I love apple picking, but inevitably every year I'm left with far more apples than I could possibly eat. I love pies, tarts, cakes, and everything else apple. The problem is typically the apples go bad before I can use them all up.
Faced with the prospect of expiring apples and no need to bake anything, I decided to try a new way to use up my leftover apples, apple butter.
This isn't actually "butter" anymore than peanut butter is butter, but rather it's a delicious spread, a bit thicker than apple sauce that is wonderful on toast, muffins, or frankly out of the jar by the spoonful. It also is the easiest thing you will ever make.
Risotto always makes me think of my maternal grandmother, in that if you asked her to make it you had to be realllllly sure that you wanted it. She would confirm several times because she would say "it takes all day."
Because of that I avoided making it for a good part of my adult life, but over the last few years have learned that while it does take a bit of time and muscle (or at least constant stirring) it doesn't really take "all day." However it is a bit time-consuming for a typical weeknight dinner, so I was delighted a few years ago when I learned it could be made in a dutch oven with minimal active effort.
More recently I was curious if I could get the same effect using my Instantpot. I'm not going to lie to you, the stove top method will always beat any oven or Instantpot, but if you're crunched for time, my Instantpot Risotto comes incredibly close to the stove top version. It's creamy, cheesy, and delicious. Oh yeah, it also only takes 6 minutes!
This is my go-to drink for chilly autumn days. I love that I can make a big batch of it in the crockpot for gatherings or just a single mug to take the chill out on a rainy fall evening.
I always knew I would do my own bouquet for my wedding. Initially I wasn't sure what that would look like, but after I got my dress which had a lot of beads and embroidery, I knew I needed something glamorous to go with it. I also wanted something that could be a keep sake.
I came across brooch bouquets on Pinterest and knew I wanted to do one. There are many different ways that you could make one and I experimented with a few. Ultimately this is how I ended up doing mine but as I said there are many tutorials out there.
I loved that I could incorporate brooches from my husband's grandmother, my grandmother and my great-grandmother. It was a nice way to have these women walk with me down the aisle. Here's how I made mine...
It's hard to believe it's been a year and a half since I made these shelves for my dining room. They were one of the first big projects I tackled and my first time using a saw. I had no idea what I was doing, but I am so happy with the results. They serve as storage but also have added a lot of character to my dining room. The original shelf system I wanted was $500, definitely out of my budget, these cost me a fraction of that. You can check out my post from January 2018 on how I made them here.
"Let's do fall things!" is often heard in my house as the days get chillier. Gone are the days of lounging away at the beach and returning to grill an al fresco dinner. Rather the fireplace is getting more use and the oven is back to work producing comforting dishes to stave off the coming colder weather.
As a born and bred New Englander leaf peeping and apple picking are in my blood. I love biting into a fresh juicy apple while strolling the orchards looking for the best picks. Then I get home and reality sets in. What does one do with 10 pounds of apples?
I have plans for ciders and tarts and pies, but the first thing I always make is Ina Garten's Apple Tatin Cake. It's my husband's (hey first time writing that since I got married!) favorite and it's so easy yet so elegant. It has a completely distinct flavor, lemony and delicate with hints of apple, which is a nice reprieve from heavier pie flavors. I know you'll love it too! So if you've got some apples to use up, read on!
This past Saturday marked the official start of fall, and while Starbucks has had their infamous PSL in stores since August, it's only just gotten to feel like fall in New England. Now I know their are a range of opinions about pumpkin spiced lattes, I know the "pumpkin spice" market has been over saturated and that it is causing a backlash against it. I also know very few PSL's have actual pumpkin. You know what? I'm okay with it, I still love them. SO if like me you don't mind being a little basic and enjoy a cuppa fall, here are three ways to enjoy a pumpkin spice latte this season!
I'm an Inaphile. I think you know that if you've been around here long enough. I absolutely love her cookbooks and her calm approach to home entertaining. I appreciate that she is honest about the fact that she had no formal training and learned to cook from Julia Child's cookbook. I in turn learned to cook from Ina. I also enjoy that she regularly shares cookbooks that she enjoys. A few years ago she made a list of her go-to cookbooks. You can bet I wrote that down and have been tracking them down ever since.
While I could just order them on Amazon, I actually love finding cookbooks in used book stores. I enjoy reading notes that people have made in them and seeing the dog-eared pages of favorite recipes.
I was at a used book store one day when I came across Sarah Leah Chase's Cold Weather Cooking. I recognized it as an Ina rec and purchased it. Outside of the Barefoot Canon it is now my favorite cookbook. Here's my review...
I'll be the first to admit that I don't care about wedding invitations, or honestly invitations in general. I know that they are technically the introduction to a party or event and set the tone, but they just aren't something I've put a lot of thought into. I apologize but if you've sent me an invitation in the last five years, I can't tell you what it looked like.
So I surprised even myself when I came across laser cut invitations and decided I wanted to have them for my wedding. Something about them just fit in well with our '20's theme and they were fun and different.
However when I started researching I realized the cheapest price for one laser cut invitation that I could find was $4. That didn't even include all of the inserts. That's about 3x my budget. So in true Grace and Maura style, I decided that I could do it for less. Of course I had no idea how, but I knew there was a way. So here it is, my version, for under $1.50!
I think the best part of being an adult is that you can eat ice cream whenever you want. Actually I take that back, wine is the best part of being an adult. However ice cream any time of day is a close second.
For this week's Sunday coffee I'm sharing a favorite after dinner drink. Wait, I know what you're thinking...it's Sunday coffee... what's up with the after dinner drink? Well, this drink is a classic cocktail that uses coffee, however I think you could indulge any time of day. A classic affogato is incredibly simple to make yet elegant and indulgent. I've also got a few twists to make it ah-maz-ing. Coffee AND ice cream? Could it get any better?