Apple Crumble and Weekend Tidbits.

Did you all enjoy your weekend? Oh my goodness, the weather here in the Northeast was amazing – you couldn’t help but spend your time outdoors. It was that perfect sneak peak of Fall weather and oh, I am so looking forward to Fall (as it will bring a new little man into my life… 1.5 months and counting)!

Other than hiking through the ever-changing colors of the Shenandoah foliage, one of my favorite Fall pastimes is apple picking. It never fails to bring out that child at heart – there is something so special about finding that perfectly sized, shiny apple. It just makes you want to clap your hands in delight and deliciousness! And yes, I was clapping often.

Somehow, I am incredibly lucky enough to live 5 minutes from an amazing apple and peach orchard at Carter’s Mountain, one of the many wonders Charlottesville has to offer.

Carter's Mountain

Not only are the views spectacular, the orchards are abundant, the apple cider is mouth-watering, and the peach frozen yogurt out of this world! It’s a must stop if you are in the Charlottesville area.

KK's Apple Barn w watermark

Unfortunately, my husband reigned me in and gave me a limit to the number of apples I could pick…so with a dozen apples (and another dozen peaches, but more on that later!) in my bag and perhaps a couple already in my belly, I headed home pretty darn content and ready to bake.

KK's Apple w Watermark

Now, I know many of you would go straight for the apple pie, but honestly, I’m a cobbler and crumble kind of gal. So after a quick Google search, I came across the perfect apple cinnamon crumple recipe courtesy of Two Peas and Their Pod.

Here’s what the recipe calls for:

8 cups peeled, cored, and sliced apples (about 9 medium apples)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup all-purpose Gold Medal Flour

For the crumble topping:

1 cup all-purpose Gold Medal Flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced

After eating another two of the apples, I was left with 10 fairly large apples to work with (the perfect amount for 3 pie-sized crumbles) so I played around with the measurements a bit…

Picked and Peeled w watermark

…but it’s pretty darn difficult to ruin a crumble so for all you non-bakers out there (like myself…), this is a recipe to try! If you love the caramel taste of brown sugar or vanilla extract, feel free to add a little more, or cut down on the sugar and add extra oats for a healthier version.

The Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, combine apples, lemon juice, vanilla extract, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Gently toss until apples are well coated. Let the apple mixture sit while you prepare the crumble topping.

3. For the crumble topping: in a large bowl, combine the flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Stir together with a whisk. Mix in the butter with your fingers until the mixture comes together and you have big crumbles.

4. Place the apple mixture in a 12 inch skillet. Sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly over the apples. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the crumbly is browned and bubbling. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Apple Crisp w Watermark

A 12-inch skillet was use over at Two Peas and Their Pod – I chose to use pie tins only because I wanted to give a couple as gifts (it’s much more savvy to hand over a pie tin that a large skillet!). If you are making this only for yourself, I highly recommend using the skillet.

What a glorious end to a perfect semi-Fall weekend – vanilla ice cream with warmed apple crumble. But even better? Apple crumble and fruit for breakfast!

Bfast of Champions w watermark

Do you prefer crumble or pie? Have any tips or suggestions for enhancing this recipe? Please share!

Rainy Day Remedies & A Few Favorite Links

Well, if you’re anything like me, you may need a little pick-me-up for the rainy weekend ahead! Here are a few delicious remedies to remind you of dry and sunshiny days:

Watermelon malibu surf: watermelon, strawberries, coconut cream and rum.

Watermelon Malibu Surf Via

champagne + raspberry popsicles

Champagne Raspberry Popsicles Via

Unfortunately, these are remedies that I can’t quite partake of at the moment, but a girl can dream! Although, here are a few that I actually can…


Strawberries & Cream Ice Box Bars Via


Fresh Watermelon Jello + Sea Salt Via

Sugared peaches with vanilla cream

Sugared Peaches with Vanilla Ice Cream Via

Oh so delicious…

Speaking of remedies to get you through the weekend, here are a few of my favorite links for the week:

TGIF – have a wonderful weekend ya’ll!


With a million errands to run, wrapping to finish, and a teeny tiny bit more shopping to do, I haven’t had the time to complete any large projects this week (as I’m sure many of you are in the same boat!). I did, however, cook up a couple quick and easy sweets, which I ALWAYS have time for…

Christmas Bark

Two-toned Peppermint Christmas Bark! Devilishly delicious.

Here’s what you need:

  • 12 oz. (1 packet) of semi-sweet chocolate
  • 12 oz. (1 packet) of white chocolate
  • approx. 2.5 oz. crumbled candy cane

First, I started off with a packet of semi-sweet chocolate and white chocolate Ghirardelli morsels. After nibbling on quite a few…I melted the semi-sweet chocolate over medium low heat, stirring constantly until it was smooth and delicious. Once the chocolate was completely melted, I quickly took it off the heat a spread it on a wax papered cookie sheet:

Melted Chocolate

To release some of the bubbles and even out the chocolate a bit, I simply shook the cookie sheet back and forth a few times, and then placed it directly in the fridge for the chocolate to solidify.

Once the chocolate had hardened (about 30 minutes), I started on the white chocolate. Although, I’m quite certain I ate at least a quarter of the bag – try not to do the same (you need all the white chocolate you can get)! *It’s also important to know that white chocolate morsels do not melt the same as milk chocolate. For these morsels, you need to heat them over very lightly boiling water – they do NOT do well with direct heat (believe me, I know this from personal experience…)! Use a double boiler, or simply place a pot over boiling water.

Stir the white chocolate constantly and as the white chocolate begins to fully melt, begin stirring in about half of your crumbled candy cane. I used about 1.5 oz. but feel free to use as much or as little as you wish! As soon as the chocolate is deliciously melted, take it off the heat source and quickly spread it over the solidified semi-sweet layer – but don’t take too long as the first semi-sweet layer may soon begin to melt!

Once your second layer is spread, sprinkle the rest of your candy cane crumbles over the top and once again, put your cookie sheet in the fridge so the chocolate solidifies – about another 30 minutes.

And lastly, take your Christmas Bark out of the fridge and break into delicious bite size pieces. Perfect for a last minute holiday party or hostess gift!

Oh yes, on a side note and to take just a little more advantage of your melted chocolates, I also dipped in a few strawberries…

Sweet Morsels!

Enjoy and happy holiday!

PS…have an inspirational, encouraging, motivational, and positive story to share? Don’t forget to link up HERE!



My heart and prayers go out to all those affected by Hurricane Sandy. However, with the brunt of the hurricane now behind us and Thanksgiving charging ahead, I think it’s important to remember what we are thankful for.

For the first time, I’ll actually be hosting Thanksgiving for my family this year, and I can’t wait. I love the thrill of hosting, of creating something special for my loved ones, and basking in the conversation and laughter.

For my family, Thanksgiving is a casual affair; a lot of rest, relaxation, football, and food. And this is exactly what I want Thanksgiving dinner to embody: a casual family gathering with my own elegant twist.

So of course, I’ve been scouring through magazines, blogs, and Pinterest for recipes ideas and décor inspiration and here’s what I found:

Pinned Image

Bleu Cheese-bacon dip with crackers for pre-Thanksgiving, football watching snack. You can find the recipe here.

Perfect idea for dining room mantle!

Thanksgiving table setting

I love the natural neutrals of this table setting. It’s simple, elegant, and allows rooms for food on the table!

Pinned ImageCranberry Citrus Relish

Pumpkin risotto, Bread Stuffing with Pancetta & Figs, Cranberry Citrus Relish

Glazed Carrots with PistachiosCelery Root, Potato, and Pear Mash

Glazed Carrots with Pistachios, Celery, Potato, and Pear Mash

Green Beans with Shallots, Thyme, and Shiitake Mushrooms

Green Beans with Shallots, Thyme, and Shiitake Mushrooms

Buttermilk Cornbread, B. Smith’s Bourbon-Cranberry Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Mousse Trifle – delish!

Menu cards

Recipe cards for the family to take home – such a great idea!

Pinned Image

Simply adorable idea for buffet table.

Now, I’m sure many of you noticed my lack of Thanksgiving main entrée – the turkey! Well, this year I’ve decided to leave the turkey up to the boys. Yep, there’s nothing like a fryer and a 15lb turkey to bring together the testosterone…

I’m going to hope it turns out a little something like this though!

What are your plans for Thanksgiving this year? Will you be hosting? Travelling? I’ll be adding Thanksgiving inspiration to my Pinterest board for the next few weeks so feel free to share your recipes and ideas!