Hi loves. I hope Thanksgiving was wonderful for those of you who celebrated. Ours was cozy and joyful. Luke was home, which always makes the household feel even more festive. There certainly is a lot for which to be grateful.
I tested a few new versions of the usual favorites with positive reviews. Instead of the tried and true apple pie with a top crust, I made a deep dish version with a crumb/streusel topping. The pie is baked in a spring form pan, so the crust-to-apples ratio is perfect. The recipe (below) I used is from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook (so great!). Her blog with many more apple dessert recipes is here.
My second twist on the traditional was with the pumpkin pie - daring - I know! I used Martha Stewart's recipe for pumpkin cream pie with a gingersnap crust which I found in a old edition of her magazine. Essentially, the pumpkin part is creamy delicious pumpkin pudding with a mound of whipped cream on top. The smooth light flavor in contrast to the spicy crunchy cookie crust was sooo good!
Deep Dish Apple Pie Serves 12-16 Recipe from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
Ingredients: 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon table salt 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and diced 1/2 cup ice cold water
1. In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, sugar and salt and pulse to combine. Add the diced butter and pulse just until you have pea-sized pieces of dough. Transfer to a large bowl.
2. Drizzle the water over the dry mixture and work it together with your hands. Knead briefly then form into a large disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for two hours.
1 recipe of above pie crust
Filing: 4 lbs apples, 1/2 green apples and 1/2 Fuji apples 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 cup sugar 1/4 cup flour 1/2 teaspoon table salt 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Streusel topping: 3/4 cups sugar 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon table salt 1 cup all purpose flour 3/4 cups rolled oats 1 teaspoon baking powder 6 tablespoon butter, melted
Vanilla ice cream
1. Prepare crust: coat a 9-inch springform pan with oil. On a floured surface, roll out chilled pie crust into a 16-inch round – 1/4 inch thick. Place the dish into the fridge while you prepare the apples.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel, core and chop apples into 1/4" slices. Place them all into a large bowl and drizzle with the lemon juice. In a separate small bowl, whisk the sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and then mix into apples.
3. Spoon apples into prepared crust and spread them as flat and evenly as possible. Bake pie for 30 minutes (if the tips of the apples begin to brown and burn, cover the top with foil).
4. While pie is baking, make the streusel topping. In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, cinnamon, salt, flour, oats and baking powder. Pour in the melted butter and mix to combine. Stick in freezer until pie has baked for 30 minutes.
5. After 30 minutes, remove the pie from the oven, decrease the oven temperature to 325 and then spoon the streusel onto the top of the pie – pressing gently into apples. Return to the oven and bake for an additional hour. Cover with foil if the streusel begins to brown too quickly.
6. When the pie has finished baking, remove it from the oven and let cool to lukewarm. Run a knife around the crust to loosen the edges from the pan. Carefully loosen the clamp on the springform and slide it over the top and off the pie.
Lately I have been paying attention to what makes a space 'just work' and what doesn't. Have you ever been drawn to a room or vignette and even if it is not your personal aesthetic, it feels like it has a certain satisfying affect? Me too! I think this is what is meant by composition - when texture, color, pattern and materials are in perfect equilibrium. Here are a few examples that I think are perfectly executed:
I'm excited to share with you, my sweet readers, a new professional venture I embarked upon almost one year ago... I've taken a slight departure from my residential and hospitality interior design focus to develop and execute creative direction for several start-up and interior + lifestyle brands. I fell into the first position by happy accident (well, there really are no accidents as everything happens for a reason - I am a firm believer in that!) and one position led to the next and so on. The FarmHouseUrban brand, however is still ever present! I temporarily turned off access to my online store www.shopfarmhouseurban.com, but it will be back in the New Year and better than ever along with other exciting happenings!
I was recently approached by the exquisite home furnishings company - Europe 2 You to partner on a project for the launch of their new e-commerce site - EtuHome. For those not familiar, Europe 2 You is a wholesale-only maker of gorgeous vintage inspired products for the home. EtuHome is the new retail branch of their company - making their products accessible to absolutely everyone!
For this project I was sent several of EtuHome's top-selling pieces and my assignment was to style them in my personal aesthetic. Here's what I came up with:
I pulled some things from around the house - linens, ceramic pitchers, vintage hotel silver, galvanized containers, votives and a box of acorns I just got from here, Then I went to the fridge and took out all the fruits and veggies that were still good! Last, I cut some stems from the garden.
The piece above is the Spanish Olive Tray which comes in three sizes. I adore this piece! Part cutting board, part serving piece, it adds a unique twist to both. As such, there are endless ways to use it. The most practical and easy - leaning on your kitchen backsplash! I have been noticing the trend of using individual-size wood pieces as serving trays, so that was my inspiration and styled mine as a coffee tray.
Next is the Bordeaux Bistro Tray which measures 20" in diameter. The galvanized edge is 4" high. Many of us have upholstered ottomans which are risky to set beverages on. This tray is the answer! It provides a stylish receptacle for stacking your magazines or weekly newspapers too.
Above and below is the Bianca Cake Stand (short). I used the sepia filter just because :-) but below is the unfiltered version. I have a cake stand collection, but none are made of wood, so this is a fun addition. Now thinking of what kind of cake to make for it.... any ideas?
The below two photos show the versatile Baguette Board. I tried to style the pieces in ways that offer an alternative to the suggested use. I played around with this piece more than any of the others and found so many places that it just looked great - including across my bathtub holding soap and a sponge. I wouldn't suggest that it be used that way if water was in the tub as it might damage the integrity of the wood and finish. That said, when not in use or set on a table or counter holding just about anything - it will look amazing!
The next three photos are of the Bordeaux Wine Barrel Lazy Susan. This is a fun piece and frankly a must-have if you've got a large round or square table. It should come with a warning to parents of teenagers and their friends who wouldn't stop spinning it young children - not to put breakables or spillables on it in their presence.
Last but certainly not least, is the Balon Cloche. This piece is truly stunning - even on its own. Trimmed in tin, the shape and size sets it apart from anything else I've seen.
There are many many more gorgeous pieces on EtuHome's online shop. I highly encourage you to pop over for a browse - you won't be disappointed!
I've been giving a lot of thought lately to my lackluster bathroom vanity and how to make it pretty while keeping it free of clutter. Do you share this quandary? As I've said many times, when I need inspiration, or just want to free fall into a creative flow Pinterest is where I go. So, for the past couple of weeks I've been saving beautifully styled bathroom imageshere and here. Just a few...
As luck - or serendipity - would have it, as I was pouring over bathroom images, a gorgeous design book on bathrooms arrived in the mail from the publisher! The book isn't just 'A' book about bathrooms. It's written by The Bathroom Goddess herself - Barbara Sallick, Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Design for Waterworks. Let me preface my fussing and fawning by saying that I would never promote anything that I haven't personally experienced and/or seen and that I didn't adore. I adore this book. It is chock full of images all of which are absolutely breathtaking. The chapters are organized in such a way that if you are using it to help you design, you can plunge right in to those tips and resources. If eye candy and a little lift with your afternoon tea, is more your speed, you can have that too.