It was one of those holiday weeks, one where you realize you haven’t been still in days. Holiday fun is great and I look forward to it every year, but I still need my quiet Christmas time. One reason I decorate our master bedroom is the opportunity to relax among some understated beauty…well, also in the past it kept those truly breakable items away from a toddling Princess. I love to see my vintage Santas and mercury glass antique ornaments each morning. Add some greenery and it is all set!
We have been getting in the Christmas mood this week, probably because we spent so much time digging through boxes and rediscovering the ornaments that we find most beloved. Does anyone else forget what they tucked away after Christmas? I can feel really overwhelmed by the large Rubbermaid bins stacked so neatly, but somehow, someway things always just fall into place and new items seem to blend in with the old seamlessly. After Christmas I always make the effort to prune back our decor before packing it up but I never seem to have the heart to banish things. Sigh, maybe this year. Enjoy my living room and beautiful tree picked out personally by the Princess.
The best part of my newly revealed kitchen…the ease it lends itself to Christmas decorating… and Valentine’s Day as well I guess…but we have a few months until that event. The crisp white with touches of red only needs a few holiday elements to look polished, simplistic and classic. I may have to give away all my glitter and gold accents…just kidding. This Christmas my motto seems to be less is more. Hopefully I have managed to also evoke a feeling of a cozy, warm home because that is what I, and probably most of my readers, long for during these stressful times. Grab a cup of hot chocolate and come inside…
Simple (and free) greens in an antique Swedish dough bowl add a lot of impact. I love the simple red berry wreaths in the windows.
My Grandmother’s church was made for a beautiful snow cover and simple pine trees. An antique postcard finishes the vignette.
A Swedish Santa stands guard over vintage cookie cutters, waiting for the baking to begin.
But until that baking time occurs, we can enjoy the adorable gingerbread decorations…and the Santa as well!
And what says Christmas more than plaid…even cuter on a little Princess…singing on a hay bale!
Sometimes the simple things really are the best. Sunsets, a baby’s giggle, a kind word from a friend and this apple crisp recipe. It is especially good with apples you picked yourself. The smell alone is worth the effort of pulling out the baking pan. Fall is beginning to wane and winter is right around the corner, but the apple crisp helps make that switch a little bit easier.
I also love that The Princess can lend a hand easily making it. The bonding time is priceless.
The Usual Cast Of Characters
6 apples, peeled and chopped. I like a tart variety like Granny Smith
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, diced into small cubes
pinch of kosher salt
The Steps To Glory
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Butter an 8×8 baking dish, or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, add chopped apples, granulated sugar, 3/4 tsp of the cinnamon and lemon juice. Stir to combine, then transfer to prepared baking dish.
In a separate mixing bowl, add topping ingredients (brown sugar, oats, flour, 1 tsp cinnamon, salt, and diced cold butter). Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the oat mixture, using a slight downward twisting motion, until mixture resembled pea-sized crumbs. Alternatively, you can use two forks or even your hands to cut butter into the mixture.
Spread topping over apples in baking dish, and gently pat to even it out. Bake 40-50 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.
One of my most Favorite fall activities is apple picking. There is just something about being in the crisp fall air, tasting the delicious apple cider slushees and apple doughnuts, and picking enough apples for months of apple pies and apple crips. I love exploring the different types of apples and finding an unexpected new one. Apple picking just says FALL to me.
In years past we always enjoyed visiting Carter’s Mountain in Charlottesville. We loved it there. This year we had to make a switch and find a place outside of Philadelphia. Would we be able to find a place so memorable? Would the experience be less of a thrill? We found Solebury Farm in New Hope fit the bill! The farm was beautiful, they even had a cutting garden! There was plenty of parking but you did need to make a reservation on their website. We found it very accommodating for people with disabilities and seniors.
Apples not your thing? No worries! They offer year round produce picking. I can’t wait to try blueberries!
As much as I love my porch in the summer, it really turns into a magical place in the fall. Nothing is better on a cool fall afternoon relaxing on the porch watching the world change color. The brisk air brings people outside after the heat of the summer and you get to wear cozy sweaters again!
Of course, you need some Halloween touches along with the harvest decor. Mums are necessary and pumpkins the perfect touch. Come visit my porch, I have apple cider and pumpkin spice treats to share!