Thanksgiving and Holiday Wishlist

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I got to spend 48 hours in New York where I walked around Central Park, hung out with my sister and future brother-in-law, and prepared 3 pies, our family’s cranberry relish, and stuffing for Thanksgiving dinner. Then we traveled to Cleveland, Ohio to spend Thanksgiving with family. I dragged everyone to a Turkey Trot, we had lots of time visiting with relatives, and I finally got my leftover turkey sandwich. I’m feeling very full of love…and stuffing.

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Now Christmas is under a month away…how did that happen?! I’m already planning an epic day of decorating and many holiday activities, but top priority right now is gift buying! Obviously I wouldn’t want any of my loved ones to see what they might be finding wrapped up under the tree this year, so instead of doing gift guides for things I’ve found for others, I’m just sharing my own hypothetical wish list. There’s a little bit of everything, but maybe it will inspire you for a lady in your life!

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luggage // essential oils // clutch // eye mask // earrings // dutch oven // leggings // Birchbox subscription // cook book // marble board // beanie // perfume // shoes

Find of the Week

The apartment I’m in right now is definitely home at the moment, but it won’t be forever. We’ve discussed and it’s realistically only got another year until we jump ship. So while my instinct is to continue decorating and changing the look of my home alongside my evolving personality and tastes, I have to kind of ignore that for the time being. I vowed to stop buying bulky decorations, any accents, or furniture for the next year. Then I walked into Anthropologie and I saw this gorgeous Moroccan wedding blanket.

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I fell in love immediately for so many reasons. First, I love the bohemian but chic look of Moroccan wedding blankets when used well. I love 3-D embellishments (thank God for tassels), which this has no shortage of. It’s big and soft, which actually surprised me when I picked it up because usually something so pretty wouldn’t be comfortable. And finally, while it is pink, it’s that kind of “pink thing” that when used responsibly really adds to a room without making it overly feminine. Even Mark, who is usually the first to tell me when something is way too girly (even when it really isn’t), said this was something he could accept. Also, the price tag was awesome because Anthropologie had a 20% off sale of all home items. Heck yeah.

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So yeah, I broke my rule kind of. But also not, because this blanket can easily travel with us and withstand time with us. It’s the kind of blanket you find a space for in your home. And over time I think it will continue to bring me joy. And isn’t that what really makes a house a home? Being surrounded by things that bring you joy and love? Kidding! I know it’s the people you share your home with. Except I still think I love my Kitchenaid more than the average human.

Now I’m finally headed to the airport to catch a red-eye to New York , the first time since last Christmas! From there I’ll drive to Ohio to be with family for Thanksgiving. In an effort to make the most of my limited vacation time I’m going to do my best to not be on social media, so Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

 

Baked Apple Pie

My return to baking, and it was in no way half-assed! Thanksgiving is just a week away, and I’m getting so excited for cranberry relish, turkey, stuffing, and pie. Also family time, duh. I dream of the day I get to live in a big house with a big backyard and guest rooms so I can host my whole family for this special holiday, but if I hope to successfully cook everything, I need some practice. So I decided to log some practice hours in the kitchen with one of the most cherished (and frustrating) of Thanksgiving regulars: pie.

I decided on an apple pie for a couple of reasons. The first is apple pie never makes it on our Thanksgiving spread. We just love our pumpkin pie too much. So I won’t be taking away from the special meal at all by mimicking it a week earlier. Also, I haven’t had the chance to enjoy many apple treats this fall due to Whole 30 (but let it be known I ate an apple almost every day), and after Thanksgiving my taste buds will be exclusively focused on egg-nog, cranberries, and peppermint. Finally, it’s a very family focused time of year and apple pie reminds me of both of my parents. All pie makes me think of my mom (and her flawless pie crust skills), but I also know my dad really loves a good apple pie. So my end goal became simple: make a pie so good your dad would have seconds (or thirds) and your mom would permanently surrender holiday baking responsibility to you.

Side note: If you’re reading this, take a break and text your mom and dad that you love them. Chances are they rock and don’t hear it enough.

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So I started with the pie crust. Well, as you can see, I actually started with a trip to Starbucks because I knew I needed an iced coffee to keep me sharp here. But then I did the pie crust… twice. Because the first time I forgot the shortening. I’m just gonna chalk that up to the caffeine hadn’t hit my brain yet. But the second run went well! I even managed to lay the crust out evenly and do the special pinching thing that makes it look so cute.

For the crust, straight from my mama’s mouth:

Combine 2 cups of flour, 1 tbsp of sugar, 1 tsp of salt. My mom does this in a food processor but I just used a fork because my processor isn’t big enough. Then I cut 1/3rd cup of butter into cubes and measured 1/3rd cup of Crisco and added them to the flour mixture, combined it all until the butter was in chunks the size of lima beans. I think…it’s been a while since I’ve had a lima bean. Then I added like 9 tbsp of ice-cold water. I started with 5 tbsp and slowly combined/added more water until the dough held together but wasn’t wet. I wrapped it up in plastic wrap and shoved it in the fridge for 1 hour. *Next time I might double this recipe so that I have enough dough to actually do pretty lattice-work + embellishments. I was kind of struggling to find enough dough for that at the end.*

After an hour I rolled the dough out on a floured surface and lay it over the pie dish. I trimmed the extra dough and did the pinching thing, then put the dish in the refrigerator while I made the filling.

For the filling, adapted from The Faux Martha:

I peeled, cored, and diced 7 apples (I chose McIntosh + Granny Smith). 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp of sugar, 2 tbsp of flour, 3 tsp of lemon juice, some sea salt (not measured), 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4th tsp of cloves, nutmeg, and ginger.

After assembling the pie, doing the lattice-work, punching out some fall leaf embellishments, and finally applying an egg wash, I popped that sucker into the oven (400) for 20 minutes. Then I turned it down to 325 and baked it for 40 more minutes. During the last 10 minutes I covered the pie with a silicon cover to prevent it from getting too brown.

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I told Mark to bring home vanilla ice cream, because it isn’t really apple pie without ice cream, but he forgot. So I tried a slice solo and it was so good! The crust was flakey and not chewy; The spiced apple filling was delicious and not too mushy. I dare say, it might have impressed my father.

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