Monday, September 28, 2009

Not-Bad-For-You Apple-y Goodness

I would have thought that many people would do this, but I was told at a recent Weight Watchers meeting that this was an excellent idea so I'm sharing it with all seven of you.

When you're trying to watch your caloric intake in a season measured in mounds of apple pies, apple crisps, caramel apples, chocolate apples, apple crumbles and any other apple concoction that sabotages your diet, try this:

Cut an apple into thin slices and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with regular sugar (just a tiny bit), Splenda (I tend to just use Splenda in lieu of both sugar and Splenda), some ground cinnamon, and a little bit of nutmeg . Adjust to taste. Spray a baking sheet with Pam or another low-calorie non-stick spray. Bake at 325 degrees for nine minutes, flip apples, and bake for a few more minutes. Serve with no-sugar added Vanilla ice cream or non-fat yogurt or light whip cream or whatever your heart desires.

Image via flickr.


This weekend involved pie. A lot of pie. Apple pies. One of David's students brought him a million apples and I was commissioned to make pies (Dearest Darling David, learn to bake). Pie was consumed for desert on Friday, brunch on Saturday, brunch and desert on Sunday and today I have already had two slices, with cheddar. It's a problem, this love for pie.

Apple Pie


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, cold
12 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup ice water

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, salt and sugar. Add the shortening and break it up with your hands as you start to coat it all up with the flour. Add the cold butter cubes and work it into the flour with your hands or a pastry cutter. Work it quickly, so the butter doesn't get too soft, until the mixture is crumbly, like very coarse cornmeal. Add the ice water, a little at a time, until the mixture comes together forming a dough. Bring the dough together into a ball.

When it comes together stop working it otherwise the dough will get over-worked and tough. Divide the dough in half and flatten it slightly to form a disk shape. Wrap each disk in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. On a floured surface roll each disk out into a 10 to 11-inch circle to make a 9-inch pie.

3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
Freshly ground nutmeg, to taste
7 medium apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 tablespoons butter, diced
Egg wash, for brushing
Sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Mix together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl. In another bowl, sprinkle apples with the juice of 1 lemon and toss. Stir in the sugar mixture to evenly coat the apples.

Set aside. Roll out chilled dough into 2 circles and use 1 round to line a 9-inch pie pan. Chill the other round.

Mound the apple and sugar mixture into the pie pan lined with dough. Dot with the cubed butter.

Using a pastry cutter, cut an even number of strips from the remaining rolled out dough. Transfer every other strip to the pie top and weave in the lattice by folding every other strip back onto itself and laying another strip perpendicularly. Fold the strips back across and repeat until completed.

Brush the top of the pie with egg wash and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Trim the overhanging dough and crimp edges.

Bake pie for 15 minutes. Let rest 20 minutes before slicing.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Oooh I Die.

I pine. I pine a lot for this most amazing Diane von Furstenberg sweater. I might change my name to Hannah von Something. Just saying.

Ten Items or Less: Fall

It's been raining. I'm a big fan of the rain. Rainy Saturdays following late late Fridays are pretty wonderful. The rain and the afternoon at home with Susie make me want pretty clothes. Warm clothes. Wool clothes. Grey clothes. Yes please. So here is the ten item wardrobe for fall.

1) This pea coat makes me die of happiness, over everything. Everywhere.
2) I got these luminous Franco Sarto Boots three years ago and wear them about four times a week. They still look banging. I wear them over jeans and with skirts and dresses and once I ran to Sainsbury's in just a t-shirt and underwear and those boots with a very long coat. I am a very elegant lady. Be aware.
3) I really do kind of want a rather boring Coach Watch that I can wear with everything.
4) I pine in a big way for this magical Rick Owens' Sweater
5) This See by Chloe skirt lights up my life, with the sweater, with a white shirt, with all those stupid J. Crew tank tops, with about nine million cardigans
6) I keep threatening to buy a proper sheath dress and this one is pretty fabu. I'd wear it with the boots. And the peacoat. Probably not a good idea but I would.
7) Pashminas, they should cost five dollas. FACT
8) Something about the rain makes me want to hide in enormous cardigans. This one pretty much rocks my universe
9) My favourite golden ballet flats had to be retired this week and these purple cutenessess are looking pretty glamorous as replacements
10) With skinny jeans, with skirts, with everything. I'm pretty much in love with this shenanigan and the lovely pockets

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Buy These

My favorite flats have a hole. An honest-to-God, foot-touching-the-streets-of-Manhattan-on-the-walk-from-work-to-the-library-to-Bloomingdales-to-book-sale-then-cross-town-to-bus-stop HOLE on the bottom. Perhaps I might need new shoes. Like these, for example. I'm pretty sure Jesus made them.

From top, Prada $ tears, Prada $ whine, Louboutin $ wail, all

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cuts and Colours

I do not like getting my hair done. It's kind of stressful. You get bad haircuts. The shortest layers in my new haircut are very very short. And there are some seriously long layers in there too. I live in fear of looking like one D. Bowie in Labyrinth (yes I understand that he's awesome whatever cult film but WHINE). I do not want to look like D. Bowie. To fight the fug I'm going to watch Lagerfeld Confidential with Mummie and meditate on what a nutcase our boy Karl is.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

With Mummie, Make Cheese Straws

My mother is visiting so we are having bangers and mash and pounding the last of the Summer Honey Moon and I am dying for love of Paula Deen's Cheese Straws. Ours do not look this nice. They do taste like magic especially with beer. Especially with your Mummie.

Because of the visitation of my dearest mother posting will be slow this week. I will be shopping for more cheese straw ingredients and lunching with her old friends and walking in parks with her and knitting while we watch silly movies and then introducing her to David, who she has not yet met. It's going to be a thing.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Girl Crush: Julie Deply

While folding laundry and knitting this today I watched Before Sunset. Julie Delpy is the coolest prettiest most awesome ever. She makes me think that I should let my hair grow, stop eating and only wear cream and black. I think I need highlights. The no make-up shenanigan is my jam. I have a major crush.

Dear You

So I have a question for the five of you. You all clearly have very excellent taste so I value your opinions. If I am only going to get one coat this year (because I don't have a job, I do want to be able to buy other clothes and realistically I'm twenty-three and technically a squatter in my parents summer house) would it be reasonable to buy this coat? In pink. Imagine how pretty it would be with my high brown boots (that I bought two years ago and still wear nearly every day) and over my white skirts (which I also insist on wearing in the middle of winter) and with my black corduroys and over all the black turtlenecks that I will insist on wearing this winter and with the feathered headbands. Ignore what it will look like with green, or other shades of pink, or my favourite red corduroys. What do we think?



Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I know this is from L. L. Bean and a little mature but I think it's really lovely. I hate insane straps and zippers everywhere and designer labels plastered all over things so the simplicity of it really appeals to me. I also love the color but I wish the straps were longer. I think there's something dignified about it, like it would look very fitting on a cultured world traveler who wears tortoise-shell glasses and carries moleskins everywhere. The problem is that I am too young and inexperienced to be a cultured world traveler and thus it is probably too old for me. Le sigh.

Brown Glass

There is something very warm and cozy about brown glass bottles, especially when placed on a proper sun-filled window sill so that it captures the light just right, or when filled with flowers of the fall variety.

Why the Hating?

I know everyone hates this but me. I get kind of defensive and sad when I read about how everyone hates it. I may have just said to Mary that "people should keep fucking calm and carry the fuck on" and then I pouted a little bit. Don't be hating. Let me have this in my kitchen if I want. It's a good thing to keep in mind when you're trying to make that effing chicken marbella and your friends are all asking you why you're muttering obscenities and chucking spoons at the walls.

Awards, Hugs

Hannah (what a great name, good choice Hannah's Parents) has awarded us the Lemonade Stand Award. Because she's a peach and has wonderful taste. I'm QUITE fond of her lovely blog too, and I share her rekindled interest in Mixed Tapes. Thanks lady.

For Me, Please Thanks

Why yes please.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Oooh for Weddings

I am, as I've said before, not getting married. Possibly ever. But The Oldest and Best Friend is and the wedding is getting sooner and sooner and I discovered these photos from Life. I am very excited about weddings on horseback, dancing like a maniac, apres wedding limos and being the nutcase thrashing other girls to catch the bouquet.

Soup, Lager, Fall

I am knitting a scarf for D and cooking soup. The fall est here. Last night after contemplating the uncharacteristic coldness of this Pennsylvania September (living in a summer house in September feels very wrong) I settled into my lovely dinner of Pumpkin Ginger soup and a lager. People who come to dinner should always bring lager (tanks John for the Tennant). Make your own pumpkin ginger soup. It might not be as cold where you are but it's pretty effing yummington steele.

Pumpkin Ginger Soup

1 small to medium pumpkin
5 tablespoons butter
2 leeks, cleaned and chopped
4 teaspoons minced ginger
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

Halve and seed the pumpkin, oil both halves and place cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake for one hour at 400. Let cool, then scoop the pulp from the skin.

Heat on medium low in a soup pot: burre, leaks and ginger. Cook 5-10 minutes until the leaks are well wilted.

Stir in the pumpkin pulp and stock, bring to a simmer and stir occasionally for 20 minutes. Puree until smooth. Add salt, lots of salt. I really love salt.

Serve to your boyfriend and former roommate with cheese and wine and bread. Eat the next day alone in the kitchen with day old bread and cheese and a lager (thank again) and read while you eat. Getting soup on every page. Everything is better with snapdragons on the table.

Monday, September 14, 2009

For Cold

My head is cold. It's cold here. I think I need this to keep it warm.

Living Alone

Living alone is not fun. Well sometimes it's fun. When I can come home at 8 from an early morning with David or at the barn it's nice to nap on the couch with the dog for a couple of hours. It's nice to always have beer in the house that you don't have to share. But in general it's not fun. Mary was here for the weekend and I had David and friends over for dinner on Friday and saw The Oldest and Best and her fiance on Saturday for drinks and the transition from having people around at the weekend to a week home alone is pretty awful. I have to remember what to do with myself. The dog and cat are tired of being clutched and cuddled. I need little sisters to clutch and cuddle and my family to talk to. Or a roommate.

photos by moi

Friday, September 11, 2009


If you could only see outside my window right now--and you could, as I have a camera and photos taken, but alas, no camera chord with which to load and publish them--you would see why I am hibernating at my desk at 5:14 pm on a Friday, refusing to leave until I can walk to the bus stop without being unreasonably soaked for the ride home in the inevitably freezing vehicle. My umbrella is no match for this misery, except color-wise of course.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Madeline Weinrib pillows. On sample sale. Tomorrow. I die.

I would like one of every color and every design. Yes, please.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Muumuu and Work Sitchu

I was supposed to be in the Adirondacks this weekend but due to unforeseen familial circumstances I am instead home, stuck in the city, and wishing I was elsewhere. Of course being at work blows even more so at the moment as I'm faced with the realization that I could be hiking right now. It shall now have to wait until the end of the month. Thus, I am sitting at my desk wearing my awesome muumuu (this in a solid berry shade) in protest.

Work is complicated. I came into this job hoping it would be a valuable stepping stone into the art world before graduate school. Just as I am in chemistry classes hoping to prepare for art conservation school my boss has informed me that he would like to see me move up in the company and wants me to take courses and earn a higher degree in this particular field. It turns out that I am really good at something I don't know if I necessarily want to be doing. Go figure. Much has to be considered. Of course, if I moved up in the company, a muumuu at work probably wouldn't fly. That might be an issue for me.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Yarn yarn yarn

It's gotten cold. This morning it was 45 when I left the house at 6am. Miserable hour to leave the house, miserable temperature. The weather makes me want to knit things, snuggly things. I have armloads and armloads of grey wool from when my mother kept sheep. I think I need a cowl, sisters might get hats. The Oldest-and-Best's little sister (who got married in the pretty white dress) is pregnant. I am still young enough that the children of contemporaries are alarming and unusual. Natalie will be an awesome mother though and I am very excited. David's nephew is just a few weeks old and I am constantly snatching him from his mother and snuggling him. There is another nephew I haven't yet met. All these babies need sweaters I think. An easier project I think than making one for myself. This one's pretty cute.