Christmas Apple Pie

I made my first pie! I chose apple because well, its my favorite fruit pie. I was a little intimidated before I started, but it was not as intense as I had thought. Check out the recipe and give it a try!

IMG_0338 (1)

 

Ingredients: 

Crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cold butter
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Filling: 

  • Approx 4 apples cored, peeled, and sliced
  • 2/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for top of the crust
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • splash of water

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

  1. Mix flour, sugar and salt together for your crust. You can use a food processor or if you do not have one use a fork.
  2. Add in cold butter. (If using stick butter add in as cubes. If using butter from a tub add in as dollops)
  3. Slowly add in cold water and mix. You will have a crumbly mixture.
  4. Before the dough has completely formed a ball, remove and bring together with your hands. Form dough into a disk, wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  5. In a large bowl, mix apples, flour, sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
  6. When your dough is cold take it out of the plastic wrap and divide in half. Return one half into the fridge.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll 1/2 of the dough out into a circle.
  8. Gently lift the dough and transfer it to the pie pan. Lightly press the sides against the bottom and sides of the pan. Trim any overhanging dough.
  9. Take the second half of the dough from the fridge and roll it out on your floured surface.
  10. Use cookie cutters to cut out Christmas shapes.
  11. Pour apple mixture into the pie pan and cover the top of apples with pats of butter.
  12. Place your cookie cutter crust on top of the apple filling. Be sure to line the edges.
  13. Mix your egg white and splash of water in a bowl and brush the top of the crust and sprinkle with sugar.
  14. Bake for 50 minutes or until crust is golden.

DIY Pom Pom Trim

It seems every where I turn I see a pom pom. I did see some cute pom pom trim for gift wrapping, but only in red, I needed it in green. After looking a few places and not finding pom pom trim in green I decided to try and make it myself. I gave it a go and it worked!

IMG_0252

What you need: 

  • Pom Poms
  • 1 Needle
  • Thick String

IMG_0149

Instructions: 

  • Thread your string thru the needle
  • Poke the needle thru the “center” of the pom pom. You will not be able to poke the exact center, it’s too thick, but get close to the center. The pom pom “fluff” is thick enough to hold the string.
  • Repeat this until you have enough pom poms on your string

IMG_0151

IMG_0247

IMG_0155

Once you have your trim finished, wrap your gift and enjoy your adorable wrapping! You can adjust your pom pom placement once you have it wrapped around your gift.

Rudolph Gift Wrapping

I am so excited for my son to his Rudolph wrapped gift! My son is two and a half years old and he loves pom poms. I got this idea after seeing a giant red pom pom. This will have to be a Santa gift because I know if I put it under the tree that pom pom will be gone. 🙂

IMG_0198

WHAT YOU NEED: 

  • 1 giant red pom pom
  • Googly eyes
  • Cardstock (if cutting out the antlers yourself)
  • Glue
  • Cutting Machine
  • Kraft Wrapping Paper

* You may be able to find pre cut antlers at a craft store.

IMG_0133

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Wrap your gift in your brown kraft paper, I found mine at Wal-Mart.
  • Use your Silhouette or Cricut to cut out the antlers.
  • Glue your antlers, eyes and pom pom nose to the package.

IMG_0145

Once you’ve glued on your pieces you are all done! Look how adorable it is!

IMG_0198

Christmas Tree Rice Cereal Treats

We had a full day of holiday baking on Sunday. Does anyone else have a baking day? We made cookies, truffles and rice cereal treats. I don’t make rice cereal treats often, but I do love them! I made a batch of green and a batch of red. Below are the directions to create your own Christmas tree treats!

Ingredients:

  • 6 TBS Butter
  • 6 Cups Marshmallows
  • 6 Cups Rice Cereal
  • Green Gel Food coloring

Directions:

  • Heat a medium sized pot on the stove on medium heat.
  • Melt the butter
  • Once the butter is melted add in the marshmallows and stir until stirred in completely.
  • If you are using food coloring add it in now.
  • Add in the rice cereal and stir until well blended.
  • Transfer the mixture to a 7×11″ greased pan.
  • Once cooled use a cookie cutter to cut into trees.

IMG_0005

 

A Winter Wonderland Gingerbread House

It’s been years since I have decorated a gingerbread house. My son is two and a half and I thought it would be fun to do some this year! I’m a busy mom so actually making the gingerbread was out of the question. I bought the pre-made kits from Wal-Mart and bought some extra candy to decorate with. I love how it turned out!

IMG_0067

What you need:

  • 1 Gingerbread kit (includes some candy)
  • 1 bottle of snowflake sprinkles
  • 1 package of pearl sixlets (in the craft baking dept)
  • Ice cream cones (for the trees)
  • 1 package of white icing with a star tip (for the trees)

My kit came with the silver pearls and the circle silver candies on top of the house. I bought the snowflake sprinkles and the blue pearl sixlets.

How to create your door:

  • The kit came with a small amount of fondant icing. cut out a rectangle. Add icing to the backside of the fondant and place on the gingerbread.
  • Use your icing from the kit to outline one side of the door, add your sprinkles and pearls. Only ice one side at a time as you do not want the icing to dry before you add your candy.
  • Repeat the above step for the other two sides.

How to add your candy decorations to your house.

  • I found it was easier to add the candies if you place your frosting on the candy first and then place the candy onto the gingerbread house.

IMG_0065

I loved the added touch of the snowy trees and they were super easy to make!

How to make the trees:

  • Starting from the bottom of your ice cream cone use your star tipped icing and add icing all the way around the cone, small vertical strokes. Work your way all the way up.
  • Add pearls throughout the tree.

IMG_0066

Below is a picture of the roof. I’m not an expert in cake decorating, I just took it nice and slow and added blue pearls on the tips.

IMG_0070

If your decorating a gingerbread house this year I’d love to see how it turns out! Tag me on instagram! @craftingthishouse

A Delicious Christmas Cocktail

Looking for a festive drink that’s easy to make? I’ve got exactly what you need! I do not drink that much, usually just on trips or special occasions, but when I was in NYC I had the most delicious Christmas drink and I wanted to share it with you!

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 oz Vanilla Vodka
  • 1 oz Fireball Whiskey
  • 4 oz Apple Juice
  • Brown Sugar for the rim
  • Ice Cubes

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Wet the rim of your glass and sugar the rim with the brown sugar.
  • In a martini shake, pour the vodka, whiskey, apple juice and ice together.
  • Shake and pour contents into the glass.

 

IMG_9912

DIY: Wood Christmas Slices

I love when I get an idea in my head and it comes out perfectly! Does that ever happen to you? I will admit there are times my ideas do not turn out so perfect, but that’s the life of a crafter. I had a vision of how I wanted my Christmas table setting that involved a small DIY so I went searching for the perfect items.

WHAT YOU NEED: 

WOOD SLICES

BLACK ACRYLIC PAINT

PAINT BRUSH

STAMP

INK

IMG_9435

To begin you will need to paint a circle on each wood slice. This doesn’t have to be a perfect circle, I free handed mine. The easiest way to get a solid circle is to apply pressure and draw the circle with your brush.

IMG_9505

Once your paint dries you will cover your stamp with your ink and press firmly down on your wood slices. Carefully remove the stamp and voile, you have your stamped wood slice.

IMG_9507

IMG_9506

Once complete set your wood slices with the rest of your table display. I put mine on top of my dishes.

B64E55BE-1108-4CA5-A69E-D4B230F8DB06.jpeg

 

Decorating Our Perfect Christmas Tree

It seems like it should be simple right, decorating a Christmas tree? It’s not as easy as you think. There are a few key elements that will help make your tree more aesthetically pleasing. Before we get into the details, do any of you have any traditions when it comes to decorating your tree? I always turn on a Christmas movie and get me a warm cup of cider or cocoa. I’m sure I’m not the only one that does this, I’d love to hear your traditions!

Now to get started, I know everyone puts their own spin and all their love into their tree decorating. I’m only suggesting a few key design details to help you along the way. Let’s start by taking a look at your ornament choices.

christmas-ornaments)

Pictured above are the ornaments I use in my Christmas tree. It’s important to have a variety of sizes and textures. To get started you will want a couple bold ornaments, meaning ornaments that are big and solid. My 1st and 4th ornaments are my bold ornaments. The bold ornaments are my favorite, aesthetically. Next, you will want some dimension. My number 2 is a 3 dimensional snowflake. It has a delicate design, but really adds effect to the tree. My 3rd ornament is an elongated frosted pine cone. Having vertically shaped ornaments helps feel space, but also adds visual interest. Number 5 is your basic round ornament, mine are covered in glitter. There are more of these on my tree than any other ornament. Next, you will want to add an ornament or two with a little more interest, that’s where my owls come in. They are a bit whimsical, a conversation piece if you will. They add interest to your tree without being a basic shape. I always use ribbon. Some years I use it more than others. This year I went pretty basic in the ribbon department. I used this faux bark ribbon. I cut it into strips and strategically placed it throughout my tree. The last “ornament” I use is a floral pick, #8. These are great at filling gaps, space and adding levels within your tree. I know a lot of people have ornaments they have collected over the years and that’s ok! Just be sure to spread them out and balance the positions with the size of the ornaments.

Placing your ornaments is just as important as finding the right ornaments. You want to make sure you fill all the large “holes”, this is good for your bigger ornaments or a floral filler. You do not want to place the same ornament too close together. Be sure to spread out your like ornaments. Lastly, you will want to fill some ornaments deeper into the tree and others more toward the ends of the branches. Doing these three things will keep keep your tree balanced and cohesive.

FullSizeRender (63).jpg

Now, let’s move on to the top of your tree. If you want something  more than an Angel or a star then you will need to find some picks that you like. I have used several different kinds in the past. This year I only used two kinds. I got two packs of these snow covered branches and 2 sets of these white fuzzy ball picks. It is very important to make sure you separate and spread your picks. You do not want them all stuck in one spot or it will not look aesthetically cohesive.

FullSizeRender (58)

FullSizeRender (64)

I always do the top of my tree last, so once I’m finished with the top my tree is complete! Now I get to sit back and admire all the work and love I’ve put into it.

FullSizeRender (62).jpg

Peanut Butter Lovers Dessert

Calling all peanut butter lovers! This year for Thanksgiving I was responsible for three things, the deviled eggs, the sweet potato casserole and a dessert. I do not have a go to dessert, so I did as any normal person would do and went to Pinterest. I found a delicious recipe filled with peanut butter, chocolate, and whip cream. Doesn’t it sound delicious already? When I saw it I knew it was the one I had to make. It’s a peanut butter chocolate ribbon cake, but this is not your ordinary cake, its a cold ice cream like cake. Think smooth and creamy. Who can’t resist peanut butter, chocolate and cool whip? Let’s take a look at the recipe.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:

12 peanut butter sandwich cookies ( I used nutter butters)

2 Tbsp. butter melted

1 pkg. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

1 tub (12 oz) Cool Whip Topping, thawed

2 oz. Baker’s Semi Sweet Chocolate (you may want a bit more)

HOW TO MAKE IT:

Crush 8 cookies into crumbs, mix with butter. Spread out the mix on the bottom of a greased 8×8- inch dish.

Beat the next 4 ingredients in a large bowl with a mixer until blended. Add in 3 cups Cool Whip and stir.

Spoon 1/2 cup cream cheese mixture into a small bowl and stir in melted chocolate, blend well. Spread half of the remaining cream cheese mixture onto the crust; top with the chocolate mixture and cover with the remaining cream cheese mixture.

Freeze for 4 hours or until firm. You can top dessert with remaining cool whip and crushed cookies.

Here are some pictures of the deliciousness in the making.

Pictured below is the delicious peanut butter cookie crust.

IMG_9442

Now, I will admit, these were licked clean. The mixture is just so delicious I couldn’t resist!

IMG_9446

Adding the peanut butter mixture to the top of the crust. Yum!

IMG_9450.jpg

Now cut a piece, take a bite, and enjoy!

IMG_9579

Fireplace Makeover

We bought our house eight years ago as a fixer upper. We’ve put a lot of work into the house, but for some reason we never painted the fireplace. I didn’t even like the brick color, I hated it in fact. I guess I was scared of how permanent painting it was. My husband built a new mantel, but I will admit, it looked a little odd against the old brick. The day finally came when I decided to paint it white!

Let’s start with the AFTER. I am in love with how it turned out! I am so mad we didn’t do it sooner. Because of the timing I went ahead and decorated it for Christmas, which I am also loving, my winter wonderland. We used a masonry primer and then topped it with a coat of white paint.

FullSizeRender (67).jpg

I actually have two BEFORE pictures. The first is the old brick with the new mantel. It’s not terrible, but it’s definitely not as pretty as the AFTER.

FullSizeRender (66)

The below BEFORE picture is when we bought the house. As you can see since this photo we have a new fireplace, new paint, crown moulding and new flooring.

DSC00865

We’ve come a long with since we’ve bought our house. Our fireplace is the focal point of our living room and painting it white has really brightened it up! If you are considering painting yours, I say do it!