Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Aunt Lora's Dutch Apple Pie

I spent two weekends ago at my aunts farm in Warsaw..... I live in the country, but there is nothing as peaceful as being deep in the woods surrounded by...nothing. We laughed, we rode four wheelers, we had warm campfires and cold beer. It really was exactly what I needed during this busy time of the year.

Saturday afternoon we baked a dutch apple pie and immediately I knew I wanted to share this recipe with you. Apple Pie and Fall on the farm go hand in hand.

All ready to go..... Look at how pretty those apples are.

Combine pie filling in a bowl

Stir all together.

Add to a pie crust (there is more to be desired with the look of my crust- but it sure was tasty).

Ready to pop in the oven.

Delicious.... Perfect with a fall mulled cider or sangria.


Preheat oven to 350° and bake for 1 hour (I baked mine for one hour and ten minutes)
peel and slice 6-8 apples (6 cups)
3/4 - 1 cup of sugar
1 tsp. of cinnamon
2 tablespoons of flour
a dash of nutmeg (just a dash, a little bit goes a long ways)

Crumb Topping
1 stick of butter
1 cup of flour
1 cup of sugar

Take a look at some of my favorite photos from that weekend.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Fall Farmhouse Table Setting

I typically do things very simple in my home. To me, the motto of less is more has always applied to my decorating. I tend to get a little carried away at Christmastime, but still overall things are very minimal (minus my 7 trees) and it still looks like "my house" as opposed to some department store during the Holidays.

My fall décor, which you will see the first of next week is no different. A few simple bright orange pumpkins, some bunches of wheat, and a few fun bats on the fireplace. While my table settings in the summertime is still also very casual; oftentimes a big ol watermelon ripening in the sun is the focal point of the table. If the table is set it's just my casual white dinnerware and sometimes an indoor fern with small American flags stuck in the sides.

For me, this table is very stuffed and full. It feels like Thanksgiving - with the different elements of some copper mugs for some fall cider, or tall wine glasses for a perfect burgundy with dinner, and a big turkey platter filled with apples and pumpkins and gourds.


I need to start investing in good tablecloths for the seasons. For this setting I prefer the "rustic feel" that this bare table brings. It makes it a little less formal and a little more casual. Good food, friends and conversation will be gathered around this table.


I'm working on collecting some fall dinnerware. I have about two settings of this beautiful Spode Woodland Dinnerware. I have the Spode Christmas dishes passed down from my mom, so I am working on the fall set myself, isn't it beautiful.

This year I am using my Pottery Barn Emma Collection everyday dishes accompanied with these adorable Pottery Barn watercolor pumpkin appetizer plate. It's a whimsical and casual look as opposed to the more formal look once I collect the rest of my Spode Woodland Collection.... in probably ten more years. ;)

I am ready for cooler temps and crunchy leaves.... I hope this table setting gives you some inspiration  - I'll be back next week with indoor and outdoor fall décor of our farmhouse. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Bridal Shower Brunch

Brunches are a favorite of mine to host. The food is fun, easy, and even a donut tower can be deemed "fancy". I hosted a Bridal Shower Brunch a few weeks ago, and although I didn't get a lot of photos when hosting and still trying to set up, I did manage to snap a couple.

Terrible lighting I know - but look at how utterly adorable everything looks. Simple, fresh, a tad whimsical... I love a good Bridal Shower Brunch.

Instead of "cake" we had a muffin tower and stacked donuts. It was so cheerful - I loved this party so much.

It was rainy and so gloomy outside - at this point I would have taken better photos with an IPhone... Who needs to spend thousands of dollars on cameras and lenses anyways (insert eye roll emoji).

Mini Champagne Bottles with custom labels and a wide, pink double satin ribbon tied into a bow as the party favors.

And check out those adorable cookies.... I order all of my sugar cookies through an Instagram follower turned friend - you have to check out her stuff. It's the best. Kelscookiejar

I did a big centerpiece on my island of hydrangea and glads.... add eucalyptus to any arrangement I have learned and it automatically feels very casual and more simple.

A Bridal Shower Brunch isn't complete without a mimosa bar.

I hope this gives you some creative ideas for upcoming bridal and baby showers you may be having. I like to keep things as simple as possible - that way you get to enjoy your guests and the party too. Buy 1/2 of your menu and make 1/2 of your menu seems to be a pretty good trick I have figured out.

Summer is quickly fading and fall is right around the corner. I am gathering recipes for Harvest Meals once my farmer is in the field again. I sure love this time of year.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Country Tomato Tart

Would you look at all of that color.... coming from a girl who likes everything white in her home, and wears really only shades of white and different shades of blue, I love this dish. It's beautiful.... It's easy, light, delicious and just something fun to make.


I think I snapped 117 photos - so I had to some major removing when it came time to put this post together.

Back to the Country Tomato Tart....

This is the stuff that will give this dish great flavor.... crank it up a notch.... add extras, I did....

The herbs, the lemon, the salt... I could eat this with a spoon. 

Lay out your sheets of Phyllo Dough on a parchment lined baking dish preferably with sides and brush each layer with olive oil. 
I know it looks like a lot of oil but I promise its not... The sheets are so thin it appears that way. Brushing with oil gives them a little flavor and helps them brown nicely.

Add ricotta mixture to the top.

Then layer with sliced tomatoes.


Top with remaining herbs and generous amount of salt and pepper.

Bake for 30 minutes or until ricotta is warm and dough is browned.

I got these adorable plates earlier this summer at Pottery Barn - I have them hanging on the side of my kitchen window and change them out seasonally...

See - aren't they just the cutest. I've got my eye on some pumpkin ones from fall.

My farmer was grilling some burgers for dinner, so this was the perfect little side dish/appetizer that we nibbled on while flipping burgers and talking about our day. With harvest coming so soon I am really treasuring these lazy evenings that we have together...



Country Tomato Tart
·         1 roll (about 21 sheets) Fillo Dough
·         ¼ cup olive oil, roughly
·         1 ¾  cups ricotta cheese
·         1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, plus more for topping
·         1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, plus more for topping
·         ½ teaspoon lemon zest
·         Juice from ½ lemon
·         Salt and pepper, to taste
·         1½ to 2 lbs tomatoes, sliced to ¼-inch thickness (and/or grape tomatoes, sliced in half)

1.      Heat oven to 400°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.      Lay 1 sheet of fillo dough on parchment paper. Brush lightly with olive oil. Top with another sheet of fillo dough; brush lightly with oil. Repeat until all fillo dough sheets are stacked.
3.      In a medium bowl, stir together ricotta cheese, basil, chives, lemon zest and juice, and salt and pepper to taste until well combined. Spread evenly on top of fillo dough, leaving a 1-inch border along edges.
4.      Top with sliced or halved tomatoes. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper…. Trust me… Bake    30 minutes until dough is golden brown and flaky.
5.      Cool tart slightly; top with more chopped basil and chives and salt and pepper, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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