Friday, November 21, 2014

Week Thirty-Four

Only 6 weeks to go!  Baby is now approximately the size of a cantaloupe and probably as darling as ever. We do have another ultra-sound in a few weeks (I think the first week in December or so), and I am getting quite excited to see him one more time before we get to meet him!
It is very surreal still that we are having a baby in a few weeks.  I have been thinking about this for months, but now that it is almost here, I am freaking out, just a little bit.  Thankfully we now have just about everything that we will need for him. I have one or two necessities to buy before he comes, but other than that, we are pretty much ready for him to come!  So crazy, and so exciting!!



sweater: clothing swap// shirt: gap// necklace: not sure... it is old// skirt: ann taylor factory// boots: dsw
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Caramel Apple Pie

Soon after we started dating, I discovered that Adam has a deep and abiding love for pies.  I am honestly not a huge pie fan, mostly because I don't like cooked fruit all that much, so I don't make pie for him very often.  Because of his great love, I tried my hand a few different kinds and after some experimentation, this pie was born and has become an absolute favorite for both of us. It is a bit complicated, but please believe me when I tell you that it is worth the effort.  It is SO delicious! Totally a Thanksgiving staple and tradition in our house!

Also, congratulations to Ruth who won the CollectiveDesignsbyL.com Giveaway!!! Thank you to all who participated! It was great to hear what things you like!   If you didn't win, but are still interested in purchasing something, the code GIVEAWAY, to save 15% off your purchase will be good until Saturday, Nov 22nd.  Get your Christmas shopping done early this year! 


                                                                                        
Caramel Apple Pie
Adapted from the Cinnamon Apple Crumble Pie from the William- Sonoma Pie & Tart book and All-Recipes

Ingredients: 
2 pie crusts (I double this recipe)

7 or 8 apples (typically recipes call for green, but I have used several varieties and it has always turned out just fine)
Peel, core and slice 7 or 8 apples or dice them into 1/2 cubes.

Put the bottom crust in your pie pan.  Place apples on top of bottom pie crust. 

Streusel topping: 
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
5 tbs cold unsalted butter cut into 1/4" cubes.  
Stir together brown sugar ,flour, cinnamon and salt in a separate bowl.  Using two forks or two knives, cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly.  Cover and chill in fridge until you are ready to use. Once all your apples are cut and in the pie crust, pour an even layer over the apples.  Create a lattice crust with strips of dough, weaving them over and under to create the basket weave. Press the edges of the top and bottom crust together with your fingers or a fork.  

Get the pie completely ready lattice and everything before starting the caramel step!  

Caramel sauce: 
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tbs all purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water.
Melt butter in sauce pan.  Slowly stir in the flour to form a paste.  Add white sugar, brown sugar and water and bring to a boil.  Reduce temperature and simmer for 5 minutes.  Once the caramel sauce is ready, carefully pour it evenly over the lattice. 

Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees.  Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake for 35-45 minutes.  When crust edges are golden brown, pull from the oven and let cool, just a bit.  Enjoy with ice cream!



Thursday, November 13, 2014

Potstickers with Dipping Sauce

Can you say AH-MAZING!  Good heavens these potstickers are good!  I have made them twice in the last few weeks and I don't think life gets much better than homemade potstickers!  They are quite time consuming (especially if you make your own dough, which I did both times), but you can definitely purchase the wrappers from the grocery store and just make the filling and the sauce.  They were completely worth the time they took, and you can freeze them before cooking if you want to save some of them for later

Potstickers and Dipping Sauce:
slightly adapted from Food Origami
Makes between 24-30 potstickers

Potsticker Dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup boiling water
Whisk the flour and salt together in a medium sized bowl.  Boil the water in a pot and then slowly add it to the flour/salt mixture.  Carefully stir in the water.  The mixture will be a little pebbly.  Knead the dough with your hands until relatively smooth for about 2 minutes.  Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or put the dough in a sealed tupperware and let it sit for at least 15 minutes for up to 2 hours at room temperature.  Once the dough has set for at least 15 minutes, divide it into 4 equal parts and roll one of the sections out until it is very thin (an 1/8" or so) and with a cup, bowl or large biscuit cutter, cut out circles of the dough, lightly dusting flour on each one, so they don't stick together.  Repeat with remaining sections of dough until all the dough has been cut into circular shapes.

Potsticker Filling:  
1 cooked ground chicken breast
1 1/2 cup shredded green or purple cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 Tbs sugar
1/2 Tbs sesame oil
1/2 Tbs rice vinegar
1/2 Tbs grated ginger
1 1/2 Tbs soy sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbs cornstarch
Mix chicken, cabbage and carrot in a medium sized bowl.  Mix all other ingredients together in another small bowl then, pour over the chicken mixture and tossing, making sure all the chicken, cabbage and carrot are evenly coated in the sauce.

Once you have cut all the dough out, begin filling each dough circle with 1 Tbs of the filling, fold the dough in half to encompass the filling and pleat the edges to form a small packet with filling on the inside.  If the dough is having a hard time sticking, put a drop of water on your finger and run it along the outside edge of the dough and try again.  Continue until all dough circles have been formed into sealed packets.  At this point, you can freeze the packets for up to a month, or you can continue by cooking them.  To cook, pour 1 Tbs of canola oil into a frying pan and turn to medium low heat.  Once the oil has begun heating, put 8 or so of the potstickers in the pan (being sure they don't touch each other), and let cook until they begin to brown and crisp flipping half way through to ensure even cooking.  Pull them out of the pan and place them on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb any extra oil.  Let cool slightly, and serve with dipping sauce!

Dipping Sauce: 
adapted from Allrecipes
1/4 soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbs water
2 Tbs hoisin sauce
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp white sugar
Mix all ingredients together in a jar or stir in a bowl.  Serve with potstickers.

And now, I should probably go make another batch... and so should you.

P.S. My Etsy shop giveaway ends tomorrow night, so you should go enter if you haven't already!  If you don't like giveaways, you can use the coupon code GIVEAWAY to save 15% in my shop.  That code will be good until Nov 22nd. 




Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Raiding My Sister's Closet: A Gorgeous Selection of Winter Coats


This weekend, our weather is supposed to drop down into the 20's, and I am getting ready (and super excited) to pull out my winter coats! Winter coats are such a lovely part of the winter (especially because it means that Thanksgiving and Christmas are getting close!), and I love layering with a fabulous coat! A few years ago my mom gave me a gorgeous cobalt blue coat for Christmas that I have just loved wearing!  It is beautiful and striking while still looking great with loads of outfits.   I hunted around the web and found a few beauties that I thought were just as striking for your viewing (and/or buying) pleasure!  If you are looking to invest in a new coat this year, one of these might be just the one for you!  Military, feminine, or casual, there is something for everyone here!  Now,  I am rethinking if I need a new coat or not this year!  There are some fabulous choices out there!  
Green Peacoat: Anthro//Black Military Coat: Macy's// Blue Plaid Coat: Anthro
Black Zip Coat: Forever 21// White Coat: Macy's//Green Fur Coat: Wet Seal//

Check out Janssen and Merrick's coat picks for this winter!  Also, if you missed my Etsy Giveway and Coupon Code post from yesterday, you should stop by and enter!

   

Monday, November 10, 2014

Etsy Shop Giveaway

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I am going to a Christmas Market to sell product from my Etsy Shop.  I did it back in June and it was so fun!  I have been ramping up production the last few months to be ready, so I have a ton of product in my store, and a lot more that I will continue to post over the next 3 or so weeks.  To get the holiday season started for my Etsy shop, I am giving away a $25 credit to CollectiveDesignsbyL.com here on my blog!  Below is a small sampling of the items that I sell in my shop.  Also, I am offering a coupon code for 15% off all items in my shop until November 22nd! Use the code GIVEAWAY.  The items in my shop are all handmade by me, and many of them are one of a kind with only one available, so order quickly to get your favorites! 

Happy Shopping!


Please click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter the Giveaway!   Good luck!
The giveaway runs until Saturday, November 14th at 12:00AM CST

Please note that this giveaway is open to US readers only! Sorry for the inconvenience!
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