mixture just until combined.  fold in the blueberries
white chocolate and almonds. scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. sprinkle
with the sugared almond topping mixture and bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.  cool on rack before serving.


love sent, xo

grilled butternut squash

2 small  butternut squash
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbs butter (melted)
2 tsp grated orange peel
4 tbsp. maple syrup
1/4 cup chopped pecans

gas grill for direct heat. cut four pieces of heavy-duty foil. Cut each squash lengthwise in half; remove seeds. place squash half, cut side up, on each piece of foil. sprinkle with salt.
in small bowl, mix butter, orange peel and 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup. brush over squash halves. fold foil over squash so edges meet. Seal edges, making tight 1/2-inch fold; fold again.
cover and grill packets over medium-low heat 50 to 60 minutes, rotating packets 1/2 turn after 25 minutes, until squash is tender. 
sprinkle pecans over squash; drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons maple syrup.

simple and fantastic.

love sent, xo

sometimes life is not so sunny..

some days are really lousy huh?  yeah,  i thought you would agree.
this week is not on my list of top moments... the weekend was challenging with some difficult
information received.   but you have been knocked down before and you will make it. we are here for you and will continue to be.  one. day. at. a. time. a life that can't lose hope.  you are so inspiring and you amaze us all the time.   please continue to amaze us. please.
i will also continue to pray for our neighbor jim, our love goes out to him and his family.
of course getting sick didn't help to make my attitude any brighter.  monday i didn't even make it in to work.  i don't think i have ever called in sick which i really should be very grateful for, but... ugh. i am not a good patient. it's way too soon in this season to get sick.  but that's what you get from being run down...

but on the sunny side of things, last night at about 8:00 pm my door bell rang and when i opened the door the little boy across the street (3 years old)  was standing there with his mom holding a plate of hot just out of the oven cookies.  
seriously... you made my week little one.   you are the sweetest.  thank you.

i only wish i got a picture.

it's already wednesday tho so we are winding down.

love sent, xo

Friday, September 13, 2013

breathing easy...

i have hit the wall and i am calling it a week.  work was super busy, but the universe has a way of looking out for people,  i really believe it.  i am grateful, so very grateful..  thank you.  i have such a super boss and amazing people in my life. 
when i have the most on my plate i run straight to the arms of food.  maybe it's a distraction or a passion.  maybe it's a little bit of both.  in any case, it always brings me peace.

last night we went to a fancy wine dinner so tonite i want to keep it simple.

the salad...
presentation is everything....  this is super easy and looks beautiful.

and the sandwich

spinach and artichoke grilled cheese sandwiches
makes 2 sandwiches
splash of olive oil
1 small clove garlic
3 cups (or 3 big handfuls) baby spinach
4 slices bread
2 tablespoons cream cheese
1/3-1/2 cup grated or crumbled jack cheese
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup coarsely chopped canned artichoke hearts, drained
1 heaping tablespoon sour cream
large pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon butter, for grilling the sandwiches
in a small skillet, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. add garlic and saute for 30 seconds. add spinach leaves and saute until wilted. spinach just wilts in a hot pan. remove spinach from skillet, place in a medium bowl and set aside.
spread each slice of bread with a bit of cream cheese. you don’t need much. we’re using it as edible sandwich glue.
squeeze or press as much liquid as possible out of the canned artichoke hearts using a paper towel.
to the bowl of sautéed spinach add, jack cheese, parmesan cheese, chopped artichoke hearts, sour cream, and salt. stir until combined.
top two slices of bread with spinach and artichoke filling. make sandwiches with the two remaining slices of bread.
heat butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. add sandwiches and grill until each side is golden and the insides are melty warm.
serve immediately.

this night was so much of what i needed. 

happy friday the 13th.
love sent, xo

happy friday...

this is a moment i want to pause, savor, and remember.

have a wonderful weekend.

love sent, xo

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Monday, September 9, 2013

a simple, tasty, week night dinner.

orange chicken.    via sweet paul

4 lg chicken thighs
1 lg red onion cut in wedges
4 heads of garlic with tops cut off
1/2 c orange juice
1/2 cup chicken stock
4 tbsp maple syrup
salt and pepper
1 orange cut into pieces

prehat oven to 375 degrees

in an oven proof dish add the chicken skin side down, add red onion, the garlic,
pour in the orange juice, the chicken stock and the syrup. sprinkle with salt and pepper.

roast until golden about 30 min.  serve with orange rice and toss orange pieces on top.
and if you so desire rosemary for color.

enjoy, xo

Sunday, September 8, 2013


the last drops of summer with the first taste of fall. 

you can grill out and go barefoot or wear jeans and drink pumpkin spiced lattes. watch baseball and watch football.    it's the best of both worlds.  are you looking forward to cable knit sweaters and orange leaves? or are you sad that summer is leaving us?
i am looking forward to fall but i'll miss -
early morning walks and warm beach days.
waking up in the morning is so much easier in summer.
i'll miss days that stretch long into the night.
all those dinners on the deck.
mostly i'll miss the simplicity that sunny carefree days bring.

as usual this weekend flew by. 
around here there was more than morning tea. 
i love weekend breakfasts. 

and lunch

i made some pickles.. sweet ones this time. 

and i walked and shopped with two of my favorite people.

dinner was a bit disappointing...
looked really good, but did not taste really good :(

but we had fun just the same...

hope you had a wonderful weekend too!

love sent, xo

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Sweet Caroline.


practicing for when Caroline comes home

love to all.


to share...

i just had to share these few things today. 

this really made me laugh.- out loud.  — British writer Caitlin Moran in her hilarious
letter to her daughter

i just finished this book and i loved it.
perfect beach read

i have to make this
amazing dessert

such a beautiful post and ohh so true
on marriage

this is a must read
certainly gets you thinking

love this song
playing on repeat

happy hump day
love sent, xo

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

one must wait for the evening to see how splendid the day has been...

summer 2013

it's really not until after labor day that you get to see just how truly beautiful the summer has been.
june, july and august seem to pass with rapid speed leaving behind so many family memories.
so many cherished days. there is so much i will miss.  the heat, the extra sunshine, the longer days, our garden, corn on the cobb,  the tomatoes that only summer can provide.   i hate to see it all end.
it has been one of those summers that has been so full and it makes me fully aware of just how very lucky i am.  we are deep in the happy hours, i know these hours won't last forever so i am trying to sink into them as deeply as i can. 
memories layered over the course of months, bronze sunflowers blooming everywhere, a hummingbird that was practically on my shoulder as i drank coffee on my deck on this peaceful 1st day of september.  the sense of summer ending and the anticipation of all that is to come.
i am ready for all of the come what mays
 and so very grateful for all that has been.

love sent, xo