Friday, September 24, 2010

Apple Crunch Pie

It has been rainy and overcast lately which means it's time for baking!

Mmmm....smells like fall. :) I have been using this amazing apple pie recipe for over ten years and it never disappoints. In case you are wondering, I am 27. Do the math and you will discover that I was one of those nerdy teenagers who would sit at home on a Friday night baking apple pie and reading Pride and Prejudice. And I am proud of it! :p Writing that makes me think of Taylor Swift's "Thug Story". If you haven't seen it, go check it out now. It is hilarious!

Anyway, back to the recipe. The filling itself is really yummy so you could just make it and top with a second pastry pie crust if you aren't interested in making the crumb topping.
Apple Crunch Pie
1 Deep Dish Frozen Pie Crust
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar
1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 stick (1/2 cup) Butter
3 Granny Smith Apples
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
3 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/8 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

Put oven rack in lowest position. Heat oven to 450F. Place frozen pie crust on aluminum foil lined cookie sheet to catch drips.
FILLING: Peel, halve and core apples. Cut into 1/8-inch thick slices. Put into a large bowl. Toss with lemon juice to coat. Mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle over apple slices; toss to coat.
TOPPING: Mix flour, sugars, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Cut butter into small pieces and add to mixture.
Layer apple slices in pie shell, mounding them higher in the center. Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over apples to form a top crust and pat it down. Your pie will look like this when it is ready to go in the oven:

Bake for 15 minutes at 450F. Reduce oven temperature to 350F and bake 45 minutes longer or until a skewer meets some resistance when center of pie is pierced (apples will continue to cook after pie is removed from oven) and topping is golden brown. If topping is browning too quickly, drape a piece of foil over pie. Cool pie completely on wire rack before serving.
Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Skeleton Key Necklace

I love skeleton keys and instead of just using them in my decor, I decided to make one into a necklace! This particular one unlocks the hope chest that my parents gave me when I was younger so it is extra special. Check out my tutorial below to find out how to make your own!

First, take about 12" of thin wire and wrap it around the top of the key twice:

Then twist the two ends together. (If you wanted, you could also twist the entire length of wire together before wrapping it around the top of the key in step one.)

Using needle nose pliers, bend the twisted wire to form a loop and wrap the wire around the base underneath the loop to secure it. Trim off any excess wire. You now have a key pendant that you can use however you want: on a chain, in a beaded necklace, or on a ribbon like I did.

To make the ribbon part of the necklace: Cut a 14" piece of ribbon (or whatever length you prefer). Burn the edges with a match to keep them from fraying. Thread a clasp on one end and a ring on the other. Fold over the edge of the ribbon and sew in place.

Now you have a fun way to show off your beautiful skeleton key collection!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

$1 Spooky Picture Frame

For the most part, I like my Halloween decor to be sophisticated with a touch of spooky rather than having goofy pumpkins or gruesome corpses. I also like creating things that can be used in my slightly spooky decorating year-round. Which is why I really like this project. Well, that and it was really easy!

All I did was take a Dollar Tree frame, add a few coats of glossy black spray paint, and slide in a lovely photo of my late Grandma (she is the one on the left). You can also find creepy old photos online if you would prefer something spookier. I liked using a family photo though and I think that particular one goes well with the frame.

I love how it turned out and along with the candelabra that I found at a thrift store for 75 cents, I think it compliments the antique radio that was looking a little bare when I showed it to you before.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Beer Bread

I got this amazing recipe from my amazing husband! It is a moist and heavy bread so it is perfect for fall baking and it goes great with any meal. You can use any beer that you want but my favorite is George Killian's Irish Red because it adds a lot of flavor.

Beer Bread
2 cups Self-Rising Flour
3 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Butter (melted)
1 Beer

Mix all of the ingredients together and pour into a greased bread pan. Bake at 375F for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Everyday Spooky

It was actually chilly today! This wonderfully crisp, cool weather has me thinking about my favorite season (Fall) and my favorite holiday (Halloween)!!! As you know I have already started crafting spooky things like my canvas skull print. What you don't know is that my house has a touch of spooky year-round!

Up until now, the only full-room shots that I have shown you are my son's bedroom and school room since they are the only ones in the house that are even close to being finished. This may have led you to believe that our entire home is bright, colorful and playful...when in reality the rest of the house has more of a dark victorian look. Since there is no way I am going to get the house completed in the next couple of months, I thought I would go ahead and share some photos of our spooky(ish) living room and dining room in all of their half-finished hideousness.

Living Room
This room still needs a ton of work so no full shots just yet. For now, here are a few snippets:

In here we have dark fabrics (some of which need to be changed) and queen anne wing back armchairs.

Curtains in dark burgundy taffeta with scroll embroidery, black scroll curtain rods and crown moulding from when the house was originally built in 1902.

Our creepy Jesus picture in an IKEA frame. The best part about this picture is that Jesus' eyes can appear to be either open or closed depending on the angle you are looking at it!

Candleabra bought in the Halloween section and a queen anne buffet that has been turned into an entertainment center.

Dining Room:

There is nothing too hideous about the dining room. It just needs a few decorative items...

...and the dining table is in desperate need of refinishing. I recovered the seat cushions to make it liveable but that is as far as I have gotten.

My canvas skull print, garage sale candelabra and an antique writing desk. I hung the skull print here just to take pictures of it but now I kind of like it and I am considering leaving it there year-round.

Lastly, our antique radio purchased off of craigslist. The original parts no longer worked so my husband removed them and mounted our stereo inside. Now you can play an ipod through it!

So there is your glimpse into the rest of our home and our slightly unusual decorating. As you can see, there are lots of redecorating and furniture refinishing projects in our future! Hopefully I will get a chance to work on some of those projects this winter. It would be nice to enjoy a finished house for at least a little while before we sell it!