Christmas Tidings

I am 100% a "respect the turkey" type. I adore Thanksgiving and everything we chose to celebrate on it. I don't want Christmas decorations or carols beforehand, I want gourds, leaves, and counting of all our numerous blessings!!

That said, once Thanksgiving is over, I am so ready to decorate for Christmas. I don't love the wintertime, but I adore everything that it brings. The holidays, the cozy PJs and snuggling, the family togetherness; even the change in food and drink. So this year, as most, the day after Thanksgiving we broke out the decorations and started to make our house look quite festive.

Little Santa...
see also, new art (my favorite painting at the Louvre!)

 Our stockings are hung, there are Santas, reindeer, and snowmen scattered throughout the apartment. Let the seasonal good will commence... 🎅


Not-So-Wordless Wednesday {Caramel Whiskey Pumpkin Pie}

Do yourself a favor...

Take your favorite pumpkin pie recipe and when you're mixing it all together throw in 2-3 tablespoons of either bourbon or if you have it on hand like we did, some caramel whiskey.

Thank me later.

You can also top it with some bourbon or whiskey whipped cream.

(Bourbon Whipped Cream: 1 cup heavy cream, 1 tablespoon bourbon or whiskey, 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. Whip until soft peaks form, then eat. it. all.)

(Also, add a shot of that caramel whiskey to your mug of apple cider and rejoice! Top it with the whipped cream to get realllll crazy!)



The holiest of all holidays are those
    Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;
    The secret anniversaries of the heart,
    When the full river of feeling overflows;—
The happy days unclouded to their close;
    The sudden joys that out of darkness start
    As flames from ashes; swift desires that dart
    Like swallows singing down each wind that blows!
White as the gleam of a receding sail,
    White as a cloud that floats and fades in air,
    White as the whitest lily on a stream,
These tender memories are;— a Fairy Tale
    Of some enchanted land we know not where,
    But lovely as a landscape in a dream.

--  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Brown Butter Sage Apple Crumble Pie

I made two pies for Thanksgiving. Those, and some bacon wrapped asparagus, were our contributions to the Friendsgiving celebrations! Did I mention it was a very yummy day?

So what I feel I should tell you about this pie first is that I cheated on the crust. Now, this is nothing new... I always cheat on crusts because well, I don't love most of them, to be quite honest! I have yet to find one that makes my skirt fly up, so I'm not going to take the time to make one from scratch. But this time, instead of buying just the refrigerated pie crust, I bought....

Sugar Cookie Dough!

Guys, this was damn brilliant! Seriously. It was so good.

I love apple crumble, and I love apple pie, but because of my indifference or dislike for most crusts, my favorite by a million miles is the amazing combination of apple crumble pie. Crust on the bottom to hold it all together, crumble on the top. For this one, to really make it a Thanksgiving treat, I went a little crazy by adding in the flavors of browned butter and sage. It was the right choice.

For Pie:
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 teaspoon ground sage
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (plus 1 tablespoon, for the crust)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of salt  
4 Braeburn apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
4 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Sugar Cookie dough

For Crumble Topping:  
3/4 cup pecans, chopped
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch fine salt
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces

1. Preheat oven to 375*, then grab a small pan and start to brown your butter. Melt and cook the butter over low heat, regularly swirling the pan to make sure the butter is cooking evenly. When the butter gets to a lovely light brown and smells nutty, it is done. Pull it off the heat, pour it into a dish, and add your ground sage, swirling to combine. 

2. Take your refrigerated sugar cookie dough and 1 tablespoon of flour. Work them together until combined and the dough is soft enough to shape into your pie pan. Put dough in pan, making an even layer along the bottom and sides. Put into fridge to cool and set.

3. Put your lemon juice in a large bowl, then start to peel, core, and slice your apples. Throw them in the lemon juice as you finish slicing them and give them a little shake to cover the apples in the juice. 

4. Mix your sugar, brown sugar, flour, spices, and salt until well combine. Add the mixture, and your cooled butter, to the apples and stir really well to cover apple slices evenly.  

5. In a large bowl combine all crumble ingredients (minus butter), and mix until well combine. Add butter and gently squeeze sections into clumps. 

6. Mound apple mixture into your cookie crust, top with crumble mixture. Bake for for ~40-45 minutes until inside is bubbly. Check around 15 - 20 minutes in, and cover  with foil so edges and topping don't brown too quickly. 

Let cool so juices can thicken and set slightly! Then enjoy plain, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or with a dollop of whipped cream.