In the Kitchen: Apple Tart

Living in Virginia has dramatically changed my dietary habits. Shortly after moving here last summer I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. Her focus on sustainable living made me reconsider my constant grocery store runs and year-round grapefruit addiction. My husband and I vowed to only eat 1 pound of meat a week and buy locally sourced produce as often as possible. Some days following these ideals aren't possible, but Animal, Vegetable, Miracle did make appreciate eating seasonally. I'm lucky to live in a county with it's own apple: The Albemarle Pippin. It is crisp and sweet, used mostly for cider, but also makes a delicious tart. Few things seem more appropriate on a beautiful fall day than a local apple, and maybe a little local cider too. 

Apple Tart 

1 cup flour 
1/2 tablespoon sugar 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold & diced 
1/4 cup ice water 

2 pounds apples, peeled, cored, & thinly sliced 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold & diced 
2 tablespoons sugar 
1/4 cup apricot jam 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees 

Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add the butter, and pulse until butter is the size of a small pea. With food processor running, add ice water and pulse until combined. Work dough on a floured board and kneed into a ball. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes. 

Grease a 9 inch tart pan. Roll out dough until it is wide enough to fit in tart pan. Roll dough over rolling pin, and place on tart pan. Gently press dough into pan, and remove excess from edge. 

Arrange apple slices overlapping in a circle. Sprinkle with butter and sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes. 

Allow tart to cool for 5 minutes, and then brush on apricot jam with a pastry brush. Serve warm or at room temperature. 


October Favorites

ONE I'm ready to wear gingham year round, and this wool sweater is making it possible. // TWO This deep conditioner makes coloring your hair and daily blow-drys possible. // THREE Who says wide brimmed hats are just for summer? // FOUR Nars launched a new line of lipsticks- I'm particularly found of 'Anna'. // FIVE This oversized turtleneck is perfect for those crisp fall days. // SIX Make your whole house smell like fall with this pumpkin scented candle. // SEVEN The perfect pair of pale pink pants, and they are  under $100! // EIGHT This light grey bag is worth the splurge. // NINE I'm going to try mulling my own wine this year- hopefully this spice mix won't fail me. // TEN Hello, lovely. // ELEVEN Feminine meets masculine in these monk-strap loafers. // TWELVE Even your clutch can be plush this fall. // THIRTEEN Half coat, half cape, totally awesome. 


Style: Apple Picking

Will and I went apple picking at Chiles Peach Orchard a few weeks ago. Although the apples weren't quit ripe yet, we had a great time walking down the apple rows and drinking cider. It was a little crisp that day so I wore my J.Crew Turtleneck. This is my first turtleneck purchase since elementary school. I wore a lot of white turtlenecks with sweaters back in the day, and they weren't pretty (hello 90's). After last winter, I'm ready to invest in any piece that will keep me warm. So, I'm looking to add a few more turtlenecks to my wardrobe this year. Giant knit turtleneck, I'm looking at you... 


In the Kitchen: Double Chocolate Cookies

My love for baking started early on. Mom and I would spend afternoons in the kitchen whipping up sweet concoctions. Over the last few years I've slowed down my baking habit (probably best for my waistline), but every now and then I get a craving and just can't help myself. These double chocolate cookies are a favorite: intensely chocolate and sweet. They are easy to make and always a crowd pleaser. The hazelnuts add a nice texture, but you can always leave them out. 

Double Chocolate Cookies 

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 
1/2 cup brown sugar 
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
1 egg 
1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder 
1 cup flour 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup white chocolate chips 
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy (about five minutes). Add egg and vanilla extract and mix well. Slowly add cocoa powder, and mix until combined. 

Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add to butter mixture in two batches. Mix until just combined. Stir in white chocolate chips and chopped hazelnuts. 

Place cookie dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet in 1 inch balls. Pat them out with your hands so they are slightly flat. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool on baking rack. Serve slightly warm. 


Style: White Sweatshirt

I'm slowly transitioning into my fall wardrobe. The cooler weather this week had me bring out my favorite J.Crew booties and my  new Anthropologie Sweatshirt. The sweatshirt trend is one of my favorites: hello comfort! I picked this sweatshirt up a few weeks ago and have already worn it multiple times. It is great for transitional weather, and can be dressed up with a simple flared skirt.