Tag Archives: autumn

Mental Snapshots

A few weeks ago on The Office, Pam & Jim were on their way to get married and they had this exchange where they talked about taking mental snapshots of the whole wedding experience. I feel like I’ve been doing that for a couple of weeks now as Nashville has been in the throws of peak Autumn color and perfect fall weather (well…once the rain stopped that is.)

October sky

The photographer in me wanted to capture everything with my camera. There were many, many times that I would be out and about and kick myself for not having my camera with me. There were a couple of times that I was able to go back to a spot and take a picture of a tree I’d seen. Yet even when I did take pictures, they never seemed to quite live up to what I had seen in living color.

autumn color

Instead, I’ve tried to soak it all in and enjoy. My weekly routes take me through some really gorgeous parts of Nashville. It’s quite the miracle that I’ve not had an accident since I’ve spent way more time gawking at trees than watching the road. When I accompanied JBelle on her pumpkin farm field trip last week, the scenery along the way was breathtaking. I did have my camera then but most of the really good color I saw was along the interstate and it’s just not prudent to be stopping on the interstate to take pictures!

red leaves

This Autumn has been an unusual one for us. It’s been uncharacteristically rainy and wet. The result has been vibrant fall color juxtaposed again lush green.

tulip poplar tree leaves

I do love this time of year!

red & yellow

 

I take the pictures, Picnik.com makes them better.

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Filed under I take pictures, musings, Nashville life

Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie

Photobucket
There are several dishes that I make every year that announce the arrival of Autumn. One of them is crunchy caramel apple pie. I get entirely too much credit for this dish but that’s because it’s just so amazingly yummy!

I came across this pie recipe a several years ago while watching Good Morning America. Emeril Lagasse was hosting an “Apple Pie of Emeril’s Eye” contest. People from all over submitted apple pie recipes that were judged by Emeril. This particular apple pie was the winning recipe.

I had not been much of a pie maker before encountering this recipe. Cookies, brownies, cakes, banana/pumpkin bread, etc were where my baking talents had been focused. But this pie sounded rather appealing and really not all that difficult to make. The woman who submitted the recipe even said that she usually used store bought crust! I was all over that (well until recently!) I printed off the recipe and gave it a go. And I’ve never looked at another apple recipe!

The recipe combines the best of apple pie and apple crisp. In fact, when I don’t have (or don’t want to make) pie crust, it easily adapts into a crisp (just put in a baking dish instead of a pie shell.) It’s crowning glory are the pecans and drizzled caramel that are added just after taking the pie/crisp out of the oven. I always, always get compliments when I make this pie. There are even some members of our Life Group who specifically request that I make this pie for our Life Group Thanksgiving meal.

Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 pastry crust for a deep-dish pie, 9-inch (homemade or store bought)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 T all-purpose flour
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 6 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples (Golden delicious, fuji, gala and granny smith, alone or in combination, make great pies. I generally use what I have on hand.)
  • 1 recipe crumb topping (see below)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup caramel topping (I use Smuckers caramel ice cream topping)

Ingredients for Crumb Topping:

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup butter

Directions for Crumb Topping:

  1. Stir together brown sugar, flour and oats.
  2. Cut in butter until topping is like course crumbs. Set aside.

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt.
  2. Add apple slices and gently toss until coated.
  3. Transfer apple mixture to the pie shell.
  4. Sprinkle crumb topping over apple mixture
  5. Place pie on a cookie sheet so the drippings don’t drop into your oven.
  6. Cover edges of pie with aluminum foil.
  7. Bake in a preheated 375 oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and put back in for another 25 to 30 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven. Sprinkle pie with chopped pecans then drizzle with caramel.
  9. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy warm or at room temp. (Even better with vanilla ice cream!)

applecrisp

This is a terrible picture but it’s all I have! I made this yesterday for Life Group but completely forgot the nuts and caramel topping. It was still tonguegasmic!!

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Filed under life as a domestic goddess

Fall Nesting

Yes! My favorite season is here and miraculously, Nashville has had the weather to go with it. I’m in autumnal heaven!

And right about now, I get the itch to pull out my fall decor. I usually try and wait until the first weekend in September and then it comes out in waves.

  • Wave One: general autumn decorations
  • Wave Two: last weekend in September, I add the Halloween decorations
  • Wave Three: November 1, Halloween comes down and Thanksgiving goes up

Over the years I’ve collected a modest, but nice collection of seasonal decorations. I like to add a little something each year (when it all goes on sale!) so that I have a new something to set out the next year.

I concentrate on three rooms: kitchen, dining room & living room. Those are the spaces where we spend the most time on a daily basis and I like being surrounded by the sights and scents of fall in those rooms. But there is one area of my home that has been sadly neglected. My front porch. I have a wreath that goes on the front door, that is it. Yet, all the things I’ve read about home decorating suggest making your front porch/stoop/landing/entry areas inviting and welcoming.

This year, I’d really like to do something about that. My friend and fellow Blissfully Domestic editor, Melissa of The Inspired Room is running a contest for a $200 shopping spree at HomeGoods (the TJMaxx store, which I adore and always find lovely things for my home there). Melissa wants us to take a picture of the area of our home we’d like to improve for fall. So, it is with much chagrin and intestinal fortitude that I offer the following pictures of my front porch. (I’m warning you, it’s ugly.)

front porch collage

Now, I’ll break it down for you bit by bit.

front porch

welcome mat

porch and rail

In a nutshell, if I am granted the gift card, the front porch will get a fun makeover! And I won’t be embarrassed to answer the door when you come over for homemade pumpkin bread & hot apple cider!

What about you? Do you decorate for autumn? Is there something in particular that you look forward to setting out to celebrate the season?

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We-are-BDThis post is also part of “We are Blissfully Domestic“, this week on Blissfully Domestic!

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Filed under I blog they blog wouldn't you like to be a blogger too?, life as a domestic goddess