Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Normand Apple Pie

...to celebrate the season!

I've been meaning to share this recipe for some time, but between making it and taking photos, it's not always an easy mix.  But I've finally managed to do both.

This pie is a bit of a mixture of a few recipes I've tweaked and added to or taken away from myself.  It's very simple (as you'll soon see), but receives accolades every time I make it.  I hope you'll try it and enjoy!

For the topping
3 Tbs unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 C sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs flour

For the pie1 pie crust (either pre-made or homemade, the choice is yours)
1 C sour cream
2/3 C sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
3 Tbs flour
5-6 apples (I prefer more acidic varieties)
2-3 Tbs Cognac

For the topping

- Blend all ingredients together until well combined

- Cover and chill

For the pie
- Peel and slice the apples in approximately 1/2 inch slices

- Whisk together sour cream, sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs, flour and cognac in a large bowl

- Add the apples to this mixture and combine

- Spoon filling into the pie crust (in a pie tin of course)

- Crumble topping over the top

- Bake in the middle of the oven for 60-75 minutes.  You may need to cover the top of the pie with aluminum foil near the end in order to prevent over-browning.


Monday, November 28, 2011


... but I've run out of paper to make it up properly. I hope you'll excuse me and enjoy this printable calendar anyway!

24 templates for 24 days of wee tiny boxes, perfect for hiding goodies and sweets!  And a perfect crafting opportunity with the kids.  You supply the paper and glue.

Finished boxes look like the ones below, but with a little something more.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


...from a different point of view.  Once again, it's a painting in the works for my art class, but it's almost there.  Almost.  Just a few minor touches here and there and I think it will be done.  That is, of course, until I bring it back to class next week and am informed that there is, in fact, more to be done.  Until then, I'll enjoy my ignorant bliss thinking that I've pretty much completed this project.

I absolutely loved working on this and am in love with the technique.  Definitely one I'll be using in the future.  A mix of photo and paint and so big and bold and completely in your face.  Just love it!

And as a bonus, it's gotten the thumbs up all around the house which isn't a guarantee with this crowd.  Something must be working!

Monday, November 21, 2011


... a set of new templates for your crafting pleasure.  Wee little boxes in reds and greens for all sorts of fun uses - in particular hiding wee little pressies!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In a fog...

... literally.  Since Friday. We've been in some sort of fog or another around here.  From light to pea-soup, you name it, we've had it.

And unfortunately we had it for our weekend in Burgundy as well.  It put a slight spanner in the works for any sightseeing we had planned as for the most part we were only about to see within a quite short radius around us.

That said, we were still able to take in all the beautiful sights that were closer to us.  And more importantly, fog or no fog, we were able to enjoy the gastronomic as well as oenological delights of the region.  This week is cabbage soup for detox!

Here are a few of the 'up-close' sights we were able to enjoy, among which Les Hospices de Beaune (look at that gorgeous tiled roof!).

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I've been meaning to share this for quite some time now, but life, as usual, keeps getting in the way.

Today I find myself with a little bit of downtime so also finally with a bit of time to share this with all of you.  For the past... well maybe 4 if not 5 years, I've been asked every year to do an illustration for Cortney's daughter, then son, for their birthday invites.  At first I did the entire invite but then slowly Cortney decided she wanted to express her own creativity and add her own touch.  And with good reason! As you'll see, she's very creative.

As I've gotten to know Cortney through this venture, I look forward to hearing what ideas she has in mind each year.  I know something special awaits!

This past summer, she wanted to do a pink lemonade theme.  We discussed it and came up with some sketches which then evolved into illustrations which Cortney then used to create the finished invite. Here is a sample of what she put together.

How adorable is that!  Teamwork indeed!

If you are interested in your own personalised party invites, I'd love to work with you!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Winter is setting in...

I know we're not long into autumn at this point and we've even had some rather mild weather for the season lately. But despite it all, winter is coming and the signs are setting in.

We spent last Saturday stacking the delivery of wood we received for this winter.  Fingers crossed we have enough as "they" keep predicting a very cold winter for us in these parts.  Although the fireplaces are lovely and toasty, they don't do much for us when it's time for bed.  What to do??

For quite a while now, we've been using the good old fashioned technique of hot water bottles.  Yup, just like grandma!  The kids love them because they are so cosy.  We love them because, well, they are so cosy but ecological too.

So in the spirit of the season, I have dug out my fabrics today and am going to make hottie covers for my kids (and myself of course).  I can't get that far into the project today because my children have managed to blow up my last transformer.  No, that's no a toy.  It's an electrical transformer that allows me to use my American bought sewing machine on European current.  Don't ask how they do it because we haven't figured that one out yet either, but they do systematically manage to do the transformers in.  So while I'm waiting for the new one to arrive, I'm planning.

I have a few ideas in mind.  A fur hottie cover?  I have at least one child who I know would love that.  Embroidered with their names?  Possibly.  I have time to think, so in the meantime, I'm going to share a few of my favourites that I've found on Etsy with you.

Aren't they just gorgeous?