Friday, August 16, 2013

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

    With Fall right around the corner, it seemed like a perfect time for an apple pie. I'm pretty much in love with salted caramel anything (Starbucks latte' anyone??). So today I spent our precious nap time putting together this pie. Enjoy!

 *A few quick, important notes before you start this pie. 1. You'll need COLD shortening and butter. 2. You'll need ICE COLD COLD water. *The importance of seriously cold water and fat? If your fat melts before you bake the pie, you'll lose the flakiness of the crust and gain a more crispy, crunchy crust. 

     The Crust 

 First, we'll start with the crust. The best crust is buttery and flaky. A lot of crust recipes call for butter OR shortening, we'll use both. Best of both worlds right?  

Mix together the salt and flour in a medium size bowl. Using your pastry blender, cut in the COLD shortening and butter until you reach a coarse consistency. 

Slowly drizzle 3/4 cup of ICE COLD water into the flour mixture. Stir together with a large spoon until the mixture clumps together. 

On a floured work surface, fold the dough into itself until it reaches a nice dough form. It should hold together well, but not be too sticky. 

Split the dough in half and form two balls. Wrap in plastic and chill in the fridge for about an hour. 


The apple-filling 

While the dough chills, make the apple filling. Put the lemon zest and lemon juice in a large bowl. Peel, core and slice all your apples. Be sure to slice your apples all roughly the same size. Place apple slices in the bowl with the lemon juice. Toss gently. 

In a small mixing bowl combine sugar and spices. 

Pour over apples and toss. 

Set aside. 

      The salted caramel sauce

In a medium pot, place sugar, salt and water. Melt the sugar into the water over med-high heat. Reduce heat to a low-medium and boil without stirring, until you reach a caramel color. It should be a brown but not too dark, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add room temperature butter and COLD heavy cream. Pour into a bowl and whisk together. Set aside

Note: Be absolutely sure to taste the salted caramel sauce before pouring over your pie. If it's over cooked it will make the pie taste me, I learned from experience. 

The crust - Part two

Pull one ball of dough out of the refrigerator. On a floured work surface, roll out your dough until it's 12 inches in diameter. 

Carefully place your dough in a 9 X 2 inch pie dish. *You want the dough to go up and over the edge of the dish. 

Place the apples on top of the crust. There are a lot of apples, I know, but they will all fit. 

Next, pour 1/2 of your salted caramel sauce over your apples. 

Preheat oven now to 400 degrees 

Now, make your lattice crust. A lot of people are intimidated by a lattice crust, but it's actually really easy, promise.

Start by getting the second ball of dough out of the fridge. Roll out your dough until it's 12 inches in diameter. Using a pastry wheel or pizza cutter, cut 16, 1/2 inch strips (They don't have to be perfect). Then, you simply weave them in and out. It's a little difficult to explain without showing you, so if you click here you can see a how-to video. 

Beat an egg. LIGHTLY brush your lattice crust with the egg.

*If you go over-board, you WILL end up with scrambled eggs on top of your pie...

Sprinkle a little granulated sugar on top. 


Pace your pie dish on a jelly roll pan (No one likes cleaning their oven) and place in the oven on 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Lower the temperature to 375 and bake for another 40-50 minutes.

*If your lattice starts to darken to quickly, cover with aluminum foil and finish cooking.  

Cool for about 3-4 hours. Pour a little salted caramel sauce over each piece as you serve it.

This beauty helped me not eat it while it was cooling. :) We made homemade cinnamon rolls instead.

Salted Caramel Apple Pie 


Pie dough:

  • 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cubed*
  • 3/4 cup shortening, chilled*
  • 3/4 cup ice water*

Salted caramel sauce:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup room temperature water 
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted, room temperature butter
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream


  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 6 large apples, cored, peeled, and thinly sliced. (Be sure to slice all your apples about the same size.) I use a mix of granny smiths and pink ladies. 
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • coarse sugar for topping

Monday, May 13, 2013

Feels like Summer

So thankful it's Summer Spring time! It sure does feel like Summer right? Here in the south it's been in the high 80's and sunny. You know what that means...perfect beach weather! Now that little miss Olivia is old enough to venture out into the sun a little, we've been at the beach non-stop. Connor is loving the freedom of running around in the waves and Olivia loves to crawl in the sand. What's a better time to go to the beach than Mother's Day weekend? We spent that Sunday morning in church, and then went out to lunch and headed to the beach. I had a blast and so did the kids! Only bad part...we forgot our beach chairs at the beach! :( How was your Mother's Day? Do anything special?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My baby turns THREE!

         Oh boy! I can't seem to grasp the idea that my BABY has turned three years old. :( The past few years have just flown by and he's changed so much. It seems to be going even faster with Miss Olivia. We celebrated Connor's birthday this past Saturday. We just had a small BBQ at the house with some friends. No specific
theme, water and Mickey Mouse I guess. Imagine 10 kids running around in bathing suits with squirt guns and you've got our weekend. :) We grilled hot dogs and enjoyed the sunny day.

(On the right you see Connor and his best friend Alex having a showdown!)

The party was almost perfect... I went to a small bakery here in Charleston for Connor's cake. I wanted a Mickey Mouse cake done in fondant. We used this same lady for his first birthday cake and it turned out awesome! However, this time she made one, very big mistake. I drove to West Ashley, picked up the cake, and drove home. It wasn't until I got back that I realized HIS NAME WAS SPELLED WRONG! I'm sure you can imagine my anger. I paid this bakery close to $200 and she spelled his name wrong. Then preceded to give me an excuse that she was tired when she did his cake and was sorry.. That's it. No future discount, no "I'll run over and fix it!!" no partial refund. Nothing. She offered to "try" and fix it if I came back, but I didn't have time to drive back before the party. Needless to say, we won't be using her again. As angry as I was about the cake, Connor can't read yet and didn't care. He loved it!

Miss Olivia hanging out in her first bathing suit! :)

Happy Birthday Connor! :)
Everyone was singing "Happy Birthday" to him. 
Blowing out the candles! 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Butternut squash and spinach {Baby food}

     My favorite thing to do during the day is cook while my baby girl watches from her highchair. She's at the age now where she's entertained for hours by just a few toys and snacks. So, as Olivia played in her highchair, I started throwing things in the blender.


    • 1 large butternut squash
    • 1 cup of spinach
    • 1/4 cup of water


I just love the color or this puree, it's so bright and vibrant
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Poke several hole in the squash with a fork, rinse and set aside. Line a baking pan with aluminium foil. Place the squash on the pan and in the oven for 45-55 minutes. Let squash cool. Pour the 1/4 cup of water into a pot and bring to a boil. Put the spinach in the boiling water and cook until it wilts or 4-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the spinach to a blender, saving the cooking liquid. Remove skin from squash and place the squash in the blender. Pulse several times until smooth, adding cooking liquid until you reach desired consistency. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Blueberry, spinach and apple puree {Baby food}

I can hardly believe Olivia is already SIX month old! It seriously breaks my heart. Does anyone else feel like time flies by so much faster with baby #2? I do! She has already learned to roll over, sit up and is now tackling gerber snacks, LOL. :( We introduced solid foods to Olivia (and Connor too) at four months old. Now, at six months, she's had pretty much all the basic purees and is ready to try things mixed together. This recipe was one of Connor's favorites and goes really well with yogurt as they get older. 

[The picture below was taken just a few days after she was born]


  • 1 cup of organic blueberries
  • 2 organic apples
  • a handful of spinach 
  • 1/4 cup of water - 1/2 a cup


Peel, core and dice apples. Place apples, blueberries and water in a pot. 
Heat to a boil and cook for around 10 minutes, or until apples are soft. Turn off heat and add spinach. Stir until the spinach wilts. 
Place in blender and pulse until smooth. This recipe makes roughly 1 - 1 1/2 ice cube trays, depending on how many little fingers want to taste :) You can pour into trays and freeze for three months, or refrigerate for three days. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Bacon Pancakes! {Toddler Bites}

That's right..BACON pancakes!! Who doesn't love bacon and who doesn't love pancakes? Why not combine the two?? As it turns out, my two year old LOVES bacon, but if I give it to him, he will eat 10 pieces and refuses anything else but more bacon. So I thought, why not make the bacon more filling and sneak in some pancakes!


  • Pancake batter (Homemade, store bought, whatever you like)
  • Bacon
  • Spinach *optional*


Heat your griddle. I usually cook my bacon around 250 degrees or 300. Throw on some bacon and let it cook. While you're waiting on the bacon, mix your pancake batter. *This next part is optional, just adds a healthy twist* Chop up some spinach, really fine. Mix the spinach into your batter. After the bacon is completely cooked, take it off and let the grease soak into a paper towel. Wipe down the griddle. Place the bacon back on the griddle and pour pancake batter over the top. Let cook for around 2 minutes and flip. Continue cooking until brown. Enjoy!

This is not my original idea, it's something I saw on Pinterest, I just added spinach. My son absolutely loved it, I hope your kids do too! :)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Steak Marinade {Dinner Date}

Date nights are so important! My husband and I would be nuts if we didn't get some relaxing time alone. After all, we are in this big adventure we call life TOGETHER! To be a date, it doesn't mean you have to go out somewhere special. Just spend time alone together, thinking of nothing but one another. :) Date night dinners at home are that perfect balance. We don't have to get a sitter, but we can still have our date. Our last dinner date in I marinated steaks during the day and my husband grilled them up after the kids went to bed. Here's the marinade recipe. Enjoy.

Ingredients - 

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced garlic
  • a few sprinkles of red pepper flakes

Direction - 

In a blender combine all above ingredients. Blend for about 30 seconds. Pour mixture into a gallon sized ziplock bag. Add two steaks and let marinate for 8 hours, flipping at the 4 hour mark. 

*Makes enough for two steaks