Friday, October 23, 2015

No-Fail Apple Pie

Hopefully you perused our Cider Hill Farm fun earlier this week. And then immediately made plans for your own apple orchard visit. Ok, maybe it didn't have quite that effect since really all I actually showed you pictures of was my kid. Whoops. He "distracts" me from taking pictures of other things like fall views and cider donuts and beautiful apple filled trees. Anywho.

We've been munching on apples since our orchard trip and discovered some new apples that we love, including the Mutsu, which we picked for making apple pie. These apples were wonderful for this pie! The baked perfectly.

Fall + Apple Pie. It's apple pie making time.

I've been making this apple pie for about 5 years now and it always turns out perfectly. The first time I made it I didn't love the process of pouring the sugar/butter mixture over the entire crust (impossible!) and I wanted the filling to be a bit thicker so I've made a few adjustments over the years.

Last year I made a top crust of leaf cut-outs which was fun and made me feel super fancy. The hubs said there wasn't enough top crust going this route though. Maybe if I try it again I'll use a thicker crust and that'll help...? Or a thin layer of crust covered with the leaf cut-outs...? Maybe next year.

This year I went the traditional route - lattice. First I built my lattice on the countertop and then upon my attempt to transfer it to the pie, I failed. So I re-built it on the pie itself. I feel like I read before that you're supposed to build it first but maybe not. If my pie crust wasn't quite so warm it probably would've worked a little better, too.

Tip: When you pre-bake your bottom pie crust, make sure it's hanging over the rim of your pan a bit so the sides don't fall down. I keep forgetting this when I make my own pie crust and it always slips down the sides and I have to press it back up. Next year I will remember! I will.

I have been seriously enjoying my afternoon quiet time with a mug of hot tea and a sweet (this week it's been apple pie) lately. Of course, I only get that when Oliver takes his short afternoon nap. Those are becoming fewer and fewer. Sometimes I bribe him with TV for a bit of quiet when he's getting cranktastic. Truth.

Slice of apple pie a day keeps the doctor away... right?

Thought so.

Hope you love these recipes as much as we do!

Crust + Apple Pie Recipe
Pie Crust Recipe
Apple Pie Recipe (no crust)

A note on my linked recipes: I type up my recipes for my recipe binder once I decide I like them and my goal in typing them up is to simplify. So often I find myself looking back and my recipe for the next step and having to search for it because it's in a huge paragraph. To that end, you'll notice they look a bit different. i.e. "Medium skillet, Medium-High Heat -- butter & sugar" instead of "Put butter and sugar over medium-high heat in medium skillet." In my thinking, I want to see the size and type of pan first followed by heat and then what I'm putting in it. So that's how they are linked. Hopefully it's also simple and helpful for you. Let me know what you think! I'd love to hear your feedback!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

It's really all about the cider donuts

New England in the Fall is gorgeous and there are an abundance of farms to head to to see the changing leaves, pick apples and stuff yourself with hot cider donuts. Perfection.
Our favorite farm thus far is Cider Hill in Amesbury. There aren't too many activities beyond a handful of farm animals but our little guy is happy with just running free through the orchards for now. Cider Hill especially excels in their uh-mazing cider donuts though. They are our favorite by far. Always hot, perfectly soft and covered in cinnamon-sugar. Drooling. Fab and I ate eight on our last visit and washed them down with fresh chocolate milk and hot apple cider. nom nom nom.
Hanging with the chickens. At one point he ran away as they all rushed towards him.

 The best I could get where he was looking in my general direction.... kind of.

 The donut overload proof - cinnamon sugar beard.

We are planning another trip soon where we'll do much of the same + see more of the fall colors as the leaves hadn't quite turned yet when we went. Plus this time we're heading over with some friends! Yay, friends!

What's your favorite Fall activity? And if you are in the New England area - where is your favorite farm? We'd love to check it out!

Check back later this week for my delicious, never-fail apple pie recipe!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

My Moment of Genius

Hi all. Yeah, it's been a while. Again. Let's not even pretend that I'm any good at this consistency thing.

But here I am for a post in the blue. And this one is good, folks. I'm pretty excited about my genius here and just had to share.

A few weeks ago I was putting away the clothes that Oliver no longer fits into and thinking how there was just no good way to keep them organized in their bins. More than one size fits in a bin and they were going to fall over each other and get all mixed up and I'd just have to go through them yet again when it came time to unpack them. UH. What. A. Pain.


I could tie them together in their stacks and label each stack with painters tape.

It's a thing of beauty I tell ya.

Do you sense my unusual, weirdo-Kem, excitement? It's all ovah the place.

I label my bins with painters tape, too. It's easy to remove and update, if needed, or just to move when I inevitably stick that label on crooked to begin with. I also started labeling the bins on two sides so that if (when!) they get moved or turned I'll still know what's happening in there.

I've already had to update that maternity/newborn clothes bin label once when I moved some stuff out and added the swaddles in there. Easy peasy.

Best idea ever. I slept like a baby that night in my organized bliss.

If you already thought of this, shhhh, just nod along with me and tell me how genius I am, friends.

Do you have any tips for storing away your little ones outgrown clothing? I'd love to hear them!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

waiting for the other shoe to drop...

Do you ever feel like things are just going too well?

I do. I am in a constant struggle with myself to not think about it.

My life is good. My little boy is good. My husband is good. I am provided for. I am healthy. My family is healthy. Nothing catastrophic has happened. So sometimes I get to feeling like, "Where's the bad? It can't all be good, all the time. Right?"

Conversations go a little like this in my head...

"What if my house burns down? What would I save? You save your family and yourself and that's it. I want my pictures though. Where could I put my pictures that I could get to them and carry them out, too? Oliver needs his clothes! Where is his baby book? My baby blankets! They can't be lost! I need my computer. It has everything on it. We need a fire-proof safe."

The fire scenario always includes a fire proof safe. I need to get one of those.

Then you have the scenarios where someone dies... my immediate family, my husband, my son, my best friends... those scenarios don't get past, "I don't know how I would go on."

In all scenarios I know I could go on with God carrying me through but the thoughts alone put a huge pit in my stomach. My faith knows I could make it but my heart and emotions say otherwise.

Loss is a scary thing. Waiting for the other shoe to drop is a scary thing.

"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?"
Luke 12:22-25 (ESV)

I would not consider myself an anxious person by any means but I do think I could use a little less thinking on the "shoe dropping" scenarios. God has me in the palm of his hand.

Bad things have happened in my life. Things have been crappy. God has always carried me through. He will continue to.

Monday, February 16, 2015

resolution set.

I just had to do the math to figure out my age... am I 27 or 28? 28... no, 27... but Fab is 31 so I have to be 28... I'm not 28... I'm 27.

I'm 28. That is the correct answer. Apparently I just forgot an entire year. I think I'm still considered too young to be forgetting my age.

Well, I'm a mama to an 8-month-old come the 21st. This kid is the coolest. He's just started scooching all over the place, from room to room, dusting my floors for me. Thanks, kid. Starting those chores early... he knows mopping is my least favorite.

Here he is showing off his tambourine skills.

I've been wanting to get back into some kind of blogging again. Again? "Again," when you blogged for 0.2 seconds, Kem? YES. ;) I don't have any time that I want to give up to do it super consistently but sharing something here and there would be nice. I have thoughts, ya know? Ok... I cook things and want other people to cook them, too.

It would also give me something to do and work on. I've been trying to be more disciplined... stick to things that I say I'm going to do even if they don't actually HAVE to be done. All will be well in the world if I do not blog but if I say I'm going to do it then I should stick to it. Recently I've been frustrated with my messy house that is also lacking in decor, which makes the mess even worse. I resolved about two weeks ago to clean the kitchen before bed so that I start the day ahead of the game. So far, so good. Obviously there will be times when it doesn't happen and that's ok but those will be the exceptions, not the norm.

I am resolving to post here at least once a week over the next three months.

.... Now do I post this or save it as a draft until I'm REALLY ready to commit?
Week 1. Check.