A Little of This & That… Renovating, Decorating, DIY Projects & Family
A Little of This & That… Renovating, Decorating, DIY Projects & Family

Apple Pie Pops

I’ve been meaning to try these out for a while and I’m happy to report back that they were possibly one of the easiest desserts I’ve made… and one of the yummiest!

Apple Pie Pops

I am a pie fan. I love a good slice of homemade American apple pie (my mom’s especially) over most desserts and I was really excited to give these a go after seeing them over here.

No, I didn’t make a homemade crust (which is usually the golden pie rule) but that’s also what made these so easy. And when in little turnover batches like these pie bites, the pre-made, rolled out crust sold in the frozen food section of the grocery store is quite tasty. Mmmm that bite above was delicious. 100% as good as it looks!

This is a must try – they’re cute, tasty and unique. The girls at the baby shower I brought them to loved them!

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Apple Pie Bites
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Ingredients: Pre-made pie dough, 1 apple (I used a granny smith), 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, 1 T brown or white sugar, water, flour for rolling dough, 8 lollipop sticks (found at Michaels or a craft/baking store), glass or cookie cutter, parchment paper

Makes 8 pops (the average pre-made dough round makes 16 rounds – or 8 pops total – so double or triple as necessary.) Preheat oven to 375.

1. Peel and core your apple(s), chop up into small 1/2″ pieces and mix with cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. (There’s no science to the amounts I chose here, season to taste or even use an apple pie spice. I like to bake in ‘pinches’ and ‘dashes’ measurements myself).

2. Cook over low heat until the apples are slightly soft, but remember they’ll finish cooking in the oven. Add 2-3 T of water to your raw apples as you’re cooking to help the apples break down.

3. While the apples simmer, unwrap your dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Add a small amount of flour to the top to keep your rolling pin from sticking.

4. The dough is a bit thick right out of the box so I recommend a good roll, flip, roll to get your full 16 circles for 8 pops. Super thick crust is more likely to split at the seams while baking, too.

5. I found the perfect size circle in a beer glass that we have from a favorite local pub, but a round cookie cutter or water glass would have worked swimmingly.

Gather up your scraps and kneed another flat layer out one last time to get a full 16 circles (plus scraps for covering in sugar and baking).

6. Parchment paper is really useful here and I generally just dig how easy it makes baking and clean up. I staggered my circles in windows so that there was plenty of room for the long lollipop sticks.

Be sure to press those sticks over half way up through the circle for maximum post-baking support.

7. Now it’s time to add just a bit of filling to each circle. The pie bites that stayed together best were those with just a tablespoon or so of that yummy apple goodness. Of course you could add berries, cherries or even a square of chocolate here for an entirely different flavor.

8. Place your second round on top of the circle and gently press together the edges to seal up those seams.

9. Using the end of a lollipop stick, create a little ribbed design in the edges (further sealing that seam):

Voila! One down.

Looking so delicious already! What a fun little packet of yumminess.

10. Add a dash of cinnamon and sugar just before putting in the oven. (Optional: brush on a glaze of whipped egg whites for a more crackled pie crust look. I completely forgot this step but they ended up still looking tasty). Bake for 10-15 minutes.

You really must try these, I insist. Between rolling out the dough, assembly and cooking, these guys could not have taken me more than 30 minutes (that’s including baking).

Here they are straight out of the oven. Give them a little time to cool and then enjoy!

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Speaking of the shower that I brought these pie pops to, here are some fun ideas that the hostess thought up:

The table with its jars of candy, alphabet letters and vintage books was adorable. A simple piece of plexiglass over wooden puzzles turned them into the perfect trays (love that idea):

A little foam puzzle was strung up to create unique bunting, likewise with paper dixie cups over Christmas lights:

The craft for the evening was handmade alphabet blocks using modge podge and cute cut outs on wooden blocks, it was so creative and such a neat gift for the mom-to-be, Sarah. Great job, Cassie!

Building a Bathroom: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Hope you had a great weekend! We had family in town so we played and enjoyed good food while also sneaking in a few house projects. Thanks for helping out, Mom and Dad!

I have such a neat find to share. I’m so thrilled with this random thrift store discovery that I still can’t believe my luck.

I was perusing a local shop that was on its way out of business (very sad, it was a spot that carried some great gems) when I came across a beautiful, arched mirror high on a wall at the very back of the store. When a clerk came to help me get this guy down, I was so happy to discover that it was heavy and really well built. So heavy that I was at first wary it might not mount right and actually passed on it. But its unique shape and quality taunted me all day and eventually I went back to pick it up.

So happy that I did!

I love love how our bathroom is coming out but it is in need of a few unique pieces to balance out our new modern updates. Our home is a juxtaposition of old meets new. She’s a 1930′s bungalow with high, arched ceilings and lathe & plaster walls, but she’s also expected to be fresh, modern and functional for a family living in the 21st century. It has been one of our main goals all along to pair that vintage-meets-contemporary design aesthetic throughout, and when a room begins to feel too much one way or the other, it’s a clear sign that it’s time to inject the opposite into the space.

Enter the guest bathroom with its brand new glass tiled shower, crisp blue walls, brushed nickel fixtures and stone grey floor – now it’s time to inject some of that old-world bungalow charm to compliment the subway tiled chair rail (a more permanent nod to the original style of 1930s baths). A feature of the mirror that I love best is that the unique shape actually kind of reminds me of the arches in our living room, dining room and guest room, a key feature of Spanish-style homes.

(A few have asked about the grey grout and yes, we took the unconventional route of grouting the entire shower in the same grey as the stone floor. It was Kev who had to get me on board with this one but I’m super thrilled with the result – and lack of any grout stains that may show up in the future).

A cool shape, right?

Kevin was skeptical when I brought it home but humored me enough to give the mirror a shot for a little while. And now he sees why I dig it so much.

Please ignore that manilla colored door in the background… it is screaming for a coat of glossy white paint. (Manilla must have been the white of the 70′s because this home has fully embraced that cream trim look.)

I don’t often get to sneak away to go thrift store shopping these days with how busy work has been and how difficult it can be to shop with the little one, so when I pop into a store here and there I am often bemused at my lack of good fortune. I rarely find what I’m looking for. But in my book, this mirror spotting could be my one find for a long time and I’d be a-okay with that. :)

Now it’s time to add a little art, a few additional fixtures (like this one):

Some paint touch-ups, shower door and baseboard additions, and soon our bath built from scratch will be ready for its big reveal. Thanks for your huge amount of patience :).

More building a bathroom posts: installation time, vanity wars, subway tile installation,  floor tiles and toe warmers, a quick catch-up on our work on the bathroom in 2011, tiling with recycled glass, choosing and installing a bathtub, demo time!, a peak at the layout, initial inspiration, partnering with Lowe’s

We partnered with Lowe’s on our bathroom remodel and had the opportunity to try out some of their product at no cost and some product at a discount. The ideas and stories shared in this post are entirely our own, promise.

Friday Guest Interview: The Busy Budgeting Mama

Happy Friday! Oh I love me a good Friday. It’s the close of the work week… a chance to wrap up unfinished projects, cross off items from the ever daunting list, reprioritize tasks that didn’t meet their Friday deadline. I also take an early lunch on Fridays for a story time at our local library with Liv. It’s the best.

Weekends usually mean a new kind of project – one that involves a hammer or paint brush or some mod podge. Weekends also mean par 3 golf courses, BBQs with friends and morning Church on Sunday. Sunday rituals are sacred in our house, it’s a morning to look forward to all week. After Mass we swing by the most delicious bakery for an almond danish and vanilla latte (always the same order. always), that’s followed by our favorite Farmer’s Market where we stock up on goods from farmers we’re beginning to get to know. Oh man those homemade almond danishes… I’m thinking about it already.

But! It’s still Friday, and with that I introduce to you a blog that I think you’ll very much enjoy checking out. The Busy Budgeting Mama was introduced to me by a friend and I was immediately smitten with Natalie’s creativity.

Be it a cardboard castle of all castles for her kiddos, the most wonderful crocheted animal patterns, her awesome dessert tables (because her graphic design skills are through the roof) or a dollhouse complete with wallpaper and DIY designer furniture, this girl is crafty and quite good at it. How cute is this idea? And here’s that awesome castle that cost a whopping $4 to create:

If you enjoy following along with families (and super savvy creative ones, at that) then I think you’ll really enjoy Natalie’s blog. More pictures of her adorable family and crafty style (plus answers to the usual four interview questions) after the jump.

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